The 6 Best LED Dog Vests
- strong nylon webbing
- quick-release buckle
- it's a bit on the bulky side
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
5. Illumiseen USB Rechargeable
- customer service is friendly
- good option for use on camping trips
- tends to run a bit small
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
4. Kurgo 01242
- 1000-foot visibility range
- lifetime warranty against defects
- 360 degrees of reflectivity
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
3. Royal Wise
- comfortable and easy to clean
- charges within 1 hour
- rugged rim stitching
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
2. Pet Industries Reflective
- electroplated steel d-ring
- usb cable and manual are included
- available in 5 sizes
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
1. Noxgear LightHound
- 3m scotchlite reflector
- very easy to clip on and remove
- rechargeable lithium ion battery
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
Lighting The Way To Safety
As unwise and dangerous as it is to drive a car at night without the use of headlights, it's equally dangerous to walk your dog without some form of luminous protection to make you easy to spot by motorists and other pedestrians. Outfitting your dog with an LED-equipped vest capable of lighting up the path around you will improve your level of safety without sacrificing Fido's sense of style or comfort.
Geared to fit a four-legged companion, the LED dog vest conveniently straps around the animal's torso. It is usually constructed from lightweight materials, including nylon, and easily connects to a leash. The vest makes it possible for you and your dog to traverse streets and local parks together at night without losing track of one another. Depending on its design, the vest comes with a variety of useful features, such as adjustable light modes, reflective strips, and rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for hours of extended use.
One possible misconception is to assume that the vest is strictly for the dog's benefit and his improved sense of vision. While it's true that the vest is important for nighttime use, it isn't dedicated to improve your dog's view in the dark. Consider for a moment that while the LED dog vest and its human-style equivalent are both engineered to protect the wearer from potential hazards, the dog doesn't need the vest to see properly himself.
Thanks to his tapetum lucidum, even low levels of light are reflected back through the dog's retina, increasing the amount of available light directed to individual photoreceptor cells in his eyes. In other words, a dog's night vision is considerably more acute than a human's, which places the focus of the LED vest on making him easy to spot by you and other bystanders. So, the next time you peer into your dog's eyes at night and see them shine like he's a demonically-possessed vampire creature from an old monster movie, consider his eyes from a scientific point of view. His LED vest will actually help you to see him better and not the other way around.
The LED vest embodies a form of human dependency on a dog for nighttime orientation. This is similar to the way the guide dog provides a sense of stability and companionship for his or her visually-impaired owner. While the vest's main purpose is not to help people overcome the difficulties caused by a medical condition, it does assist with the process of avoiding certain obstacles in the dark.
Knowing where one's dog is at all times, whether on a leash or not, is a necessity for anyone who's established a bond with their pet. In its simplest form, the vest improves a level of safety for both owner and dog. It also makes easier the process of picking up Fido's poop after dark, ensuring that it isn't left for the next unsuspecting pedestrian who happens to pass by.
Finally, the vest establishes a heightened sense of awareness for others who are out and about by themselves or with their own pets and sharing the neighborhood with you. They will be alerted to your presence sooner than they would be if you used an ordinary leash and collar. It also doesn't hurt that the reflective nature of the vest just looks really cool.
Fitting Fido Appropriately
Sizing is one of the first considerations to make when choosing an LED vest for your pup. Depending on the brand, it is usually available in several sizes, so it's important to understand the unique shape of your particular breed and to measure the dog's overall girth. Additionally, a durable D-ring will provide a secure connection with a leash, making it easy to clip on and off in a pinch.
If you anticipate walking in extreme weather, make sure the vest's internal LED wiring is fully-insulated. A reinforced handle in the center of the vest will also make grabbing onto your pooch a lot easier when trying to get him out of harm's way quickly.
Some LED vests feature flexible fiber optic technology, which is bright enough to draw attention from up to half a mile away without sacrificing comfort. At the very least, the vest should offer a high degree of reflectivity, so that your pet can be easily spotted from any direction. This will ultimately maximize the range of visibility to motorists and pedestrians.
A Brief History Of LED Dog Vests
Outfitting dogs with accessories dates back to ancient Egyptian times when the dog was revered as a hunter, protector, and sacred member of the family. Both collars and leashes emerged as tools for training and decoration.
Dog fashion became popular during the 15th century in Europe, thanks to King Louis XI. Louis adorned his beloved greyhound with jewels and scarlet robes, a trend that became so popular among European nobility that by the 19th century, well-to-do families were outfitting their pets with entire wardrobes for all types of activities.
The LED vest is a relatively modern invention within the last decade or so. It is considered one solution to the problem of pedestrian injuries and fatalities. Michigan inventor Gary Kowalczyk designed one of the earliest LED vests for runners back in 2012. He also designed a similar vest specifically for dogs.
LED vests have come to serve both functional and decorative purposes for dogs of all sizes, working to keep them safe in the dark, but without losing that touch of fashion to which we've grown accustomed over the centuries.