If you’re in the USA or Australia – some states are pretty much a heatwave all year round. In the UK, Canada and other places – heat is seasonal. As any dog owner is aware, dogs aren’t the biggest fans of heat and keeping them cool both indoors and outdoors can be a challenge. For information on cooling vests and outdoor ideas – check out our article here.
This article will look at the topic of dog cooling mats. We will discuss how cooling mats and pads work, the types of pads out there as well as discuss our top seven picks of the best dog cooling mats on the market.
- Our Top 7 Best Dog Cooling Mats for 2021
- How do Dog Cooling Mats work?
- Do Cooling Mats for Dogs really work?
- Cooling Pads for Large Breeds
- Signs your Dog may be Dehydrated
- Tips for Keeping Your Dog Cool Indoors
- Tips for Keeping Your Dog Cool Outdoors
Our Top 7 Best Dog Cooling Mats for 2021
1. 🏆 Chillz Pressure Activated Pet Cooling Pad
|Chillz Dog Cooling Mat, Large - Pressure Activated Pet Cooling Mat for Dogs - No Water or...||Buy on Amazon|
This top trending cooling dog bed is a particular favourite in the USA with nearly 2,000 online reviews. This cooling mat does not require freezing or cold water but rather uses a non-toxic gel to keep your dog cool.
When the dog lays on the cooling mat – the pressure activates the gel. This absorbs the heat from your dog’s body and cools the dog down. The mat is available in three sizes; medium, large and extra large (for Great Danes etc) – only blue colour is available.
The pad is easy to clean, just wipe it down with a wet cloth.
This is a foldable pad so you can easily pack it away during the colder months or take it with you whilst travelling.
In addition to its cooling qualities – the soft pad can also be a nice little aid for dogs with joint pain, swelling, discomfort, and stress. We’ve also read about many people using this mat for themselves to keep cool on hot nights.
2. Pecute Dog Cooling Mat
|pecute Dog Cooling Mat Large 90x50cm, Durable Pet Cool Mat Non-Toxic Gel Self Cooling Pad, Great for...||Buy on Amazon|
This make of cooling mat has recently been updated for 2019. Made from a high-quality 300D Oxford composite PVC material, this 0.4mm thick mat is waterproof, scratch-resistant and wear-resistant.
The bed is self-cooling and uses a non-toxic gel inside. When your dog lies on the mat it will absorb the heat from the body and deliver a cooling effect.
The outer layer is made from durable oxford cloth with PVC beneath. This makes it easy to clean – simply rinse water over the pad or wipe it down with a damp cloth.
Like the other pad, this ca3en be folded away or easily carried for both indoor and outdoor use.
A popular choice with good reviews at an affordable price, the mat comes in medium, large and extra-large sizes.
3. 🏆 dogbed4less Orthopedic Gel Cooling Memory Foam Dog Bed
|dogbed4less Orthopedic Gel Infused Cooling Memory Foam Dog Bed for Large Dog, Waterproof Liner and...||Buy on Amazon|
Our favourite dog cooling bed sadly only ranks #3 on the trending list – but this is a phenomenal item. This is completely different in terms of quality to other cooling beds we have seen.
This is a hybrid with the makings of a memory foam orthopaedic dog bed mixed with the gel cooling qualities of a cooling mat.
The outer layer consists of two covers. The first is a removable washable MicroSuede external zipper cover. The second is a waterproof internal zipper cover. The internal is a gel memory foam pad. This is not only softer and sturdier than others on the market but should last for ages and can be used all year round if required.
Because of the memory foam, the mattress will not flatten over time. It also can be used on dogs with arthritis and joint pains who may find normal cooling pads to be too thin for their needs.
This dog bed is machine washable and uses 180GSM Microfiber Suede cover with a strong zipper and extra stitching to prolong the life of the bed.
It is also available in not only a range of sizes (seven – from medium to jumbo) but also a range of ten different colours.
This is a fantastic cooling bed and a solid investment. It costs a little more than a conventional cooling mat – but it is an investment well worth making.
4. The Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat
|The Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat - Pressure-Activated Gel Cooling Mat For Dogs, Medium Large Size...||Buy on Amazon|
With over 1,600 mainly positive reviews on Amazon for this pet pad, it’s a hugely popular mat globally. Visually, we prefer this mat and its style is different from the majority listed on major websites.
The mat uses a patented pressure activated gel cushion to cool your dog when they sit or lay on it. This absorbs the heat coming from the dog’s body and returns the cooling effect.
There’s certainly a higher quality to the Green Pet Shop mat and you can tell thought has gone into it. The material is smoother and less “blue PVC”. The majority of reviewers seems happy, with a few complaining of shrinkage.
5. Aolvo Cooling Pad/Bed
|Aolvo Cooling Pad/Mat/Bed for Dogs & Cats, Cool Padded Dog Bolster Bed Extra Large, 27.55" X 19.68",...||Buy on Amazon|
Our first entry for cooling beds, a hybrid between a cooling mat and a dog bed. This makes it less practical to fold up and take with you, however, it is an ideal choice for keeping your dog cool both at night as well as during the day.
The large size measures 27.55″ x 19.68″ which will suit most large and extra large breeds. There are also small and medium sizes available online.
The mat is stain, dirt and wrinkle resistant and easy to vacuum clean. Available with a 12-month guarantee and a choice of…. two colours (blue or pink)! It is also machine washable.
This is soft and being more like normal pet beds may make it a lot easier to familiarise your dog with it.
6. S&S Reusable Pet Cooling Mat
|S&S Reusable Pet Cooling Mat - Chill Pad for Cats/Dogs in Hot Weather - Activated by Animal Body...||Buy on Amazon|
The S&S is a fairly standard pet cooling mat and doesn’t differ from many of the others featured in this article.
It’s the familiar blue with the non-toxic cooling gel inside. Reviews are very favourable and the price is also reasonable.
7. Pro Goleem Self Pet Cooling Gel Mat for Puppy
|Pet cool mat, Non-toxic Dog self Cooling Gel Mat for Dog & Cat (Small,50x40cm), Puppy Self Cooling...||Buy on Amazon|
Our final cooling pad is for the little pup in your life. Designed for puppies or cats – this is a very affordable option for fido’s first summer.
Although an adult-sized pad would work just fine, given a puppies tendency to attempt to destroy everything it touches – this may be a great compromise.
The Pro Goleem is (handily) waterproof with a sturdy polyester fibre outer layer and a non-toxic gel internal padding.
The mat does not need to be frozen or chilled and is pressure activated when your puppy steps / sits on it.
The cooling effect should last a few hours (usually around four hours depending on temperatures) with about 15 minutes required for it to recharge itself.
This is a surprisingly strong cooling pad, particularly given the low cost. Because of its light weight, it can be used indoors or in a crate or even taken out on the road. Like most mats, it should not be left in direct sunlight as it will fail to recharge.
Not this is not machine washable – just wipe it down with a wet cloth when required. Other sizes are available – but this is particularly popular for use with puppies.
This is an affordable, strong and effective cooling mat for your puppy which should last the entirety of the summer months.
How do Dog Cooling Mats work?
Cooling pads can work in a number of ways. Modern pads tend to work using non-toxic gels. For those wanting a more scientific explanation – the composition is mainly a combination of water and polymers.
This is an endothermic reaction, basically absorbing heat and delivering a cooling effect. Simply put – when a dog (or human) lies on a cooling mat, the heat from the body is absorbed by the mat.
So, you put pressure on the gel, it cools you down. This effect doesn’t last forever – usually a few hours – and leaving it to recharge for about fifteen minutes will restore its cooling properties.
Other mats are similar to ice packs and need to be refrigerated before use. Some require rinsing in water, similar to a towel. The majority of cooling pads can are flexible and can be folded up – this makes them ideal not only for indoors but also for crates, the car or outdoors (though we recommend in the shade as direct sunlight is not great for either the mat or the dog).
There are also cooling beds – these are a mix between a cooling pad and a dog bed – so great for night-time cooling.
The majority (although not all) of cooling mats are blue. We tried to find out why and our research didn’t uncover anything. We’re assuming that blue is the natural associated colour with cold – hence they’re mostly blue. So if blue isn’t your colour – you will have limited options!
Do Cooling Mats for Dogs really work?
Many experts and dog owners find that cooling pads are an excellent way of keeping your dog cool. However, you must remember that this is not the only way to keep your dog from overheating – particularly in very hot conditions.
We have provided other suggestions you may need for keeping your pets cool and avoiding heatstroke in addition to using cooling beds later in this article.
Cooling Pads for Large Breeds
If like us you own large breed dogs such as a Great Dane or Newfoundland you will probably notice that the X-Large sized cooling mats are more expensive.
We use the Pecute mat for our dog regularly during the summer months having tried a smaller mat previously. Although it takes up a lot more floor space they did take to using it a lot quicker than previous attempts.
You may also have the issue of not being able to simply pick a giant dog up and place it on the pad (I’ve tried and failed).
It took some training to get our Danes to use it at first and having one each certainly helped. Use treats (or a toy if more effective) to persuade your dog to walk onto the mat. This may take some tries – but once they become used to it – it will become their spot of choice when the weather heats up.
Signs your Dog may be Dehydrated
In summer or periods of high temperatures, it is essential that you keep your dog from overheating. Dog’s do not sweat to release body heat the same way as humans do, so discomfort and health issues from too much heat exposure can harm your dog.
Some signs of heatstroke are heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure and unconsciousness.The Humane Society
The most obvious sign of heatstroke in a dog is excessive panting. You may also notice glazing of the eyes and an increase in the dog’s heart rate.
Because dogs “sweat” from their paws – a sudden increase in damp paw prints on hard surfaces could be a sign of over-heating.
Particular care for bulldog breeds, boxers, pugs, older dogs and those that are overweight should be made as they tend to over-heat or develop breathing problems quicker.
If you suspect your dog is suffering from heatstroke always contact or take them directly to your vet. You can help cool them down by bringing them into an air-conditioned or shaded room.
Place a cold damp towel or ice pack on their head, neck and chest or run cool (not cold) water over them. If possible, also let them drink small amounts of water or lick ice cubes if you have them.
Tips for Keeping Your Dog Cool Indoors
When indoors for those households lucky enough to have air conditioning, this can be a great way of keeping your home at a more reasonable temperature. Just like with humans, however, air conditioners can cause dehydration – so make sure your dog has access to plenty of water throughout the day and night.
For those without AC, creating a breeze in the house by opening windows and doors can be a good way of circulating air which can prevent hot air from building up. Some dog owners also keep the curtains closed in some rooms to stop direct sunlight and create an artificial shade within the room.
Fans can also create additional ventilation within a room, though they are not often as effective on dogs as they are on humans.
Keeping water handy is important and refreshing it often with cold water can also help. Owners could place ice in the dog’s water bowl for that extra chill. Water must be changed often and should always be clean.
Cooling mats or beds are a good option for the dog to lay on. You can also try dog cooling vests. Cold towels are also an option either having been refrigerated or run under a cold tap then placed under or over your pooch. Other makeshift ideas include making dog ice-pops of peanut butter or a similar favourite.17
We’ve had recommendations in the past of running a cool (not ice cold) bath for the dog to splash about in – but if your dogs are anything like ours – they generally hate the bath. But if this works for you, it’s a good suggestion.
Tips for Keeping Your Dog Cool Outdoors
Outdoors can be a little trickier so common sense should be employed. Obviously, do not over-exercise your dog on a hot day. Carry water with you – we often carry a few squeezable plastic bottles.
If you’re out walking, take plenty of breaks to give time for hydration and cooling down.
Use a dog cooling vest or a cold towel to help keep the temperature down.
The shade is always a great thing when the sun is shining. Doghouses are not great because they do not allow the breeze to easily flow, but under branches or tarp is great because not only does it give shade – it allows the air to flow through easily.
When in the car ideally shade the windows. Use a cooling mat or cold towel to keep your dogs cool and take plenty of breaks to allow for rehydration. Car air conditioning can be great (although remember to keep them well watered) or alternatively a breeze from open windows will always be appreciated.
Never ever leave your dog in a locked car when the sun is out – even with the window open. This can and probably will kill them. Not only is this illegal, but it is also irresponsible.
Dog cooling mats are a great way of keeping your dog cool on hot days. They work in the day time or night time – though, like anything involving a dog, there may be some training required to persuade them to lay on them. They last for several hours, are generally inexpensive products and require little maintenance. They’re also mostly flexible so can be folded into storage or taken with you on a road trip.
This is just one way to keep your dog from getting too hot. You should also exercise best practices to stop your pets from baking on a hot day – particularly keeping them well hydrated.
Always watch out for your dog when temperatures rise and if you suspect your dog is suffering from heatstroke – always contact your vet.
If you have any other recommendations for the best ways of keeping your dog cool in hot weather – don’t forget to comment at the bottom of this article – or join the conversation on our Facebook page.
Stay cool all!