Whether it’s the hottest part of the summer when the sun is beating down every day, or you simply have a dog who gets toasty no matter what time of year it is, a cooling vest is a great way to keep them from hiding out in a dark room all day, hugging the tile floor and panting miserably. That said, there’s a wide range of styles and qualities to consider. If you want to ensure your precious pooch stays cool for the long haul, you need to get the best cooling vest for dogs that you can find. But what should you look for?
First of all, you’ll want to decide which type of vest you want. The most common style is the “evaporative vest” which you dunk in water and place on their body, allowing the cold material to cool them down. Another kind, which is less common, is the “ice vest,” which you store in the freezer and take out when it’s time to cool your dog down. Finally, there’s the “dry vest,” which is filled with water and provides a few days of cooling at a time. All are great choices — it’s just a matter of personal preference.
Once you’ve decided on a style, the next thing to consider is how much your dog likes to move. If you have an older pup who’s less prone to jumping around, a full-coverage vest that spans the length of their body will work great. This kind is also ideal for
thick, fluffy dogs who get especially hot and need the extra cooling properties. On the other hand, if you have an excitable, hyperactive pooch who hates wearing coats and doesn’t like to feel constricted, you might want to go with one of the more minimalist styles.
Other than that, you’ll want to make sure it has sturdy straps — Velcro, or extra zippers to ensure it fits properly — and that the materials are high-quality and durable. To help you out, I’ve put together a list of the best dog cooling vests to keep your furry friend cool and comfortable all year long.
1 The Fan-Favorite Dog Cooling Vest
Ruffwear Swamp Cooler dog vest has more than 1,200 reviews and an impressive 4.5-star overall rating, making it one of the most popular options with pet owners on Amazon. The three-layer vest with mesh lining reflects heat and evaporates water to help your pup stay cool and dry, and there are side-release buckles for easy on and off. What’s more, the vest has built-in UPF 50+ sun protection. It’s also compatible with most dog harnesses and has a reflective trim for visibility in low light. An enthusiastic reviewer: “My very fluffy Keeshond gets overheated exercising in 65F, so he loves his cooling vest. It was over 80F today and he went for two short hikes and seemed pretty comfortable. He still waded in the stream and panted, but he seemed comfortable. I've put my hand under the vest and his fur feels cool all the way to the skin. He doesn't feel or smell wet [...].” Available sizes: XX-Small — X-Large 2 An Ice Vest That Uses A Frozen Insert To Chill Your Pup Down
With special FlexiFreeze material, this
cooling vest operates similarly to ice packets you use on sore muscles. It has a separate panel you store in the freezer and when it's time to cool your pup down, just take it out and slide it into the vest. The flexible fabric holds the chilled material around your dog's torso, keeping your pooch cool while still offering enough mobility to run and play. There's a separate neck wrap with its own built-in cooling properties and an adjustable Velcro strap to connect the two pieces. Best of all, the cold insert is removable, so you can drop the whole vest in the wash afterward. An enthusiastic reviewer: “The summers in Atlanta are hot and humid and it's hard on our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel [...] This cooling vest has made a WORLD of difference for my dog. She is now able to go on our 30 minute morning walks with no issues and when we get home, she recovers much faster [...].” Available sizes: X-Small — X-Large 3 A Full-Coverage Vest For Dogs Who Get Extra Hot
Unlike some options that only cover the torso, this
neck-to-tail cooling vest provides your pooch with full-body coverage, complete with an extra tall collar to offer shade for their neck. The cooling technology relies on a three-layer system that holds cold water inside the middle layer of fabric, which slowly evaporates and cools your furry friend down in the process. The outer layer features UV-blocking material that reflects heat while the bottom layer prevents water from soaking into their fur. Just dunk the vest in cold water, strap it onto your pup, and watch them grin with relief — it will stay cold for up to 10 hours. An enthusiastic reviewer: “We live just north of Redding, Ca. and our summers are very hot. Our dog is getting older and can not take the heat like she use to. This is perfect to keep her comfortable in the hot summers.” Available sizes: 8 inches, 10 inches, 12 inches, 14 inches, 18 inches, 22 inches, 26 inches, 28 inches 4 A Medium-Coverage Vest That Gives Dogs Room To Move
evaporative cooling vest uses similar three-layer technology, except it only covers the middle section of your dog, leaving their neck and tail open. The benefit is that your pup will have more room to move its body without feeling constricted, although the downside is that they'll lose some of the cooling effects. Like the bigger vest, you dip this one in cold water, allowing it to soak up the liquid and disperse it over the next few hours. It has a top-grade zinc-alloy ring on the back to attach a leash, and an extra zipper around the neck to adjust the width. An enthusiastic reviewer: “I bought this for my bluetick coonhound mix. He has black fur that soaks up the sun from the second he goes outside. This vest has really helped him on our walks by keeping his core cold and covered. I have noticed that he doesn’t pant as much or as hard during the walk and that it doesn’t take him as long to cool off once we’re back inside [...].” Available sizes: XX-Small — XX-Large 5 A Minimalist Vest That's Perfect For High-Energy Dogs
If you have a pup who hates wearing coats or is simply extra bouncy and playful, this
minimalist-style vest is a great way to provide a little cooling comfort while retaining as much mobility as possible. The evaporative material, which you dip in water just like the other coats, is constructed to surround your pup's key heart and chest zones where circulation is high. It offers twice as much absorption capacity as your standard terry cloth jacket and stays cold for an exceptionally long time. An enthusiastic reviewer: “I bought 3 of these for my Himgarian Vizslas as we were travelling to the south of France this summer. It fitted my larger two very snugly, was easy to put on and remained soft even when dry. Would recommend these to anyone who has active dogs as the cut doesn't restrict their movement.” Available sizes: XX-Small — XX-Large 6 A Dry Cooling Vest That You Fill With Water
If you want a cooling option that lasts for days, it may be worth spending more on this
dry cooling dog vest. All you have to do is fill the vest with water and it’ll cool up to 59 degrees Fahrenheit below ambient temperature — and it lasts for up to three days without needing a refill. The exterior of the vest stays totally dry while it cools, and it has adjustable straps and stretchy material at the shoulders for the most comfortable fit. Plus, it’s easy to machine wash as needed. An enthusiastic reviewer: “Fantastic product. We have a 30Lb French bulldog and size small fit perfectly. Just got back from a road trip through Texas with 95 degree heat. While other dogs were panting ours was not. Keeps the dog dry unlike other brands [...].” Available sizes: X-Small — X-Large 7 This Bright Orange Vest With A Reflective Band For Added Visibility
It’s easy to keep an eye on your dog thanks to this
bright orange cooling vest with a reflective band. The lightweight and breathable three-layer vest reflects heat and allows water to evaporate, keeping your dog comfy and cool. What’s more, the side release buckles are easy to adjust for the best fit. An enthusiastic reviewer: “I'm always hiking with my dog and we are often near hunting areas. This is perfect for my 100 lb Coonhound/ Shephard/Huskey. Also, there are no lights in my neighborhood for night time walking; again, this jacket is perfect. And, it's a cinch to put on!!” Available sizes: Large — XX-Large 8 This 2-Pack Of T-Shirt Vests
Some dogs may find this
cooling vest shirt more comfortable since it’s made from soft and stretchy fabric with no buckles or straps. The two-pack of vests comes in two color combinations — blue and yellow or green and pink — and you just soak the vest in water and wring it out before putting it on your dog. Also great: These vests are machine washable and super easy to store. An enthusiastic reviewer: “The shirts are lightweight and stretchy so my dog didn't mind putting it on. I had ran it in cold water and wrung it out as much as possible and after putting it on her, she was happy and content to sleep through the night. Before this, she was waking me up panting in the middle of the night from the heat (I don't have AC where I live). This has been a godsend [...].” Available sizes: Small — Large 9 A Performance Vest For Active Dogs
Another popular option from Ruffwear, the
Jet Stream cooling vest has a 4.5 overall rating after more than 900 reviewers have weighed in. It’s designed with a high-performance fit and zippered closure that allows dogs to run and play freely, while the three-layer construction reflects heat and helps with evaporation. Plus, the vest provides UPF 50+ sun protection. Choose from two colors: blue lagoon and salamander orange. An enthusiastic reviewer: “As the owner of a dog that melts in hot weather and NEEDS to be exercised, this coat is perfect. I bought it specifically for keeping my cattle dog cool while we play frisbee. It fits really well along his body so his movement isn't overly restricted like it would have been with the swamp cooler coat and, while he still pants, he stays cool enough to keep playing for twenty + minutes in 80+ weather [...].” Available sizes: XX-Small — X-Large 10 This Colorful Vest That’s Perfect For Summer
Not only is this colorful
rainbow dog vest perfect for summer, but it’s made from water-retaining fabric that can help your pooch stay cool on hot days. The vest features breathable mesh layers that allow for air circulation, and there are adjustable buckle straps for even more comfort. In addition to this rainbow color, the vest also comes in tie-dye and aqua. An enthusiastic reviewer: “Seriously works! We have taken our pug to Palm Springs and let him chill poolside at our house in LA, when we normally would never let him outside (100+ degrees). He doesn't pant and this really lets him relax and enjoy the sun with us in the summer [...].” 11 A Lightweight Vest With Full Coverage
microfiber cooling vest offers full back and chest coverage and features adjustable Velcro straps for easy on and off. It’s available in two colors — rose red and dark blue — and also provides UPF 50+ sun protection so your pooch can fully enjoy the warm weather. You can also fit a dog harness over the vest during walks. An enthusiastic reviewer: “We have a Boston Terrier who overheats easily, & we needed a way to help keep her cool. This jacket does just that! It's easy to slip on & off her, & the Velcro holds it securely on her, even when she is rolling & tumbling with her fur buddy. No washing instructions included, but it hand washes quickly & completely with mild dish soap, even after rolling in the mud!” Available sizes: X-Small — X-Large 12 A Vest With Long-Lasting Cooling Packs
dog vest comes with two ice packs for long-lasting coolness. Just insert the frozen packs before heading out to keep your dog cool for up to four hours on hot days. The adjustable belts attach easily around the neck and torso, and there’s even a lead hole that’s compatible with dog harnesses. An enthusiastic reviewer: “This is a great vest. Here in Texas it gets unbearingly hot so the vest works great. I was pleased at how long it stayed cold. There is some kind of soft gel In the ice pack which allows it to stay cold [...].” Available sizes: X-Small — X-Large 13 This Stretchy, Breathable Vest
Another stretchy T-shirt option, this
dog cooling vest is lightweight and breathable. Just soak the soft material in water, wring it out, and place it on your pup to help them stay cool. It even features an icy blue pattern, so the vest looks cool while it chills your pup. Plus, the vest is machine washable for easy care. An enthusiastic reviewer: “[...] Really helps in this heat. The dogs would feel cool when they got back from their walk. The price was great.” Available sizes: X-Small — XXX-Large