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Beat the Heat with Our 5 Best Dog Cooling Vests (TESTED!)

If you live somewhere with hot summers, your furry best friend may struggle to adapt to the heat. Thankfully, a good cooling vest can help keep their temperature regulated outside during the sweltering summer months — making sure they stay comfy and ensuring you don’t have to get up early to walk Fido before the sun is up every day. 

Dog cooling vests are specifically designed with layers of conductive fabric to help wick away moisture in the heat and humidity. The best ones offer exceptional cooling capacity, which keeps your dog’s temperature at healthy levels to prevent heatstroke and exhaustion. 

Still, it can be tricky to find the right vest for your climate and your pup. That’s why we sorted through dozens of options, so you don’t have to. Take a look at our top 5 below — plus another 4 honorable mentions!

Our Top Picks

  Product Details    
Best-Overall-Ruffwear-Swamp-Cooler-Evaporative-Cooling-Vest Best Overall: Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Evaporative Cooling Vest The Ruffwear knocked it out of the park: easily adjustable, a wide range of sizes, powerful and long-lasting cooling capabilities, and an easy buckle mechanism? We hardly need another reason to buy it, but Ruffwear gave us one—the vest is machine washable. Check Price
Runner-Up-SGODA-Dog-Cooling-Vest-Harness Runner-Up: SGODA Dog Cooling Vest Harness The SGODA comes with exceptional cooling power wrapped up in a sleek, modern design and user-friendly construction, and enough sizing options to suit nearly every dog owner. Check Price
Best-Value-DOGZSTUFF-Dog-Cooling-Vest Best Value: DOGZSTUFF Dog Cooling Vest If you’re on a budget, the microfiber Dogzstuff Cooling Vest is a great option. For the affordable price point, you get nearly every feature of the high-end brands: a UV-blocking design, lots of adjustable capability, and a short but intense cooling capacity. Check Price
Best-for-Small-Dogs-Hurtta-Cooling-Vest Best For Small Dogs: Hurtta Cooling Vest Hurtta pulled out all the stops when making this sleek and effective cooling vest. Sized best for smaller breeds but adjustable enough for medium and some larger dogs, this vest concentrates all its cooling power around your dog’s heart and chest. It’s comfortable, absorbs enough water to last for hours, looks great, and has lots of user-friendly features.  Check Price
Best-for-Larger-Breeds-Canada-Pooch-Chill-Seeker-Dog-Vest Best For Larger Breeds: Canada Pooch Chill Seeker Dog Vest If you’re looking for a fun and effective cooling vest for your dog, look no further: the Canada Pooch Chill Seeker comes in a huge range of sizes with lots of adjustment options, cools effectively, and comes in fun colors and patterns, too. Check Price

How We Chose the Best Cooling Vests

Best dog cooling vest
Cooling vests keep dogs cool during the Summer months.

We began with dozens of cooling vests, collected from many different retailers, from Ruffwear to Kurgo, to find the most effective cooling vests for your pup. From that lineup, we picked 9 to fully review. 

In our review, we ranked our picks based on how effectively they cool your dog, how long the cooling effect lasts, how well they function with your dog’s leash for control, and how many sizing options the brand offers. We also factored in comfort, fur-health, and visibility when making our decisions. 

Check out our top 5 below — plus 4 honorable mentions!

Best Dog Cooling Vests Ranked

1. Best Overall: Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Evaporative Cooling Vest

Product Ratings


Material: Nylon | Brand: Ruffwear | Features: Snap Buckle, Reflective | Dogs: Small to Large Breeds 

What We Liked

  • Very comfortable
  • Appropriate for both humid and dry climates
  • Machine washable
  • Easy buckle mechanism
  • Compatible with most harnesses and leashes

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not the best choice for big dogs

Our overall favorite cooling vest comes from Ruffwear, which is notable for its durable and high-quality dog supplies. We loved that this vest provides a powerful cooling effect while also protecting your dog from the sun, prolonging the length of time the vest can cool your pet. 

This evaporative cooling vest is extra-effective because of its three-layer design. The outermost layer provides UV protection, reflecting light and heat so that your pup doesn’t get too warm from the sun. 

The inner layer soaks up water, providing an evaporative cooling effect, and the inner mesh layer helps keep your dog’s fur from getting soaked, which helps prevent skin diseases and provides dry comfort. 

The vest’s easy-buckle system makes it a cinch to put on and take off, has a leash attachment compatible with most connections and harnesses, and has reflective trimming for low-light settings. It’s even machine washable! 


2. Runner-Up: SGODA Dog Cooling Vest Harness

Product Ratings


Material: Nylon and Polyester | Brand: SGODA | Features: Reflective | Dogs: Small to Large Breeds 

What We Liked

  • Powerful cooling effect
  • Comfortable fit
  • Easy to adjust
  • Great for active dogs
  • Easy to get on and off

What We Didn’t Like

  • Limited sizing isn’t the best for very small or very large dogs.

This stylish cooling vest is a great choice for those looking for a chic and high-performance cooling vest for their pet. It offers maximum coverage for protection against UV rays and heat from the sun in dry climates, and the soft, light material is comfortable enough even for the most humid summers.

The gray color prevents the vest from heating up in the sun, while reflective neon stripes around the neck and legs provide a great boost to nighttime visibility. The vest is user-friendly and easy to get on and off, and the sturdy leash-attachment is a breeze to use. 


3. Best Value: DOGZSTUFF Dog Cooling Vest

Product Ratings


Material: Polyester | Brand: Dogzstuff | Features: Satisfaction guarantee | Dogs: Small to Large Breeds 

What We Liked

  • Full-coverage UV protection
  • Very adjustable and wide sizing range
  • Affordable
  • Money-back guarantee

What We Didn’t Like

  • Cooling effect doesn’t last as long as other vests
  • No leash connection (although it is compact enough to fit a harness or collar over the top)

Our winner for “Best Value” is this affordable microfiber vest from Dogzstuff. This lightweight vest features robust construction and comes in a variety of sizing options, and it’s easy to get on and off, too. 

While it does not feature the multi-layered design of other, more expensive, vests in our lineup,is is made for full coverage, which does offer a reasonable degree of UV50+ -protection. 

While the single-layer design does mean that the cooling effect of this vest is not as long-lasting as others, it cools very effectively while in use. Additionally, the fabric is soft and the strap design is easy to adjust – making this a very comfortable option for dogs of almost all breeds. 

This vest clocks in at a very affordable price point for most owners, and even better, the manufacturer provides a money-back guarantee if you are dissatisfied with your purchase for any reason!


4. Best for Small Dogs: Hurtta Cooling Vest

Product Ratings


Material: Terry | Brand: Hurtta | Features: Zip-up | Dogs: Small to Medium Breeds 

What We Liked

  • Stylish modern design
  • Extra-absorbent terry material
  • Powerful cooling properties focused on chest and heart 
  • Convenient leash connection
  • Long-lasting cooling effects

What We Didn’t Like

  • Sizing runs small; not suitable for large breeds

This compact and eye-catching dog vest is a great choice for those with small-to-medium dogs.

Hurtta is known for their attention to detail and canine health, and this vest shows their commitment to quality. Its design concentrates the cooling effect around the heart and chest, fending off heat stroke and other health complications even in the hottest weather. 

The vest is constructed of terrycloth that provides twice the absorption capacity of other fabrics, so this vest is a top pick for longer adventures on hot days. The leash-loop makes it easy to keep control of your dog. As this vest does tend to run small, please be sure to follow the manufacturer sizing guidelines carefully. 


5. Best for Larger Breeds: Canada Pooch Chill Seeker Dog Vest

Product Ratings


Material: Nylon | Brand: Canada Pooch | Features: Snap Buckle | Dogs: Small to Large Breeds 

What We Liked

  • Large sizing range
  • Quick-release buckle closure
  • Fun color options (we especially loved the tie-dye option)
  • Full coverage
  • Easy to adjust

What We Didn’t Like

  • Sizing runs large
  • Not suitable for smaller dogs

This funky vest is a great choice for anyone with medium-to-large dogs, and clocks in at a very affordable price point. (Owning a big dog is expensive enough, no?) Constructed of multiple layers of breathable nylon mesh, this vest has a very high water capacity, perfect evaporating enough water to suit larger dogs and longer walks. 

The layer design also allows water to circulate up and down through the fabric, slowing down the evaporatio. The construction is sturdy, and the snap buckles are easy to put on and take off of your dog. 

To top it all off, it comes in fun color options – including tie-dye and shimmery rainbow!


Comparison Chart

ProductsBest OverallRunner-Up Best ValueBest for Smaller BreedsBest for Larger Breeds
Overall Rating4.75/54.5/54.25/54.75/54.5/5

The Winner

Our clear favorite was the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Vest. It offers incredible staying power, strong and versatile enough cooling for both dry and humid climates, has a durable leash connection, adjusts to fit the widest range of breed sizes, and it’s machine washable to boot!

How to Choose the Best Cooling Vest

French Bulldog wearing a cooling vest outdoors
Choosing the right cooling vest will help keep your dog cool under specific conditions and on the parts of their body that need it most.

Consider Heat Sources

Do you live in a place with very humid summers? Or perhaps the air is very dry and the sunlight is intense? Depending on the weather, your dog can overheat much more quickly than you would expect, leading to heatstroke and other complications. 

A good dog cooling vest provides two types of heat protection: evaporative cooling, in which you soak the vest in water, and the water cools your dog as it evaporates, and reflective cooling, by keeping enough of the sun’s rays off of your dog’s fur that they don’t get so hot. 

Always monitor your dog for signs of heatstroke when out for a walk. Not sure what to look for? Check out this article on How to Keep a Dog Cool in Hot Weather


However, the vest must also be designed so that your dog’s fur isn’t constantly wet – this can lead to chafing, blisters, and even certain skin diseases! Good construction is essential.  

The best vests have a sturdy inner layer, which keeps the vest breathable and lifts the waterlogged layer away from your dog’s fur, a second, spongy later to absorb water and provide evaporative cooling, and an outer layer which allows the water to evaporate into the air at a sustainable rate while also reflecting UV radiation and heat from the sun. 

Sizing Your Dog

Unlike harnesses and life vests, cooling vests don’t have a single standard design, and some designs will work much better for some breeds than others. 

Consider how active your dog is, as well as their size and length of torso. When considering your vest options, be sure to carefully measure and review the manufacturer sizing guidelines, to ensure you get the most effective and comfortable fit for your canine.

Honorable Mentions

Here’s a brief look at the 4 options that didn’t make our list.

1. CoolerDog Dog Cooling Vest – Considered for Best Overall

The CoolerDog vest is a sturdy and reliable option that provides excellent cooling and staying power. The neoprene construction is comfortable and it even features ice packs to help regulate body temperature, making it a great option as a training vest. 

However, its smaller surface area and single-layer construction means it only provides cooling effect for around half an hour, making the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Vest a much better choice if you’re going to be out and about for a while. 

2. Kurgo Dog Core Cooling Vest – Considered for Best Overall

This featherlight vest features two layers for prolonged cooling power and comes in reflective colors to fend off UV radiation. It’s highly absorbent and features a lifetime warranty – it was a strong contender for best-overall, but ultimately the three-layer design of the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Vest provided longer-lasting cooling power. 

3. SELMAI Dog Swamp Cooler Vest – Considered for Smaller Breeds

This cooling shirt provides a lovely evaporative cooling option for smaller or older dogs. It’s machine washable and very affordable – but it’s just not as durable or versatile as the Dogzstuff Cooling Vest

4. SGODA Dog Cooling Vest Harness – Considered for Larger Breeds

This highly-visible vest comes with a three-layer cooling system and lots of room for adjustment in sizing and an easy-to-use buckle. The cotton can trap water, however, and we found the Canada Pooch Cooling Vest to have slightly more sizing and color options. 

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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