What Is The Best Dog Cooling Vest To Keep Your French Bulldog Safe On Hot Days?

French Bulldogs love to run, play and frolic even on the hottest of days.  However, you need to be careful with your Frenchie on those days when the temperatures are reaching their high points during the Summer.   

An overheated French bulldog can suffer from heat exhaustion, heat stroke or sudden death from cardiac arrhythmias so this is not something you want to dismiss.  

Fortunately, there are many different ways to keep your Frenchie cool even on the hottest of days.  One possible solution can be to fit your French bulldog with a cooling vest to keep him cool and comfortable.

In a hurry?  Here Are My Top Dog Cooling Vest Picks:  

1. Ruffwear – Swamp Cooler

2. RUFFWEAR – Jet Stream Vest

3.  SGODA Dog Cooling Vest Harness

4. Dog Cooling Vest. Lightweight Jacket

Alright, onto the information you came to learn!  

What Is A Dog Cooling Vest And How Can It Keep My French Bulldog Cool?

French bulldog on a hot day

Dog cooling vests also known as dog cooling coats are zip up vests that have cooling elements included in them that help keep your Frenchie cool.  The dog cooling vest has water in it and as the water from the vest evaporates, it takes the body heat your Frenchie is generating along with it. Adding water to the dog cooling vest keeps it from drying completely, which happens faster in dry climates the process of evaporative cooling

It is a simple way to keep your dog cool and it is very effective when used properly.  Evaporative cooling is the same effect that happens when you sweat on a hot day. Your dog can’t sweat so he needs help getting cool from you.  When you evaporate enough water through one of these cooling vests, it can transfer heat from your overheating dog to the air to help keep him cool.  

Hosing your dog down with cool water from the hose is certainly an option, but having a wet dog can be a messy proposition. Additionally, water doesn’t evaporate from fur very quickly so this can be a challenge transporting your Frenchie and more.  

The nice thing about cooling vests is that they are designed with modern materials that help speed up the rate of evaporation thus keeping your Frenchie cool. This evaporative cooling helps cool the air surrounding your Frenchie’s body.  This will help cool your Frenchie off and bring down his core body temperature. Out of all the different K9 dog vests some of the best models of them feature conductive layers. These added cooling layers help to further accelerate the evaporative process and remove even more heat from your Frenchie.

Where You Live Can Affect The Effectiveness Of Your Frenchie Cooling

I live in New Hampshire in the Northeast corner of the United States.  While our Summer temperatures aren’t as high as those in the Southwest they tend to be more humid.  Cooling vests work better in dry hot air, where evaporation occurs more quickly.  

Humid Summer air causes evaporation to happen at a slower rate.  French Bulldogs who chose to live in dry heat environments will likely see the highest benefit from these dog cooling vests. 

How To Use a Dog Cooling Vest

Using these K9 cooling vests are incredibly easy.  No plugging anything in, no batteries, no complicated machinery.  Simply pour cold water on the vest, wring it out and put it on your French Bulldog.

I recommend keeping an extra container of ice cold water with your in your vehicle so you can cool down the vest again if and when it heats up during your Frenchie outdoor play session in the sun.  Another insider tip is to put the cooling dog vest in the freezer ahead of leaving for your play date.  

7 Things To Look For In A Quality Dog Cooling Vest

If you are in the market for a quality dog vest then there are some important checklist items I would consider before you make your purchase.  I’d recommend grabbing the vest that fits your

Frenchie and has as many of the following 7 attributes as you can.  

  1. Proper Fit. I have seen different French Bulldogs enjoy wearing clothes while others not so much.  Ensuring proper fit for your Frenchie is a prime consideration. To make sure your Frenchie will rock his cool new vest you will want to measure him for fit and choose the proper size for him.  Be sure to read the Amazon sizing guidelines for any of the vest I recommend before purchasing. 

  2. Cooling duration.  On a hot Summer day you definitely want a vest that has lasting cooling power.  If it dries out in just a short period of time the vest will lose cooling capability quickly.  In an ideal setting a dog cooling vest should last for around 20 minutes. Of course it will depend on how humid or arid the environment you live in is but that is a good ballpark.

  3. Ability to reflect the sun.  Choosing a cooling vest that also has sun reflecting material built into its design is a great option to look for.  With some of the cooling vests there are multiple layers and the outer layer helps reflect the sun. This will help reflect some of the sun’s rays and amplify the cooling properties of the dog vest.   

  4. Light reflective strips. While you will be using the vest during the day in most instances having reflective strips on the cooling vest is a great way to help keep your Frenchie safe at night.  

  5. Look for a multiple layered cooling vest. A multi-layer dog cooling vest can have an outer layer to reflect heat and make evaporation easier.  They can also have a middle layer most likely made of cotton to absorbs and stores water. Finally, an inner mesh lining to keep your French bulldog dry and comfortable is perfect for that last layer. 

  6. A vest that doesn’t chafe your Frenchie.  When choosing a dog cooling vest you will want to look out for a vest that could potentially chafe your dog’s skin.  If you Frenchie’s hair gets wet from the cooling vest that is completely fine, but I’d recommend avoiding vests that allow your French Bulldog’s fur to become overly wet.

  7. Harness compatible.  A final consideration I would recommend is to look for a cooling vest that is designed to work with your harness, collar and leash. You may be bringing your Frenchie to a dog park on a hot Summer day to play but keeping him leashed when not in the park for his safety is a good idea. Look for one of the cooling vest designs that feature a leash clip, allowing you to use the vest as a harness.

My Top 4 Choices For Best Dog Cooling Vests

Below are my top recommendations for dog cooling vests and any of these will work well to keep your Frenchie cool and comfortable.  Each of these cooling vests will help keep your Frenchie cooler in the hot Summer months. I definitely recommend checking out the various features each cold vest has to make sure you select the one that will work best for your Frenchie.

1. Ruffwear – Swamp Cooler

Click Here To See This On Amazon

2. RUFFWEAR – Jet Stream Vest

Click Here To See This On Amazon

3.  SGODA Dog Cooling Vest Harness

Click Here To See This On Amazon

4. Dog Cooling Vest. Lightweight Jacket


Click Here To See This On Amazon

My Top Recommendation And The One I Got For Augie: Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Cooling Vest

There you have it my friend!  Any of these K-9 cooling vests will do the trick to keep your Frenchie calm, cool and collected during the sweltering heat of Summer.  With that said, my family and I went with the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler. This particular dog cooling vest had all the features we wanted to see and it had a phenomenal amount of great reviews from other dog owners who wanted to keep their four-legged friends cool.  

Other Ways To Keep Your French Bulldog Cool On The Hottest Of Summer Days

While these dog cooling vests certainly help to keep your French Bulldog at a safe temperature and more comfortable when the temperatures soar, but they don’t completely protect your four-legged companion from the blistering heat.

Here are some heat safety guidelines to keep in mind when the thermometer readings rise.

  • Be sure your Frenchie stays hydrated. Stop and give your French bulldog a chance to drink water every 15 to 30 minutes. Because water fountains can break, it is always wise to bring a water dish and water bottle along with you on your journeys.
  • Try to stay out of the direct sun. Although it isn’t always possible to stay in the shade, you should make every effort to do so while walking in the summer. Not only will the shade protect your dog from the sun, it also keeps the pavement and ground cooler as well, which is more comfortable for your dog’s paws.
  • Protect your Frenchie’s feet.  You will definitely want to take care when crossing hot pavement. How pavement can burn your French bulldog’s feet, so try to stick to softer, non-paved surfaces especially on hot days. If this is impossible, consider fitting your dog with some protective dog booties. Just understand that this may reduce his ability to cool himself off, as Frenchies vent heat via their paws (as well as their ears and mouths).
  • Read your Frenchie’s body language and monitor fatigue.  Scale back on the running and playing when temperatures soar. Vigorous activity will increase your dog’s body temperature, so ease back on the time spent playing fetch when it gets excessively hot.
  • Take frequent rest breaks. Even if your dog normally walks for several miles during the cooler portions of the year, you’ll want to give him plenty of opportunities to rest in the shade and pant for a few minutes during summer walks. Minimally, you should plan on taking a break every 15 minutes or so, but don’t be afraid to do so even more frequently if you think your dog needs it.
  • Apply canine sunscreen. If your dog has light-colored fur or has thin fur, make sure to apply dog sunscreen when you’re out in the sunshine. That’s right, dogs can get sunburned too!
  • Take a dip In the pool. A cooling vest isn’t the only way to keep your French Bulldog refreshed – consider getting a dog-friendly pool for your pup to take a dip in when it’s really toasty out.

The Signs and Symptoms of French Bulldog Hyperthermia To Watch Out For

Even if you follow all of the summer safety tips given above and fit your French bulldog with the best dog cooling vest you can find your Frenchie can still become sick if his temperature climbs too high.

Hyperthermia is considered a medical emergency that requires you to immediately reduce your Frenchie’s body core temperature as quickly as you can while simultaneously contacting your vet.

French Bulldogs are a Brachycephalic dog breed so are more prone to overheating than other dogs. 

As a Frenchie owner you should always be ready to act quickly if you observe any of the following symptoms of hyperthermia in your Frenchie:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Disorientation and Incoordination
  • Reddened gums
  • Excessive drooling (more than is normal for your Frenchie)
  • Vomiting blood
  • Breathing distress
  • Seizures
  • Muscle tremors
  • Black, tarry stools

It is also important to mention that very young Frenchies or very old Frenchies are at increased risk of hyperthermia.  As I mentioned above, short faced little Frenchies (a brachycephalic breed) are at increased risk as are Frenchies that aren’t at their ideal body weight can carrying excess body fat. Take extra precautions when playing outside with your French Bulldog if he has one or more of these issues.  

I Hope This Helps With Deciding On The Best Dog Cooling Vest For Your French Bulldog

I hope that helps to pick the right dog cooling vest and to keep your French Bulldog safe and sound on the hottest of days!  

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