Worried about keeping heat stress getting to your pooch with the heatwaves closing in this summer?
A dog cooling vests can be an ingenious way to help keep your cuddly canine in tip-top shape on hikes and walks.
And if you’re wondering which dog cooling jacket to choose among so many options or just exploring the idea, you’re at the right place.
We prepared this guide to help you choose the right one for your pup best among a high number of options out there.
We will also provide you with tips, what to watch out for and review the top 5 best dog cooling vests in the market.
In a hurry? Here are the top 3 our experts choose:
Our top picks
Best Dog Cooling Vests
Before we dive into the how to choose the best one and what to watch out for, below we review 5 of the best cooling jackets on the market today.
This graphite-gray cooling vest for dogs comes in 6 different sizes and should be compatible with just about every breed.
The two side-clip fastenings make for easy on-off, so your dog won’t come to associate it with any hassle or struggle. Instead, he’ll associate it with be cradled by a gentle, cool breeze. Well now we want one!
The 3-layer construction works like this: wicking, absorption, and cooling. You can measure your dog around his rib cage to see exactly which size suits him best.
The RUFFWEAR vest is activated by water, so you just submerge it to get started. Then wring it out and place it on your dog. We’re positive it’ll be his favourite, most functional outfit!
The design of this product makes it movable and breathable, so your dog can feel comfortable with any level of activity.
Whether he’s walking, hiking, running, or just hanging out in the back yard, it can help him stay cool as a cucumber.
There’s also a high-visibility reflective trim as an added safety measure for your pampered pooch.
- Light color, heat reflective
- Water-activated cooling system
- 2 side-clip fastenings
- 3-layer construction
- Easy on-off
- Great for everyday use
- Will not fit all shapes of dogs – especially very long dogs
This baby-blue cooling vest will make your dog handsome and happy!
Dress him up in this lightweight, cosy vest so he can look his best while staying cool this summer.
The Prestige cool-coat is easily activated by water immersion and keeps your canine cool without making him a soggy doggy.
The velcro allows for some adjustment so you can get the fit just-right. When your pup is finished with his cool-coat for the day, just toss it in the washing machine to make it like-new. Then hang-dry until your next outing in the summer sun.
One interesting feature of this coat is you can tell by looking when it’s ready for another dip in the sink. It stiffens when it’s dry, so if you notice this happening you know it’s time to refresh your vest!
And for ease of use, it doesn’t get much better than velcro. It might remind us of the 80’s, but it’s simplicity never gets old.
- Light color
- Adjustable thanks to the velcro
- Cools dog without making fur wet
- Some people may not like that it goes stiff when dry
This fancy little cooling vest gets bonus points for its inexpensive price and cosy-looking design.
There’s nothing tight or restrictive about it, and your dog will benefit from the light-coloured sun-reflective outer layer.
Luckily, this coat is safe for both dogs and puppies, so you can get your fur-baby accustomed to this wearable regardless of his age.
The Petface cooling coat for dogsis intended for dogs who are hot from the elements or who are running a fever. It uses high-quality heavy-duty velcro, making it feel durable.
Best of all, it keeps your pup cool for several hours at a time before you need to soak it again.
If your dog isn’t used to wearing any kind of garment, this might be a good choice. It’s extremely light weight, so even sensitive or picky dogs don’t seem to mind wearing it.
In fact, they hardly seem to notice it at all! One of the best things about cooling coats for dogs is that they’re made with activity and movement in mind, so they’re plenty flexible and versatile.
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Light color
- Not tight-fitting or restrictive
- Activated by water
- We can’t ask our dog, but it looks like one of the most comfortable vests!
- Soft to the touch
- Not a good fit for bulldog bodies
- Tummy strap won’t fasten over large bellies
This cooling vest is very similar to the others, but it’s specifically designed for active use.
If your dog is an adventurer who loves hiking, running, and mixing it up with his physical activity, this might be a good choice for you. It comes in 6 sizes and two light colours, great for reflecting the sun instead of absorbing it.
For what it’s worth, it has a cool, sporty look to it. It’s so stylish you might be inspired to coordinate outfits with your dog!
The water-activated cooling system uses 3-layer construction to take your dog from hot to not.
The Ruffwear vest is successfully snug without being cumbersome or getting in the way. So, whether he’s leaping or lounging, your Max can enjoy himself to the max!
It’s made from durable, versatile nylon mesh. For colours, you can choose from salamander orange and blue lagoon. Both colours are light-reflective and come with a high visibility reflective trim. Plus, there’s an easy zippered closure for quick on/off.
- Specially designed for active use
- Lightweight version
- Comes in 6 sizes
- Comes in 2 light colours
- Great for hiking and running
- Fast dispersion of heat
- Machine washable
- Bunches at the shoulders on some dogs
- Shows dirt – should be cleaned frequently
If your dog has sensitive skin or allergies, this might be a great cooling coat thanks to its anti-bacterial properties.
Although we’re not crazy about the darker colour, it’s extremely affordable and still seems to function well.
It might dry a little faster than some of the other cooling vests, possibly due to its darker absorptive colour, but if you’re near a water source it’s not much of an inconvenience.
You can dip it in water and allow it to soak for about a minute.
The Ancol dog cooling vest appears lightweight and comfortable for just about any breed or size since there are multiple options available.
And when it comes time to clean it, you’ll be glad to know it’s washing-machine friendly. You can then allow it to hang-dry and your dog’s new coat is good-as-new.
- Retains moisture for hours
- Machine washable
- Available in a wide variety of sizes
- Darker color is not ideal for the heat
- Dries quicker than some other vests
Advantages Of A Dog Cooling Vest
Some dog breeds are just more prone to overheating and heat stroke. But even if your precious pooch isn’t one of those breeds, hot weather can still get under his skin!
Read our ultimate guide to how to cool down your dog if you’re worried about heat exhaustion for your pup.
Of course, we always want to make sure our fur-buddies are sufficiently hydrated. And if they’re outdoors, the option of shade or a covered space is very important.
Cooling during hikes and walks
Whether he’s hot because of exertion, excitement, or just good old-fashioned sunshine, your canine companion might greatly appreciate a cooling jacket for its ability to keep him comfy and chill.
These vests are that extra little something that might make all the difference to a dog in distress. They can be used on walks, hikes, or simply while lounging around.
The best dog cooling coats are comfortable, sturdy, and they improve your pup’s quality of life even when it’s a cruel, cruel summer.
How To Choose The Best Dog Cooling Vest
There are so many nifty gadgets, devices, and wearables on the market for our dogs. Some of these items are purely for fun while others serve a more significant purpose.
If you’re picturing your dog living his best life in one of these nifty vests, we don’t blame you.
But before you make your final pick, here are a few things to keep in mind:
It should fit well
Fit is obviously really important. If your pooch doesn’t like the way their new coat fits, neither of you will get much satisfaction out of it.
But aside from personal preference, fit is also crucial to the functionality of a cooling jacket.
You definitely don’t want it to be too tight.
This can lead to restricted breathing and everyone knows that dogs cool themselves by breathing and panting.
Plus, you don’t want to hinder your hound while he’s trying to get some much-needed exercise. Adjustable straps can come in very hand as you experiment with the perfect fit.
Likewise, if it’s too loose, it will be worthless. All of the vests on our list are available in various sizes.
You can find exact measurements by referring to manufacturers’ size guides to make sure you get the right one for your pup.
If you measure the widest part of your dog’s chest with some tape, you’ll have a specific size to look for.
The way dog cooling vests work is thanks to evaporation which similar to panting or sweating.
Within the coat is a layer of fabric that keeps water and as it evaporates with the heat, it has a cooling effect on your dog’s body.
It’s important that it’s made with the right high-quality materials to ensure it actually does its job.
The interior layers of a dog vest are usually absorptive cotton. The outer layer should be a light colour so it’s heat reflective and not heat absorptive.
Some outer materials are UV resistant, which is obviously a smart feature in these coats.
Coverage and compatibility
Length is just as important as size.
As a general suggestion, you want one that covers over all of your dog’s vital organs and torso.
Once you’ve found one that looks like a good fit with proper coverage, you’ll want to confirm it’s compatible with your leash and collar.
Examine it as best you can through photos to see whether it looks to be a good match for your dog’s existing gear.
Some of them have an integral leash clip to prevent pesky skin-rub.
There’s no doubt, some dogs simply don’t like to wear things. But the right one shouldn’t bother the average dog.
We all know how remarkably clever our canines are, so it should come as no surprise that they can sense when something makes their life better.
If you’ve taken care to research the size, coverage, and materials, your dog should be plenty comfortable with wearing one.
There are vests that are compatible with nearly ever breed and build of dog, so it’s really just a matter of finding the perfect fit – sort of like Cinderella’s slipper!
Choose reflective colours
Darker colours soak in the sunlight easier and get hotter quicker.
Your pup will be better off with more reflective colours such as bright blue, orange or anything festive.
Bright colours reflects some of the sunlight and that way the vest stays cooler longer.
What other products are there to cool down your dog?
However, neither of those options are readily available if you’re out for a walk and want to boost our pup’s comfort and wellness in hot conditions.
There are a lot of different reasons your pup might benefit from a cooling jacket for dogs.
Some breeds are more prone to overheating such as Husky and some dogs with darker coats like a black Labrador have a harder time with the heat.
But any dog can benefit from a cooling coat, cooling mat or even a fun dog pool during the hot summer months.
Most of them, and all the ones featured on our list, use evaporation to lower your dog’s temperature. With these coats, you wet them first and then place them on your pup.
Without soaking his fur, the vest uses evaporating water to absorb his body heat and cool him down.
Unlike cooling mats, these coats aren’t filled with any mysterious gel. So, there’s nothing potentially messy or unexpected about a vest.
Most cooling coats are very lightweight and non-restrictive, so there shouldn’t be any safety concerns.
They are immensely popular because they are so easy to use.
Even the inexpensive vests can be counted on to chill your dog out with nothing more than some added water.
Most are made of highly breathable, lightweight and light-coloured fabrics. There are generally multiple layers.
100% cotton is very popular for these kinds of products as one of the layers because cotton is highly absorptive and can hold a lot of water. Also, cotton is non-toxic. So it’s plenty safe, even if your pup is a chewer!
Some coats might be using chamois leather or a synthetic chamois like fabric.
You don’t need to refrigerate it. They’re similar to cooling mats in that they don’t need our refrigerators or freezers to get involved.
In fact, it’s probably best to avoid chilling or freezing it. Some pets are too sensitive for a sudden shock of cold.
It’s best to let the it work its magic by just adding water and love!
Every dog owner knows that pups have an awful lot to “say.” They talk with their eyes, their behaviour, their sounds, and their movements.
When your dog is in distress from the heat, you will know by his heavy breathing and loud panting.
If you want to check your dog’s temperature, feel his ears! If he has warm ears and a dry nose, your dog is probably not cool enough. Cool ears and noses are a sign of healthy temperature and a cooling vest that’s doing its job.
Now that you’re a full-fledged expert on dog cooling vests, you’re probably raring to shop! So, what is our final verdict on the best one?
All of the cool-coats on our list are noteworthy, or they wouldn’t have made the top five! But there are a few that stand out as exceptional if your pretty pooch has specific needs.
For example, if your dog is highly active, the Ruffwear Lightweight Cooling Vest might be a great fit. It’s specifically designed for high intensity physical activity and isn’t restrictive in the least.
And if your dog has sensitive skin, she might do well with the anti-bacterial, soft to the touch Ancol Cooling Dog Vest Coat.
Whichever one you choose, your fur-baby will thank you when she’s experiencing sweet relief from the summer heat.
The best cooling vest is one that’s cosy, lightweight, easy to put on, and durable.
Haven’t decided yet? Here is the top 5 in a nutshell:
Our Top Picks
- Cooling vest for dogs, For keeping dogs cool and comfortable in hot...
- Quick and effective dispersion of heat from dog's body thanks to...
- Size: Medium (69-81 cm/27-32 in) – measurement around widest part of rib...
- Cooling in hot weather
- Activated by water
- Cool and soft to touch
- Lightweight and comfortable dog coat
- Cool and soft to the touch
- Comfortable for your dog to wear
- Lightweight cooling vest for dogs, For keeping dogs cool and comfortable in...
- Quick and effective dispersion of heat from dog's body thanks to...
- Size: Medium (69-81 cm/27-32 in) - measurement around widest part of rib...
- Made from polyester and cotton material
- Retains moisture for hours and quickly re-activated
- Anti-bacterial and machine washable
So, which one did you like the most?
Give yourself a paw on the back for reading all the way here and turning yourself into an expert!
If you’ve already decided the one you like the best, please let us know in the comments section below and tell us why.
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Oh, go on then! If this article was useful, share it with your friends so your pooches playmates can get cool vests too.