Best Dog Summer Clothes

In summer, dog owners are looking for ways to protect dogs from high temperatures, the sun's UV rays and hot pavement. Dressing a dog in summer clothes is the quickest and easiest way to protect your pet during walks, training, playtime or a trip to the beach.

While it may seem counter-intuitive to dress your dog up when the weather is hot, there are certain cases when protective clothing is exactly what the dog needs. Below we'll discuss why and when some dogs need clothes in the summer and how to find the best dog summer clothes to keep your pet cool.

Do Dogs Need Clothes in Summer?

In most general cases, dogs never need clothes, except for very specific situations such as extreme weather. You might think that it’s normal for dogs to wear clothes in winter to protect them from the cold but does it make sense for dogs to wear clothes in the hot weather? Even if you put the obvious fashion reasons aside, there are a few strong arguments for dogs to wear summer clothes. Here are some of them.

1. Staying cool

Summer clothes for dogs can keep your pooch cool in hot weather. Many dog owners choose to shave their dogs in the summer to “keep them cool,” but they shouldn't – that only achieves the opposite, leaving dogs without the benefits of insulation that comes from fur and without protection against UV rays.

Protection from the sunThere are special cooling vests designed to keep dogs from overheating even in the harshest summer weather, and that's what you should use when you know that the pet needs extra protection against hot weather.

Dog breeds that don't do well in hot weather (such as Huskies or Alaskan Malamutes) as well as dogs with short hair, young puppies, and senior dogs, may benefit from lightweight summer clothes for that added level of protection. That’s why you often see police or sporting dogs with lightweight summer coats on.

2. Protection from the sun

Talking about a walk in the summertime with your pooch can be dangerous for him if you don’t protect him from UV rays. After all, dogs can get sunburned just like humans do. It is especially important to keep this in mind if you have a dog who likes to lie down in the sun or if you have a dog with thin fur and/or light color.

Protection from the sunYou can protect your puppy from sun rays with dog-friendly sunscreen but you can also use dog summer clothing. In fact, there are special protective shirts and coats for dogs you can buy that are specifically designed as anti-UV ray clothing. But even a light summer t-shirt can be better than no clothing and enough if you don’t go out at the hottest time of day.

3. Keeping your dog clean

Having a shirt or a summer coat on can help your dog stay clean, especially when going out to places like lakes. Dirt, sand, grass, and other unwanted things can easily find their way into your home through your pet. If you don’t want to bathe your pooch each time you come back from a walk, put some light summer clothes on him.

4. Health reasons

Clothing can prevent environmental allergies because it can serve as a barrier between your pooch and the allergen. It will also prevent your dog from licking or scratching himself, which can be a way to spread the allergic reaction across his body or make his rash or wounds worse.

How to measure your dog for proper summer clothing

How to Choose Good Summer Clothes for Dogs?

Once you decide that your dog needs some type of summer clothes, you need to know how to choose the right piece of clothing for him. Here are a few factors to consider.

Size and fit

When you buy clothes for your canine, you need to know your pup's exact measurements if you want to ensure the perfect fit. Most manufacturers clearly display the measurements of their clothing products and some may even provide suggestions about the breeds that should fit for certain sizes.

However, you shouldn’t rely on general or average measurements for dog breeds. Learn how to properly measure your dog’s size for clothing instead and ensure a proper fit.


When choosing clothing, it's important that clothes are considered “summer clothes” and made from a material that wouldn't achieve the opposite effect of making your pup hot. Dog summer clothes must be made from materials that will make your pooch comfortable and allow him to move freely while providing protection against heat.

Any material that limits the dog’s mobility is not a good choice. The fabric you choose should also be durable but lightweight. Look for stretchy materials like cotton and spandex.

Design and type

When it comes to summer clothes for dogs, you can choose from different types. First of all, you can choose a regular, lightweight summer shirt or dress, a protective coat or vest that offers UV protection, or a cooling vest to keep your pooch cool at all times.

Design and type

Of course, all of them come in different styles and colors and you only have to go with your fashion sense here, as long as you make sure that the desired clothing piece fits your dog properly.

Additional features

When you shop for dog summer clothes, pay attention to how easy they are to put on and take off. Some dogs may not be cooperative when you try to put a piece of clothing on them and having adjustable clothing can make a world of difference.

Another thing to look for is the type of zippers or strips on the clothes. Wide Velcro strips are a good choice. Zippers need to be sturdy so they don’t come off and become a choking hazard. Pay attention to other things that can be swallowed or chewed, like buttons, bows and snaps.

Reflective clothes are a good choice if you plan to stay outdoors with your pooch in the evenings or nighttime. And since dog summer clothes come in many forms, we will take a look at the best dog summer clothes that include different designs and types.

Top 5 Best Dog Summer Clothes

1. RUFFWEAR High-Performance Cooling Vest for Dogs

We love Ruffwear dog supplies, and it's not surprise that their cooling vest is one of the best summer dog clothes worth purchasing. The sleek and attractive design of this dog cooling vest is the first impressive thing about it. But the vest doesn’t trade comfort for style since it has a very comfortable inner layer. In addition to this layer, there are two more layers that provide the cooling effect. All you have to do is wet the vest and wring it out.

RUFFWEAR, Jet Stream Dog Cooling Vest, Evaporative...
  • Made for adventure: The Jet...
  • Stay cool: The layered...
  • Stay comfortable: The...
  • Designed for dogs: The...
  • Built to last: The three-layer...

This vest also provides UPF 50+ Sun protection thanks to the spandex back panel. Zippered closure provides for a great fit, in addition to many different available sizes. You can also choose from two colors, blue and orange.

Sizing chart complaints have not stayed away from this product either. Some users also reported zipper problems.

PROS: Available in Many Sizes and 2 Colors, Cooling Effect, UV Protection, Stylish, Reflective, Machine Washable
CONS: Expensive, Sizing Chart Unreliable, Reports of Faulty Zippers


2. Louie de Coton Sun Protection Silk Weight Dog T-Shirt

This extra-comfortable dog shirt is made from stretchy fabric as lightweight as silk. It has flat lock stitching to make the shirt fit your dog’s body perfectly and move along with him. The fabric has a quick-drying property, along with anti-odor and anti-microbial technology to keep this clothing piece last longer. It also comes with reflective shoulder tapes for visibility and a reinforced leash hole.

Louie de Coton Made in USA Limited Edition Pet...
  • Proudly made in Seattle...
  • The cooling helps with...
  • Protects against bugs and...
  • Made in USA 3M reflective...

This T-shirt comes with UPF50+ Sun protection, even if the shirt is wet. It is available in 5 sizes and 3 colors, blue being our favorite when it comes to appearance. While most of the reviewers praised this shirt, there were some dog owners who complained about its size, saying it is smaller or bigger than expected.

PROS: Available in 5 Sizes and 3 Colors, Lightweight, UV Protection, Anti-Odor, Anti-Microbial, Quick to Dry, Reflective
CONS: Expensive, Size Chart Unreliable


3. EzyDogRashguard

This is another protective shirt with UPF50+ protection rating. It is made from stretchy Lycra fabric that allows for quick drying to make this shirt ideal for water activities. It also comes in bright red to allow for high visibility. However, that is the only color this vest is available in.

EzyDog Rashguard Vest - Premium Dog Shirt Allowing...

The shirt is available in five sizes, ranging from 12-inch long extra-small to 20.5-inches long extra-large. Measure your dog’s back to find the perfect feet but keep in mind that some dog owners said that the shirt is too small and that they needed a larger size despite following the size chart. This shirt is also odor-resistant.

PROS: Available in 5 Sizes, Lightweight, UV Protection, Odor-Resistant, Quick to Dry, Reflective
CONS: Expensive, Available in just One Color, Size Chart Unreliable


4. Petroom Puppy Dog Dress

We are starting our list with one of the cutest dog dresses for summer you can find on the market. It is made of high-quality cotton and has a wonderful floral design. The dress also includes a stylish bow but the bow is only glued to the dress and probably won’t stay on for a long time. You may need to fix it with a needle thread to prevent falling off.

Petroom Sweet Puppy Dog Dress,Cute Princess Cat...
  • Size: L,Chest size: 16";Back...
  • Made of super thin,light and...
  • It is fixed by Velcro, I...
  • Especially designed for small...
  • Four points upgrade: 1. The...

You can get this dress in five different sizes, covering chest girth sizes in the range from 9 inches to 16 inches. Unfortunately, many users reported that the size chart is not very accurate and that the dress was either too big or too small for their dog. You can also get this dress in blue or pink color.

The dress comes with Velcro straps around the collar area and belly. However, some dog owners noted that the straps could be a bit longer to allow them to adjust the dress better.

PROS: Available in 5 Sizes and 2 Colors, Lightweight, Affordable, Stylish
CONS: No UV Protection, Bow Falls off Easily, Size Chart Unreliable, Velcro Straps too Short


5. SILD Pet Clothes Dog UV Protection Safety Jacket

This is a safety jacket that provides protection from the Sun because it is UV-resistant. However, only the back area provides protection because the belly area is all mesh to make the vest comfortable and breathable.

SILD Pet Life Jacket Size Adjustable Dog Lifesaver...
  • We all dress up for ourselves....
  • Dogs can swim, but there are...
  • All pups are unique and...
  • The dog life vest has the...
  • We guarantees against defects...

You can choose from 6 different sizes and 5 different colors to find the best fit for your dog, both in the size and style departments. Whatever color you choose, the design makes this jacket reflective and your pooch visible at all times.

The Velcro design makes this jacket easy to put on and off. However, like other items on our list, the sizing chart is a source of complaints from the users. Some dog owners found it too heavy as well.

PROS: Available in 6 Sizes and 5 Colors, Affordable, UV-Resistant, Stylish, Reflective
CONS: Sizing Chart Unreliable, Report of Being Too Heavy

In Conclusion

Some dogs, particularly breeds that don't do well in hot weather, young puppies and senior pets, may need summer clothes to protect them from the sun and its UV rays, high temperatures and to help them stay cool longer in that hot weather. Short-haired breeds and light-skinned dogs are also especially vulnerable to sunburn.

When you shop for the best dog summer clothes, pay attention to the size and material. Clothes with UV protection or cooling features are the best choices for summer. Cooling vests are almost always a good idea when going out for longer walks in the middle of summer.

READ NEXT: 10 Tips on How to Keep Dogs Cool Outside

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5 Top Rated Best Dog Summer Clothes