Cool Coats – are they all they are cracked up to be?
So are these cool coats for our dogs any good? Do they do what it says on the tin? I am trying to find out.
It’s hot in the UK at the moment and because it is not really the norm in this Country, our dogs and people are not really used to it and some are struggling.
In recent years there has been a surge in various types of cool coats which supposedly keep your dogs cool – but do they?
I have been looking for some research where someone has measured the dog’s core temperature before having the coat applied and then it is measured regularly afterwards with a control dog with the same coat and in the same environment so we can see the impact of the cool coat.
I can’t find it!
My problem is that I think that when you are hot, carrying something close to you and potentially heavy, makes you feel worse.
Once we attach these coats, it’s not as if dogs have a choice, they can’t take them off, nor can they ask us to remove them. We just assume the coats help our dogs feel cooler and more comfortable.
Do they feel better?
Are our dogs more comfortable?
I am trying to find out.
Is there any proper research? If there is, I haven’t been very successful in finding it. I have found an informal study where thermal imaging was used and they monitored the dog before the coat was applied and once it was in place.
Initially, the dog’s temperature did reduce, however within 10 minutes it was back to normal and then continued rising. This dog was actually getting hotter because of the coat!
In fact, there is anecdotal evidence that the type that holds water actually creates a sauna like aefect, which is the opposite of what people are trying to do!
I got quite excited when I found an Australian Company that contained a data sheet about how the vests worked until I realised that, although they sold dog coats, their data was on humans and even then the human only got an extra 11 minutes work before their core temperature rose by 2 degrees!
In conclusion, I have yet to see any evidence that these coats do any more than cool the dog for a few minutes and, if the dog has a thick, coat, it makes the coat feel cool and not the dog.
I think the cool mats might be a better option because dogs are not as hairy on their abdomen area so the blood running close to the skin there will get cooler. Also, dogs lose heat through their paws so, paws on a cool surface, again seems to make sense as any blood close to the skin is cooled down.
If I am wrong and you have scientific evidence carried out on dogs with a control, please let me know where we can see it.
Here’s a link to a video I recorded talking cool coats, paddling pools and clipping coats:
Trying to keep cool Karen.