There’s no question that dogs are cool. But did you know that they also needed to stay cool? Man’s best friend can’t sweat; their fur makes this impossible. They are only able to release heat from their body by panting and through the pads of their paws and their nose. This means that your pooch can easily succumb to heatstroke after playing outside on a hot summer’s day. And this is where dog cooling pads come in.
Dog cooling mats or pads are the perfect tool to help your pooch (and even your cat) regulate his temperature. These are specialized pads or mats that are either filled with water or a gel. When your pet lies down on it, the water or gel will absorb the heat from your pet’s body which brings down his internal temperature. Once the bed is heated, your dog will go somewhere else. This allows the bed to “cool off” by letting the heat flow out into the air and even the floor, enabling it to once again be “ready” to absorb heat from your pooch.
What to Look for in a Cooling Mat or Bed?
Like any pet product, there are numerous cooling dog beds for you to choose from; they come in all shapes, sizes, and styles including orthopedic models and elevated cots. It’s important that you look carefully at the features your dog will need before clicking on the buy button. This brief guide should help you choose the best overall cooling dog bed for your money and your dog.
It doesn’t matter how great the bed is or how much you splurged on it if your pup can’t fit his entire body on the mat or bed. It’s important that most of his body is in direct contact with the cooling mat to maximize the rate at which his internal temperature decreases. If it’s too small, some parts of his body won’t benefit from the bed. When choosing a cooling mat, make sure to get the largest one you can possibly fit in your space. This way, he will be able to move around the bed once parts of it have warmed up.
You’ll want to get a cooling bed that you can take with you anywhere. Most pads filled with gel can be folded up or rolled, enabling you to easily haul it around or store it away during the cold seasons. If you choose a water-filled mat, keep in mind that you will need to empty it out before you can take it with you and then refill it before use.
While manufacturers may tell you that their cooling beds are made of non-toxic materials, there’s no guarantee that your pooch won’t become ill should he ingest parts of it. Make sure to choose a model that is very durable – tough enough to withstand getting scratched or chewed on. However, we also recommend that you never leave your dog alone while he’s on the mat, just to be safe.
This, quite possibly, is the most important factor that you need to take into account before making your purchase. There are three types of cooling beds in the market: water-filled beds, pressure-activated cooling pads, and memory foam beds.
A water-filled bed is exactly what it means. Water has natural cooling properties; it can absorb heat and release it into the air or the floor, keeping the surface of the bed cool. Typically, the cooling power of a water-filled dog bed lasts as long as 7 hours. However, this type of cooling bed needs to be placed out of direct sunlight. We all know what happens to water left out in the sun – it heats up and evaporates which negates the purpose of this bed.
Pressure-activated cooling pads feature a gel that is able to absorb heat and redistribute it. It “activates” as soon as your dog lies down on the bed. The best cooling beds can maintain a temperature that’s lower than the ambient temp by 15 to 20 degrees. Typically, the bed can maintain this temperature for up to 4 hours. Some beds will require recharging via electricity or through a battery to become cool again. Others automatically cool down within 20 minutes after your pet leaves the bed.
Memory foam is known for trapping body heat. Obviously, this won’t do your dog any good since he needs to cool off. But manufacturers of cooling dog beds have found a solution – either adding a top layer of cooling gel or using a special kind of memory foam that has cooling properties. So, it’s not only a cooling bed, it’s also an orthopedic one – relieving pressure points that prevents any unnecessary stress on your pet’s aching joints.
Elevated cots are a good alternative to cooling beds. These are beds lifted off the floor by a plastic or metal frame, allowing air to circulate through the breathable fabric which helps your pup cool off. The advantage of such a bed is that it doesn’t require a “recharging” period. Your dog can use it all day long and well into the night. They’re easy to assemble and clean. Moreover, there’s no stuffing to worry about. However, it doesn’t cool your dog off as quickly as other types of cooling beds. This is because air cooling is less efficient compared to water cooling.
Benefits of a Cooling Dog Mat/Bed
Obviously, the main benefit of a cooling bed is to prevent your pet from overheating and getting heatstroke. But another benefit is that it will make your dog feel more comfortable. Just like us, it’s hard for dogs to sleep during warm weather. Cooling beds can make snoozing in the afternoon and at night a lot more pleasurable.
Older dogs aren’t as mobile or agile as younger ones. They can’t cool off while lying on the cold kitchen floor anymore without causing their body discomfort or even pain. A cooling bed can help them feel more comfortable while providing relief to their aching joints.
A cooling mat is not just more effective in lowering your dog’s internal temperature than your kitchen floor. It’s also transportable. You can use it anywhere – the park, beach, or on the open road.
The Top Picks for Best Cooling Dog Beds: Ranked
#1 Best Overall Cooling Dog Bed: The Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat
- THE ORIGINAL SELF COOLING GEL PAD FOR DOGS – The Green Pet Shop pressure-activated cooling pet mat provides chilled relief for your dogs and cats. It's the perfect solution if your pet struggles to stay cool and comfortable in the summer heat
- IT'S AUTOMATIC – This self-cooling pad for dogs works without water, electricity or refrigeration. The patented gel formula automatically recharges after 15-20 minutes of non-use. This dog cool pad is a must-have item if your home doesn't have air conditioning
- PERFECT FOR HOT SUMMER DAYS – Lay the cooling pads for pets where your furry friend likes to relax. Once they lay on the pad, it goes to work immediately. Cool to the touch, the chilled sensation offers immediate relief. It's ideal for senior animals or pets with medical conditions
- MULTI-USE AND PORTABLE – Use it on the floor, sofa, or place it in your pet's crate, bed or kennel. The cooling pads are lightweight and folds effortlessly, ideal for travel. Clean with a damp cloth as needed
- COOLING DOG MAT XL – The Green Pet Shop cooling mat measures 27.5 x 43.3 inches, for extra large dogs weighing over 80 lbs. Other sizes are available. Do not leave in direct sunlight as this will affect the performance of the cool pad
When it comes to cooling your dog off, our tests showed that the best overall cooling mat is The Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat. This pressure-activated cooling gel pad made it to the top of our list because it was able to take one very hot dog and help him chill out. And it wasn’t hard to convince our Goldendoodle that it’s better than our kitchen tiles.
The Green Pet mat features a patented non-toxic gel that can absorb your dog’s heat for up to 3 hours. And it “recharges” after 20 minutes of no use. We loved how it required no additional steps aside from taking it out of the box and laying it down on the floor. It’s less than an inch thick – it can be placed just about anywhere. In fact, we tested it on the kitchen floor, the carpet, and even on our pet’s bed. And it became his preferred space to lie on whenever we finished our daily walks outside. And if you need the mat to be cold instead of just cool (like on really scorchingly hot days), you can stick it in the freezer for an hour before use.
The surface material of the pad is heavy-duty, waterproof plastic with double-stitched edging. It’s easy to clean either in the washing machine or just by using a cloth plus soap and water. It did seem sturdy; It didn’t look like it would get ripped by our pooch in the near future. However, we wouldn’t recommend this for dogs who are aggressive chewers. We also know that some dogs don’t like the feel or sound of plastic. So, while our dog might have loved this, it might take a while to convince your pet to love this too.
The Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat is available in 5 sizes. For small dogs, we recommend getting a size larger, like a medium. This should give your pet more room to spread out and switch sections once part of the mat has warmed. However, the extra-large size may not offer enough space for large dogs who weigh more than 120 lbs. They will still be able to cool off while lying down on this mat, but they might not be able to fit their entire body on it while they do so.
Click here to check out The Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat at Amazon.com.
#2 Best Splurge: Sealy Lux Cooling Gel Orthopedic Bed
- Quad element: premium orthopedic dog bed with quad element foam for ultimate comfort and support
- Orthopedic Support: high quality therapeutic bed provides support for dogs of all ages and is comfortable for dogs with arthritis, joint or bone problems
- Machine washable: removable cover is machine washable
- Odor absorbing: this lux bed is built with a pro-charcoal base to help absorb orders, keeping your dog bed fresh
- For questions, please [email protected]
The Sealy Lux Cooling Gel Orthopedic Bed gets our vote for the best cooling dog bed that you can splurge on. Yes, it costs almost $200 (for the extra-large). But if you have the budget for it, we guarantee that it’s well worth the price.
This orthopedic bed first caught our eye because it looked nice and oh-so-comfortable. And the picture didn’t lie. The bed features four layers. The first layer is a cooling energy gel that draws heat away from your dog’s body, keeping his temperature regulated and the bed cool and comfortable. The second layer is the Pet Rest Memory Foam which conforms to your dog’s body, providing the support he needs to prevent aching joints and stiff movements after a long nap. The Bio Green Orthopedic foam beneath is responsible for evenly distributing his weight on the bed, preventing it from sagging over time. The last layer is the Pro Charcoal HD Foam Base which is responsible for absorbing any pet odors, keeping the bed AND your bedroom smelling fresh.
Naturally, as soon as we got the bed, we made sure to inspect the different features. We liked that it had a non-slip bottom. It also has hidden zippers that we know can attract chewers. There’s also a waterproof liner to keep any messes away from the foam. Removing the cover (which is machine-washable, by the way) wasn’t a problem. All good things.
Now, for the test. Our precious pooch definitely did not have a problem trading his old bed for a new one. The bolsters gave him a pillow to rest his head on while he watched the goings-on around him. And he didn’t seem to mind snoozing the day away when most people in the household were busy trying to earn a buck or two. Of course, we couldn’t just take him at his word (or bark, in this case). So, we decided to lie down on it as well. It’s definitely comfortable for a human. It felt like a human bed actually which isn’t surprising as Sealy has been manufacturing beds for mankind since the beginning of time (1881, if you want to be specific).
The bed comes in a variety of sizes, from small to extra large. The beds are huge for their sizes. For large dogs (those less than 100 lbs), you can easily fit them in the L size or give them extra room to spread with an XL. For giant ones, the XL is pretty wide enough to comfortably fit them with space to boot.
The only drawback we found with this bed is the fact that it’s very expensive. It’s definitely a splurge and most wallets will take a hit. But the comfort and cooling properties of this bed that we feel will last years would make it your best investment yet.
Click here to check out Sealy Lux Cooling Gel Orthopedic Bed at Amazon.com.
#3 Best Cooling Dog Bed for Large Dogs: Arf Pets Dog Self Cooling Mat Pad
- BEAT THE HEAT – Keep your pet cool and comfortable with this solid gel self cooling mat. Your dog unleashes the cooling power of this mat simply by laying down on it for up to 3 hours of cooling comfort, and the mat recharges after 15 minutes of nonuse.
- SIMPLE, POWERFUL COOLING – With a solid gel interior, this cooling mat provides cooling relief for your dog without any water, electricity, or hassle. The simple design makes it easy to clean and maintain.
- 100% SAFE – This cooling pad is lab-tested and proven to be completely safe for every member of your family. Made from 100% non-toxic materials, lay this gel mat out for your pet without any fear or concern.
- VERSATILE COMFORT – Bring this mat anywhere to help your dog beat the summer heat. Place this cooling mat in crates, cars, and on top of pet beds to keep your pet comfortable anywhere.
- GET THE PERFECT FIT – This solid-gel cooling mat is 35” x 55” and supports dogs over 80 pounds to give your pet the most comfortable cooling possible.
If your giant breed needs to beat the heat, there’s one cooling dog pad that we recommend – the Arf Pets Dog Self Cooling Mat Pad. While it’s a lot similar to our best overall pick, we noticed that even the extra-large size of the Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat is not enough to accommodate the entire body of certain dogs such as Great Danes and Bernese Mountain dogs.
The Arf Pets’ model measures 35 x 55 inches which, as you can imagine, is pretty big. In addition, it can hold dogs weighing over 120 pounds. In fact, it’s been used by people too. And our staff can attest to its cooling powers, especially the one (we won’t name who) who has been experiencing hot flashes lately.
The Arf Pets’ Self-Cooling Dog Mat features a solid, non-toxic gel that can absorb your pet’s body temperature and keep him cool for up to 3 hours. And it only takes up to 20 minutes of non-use to “recharge” it again. The nylon cover is sturdy and looks like it will hold up for quite a while. It’s not impervious to your dog’s nails (though no dog bed really is), but it won’t rip if you keep them trimmed on a regular basis.
Since your dog will likely be using this mat after his daily walk, it will likely get dirt or even muddy paw prints on it from time to time. We found that wiping it down with a wet rag can easily remove any stains, leaving it good as new.
This cooling mat is foldable which means it’s easy to store. You can also bring it with you on camping trips or sleepovers to make sure your dog stays cool when needed. However, it’s a bit on the heavy side (15 lbs) which means you’ll have to put a bit of muscle into it when moving it from one spot to another.
Click here to check out Arf Pets Dog Self Cooling Mat Pad at Amazon.com.
#4 Best Elevated Cooling Dog Bed: Coolaroo The Original Elevated Pet Bed
- The fabric is crafted from a breathable high density polyethylene HDPE fabric that may help eliminate hot spots.
- The off the ground design promotes increased airflow on all sides of the bed, which helps keep your pet cool and creates low-impact areas to pressure points and joints.
- The lightweight, durable, powder-coated steel frame is suitable for pets of all sizes.
- The cover fabric is recyclable, GREENGUARD certified and easy to clean, simply hose it off with water.
- The portable design is great for indoor and outdoor use.
While most of our picks are cooling beds and pads filled with gel and/or memory foam, that’s not the only option for your dog should he need to cool down. Elevated cots are another type of dog bed that can help your dog chill out on a hot summer day. The best product in this category is the Coolaroo The Original Elevated Pet Bed.
The Coolaroo is our first choice when it comes to elevated beds because it features GREENGUARD certified breathable high-density polyethylene. It’s made of 100% recyclable fabric. It is also lead- and phthalate-free. It’s also resistant to fleas, mites, mold, and mildew.
So, how does this bed keep your dog cool? The fabric, which we mentioned is breathable, allows air to circulate through the bed which helps dissipate any heat coming off from your dog. While its cooling effect isn’t as fast as gel or water, it’s still pretty effective. And our dogs can attest to that.
Not only is this bed comfortable and cooling, but it’s also quite easy to assemble and clean. It took us about 15 minutes to set it up. Cleaning it only requires hosing it down with water and letting it dry in the sun. The powder coating on the steel frames prevents them from rusting.
We love the fact that this is an indoor AND outdoor bed. However, if you want to use it outdoors, you should know that it is not covered. You’ll need to place it under some shade (like a tree or covered deck) to help your dog stay cool while on the bed. The only thing we really didn’t like about this bed is the fact that it does not offer an extra-large size. The largest cot can only hold up to 100 lbs. So, if you have a Leonberger or another giant breed at home, this is not an option for you.
Click here to check out Coolaroo The Original Elevated Pet Bed at Amazon.com.
#5 Best Budget Cooling Dog Bed: Chillz Cooling Mat For Dogs
- Cool and Comforting – Our Patented dog cooling pad cools your dog as soon as they lay on it. The pressure-activated, non-toxic, cooling gel formula is activated by your pets weight/heat and lasts for up to 3 hours
- Easy to Use – This gel cooling pad is designed using a lightweight, portable, and puncture resistant material that requires no electricity. No need to freeze or chill to maintain a cool surface
- Convenient for Everyday Use – Our cool pads are perfect for use indoors, outdoors in the shade, and when you travel. Folds up for easy storage. Measures 37 x 31.5 inches (93 x 78 cm)
- Recharges Automatically – The pad automatically recharges itself after 15-20 minutes of non-use. Keep your pets cooler this summer. Works for cats, other pets and even hot humans
- Safe for Pets and the Environment – Featuring a non-toxic gel that is safe for pets, adults, kids and the environment. Please note that this product is not meant for consumption. While the gel is non-toxic, we always recommend taking your pet to the veterinarian if they ingest any part of the gel pad
It’s not uncommon for pet parents to spend a lot of money on their furbabies. They’re part of our family; making sure they’re comfortable and happy is just one of the ways we show them how much we love them. That being said, not all pet parents have the budget to spend hundreds of dollars on pet products. This is why we wanted to include a budget-friendly but still effective option on our list – the Chillz Cooling Mat For Dogs.
This pressure-activated cooling mat contains a non-toxic gel that absorbs your pet’s body heat, allowing him to cool off pretty quickly. The plastic cover is a bit slippery and doesn’t seem to be as durable as the others we’ve tested. But for the price of this mat, it’s not really a deal-breaker. Plus, we did find that covering it with a pillowcase or a thin cotton sheet helps protect it. It also can help make your dog feel more comfortable lying on the mat if he dislikes the feel of the mat’s surface.
We did notice that the sizes are rather on the small side. For small dogs like Chihuahuas as well as cats, the medium is perfect. The XL can only fit dogs weighing 80 lbs or less. If you have a pooch that’s bigger than 100 lbs, we suggest going with the Arf Pets’ model.
Click here to check out Chillz Cooling Mat For Dogs at Amazon.com.
Last update on 2021-09-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best Cooling Dog Beds: Reviewed for 2021 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is the best cooling bed for dogs?
The best overall cooling bed for dogs in the market is one that helps your dog enjoy hot summer days without worrying about dehydration or heat exhaustion. It should be comfortable, something that he won’t think twice to lie down on. It should also be durable, not easily destroyed by his claws or teeth. Moreover, the best cooling dog bed should provide your pooch with enough space to fit his entire body plus a few inches more. For small dogs, this can mean getting a medium-sized model or even a large one. The extra space will allow them to move around the bed, further cooling themselves without having to wait for the entire bed to recharge. Based on our tests, the model that fits all of these requirements to a T is The Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat.
Note: if you plan to leave the cooling bed outdoors, you need to choose one that is covered to provide shade and keep the bed from getting hot under the sun. This is an important consideration if you’re getting a water-filled model.
Are cooling beds good for dogs?
Yes, they are. Cooling beds allow dogs to regulate their internal temperature when they get too hot. It helps prevent them from overheating and getting heat stroke. It also helps them sleep better, especially during hot weather. Moreover, cooling beds provide added support, especially to aching joints – something that your cold kitchen or bathroom tiles can’t offer. Moreover, you can bring your pet’s cooling bed wherever it is needed – at the park, the beach, or even on camping trips.
Do cooling mats really work?
Cooling mats are filled with heat-absorbing material – water, gel, or special memory foam. They are able to absorb the heat from your dog’s body and redistribute it, lowering his internal temperature to something more comfortable, even when the weather is scorching hot.