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Cool Coat/Vest

Discussion in 'Clothing, Leashes & Collars' started by Jess041, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. Jess041

    Jess041 Forums Enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2012
    Houston, Texas
    Looking for advice/opinions on cool coats/vests and recommendations from those who use them. We have always battled the heat during these hot, Texas Summers. We no longer practice flyball outdoors, so that's been a relief. But we still do agility outside. I've noticed this year Missy is really struggling with the heat. It doesn't take much for her to get hot and want to stop doing whatever we're doing agility related. She will decide she's done and run to her crate to get a drink. She does fine at the dog park or any other place where she has access to a pool to lay down in. We don't have one at agility class, so I'm looking into the possibility of cool coats or vest, or even a pad I can put in her crate.

    Do cooling coats have any benefit on double coated breeds like Shelties? I'm worried that putting a frozen coat or vest over her back would trap heat rather than help cool her off. I thought I remember an old thread saying if you wanted to cool your dog off with a hose, just hose off their belly instead of their back. Missy doesn't have a very "full" coat, but she still gets hot. I currently make sure she has a lot of cold (ice) water and I put a small fan on her.

    If anyone has any product recommendations, please post! Clean Run has cooling coats on sale 20-30% right now (Christmas in July!).
  2. corbinam

    corbinam Moderator

    Oct 14, 2008
    I've always been of this opinion. Maybe not that it makes them hotter, but I'm not sure how it could cool them down. Shelties have so much fur it isn't close enough to their body to be effective.
  3. JoonieB

    JoonieB Forums Regular

    Feb 10, 2014
    I have one for both of my Shelties made by Saratoga Horseworks. I usually wet the dogs down first and throw the coats on them which I keep in a cooler. The big advantage is that it keeps the sun from heating up their backs and drying their bodies. Keeps them very cool and comfortable at agility trials in the summer. Even if you keep them dry on the dog, they cut down on the amount of heat for sure....just like a sunscreen.
  4. Cara Sandler

    Cara Sandler Forums Enthusiast

    Jul 11, 2015
    I also struggle with keeping Spirit cool during her outdoor agility class (in Florida, humid AND hot). I've stayed away from cooling vests because I don't want her muscles to cool to the point that she gets injured (I'm probably being way over cautious here). But she does have a cooling pad for her crate, I wet her down, she has a fan, and access to unlimited cool water.
  5. take4roll10

    take4roll10 Moderator

    Aug 31, 2009
    New York
    I also have the horseworks cooling coat: http://www.horseworks.com/inc/sdetail/181

    I never use it dry. When I do use it, I always soak it in water. I do think it keeps my dog cool. I've felt her skin and fur under the coat and it feels much cooler than my own skin. When I crate my dog at agility trials, I'll wet the coat, put it on my dog and have a little fan blowing inside the crate. She feels so much cooler than if she wasn't wearing the coat.
  6. Emmasmom

    Emmasmom Forums Sage

    Apr 2, 2010
    If you are looking at getting a cooling pad, try this first. I did for my Hamish when he was really hot one time in the car coming home on a trip:

    get some ice cubes in a bag, wrap in a towel and let them lie on it.

    Hamish stopped fussing once I put the bag of ice cubes on the car seat for him to lie on.
  7. Jess041

    Jess041 Forums Enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2012
    Houston, Texas
    Now I'm having a hard time sizing her for a cool coat. She's 20" long in her back, and 22.5" inches around her chest. She has a very long back.. it makes things like coats difficult to buy!
  8. Jess041

    Jess041 Forums Enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2012
    Houston, Texas
    I got the Saratoga Horseworks coat. Clean Run has them on sale for 20% off. We haven't tried it yet, but will tomorrow. I also ended up getting a chilly mat so that might also help. And on top of that, our agility instructor allowed me to buy a baby pool and leave it at his house. I am very lucky to have a dog that knows how to cool off in the pool! She LOVES it. It's on the other side of the fence from where all the equipment is. When we're ready for a break, I walk her to the gate and she runs to the pool and jumps in. The last 3 weeks we've had 100+ degree weather during class. We're making sure we keep things short with long breaks in between.
  9. SKNerissa

    SKNerissa Forums Enthusiast

    Dec 3, 2013
    Kelowna, BC, Canada
    I use the Canine Equipment Ultimate Cooling Coat by RC Pet Products for my Sheltie. This year has been unusually hot in the Okanagan so I knew I had to do something for my Service Dog when my car's air conditioning went on the fritz.

    The cooling vest/jacket works great! It keeps my little one comfortable without leaving him soaking wet. This is important since I take him into restaurants, hospitals and all sorts of other places where a dripping wet dog would be severely frowned upon and probably (and justifiably) asked to leave. I also like the cooling jacket because I have better control over the cooling by adjusting the water temperature.

    The jacket stays cool for a couple hours on days with low humidity and temperatures between 34°c and 38°c (93°f - 100°f). Fortunately it's easy to recharge with tap or any source of clean water. I have been told that the cooling coats/vests that rely on evaporative cooling don't perform as well in humid climates.

    As for size, I was told by a vet that the length is less important than how it fits around the dog. Too tight and the air won't circulate enough to cause cooling and too loose won't keep the cool air in. The length is good even if it doesn't cover the whole back because most of the cooling takes place with these products around the neck and chest. So you want it to fit a slightly loose.

    I have heard many good things about the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Cooling Vest from friends accross the border and I prefer the sportier look. However the shipping to Canada was prohibitively expensive so I went with the RC product that is made here. I think they are fairly compareable. I'm not sure about the material Ruffwear uses but RC uses a PVA matierial that feels like cardboard when dry and neoprene when wet. It locks in the water well enough to prevent dripping while still being very effective at cooling. I think the Ruffwear one is a lighter colour which may also be helpful.
  10. Caro

    Caro Moderator

    Jan 14, 2009
    Canberra, Australia
    We always competed and trained in the summer heat so I pretty much tried it all. Once I had the right balance I can tell you my dogs suffered less than the others around us.

    Cool beds actually absorbed the dogs body heat and become hot. I'd find my dogs had both squeezed to the edge of the x-pen to avoid laying on it. Took me a while to realise it was actually getting hot really quickly. Much cooler to let them lay on bare earth. I gave mine away.

    Cool coats I actually think have a placebo effect on owners. The only logical way I can see them working is if they are quite cold and for a brief period drop the outer body temp. My dogs hated them. It may be different indoors, but outdoors they were much better off getting a breeze in the fur and having air circulate through the coat.

    I turned some microfiber towels into wraps secured with Velcro that I would soak in cold water and wrap around their bellies. This would still allow the air lift and circulate through the rest of the coat so they could cool themselves down naturally as well. The towel wraps were also easy to take off and store in the esky to keep it cool, and handy to take to training.

    Really though, the two best things you can do for a hot sheltie you're doing already, a fan and cool drinks,

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