The Best Dog Cooling Vests: Reviewed for 2022

Written by Austin S.
Updated: October 31, 2022

This post may contain affiliate links to our partners like Chewy, Amazon, and others. Purchasing through these helps us further the A-Z Animals mission to educate about the world's species..

Key Points:
  • The only place that dogs have sweat glands is in their paws. When they get overheated, dogs can’t regulate their body temperatures properly.
  • Dog cooling vests keep your dog from getting overheated by repelling the sun’s rays, keeping your dog’s skin dry, and cooling it’s body temperature.
  • Some reasons your dog may need a cooling vest include being in a place where there’s no air conditioning, spending time at the beach, hiking, or kayaking, doing military operations, recuperating from an injury, and to treat heat exhaustion.

Imagine yourself on a beach trip, soaking up the sun’s rays in your favorite lounge chair, with your dog sprawled in the sand beside you. Is your dog panting hard, drooling, or acting lethargic? There’s a chance your dog could be overheated. In situations like that, how can you offer your poor pooch some much-needed relief? One option is a dog cooling vest! Dog cooling vests help regulate your dog’s body temperature, and cool it off when needed.

What is the best dog cooling vest? When you need to get your dog’s body temperature down, you might do it with ice packs, or you can try a cooling vest. These vests are ideal for hiking, sizzling summer days, or when treating certain medical conditions. We’ve rounded up the best dog cooling vests. They’ll keep your dog cool, comfortable, and safe.

A-Z-Animals Top Picks for Best Dog Cooling Vests

  1. RUFFWEAR, Swamp Cooler Evaporative Vest
  2. RUFFWEAR, Swamp Cooler Evaporative Vest
    • Harness compatible
    • Three layer cooling, with the outermost layer reflecting harmful sun rays
    • UPF 50+ protection not only cools, but protects from burns
    Check Chewy
  3. Canada Pooch Cooling Dog Vest
  4. Canada Pooch Cooling Dog Vest
    • Soft fabric has excellent water-retention
    • Leash and harness compatible
    • Totally natural cooling system - no chemicals
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Kurgo Core Cooling Dog Vest
  6. Kurgo Core Cooling Dog Vest
    • Lightweight fabric is easy to pack on a hike without added bulk
    • Adjustable to fit most dogs
    • Note: requires moisture to work. Best for hikes near water
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  7. Dog Cooling Vest Harness
  8. Dog Cooling Vest Harness
    • Dog cooling and anxiety vest in one
    • 'shirt' design covers the back and chest
    • Very lightweight, easy to pack in a backpack or purse
    Check Chewy

How To Choose the Right Cooling Vest for Your Dog

Does your dog need a cooling vest?

Dogs can suffer in the heat, especially dogs with thick coats. Dogs can’t sweat efficiently because they only have sweat glands in their paws. That means it takes them a long time to regulate their body temperatures when they get overheated.
Cooling vests are excellent for sweltering summer days. They allow any dog to enjoy being active without worries about overheating.

You might need a cooling vest when:
• You’re in a place with no air conditioning
• Hiking or kayaking on a sunny day
• Spending the day at the beach
• During military or search and rescue operations
• Helping a dog recuperate from an injury
• Treating your dog’s heat exhaustion

Can dogs get overheated?

Like humans, dogs can get overheated during hot days, especially if they’re playing or walking in the sun.

Dogs can suffer from heatstroke when their body temperatures rise too quickly. If you take your dog out for summer walks, a cooling vest is a good idea. Dogs who train for military exercises or rescue operations can also benefit from cooling vests.

Heat exhaustion can kill your dog. If your dog’s temperature reaches 105, get her to a veterinary hospital immediately. You must take quick action if you suspect heatstroke.

Here are some signs to watch for:

• Rectal temperature over 104
• Vigorous panting
• Dizziness
• Dark red gums
• Heavy drooling
• Dry gums
• Unwillingness to walk or get up
• Loss of consciousness

What should you do for a dog with heat exhaustion?

1. Move your dog to a cool, shaded area.
2. Offer him water, but don’t force him to drink.
3. Take your dog’s temperature, and continue taking it every 5 minutes to be sure you’re not cooling your dog too quickly. If it’s under 104 degrees, your dog is in the safe zone.
4. Apply a cloth dipped in cool water to your dog’s body. Don’t use ice or ice water. Overly rapid cooling can be as dangerous as overheating. Once your dog’s temperature reaches 103.9, stop cooling her.

Choosing the right size of cooling vest

To get the right fit, measure your dog’s chest at its widest part. Every manufacturer’s size chart is different, so always measure your dog for the correct fit.

Our Criteria and Experience: How We Chose the Best

We turned to our review panel of dog owners. For this test, we relied on dog owners who often take their pups on outdoor trips. Four of our reviewers have dogs who train for military games and search and rescue operations. These dogs need to stay cool, even when they’re exercising in extremely hot weather. Two of our panel members have dogs who often feel overheated because of their thick coats.

Our top choice, the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Evaporative Vest, comes from a company known for its high-quality outdoor gear for dogs. Our reviewers were impressed by this vest’s multiple layers and ease of use. The soft fabric is UV protective and the construction looks durable. It stayed on for hours and kept working, even in the harshest conditions. It’s ideal for summer outings and for hiking.

Our reviewers also liked the Canada Pooch Dog Cooling Vest, which was quick and easy to put on and kept dogs cool on long walks. The Kurgo Dog Cooling Vest features lightweight, durable fabric and a harness attachment. Our value option is the budget-friendly Dociote Dog Cooling Vest Harness.

Top 4 Dog Cooling Vests

1. Best Overall: Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Evaporative Dog Cooling Vest

A swamp cooler is a type of air conditioner that uses evaporation to cool and humidify the air. The Ruffwear Swamp Cooler uses that same technology to create a cooling vest for dogs, with advanced features and multiple layers. That’s why we recommend the Ruffwear Swap Cooler vest as the best dog cooling vest today. It has three layers that work together to keep dogs cool and shielded from the sun. The outermost layer is reflective, repelling the sun’s rays and preventing heat stroke. The middle layer is a moisture layer, for containing the water to be evaporated during use. The final inner layer is a soft mesh that is comfortable for your dog, and separates the water layer from their skin to avoid soaking their fur. You get the equivalent of 50 SPF with the Ruffwear vest. It’s made from durable, flexible fabric with reflective trim.

  • Soft, UV protective fabric.
  • Reflective trim for low-light visibility.
  • Compatible with a harness or leash.
  • Ideal for hiking, kayaking or beach activities.
  • Available in XXS, XS, S, M, L and XL.
Best Overall Dog Cooling Vest
RUFFWEAR, Swamp Cooler Evaporative Vest
  • Harness compatible
  • Three layer cooling, with the outermost layer reflecting harmful sun rays
  • UPF 50+ protection not only cools, but protects from burns
Check Chewy

2. Best for Walking: Canada Pooch Cooling Dog Vest

Do you need something for summer walks? When it’s steamy outside, let your dog stroll in comfort with the Canada Pooch Cooling Dog Vest. This comfortable, lightweight vest is easy to put on. Adjustable straps ensure the perfect fit. It comes in bright holographic colors with a cute graphic.

  • Excellent for daily walks.
  • Soft, water-retaining fabric.
  • No chemical coolants.
  • Attaches to leash or harness.
  • Comes in 18-inch to 32-inch sizes.
Best Cooling Vest For Walking
Canada Pooch Cooling Dog Vest
  • Soft fabric has excellent water-retention
  • Leash and harness compatible
  • Totally natural cooling system - no chemicals
Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best for Hiking: Kurgo Dog Core Cooling Vest

This dog cooling vest covers your pup’s chest, back, and neck to supply slow, gentle cooling to the core. If your dog often overheats when hiking or running, use this cooling vest to bring his temperature down safely. This vest needs to stay wet to work, so it’s ideal for outdoor adventures in or near the water. Our reviewers recommended bringing water to keep the vest wet on long hikes. Sun-deflecting fabric makes it UV protective.

  • Lightweight, flexible fabric.
  • Deflects sunlight to support cooling.
  • Easy to put on most dogs.
  • Works with a harness or leash.
  • Available in sizes S, M, L and XL.
Best For Hiking
Kurgo Core Cooling Dog Vest
  • Lightweight fabric is easy to pack on a hike without added bulk
  • Adjustable to fit most dogs
  • Note: requires moisture to work. Best for hikes near water
Check Chewy Check Amazon

4. Best Budget Option: Dociote Dog Cooling Vest Harness

This cooling vest comes in a range of sizes to fit tiny dogs, medium dogs, and the biggest dogs. It’s easy to use. Soak it in cold water, wring it out, and place it on your pup. Our reviewers were impressed by how well this cooling vest worked, but they said the sizing was inconsistent. You may want to order two different sizes to see which one works best.

  • Lightweight and comfortable for most dogs.
  • Provides instant cooling to your pet.
  • Sewn edges to prevent chafing.
  • Easy to put on.
  • Available in sizes XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL and 3XL.
Dog Cooling Vest Harness
  • Dog cooling and anxiety vest in one
  • 'shirt' design covers the back and chest
  • Very lightweight, easy to pack in a backpack or purse
Check Chewy

Summary of the Best Dog Cooling Vests

RankBest ForProduct
1OverallRuffwear Swamp Cooler Evaporative Dog Cooling Vest
2WalkingCanada Pooch Cooling Dog Vest
3HikingKurgo Dog Core Cooling Vest
4BudgetDociote Dog Cooling Vest Harness

Up Next:

About the Author

Growing up in rural New England on a small scale farm gave me a lifelong passion for animals. I love learning about new wild animal species, habitats, animal evolutions, dogs, cats, and more. I've always been surrounded by pets and believe the best dog and best cat products are important to keeping our animals happy and healthy. It's my mission to help you learn more about wild animals, and how to care for your pets better with carefully reviewed products.

The Best Dog Cooling Vests: Reviewed for 2022 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Do cooling vests for dogs really work?

Yes, they work. They help lower your dog’s temperature gradually, which is the safest way to do it. They allow dogs to regulate their body temperature, even when they’re exercising in the hot sun.

How do dog cooling vests work?

Each type of cooling vest works differently. An evaporative vest works by using evaporation to reduce the dog’s body temperature. As the water evaporates from your dog’s body, it removes heat. The vest lowers the temperature gradually and helps the dog’s body regulate itself. To use this type of vest, you must get it wet.

Iced or chilled cooling vests work differently. If you’ve ever tried to cool your dog down with ice packs, you know how this type works. These vests are cold to the touch and supply an instant cooling sensation. Use caution when working with ice packs or chilled cooling vests. If the vest is too cold for your dog, place a towel or other soft cloth under it.

How long can a dog wear a cooling vest?

Most evaporative cooling vests last 1 to 3 hours. If you’re taking your dog out during a heatwave, let him wear the vest during your walk. Remember, getting too cold can be equally dangerous for a dog. Dogs should not wear cooling vests all day, and they should not wear them to sleep.

Is ChillyBuddy the best dog cooling vest?

ChillyBuddy is an excellent product, but the company has currently halted production. According to the ChillyBuddy website, the company is looking for a new manufacturer.

Chill Out with a Dog Cooling Vest

Dog cooling vests can prevent heat exhaustion in dogs. They help regulate your dog’s body temperature, even in hot conditions. The cooling vests on our list will work for all dogs who need help keeping their cool.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.