Taking your precious pooch on a walk on a hot summer's day may be dreamy for you, but it could become a nightmare for your dog.

Unlike humans, dogs don't sweat and it can be difficult for our four-legged friends to get rid of excess heat – and regulate their body temperature. That's where the best dog cooling vests come in.

In terms of how the best dog cooling vests work, many are activated by water – so they need to be submerged for your pup to reap the benefits.

Other nifty dog cooling vests have a cool gel interior that soaks up your dog’s heat, while other counterparts are put in the fridge or freezer to create a cool layer that can be worn all day long.

When your dog is kitted out with the right accessories, your pooch still stays chilled and comfortable when temperatures rise – on hikes at home, or saunters along the beach abroad.

As well as a cooling vest, other accessories like a cooling collar, doggy paddling pool or cooling mat are fantastic for keeping your dog chilled when temperatures soar.

We’ve rounded up some of the best cooling dog vests available on the market to buy this summer.


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Ancol Pet Cooling Coat

  • Ancol Pet Cooling Coat, from £9.52 at Amazon – buy here 

A hugely popular coat with dog owners, this cooling product can be plunged into water and then strapped onto your hot and bothered dog to give them instant relief. 

The belly strap ensures a snug fit and is a favourite feature amongst reviewers who report that it’s easy to adjust. The panel that fits across the chest is also wider than others on the market, making it better for all-over cooling.  

The coat is available in six different sizes, from XS to XXL, making it suitable for every type of pooch, from teacup terriers to Great Danes.

Kurgo Dog Core Cooling Vest 

  • Kurgo Dog Core Cooling Vest, from £37.06 at Amazon – buy here 

The lightweight nylon shell and a close-knit mesh technical fabric make up this Cooling Vest by Kurgo, which gives it a premium vibe and ensures your best furry friend stays cool when temperatures soar. 

It reflects sunlight and after being soaked in water, the cooling and evaporating properties kick in for three to five hours. 

It comes in four sizes and it’s straightforward to fit with adjustable straps to help secure it in place. A two-way zipper at the top is a neat touch that allows you to pop a lead on for walks in the sunshine. 

It’s pricier than other models in our edit, but online reviewers are impressed with its performance, with one saying: ‘The shape, the freedom of movement with the design, the clips rather than velcro all make this a brilliant cool coat.’

Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Dog Cooling Vest

  • Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Dog Cooling Vest, £89.95 – buy here 

It might not be the cheapest on our list, but this high-quality graphite vest is first class at keeping dogs cool in the heat. 

Designed with a clever three-layered cooling construction, its UPF 50+ outer layer reflects heat and facilitates evaporation, an absorbent middle layer stores water for evaporation, while its mesh lining keeps your dog dry and comfortable. 

To activate its cooling properties and pull heat from your dog, you simply need to soak it in water, wring it out and pop it on them. 

A high-spec vest that’s designed for outdoor adventures when the weather sizzles, it’s secured on the side with buckles and can be worn over a harness. It comes in six sizes, which covers every shape and size of pooch. 

Ruffwear Jet Stream Cooling Vest

  • Ruffwear Jet Stream Cooling Vest, £69.95 – buy here 

When it comes to keeping dogs cool and ready for action, Ruffwear has got it down. This Jet Stream Cooling Vest is similar to its sibling, the Swamp Cooler, featured above, but is lighter, sleeker and slightly cheaper.

Despite its lower price point, it’s still a fair investment for a dog vest, and it has decent technical abilities to show for its price tag, including a three-layer evaporative cooling chest panel, which does all of the cooling work, and a stretchy spandex back with a side zip closure. 

Like the Swamp Cooler, it needs to be soaked in water to work and it’s effective for at least six hours. 

A best-selling product with glowing reviews, if performance is key to you, you can’t go far wrong with this trail-tested vest. 

Hurrta Dog Cooling Vest 

  • Hurrta Dog Cooling Vest, from £27 at Pets At Home – buy here 

Made by Finnish brand Hurrta, which originated on a commitment to making products to keep dogs warm, this great Cooling Vest proves the brand is just as effective in a heat wave as in a snowstorm. 

Made from a breathable, lightweight mesh fabric that is soaked in water, wrung out then worn, the vest is designed specifically to protect the heart and chest region, which is vital for circulation. 

The zipped back makes it easy to pop on your pooch and it has double the absorption of a cloth coat. It has four sizes, from S to XL, and its slightly shorter length make it less restrictive for bouncy dogs than other bulkier designs. 

Dogsnug Dog Cooling Coat

  • Dogsnug Dog Cooling Coat, £49 from Dogsnug – buy here 

Panting pooches with a penchant for fashion won’t be able to get enough of this Dogsnug Dog Cooling Coat, which is available in four sizes and a range of colourways, including neon pink, turquoise and yellow. 

Made from a special water-absorbent material that cools your dog down and prevents it from overheating during hot summer days, this well-made jacket has garnered a number of positive reviews for its heat-zapping qualities and stylish look.

To use the coat, simply dip it in water, wring it out and you’re all set. Adjustable velcro straps hold the coat and chest panel together around your dog and while it is ever so slightly more fiddly to use than others, its chic finish makes up for it. 

Petface Cooling Summer Dog Coat

  • Petface Cooling Summer Dog Coat, from £11 at Amazon – buy here 

While the design of this Petface Cooling Coat is fairly fuss-free, it’s an inexpensive option and shoppers say it does a good job of keeping dogs cool on hot days. 

Made from a lightweight material that can be soaked in water, this budget option wraps around your dog using two velcro straps and it comes in five sizes that are calculated from the length of your dog’s back, ranging from 30cm to 50cm. 

Reviewers love its great value price tag and cooling impact, with one saying: "This kept our Cavapoo cool all day long and is the most awesome pet product you will buy. It's so simple but so effective."

Cool Club Elastofit Ice Dog Vest 

  • Cool Club Elastofit Ice Dog Vest, from £13 at Pets At Home – buy now 

The evaporative cooling power of this vest will last for around six hours after it’s been dunked in water, which is very good going when pitted against its competition. 

The vest’s clever elastofit technology is also impressive as it expands up to 33 per cent to fit your dog’s shape, and it comes in a rather wide spectrum of eight sizes, so rest assured it’ll fit your pooch well, however big or small they are.

A light and easy-to-use vest, the straps wrap around your dog’s chest and user reviews say it’s comfy and uncomplicated to put on. 

Easidri Cooling Coat 

  • Easidri Cooling Coat, £32.99 from Easi Dri – buy here 

The super absorbent, robust and machine washable material used to make the Easidri Cooling Coat is what gives it an edge. With a unique cell structure, it slowly releases moisture, cooling your pooch for hours at a time. 

A tough option for dogs who like to chew, it’s supplied in a handy storage case, so it’s great for dogs always on the go – simply take it with you in the car, douse it in water before walkies and you’re away. You can also top it up while you’re out with bottled water if needed, although the makers say it should be effective for at least a few hours. 

It comes in seven sizes and the fit can be fine-tuned with the coat’s adjustable velcro straps. But be quick, as there's only a few sizes left in stock right now.

Rukka Cooling Vest 

  • Rukka Cooling Vest, £25 from Sprockies – buy here 

Submerge this lightweight vest in water and your pooch will be good to go for a hike in minutes.

With excellent absorption, the vest efficiently cools your dog’s chest and belly area, which slowly spreads to the whole body. It comes in five sizes and is secured and adjusted with a simple strap at the side. 

A great lightweight design, this vest offers great freedom of movement and is the perfect feathery option for dogs who like to run and aren’t keen on jackets that hold them back.

Animate Navy Cooling Dog Coat & Bag

  • Animate Navy Cooling Dog Coat & Bag, 16in, £23 from Amazon – buy here

Like many of the other vests, this number from Animate simply has to be dunked in water and wrung out before it's ready for walkies. The adjustable 16in coat is medium-sized, and comes with an accompanying sealable bag that allows it to retain moisture.

It's also antibacterial and antimicrobial, and as an added bonus, can be washed on your machine's wool setting.

Tineer Pet Cooling Harness

  • Tineer Pet Cooling Harness, from £16.89 at Amazon – buy here

Available in seven sizes (S to XXXL) this cooling vest has a three-layer construction.

Its outer layer is made from a reflective silver mesh that deflects heat away from your dog, while the middle layer stores cold water and the inner keeps your dog cooled for hours.

It's a great price for a nifty piece of kit – ideal if you're on a budget, and are saving up for those getaways in the sun.

Do dog cooling vests really work?

The efficacy of cooling vests has been explored by studies. Researchers at the Univerity of Florida had seven working dogs do an intense 10-minute exercise session three times — once without any heat protection, once while wearing a protective kevlar vest, and once while wearing a cooling vest.

The study found that the cooling vest did indeed help some of the dogs recover to a baseline temperature faster.

Some other studies have found mixed results — however, there is a wealth of anecdotal evidence, with many dog owners reporting that buying one of the best dog cooling vests had brought their pooches respite in the warmer months.

Where to buy dog cooling vests

You can buy a vest either in-store or online. High street pet and outdoor specialists such as Pets At Home and Blacks stock a variety of cooling vests, as do online retailers like Amazon.

Are dog cooling vests safe?

The vests themselves are completely safe — providing they fit your dog well — but vets have pointed out that an over-reliance on them can be dangerous.

Used by themselves, vests are not a satisfactory cure for heatstroke, and it is not cool (or responsible) to leave a dog in a hot car without the windows down just because they are wearing a cooling vest.

How much are dog cooling vests

Like with all things, cooling vests can be cheap or expensive, and the ones with the higher price tags are likely to be of a higher quality.

Vests for bigger dogs are likely to be more expensive, but prices start from around £10 for some on Amazon, and rise to nearly £100 for high-quality models from trusty brands, like Ruffwear.

What is the best cooling coat for dogs?

Due to its sophisticated evaporative cooling effect, it's generally agreed among specialist pet websites that Ruffwear makes the best dog cooling vests, with a number of owners and experts impressed specifically by the Swamp Cooler model.

However, quality comes at a price, with the Swamp Cooler costing a whisper under £90.

Things to look for in a dog cooling vest

Depending on your needs, there are a number of boxes to tick when it comes to investing in the most reliable, affordable and handy dog cooling vest for your canine companion.

Firstly, it may be worth looking for a vest that is adjustable, as well as easy to pop on if your dog is likely to grow – or troublesome at sitting still! It could be handy to consider a vest that allows for space to attach a lead or collar, too.

A wipedown, water-resistant or machine-washable vest may also be handy if your pooch is partial to sand, mud or rolling around in the dirt (or indeed, dog dirt…).

Additionally, a travel-friendly dog cooling vest that is lightweight and compact will be a godsend when it comes to trips, hikes and long walks in the unpredictable British weather (you'll be thankful for being able to chuck it in your backpack when the heavens open!).

Last but not least, its style! If you're a fashionista, or simply think your pooch looks adorable in mustard yellow, sea blue or rainbow colours, you'll want to consider the colourway of your dog cooling vest. Why should our pooches miss out on all the fun?

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