Dog Vests


I've been using dog vests on my furry friends all my life, admittingly not enough in the early years but I have learned to run them a lot more often.
Most hunters I know will run a vest on their dog, especially during deer season when I hate to say it, but there are a bunch of yahoos out in the woods. Every year a few dogs are lost to hunters who mistake them for deer, or simply don't want them running around while they are hunting. That is a lot harder to do when the critter is covered in orange fabric. This is especially true for you guys who like to run your dogs silent.

More so than the safety orange factor, what a lot of hunters don't consider is the physical health of the dog. A good vest can reduce the chance of injury to your dog. Every season here I see dogs who get cut up by sticks, broken glass, and the worst culprit, barbed wire. A dog vest is a hell of a lot less expensive than a trip to the vet for stitches or worse yet, surgery. Let's not forget the lost hunting time during already short seasons when your dog goes down.

If you don't think that a vest can help prevent injury than take a look at these photos, I have to warn you, they are not pretty.

There is a good chance that any of these injuries could have been prevented through the use of a good vest. There are a bunch of them on the market but my favorite by far is the Sylmar vest. You get total coverage with this vest and a lot of orange. It comes up high enough in the chest that nothing should get stuck in there and you get complete chest and belly coverage all the way back to the groin. I have also found that dogs take to this vest pretty quick.

Vests, depending on their coverage can also cut down on annoying burs or other plants and seeds that can get tangled in their coat. I've also heard of too many cases where it helped alleviate a lot of headache with porcupines and even skunks.

Photo from

The other thing to take into consideration is warmth. Early season when its hot you should run a lighter vest or be a lot more cautious about your dog's body temperature. But in the winter, I use mine every single day. Yes it's true that dogs keep warmer than us in the cold and yes they are exerting a lot  of energy and keeping their temp up. But it's still easy for them to get cold especially when they get wet. I like to check my dogs ears as a gauge on their temp and if they have a tail its a good idea to check that too.

Whatever brand you choose, make your dog wear one and he won't hold it against you, especially after he gets accustomed to it. It's also less work for you cleaning their coat.

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