A dog cooling collar is not just a clever or fun summer "toy"; it can actually be a lifesaving device, particularly in the hottest of weather and for dogs that are extremely active. Used properly, it can help to cool your dog's body and prevent heatstroke or heat exhaustion. As with any collar, the key is finding one that fits your dog comfortably and works effectively for his size and energy level.
Unlike humans, who naturally rid themselves of excess body heat by sweating, dogs possess only a few sweat glands in the pads of their feet. Rather than sweating, dogs will pant in order to try and cool themselves off when overheated. When panting is not enough to fully cool them, a cooling collar can help to get the job done and prevent serious problems.
Based on the principle of evaporation that the human body employs through sweating, a dog cooling collar contains a special layer of fabric that holds water and allows it to slowly evaporate over time. As the water in the collar evaporates, it takes the dog's body heat with it, literally cooling the dog from the inside out. Since the most important areas on a dog's body to keep cool are the chest and neck, you can see why a collar or cooling scarf would be most effective.
These collars can provide a vital service for any dog, but they are particularly effective for working breeds like the Australian Shepherd or for dogs that participate in agility exercises. The more time a dog spends being active, particularly outside in the sun, the more his internal body temperature rises and the more important it is to be able to cool him down and bring that body heat under control. (See also: Exercise Induced Collapse)
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Does your Aussie seem to be getting over-heated? A cooling collar might do the trick.
In most cases, a dog cooling collar will be made of extremely absorbent 100% cotton with a nylon outer layer that is rugged and durable. The cotton can hold up to 400 times its weight in water, which can provide enough constant evaporation to keep your dog cool all day long. And the natural fabric is non-toxic so that it won't be harmful to your dog should it be chewed on and it won't irritate your dog's sensitive skin.
There are two basic types: ones that use the direct evaporation method and those that use ice. The ice collars can be placed in the freezer and when worn by your dog, the natural heat from his body will cause the ice to melt and provide the necessary cooling. The evaporation collars are soaked in cool water and as the water evaporates, it works to cool your dog off naturally.
A dog cooling collar can be a great tool to keep your dog from overheating, but it should never take the place of other preventative measures. In hot weather, or whenever your dog is working outside for any length of time, you should always be sure he gets enough water to drink and spends plenty of time in the shade. And, as with any collar, you want to make sure that the cooling collar you use fits your dog properly so that his breathing is not restricted.
Getting out in the summer sun can be fun for you and your dog, but you need to be sure that you are taking the right precautions to keep your best friend from suffering heatstroke and heat exhaustion. Consider getting a cooling collar to keep your pet safe so that you can both enjoy all of your favorite activities no matter what the weather.