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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

A Dog Cooling Vest Can Help Your Australian Shepherd Beat The Heat

By Anton Hout, author of The Guide to Aussie Training & Care

A dog cooling vest can literally be a lifesaver when the weather heats up, especially if you've got an active dog like an Australian Shepherd. Dogs love to run and play and don't know enough to come in out of the heat when it gets to be too much. But with a lightweight, comfortable cooling vest you can breathe easier knowing that your dog is being protected from the effects of the sun.

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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.

Photo for Dog Cooling Vest Article featuring Australian Shepherd sweltering in the heat.

Grigorita Ko /, Photo Illustration: Anton Hout

Help your Aussie beat the heat with a cooling vest.

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)

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

A "rechargeable" dog cooling vest consists of a comfortable, easy to wear harness with an opening where you can place a cooling gel pack. These packs can be placed in the freezer for a couple of hours to maximize the cooling sensation. When attached to the vest, the gel pack helps to regulate your dog's body temperature for several hours at a time. When the pack warms up, you simply put it back in the freezer to "recharge" it.

A Dog Cooling Vest Is A Simple And Comfortable Solution

In both cases, these vests provide a simple and comfortable solution for even the most active dogs. They come in a variety of sizes to fit any breed and are easy to slip onto even the most stubborn dog. In fact, after using the vest a few times, your dog will probably appreciate the cooling effect so much that he looks forward to putting it on again!

There are a number of manufacturers who offer cooling vests in a range of styles and prices. While a dog cooling vest may seem expensive, when you consider just how much of a difference it can make for your dog, it's well worth the investment. Even if you are very careful to provide your dog with plenty of water and a shady spot to rest in, it may still be possible for your dog to suffer the effects of heatstroke. A cooling vest can prevent this from happening.

When you're buying your own summer weather supplies, don't forget to include your furry friend. Consider buying a dog cooling vest, especially if you'll be spending a lot of time outside with your pet, and you'll both feel better. Summer should be a time for fun and by helping your dog chill out, you can be sure to keep it that way!

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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

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