Best Dog Cooling Vest – My Review

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Last year I reviewed the first dog cooling jacket I had ever come across: the Kaka Mall Cooling Jacket by Amazon. At the time I ranked this item quite high in my estimation, as I truly believed it was a very good dog cooling vest. Yet recently I have had to revisit my review based on my experience. I still believe this product is one of the best dog cooling vests available on the market, but I could not verify it directly.

What prevented me from checking in person on my Indy was the fact that whenever I tried to order this bod cooling vest for dogs, the item was always unavailable in the medium size. I don’t necessarily blame Amazon for stock shortage, but I believe the manufacturers Kaka aim primarily to small sizes, as the vest was always available to order in the smaller sizes but never in the size suitable for my Indy.

This has prompted me to look for alternatives, and to my amazement, there are plenty of other options. So, lo and behold, after much searching and scrutinizing, I found the best dog cooling vest: the Ruffwear Lightweight Cooling Vest for Dogs.

Name:       Ruffwear Lightweight Cooling Vest For Dogs

Ruffwear Lightweight Cooling Vest for Dogs
Ruffwear Lightweight Cooling Vest for Dogs

Best Buy: Amazon

Price:       approx. £35-45 depending on size

Amazon average rating: 5 out of 5

My rating: 4.9 out of 5



It’s Hot. Cover Your Dog.

I am sorry, but Border Terriers do feel the heat. Dogs do feel the heat.

Agreed, the hot weather may not stop more juvenile dogs from frolicking around and enjoying longer walks. They are younger and have more energy to burn.

So do human children. Yet, how many times are we parents reminded to ensure that our children are kept cool at all times. We must ensure they wear high sun protecting lotions, they wear light or no garments, and that their head is covered at all times.

For dogs, it’s the same. Whilst some younger dogs may enjoy the fun of outdoor life brought in by warmer weather, this does not mean that we should not do our utmost to try to keep their temperature down.

Last year I wrote a list of 5 top tips to help your Border Terrier cope with hot weather. Have a read to find out how really it doesn’t take too much effort in ensuring your dog does not pay ill consequences from spending too long in the sun.

Regardless of whether your dog is long coated or not, what we cannot do with dogs is to take their natural garments off.

Too Hot To Bother With Anything
Too Hot To Bother With Anything

With Borders, as well as with longer coated dogs, we can certainly ensure that their coat is hand stripped at the beginning of the warmer season.

But here I am asking you to actually get your dog to wear an extra layer instead of getting rid of layers!


The reason is simple. Cooling jackets for dogs are made in such a way that they help keep your dog’s body cool whilst reacting with water.


What’s So Special About This Cooling Vest

What makes Ruffwear Lightweight Cooling Vest For Dogs so special is how it’s made.

The upper part of the vest is made of spandex, which provides shades to your dog’s back.

Spandex is widely employed in activity wear

Now, if you google for ‘Spandex’, you will find this is a synthetic expandable material which is often employed in sporting gear and outdoor active-wear. The benefits of spandex is that it adheres to your body nicely but not too tightly, just like rubber. However it is lighter, silkier at the touch and, mostly, more durable than natural rubber. In other words it retains its elastic properties for longer than natural rubber.

If you worry about having to push this vest through your dog’s head trying to expand the material, fear not. The Ruffwear Lightweight Cooling Vest For Dogs is provided with a zip, which makes the job of dressing your dog much easier. Nothing different from putting a harness on your dog.

This is for the upper body. But how about the bottom part of this vest?

This is where your dog is gonna get the cooling action. Because the bottom part of this vest, which covers your dog’s belly, so to speak, is made of a three-layer mesh material, which helps your dog keep cool by allowing evaporation action.


How Does It Work

All the above said, what you have to do before putting the vest on your dog is to soak or wet the vet in cold water and wring it out. The vest will keep your dog nice and cool, whilst however allowing the water to evaporate rather than stagnate on your dog’s body.



Colour Availability

The vest comes in two colours only, blue lagoon and salamander orange. From Amazon’s description, it is not clear whether the two colours are fluorescent, hence whether they make your dog more visible during the night.

This is possibly the only fault I can think of in this product – something that, in fact, I might suggest to the manufacturers. Yet, it is something that does not seem to have bothered the people who left reviews on Amazon.

Size Availability

Where some may twitch their nose at the lack of more variety in colour, Ruffwear have redeemed themselves by being generous in size availability.

Ruffwear Lightweight Cooling Vest Sizes
Ruffwear Cooling Vest comes in a range of different sizes

This vest comes in 5 sizes, ranging from XXS to a generous XL, hence making it suitable for toy breeds as much as for bigger breeds.

Ruffwear gives handy guidelines as to how to decide which one is the best size for your dog, by measuring his or her chest at the largest point. However they advise to go for an upper size when you believe your dog is in between sizes, so as to ensure her or his body are covered to the most.

It is apparent, from their suggestion, that the more the vest covers your dog, the cooler it will keep her or him.


The Ruffwear Lightweight Cooling Vest for Dogs can be machine washed in cold water with mild detergent and air dried. It is advisable not to tumble dry the vest. But due to its lightweight property, it should air dry easily.


Over £30, Is It Expensive?

When compared with the Kaka jacket I previously reviewed, you may be thinking that this vest is slightly dearer, and possibly for no apparent reason.

However you want to look at the actual range of dog apparel available by Ruffwear to get an idea of the good reputation of this manufacturers.

Again, if you google for this company, you will find they have their own UK as well as USA website, but have decided to make their merchandise available onto the Amazon platform, which will sell dog outdoor gear at a slightly cheaper rate, or will offer free delivery where possible.

Ruffwear Cooling Vest can be delivered for FREE

Ruffwear, you will find, specialises in outdoor wear and gear for your dog, using tried and tested materials by humans to make the outdoor pursuit experience comfortable and safe for our dogs too. In such a way, they enable both us and our dogs to make the most of outdoor experiences, hence allowing us to bond with our dogs even more.

Now, does that mean that by paying a little bit extra for the Ruffwear Lightweight Cooling Vest for Dogs we pay for the brand?

No, not really. But the extra we pay is for the higher quality of the actual vest – a vest which will pass the test of time and which will ensure to do what it says on the ‘tin’, i.e. that will truly keep your dog cool.


My Verdict

As with my previous review of the Kaka Cooling Jacket, my aim here is to actually purchase this vest for my Indy – hopefully this time I shall manage.

And of course, as I do so, I shall post pictures and an update review to tell you whether I can stand by my current rating of 4.9 out 5.

Leave Your Comment!

The onset seems to be promising, by the reviews left by Amazon customers as well as from the actual description found on Amazon.

Maybe you can help in the meantime, if you have already purchased such vest for your dog, or any other cooling vest. I’d like to hear from you. Leave your comment below, to tell me what you think of the whole idea of cooling vest (this will be Indy’s first cooling vest), and indeed of this brand.

I look forward to your comments, and will respond to each of you as soon as I possibly can.

Name:       Ruffwear Lightweight Cooling Vest For Dogs

Best Buy: Amazon

Price:       approx. £36-38 depending on size

Amazon average rating: 5 out of 5

My rating: 4.9 out of 5



Update 23th June 2018

So yes, Indy has finally received his Ruffwear Lightweight Cooling Vest for Dogs!!!  Just in time for his 14th birthday next week ?

Now, before I post some pictures, let me offer you a word of warning regarding the sizing.

Where Ruffwear advises to go for the upper size if you believe your dog to be in between sizes, I beg to differ.

As with any other dog apparel, Indy was indeed in between a small and a medium.  I ordered a medium, but it was far too big on Indy.  The actual body of the vest was alright, although on a generous side.  But the actual sleeve cuts through which you put his legs were far too wide.

There is also another aspect of ordering Indy a size too big.  If your dog is as fussy and … sensitive about his delicate undercarriage as my Indy, he will appreciate where my Indy is coming from.

As soon as I put the vest on Indy, he just did not like it.  He kept sitting down and not move, whilst trying to grab it off of him from his chest.  That was not promising at all.  It was only when I got him the smaller size that I realised: the bigger size was going to cover his very precious undercarriage – something that Indy does not approve of at all ?

I returned the vest and got promptly refunded by Amazon, whilst ordering the Small.  And well, you be the judge of it.  What do you think, good or good?

I shall endeavour to post more picture as soon as the weather here in UK is hot enough to grant our Indy to model the vest outside.

In the meantime, by all means do drop me a line in the Comment box or by email to if you have any question about this product.





  1. // Reply

    It’s funny how we think there isn’t something else available out there, to find after looking there actually is. I agree about dogs feeling the heat just as we do, and need comfortable protection.

    The cooling vest does sound like it’s good quality, and having the fabric layers and evaporation action is great. The price is quite good along with being able to machine wash it.

    Thank you for the review, it was quite informative!

    1. // Reply

      I am glad you liked my review, Patsy. Have you got a dog? It would be interesting to find out whether you like it or not, after trying it out on your dog. As far as I am concerned, I have placed my order. I should, hopefully, be able to feed back on this new vest pretty soon.
      Hope to hear from you soon 🙂

  2. // Reply

    Oh this is so great! My dog loves to go for walks with me, but he has a short nose, and short nosed dogs get hot easy. He loves the walk for the first 10 minutes or so, and then he is hot, and then he starts panting and I feel sorry for him. So I end up cutting the walk short, or not taking him. This would be a great solution right?

    1. // Reply

      I think so, Leahraa. I have put an order through for my Indy, and will be able to ‘review’ my review soonest, I hope. But yes, I know the feeling. Although it’s good to see your dog pant, as they say it’s your dog’s way to keep cool and not to sweat, it is heart breaking when you start realising that they really struggle when it gets to hot for our hounds. And then I too end up not taking my Indy with me, as I don’t want the heat to be too over-bearing on him. But then, it goes to defeat the object of having a hound and being able to take him or her with you on trips and days out!
      I am looking forward to receiving this vest, and I am really hoping it will make Indy’s life easier in the warmer days. In the meantime, thank you ever so much for stopping by, Leahrae, and I hope to hear from you soon again 🙂

  3. // Reply

    Hi, I have never heard of a cooling vest for dogs.
    This seems to be a great idea though. I live in Thailand and dogs often have a really hard time because of the heat.
    My wife surely will like your article about the cooling vest for her chihuahua.

    1. // Reply

      Oh yes Stefan, do point your wife in the direction of my review, if you will. If your chihuahua feels the hot weather as badly as my Indy, I take your dog will struggle in the humid head of sunny Thailand. But I strongly believe a cooling vest is going to be the right solution for your fur baby, especially as it comes in extra small sizes as well.
      I hope you will come back to tell me whether your wife is going to purchase this cooling vest and whether it will have helped your dog. Thank you for now 🙂

  4. // Reply

    This is such a great idea, a cooling vest for a dog. I honestly didn’t know these existed, but have been looking for ways to help keep our dog cooler on our walks. See, we live in the desert and it’s starting to heat up. Our dog is getting old and we are trying to find ways to make her more comfortable. I think this is just the thing we need. It totally makes sense, I have worn a wet shirt before to cool myself off.

    1. // Reply

      Well yes, absolutely! That’s what I often say, Steve. If it works for humans, surely it must – 90% of the times – work for dogs too. In the next few weeks I should hopefully put this vest to the test on Indy, and review even more positively my article. I like to try what I write about, if I can. And surely, even if where we are, in UK, I am sure it’s never going to be as hot as where you live, my Indy still gets literally overwhelmed by hot temperatures.
      Thank you ever so much for your input, Steve, and I hope you will come back to tell us whether you purchased this cooling vest for your dog and whether she liked it 🙂

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