With summer coming in a few months, it is time to prepare the home for our dog. The minimal you should have is a dog water fountain which ensures it doesn’t become thirsty. Another thing you should look at is cooling gear for the dog. Currently, there are many different products in the market from dog cooling vest to beds to jackets. This article will focus on only two: dog cooling coat and pad.
Dog heat stroke damage
To understand why dog needs cooling gear like the cooling vest, it is good to understand the damage that heat stroke has on a dog. I am no doctor but according to PetMed.com, heat stroke happens when the dog’s cannot dissipate the heat faster than it is absorbing, which can lead to multiple organ breakdown. A clear symptom of a dog getting a heat stroke is when it is panting faster than usual or lying at the side. If this happens, you need to get it to a sheltered area immediately as well as pour normal water (not cold!) to help it dissipate the heat.
To prevent heat stroke in the first place, this is where things like cooling coat and pads with help. Below are some of the best recommendations.
Self cooling dog pad
The dog cooling pad by The Green Pet Shop has been a great comfort for my dog. She loves to lie on it especially during the hot summer days. The secret to the cooling effect is actually a thin layer of gel that is hidden within the pad. It is not icey cold but it will feel cool to the touch.
What I love about the pad is that it is very easy to maintain. It doesn’t require power or batteries as it relies 100% on the gel to provide the cooling effect. One downside is that the pad will get warm eventually once the dog has been on it for 3 to 4 hours. It will need to get off before the pad reverts back to its cooling touch again.
Compared these to the dog cooling water beds, I found them to be more convenient as well as creating less problems. A water bed can cause a big mess if your dog is the destroyer of furniture. I once saw the horrors of this when a friend return to see the whole living room filled with water spilled from the destroyed cooling bed.
The fact that this pad doesn’t need electricity or has water means I can carry it around, be it for travel or just a beach trip. My dog especially loves to lie on it when I bought her to a nearby beach front in the summer.
One thing to note is that some reviewers found the pad to develop cracks after 2-3 weeks of use. I personally have not experience it but there might be some defective production batches. A solution is to get a nylon covering for it. You can buy one easily at Amazon.
Cooling dog pad
Another top reviewed dog pad is by Hugs Pet Products. It has a similar gel based technology used by The Green Pet Store. For those who are paranoid, the gel is non tonic and is non liquid which means it wouldn’t spill on to your carpet in the event that your dog manage to scratch it open. Beyond this, there isn’t much to say about this which has not been covered above. The cooling pad works and it can be used without electricity. The only difference is the price as this brand has a lower retail price than The Green Pet Store.
If you decide to purchase this, do note the sizing offered on the company’s website is inaccurate. Here is what the sizing should be:
- X-Small — 12″ X 7.75″ X 0.75″
- Small — 15.5″ X 11.75″ X 0.75″
- Medium — 19.5″ X 15.5″ X 0.75″
- Large — 36″ X 20″ X 0.4″
- X-Large — 38″ x 32″ x 0.5″
In terms of cleaning, I believe this is not machine washable. However, all you need is a damp cloth to wipe any dirt off the pad.
Best cooling vest for dog from Ruffwear
Beside cooling pad, another gear you can consider is the a dog cooling coat. From what I have read, the best comes from Ruffwear’s dog vest, which also makes one of the best dog life jacket. This amazing jacket can keep a dog cool for 1-2 hours straight even when placed in locations with temperatures above 90 degrees! In fact, it is also one of the best dog cooling vest for humidity. Even in places such as PA where humidity is high, I see no complaints from dog owners using it.
How it works is genius! There are 3 layers to the jacket: (i) outer level is heat reflective, (ii) second layer is an absorbent layer and (iii) third layer is a comfortable layer. You first soak the coat in ice water so that the medium layer absorbs and stores some of it. When worn, the ice water evaporates which effectively cools the dog down. To lengthen the cooling effect, simply resoak the coat as and when needed. If you are outside, bring a water bottle and pour it on the vest as and when needed. It is so easy to use but effective that I can understand why so many dog owners are gushing about it.
In terms of dog breeds, I see dog owners of every kind using it without much complaint. Even for long hair breeds such as Collie, Australian Sherpa, the cooling vest can significantly reduce your dog’s panting symptom.
Sizing wise, the vendor has a chart that is easy to know which size is right for your dog. For example, a 27 – 32″ dog with need a medium sized cooling vest while anything larger than a 32″ will need a large size.
Keeping your dog cool during summer days is a must for it to not suffer from things like heat stroke. These 2 cooling products that I have recommended have been proven to be effective so they are a must have in my personal view.