How Does A Dog Cooling Vest Work?

June 7, 2022 // 8 minute read

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Going out for a long walk is my dog’s favorite part of the day. Well, except when it’s the summer season. One day, I learned about vests that keep dogs cool and asked myself: how does a dog cooling vest work? It gets so hot from where we are, and heat is something my dog can’t handle. In these situations, dog cooling vests are things I can rely on. 

Dog cooling vests use the process of evaporative cooling to help cool your dogs. It’s very similar to how we cool off. When we feel hot, we sweat; this sweat then evaporates along with our excess body heat. Since dogs don’t sweat, the dog cooling vest will assist them by pulling that excess heat and evaporating it while distributing coolness over your dog’s body. 

We’ll elaborate more on this topic and discuss: 

  • Why your dog needs a dog cooling vest
  • How to use a dog cooling vest
  • Things to consider when buying a dog cooling vest
  • Other ways to cool your dog

So, if this is something you’re interested in, keep reading… 

german shepard and husky panting in the grass
Photo by Rachel on

How Does A Dog Cooling Vest Work: Things To Consider

So, why do dogs need dog cooling vests in the first place? 

Dogs, in general, have coats. And regardless of whether it’s thin or thick, they are more vulnerable to heat than us. So, if you’re feeling hot during summer, your dog must be feeling hotter than you are. 

We sweat, which is a good thing. But for dogs, the only sweat glands they have are in their pads, and it’s not doing a lot for them. So, what they do to cool themselves is pant hard, which can be very tiring. 

Cooling is more challenging, especially if you have a flat-nosed breed such as pugs, Shih-Tzus, and bulldogs. Other dogs that would need some help to cool down are obese dogs, dogs with dense fur, and senior pets. 

But regardless of what dog you have, dog cooling vests are essential to prevent any risk of overheating, such as heat stroke

Related article: Best Dog Cooling Vest: 2022 Detailed Review & Buyer’s Guide

How Does A Dog Cooling Vest Work: 5 Factors To Consider

As you can see, dog cooling vests are essential dog products that we should buy, especially if you have a dog that’s more vulnerable to overheating. It’s an excellent investment. However, it would work better if you ensure that you choose the right dog cooling vest for your bet. 

To answer how does a dog cooling vest work, you must first know that not all vests work the same. So, what might be working for your friend’s dog may not work for your pet. So, make sure to keep in mind these important factors before purchasing a dog cooling vest for your dog:

1) Size

As with any clothing product, getting the right size is essential. As much as possible, the product should fit snugly on your dog’s body. It shouldn’t be too tight that it will restrict his movements, and it shouldn’t be too loose that it might cause him to trip over. 

Measuring your dog is essential here, and there are three main parts you should measure – length, neck, and girth. When measuring, always create a bit of allowance, so it isn’t too tight for your dog. Use the measurements you got as a basis for your dog’s proper sizing. 

Manufacturers always have their own sizing chart, so don’t forget to always check it. If you want a better fit, choose a vest that comes with adjustable straps, too. 

2) Quality of Materials

Next to the size, you must also consider the quality of the materials used. This is very important to ensure that you won’t be wasting money. 

Typically, a three-layer cooling fabric is very common. This is because it’s able to provide that cooling feeling without your dog getting damp. The outer layer also comes with protection against sun rays, which is very effective in reducing risks. 

Breathable fabrics are also really nice as they ensure great airflow, while cotton fabrics are excellent when it comes to absorbing lots of water for that cooling effect. You should also ensure that each material is non-toxic and animal-friendly. 

3) Cooling Capacity

Most important of all is to check the cooling capacity of the vest. As much as possible, you need to ensure that the vest stays cool for hours. On average, you would want to buy a vest that can last for 1-4 hours, depending on the heat outside. 

A vest that will only stay cool for 10 minutes is definitely a no-no. This will only bring great inconvenience as you would have to continuously wet it with water, so your dog stays cool. 

Now, of course, the cooling effect will really depend on the temperature and humidity outside. So, make sure that you buy a vest that would fit greatly to your needs. If you’re going hiking, then the vest must last at least an hour before you’d have to recool it. 

4) Safety

Other than the cooling effect, safety should also be something you check. Vests that can reflect heat are great, and you should check specifications if they can provide maximum sun protection. 

You can also check the vest for safety features like a reflective strip for high visibility when walking in low-light conditions. Or, just choose a bright-colored vest. 

5) Other Features

Check and compare other features provided, too. If you love going out with your dog for a hike, harness compatibility is definitely something to look for. You can also choose one with leash provision so you can ensure your dog doesn’t stray too far. 

That’s it!

I would also like to add that, if possible, set a budget before buying a dog cooling vest. It’s okay if you don’t want to, but having a budget helps narrow down your options. 

Besides, it doesn’t mean that cheaper vests are bad. You can buy high-quality vests even at a low price. Just consider the following above, weigh the pros and cons, and buy the vest that will bring great value to your money. 

small white dog panting
Photo by Blue Bird on

How To Use A Dog Cooling Vest

Dog cooling vests are generally very easy to use. Almost all brands of dog vests follow the same process. This is explained below in four simple steps: 

  1. Prepare a basin full of cool water. Make sure that it’s a big basin where the whole vest can fit. 
  2. Grab the vest and soak it in the basin for a few minutes. You can rub the vest so it can absorb the water faster. 
  3. Once completely soaked, remove the vest from the water and wring the excess water out. It’s important that you do this part well, or your home might get flooded with water. 
  4. Place the dog vest around your dog and adjust the straps for a perfect fit. 

There might be some variations depending on the brand, so make sure you read the user guide carefully. Others suggest refrigerating the dog cooling vest for a better cooling sensation. 

However, you should remember that you should never use ice-cold water to soak the vest when your dog is already showing signs of heat exhaustion. This might only put your dog in shock, worsening the situation. 

To help us answer how does a dog cooling vest work, you can watch the video below:

Other Ways To Cool Your Dog

Although we answered “How does a dog cooling vest work?”, remember that dog cooling vests will not prevent all dangers and risks brought about by too much sun exposure. So, it’s best to find more ways to help your dog feel cool, too.

For example, you can find some shade from time to time during your walk and let your dog stay there for a few minutes. You know, give him a break from the sun exposure. 

Allowing them to take a dip is also a great idea. However, be careful not to put your dog in the water when he’s too hot; it will give him a shock. If your dog loves the garden hose, that’s a better alternative, too. Or you can install lawn sprinklers where they can play around when it’s hot. 

But most important of all is to always make sure your dog has something to drink. When going out for a walk, always bring lots of water. Even when at home, his bowl must always have water. If you can make it ice-cold water, why not? 

Our Final Say On How Does A Dog Cooling Vest Work

We hope we answered your question about how a dog cooling vest works. Dog cooling vests are undeniably an excellent investment for dog owners. I believe it’s a great product, especially since it’s straightforward to use. Dogs who need daily exercise, even during summer, would surely benefit from it. Just remember to purchase one that would fit him the best by referring to the buying guide above.

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