"I'm just so cool!" (Collar by SCIROKKO)
No question but it's a hot summer, and there's going to be more of it, so think about ways you can cool off your pooch when she's outside.
I recently reviewed a pet cooling pad for dogs that's used inside your home. It is self-cooling; no ice or water is required to keep it cool.
So far, the self-cooling technology has not been applied to cooling vests and scarves, but dogs can be cooled off by ice packs or cold water. The ice pack scarves and vests are covered with absorbent and quick drying materials that prevent leaks to your dog's skin; the cold water scarves and vests are immersed in cold water and wrung out before placing them on your dog.
Honestly, I don't think you should be walking/running/playing with your otherwise healthy dog in excessive heat and humidity for longer than 20 minutes, if even that long, with some kind of cooling vest or neck scarf. You may have to exercise your pup an hour or two earlier in the morning, and that much later in the evening, to get enough activity for your dog, but you also will help him cool down with water, brushing, and bathing. A "summer cut" should not be a shave. (ref.) Dogs need their fur to regulate their body temperatures and to protect them from the sun.
Ice And Gel Packs For Dog Cooling
If you have a dog with thick fur or a brachycephalic dog, I would definitely consider an ice pack cooling neck collar like the Stock Show Dog Cooling Bandana.
The Stock Show fits any dog with a neck size of 17.7" to 23.6," and it comes in "flamingo," (seen above), "blue star" (blue background with white stars), "blue bulldog" (a light blue background with cartoon bulldog pattern, and "lemon" (a white background with lemon slice print). Inside the collars are Higg technology gel packets which allow the collar to retain its coolness longer than material coolers. You just need to refrigerate the collar or the gel packets for several minutes before use.
Another gel pack collar that customers like is the SCIROKKO 3 Pack Dog Cooling Collar, seen at the very top on the dog enjoying a water spray, and in the image just below. This cooling collar uses gel packs that can be frozen or refrigerated, or just run under cold water.
Here's an ice-filled cooling collar with an ice-filled attachable vest. The CoolerDog Dog Cooling Vest and Cooling Collar covers two areas, the neck and girth, where a dog feels the most heat.
With a neoprene and nylon evaporative exterior, the Cooling Vest and Collar contain FlexiFreeze ice packs. There are two complete ice pack sets included in this package, so you can always have a set ready-to-go.
The CoolerDog Vest and Cooling Collar can be connected, a good way to insure that the tummy vest will not slip. It comes in extra small, small, medium, and large. Check the listing for sizing instructions.
Cold Water Scarves and Vests
For small dogs and dogs with less fur, I prefer the cooling vests and scarves that you dip into water because you can control the temperature of the water. Though the ice packs have material between the ice and your dog's body, they are going to feel very cold to a dog with little fur around her neck or chest. Eventually, your dog will adjust to the cold, of course, but the contrast in temperature between a dog's body temperature (about 101°F) and the ice pack (maybe 40°F if surrounded by material) is drastic. Think about how an ice pack initially feels on your stiff neck.
With cold water scarves and vests, you don't use ice. You dip or soak them in cold water, ring them out, and put them on your dog. They use a prolonged evaporation technology that absorbs heat from its source and allows the moisture to evaporate. As mentioned above, you can regulate the temperature, so if you have a small dog or one that's particularly sensitive to cold, you can soak them in a cool, but not cold, temperature water.
Kurgo is well-known for its meticulous designs for dog gear and the Kurgo Dog Core Cooling Vest is no exception. The company has so much confidence in this vest that is comes with a lifetime warranty (see description for limitations).
Kurgo describes the Vest and its technology well in these images:
As someone who remembers putting an ice-soaked scarf around her neck when walking in high temperatures and humidity, I really appreciate this technology because it keeps your dog dry while still cooling him.
Here are the vest's additional features:
The SGODA Vest is a handsome, lightweight, cooling vest that uses a similar technology to the Kurgo vest. It has a double zipper closure at the top, whereas the Kurgo uses belt closures on the underside of its vest.
The SGODA is very highly rated. It comes in seven sizes and provides measurement ranges for each size. The SGODA comes in gray with green and gray with orange and has reflective coating to be seen at night or in bad weather conditions.
Here is a close-up of the design:
There is a Zinc-alloy D-ring leash attachment at the top, a full top zipper, a belly size adjustment and a neck adjustment as well. Both the SGODA and the Kurgo vests are great bets for cooling your dog.
The Chill Out Bandana doesn't actually use ice. Like the Kurgo and the SGODA cooling vests above, the Chill Out is made of a cool-able and evaporative fabric. Its temperature can be adjusted depending on the temperature of the water in which it is soaked. If you want the Bandana very cold, you can put it in the refrigerator for 5 - 10 minutes, but don't freeze it.
Sometimes, especially for short outings or for small dogs, a cool evaporative material bandana is all your dog needs, and the ALL FOR PAWS, works just fine, according to pet parent reviews. But it is unreasonable to expect the cold to last for very long on hot, humid days.
Way 2 Cool makes an innovative Cooling Towel out of microfiber. Though the company doesn't disclose its secrets, the microfiber clearly has some secret technology buried in its soft surface. I'm thinking of getting two of these; one for my dog and the other for me! Who can't use a cooling towel?
Patterned with bones and paws the Way 2 Cool comes in three sizes for small, medium, and large dogs... And, guess what? It doubles as a cooling scarf!
Cool Pup also makes a super-duper cooling pet towel and you can tell by how this bully is staged, it can look pretty cool too!
This chamois-like towel is made from PVA's, one of the most absorbable materials around. Easy to cool and clean, the Cool Pup also does the cooling job on dogs, especially if you ask their parents. One reviewer says she has even purchased the Cool Pup Dog Cooling Pet Towels as gifts for her human friends!
All of the dog cooling products above have very high ratings from dog parents who use them for their dogs. Just choose the type of dog cooler you would like for your particular dog (ice or water) and the purpose of the product. If you take your dog for short walks in early morning or evening, you might want to invest in a scarf, bandana, or towel cooler. If you go out for longer walks at those times or you have a dog with thick fur or has trouble breathing, you might prefer a cooling vest for your dog. And, don't forget to take care of their hot paws!
Hope you and your dogs all stay cool!