Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Cool Vests aid Iraq's military dogs

An entrepreneur's chilly vests help keep the military's four-legged helpers cool in the scorching desert.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)

For $129, your dog - like Fortune Small Business mascot Jack - can wear a Chilly Dog Cool Vest.
Glacier Tek's Ray Booska

(Fortune Small Business) -- The U.S. military canines that sniff the roads of Iraq and Afghanistan for deadly bombs tend to be German shepherds and Labradors. Bred for cooler climates, they suffer in the blistering heat. And when they're hot, they pant more, which diminishes their ability to detect explosives, putting American soldiers at risk. By the end of the summer, however, when temperatures can reach 135 F in Afghanistan, Ray Booska will have outfitted all the military dogs in the Middle East with his company's RPCM Chilly Dog Cool Vest, which stays at 59 F for three hours.

Glacier Tek, Booska's company, doesn't have a government contract to equip the dogs, just a desire to support U.S. troops and their four-legged friends. "These dogs save the lives of our sons and daughters," says Booska, 43, "and we're going to do everything we can to help them."

He became concerned about hot dogs when the Space Coast War Dog Association contacted him. The group, which supports military working dogs, wondered whether Glacier Tek, based in West Melbourne, Fla., could develop a dog product similar to its cooling vests for humans.

Booska, a former Army military police officer, tested several models on his retired police dog, Fritz, before settling on the final design: a shell made of polyester webbing filled with a nontoxic coolant that works like gel ice packs. The vests recharge in 15 minutes when placed in a freezer or body of water that is less than 60 F. The dog vest retails for $129, and it accounts for 17% of Glacier Tek's annual revenues of about $3 million.

As of mid-July, Booska had donated 500 of the vests to handlers in the war zones, the costs of which are covered by Glacier Tek and donors who are sending contributions to supportmilitaryworkingdogs.orgTo top of page

Mush, puppy!: Originally designed for extreme athletes, Diggler's scooters have gone to the dogs.

War demons haunt Iraq vet's new venture

Sniffing out sales: A pet apparel business watches sales soar after securing a deal with Wal-Mart.

Bombs away: Startup aims to defuse nuclear warheads
To write a note to the editor about this article, click here.

QMy dream is to launch my own business someday. Now that it's time to choose a major, I'm debating if I should major in entrepreneurial studies or major in engineering to acquire a set of skills first. Is majoring in entrepreneurship a good choice? More
Get Answer
- Spate, Orange, Calif.

More Galleries
A look at Sears through the years Now Sears has officially said its business has an uncertain future, here's a look at photographs that documents the store's rich history. More
Coolest hotel bars for business travelers in 2017 CNNMoney asked a high-end concierge service for routine business travelers what hotel bars they'd recommend in 4 major U.S. cities. Here are the best spots. More
Top credit cards for business travelers 2017 Just like a pair of pants, there's no 'one size fits all' when it comes to the best credit cards for travelers. More