When the weather heats up here in Northern California, Lola seems to enjoy our hikes less and less. On the really hot days, she heads to the shade and lies down, finished after only 20 minutes. Without a regular place to take her swimming every day, I was excited to try out the updated Swamp Cooler from Ruffwear in the hopes of offering Lola some relief from the heat to better enjoy her time outdoors.
The Swamp Cooler cooling vest works under the same principle as cooling apparel for humans. By soaking the vest in cool water, wringing it out, and placing it on your dog, you are helping your dog to sweat, allowing evaporative cooling to take place as the cool water is exposed to moving air. The water heats up, vaporizes, and the surrounding air is chilled, noticeably cooling your dog.
The updated Swamp Cooler features new materials like hydrophobic webbing and a wicking outer layer that facilitates evaporation. The absorbent middle layer stores water for evaporation, while the comfortable inner layer transfers the cooling effect to your dog.
At first, Lola was not too keen on wearing her cooling vest and I personally had trouble getting over the unease of putting a coat on my already overheated dog, but we both soon got used to the idea. Lola particularly loved to wear her Swamp Cooler lounging around the house during the "dog days" of fall in the Bay Area where temps can often hit the high 90's.
Would simply getting your dog wet have the same benefit? I am not sure but Lola seemed to be happy with her Swamp Cooler. If your dog is between sizes like Lola, you might want to order a size down as I am pretty sure the cooling vest works best when close to your dog's skin or fur.
The Ruffwear Swamp Cooler retails for $54.95 and is available now.