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There’s nothing better than getting out and enjoying the great outdoors with your dog, especially after a long winter. But as the days get warmer, rising temperatures can be dangerous—particularly for senior dogs, large dogs, and breeds with heavy coats or short snouts. Wearable cooling gear like dog cooling vests, bandanas, and even hats can help a hot dog stay comfortable during summer scorchers.
How To Pick the Best Cooling Gear for Your Dog
Dog cooling vests are torso-covering garments that keep cool air close to your dog’s body and warm air out. There are a few different types: some go in the freezer for a few hours for a deep chill, while others rely on water and the heat-loss process of evaporation.
Freezer-style vests tend to be a good fit for indoor loungers and planners (since you’ll have to remember to chill it ahead of schedule), while water vests are great for more spontaneous outdoor activities, hiking, and beach days.
Dog cooling bandanas don’t typically offer quite as much cooling coverage as a vest, but they’re perfect for pups who can’t tolerate a full-body garment or who don’t need as much help cooling off. They’re ideal for low-key activities like hanging out in the backyard or taking a trip to the dog park.
To get the right fit in a vest or bandana, remember to take your pup’s measurements—and not just their weight. The easiest way to pick a winner is to consult a size chart that shows recommended ranges for neck and chest girth.
Last, it’s worth noting that some days are just too toasty for adventuring—even with cooling gear. When the temperature climbs over 85 degrees Fahrenheit, pavement can be hot enough to burn a dog’s paws, and outdoor exercise isn’t a good idea. That’s when it’s time to encourage your pup to hit the couch and snooze away the afternoon.
Best Dog Cooling Vests for All Kinds of Pups
Best Evaporative Dog Cooling Vest: SGODA Dog Cooling Vest (Verified Review)
The SGODA dog cooling vest has three layers of cooling fabric and relies on evaporation: you soak it in cold water, wring it out, and put it on your dog. As the warm water at the surface evaporates, the layers closest to your dog’s skin stay cool; it works along the same lines as sweating does for humans. To refresh the vest, all you have to do is get it wet again.
We like that the vest is designed to be comfortable in your dog’s entire range of motion and does double-duty as a UV protection shirt. It has a sturdy leash attachment point and two options for zip closures—meaning you can further adjust the fit depending on which zipper you choose.
It comes in a wide range of sizes from XX-Small to XX-Large. (For reference, the X-Large size fits the girth of my 90-pound Bernese Mountain Dog perfectly and worked great when we put it to the test.)
The SGODA is a solid choice for pet parents worried about getting a slim, comfortable fit—though pups who dread clothing may do better with a model that offers less coverage.
- Effective evaporative cooling
- Comfortable, adjustable fit in a wide range of sizes
- Harness-style leash clip
- UV protection + reflective striping
Best Ice-Pack Dog Cooling Vest: Horay World Cooling Vest
This dog cooling vest from Horay World relies on removable freezer packs in a mesh vest to keep your pup cool. The cold packs can stay cool for between 1.5 and 4 hours, depending on the ambient temperature, which makes them a nice option for deep short-term cooling.
Freezer-style vests like the Horay require a little planning, and they’re not quite as useful for all-day adventures (like hiking, camping, or beach days)—but they can be especially effective for short outings, and they really shine in humid conditions. This vest comes with two ice packs and features an easy-on Velcro closure. We like that the openings provide ample room for a pup to move their legs freely.
One watch-out: it’s a good idea to make sure the ice packs aren’t directly touching your pup’s skin and leave a finger’s width between the closure and your dog’s belly to keep things comfy.
- Uses cold packs instead of evaporative cooling for a deeper chill
- Mesh fabric with Velcro fastening
- Lots of sizing options
Best for Adjustable Fit: Canada Pooch Evaporative Cooling Vest
With a wide range of sizes and adjustable quick-release buckles, Canada Pooch’s evaporation-powered dog cooling vest is a strong choice for pups of unusual dimensions and long-haired friends who struggle to keep their fur out of Velcro and zipper fastenings.
The sizes for this vest are determined by back-length measurements, and a Canada Pooch chart includes chest girth and a breed guide—all of which makes finding the right fit easier.
The reflective (and colorful!) outer shell is made from polyester mesh, while the inside lining is mostly rayon for breathability.
- Polyester and mesh layers maximize evaporative cooling power
- Adjustable buckles for customizable fit
- Wide range of size options with detailed measurements
- Reflective layer for enhanced visibility and cooling
Best for Maximum Chill: CoolerDog Cooling Vest and Collar
This unusual model from CoolerDog combines two separate pieces: a torso wrap that cinches behind your dog’s armpits and a collar-style wrap that goes around the neck, both connected to each other by a lightweight (and optional) Velcro strap. Both torso and collar wrap contain two “Flexifreeze” packs that stay cold in your freezer and mold to your pup’s shape for a comfortable, chilly fit.
The flexible design can be a boon to pups otherwise disinclined to wear clothes, and it’s made a splash on the internet among Pug parents in particular, who find the dual cooling system nice for dogs with breathing issues.
Made of neoprene and nylon, with no buckles or latches, the CoolerDog vest comes in four sizes and fits up to a medium-sized dog. The frozen packs last about 20 to 30 minutes, and both pieces are machine washable.
This probably isn’t the choice for particularly athletic dogs, since the torso wrap is likely to slide a little with movement—but for more sedentary pups who like a quick, deep chill or a post-walk cooldown, this is a solid choice.
- Two-piece model offers flexibility and deep chill
- Machine-washable neoprene and nylon
- No buckles or latches
- Cooling packs last 20 to 30 minutes
Best for Easy Cleanup: Kurgo Core Cooling Dog Vest
The Kurgo Core Cooling Dog Vest is another good option for pups who don’t fare as well with slim-fit models like the SGODA or who can’t tolerate Velcro and zippers. A small opening at the top of the vest allows for a harness attachment, and the design offers a lot of coverage for UV-sensitive pups prone to sunburn. This is one of the lighter, more porous vests on the market, which means regular water refreshes may be necessary—but it gets bonus points for being easy to clean (no mildew smell here) and adjustable.
The vest’s outer layer is made up of lightweight polyester, while the inner lining is airy mesh, and the whole thing can go in the wash machine on a gentle cycle.
- Evaporative cooling
- Adjustable quick-release buckles accommodate a range of body types and long-haired breeds
- Reflective material for additional cooling power
- Machine washable
Top Dog Cooling Bandanas
If a dog cooling vest isn’t a good option for your pup (or you need a few options, depending on your activity), we’ve highlighted some good dog cooling bandanas. These accessories focus on cooling a dog’s chest and neck. They’re not as fancy as cooling vests and offer less UV protection—but they’re a much easier ask for a clothes-hating pup (and better for your budget, too). We like them for summer walks and lazy afternoons in the backyard.
Best All-Purpose Dog Cooling Bandana: All for Paws Cooling Bandana (Verified Review)
This cooling bandana comes in multiple sizes to accommodate necks anywhere from 11 to 20 inches. We tested it on Bernedoodle Sabine, who seemed pleased by her chilly new accessory. We recommend wetting the fabric and putting it in the freezer for a few minutes before use for maximum effect.
- Great for clothing-averse pups
- Safe, non-toxic material
- Can be put in freezer for deeper chill
Best Cooling Neck Wrap: Self-Cooling Bandana for Dogs
These neck wraps work a lot like the All for Paws above—but they prioritize security over adjustability with a slimmer fit that stays on with a Velcro clasp. Made from non-toxic fabric, these come in a two-pack, so you can always have one chilling in the freezer. The medium size accommodates pup necks from 12 to 15 inches in circumference, while the large size is adjustable from 16 to 20 inches.
- Fits dog with necks ranging from 12 to 20 inches
- Secure Velcro closure
- Lightweight fabric
- Comes in two-pack
- Does the SGODA Dog Cooling Vest Keep a Dog Cool? Rover Test Pups Review
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