Dog owners should be vigilant over hot weather and its effects on their pets. As dogs can’t release heat by sweating the way humans do, high heat and humidity can raise canine body temperatures to dangerous levels leading to health complications. Heat stress left unmanaged can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Whether it be a sweltering day or a long walk, cooling jackets can be a defensive tool to keep your dog cool.
Heat stress and its degenerative states can take a serious toll on a dog’s health, with heat-related problems being amongst the most common summer canine ailments. The symptoms of heat stress include profuse panting, salivation, an anxious expression, staring without seeing, failing to respond to commands, skin that is warm and dry, fever, rapid pulse, fatigue or exhaustion, muscular weakness, and physical collapse. Any dog can suffer from heat stress, but dogs who are most susceptible include the very young and old, particularly any dog with a history of heat stress, are overweight and physically inactive or breeds with flat faces or short noses. Caring and conscientious owners plan ahead and seek to keep their dogs safe in the heat, including utilizing cooling jackets and vests as a solution to helping hot dogs stay cool.
Made from different materials and operating on different cooling principles, cooling jackets and vests are dog garments designed to keep dogs from overheating. Jackets that use water as a cooling mechanism were designed to emulate human sweating and heat control. These jackets are dipped in water and then placed on the dog where, as the water evaporates, excess body heat is equally dissipated – much like human sweating. The fabric that cooling jackets are made from is exceptionally good at absorbing and retaining water so it releases the moisture slowly while still efficiently cooling the dog. Other types of cooling jackets for dogs was originally designed for or are used by military, search and rescue, police, and working dogs. These vests have two pouches on each side that run the length of the dog’s body, holding special gel-filled cooling packs to keep the dog’s body temperature down. The outer layer reflects incoming infrared radiation while the inner layer prevents the dog’s body heat from reflecting back to the dog.
How successful cooling jackets are vary for smaller or larger dogs, dogs of different breeds, engaged in different activities, or in other climates.
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