Swamp Cooler Observations

Although we have been using the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler for a couple of years, we have never really put it to the test, I mean we use, it works brilliantly and that's that, we have never really needed to take a note of the facts. But we thought we would make a note of our observations and put them in this blog for others to see. It's not very scientific but at least it does give people an idea of what to expect.

One of the questions we are always asked is 'how long does it stay wet'?

So we have done some testing to see if we can help answer that question. Obviously it depends on a few factors and so we have tried to carry out the testing in a couple of different scenarios.

We have soaked the coats in water and wrung them out until there is no more dripping, so in theory they have all started on a level playing field. The different scenarios are the following;

  • We have used our entire four legged team, so Cocoa, Luca & Spike have been helping with the testing, so that we can gauge any difference between dog breed, ages, activity levels, sizes and the different fur.
  • We have done the testing in different ambient temperatures and different amounts of Sun.

So the results of all the testing? Well this is what we observed;

  • When Spike had a bout of heat exhaustion and was panting really heavily we used his Swamp Cooler to bring his temperature back down. It worked brilliantly and the coat remained wet for 5hrs at 24 degrees Centigrade with no Sun and no activity, except some heavy snoring!
  • Cocoa & Luca both used theirs one afternoon whilst sitting on the terrace, the ambient temperature started at 38 degrees C and finished at 40 degrees C. They were for the most part in the shade under a shade sail. They were not active at all and just resting. What we noticed was that the coats were dry on top after 1hr and almost dry all over after 1.5hrs. Obviously there becomes a point where the coat stops being a cooling coat and effectively becomes a coat and starts to warm the body, so we didn't let the coats get entirely dry, they were still damp to touch on the chest area. You might think 1.5hrs isn't long, but that was in 38-40 degree C, so very hot, and considerably hotter than any UK temperature. 
Ruffwear Swamp Cooler

  • So, we thought we would try to replicate a UK Summer time temperature. Cocoa & Luca were used for this test and they were walked, off lead, with plenty of running around and high activity. This is the sort of thing - 

  • The whole test was 1.5hrs active walking/running and then 1hr resting in the shade. The starting temperature was 22 degrees C and by the time we finished up it was 30 degrees C, and so for the first 1.5hrs it was in full Sun, a very hot Sun. What we found was that Luca's coat was dryer quicker than Cocoa's, and our theory on that is that because Luca is much bigger and so is his Swamp Cooler, it evaporated much sooner due to the larger surface area taking the Sun. His was dry on top after 1hr. Cocoa's lasted longer and was eventually dry on top after 1.5hrs, at which point both Cocoa & Luca sat in the shade. Luca's coat was almost fully dry after 2hrs in total and Cocoa's was almost fully dry after 2.5hrs.
So in conclusion, we love the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler and we think every dog should have a Cooling Coat, even if it is for an emergency situation like Spike's. It can reduce the core temperature quickly and safely so that heat exhaustion can be treated. You can keep one with you, just in case your dog does get too hot and starts to get the effects of heat exhaustion. But they are also great for times when the outside temperature is hot but your dog still needs exercise, because at the end of the day even if it stays wet for just an hour, that is 1hr of exercise which can be vital for letting of some steam. Most dogs need and even demand their daily exercise, so they can get it even on a hot day when you have a Ruffwear Swamp Cooler. Of course, if you have access to a water supply while on your walk or wherever you are, there is no reason why you can't top up the Swamp Cooler, which will keep it working longer.
Other things we like about the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler is the quality, they are very well made. I also like the fact that it has a hi-vis strip along it, which is great in low light situations. It's also very easy to fit and it can be washed. So all in all, another great product from Ruffwear.