One of the must-have accessories for dogs during the summer is something that will keep them cooler, and a cooling vest is one of the better options. Just like us, dogs also feel the effects of heat and can suffer from heat stroke or heat exhaustion. In fact, dogs are even more susceptible to heat problems since they have only a few sweat glands. That means that they don’t sweat as much as humans and can’t release the excess heat as we do.
When Do You Need a Dog Cooling Vest?
In extreme temperatures, you must do everything in your power to keep your pooch cool and safe. Dogs pant to keep themselves as cool as possible, but when the temperature is extremely high that might not be enough to keep your pooch safe from heat exhaustion.
Make sure that your canine always has access to shade in hot weather, as well as plenty of fresh drinking water to keep him hydrated. In addition to this, cooling vests, collars and beds or pads can also help your dog cope with the heat better.
How Dog Cooling Vests Work?
Dog cooling vests work on the principle of evaporation, much like the human body does to stay cool when our sweat evaporates and disposes of the excess heat. Cooling vests have a special layer of fabric which serves to absorb and lock in water which evaporates with time. When it evaporates, the dog’s body heat evaporates with it.
Cooling vests are very effective in cooling your pooch because they can pull out the excess body heat all day long. They also distribute the coolness through his body evenly. The most important area to focus on is a dog’s neck and chest. That is why a combination of a cooling vest and a cooling collar is the best way to keep your dog safe in hot temperatures.
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Special Cool-Pack Vests
In addition to already mentioned regular, water-based dog cooling vests, there is another type which is generally made for service dogs, like the law enforcement or military dogs. These dogs work and thus need something more effective to keep them cool longer.
These vests contain two pouches on both sides of your dog’s body and these pouches have special cooling packs filled with gel. These pouches keep a dog’s body temperature down and last for around 2 hours. After that, they must be re-cooled by being placed in ice water for 20 minutes. You can also put them in the fridge for half an hour.
How to Use a Dog Cooling Vest
Using dog cooling vests is very simple. First, put the vest in a bucket of cool water and let it soak for a few minutes. Don’t use ice-cold water since that can put dogs in shock, especially if they already show signs of heat exhaustion.
When the vest is completely soaked, remove it from the water. Squeeze the excess water out of the vest and dry it with a towel. Put the vest on your dog. Make sure that the chest and neck straps are properly adjusted.
Other vests could be placed in the fridge instead, and once they reach desired temperature you can place them on your pooch.
Remember that a cooling vest alone is not enough to prevent your dog from extreme heat. Provide him with enough drinking water and shade and never leave your dog alone in your car, not even with a vest on.