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 quality 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 strap to their body, allowing the cold material to cool them down. The other 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. Both 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. 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 afterwards.
- Available sizes: XS, S, M, L
2. 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.
- Available sizes: 12", 18", 22", 26", 28"
3. A Medium-Coverage Vest That Gives Dogs Room To Move
This 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.
- Available sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
4. 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.
- Available sizes: XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
5. A Cooling Vest For Extra Small Dogs
Although most of the choices on this list offer small size options, this cooling vest provides an extra snug fit for tiny breeds such as Chihuahuas, pugs, miniature schnauzers, Maltese, Shih Tzus, papillons, Yorkshire terriers, and other pint-sized pups. The fabric is strikingly lightweight and easy to wring out once you've dunked it in water, resulting in a flexible, bendy material. The Velcro closure system allows you to customize the perfect fit to ensure it doesn't wobble when they walk or ride up if they decide to take a swim. Note that although the vest comes in "small," "medium," and "large" sizes, all of them are made for small breeds, with the large option being only 11 inches long.
- Available sizes: S, M, L
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