The summer item every dog needs

90 degree weather, blistering sun. You might thrive in this heat. But your dog, not so much. In fact, it can be really dangerous!

It's super cute to watch your dog's tongue hang out the side of his/her mouth, panting along a walk. There's a slight grin and little pep in the step as your pup is taking in the sights and smells. But, how much panting is too much?

If you aren't familiar with the signs of heat stroke, check out the chart below.

Heat stroke can be fatal for a dog.

Your dog doesn't sweat like you do.

Your pup regulates his/her body temperature through panting and sweat glands in the paws.

On a super hot day, your furry friend needs a little more support. That's where this fantastic item comes in: a cooling vest.

If you live where there's a hot summer, your dog needs one.

A cooling vest retains moisture, fits snug around your dog's body, and helps cool your dog down. If it dries out, you can always add more water to it.

However, a cooling vest doesn't mean you can let your guard down and go on a 5 mile hike in the middle of a summer day.

It does mean that your dog can be a little more comfortable on a walk.

Think about it - if you were out walking in a long fur coat, under the hot sun, how would you feel?

Don't let your dog melt...

I got my dog a cooling vest. Now what?

Lucky dog!

First, you've got to get your dog used to wearing the vest. For some dogs, this is no problem. But for others, you've got to ease into it.

  • Start by laying the cooling vest on the floor and sprinkling treats on it. Praise your dog for coming over to the vest.

  • Once your dog is comfortable with that, start putting the vest on your dog, one paw, one zip at a time. Go only as far as your dog is comfortable with. Praise and treat.

  • Once you're able to get the vest on your dog comfortably, let your dog hang out with the vest on, and build up to longer periods of time.

  • Now that your dog is used to putting on the dry cooling vest, just repeat the procedure with it wet. You'll have a dog who willingly wears a cooling vest in no time!

Check out the video below to see the training in action.

What comes first? Wet the vest or vest on the dog?

Wet the vest.

Run the vest under cool water and let it get completely soaked.

This way, every part of the vest is covered.

When cooling down a dog, you want to target the head, stomach, armpits and feet.

If you put the vest on first, it's quite difficult to get the stomach wet, unless you're using a hose. A squirt water bottle isn't going to suffice.

Since you might not want the water dripping all over your floor, a good way to handle this is to stick the wet vest in a baggie and put the vest on your dog once you're outside.

If you're taking your dog for a hike and have to drive there, stick the wet vest in the fridge or freezer ahead of time, so by the time you get to the destination, it's still cool.

You don't want it to be cold, but do keep it cool.

It's also a good thing to have on if your dog is going swimming in the lake or playing at the beach.

Your dog will naturally be getting wet. The vest will retain the moisture and keep your dog cool when he/she comes out of the water.

The other added bonus of a cooling vest?

It fits under or over a walking harness, depending on the style you have. Plus, it can be worn under the Sleepypod seatbelt harnesses so traveling is a piece of cake!

Don't want to take all the gear on and off in the car? Don't worry. It can all be worn at the same time.

Bottom line, you've got to keep your dog cool in the summer.

Heat stroke can easily happen, and you want to prevent that at all costs. You can help manage your dog's body temperature with a cooling vest.

Not sure the vest is right for you?

Just give your dog a good rinse in the tub before leaving the house! But getting your dog in the tub is a topic for another day...

Have questions? Have an unwanted behavior you'd like help with?

Check out Doggie Resource Room to get 1-on-1 coaching and training to tackle the behavior. What would it be like to get your dog to finally listen to you? Let's get on the road to that lifestyle today.

Click below for the details, or call 301-337-1039.

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