During the hotter months of the year, it is important to keep your dog as cool as possible. Just like us, they can feel the heat and be affected by it. If they get too hot it can start to affect their health and wellbeing. One way you can keep your dog cool is with a dog cooling mat or pad. These are specially designed to actively cool your dog down when they need it.
We will go over whether your dog needs a cooling pad and if they are worth the money. We also give you some buying tips and how to best care for your cooling mat. Then we give you our recommendations for the best dog cooling mat and some other options for keeping your dog cool this summer.
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Does Your Dog Need a Dog Cooling Mat?
If your dog gets hot during summer then they could probably benefit from a cooling pad or mat. Heat can be taxing on your dog. If your dog gets too hot for too long it can potentially be dangerous for their health. Overheating can lead to heatstroke, exhaustion, and dehydration which can lead to ongoing health problems for your dog.
It is also uncomfortable for your dog to be hot for too long. If you notice your dog continually seeking out cooler parts of your house, like the cool tiles of the bathroom or kitchen, or cool patches of cement or deck outside, then they may be getting uncomfortably hot.
Other signs to look for to see if your dog is too hot include excessive panting or drooling, increased heart rate, breathing problems, lack of energy, and unusual agitation.
Another bonus of getting a cooling mat for your dog is that it can be more comfortable for them to lie on than the floor. As well as being cool, they will provide some cushioning between your dog and the floor.
These mats can also be beneficial as a relief from aches and pains for dogs that have joint problems from arthritis and for older dogs.
Are Dog Cooling Mats Worth Your Money?
So is it worth it to get your pup a specialized pad or mat to cool them down or not? Let’s start by saying that they are not for all dogs. Especially if your dog is a biter or chewer, or is destructive towards everything you buy them. These mats are not indestructible. They can be punctured by sharp teeth or claws. So avoid buying one if your dog is likely to destroy it.
If you already have other alternatives for cooling down your dog then this may not be worth the money for you. There are a number of ways you can help your dog cool down in summer like portable dog pools, cooling fans or air conditioners, an elevated outdoor dog bed, or a cooling dog vest. You can even hack your own DIY cooling mat with old towels and cold water. But keep in mind that some of these are only temporary fixes. A dog cooling pad can keep your dog cool for hours at a time.
If your dog spends a lot of time inside in front of the air conditioner then you can save yourself some money by turning off the aircon and getting them a cooling mat instead. That is unless you need the aircon as well.
How Do Dog Cooling Mats Work?
Dog cooling mats are designed a couple of different ways. One type is made from materials that absorb heat from your dog’s body. They have a gel inside them that keeps your dog cool and is activated by pressure when your dog sits on the mat. The gel then recharges and cools down again when your dog gets up and pressure is removed.
The other type is filled with cold water, similar to a water bed. The cool water absorbs heat from your dog’s body. Both types have only a limited amount of time that they work for until they need to be recharged or cooled down.
Buying Tips – What to Look for When Buying a Cooling Mat for Your Dog
Once you have decided which type of cooling mat you want for your dog there are a few things to look for when making your purchase.
Size. All of our recommended cooling pads and mats come in a variety of sizes. Make sure you get the right sizing for your dog. Too small and your dog won’t cool down enough, too big and it may be less efficient. Think about where you are going to put it as well. Does it need to fit inside a kennel or crate? If so you will need to check your dimensions first to make sure it fits.
Portability. Will it just sit in one place or do you want to be able to move it around easily? Water filled cooling mats or beds become heavy and difficult to move. A more lightweight pad or mat can fold away for easy storage or travel if you need it.
Easy to use. Ease of use is important if you plan on traveling with your cooling mat and will need to set up and dismantle it regularly. Look for ones that don’t need water, electricity, or refrigeration.
Easy to clean and maintain. Dog mats pick up a lot of hair, dirt, and dust so try to pick a mat that is easy to clean. Most of the ones we recommend below can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth and mild detergent. They are not suitable for the washing machine.
Durability. Where will your dog be using the mat? If it is outside, make sure you pick one that is durable and will stand up to the elements. Also, dogs can be rough with their stuff. They are often scratching, chewing, and biting things so a mat made from sturdy material will last longer.
Comfort. If your dog will be spending a lot of time on their mat you should make sure it is comfortable enough for them. Some mats have more padding and softer outer material than others.
Non-toxic. Make sure the mat you choose is suitable for your dog and made from non-toxic materials. Nylon holds up well to wear and tear and is breathable. Avoid mats made with latex, plastic, rubber or foam as they tend to sweat and trap moisture.
How to Make Your Dog Cooling Mat Last
Once you get a cooling mat for your dog there are a few things you can do to make sure it lasts long enough to get your money’s worth.
Clean it. Once you check the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning your mat make sure you do it regularly. Most of them can be cleaned with a quick wipe down with a damp cloth and maybe some mild detergent.
Grooming. Keep your dog’s nails trimmed to prevent accidental punctures. Regular brushing will remove excess hair that your dog sheds and prevent it from building up on their mat.
Check underneath. Check the surface where you place the mat to make sure nothing will be underneath it that can cause rips or tears. If there is dirt or something sharp it can rub on the mat and wear it down or puncture it. Also check under the mat regularly for moisture buildup. Moisture breeds bacteria and mold that can be harmful to your dog and degrade the mat over time.
Sunlight. Never place the cooling mat in direct sunlight. The heat from the sun will reduce the cooling effects of the mat.
The Best Dog Cooling Pad
We have picked a few different cooling mats, pads, and beds here for your dog, but if you just want the best here is our top recommendation.
The Whalek dog cooling mat is our top pick for the best cooling pad for your dog. It is made with high-quality durable material and a gel that is non-toxic and safe for your dog. It requires no electricity to keep cool. The gel hardens and cools on its own when placed on the ground out of direct sunlight. When your dog lays down on the mat the cool gel will draw heat from your dog keeping him cool for hours. When your dog gets up off the mat, it will recharge the gel and cool down again.
It is flexible and soft providing comfort for aging dogs with joint pain.
The waterproof material is easy to clean. Just a quick wipe down with a damp cloth or soft brush will do the job.
The polyester composite cover is durable and puncture resistant, but heavy chewers will still be able to destroy this mat.
We love this mat because it is well made, lightweight, waterproof, easy to clean and should last a long time.
Best Portable Dog Cooling Mat
The Arf Pets cooling mat is also an exceptional mat for cooling your dog down. It is another cooling mat that automatically recharges and provides continuous relief from the heat for your dog for up to three hours.
It is made from non-toxic, completely latex-free material that is 100% safe for animals and humans. The durable solid gel construction is made to last for years. This cool gel interior absorbs your dog’s body heat, relaxing and soothing them for up to three continuous hours. It recharges on its own without the need for water, refrigeration, batteries or electricity. After 3 hours of use, it will automatically recharge in just 15-20 minutes of non-use.
It is a flexible mat that folds flat for easy storage or travel and will retain its shape well over time.
It is great for indoor or outdoor use. It is lightweight and portable while still providing your dog with cushioning and support.
It is also easy to clean with a quick wipe-down with a mix of mild soap and water.
The puncture-resistant exterior resists tearing and lasts through season after season.
This is a nice thin foldable cooling pad that is durable and great for portability.
Runner-Up Dog Cooling Pads
These runner-up cooling pads are almost as good as our top two picks. They are similar in construction and the way they work and may be a good option depending on the sizes available and what your needs are.
The Petpeppy cooling mat also works without refrigeration, water, electricity or messy funnels. The safe and sturdy nylon cushion has a cool gel interior that absorbs your dog’s body heat to keep them cool. The gel is activated once your dog gets onto the mat and recharges when he gets off, just like with the others.
This solid-gel cooling mat is a completely non-toxic solution for your dog. There is no elaborate clean up needed, just wipe the mat with a damp cloth and let dry.
This one also comes with a cooling collar for your dog as an added bonus.
It is made with non-toxic gel and a tough outer shell that is easy to wipe clean.
It is a great lightweight and portable cooling pad that you can take with you anywhere you go with your dog.
Great for taking to the park or beach on hot days to cool your dog down.
Best Dog Cooling Bed
This is a different type of cooling bed that uses water to wick heat out of your dog and release it into the air. It is a cool, comfortable waterbed style of cooling. The unique cool core diverts liquid for ultimate cooling power. The water naturally extracts heat and the bed is designed to radiate that heat back into the air or the floor surface to keep your dog cool.
No electricity is required and it is good for indoor and outdoor use. You just add water through the easy fill cap and adjust for comfort with the valve.
The tough nylon coating and vinyl backing exterior is durable and holds up well with continuous use.
It also has a two-year limited warranty, which is great peace of mind in case you end up with a leak.
This may not be ideal if you want to move the bed around as it can get heavy when filled with water.
Alternatives to a Dog Cooling Pad or Mat
There are some other options you can consider using instead of the cooling pad or mats we have mentioned. You may have a destructive dog that chews everything and are looking for something else that may work to cool your dog down. Keep in mind that these may only be suitable for certain situations, climates, and locations.
The Elevated Dog Bed
If you don’t want to try the cooling mats for whatever reason you can try an elevated dog bed instead. This will not actively cool your dog down, but the elevation allows for good airflow around your dog which can keep them cooler than a soft cushy bed or a bunch of blankets on the floor.
The Coolaroo Elevated Bed is our top pick for an elevated bed that we recommended in our list of the best dog beds. The breathable high-density polyethylene fabric is tough and easy to set up and clean.
Dog Cooling Vest
Cooling vests are another option for cooling your dog down during the hot summer months. These are great because you can use them while you are out and about walking and playing with your dog. They use evaporative cooling to keep your dog at a nice comfortable temperature while exercising. All you need to do is soak the vest in cool water, wring out the excess water and put it on your dog.
Here are some more quick tips for keeping your dog cool.
Try an outdoor portable pool so your dog can take a dip in the backyard to cool off.
Whatever you decide to use, make sure you watch your dog for signs of overheating during the hotter months. Keep them cool and comfortable in whatever way you can to keep them happy and healthy.
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