Which dog cooling vests are best?

Dogs love being active, whether it’s hiking or joining you for a run. Some dogs have heavy, thick coats that naturally make them hot. But when it comes to toasty environments, keeping them cool is a must. That’s where dog cooling vests come in. And the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Evaporative Dog Cooling Vest is a great choice if you’re looking for a durable vest that can be worn during any outdoor venture.

What to know before you buy a dog cooling vest

Wicking materials

Dog cooling vests should be comfortable and extremely breathable. Styles made of cotton are a top choice because they are soft on fur and skin, can hold up to 400 times their weight in water, and are lightweight and cozy. Some are made of multiple cooling layers. Nylon is another popular material.

Cooling duration

It’s important to purchase a vest whose cooling action lasts a reasonable amount of time. While this may cost more, it will be worth it in the long run. At a minimum, cooling vests should last a half hour. Climate is another aspect to keep in mind. For very hot, dry environments, you’ll want a cooling vest that lasts a couple of hours.


Above all, dog cooling vests should fit snugly, from the neck to the base of the tail. They should also fit on your dog’s chest because that’s where cooling is needed most. Sizes range from extra-small to extra-large, but not all sizes are available for every vest. 

What to look for in a quality dog cooling vest

Sun reflection

Because cooling vests will be used in the heat, finding one that has reflective features is important. Lush materials provide more protection on your dog’s sides and back. Additionally, designs that have reflective strips make it easy to see in the dark. 

Harness or leash feature

This is important if you prefer to use a leash or harness with your dog. While some cooling vests include a hook, others do not. Also, make sure it fits comfortably over your dog’s harness and is still able to cool.


There are different types of dog cooling vests. The most common is one you soak in water and place on your dog, called an “evaporative vest.” “Ice vests” are stored in the freezer to be put on only when your dog is ready to be cooled down. A “dry vest” is perfect if you’re looking for one to use for a few days because you fill it with water, which can’t evaporate easily. 

How much you can expect to spend on a dog cooling vest

Durable vests cost $30 and up. Those designed with high-quality fabrics are the more expensive ones. 

Dog cooling vest FAQ

How do you use an evaporative dog cooling vest? 

A. Soak it in a cold bucket of water for a few minutes. For maximum water adsorption, rub it under the water. Once the vest is soaked completely, wring it out and pat dry with a towel. Then, place on your pup and adjust the straps as required. 

How often should you wash a dog cooling vest? 

A. Wash it after each use or every other use. This will prevent it from smelling and bacteria from developing. Wash in warm water with your choice of laundry detergent, but make sure to not use bleach or fabric softener, which may ruin it. 

What’s the best dog cooling vest to buy?

Top dog cooling vest

RUFFWEAR, Swamp Cooler Evaporative Dog Cooling Vest

Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Evaporative Dog Cooling Vest

What you need to know: This is a great choice if your dog is extremely active and goes on hikes and camping trips with you.

What you’ll love: It’s designed with three cooling layers and its mesh makes it comfortable in all heat conditions. It also protects against the sun and the reflective trim makes it easy to see in the dark. This vest can be worn over most harnesses and is easy to put on and take off due to its side buckles. 

What you should consider: It’s on the expensive end. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top dog cooling vest for the money

Hurtta Cooling Dog Vest

Hurtta Cooling Dog Vest

What you need to know: This vest is a great option for those on a budget.

What you’ll love: Simply soak the vest in cold water and squeeze excess water, then place on your pup. This vest forms to your dog’s body when in the sun. Its inner material is high-performance microfiber, so it’s durable and comfortable. 

What you should consider: It’s not suitable for large and extra-large dog breeds.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Chewy

Worth checking out

SGODA Dog Cooling Vest Harness Cooler Jacket

Sgoda Dog Cooling Vest

What you need to know: This cooling jacket is versatile for any dog breed and size. 

What you’ll love: Sold in two colors, it’s composed of three cooling layers. The vest is lightweight and protects against the sun. Leashes attach on the dog’s back to prevent tugging. It’s also easy to adjust via zipper or Velcro. 

What you should consider: Try it on your pup before using it, as the sizing may be off.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Tessa Schaal writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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