Q: Will the Swamp Cooler work in humid environments?

A: Yes, although it works more efficiently where there’s more evaporation (i.e. drier climates).

Q: Will the Swamp Cooler work if it’s not wet?

A: The Swamp Cooler will provide SPF protection and sun reflection even when not wet, which will help keep your dog’s temperature down (like wearing white instead of black on a hot day), but for the evaporative cooling to occur, it needs to be wetted down, preferably with cool water.

Q: Should I put my Swamp Cooler in the freezer?

A: No.  There are no crystals or chemicals in this product that require “activation”.  Putting the Swamp Cooler in the freezer may degrade the material and cause the temperature shock to your dog.   Just soak in cool water, wring out, and put around your dog.

Q: Will my dog be soaking wet after putting the damp Swamp Cooler on?

A: Not really.  Initially their top coat may become damp, but the water in the Swamp Cooler will evaporate (cooling your dog!),so they will not be wet for very long.

Q: Can I use salt water to wet the Swamp Cooler?

A: While you can use ocean water, salt does not evaporate.  If you do use salt water, make sure to rinse your vest out thoroughly after use.  For best results, we recommend using fresh, cool water for optimal cooling and performance.

Q: How long will the Swamp Cooler stay wet?

A: Generally, 45 minutes to two hours depending on the climate.

Q: What’s the best way to recharge the Swamp Cooler?

A: Have your dog jump in a river, lake or pond.  Second best?  Pour water directly on the coat while the dog is wearing it.

Q: Will the Swamp Cooler work underneath a pack?

A: Yes, but not as well.  The areas exposed to air will cool most effectively.

Q: How do I activate the Swamp Cooler?

A: Just soak in cool water, wring out, and put around your dog like this.

21 thoughts

  1. Thank You for writing an amazing blog on Swamp Coolers. You have provided very important information on this blog. Preffered Climate Solutions provides all kinds of swamp cooler for rental. Kindly contact us on.

  2. I have an elderly Shih Tzu (trimmed down) who can’t handle heat. I don’t have air conditioning at home, so it sometimes gets quite warm. Would this work for him in the house, if there’s a fan blowing?

    1. Hi Beverly –

      While the Swamp Cooler wasn’t designed specifically to work best in an indoor environment, I would imagine a fan would simulate the effect of wind and therefore, have some cooling effect. If you’d like to chat with us about it on the phone, feel free to call our Customer Service team at 888-783-3932, Mon – Fri, 8am – 4:30pm Pacific Time. Thanks!

  3. It just seems like another garment that won’t fit my dogs. Remmy and Glory are bulldogs, a breed that could really benefit from such jackets. So I tried them on my guys in Maxwell Dog (not listed in your locater, by the way). Now, to be honest, few things fit my dogs well. Bulldogs have short bodies, but are pretty girthy and have thick necks. The only jacket that would even come close to Remmy or Glory around the barrel hung way down over their butts; within potential poop range. The head hole was so small, poor Remmy looked like a weightlifter in kids clothes. Remmy, who has a long soft palette, could really benefit from such a jacket..but, alas! The fit is just horrible. This happens to me frequently-no one designing dog clothes thinks of poor bullies.

    I also found the design was lacking in the fact that less cooling fabric lay against the belly and chest-most of it is on top. Most dog have thin coats on the belly and lower chest. Evaporative cooling there works more efficiently, as blood the skin has less hair insulation and blood vessels are a little closer to the skin. Looking at their car safety belts, I think a jacket designed with a broader under area would function much better.

    I’ve seen what handlers do with dogs on hot days at shows. Even at bully show slots-the earliest in the morning, it can get too toasty. Some used squeezed out chamois, but the ones who cooled the dogs fastest put ice and cool towels on the paw pads, chest and belly. The COOLEST dog had an owner who put a cold cloth on his belly, stood him on a damp towel, and then put a handfull of ice right on his danglers. poor guy looked shocked, but he sure as heck cooled down fast.

    I’m not asking for a cool cloth to snap over Remmy’s danglers..that’s just silly and he’s neutered, anyhow, but I do think a “Bulldog Edition” swamp cooler would be a good product.

  4. What’s the length for the each size? I have a corgi and while the girth might not be that big, her back is long. I’m trying to decide either XS for the proper fit, or S for the better coverage.

    1. Hi Tom!

      The length of the XXS is 11″, the XS 14″, and the S 18″.

      It’s important to remember however that the coat will be cooling the core of your dog’s body heat which is near the front of their body where all the internal organs are. Sizing for the girth as the primary measurement can ensure that the jacket isn’t too baggy causing areas to snag as your dogs bound and leap through bushes with reckless abandon 🙂

  5. Can patches be sewn onto the swamp cooler? I have a service dog and am considering this for very hot days, but I’d like to put patches on to identify him.

    1. Hi there – thanks for your question. While it’s possible to sew patches on to the Swamp Cooler, please keep in mind that anything that covers up the mesh fabric of the vest will inhibit the cooling function. The mesh fabric uses evaporative cooling to keep the dog comfortable. If the patches are small, there’s probably not going to be a noticeable difference in the cooling effectivity of the vest.
      If you need more info, please feel free to contact our Customer Service team at support@ruffwear.com or 888-783-3932, Mon – Fri, 8am – 4:30pm Pacific Time. Thank you!

  6. I like to run with my dog and even though I’m in temperate Vancouver BC its just too hot to run her in the summer – she’s a large bodied gal with a short double coat (malamute mixed with bullmastiff) how much will this product help a dog with the insulating fur?

  7. I use a harness on my dog, rather than attaching the leash to her collar. Is there a leash attachment point on the back of the swamp cooler vest like there is on your packs?

    1. No, there currently is not a leash attachment point on the Swamp Cooler. We recommend either putting your harness on top of the Swamp Cooler, or some of our customers opt to put the harness underneath and cut a little slit on the top of the Swamp Cooler where the leash attachment point on the harness can come through.

  8. Hi, I really want to try this for my dog. Two questions for you: One Boxer head is big will it fit in his size (large) and how much does this jacket wear when wet (fully soaked in water and wrung out)

    1. Hi Lisa –

      The neck hole sizes on the Swamp Cooler are as follows:

      XXS – 11.8-13.7″ (elastic opening)
      XS – 13.7″ – 15.7″ (elastic opening)
      S – 18.5″
      M – 20″
      L – 23″
      XL – 25″

      For the best overall fit, we recommend first measuring the girth of your dog for the appropriate size, then checking to make sure the neck size will accommodate.

      As far as the weight of the coat, I think you will find it extremely lightweight, especially when wrung out. The overall weight depends on the size and the amount of water applied.

      The fabric is very porous and breathable, and it keeps the dog reasonably dry, or at the most damp. The coat is not intended to be worn sopping wet.

      Hope this helps. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact one of our product experts at 888-783-3932.

  9. Just a curiosity question…would this work underneath the Approach Pack? I would like for my 80 lb Pit/Dalmatian mix to be able to wear this for heat reduction while walking, but to have the storage options of the Approach Pack.

    1. Many of our customers have used the Swamp Cooler underneath their packs. Although it will not work as effectively in parts that are covered, our in-house testing and customer feedback leads us to believe it still helps a great deal in keeping the dog’s temperature down when used with a pack.

  10. What is the material used in the swamp coolers? Is the sun protection the same as the UV protective clothing made for people? What is the inner material – feels like a quilt batting. I can not find anywhere on your products a listing of the materials used.
    Thank you.

    1. It has a UV rating similar to that of light-colored human clothing. As for the inner material, well, that’s trade secret I’m afraid. What we can tell you the Swamp Cooler is comprised mostly of polyester.

  11. Hot spots are caused by something you have put into your dogs skin like flea and tick products, not by an article of clothing they are wearing. although the detergent you use to wash your dogs items can cause hot spots as well.

    1. A properly sized Swamp Cooler will not cause hot spots. We have used a proven pattern and design, while testing it on multiple double-coated dogs.

      With that in mind, it is recommended to routinely monitor your canine to ensure their well being with any garment.

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