Most dogs just love the outdoors. Outdoor walks and playtime are important not only for doing their business (relieving themselves) but also for providing ample mental stimulation and exercise to the canine. Outdoor activities are not a big issue in normal weather, but in the hot summer temperatures, they can often become a challenge. After all, it is not always possible to adjust the schedule to fit in only an early morning or late evening outdoor walk.
If you are one of those pet owners who are worried about all this, then this article is for you. In this article, we review and list the best dog cooling vests or coats to keep your Fido cool and happy even when the temperatures soar.
We will discuss how these cooling vests work and the factors to consider before picking the best dog cooling vest for your pooch. We will also share some additional options that can help your pet in beating the summer heat. So buckle up and read on!
Also check out our article on the best outdoor dog water bowls and fountains to provide your Fido with ample hydration when outdoors.
Best dog cooling vest listSome of the best dog cooling vests or coats to beat the heat this summer are listed below:
|Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Dog Cooling Vest||XXS: Neck-13.5", Chest-13"-17".|
XS: Neck-16.25", Chest-17"-22".
S: Neck-19.75", Chest-22"-27".
M: Neck-22", Chest-27"-32".
L: Neck-26.5", Chest-32"-46".
XL: Neck-28", Chest-36"-42".
|Derby Originals Hydro Cooling Dog Jacket||Size 12: Chest-15.5"-18", Len.-12".|
Size 18: Chest-23"-30", Len.-18".
Size 22: Chest-25"-32", Len.-22".
Size 26: Chest-33.5"-43.5", Len.-26".
Size 28: Chest-34"-42", Len.-28".
|Hurtta Dog Cooling Vest||XXS: Neck-11", Chest-14".|
XS: Neck-12", Chest-17".
S: Neck-13", Chest-20".
M: Neck-16", Chest-24".
L: Neck-19", Chest-29".
XL: Neck-22", Chest-34".
XXL: Neck-28", Chest-42".
|CoolerDog Dog Cooling Vest and Cooling Collar||XS: Chest-15"-18".|
|Canada Pooch Chill Seeker Cooling Vest||Size 10: Chest-13.5"-16.5", Len.-10".|
Size 12: Chest-15"-19", Len.-12".
Size 14: Chest-19"-25", Len.-14".
Size 16: Chest-23"-26", Len.-16".
Size 18: Chest-26"-30.5", Len.-18".
Size 20: Chest-30"-33", Len.-20".
Size 22: Chest-33"-36", Len.-22".
Size 26: Chest-37"- 41.5", Len.-26.0".
Size 32: Chest-40"-52", Len. - 32.0".
|Ruffwear Jet Stream Dog Cooling Vest||XXS: Neck-11"-14", Chest-13"-17".|
XS: Neck-13"-16", Chest-17"-22".
S: Neck-16"-20", Chest-22"-27".
M: Neck-17.5"-22", Chest-27"-32".
L: Neck-22"-26", Chest-32"-46".
XL: Neck-26.5"-31.5", Chest-36"-42".
|FrontPet Dog Cooling Vest||Neck: 19”, Chest: 18”-23”.|
|smartelf Dog Cooling Vest||M: Neck-23.7"-20.4, Chest-22"-25".|
L: Neck-16.5"-23.2", Chest-28"-33".
XL: Neck-18.8"-27.1", Chest-32.4"-37".
XXL: Neck-23.2"-31.1", Chest-35"-40".
|Go Fresh Pet Ice Cooling Vest||XS: Chest-13"-16", Len.-11".|
S: Chest-15"-19", Len.-13".
M: Chest-17"-22", Len.-15".
L: Chest-20"-25", Len.-18".
XL: Chest-23"-28", Len.-21".
XXL: Chest-26"-31", Len.-24".
|Kurgo Dog Core Cooling Vest||XS: Neck-12", Chest-14"-17".|
S: Neck-16", Chest-18"-28".
M: Neck-19", Chest-26"-35".
L: Neck-23", Chest-30"-39".
XL: Neck-26", Chest-35"-45".
What are dog cooling vests or coats and how are they useful?
Hot summers are not the most enjoyable times for dogs, especially the ones who love their daily outdoor walks. Canines do not sweat like humans (dogs only sweat from areas like nose and paw pads) and instead rely on panting to manage their body temperatures.
Breed-specific characteristics, body weight and extreme heat and humidity can affect this panting ability. Insufficient heat regulation and overheating can cause serious health problems and can even lead to severe heat stroke and death. Breeds with flat noses such as pugs, pit bulls and bulldogs are more prone to these heat-related issues.
So, it is important to keep the dog cool when taking him/her outdoors in the sun. Dog cooling vests are one such gear to help in these situations.
Dog cooling vests, or dog cooling coats as they are sometimes called, are special types of dog vests, coats and jackets that help in keeping the pet cool by employing the basic principles of evaporation.
In simplest terms, dog cooling vests are made of special water-retaining fabrics which are designed to retain moisture for a longer time and still provide a more accelerated rate of evaporation than the natural body or fur of the canine, thereby cooling the body and preventing overheating. Standard dog cooling vests can provide a relief of 20-30 degree Fahrenheit, while high-performance cooling vests can lower the body temperature by up to 30-50 degree Fahrenheit.
To use, you simply need to dip the vest in cold water (or leave it in the freezer for a short time or do both) wring it and put it on the pet. Some cooling vests even allow adding ice packs to the special pockets in the vest. The outer layer of the vest reflects heat, the middle layer retains the water, while the inner layer provides a cooling effect to the pet by accelerated evaporation.
The best dog cooling vests can last for anywhere between 1 hour to 6 hours depending upon the weather before they need to be replenished with more water. Since replenishment is very easy – simply pouring water on the vest or letting your doggo take a dip in a pool or pond, a dog cooling vest can even help in keeping the dog cool on longer outdoor trips such as hiking and camping.
From the above discussion, it is clear that dog cooling vests or coats are an excellent gear to keep your dog cool even in extreme heat. Now let us look at some of the best dog cooling coats or vests available in the market!
Just a word of caution. Though dog cooling vests can help in managing a dog’s body temperature, they are not made to be effective in extreme temperatures such as inside a car. So do not leave your dog alone in an enclosed vehicle for long, even with a cooling vest on. It is not going to end well for you and your pet.
Which are the best dog cooling vests or coats?
Material: 100% stretching spandex top layer, 92%/8% polyester-spandex middle layer and 100% polyester mesh inner layer and trim.
- XXS: Neck – 13.5″, Chest – 13.0″ – 17.0″.
- XS: Neck – 16.25″, Chest – 17.0″ – 22.0″.
- S: Neck – 19.75″, Chest – 22.0″ – 27.0″.
- M: Neck – 22.0″, Chest – 27.0″ – 32.0″.
- L: Neck – 26.5″, Chest – 32.0″ – 46.0″.
- XL: Neck – 28.0″, Chest – 36.0″ – 42.0″.
- Best-selling, full-coverage dog cooling vest with a high-quality, three-layer construction. Made in Vietnam under US-based company’s quality control measures.
- Features a stretching spandex top, super-absorbent polyester/spandex middle layer and meshed 100% polyester inner layer.
- The outer layer reflects the heat and facilitates evaporation. The middle layer absorbs water and the inner layer transfers the cooling effect to the pet, while keeping it dry. Rated to block UVA and UVB rays up to UPF 50+ rating.
- Once wet with water, can lower the body temperature by up to 30+-degrees and last for 4-5 hours. Suitable for most dog breeds.
- Equipped with adjustable straps with side-release buckles for a comfortable put-on and take-off, with an integrated leash portal to wear over a harness.
- Comes with a reflective trim for low-light visibility and an Integrated light loop to attach the light beacon.
- Easy to clean and machine washable in cold water and gentle cycle. Air dry by laying flat in sun.
- Available in six sizes and standard graphite grey color combination. Backed by a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.
When it comes to outdoor adventure gear for canines, the Ruffwear brand is one of the most popular with many best-selling products. When it comes to dog cooling vests, both dog trainers and dog owners agree that the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler is one of the best options available in the market for now and there is a good reason for that. It is also our favorite and top pick.
The best-selling Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Dog Cooling Vest features a high-quality, three-layer construction – the stretchy spandex top layer, the 92%/8% polyester/spandex absorbent middle layer and the 100% polyester mesh inner layer. Like most other Ruffwear products, the dog cooling vest is made in Vietnam under the US-based company’s strict quality control restrictions.
The construction material of the Swamp Cooler is the same as the Ruffwear Jet Stream dog cooling vest, but there are quite a few differences between the two.
First of all, the Jet Stream is a step-in dog vest, meaning that it requires the dog to put its legs in the harness. On the other hand, Swamp cooler uses side buckles and straps to wrap the vest around the dog, making it a lot easier to put-on and take-off. Secondly, the Jet Stream has a more athletic cut that is smaller than Swamp Cooler, so it provides more freedom to the pet for activities like trail running. The Swamp Cooler provides a full-body coverage that is more tailored towards strolling activities. Finally, the Swamp Cooler comes with a leash portal on the back of the harness as well as reflective trim to provide visibility – a feature missing in the Jet Stream cooling vest.
So keep these differences in mind before picking the one over the other.
The Swamp Cooler vest works on the standard evaporation cooling mechanism. The outer layer reflects the sun’s rays (rated at UPF 50+) and facilitates evaporation. The middle layer absorbs and retains water and the inner layer transfers the cooling effect to the pet, while keeping it dry from any dampness. Once fully charged, the Swamp Cooler can provide cooling by over 30-degree Fahrenheit for up to 4-5 hours. Replenishment is easy, and you can simply pour more water on it to recharge. The manufacturer, however, recommends not to put the vest in the freezer for a long time as it can harm the fabric.
The Swamp Cooler is suitable for all dog breeds, more so for short-haired athletic dogs. Dogs with long-haired or double-coated fur may find it a little uncomfortable after prolonged use (there are no ice pockets in the vest). Still, it should not be a deal breaker considering this is a limitation of almost all dog cooling vests.
The vest comes with a reflective trim for easy visibility even in low lights. An integrated light loop is also provided to attach the light beacon. Cleaning is easy, and the vest is machine washable in cold water and gentle cycle. Drying is going to be a hassle and you would have to lay it flat in the sun for hours to air dry.
The Ruffwear Swamp Cooler is available in single Graphite Grey color combination and six sizes suitable for dogs up to 120-130 lbs. And like other Ruffwear products, it is backed by a lifetime warranty and a dedicated customer support service – a big testament to the quality of the product.
Derby Originals Hydro Cooling Dog Jacket – Best dog cooling coat for long-haired and flat-faced dogs
Material: Ultra-thin, triple-layer quilted technical fabric.
- Size 12: Chest – 15.5″ – 18.0″, Length – 12.0″.
- Size 18: Chest – 23.0″ – 30.0″, Length – 18.0″.
- Size 22: Chest – 25.0″ – 32.0″, Length – 22.0″.
- Size 26: Chest – 33.5″ – 43.5″, Length – 26.0″.
- Size 28: Chest – 34.0″ – 42.0″, Length – 28.0″.
Price: $$ to $$$ depending upon the size.
- High-quality, versatile dog cooling coat that is designed to provide a cooling effect for up to 8-10 hours. Made in India under US-based company’s quality control measures.
- Second-generation, three-layer design is lighter than the older vests. The outer layer reflects heat and evaporates water, the middle layer absorbs and retains water, and the inner layer provides the cooling effect while keeping the pet dry.
- Features a foldable neck collar to help in keeping the neck cool. Also has a built-in slot to slip the harness or collar leash through.
- Offers two points of adjustment with two elastic Velcro straps for a proper fit.
- Provides long term cooling up to 6-10 hours. Works best for long-haired, double-coated, or brachycephalic dog breeds.
- Available in three color combinations – Royal Blue, Pink and Orange, and eight sizes.
- Backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty against defects.
If you have a long-haired or flat-faced dog who tends to overheat quickly, then the Derby Originals Hydro Cooling Dog Jacket is the best dog cooling vest for your pooch. Derby Originals has long been an established name for high-quality Equestrian gear and their product-line of dog jackets and coat is not far behind in terms of quality and popularity.
The Derby Originals Hydro Cooling Dog Jacket features a three-layer quilted fabric construction that is soft, thin and reasonably lightweight. The dog cooling jacket is built to cover a large part of the torso – right from the neck to the back. The new, improved design features a lighter fabric that is equally effective in providing dampness-free cooling to the pet. Like most of Derby Originals products, the Hydro Cooling Jacket is made in India under the Ohio, US-based company’s quality control measures.
The three-layer dog cooling jacket works like other water-based cooling vests. In order to provide cooling, you need to soak the jacket in water (or pour water), wring it and then put it on the pet. The outermost layer is designed to support evaporation and block UV rays from the sun, while the middle layer absorbs and retains the water. The innermost layer provides a cooling effect by accelerated evaporation, while repelling water and keeping the dog’s body dry.
The Hydro Cooling Jacket has a neck collar to keep the dog’s neck cool. The collar is foldable and can be folded down if desired. The full-body jacket is designed to keep the pet cool for 6-10 hours and can easily be replenished by pouring more water on the jacket.
Because of its long-term cooling effect, this jacket is perfect for outdoor excursions such as camping and hiking with dogs. An additional key benefit of this dog cooling jacket is that it can be used to soothe sore joints and muscles or relieve arthritis pain by acting like an ice pack and providing instant cooling relief.
Another excellent design feature of this dog cooling coat is that it comes with a built-in slot to slip a collar or harness leash through the vest. And the jacket is equipped with two elastic Velcro straps – one around the neck and one around the girth to adjust the size for a proper fit.
Cleaning is not too difficult, though we recommend that you only hand wash it and let it air dry by laying it flat on a surface. This would help in ensuring the trims and Velcro straps stay intact for a long time.
The Hydro Cooling Dog Jacket is available in three color combinations – Royal Blue, Pink and Orange, with the Royal Blue being the best option for very high temperatures. The jacket is available in eight sizes, suitable for almost all dog breeds. The cooling jacket is backed by a one-year warranty against manufacturing defects and workmanship issues.
Material: Nylon top layer with close-knit mesh technical fabric middle and inner layers.
- XXS: Neck – 11.0″, Chest – 14.0″.
- XS: Neck – 12.0″, Chest – 17.0″.
- S: Neck – 13.0″, Chest – 20.0″.
- M: Neck – 16.0″, Chest – 24.0″.
- L: Neck – 19.0″, Chest – 29.0″.
- XL: Neck – 22.0″, Chest – 34.0″.
- XXL: Neck – 28.0″, Chest – 42.0″.
- New and improved, dog cooling vest made of three-layer, quilted technical fabric with nylon top layer and mesh inner layer. Designed in Finland and manufactured in China.
- The new minimalist design concentrates the cooling to the chest and heart region that is vital for circulation and preventing heat stroke.
- The outer layer reflects the heat, while the middle layer absorbs and retains water and the inner layer provides a cooling effect. Twice as absorbent as standard terry coat or towel.
- Equipped with a sturdy zipper with a clip for a comfortable fit. The XXS and S size vests even have attachment loops for the leash.
- Can keep the dog cool for up to 1-2 hours and can be replenished simply by pouring more water. Most suitable for short-haired breeds.
- Available in seven sizes and two color combinations – Blue and Lilac with reflective trims. Backed by a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.
Material: Chew-resistant nylon outer layer with neoprene straps.
- XS: Chest – 15.0″ – 18.0″.
- S: Chest – 18.0″ – 22.0″.
- M: Chest – 22.0″ – 27.0″.
- L: Chest – 27.0″ – 34.0″.
- Vet-approved dog cooling vest and collar set that utilizes pure frozen water to manage dog body temperatures. Made in the USA.
- Made of chew-resistant ripstop nylon with adjustable lightweight neoprene straps. Provides three levels of adjustment for a snug fit.
- Features patented FlexiFreeze frozen water packs made from the all-natural water of the Great Lakes. Comes with two packs with additional packs available separately.
- Once frozen and put in the vest, the water packs can provide heat relief for 20-30 minutes. So, suitable only for short domestic walks.
- Comes equipped with a high-quality, zinc-alloy ring on the vest harness to attach a leash, and an extra zipper around the neck to adjust the width.
- Available in four sizes and backed by a 90-day warranty against defects in materials or workmanship.
Material: 100% polyester shell, with 50/50 Rayon-Polyester interior and 100% polyester lining.
- Size 10: Chest – 13.5″ – 16.5″, Length – 10.0″.
- Size 12: Chest – 15.0″ – 19.0″, Length – 12.0″.
- Size 14: Chest – 19.0″ – 25.0″, Length – 14.0″.
- Size 16: Chest – 23.0″ – 26.0″, Length – 16.0″.
- Size 18: Chest – 26.0″ – 30.5″, Length – 18.0″.
- Size 20: Chest – 30.0″ – 33.0″, Length – 20.0″.
- Size 22: Chest – 33.0″ – 36.0″, Length – 22.0″.
- Size 24: Chest – 35.0″ – 38.5″, Length – 24.0″.
- Size 24: Chest – 35.0″ – 38.5″, Length – 24.0″.
- Size 26: Chest – 37.0″ – 41.5″, Length – 26.0″.
- Size 32: Chest – 40.0″ – 52.0″, Length – 32.0″.
Price: $$ to $$$ depending upon the size.
- High-quality dog cooling vest made of triple-layer technical fabric with 100% polyester shell, 50/50 Rayon-Polyester interiors and 100% polyester lining. Made in Canada.
- Minimalist design with covered back, but uncovered sides and belly. Easy to put on with an adjustable strap having a plastic buckle to secure the vest.
- Features a slit on the back to attach a leash. Can last for 2-6 hours when wet.
- Handwash only and dry by laying flat in the sun.
- Available in aqua color combination and over eight sizes suitable for all dog breeds.
- Backed by a 100% satisfaction guaranteed commitment and exchange support by the manufacturer.
Material: 100% stretching spandex top layer, 92%/8% polyester-spandex middle layer and 100% polyester mesh inner layer and trim.
- XXS: Neck – 11.0″ – 14.0″, Chest – 13.0″ – 17.0″.
- XS: Neck – 13.0″ – 16.0″, Chest – 17.0″ – 22.0″.
- S: Neck – 16.0″ – 20.0″, Chest – 22.0″ – 27.0″.
- M: Neck – 17.5″ – 22.0″, Chest – 27.0″ – 32.0″.
- L: Neck – 22.0″ – 26.0″, Chest – 32.0″ – 46.0″.
- XL: Neck – 26.5″ – 31.5″, Chest – 36.0″ – 42.0″.
- High-performance dog cooling vest with a three-layer construction. Made in Vietnam under US-based company’s quality control measures.
- Features a stretchy spandex top, absorbent 92/8 polyester/spandex middle layer and meshed 100% polyester trim. Has an athletic cut that is smaller than the Swamp Cooler vest and provides more freedom.
- The outer layer reflects heat and blocks UV rays up to UPF 50+ rating. The middle layer absorbs water and the inner layer transfers the cooling effect to the pet.
- Adjustable with a zippered closure with YKK zippers to provide a comfortable fit.
- Once wet with water, can lower the body temperature by up to 30-degrees and last for 2-4 hours.
- Easy to clean and machine washable in cold water and gentle cycle. Air dry.
- Available in six sizes and two color combinations – Blue Lagoon and Salamander Orange. Backed by a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.
Material: 100% PVA nylon mesh fabric.
Size: Neck: 19.0″, Chest: 18.0″ – 23.0″.
- Mid-range dog cooling vest made of chemical-free PVA nylon mesh fabric. Made in China for US-based company.
- Equipped with easy to access adjustable straps and plastic buckle for a secure, comfortable fit.
- Covers most of the back, leaving sides and most of the belly uncovered. Can last for 1-4 hours when wet.
- Easy to clean and is machine washable but recommended to wash by hand and air dry.
- Available in icy-blue/grey color combination. Large blue section and reflective strap lining provides a better visibility even in low lights.
- Comes in a single size, suitable for most medium and large dog breeds.
- Backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty against defects.
Material: 100% nylon shell with cotton filler and polyester lining.
- M: Neck – 23.7″ – 20.4″, Chest – 22.0″ – 25.0″.
- L: Neck – 16.5″ – 23.2″, Chest – 28.0″ – 33.0″.
- XL: Neck – 18.8″ – 27.1″, Chest – 32.4″ – 37.0″.
- XXL: Neck – 23.2″ – 31.1″, Chest – 35.0″ – 40.0″.
Price: $ to $$ depending upon the size.
- Budget, triple-layer dog cooling vest featuring a 100% nylon outer shell with cotton filler and polyester lining. Made in China for China-based company.
- A reflective, wicking outer layer facilitates evaporation, an absorbent middle layer stores water for evaporation, and the inner layer transfers the cooling effect from the jacket to the dog. Lasts 1-3 hours when fully wet.
- Features two points of adjustment – Zipper for neck size adjustment and a strap with the buckle for chest size adjustment.
- Comes with a reflective strap and orange color for high visibility even in low lights.
- Available in four sizes and competitively priced at around 25 USD.
Material: Patented 100% PVA, Elastofit polymer fabric.
- XS: Chest – 13.0″ – 16.0″, Length – 11.0″.
- S: Chest – 15.0″ – 19.0″, Length – 13.0″.
- M: Chest – 17.0″ – 22.0″, Length – 15.0″.
- L: Chest – 20.0″ – 25.0″, Length – 18.0″.
- XL: Chest – 23.0″ – 28.0″, Length – 21.0″.
- XXL: Chest – 26.0″ – 31.0″, Length – 24.0″.
Price: $ to $$ depending upon the size.
- Budget dog cooling vest made of stretchable 100% PVA (Polyvinyl Alcohol) Elastofit fabric.
- UV-protection layer on the outer shell reflects harmful rays and special ice-cooling net embedded in an ultra-absorbent fabric provides decent cooling on the dog’s back and chest.
- Once wet, can last for 4-6 hours depending upon the humidity and outside temperature. An anti-microbial coating prevents odor build up.
- Comes with a wide Velcro strap for easy put-on and take-off.
- Can be machine washed but recommended to handwash and air dry for longer life. Dry fully before storing.
- Available in standard blue color and six sizes and backed by a 100% satisfaction guaranteed commitment.
Material: Lightweight nylon shell with close-knit mesh technical fabric.
- XS: Neck – 12.0″, Chest – 14.0″ – 17.0″.
- S: Neck – 16.0″, Chest – 18.0″ – 28.0″.
- M: Neck – 19.0″, Chest – 26.0″ – 35.0″.
- L: Neck – 23.0″, Chest – 30.0″ – 39.0″.
- XL: Neck – 26.0″, Chest – 35.0″ – 45.0″.
- Premium dog cooling vest made of special two-layer technical fabric that reflects sunlight and also provides prolonged evaporation.
- Decent absorption capacity and can hold twice the amount of water as standard towels. Can last for 3-5 hours when wet.
- Provides an easy fit with two points of adjustment and adjustable straps to secure the vest.
- Designed to be easily worn over a harness or collar with a two-way zipper on the top of the vest to access the attachment point.
- Easy to clean and machine washable in the delicate cycle and air dry.
- Available in a single Icy Blue reflective color and five sizes suitable for most dog breeds. Backed by a Kurgo lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.
Additional Options – Best Dog Cooling Collars
If you are looking for an alternative cooling product or if the dog just refuses to wear a full body vest or coat, then you can look at getting a dog cooling collar or bandana. The dog cooling collars and bandanas work on almost the same principles as cooling vests and can provide some relief from the sun.
Some of the best dog cooling collars available in the market that you can check out are listed below:
- All For Paws Chill Out Ice Bandana: Best-selling dog cooling collar made of non-toxic material with Velcro straps. To use, run it under the water or place in the freezer for a few minutes. Available in three sizes.
- K9 Chill Dog Cooling Collar: Another popular dog cooling collar made with a unique blend of breathable lightweight material. Only needs to be moistened with cold water and designed to retain the chill longer than normal cotton towel or sponge. Machine washable.
- Outward Hound Coolit Bandana: Budget dog cooling bandana made of non-toxic polymer crystals that can absorb up to 30 times weight. Simply soak in water and put it on the pet.
How to pick the best dog cooling vests or coats?
Picking the best dog cooling vest or coat is not much different from picking any other type of dog harness. The best dog cooling vests or coats have the following main characteristics:
- The vest is durable and built to last, while still being reasonably priced.
- The vest fits the dog properly and is easy to put on and take-off.
- The vest is comfortable for the dog to wear, walk and run in.
- The vest keeps the dog (both the back and belly) cool for a decent amount of time.
- The vest is easy to replenish without removing/taking-off. And it does not leak water or dampness to the dog’s fur or skin when put on.
- The vest is compatible with other gear like a dog backpack, harness and collar.
- The vest is easy to clean and store (without any odor build-up).
Once you have decided upon the broad budget, you can consider the following major factors before picking the best dog cooling vest or coat for your pet or pets:
- Building material and design
- Cooling capacity and performance
- Size of the vest
- Color and style
- Warranty and support
Building material and design
The building material and design of the dog cooling vest is an important factor to consider as it governs the overall durability and reliability as well as the cooling performance of the product.
This includes the material of the outer shell, middle layer and the inner layer along with the material of adjustable straps and zippers, if any.
All the options that we listed are made of multi-layer, technical fabric blends with the top shell providing protection from UVA and UVB rays, the middle layer acting as a water retainer and the innermost layer providing the cooling effect to the pet. Some models also offer additional padding on the belly and neck collars for comfort and concentrated cooling. For example, the Hurtta Dog Cooling Vest is designed to direct maximum cooling to the heart region of the dog.
In order to provide a snug fit, these vests have adjustable straps and zippers. Furthermore, to accommodate collar leashes or additional harness, they have slits, openings or loops to attach the leash. Make sure that you check such design features, especially if you are going to use the cooling vest with a separate harness or collar leash.
In terms of overall design features, the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Dog Cooling Vest has the best design and hence is our favorite.
Check the design features and manufacturing material of the vest and associated parts before picking the best dog cooling vest for your pooch. And if in doubt, pick one of our recommendations. You would not be disappointed!
Cooling capacity and performance
Closely related with the building material of the dog cooling vest is its cooling capacity and performance.
As discussed above, the standard dog cooling vests can provide a cooling effect of 20-30 degrees for anywhere from 1 hour up to 4 hours, depending upon the temperature and humidity. High-performance cooling vests such as our top pick – the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Dog Cooling Vest do a better job as they have been verified to have a cooling effect of 30-40 degrees and can last without replenishment for more than 3-4 hours. The only exception to this is the CoolerDog Dog Cooling Vest and Cooling Collar that can last for 20-30 minutes and hence suitable only for domestic trips.
It is worthwhile to reiterate that cooling vests work better in dry weather, wherein the rate of evaporation is high. The thickness of the coat and the physical activity of the canine can also impact the overall cooling performance. Dogs which have thick fur and are extremely enthusiastic when outdoors would require a slightly more frequent replenishment (which is simply pouring more water on the vest) than docile, fur-less dogs.
Check the advertised cooling performance and actual in-field experiences before pulling the plug on a specific dog cooling vest or coat. The product reviews are an excellent source of getting this information.
Size of the vest
Once you have zeroed in on a specific model of dog cooling vest, you need to pick a size that is most suitable for your dog. It is important to pick a vest or coat that provides a comfortable, snug fit for your pet. The shape and style of the vest and your pet’s shape can often play a major role in this.
Most manufacturers provide their own sizing charts and measuring instructional videos to help you pick the best size for your pet. Check these videos and charts out. You can also check the Q&A section and reviews on Amazon for some more information. And if you are unsure of the size to get, reach out to the manufacturer for help or a custom-fit vest.
Most of the dog cooling vest models that we listed have adjustable straps, buckle belts or Velcro strips that can help in providing a comfortable fitting to the pet. It is also worthwhile to mention that not all vests fit the pets perfectly and you may have to make some do-it-yourself adjustments and tinkering.
In summary, measure-up your pet and pick the best dog cooling vest size based on the sizing chart provided by the manufacturer.
Color and style
While it might not have a big impact on the functionality of the cooling vest, the color combination and in which the cooling vest is available is also something to look at.
Bright, reflective colors and designs are not only fashionable but also make the vests do a better job in reflecting the sunlight. Reflective colors also help in ensuring that a walking dog is widely visible and easily noticeable on a trail. This is especially useful while walking the dog just before sunrise or late in the evening.
While many of the options we listed are available in single color combinations, some dog cooling vests such as the Derby Originals Hydro Cooling Dog Jacket and Ruffwear Jet Stream Dog Cooling Vest are available in multiple color combinations, so you can pick the most suitable one as per your liking.
Warranty and support
In addition to the major factors discussed above, one of the most important additional considerations is the warranty and post-purchase customer service support offered on the product by the manufacturer.
Top manufacturers such as Ruffwear, Hurtta and Kurgo score big in this category as they offer excellent lifetime warranties on their dog cooling vests along with a dedicated customer support service – a testament of the superior quality these products offer. Other manufacturers such as Derby Originals and Canada Pooch also offer decent one-year warranties on their vests, also making them good choices.
Just make sure you make your purchase only from the manufacturers and authorized resellers to ensure that you get the genuine product and not a knock-off. Any product that is shipped from overseas and takes more than a couple of weeks to arrive is probably not an original product.
Keep these small considerations in mind as well before picking the best dog cooling vest or coat for your beloved pet.
Final thoughts on the best dog cooling vests or coats
A dog needs regular outdoor trips, be it for doing its business or just for some mental stimulation and physical exercise. In normal weather, it may not be much of a problem, but in the hot summers, it can be a challenge to keep your canine cool and happy during these outdoor excursions.
Dog cooling vests are designed exactly to help you with this – these vests provide accelerated cooling to the pets and help them maintain their body temperatures better even in hot conditions.
In this article, we listed some of the best dog cooling vests available in the market. We briefly looked at how these cooling vests work and also listed some of the major factors to keep in mind before picking the best dog cooling vest for your pet. Finally, we also looked at some alternative options – dog cooling collars and bandanas that can also help in providing some relief to the pooch.
We hope that you found this article useful and it would help you in picking the best dog cooling vest to help your Fido beat the heat this summer. Do let us know your feedback and questions by commenting below. Until next time, have a playful time with your beloved pooch!