Summer presents unique challenges for your pets. You know the heat is coming every year, and yet it always seems to catch you slightly off guard. You might scramble to find out if the kiddie pool is in working order. Perhaps you perform an inventory of your misting devices.
A cooling pad for a dog is an affordable and convenient tool that can help you cool off your four-legged friend on hot days. You will base your choice of the best dog cooling mat on safety, potency, and ease of use.
Quick Picks: The Top-Rated Dog Cooling Mats
Last update on 2021-01-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
In a hurry? Check our best pick above, or keep reading for product reviews and buying guide!
5 Reviews of Best Dog Cooling Mats
Arf Pets Pet Dog Self Cooling Mat Pad – Best Self Cooling Mat
When your dogs and kids regularly play with each other and share everything, the safety of materials is especially important. The Arf Pets cooling pad uses nylon instead of latex. Eliminating latex in mats and pads is a bonus for sensitive people.
Arf Pets cooling mats utilize a self-charging gel pad. Not only is the pad comfortable for your dog, but it can absorb his body heat for up to three hours. With about 20 minutes of rest, the pad is ready to regulate your dog’s body temperature again.
Although the cooling pad is thick enough to support your pet, it is also easy to fold and lightweight. You can travel with the pad or use it in your dog’s crate or on his bed. The Arf Pets cooling pad is ideal for families who need a low-maintenance mat they can carry on trips or put inside a pet carrier.
Because of it solid gel makeup, your dog’s pad will cool him down but can also be therapeutic. Pets recovering from surgery or suffering from arthritis commonly find relief lying on gel surfaces. Cooling adds to the soothing effects of the mat.
- Small 23″ x 35″
- Medium 27″ x 43″
- Large 35″ x 55″
- Environmentally conscious
- Easy to clean – Just wipe it with a damp cloth and mild soap
- Nylon material instead of latex
- Resistant to tearing
- Some dogs avoid it
- Not durable to claws
Best Gel Infused Cooling Mat
The Dogbed4less is ideal for medium and extra-large dogs and those between. It combines cooling gel with memory foam. The pad can serve as a cooling mat for hot days and as a stand-alone dog bed.
A coral fleece cover makes the Dogbed4less soft and comfortable. Underneath, like many dog beds, the pad has an anti slip rubber surface that is water-resistant.
If you prefer not to use your pet’s cooling pad as a bed, you can put the Dogbed4less on top of any surface, including the couch or cushion. The cooling mat can also provide additional support and protection for most dog beds.
- Large 42″ x 28″
- X Large 40″ x 35″
- X Large 48″ x 30″
- XX Large 54″ x 37″
- Jumbo 75″ x 38″
- Very dense memory foam – Provides orthopedic support
- Surface of bed pre-treated – Exceptionally mildew and bacteria resistant
- Soft and absorbent material – Resists stains and wrinkles
- Waterproof and non slip bottom
- Better as a cool bed than a cooling mat – Great for indoor use
- Cover falls apart
Best Pressure Activated Cooling Mat
Very similar to the Arf Pets cooling pad, the GreenPetShop mat features a gel material. Your dog cools himself via pressure activation of the gel. The cooling effect functions for about three hours, after which it can recharge through nonuse. Recharging requires only 15 to 20 minutes.
Like other cooling pads based on the same concept, the GreenPetShop cooling gel does not require water, electricity, or refrigeration. The pad is thin and you can fold it to make it readily portable. You can also place it in your dog’s crate or on your car seats.
Ideally, you can use the GreenPetShop gel pad for senior dogs with joint issues or any dogs with orthopedic conditions. Pets recovering from knee surgery or other procedures can find relief laying on the cooling mat.
- 11.8″ x 15.7″ up to 15 lbs
- 15.7″ x 19.7″ 15 to 35 lbs
- 20″ x 30″ 35 to 65 lbs
- 23.6″ x 36″ 65 to 90 lbs
- 27.5″ x 45″ over 90 lbs
- Pad is cooling to the touch and soothing
- Versatile for cats and rabbits
- Great for dogs with heavy coats
- Wrinkles but still works
- Sizes may run small
Best Cooling Mat System
Although their popularity has declined for practical reasons, cooling pads that use water are one of the most effective means to keep dogs cool. The CoolerDog pad utilizes a three-layer system. One tier holds water, another is for ice cubes, and the third provides an insulating layer between your dog and the bed.
If you have a large dog, CoolerDog snaps multiple cushions together to create a bigger pad. Such a snap system prevents the instability that can result from an extra-large water bed.
Related: Best Dog Beds for Large Dogs
The CoolerDog comes with a washable cover that is rip-resistant to protect the cushioning underneath. More important is the material of the water bed because if your dog punctures it, the pad is useless and surrounding surfaces can suffer water damage.
The CoolerDog is best for performance dogs who exert themselves even when it is hot outside. It also benefits dogs sensitive to the heat like Bulldogs and massive breeds like Great Danes.
- Small 23″ x 18″
- Medium 35″ x 23″ – Combine 2 for up to 65 lbs
- Large 45″ x 23″ – Combine 4 for up to 150 lbs
- Cooler than gel pads
- Cool dogs longer than gel
- Machine washable
- Cooling comes from pure water rather than synthetic gel
- Can leak and the material sweats
- Does not fold as easily and thus is not as portable as gel cooling pads
Best Water Bed For Dogs
Unlike the CoolerDog cooling pad, the K&H mat uses water without an ice pack layer. The natural cooling properties of the water within the pad provides a surface that is 10 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than your dog’s core temperature.
The major action of the K&H cooling pad is to wick your dog’s body via the bed’s cool core. Your dog should feel a chilling sensation with the contrast in temperatures between the air, the matters, and the floor.
You will usually fill the cooling pad once per season. The K&H features enable you to store the cooling pad with water or empty it and refill when you are ready to use it again. If you leave the water in it, you will better keep it clean if you treat it with antibacterial.
The K&H provides a great therapeutic sensation for dogs with skin issues or sore joints.
- Small 17″ x 24″
- Medium 22″ x 32″
- Large 32″ x 44″
- Longer lasting cooling effect
- Potentially more dramatic cooling than gel pads
- You do not have to empty the water after use
- Can adjust firmness with a convenient fill cap and air adjustment valve
- Despite tear-resistant nylon shell, susceptible to puncture
- You should treat water if you store a full bed for prolonged periods – Grapefruit extract is a natural antibacterial agent you can add
Best Dog Cooling Mats Buying Guide
Things to Look For When Buying Dog Cooling Mat
When you shop for cooling pads, your search satisfies a narrow niche. Comfort is beneficial but not quite to the extent of a dog bed. Other major selective features of cooling pads are the mechanism of action, effectiveness, duration, portability, and ease of cleaning.
Your dog can benefit from a non-skid bottom to his cooling pad as well as a soft, plush cover. Covers have limitations because they can interfere with cooling mechanisms if they are too thick or insulating.
Mode of Activity, Effectiveness, and Duration
Cooling pads usually work via water or the relatively new gel system. Some pads accomplish more extreme cooling through the use of both water and ice. Special inserts allow you to place ice cubes or packs in the cushions.
Related: Best Dog Pools
Gel and foam pads do not cool pets as much as water beds, but they have other benefits. Gel pads are not as susceptible to punctures and are more portable than water mats.
Hydro pads maintain cooling for an indefinite time as long as the climate is considerably cooler than your dog’s core temperature. They work best at 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Water-based pads also work more efficiently if the ground is cool. Linoleum and tile are especially suitable for hydro cooling pads. Moreover, you need to place water beds in the shade or bring them inside if you do not want the water to get warm from the sun.
The potent cooling of pads that use ice and water can last five to eight hours. However, you need to replace the ice layer after that interval. It will take much longer to prepare your ice pack than to recharge a gel pad. Most gel pads only require 15 minutes of nonuse to regain their cooling effect. One option is to get a replacement ice insert so you can always have it ready.
Gel foam pads are the most portable of cooling mats. They are quite lightweight and usually fold flat. Memory foam cooling pads are also very light to carry but often do not fold as neatly as gel pads. Some of them may roll up.
Related: Best Travel Dog Beds
How to Size Your Dog’s Cooling Pad
Usually, you do not have to measure a cooling pad as precisely as you would a dog bed. Unlike a bed that should provide support, your dog’s cooling mat only needs to be large enough to accommodate his core, which gives off the majority of heat. Dogs often position themselves on mats, so their legs extend past the outer borders.
You should attempt a more accurate fit if you are using a cooling mat for orthopedic therapy or recovery. In treatment it is more crucial for the affected limb to contact the mat. Also, accurate measurements are appropriate if you plan on putting a cooling pad in your dog’s crate.
For a rough fit, you can use two methods to pick a cooling mat. You can select a pad based on your dog’s breed or weight or measure him. Measure from the shoulders to the beginning of the tail and from head to elbows and add about five inches.
For more accurate measurement and better limb support, measure your dog’s cooling pad as you would his bed. You need hsi length from the tip of the nose to where his tail starts and from the ears to the ground as he sits. Add six or seven inches to your measurement. Memory foam beds, however, are better for orthopedic support than any cooling pad.
What Is the Best Way to Use a Cooling Pad?
Like most beneficial equipment, a cooling pad is not a quick fix for your dog and hot weather. Sometimes you may have to utilize a few methods to cool your dog. In some cases, a cooling mat may not be right for your dog at all.
- Your dog may not use a cooling pad – Sometimes your dog simply does not like the material; try covering with a non slippery throw. Make sure the material you use is thin enough not to take away from mat’s cooling effect.
- Heavy chewers – Destroy pads with water and may ingest harmful materials in certain gel pads
- If your dog needs better support than a pad can offer, you can combine many brands of pads with your dog’s bed. The mat goes on top of an orthopedic mattress or other bed.
It is best to place your dog’s cooling pad in a shaded area. Most cooling pads do not function well in direct sunlight. UV rays break down cooling pad materials such as vinyl. Moreover, hydro pads rely on the surrounding temperature to cool your pet. Exposure to the sun heats water and quickly melts ice.
Cooling pads are ideal as preventatives. They become ineffectual once your dog shows signs of distress or heat exhaustion. You will need to take more extreme measures if your pet shows signs of heat distress before it becomes heatstroke.
- Labored panting – Tongue and gums often become a deeper shade of red
- Lethargic – unusually quiet or sluggish
- Your dog feels unusually warm when you touch him
- Nose seems visibly dry
- Heart may be racing – This is not always an easy symptom to observe
- Drooling, which can indicate nausea, and possibly your dog will start vomiting
What Are Considerations for Materials
There is not much choice of materials for cooling pads. Little variety exists as far as what can calm your dog safely. Most cooling mats will be vessels that hold gel or water and will have a makeup of vinyl, nylon, latex, or another similar compound.
- Quality – Affects durability
- Latex sensitivity
- Long lasting and effective cooling results
Gel foams have replaced hydro cooling pads for many dog owners. Few things are as much of a headache as a leaky waterbed. Nevertheless, we selected the DogCooler Cooling Pad as the best dog cooling mat because of its potency and use of a harmless filler. We feel the option of having a backup ice insert makes it even more appealing.
The runner up was the Arf Pets Cooling Pad because of its convenience, and it is the most effective gel pad. We liked the Bed4less but noticed the combination of materials slightly compromised its quality as a cooling pad.