When the weather gets hot, our dogs can suffer. Unlike us our dogs can’t sweat to cool down, the only way to get rid of heat from their bodies is to pant.
Some dogs will seek out cold tiles or even dig in the garden to make a cool den in the earth. However, there is a way of providing them with the same benefit without damaging your flowerbeds.
Cooling beds are a good option if your dog is uncomfortable in hot weather. We’ve rounded up the best on offer and if you want a quick pick our favorite is the The Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat for all-around simplicity versatility and convenience but for more options read on.
How cooling pads work
Cooling dog beds fall into two broad categories, gel filled, and water filled. Both options make use of heat transference in that heat will always move from a higher to a lower temperature.
It’s this process that makes our dogs roam from place to place as they try to cool off. Once a cool spot, like floor tiles has drawn heat from your dog’s body it then becomes warm. This prompts your dog to move on to another area, and the process starts again.
Cooling mats work in the same way but are more efficient. Once the mat has absorbed your dog’s body heat, your dog is likely to go and search for another cool spot. As soon as they do the mat ‘recharges’ itself as the collected heat dissipates into the air.
In this article, we’ll be reviewing the following elevated dog beds
- The Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat
- AmazonBasics Elevated Cooling Pet Bed
- Pet Therapeutics Theracool Cooling Gel Bed
- CoolDog Reusable Ice Mat
- K&H Cool Lounger
What dogs’ benefit from a cooling mat?
Since dogs have been using floors for centuries to cool off, do we really need to provide them with a cooling mat?
In fact, many dogs benefit from extra help to keep cool when the weather turns warm. Not only do some dogs struggle to pant efficiently enough to control their temperature, elderly dogs, obese dogs, and giant breed dogs also appreciate a helping hand when it’s hot.
Certain breed types like pugs, bulldogs and Boston terriers are particularly vulnerable in the heat and providing a cold spot can prevent dangerous heat-related conditions like heatstroke.
What to look for in a cooling mat
Cooling mats aren’t designed to drop your dog’s temperature dramatically. In fact, if your dog were suffering from a heat-related condition, it would be dangerous to do so. They are just a comfortable place for your dog to rest that will reduce their temperature by a few degrees.
The benefit of using a cooling mat is that they stay cooler for longer enabling your dog to have a more restful sleep. Not only that but many are portable too meaning that your dog can enjoy the cooling benefits when you travel.
Most cooling mats do their job well. But there are a few things to consider when choosing one suitable for your dog.
As gel or water are typical fillers for cooling mats, durability is a must-have feature. Dogs that like to dig or jump on their beds before laying down are more likely to damage a cool bed. While the gel is non-toxic, there is still a risk that your dog may react to it. So, if there’s a chance your dog will chew or damage the bed look for a water-filled version to be on the safe side
If traveling with your dog is high on your priorities, having a cool mat that you can roll up and take with you will make car travel much more comfortable for your dog in warm weather. Gel-based cool beds excel in portability as they don’t need refrigeration to keep them cold.
Does your dog prefer to be inside or outside when they are hot? Some dogs prefer a shady spot outside to make the most of any breeze available. Others will seek out the cool and dark of a favorite place in the house. Some cool mats are more suitable for outside use, and an elevated cot style bed will make the most of any air flow so your dog can chill out in comfort.
With those few things in mind here are our top choices.
The best dog cooling mat – our top 5
- THE ORIGINAL SELF-COOLING PET PAD - our patented pressure activated gel cushion cools and soothes your dogs and cats on contact for up to 3 hours, providing a cool spot for your dog year round. Others...
- NO WATER, ELECTRICITY OR REFRIGERATION REQUIRED - it really works, the pad features special gel formula that automatically recharges after 15-20 minutes of non-use. It's a simple solution to avoid...
- HEAVEN FOR YOUR POOCH ON A BALMY DAY - simply lay the perfect pet seat where your four-legged friend likes to relax and let the chill pad go to work immediately. It is sheer bliss and offers relief...
This gel pad from the Green pet shop is pressure activated. As soon as your dog lays down the gel begins to draw heat away from your dog and last up to three hours.
What’s more, it only takes fifteen to twenty minutes of non-use for the pad to recharge which means that your dog doesn’t have to wait long for a cool spot again.
The pad is portable, making it ideal if you’re on the move. It doesn’t need refrigeration, and it comes in five sizes which means it caters for the smallest to the largest of dogs.
- It’s effective and offers a more comfortable place for your dog to lay than the floor
- The portability is a huge bonus as it means your dog can travel in comfort and stay cool
- A wide range of sizes available making it suitable for most dogs
- Older dogs may find it hard to navigate the material as it’s slippery
- The gel does harden over time, and there isn’t an effective way to bring it back to life
- Not robust so if your dog likes to dig or chew their bed, it won’t last long
- Breathable mesh fabric helps keep pets cool by allowing air to flow
- Elevates pets more than 7 inches off the ground
- Easy to clean (using tap water only); simple assembly (screws and hex tool included)
This elevated bed is neither gel or water filled, but it does a reasonable dog at keeping your dog cool. Because the raised platform allows air to circulate underneath it freely, it keeps your dog from getting too warm.
The mesh material is breathable increasing airflow, and the sturdy iron frame is suitable for even the largest dogs.
Elevated beds are a good choice if you want a bed for inside and outside as they tend to be durable. Not only that, but they are exceptionally easy to clean which is perfect for giving your dog a sanitary place to snooze.
- Five size options mean that there’s bound to be one to suit your dog
- The raised platform is great at keeping dogs cool as it allows the free flow of air
- Supportive and durable raised beds are perfect for dogs that struggle to get in and out of low beds
- The mesh does tend to sag over time making it less supportive
- If you’re using the bed on hardwood floors, protect them. The bed is lightweight and skids if a dog jumps onto it too enthusiastically
- You need a bit of muscle to put it together
- THERACOOL COOLPHASE DESIGN: Soothes, chills and comforts to aid in reducing overheating, dehydration and panting.
- BENEFITS: Comfort for pets with arthritis, hip issues and joint pain. Reduces panting, overheating, and dehydration.
- ADDITIONAL BENEFITS: Cushioning, Cooling, Gel Comfort, Orthopedic, Pain Reliever, Older Dog Relaxation, Soft & Comfy. All life-stages.
This self-cooling bed from Pet Therapeutics is more like a tradition bed offering comfort and support but with cooling gel inbuilt. Their ‘Coolphase’ technology dissipates and absorbs your dog’s body heat keeping them fresh and cool.
There’s no need to refrigerate or freeze the bed before your dog enjoys its cooling properties. However, if your dog needs instant relief from the heat, you can remove the gel pad insert and pop it in the freezer for fifteen to twenty minutes before using.
The bed is lightweight and portable which means you can easily take it outside and available in two sizes.
- Works well and the removable gel pad is a bonus as it means you can supercharge the bed and make it extra cool
- Ideal for dogs that like rest their heads as they sleep, the design means they have all round pillows
- Lightweight enough to take with you wherever you go
- Measure your dog carefully and double check the sizes – the beds come up small
- The bed is not puncture proof so avoid if your dog likes to dig before laying down
- Only available in two sizes
- Keep your dog cool safe and happy!
- Durable canvas, non-slip bottom and Hot/Cold Mat insert
- Purified water inside USA made Hot/Cold Mat - safe and non-toxic
This mat from CoolDog uses water to keep your dog cool. You simply freeze the water insert mat and put it back in the mat to provide your dog relief from the heat.
The upper canvas is durable, and it has a non-slip bottom to keep your dog from skidding. What’s good about this product is that it also doubles up as a heating pad as you can pop it in the microwave.
Although the ad is only available in one size, it’s modular. So if you have a large dog, you can order multiple mats and attach them via the velcro tabs provided. Not only that but you can also buy additional water inserts so you can always have one in the freezer ready to go.
- Completely safe water inserts. If you’re worried about your dog chewing there’s no gel to worry about
- Versatile as you can microwave the pad and use it to warm your dog up when the weather turns cold
- The modular design means you can increase and decrease the size as you want
- A single mat is small 24” x 12“, if you have a large dog it can become costly to add more pads
- Great for home use but not much good for travel as you need to refreeze the packs once they melt
- As the ice melt condensation builds up on the mat meaning, you may end up with a wet dog
- Outdoor Fabric bed with Cooling Insert
- Insert gel pack into bed and it cools for up to 6 to 8-hour
- Fabric is UV rated and water resistant
The cool lounger from K&H offers your dog a comfortable place to snooze. Unlike some other cool beds, this one is well-padded and offers a soft sleeping area.
What’s more, it’s versatile as the fabric is suitable for indoor and outdoor use as it’s both water resistant and UV rated which means it won’t fade.
The gel insert cools up to six-eight hours (under the right conditions), and you can buy additional cooling inserts which means you can always have one ready in the freezer.
Although it’s only available in two sizes, the bed is generous making it suitable for all but the most giant dogs, and it comes in two colors.
- Suitable for both inside and outside use
- Additional cooling inserts are available which means you can always have one in the freezer ready to go
- The cooling effect lasts for up to six-eight hours providing your dog with all-day comfort
- You can’t remove the cover to wash it
- The cooling insert is small in relation to the bed. If your dog sleeps anywhere other than the middle, they won’t benefit from it
- It’s a bit of a faff to get the cooling insert in and out
Best dog cooling mat conclusion
If you want a simple, versatile cooling mat we like the The Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat not only is it portable, the three-hour cooling time is decent and even better it’s self-activated, so there’s nothing for you to do.
Investing in a cooling mat for your dog is well worth it if your dog suffers in the heat. Not only will it help keep them more comfortable but it goes a long way to help prevent heat-related conditions like heatstroke.
Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API