More and more dog trainers are embracing dog cooling vests due to the advantages these accessories offer to their animals. If you don’t know what one of these is, a dog cooling vest (or dog chilling jacket/coat) is a coat worn by puppies to keep their bodies cool in hot weather. Indeed, your dogs can depend on the vest to stay comfortable, ensuring that he stays boisterous and happy all day long.
In other words, your American Eskimo won’t have to keep looking for shade just to stay cool during periods of intense heat. What role does your pup play in your life? Is he your companion, your security, alarm clock, footrest or fitness motivator? Guess what? You can make the most of whatever it is your bulldog does for you if he is fully kitted in one of these cool (did you get it?) vests.
With that being said, there are many different dog cooling vests on the market. They come in different styles, qualities, and colors. Because they are unique in many different ways, it makes selecting the best fit for your dog seem like a difficult maze to find your way through.
However, we have carried out some extensive research for you to find the market-leading dog cooling vests. We have rounded up the most effective dog chilling coats for you. So, in this guide, we will walk you through the features and perks that make them the best among the rest. Let’s go!
How Did We Pick the Best Dog Cooling Vest?
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Why It is Better?
- Why You Need a Dog Cooling Vest?
- How to Pick the Right Dog Cooling Vest
- Top 5 Best Dog Cooling Vests
- 1. RUFFWEAR – Jet Stream Vest
- 2. RUFFWEAR – Swamp Cooler Evaporative Dog Cooling Vest
- 3. smartelf Dog Cooling Vest
- 4. Hurtta Cooling Dog Vest
- 5. SGODA Dog Cooling Vest Harness Cooler Jacket
- Tips for Using Dog Cooling Vest
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why You Need a Dog Cooling Vest?
There are many reasons why you should gift your pup a cooling jacket. Let’s discuss them briefly.
Effective cooling: Heat exhaustion (hyperthermia) is one of the challenges that dogs battle with all the time. The reason they suffer from this condition is that their coats trap air heated by sunlight. This makes cooling down an overheating dog pretty difficult. So, the best thing to do is to prevent any overheating from happening in the first place. To achieve this, you have to get a jacket for your pup.
To avert dog heatstroke: One of the things you achieve when your dog goes about in a chilling jacket is averting heatstroke. Yes, you probably didn’t know that dogs are also vulnerable to such a condition, do you? Indeed they are and certain breeds are more susceptible to it. These include the French bulldog, Boston Terriers, and Boxers, etc. The reason for this is that they have short noses, so they cannot lose heat through their respiratory tract or by panting. However, you can change the narrative by getting your Fido a cooling vest.
Protection against bodily harms Dogs loves to run and play around, especially when they with their owners or people they love. There are other occasions when they could be training or hunting. In the course of playing or hunting, dogs could potentially expose themselves to bodily harm. Nevertheless, with this accessory, the risk of hurting themselves in such an activity will be minimized.
Keeps dogs upbeat: When your dog is feeling down as the result of an ailment, there is no doubt that he will not be able to give you his very best. For instance, if he has to run for too long in the hot sun, his performance will be reduced because he will be extremely hot. But with the dog cooling jacket on, your dog will be able to give his very best in every physical activity you want him to. That’s because he will be able to reduce the rate of sweating (from the merocrine sweat glands that are found in paw pads) in your dog.
Effective dog control: Also, some canine chilling jackets are designed with fasteners to enable the trainer (or any other person for that matter) to attach harnesses and collar leashes. This way, they can easily manage and control them, most especially when you need your puppy to stay calm or you are not around.
How to Pick the Right Dog Cooling Vest
There are certain factors that you should look out for before picking your preferred canine chilling jacket. In fact, these factors played a pivotal role in the course of carrying out this extensive research. Now, let’s dissect these factors one after another.
- Retentive capability: One of the factors you should always look out for is how long these dogs cooling vests work. For most of them on the market, they don’t exceed 25 minutes. When they become dry, you have to add some more water to keep your canine upbeat. Some of them could barely last for 20 minutes before it was necessary to add water again. In other words, the yardstick for determining the right canine jacket is how long it can last without the need to add some water again. It has to be damp enough to wet your puppy’s fur whenever the dog is outside – regardless of how hot the weather may be. The longer the retentive capability, the better this jacket.
- Effectiveness: Remember, the most important reason why you are getting your pup a chilling jacket is to keep his body cool. The question you have to ask yourself is, “Does yours achieve the desired result?” If you find your chosen dog jacket doesn’t achieve this objective, you may want to buy another one. You see, if it doesn’t retain so much water, it means that the water soaks into the dog’s fur. If it is left unchecked, it can result in chafing, meaning that your puppy will never enjoy wearing it. Note that you should aim to keep the apparel slightly damp to cool the body of your dog. When you do this, you will be able to lower his body temperature make him feel more comfortable.
- Material: Another factor that must matter to you is the material used to make the jacket. Different materials can be used; so, you should look out for those that are lightweight. It will interest you to know that most of the quality apparel on the market is made of nylon on the outside because this is the best for achieving the desired result. Also, you can be sure that your canine won’t be able to destroy it. Coming to the interior design, it is made of cotton. Unlike nylon, cotton does a better job because it is soft, hypoallergenic, and less likely to cause friction. On top of that, it will be mild to your puppy’s fur. More importantly, cotton is a lightweight material. Lastly, cotton is cool as you will need to keep adding water to it to keep your pup wet.
- Fit: If the canine jacket you are using for your puppy does not fit perfectly, he won’t be comfortable in it. In other words, the emphasis here is on choosing the right size to give maximum comfort. So, what does size mean? It simply means girth. The sizes can be small, medium, large, and extra-large. In addition to having different sizes, some are adjustable. Consequently, you can find a cooling vest to fit any size of dog. With that being said, when we say fit in this context, we are referring to the body of the dog or specific breed. In some cases, the jacket maker uses a breed chart to break down the breeds their products will fit. You should look out for that as well because size is always an issue. This is especially important if you want to order the dog cooling vest online. Besides, canines have different body types, so what works for one canine may not work for a bulldog.
- Reflectivity: Another factor that should matter to you is how reflective the surface is. While some of them have good reflective materials, others don’t. It is crucial that they have some reflective materials on them because it allows you to see your puppy where there is in dim light. Have you ever imagined strolling with your bulldog at dawn and the leash suddenly jerks out of your hand? Should the pup run out into the road the vest will be brightly illuminated in a car’s headlights, potentially saving its life.
- Safety: Apart from the factors we have discussed so far, you should also look into safety. Good dog chilling apparel has safety features. Some of them have durable rings that you can attach a leash to. Other brands have sturdy buckles, allowing you to easily unbuckle the apparel whenever you want to. It is a good thing that some of them have all these fascinating features. But then, you should also ensure that the apparel is durable. The buckle should be able to withstand repeated use and slight pulling and tugging. Any safety considerations would not be complete without a mention of the reflective strips because vests have to be easily visible and should run the length of the apparel.
- Style: While style may appear at the bottom of the priority list, it is also an important factor to keep in mind. For most dog trainers, it matters. The reasoning behind this is that they want their Fido jacket to always mirror their unique styles. However, you must not sacrifice effectiveness on the altar of style. In other words, while you should pay attention to style, it should be low on your priority list. Remember, the crucial thing here is that the apparel should be able to reduce the temperature of your puppy to bring out the best in him.
- Brand: Brand is also a key factor that you have to pay attention to before choosing from a long list of jackets. The reason is that some manufacturers have carved a niche for themselves in the industry. These manufacturers are simply known for high-quality products and have never rested on their laurels. Because they have a reputation to protect, people always look to them to provide high-performing products. And they have never been found wanting. Some of them are RuffWear, Smartelf, Hurtta, SGODA, etc.
Top 5 Best Dog Cooling Vests
1. RUFFWEAR – Jet Stream Vest Review
Easy to use
We Don’t Like
If you need your dog to be comfortable wearing chilling apparel, you should consider getting him this best dog cooling vest. In fact, that’s why it snagged our position of the best-value dog cooling vest. On top of that, it has a layered construction that is designed to keep your pet cool – regardless of how high the outside temperature is. On the outer layer, this jacket reflects heat and enhances evaporation. Guess what? There are even more impressive features in it. Coming to the 3-layer construction, it provides for chilling, support, and stability.
Made of spandex, this accessory comes in a blue lagoon color, making it look good on your puppy. Based on the material it’s made of, you are strongly advised to wash it in cold water, on a gentle cycle it with mild detergent and hang it to dry. While it comes in different sizes, you should determine the perfect size for your spaniel using his girth (the measurement of the widest part of his rib cage). However, if you are not sure about your measurement, the best bet is to get a bit larger size.
2. RUFFWEAR – Swamp Cooler Evaporative Dog Cooling Vest Review
Easy to use
We Don’t Like
This Ruffwear cooling vest is one of the best jackets for keeping your puppy upbeat in hot summer. The style of the vest shows that this apparel is designed to give maximum coverage. It also has side-release buckles that enable you easily put it on or take it off. What’s more, it is machine washable, making it easy to wash and maintain. With good water storage capability, you don’t have to worry that your pup will feel hot in high temperatures.
This is one jacket that you can always trust to stick on your beagle, whenever it runs, as it does not fall off. One of the unique qualities of this accessory is the light-colored fabric, which reflects intense sunlight. It is noteworthy that it comes with a loop for attaching the beacon. Also, this vest won’t hamper the movement of your beagle in any way. More importantly, it is very easy to use and maintain. All these qualities explain why it could be your best dog cooling vest.
3. smartelf Dog Cooling Vest Review
Easy to use
We Don’t Like
Are you in need of a budget-friendly dog chilling jacket out there? If your answer is yes, you don’t need to search any further because this is the best dog cooling vest that for those on a budget. It is one of our best chilling jackets for someone on a budget. More importantly, it is lightweight, breathable and contains no harmful chemicals. Still, it has a soft skin touch and has mild mesh nylon to keep your puppy cool. With this dog chilling apparel, your spaniel won’t have to keep panting and lying down every now and then.
It comes in an orange color, making your bulldog look really adorable. It not only fits well on your dog, but it also ensures that his body stays cool all day long. Guess what, you don’t have to be a pro dog trainer to use it as all you need to do is to soak it in cold water and wring it out later. Afterward, you can put it on your dog, and you are good to go! By covering your dog’s chest, this apparel cools its heart and lungs.
4. Hurtta Cooling Dog Vest Review
Easy to use
We Don’t Like
This cooling vest for dogs made our list because it is capable of absorbing and retaining water more than any other product on the market. Keep in mind that you need to keep your dog’s heart region warm even in summer times. It retains moisture better than terry cloth coats. With that, you can be sure that the comfort of your puppy is guaranteed. It also comes with different sizes, making it perfect to fit many different sizes of dogs.
You may want to take a time out with your Fido to go for a training session or walk. When you do, you will definitely have a great day with it when it has Hurtta Cooling Dog vest on. To use it, all you need to do is to dip it into some water, wring it out and put it on your puppy. Afterward, you are good to go! This is a high-quality product, so you can be sure it is going to last for a long time.
5. SGODA Dog Cooling Vest Harness Cooler Jacket Review
Easy of use
We Don’t Like
If you are looking for a cooling vest for dogs that is pretty durable, search no more. In short, this product perfectly fits that description as it is made of durable nylon fabric. Additionally, it has a zinc-alloy D-ring on the dog’s back that allows you to attach a leash to your puppy. While the zipper with adjustable size ensures that it perfectly fits, the 3M reflective part ensures that visibility remains optimal.
Given that it is lightweight, it is very easy to play with. The gray color makes your dog look stunning when he has it on. Using it is as easy as ABC. All you need to do is to soak it in cold water, wring it out and put it on your dog. Also, it comes in several sizes, meaning that there is something for every pup out there. With this jacket, you can be sure that your puppy will stay cool all day long, most especially in summer. What’s more, your pup will always have fine skin as this chilling jacket protects it against harm.
Tips for Using Dog Cooling Vest
Remember that the primary goal of having this Fido chilling apparel is to ensure that your pup maintains the right body temperature to keep up an optimal performance. Therefore, it is critical that you use it the proper way. So, just before you start using your apparel, you should always do the following:
- You can check if your pup’s jacket is working perfectly by either feeling beneath the apparel or checking your dog’s ears. But then, we always encourage that you do the ear test as it gives a much more accurate result.
- From time to time, you should check the moisture level of the apparel. Just like we mentioned earlier, there are some dogs cooling vests that dry much faster than others. It’s important to note that when the chilling jacket dries up, it begins to warm your animal up, instead of doing its intended job of cooling it down. We strongly advise that you always do this, especially when you don’t have enough water to wet the jacket.
- You should know that some dogs do not like these chilling jackets. However, you can always use it if you want your Fido to put in optimal performance; especially during the peak of summer. Alternatively, you may go for a cooling collar. What’s more, you may settle for a cooling mat if you are interested in lounging.
- You can also refrigerate the jacket after wetting it – yes, it is okay. By doing so, you are making a more concerted effort to keep things cool. The idea is that the chilling vest will last much longer when you start using it.
- Well, you should never use a chilling vest as a lifesaving device, most especially when it has been refrigerated. If you use a refrigerated jacket on a dog suffering from hyperthermia, it may lead to a thermal shock. We strongly advise that you seek veterinary assistance when such a situation arises. A cooling mat in the shade is also recommended for dogs that are susceptible to heatstroke. Bulldogs and other short-nosed with big-chested breeds fall into this category.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the frequently asked questions about dog chilling vests that will really interest you.
Yes, it does. Dog cooling vests are designed to keep your puppy cool during warm and hot weather. Besides, they come in different styles, materials, and colors. By and large, there are 2 principles used for them. But then, regardless of the principle applied in making one, the key objective is to retain moisture to keep your Fido cool.
Once again, they largely have 2 principles guiding them. These are the ice-pack or an evaporation principle. For evaporation, this simply mimics the action of sweating which helps human beings to stay cool all day. In clearer terms, evaporation entails the process of water changing from a liquid to a gaseous state. This change-of-state process requires some form of energy to take place. You know, the dog’s body provides this energy in the form of heat energy. Put simply, in the process of water changing into gas, heat energy is consumed, thus reducing the temperature of the dog’s skin.
On the other hand, the ice-pack principle is similar to evaporation but not without a slight disparity. The difference is that the Fido chilling jacket has to be put in the freezer before it is used. When the ice transforms from a solid to a liquid, the process consumes heat energy, thus reducing the temperature of the surface. The ice-pack effect is more useful in humid environments because evaporation rarely occurs there.
Well, there is no definite answer to this question as they last for different times. However, some brands estimate how long their products are likely going to last, so you should look out for that. Some brands don’t give estimates of how long the apparel will last before it dries. This is understandable because there are lots of factors that can influence the time it lasts. The most common factors are humidity, the breed of dog, the intensity of sunlight, and the air temperature. Generally, they last between 10 and 25 minutes. Most users take water bottles with them to top up the moisture when the vest dries.
If other factors remain constant, two important factors determine how long the vest will last. These are proper use and quality. Essentially, they can be used for years if you take care of them properly. After washing, you should ensure you dry them properly before storage. Failure to do so can lead to mold forming. If this happens, the jacket should be disposed of.
Cleaning your Fido chilling apparel is not rocket science because it is as easy as doing your laundry. However, different brands come with different instructions for use and cleaning. So, all you need to do is to follow the guidelines. Generally, you will need to clean them using cold water and drying them properly afterward. With that being said, you must not wash it with saltwater or bleach it. Lest we forget, you should never tumble dry it. On the flip side, you can machine wash yours if you don’t wish to hand wash it.
In conclusion, it is safe to state that there are lots of factors you have to take into consideration before you decide on the best dog cooling vest for your dog. Without reinventing the wheel, by now you, already know what these factors are. With that said, dog cooling jackets are very important as there are lots of perks you stand to derive from using it on your pup.
More importantly, you always want to bring out the best in your dog and reduce the chance of having to take him to a veterinary doctor. The truth of the matter is, doing so means you will end up spending more money than you would, had you bought the right jacket.
Admittedly, these vests are crucial for reasons you already know. Yes, you can help your pup make the most of the summer with one. But then, you will have to overcome the challenge of picking the most effective one on the market — and there are many of them out there. We strongly advise that you don’t waste too much your precious time and effort looking for the right vest for your puppy.
All you need to do is pick from the list we have compiled for you. Do you know why? The reason is that each of them is unique in its own way. Why wait? You can give the best to your dog today by selecting from the list of products we have reviewed in this guide. Place an order now!