Should Your Hunting Dog Wear a Kevlar Dog Vest?
OutdoorHub Reporters 08.10.18
Kevlar vests for dogs? Yup, you read that right! Whether you’re hunting over your favorite bird dog, or taking your small friend out for a walk where predators roam, a Kevlar dog vest will protect them from teeth and claws, and possibly save their life if attacked by predators or birds of prey.
Here, we are going to examine this concept, and then look at several major manufacturers of protective dog vests:
Why Kevlar Vests for Dogs?
One of the most popular reasons for protective dog vests is because many smaller dogs are seen as prey by coyotes and other predators. The internet is full of sad stories of pet owners losing their pets to predators, and such a loss lead to the creation of a company selling kevlar dog vests. Their primary market is protective vests for small dogs that allow greater safety in dangerous locations.
Another important market is for hunting and working dogs. While military dogs have long had protective Kevlar vests, civilian working and hunting dogs have not always had access to that same level of technology.
Hunting dogs often come face to face with wounded and enraged animals; Hogs, cougars, bears, and even raccoons can inflict serious harm on hunting dogs, so equipping them with kevlar vests for dogs only makes perfect sense.
What Makes the Best Kevlar Vests for Dogs?
We already saw the vests and protective gear made by CoyoteVests. Their canine body armor is designed to allow dogs to play, while protecting vulnerable areas from predators. This includes design features that are intended to discourage initial contact, such as spiked collars, and tall fiber spikes along the spine. While the Kevlar vest is an important part of this setup, it does not offer a deterrent factor, making the various spikes and spines on their product equally important.
Combined, you have a life saving vest that discourages attacks in the first place.
However, there are other approaches as well. Some people have chosen vests that are simply vests, but offer the protection of Kevlar. These are most suitable for larger dogs that can better defend themselves, or situations where spiny, spiky armor may not be suitable.
Then of course, there are Kevlar dog vests geared towards hunters. Hardcore Dogs builds vests for hunting dogs. One of their primary markets is towards hog hunters, where a Kevlar vest could be very important for a working dog who is tangling with an enraged or wounded hog.
Do you really want to send your prized hunting dog into a situation like that without a vest? We sure wouldn’t.
How to Choose a Kevlar Vest for Dogs
The dirty little secret of the body armor market (human or dog) is that the science and engineering for body armor is well established. While there are advanced, bleeding edge armor designs for humans, assuming you are working with quality materials, there is nothing that can really set one vest apart from another. You need to instead look at what market is being targeted with the vest.
The spiky armor for tiny dogs simply combines established Kevlar vest technology with a mimic of defensive features found on other animals. Clever, but not innovative- people have been putting spikes on their dogs since caveman Ogg figured out how to make leather and put something pointy on it. Instead, when buying your kevlar vest for dogs, choose one designed for your needs, and by people who understand those needs. It is far more likely they’ll have designed vests for a particular application, rather than a one size fits all approach.
While dog body armor has been used in combat for almost as long as humans have been taking their dogs to war, the idea of protective vests for pets is a fairly new idea. The development of lightweight protective cloth like Kevlar has finally put the price point of a protective vest within reach of many dog owners. In fact, one should look at a Kevlar vest for dogs as a sort of insurance policy. It’s cheaper to buy a vest, than lose a beloved pet, or deal with expensive vet bills.
And you before you give us a sideways look for suggesting you strap a tactical vest on your four-legged friend, we give you the Dogs of Black Rifle Coffee:
You get the point. . .