Dog cooling vests are nothing new, but they tend to run on the pricey side of the things. But with Amazon, suddenly it’s easier to find more affordable Chinese versions of products. This is great if it’s an item that you don’t know you’ll use a whole lot or if you want to see if it’s actually effective before sinking serious coin into a product that may not be all that effective.
So it was that we thought we’d try out the SGODA Dog Cooling vest, readily available on Amazon for about half the price of a name brand product.
You see, Chase the dog is a border collie rescue. That means he’s hairy with his double coat and, despite his every desire to get out and run like a maniac every day, he struggles when it gets really hot. In the hot, arid western climate, at least, many homes still use swamp coolers, where evaporative cooling is still extremely effective.
When you see dogs out on the trail, you often times see people try to cool their dogs by pouring water over their backs. While this is better than nothing, the better places to pour water is going to be over the chest, belly, and neck. So when selecting a cooling vest, many of the more affordable options have little to no coverage over the belly or chest and only cover the top of the back. While this will, for sure help with radiant heat from sunlight, this would still limit the effectiveness of the vest itself.
So a few of the features we found appealing about the SGODA, aside from the decent coverage, was it’s lighter color to help reflect sun off the dogs back. It features two zippers to allow for modest fluctuations in weight. Finally, it has a set of aluminum eyes that can be used either with a simple d-ring or leash to help ensure the vest doesn’t come off during use.
So, what do we like and not like about the vest after a summer of regular use? First, it really does work. After a long ride, we’ll remove the vest and Chase’s skin will be cool to the touch where the vest was. But the absolute proof is in the behavior of the dog. Without the vest, even if the temperatures were only in the mid
While the light color did indeed help reflect radiant heat, it does look really disgusting after even a short trail run. The water attracts dust and the dust sticks to the vest. This could be good or bad depending on how you look at it. Bad because it looks gross. Good because you are more inclined to wash the vest more frequently.
Keep it recharged
Before use, we usually soak the vest then stick it into a cooler while we drive to the trailhead. This saturates the vest and ensures it’s icy cold when we first put it on. However, depending on how hot or dry the day is, the vest will dry out. It’s important to stay mindful this and routinely recharge the vest by pouring more water onto it as it dries. The nice thing is that you only have to pour water over the dogs back as the wicking nature of the vest will draw water down around his chest and stomach rather than just roll off onto the ground.
Is It Worth It?
Yes, yes it is. Over the course of an entire summer of use, it’s held up extremely well in our application. Of course,