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Your dog is never one to shy away from a long walk, playtime with you and other dogs or a family road trip. As long as they are included, they are happy as they can be in life. However, with the hot summer days quickly approaching, it’s essential to take care of your pup in the high temperatures, no matter if you’re on the road or hanging out at home.
Cooling mats give your dog a designated space to get some rest and relaxation while they bring their core body temperature down, outside of the endless panting and slurping up gallons of water.
There are some essential basics to understand before you begin looking for a cooling mat, and we’ll share what you need to know, plus the nine best dog cooling mats for your pooch.
Cooling Mat Basics
Having a cooling mat seems like a given for your pup, but how often do they need the cooling mat? Where should you keep the pad? We’ll answer these questions and more below.
Why They Need A Cooling Pad
Large dogs and small dogs alike tend to overheat very quickly due to their resting body temperature being around 101.0 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine that with high-temperature beach trips, hikes, yard work adventures or just a long day at the dog park, and there’s no doubting that your dog will be panting with all its might.
The purpose of the cooling pet pad is to not only lower a dog’s body temperature and prevent overheating but also to keep them clean if they are outside in dirty areas. If dogs are hot, they tend to dig themselves a little spot and rest around or inside their creation to hide from the hot weather and keep cool. When they lay in areas filled with dirt, sand, mulch, etc., they can easily get dirty and bring germs or bugs into your home that don’t belong. By giving them an elevated surface that you can quickly and regularly clean, you’ll be able to provide a designated space for your dog to rest and cool down that won’t get them or your house dirty. Plus, it’ll save time and money when you never have to re-fill any holes they’ve dug ever again.
If they aren’t outside digging around searching for some cover, they are inside laying on the flat, hard floor. This isn’t comfortable for most dogs, it’s just the coldest spot they can find inside your home. Cooling mats offer a level of comfort for inside dogs when their standard, fluffy pet bed is too warm for them to use (if you don’t place the mat inside their regular pet bed).
Types of Cooling Mats
There are two types of cooling mats. The first type is water-filled pads that hold water within a pouch inside the mat, just like the water beds we have (or used to have) in our homes. Many dog owners do not prefer this style because a tiny puncture in the fabric can cause the entire mat to not function properly as a cooling agent. Dogs tend to scratch at their beds to find their perfect spot, making the punctures inevitable after months or years of continual use.
The second type is the gel pad mats, the preferred variety of the two cooling mats. These gel-filled pads are easier to clean, have higher durability levels than water-filled options and are easy to store when not in use.
It should go without saying, but most mats intended for animals come with a non-toxic material guarantee. However, it’s always better to double-check the composition of the pet pad just to make sure the mat is safe for your pet to use continually.
Dog Cooling Mats
Now that you know how cooling mats work and why you should be helping to keep your dog cool, check out these nine best dog cooling pads for your pets.
Combine the best of both dog beds and cooling mats with the K&H Pet Products Coolin’ Cot Elevated Dog Bed. The sturdy steel frame can support animals up to 200 pounds, has dimensions of 42″ long by 30″ wide, and the cooling mat at the center of the bed is a non-toxic gel pad that offers a consistently cool feel for your pet.
If you genuinely want to keep your dog away from all the dirt and germs of the outside world, this elevated option is your best bet.
The Arf Pets Dog Self Cooling Mat earns a spot on this list for being one of the most self-sustaining options on the market right now. It requires absolutely no water, refrigeration nor batteries. The gel activates on its own, lasting up to three hours once your dog begins using the mat. It just needs about 15 to 20 minutes after the three-hour time period is up so the gel can recharge.
The puncture-resistant cover is simple to clean, just wipe the mat with a mix of soap and water and let it dry. Plus, the activating gel interior doesn’t require any water, so mold is not a concern with this mat.
If you want your pet to stay extra comfy while they cool down, check out this FurHaven Indoor/Outdoor Garden Cooling Gel Dog Bed on Chewy. Made with a gel-foam core interior and a layer of orthopedic foam, this option will form to your pup’s body, protecting their joints and any pressure points they might have, all while cooling their body temperature.
This mat is outdoor approved because of its water-resistant base, which protects the bed from weather-absorbing moisture. Choose between a small, medium (the medium is 20″ wide by 30″ long ) or jumbo-sized bed to match your dog’s needs and protect their bones and body.
One precaution the company has shared is that this bed is not recommended for pets with chewing behavior since a dog can easily compromise the memory foam with active chompers.
Pamper your pet with the Sealy Lux Quad Layer Orthopedic Dog Bed With Cooling Gel. The cooling gel works by dissipating heat away from the sleeping surface and the memory foam shapes to your pet’s body to work on cooling them down as much as possible. The orthopedic foam helps protect their joints.
If you’re worried about the smell, this mat covers it all. The pro-charcoal base helps eliminate odors to prevent sweaty and dirty dogs from stinking up your home, and you can take the cover off and throw it in the washer. Overall, this is the best option for pet owners who know they have a stinky pup who loves to come inside and rest after playing outside for extended periods of time.
Coleman is considered a household name when it comes to camping and adventure supplies, and they’ve met their mark with this Coleman Comfort Cooling Gel Pad. It’s 30″ long by 24″ wide, guarantees that the mat will stay 5-10 degrees cooler than room temperature (or outside temperature if placed in a shaded area) and can be easily cleaned with a simple wipedown. This gel cooling mat will also work well inside a kennel or dog crate.
Many reviewers suggest that you keep this mat out of direct sunlight for maximum puppy cooling potential if it’s intended for outdoor use.
One of the best options available on Amazon, this Dogbed4less Gel-Infused Memory Foam Pet Mat is longer than most mats on this list — coming in at 42″ long by 28″ wide — but cheaper or the same price as some smaller options. The memory foam offers a 4-pound density rating to protect your pup’s joints and keep them elevated and resting better. Plus, the high-quality waterproof SBR rubber anti-slip material on the bottom will protect your flooring from any unwanted sweating from the mat while the top is stain, dirt and wrinkle-resistant.
This option is also machine washable, so you can run it through the washer knowing that your pet mat will not be compromised and has maximum cleaning potential compared to other options that aren’t machine friendly.
Looking for something cheap and effective? The MICROCOSMOS Pet Chillz Cooling Mat is the best option for you. At less than $20 and 28″ long by 22″ wide, it’s a decent size for any dog and can be folded and transported easily. This option is also washer-friendly.
What makes this affordable, non-toxic gel mat stand out is the inner layer. It contains water absorption material — which can provide strong protection against unwanted urine accidents and odors — making it double as a pee pad or feeding mat for your pets.
We previously mentioned that families tend to prefer the gel cooling mats over the water-filled cooling mats. Still, if you’re interested in getting a water-filled option, this K&H Pet Products Cool Bed III Cooling Dog Bed is the most popular one on the market right now. The medium size is 32″ long by 22″ wide and takes roughly two or three gallons to function properly. The Cool Core inside the mat works by reducing your dog’s body heat and reducing the temperature on and around the bed. K&H Pet Products shared that if your home is 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the Cool Bed III is about 22 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than your pet’s body temperature.
To help with bacterial growth in the water bed, it’s recommended that you add GSE (grapefruit seed extract) to the water, which is natural and non-toxic for pets. Even though the bed has a durable nylon and vinyl exterior, this mat comes with a two-year warranty if anything happens.
If you’re not sold on the idea of a cooling mat but want a place for your dog to cool down naturally, check out this Orvis Raised Cooling Dog Bed from Orvis. It’s the most expensive option on the list, but it’s by far the most sturdy and reliable option available. The corrosion-resistant finish is fully integrated with aluminum to prevent the bed from getting scratches or chips, and the large size is 36″ long by 23″ wide.
Your dog can naturally cool down on the raised mesh surface because it allows for all-around breathability and airflow, so your pet gets the most out of this bed just by laying on it. Plus, the mesh surface is excellent for full-body orthopedic support and protecting your pup from joint pain.
Orvis recommends this bed for all types of dogs but mentions that it’s ideal for double-coated breeds, such as Labradors and Retrievers.
Keep Your Dog Cool Off The Mat, Too
Your dog needs to stay cool all day long, not just when they are lounging around on a mat. One of the best ways to keep your dog cool is to make sure they are healthy and active. An active pup has less fat, which means they can naturally keep their core body temperature more regulated with less insulation on their body. By keeping your pets healthy, you can eliminate expensive vet bills from life-threatening heat strokes or other heat-related incidents. Make sure you’re feeding them properly, keeping them stimulated and monitoring their overall health and wellness.
Now that you can keep your pets cool, it’s time to pack them a travel bag and get ready for your next family adventure.
You might also be interested in: The 13 Best Indestructible Dog Beds For Your Toughest Canine
The 9 Best Dog Cooling Mats:
- K&H Pet Products Coolin’ Cot Elevated Dog Bed
- Arf Pets Dog Self Cooling Mat
- FurHaven Indoor/Outdoor Garden Cooling Gel Dog Bed
- Sealy Lux Quad Layer Orthopedic Dog Bed With Cooling Gel
- Coleman Comfort Cooling Gel Pad
- Dogbed4less Gel-Infused Memory Foam Pet Mat
- MICROCOSMOS Pet Chillz Cooling Mat
- K&H Pet Products Cool Bed III Cooling Dog Bed
- Orvis Raised Cooling Dog Bed