In our article on the best dog cooling vests, we saw how these dog vests and coats can help keep the pet cool during outdoor activities. But what about keeping the Fido cool indoors in its crate or while resting? Surely, you cannot rely on always keeping the air conditioning on or using a cooling collar or vest at all times. For such situations, you need a dog cooling pad or mat to add on the top of your dog’s sleeping pad.
But which are the best dog cooling pads and mats available in the market? Are they really effective and how are they different from other products such as elevated dog beds?
In this article, we will look at answering specifically the above questions and list some of the best dog cooling pads and mats available in the market. We will look at both water-based and gel-based dog cooling pads and only list the options that we feel are effective in real-world conditions.
We will discuss how these pads work and the factors to consider before picking the best dog cooling pad for your pooch. So buckle up and read on!
Also, check out our article on the best dog crates if you are looking for recommendations for the best dog crates for your pooch.
Best dog cooling pads and mats listSome of the best dog cooling pads or mats to help your pet beat the heat this summer are listed below:
|The Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat
|S: 15.7" x 11.8” x 1”
M: 19.7" x 15.7" x 1"
M/L: 30" x 20" x 1"
L: 36" x 23.6" x 1"
XL: 45" x 27.5" x 1"
|K&H Pet Products Cool Bed III Cooling Dog Bed
|S: 24” x 17” x 1”
M: 32” x 22” x 1”
L: 44” x 32” x 1”
|Hugs Pet Products Chillz Pet Cooling Gel Pad
|M: 19.5" x 15.7" x 1"
L: 36" x 20" x 1"
XL: 37" x 31.5" x 1"
|Sealy Lux Orthopedic Dog Bed with Cooling Gel
|S: Ext.-25" x 20" x 5.5"; Int.-18" x 16.5"
M: Ext.-36" x 28" x 7"; Int.-29" x 24.5"
L: Ext.-42" x 32" x 8"; Int.-35" x 28.5"
XL: Ext.-48" x 38" x 8"; Int.-40" x 34"
|Arf Pets Pet Dog Self Cooling Mat Pad
|43" x 27" x 1"
Other sizes also available.
|Coleman Comfort Cooling Gel Pet Pad
|S: 16" x 12" x 0.5”
M: 30" x 24" x 0.5"
L: 36" x 20" x 0.5”
|American Kennel Club Reversible Pet Cooling Mat
|M: 20" x 16" x 1"
L: 26" x 20" x 1"
XL: 30" x 24" x 1"
XXL: 40" x 28" x 1"
|Pet Therapeutics Theracool Cooling Gel Pet Bed
|M: 25” x 21” x 4” with 16” x 12” cooling pad.
L: 34” x 23” x 4” with 25” x 12” cooling pad.
XL: 40” x 30” x 4” with 28” x 18.5” cooling pad.
|CoolDog Reusable Ice Mat
|24” x 12” x 1”
|HyperKewl Evaporative Cooling Dog Pad
|XS: 20" x 15" x 1"
S: 24" x 19" x 1"
M: 30" x 21" x 1"
L: 36" x 26" x 1"
XL: 42" x 28" x 1"
What are dog cooling pads or mats and how are they useful?
Hot summers are not the most enjoyable times for dogs, especially the ones who are old or suffer from ailments such as arthritis. Canines do not sweat like humans (dogs only sweat from areas like nose and paw pads) and instead rely on panting to manage their body temperatures.
Breed-specific characteristics, body weight and extreme heat and humidity can affect this panting ability. Insufficient heat regulation and overheating can cause serious health problems and can even lead to severe heat stroke and death. Breeds with flat noses such as pugs, pit bulls and bulldogs and ones with thick furs such as Huskies are more prone to these heat-related issues.
So, it is important to keep the dog cool even when indoors. Dog cooling pads and mats are one such product to help in these situations.
Dog cooling pads, or dog cooling mats or dog cooling beds as they are sometimes called, are specially designed multi-layered dog resting pads that help in keeping the pets cool by employing the basic principles of temperature equilibrium through conduction and radiation.
This principle states that when two surfaces with different temperatures come in contact with each other, heat is transferred from the hotter surface to the cooler surface until both the surfaces attain the same temperature.
So, in simplest terms, dog cooling pads and mats provide a cold surface that can absorb heat from the dog’s body making it feel cooler by anywhere from 5 to 15 degrees. These pads are available in multiple sizes suitable for all pet breeds and age.
Dog cooling pads come in two different categories – water-based dog cooling pads and gel-based dog cooling pads.
- Water-based dog cooling pads: These dog cooling beds work just like the human water beds. They have an absorbing layer that retains water for a long time and uses it as the principal cooling medium. Such cooling pads are generally cheaper and are effective indoors as well as outdoors in the sunlight. However, they are more prone to leakages – a small puncture can leak the water on the floor and create a big mess. They are also not as effective in providing accelerated cooling and can only lower the pet’s temperature by about 5-10 degrees. For better results, you may consider refrigerating the pad for short duration or add cold water.
- Gel-based dog cooling pads: Dog gel cooling pads are more popular nowadays. These dog cooling pads contain a thick layer of self-cooling, pressure-activated gel to provide accelerated cooling to the pet. The gel used in these pads is generally non-toxic and safe for pets even if exposed to the skin (you should still consult a vet if the pet ingests it).
Such cooling pads have a fabric layer that always stays dry and can provide cooling of 5-15 degrees depending upon the type of gel and thickness of the cooling layer. They work best indoors or in the shade and can be refrigerated for short spans of time for better cooling. They are also more durable and can be carried around during travels. They are, however, costlier than most water-based dog cooling pads. And some pets may not like the squishy gel surface of the pads and hence not use them.
In addition to the two major types of dog cooling pads, there are some orthopedic foam dog beds which come with a thin layer of cooling gel or organic fabrics that are designed to provide some cooling to the pet.
The best dog cooling mats or pads can last for anywhere between 1 hour to 5-6 hours depending upon the weather and pet’s size before they need to be replenished with more water(for water-based dog cooling pads) or left out for 15-20 minutes (for dog gel cooling pads) to attain the temperature differential.
Dog cooling pads, mats and beds can be useful in the following situations:
- Dog cooling pads can provide a cool sleeping surface to the pet in a dog crate or kennel. They are softer than the floor or tiles.
- Dog cooling pads can help in managing body temperatures of senior or overweight furry dogs who have an inadequate body temperature management system.
- Dog cooling pads can be used to cool down overheated working or service dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors.
- Dog cooling pads can be useful in cooling the dog down during outdoor excursions and travel.
- Dog cooling pads can be useful in providing relief during painful inflammatory ailments such as arthritis, swelling and Cushing’s disease.
The million dollar question often associated with dog cooling pads is how effective are they? The short answer is that it depends upon the canine’s breed (furry vs fur-less pets), the canine’s size and its comfort level with such pads.
Moreover, not all cooling pads are made equal and if you come across a product that is advertised to provide cooling without using a water or gel bed then the chances are it is not going to be as effective as the ones with a gel or water-absorbing layer.
You would often need to decide between a dog cooling pad or an elevated dog bed with a fan for keeping your pooch cool in the summer, so it is important to understand the differences.
Standard elevated dog beds do not come with special liquid or gel-based cooling layers and hence provide more of a passive cooling effect. With additional air ventilation provided by a fan and a comfortable elevated sleeping surface, an elevated dog bed can be a good choice for daily use with canines. Some of such beds even have the arrangement to attach an overhead canopy to provide shade in the sunlight. While listing all the best elevated dog beds will be the topic of another article, you can consider Kuranda elevated dog bed or K&H Pet Products elevated dog bed as the two best options.
On the other hand, a dog cooling pad provides a more active cooling effect that is quick and more effective. And a cooling pad takes little space and is more portable for travel. Such cooling beds can also be easily set in a dog’s crate or kennel – for using elevated dog beds you would need some adjustments or switch to shorter legs.
From the above discussion, it is clear that dog cooling pads or mats are an excellent gear to keep your dog cool indoors or in its crate even in hot weather. Now let us look at some of the best dog cooling beds and pads available in the market!
Just a word of caution. Though dog cooling pads can help in managing a dog’s body temperature, they are not made to be effective in extreme temperatures such as inside a car. So do not leave your dog alone in an enclosed vehicle for long, even with a cooling pad or a vest on. It is not going to end well for you and your pet.
Which are the best dog cooling pads and mats?
Type and Material: Gel-based cooling pad. Thin nylon surface with a vinyl cooling pad shell having a non-toxic, pressure-activated cooling gel pad. No cushion cover (sold separately).
- S: 15.7″ x 11.8″ x 1.0″.
- M: 19.7″ x 15.7″ x 1.0″.
- M/L: 30.0″ x 20.0″ x 1.0″.
- L: 36.0″ x 23.6″ x 1.0″.
- XL: 45.0″ x 27.5″ x 1.0″.
Price: $ to $$$ depending upon on the size.
- Best-selling dog gel cooling pad with a thin nylon surface and vinyl shell cooling gel pad. Made in China under the US-based company’s quality control measures.
- Best-in-class patented pressure-activated gel pad cools the dog for up to 3 hours. Can lower the body temperature by 5-15 degrees. No refrigeration, water or electricity required.
- Provides rapid cooling and recharges and retains its shape within 15-20 minutes of non-use.
- Extremely lightweight and folds flats effortlessly for easy transportation and storage.
- Easy to clean by wiping with a soft cloth or sponge. Avoid soaking in water for a long time.
- Available in standard blue color and five sizes suitable for pets weighing from 10-100 lbs. Backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty and dedicated customer support service.
- An ultralight, machine washable fabric protective cover for the cooling pad is also sold separately by the manufacturer.
When it comes to dog cooling pad, the award-winning The Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat is one of the best options available in the market since its launch in 2010 and there is a good reason for that. After all, you do not win the Pet Product News International Editor’s Choice Award and The Family Choice Award for no reason. And it is also our favorite pick.
The Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat, or the Cool Pet Pad as it is often referred to as, features a high-quality cooling pad with a thin but sturdy nylon surface and a vinyl-shell cooling gel pad. The cooling pad is made in China under the US-based company’s quality control measures.
The biggest selling point of the Cool Pet Pad is its best-in-class supercharge cooling. The patented pressure-activated cooling gel pad cools the dog by 5-15 degrees quickly and can last for up to 3 hours, without needing any refrigeration, water or electricity. And the self-cooling pad is easy to recharge – it regains its shape and cooling after 10-20 minutes of non-use.
With respect to portability, the Cool Pet Pad is extremely lightweight and folds effortlessly for convenient storage and transportation during travel. However, you need to ensure that the pad is totally dry and away from direct exposure to heat and sunlight before storing to avoid unwanted hardening and shrinking of the pad.
Cleaning and maintenance is also easy – simply wipe the pad with a soft damp cloth and let it air dry. Do not tumble wash or soak in water for a long time.
The Cool Pet Pad is available in a standard blue color and five sizes suitable for dogs up to 100-120 lbs. And it is backed by a 12-month manufacturer warranty and a dedicated customer support service – a big testament to the quality of the product.
The Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat does not come with a cushion cover, but if you want, the manufacturer offers an ultralight, machine washable fabric protective cover sold separately.
Type and Material: Water-based cooling pad. Multi-layer cooling pad with nylon fabric outer surface, vinyl water shell and a non-slip bottom.
- S: 24.0″ x 17.0″ x 1.0″, 1.0 – 1.5 gal. water.
- M: 32.0″ x 22.0″ x 1.0″, 2.0 – 3.0 gal. water.
- L: 44.0″ x 32.0″ x 1.0″, 4.0 – 6.0 gal. water.
Price: $ to $$ depending upon the size.
- Best-selling water-based dog cooling pad featuring an improved construction and design. Made in China under the US-based company’s quality control restrictions.
- Third-generation product features a nylon fabric top and a vinyl water shell that can be filled with water through an easy fill cap and adjusted with the easy air valve.
- Unique cool core provides even distribution of liquid. Tested to lower the body temperature by up to 22-degrees and lasts 2-4 hours.
- Can be used indoors or outdoors year-round under the for temperatures less than 95-degrees. Only needs to be filled once and can be stored full or empty.
- Easy to clean with a wet cloth or sponge. Not machine washable.
- Available in three sizes and two color combinations – blue and grey. Backed by a two-year manufacturer warranty. Replacement valves and caps are available directly from the manufacturer.
If you are looking for a water-based dog cooling pad that is reasonably durable and still provides decent cooling, then the K&H Pet Products Cool Bed III Cooling Dog Bed is an excellent option to consider. This third-generation dog cooling bed has been a popular choice for dog owners for years and there is a good reason for it.
The K&H Pet Products Cool Bed III features a ballistic nylon-vinyl water shell for storing water. The third-generation bed has an improved, more durable, puncture-resistant cover when compared to the previous versions. The bed has a plastic easy-fill valve and an improved air valve to regulate the cooling effect. Like other K&H pet products, this dog cooling bed is made in China under strict quality control restrictions.
The cooling bed shell can be filled with water through an easy fill cap and adjusted with the easy air valve. When filled with the recommended amount of water (never overfill the bed), the newly re-designed cooling core provides an even distribution of liquid for advanced cooling power. The cooling bed has been tested to regulate the pet’s body temperature from the standard 102-degrees by up to 22-degrees for 2-4 hours. The bed needs to be filled only once or twice a year and can be stored full or empty. Because of the weight of the water, it can sometimes be cumbersome to move the bed.
We recommend that you empty the cooling bed periodically and use a non-toxic antibacterial solution such as the Grapefruit seed extract to prevent the build-up of bacteria and odors in the water bed. Moreover, make sure you periodically check the bed’s surface and dog’s fur for any moisture buildup due to accidental leakage.
The K&H Pet Products Cool Bed III is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, though you need to ensure that it is kept away from direct sunlight. It works best when the temperature is under 95-degrees, though people have reported successful use even in higher temperatures (up to 105-degrees).
The K&H Pet Products Cool Bed III is available in three sizes suitable for all dog breeds and it works for cats too. It comes in two colors – blue and grey and is backed by a two-year manufacturer warranty. The manufacturer also offers replacement valves and caps are available directly from their website.
Type and Material: Gel-based cooling pad. Nylon-Vinyl cooling pad shell with non-toxic, pressure-activated cooling gel pad.
- M: 19.5″ x 15.7″ x 1.0″.
- L: 36.0″ x 20.0″ x 1.0″.
- XL: 37.0″ x 31.5″ x 1.0″.
Price: $ to $$$ depending upon on the size.
- A popular self-cooling pet cushion with mold-resistant nylon vinyl surface and non-toxic pressure-activated gel pad. Made in China and now marketed by TheGreenPetShop.
- The puncture-resistant gel pad gets activated by the dog’s body weight and can lower the temperature by 5-10 degrees and last up to 2-3 hours.
- Self-recharging in 10-20 minutes of non-use.
- Easy to clean by simply wiping the surface with a cloth or sponge. Lightweight and portable – folds flat to a small size for travel and storage.
- Available in single standard blue color and three sizes. Backed by a 90-day manufacturer warranty.
- Competitively priced and cheaper than the Cool Pet Pad by The Green Pet Shop.
Type and Material: Orthopedic foam bed with a gel-based thin cooling layer. Soft dog bed with a polyester fabric cover and quad-layer memory foam mattress and foam bolsters.
- S: Exterior – 25.0” x 20.0” x 5.5”; Interior – 18.0” x 16.5”.
- M: Exterior – 36.0” x 28.0” x 7.0”; Interior – 29.0” x 24.5”.
- L: Exterior – 42.0” x 32.0” x 8.0”; Interior – 35.0” x 28.5”.
- XL: Exterior – 48.0” x 38.0” x 8.0”; Interior – 40.0” x 34.0”.
- Premium orthopedic dog bed with a polyester cover and quad-layer memory foam. Made in the US by the worldwide leader in foam mattresses.
- The best-in-class four-layer foam core has a self-charging cooling gel layer, memory foam layer, bio-orthopedic foam layer and a pro-charcoal HD foam layer to provide luxurious comfort in hot weathers. Suitable for indoor use only.
- Features a removable polyester cover has hidden zippers for safe covering and is waterproof and machine washable.
- The foam mattress features a non-slip bottom and a thick foam bolster for comfort and additional support for the pet’s neck and back.
- The firm high-density foam base is infused with charcoal to absorb odors and keep the bed smelling fresh.
- Available in four sizes and color combinations and backed by a one-year warranty on the bed and five years on the foam mattress.
- Costlier than dog cooling pads, but still cheaper than most other orthopedic foam dog cooling beds.
Type and Material: Gel-based cooling pad. Nylon fabric cover with PVA/vinyl-based shell and non-toxic gel filling
Price: $$ to $$$ depending upon the size.
- Popular, oversized self-activating cooling pad with a nylon cushion cover and an innovative non-toxic cooling gel pad in a vinyl shell. Latex-free construction. Made in China.
- Self-charging with a pressure-activated cooling gel pad that does not require water, refrigeration or electricity. Works for 1-3 hours and recharges within 15-20 minutes of non-use.
- Versatile, compact and lightweight. Folds flat to a small size for transportation and storage and retains shape quickly upon spreading.
- Easy to clean and can be wiped with mild soap and water. Avoid soaking in water for a long time.
- Available in three sizes and the standard blue color. Other smaller sizes are also available. Replacement removable cover is also available separately.
Type and Material: Gel-based cooling pad. PVA/vinyl-based shell with non-toxic gel filling. No fabric cover.
- S: 16.0″ x 12.0″ x 0.5”.
- M: 30.0″ x 24.0″ x 0.5″.
- L: 36.0″ x 20.0″ x 0.5”.
Price: $ to $$ depending upon the size.
- Standard pet cooling gel pad with a non-toxic, gel-based shell. Made in China under the US-based company’s quality control measures.
- Can be used as a standalone bed, in/below a standard pet bed sleeve or in a pet carrier or crate.
- Designed to lower the temperature by 5-10 degrees than surrounding temperature and last for 1-3 hours. Self-recharging in 15-25 minutes.
- Extremely lightweight and portable. Can be rolled up and carried on camping and other outdoor trips.
- Easy to clean and can be wiped with a moist microfiber cloth.
- Available in three sizes and over 5 color combinations, suitable for all dogs and cats. Not suitable for aggressive pets that like to chew.
- Backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty.
Type and Material: Gel-based cooling pad. Reversible fabric cover with Vinyl cooling pad shell with non-toxic, pressure-activated cooling gel pad.
- M: 20.0” x 16.0” x 1.0”.
- L: 26.0” x 20.0” x 1.0”.
- XL: 30.0” x 24.0” x 1.0”.
- XXL: 40.0” x 28.0” x 1.0”.
Price: $ to $$ depending upon on the size.
- Standard pet cooling mat with reversible soft vinyl surface and non-toxic gel cooling pad. Made in China for US-based company.
- An automatic, self-cooling pad that can provide moderate cooling (up to 5-8 degrees lower) for up to 2-3 hours. Recharges itself in 15-20 minutes when not in contact.
- Suitable for mildly high temperatures. May not work well in extreme hot conditions.
- Easy to clean by simply wiping the surface. Lightweight and portable – folds to a small size for travel and storage.
- Available in four sizes and over 10 reversible color combinations.
- Competitively priced and cheaper than most other gel-based dog cooling pads.
Type and Material: Gel-based cooling pad. Multi-layer cooling pad with polyester fabric outer layer and bolster and non-toxic chemical gel pad core stored in the zippered compartment.
- M: 25.0” x 21.0” x 4.0” with 16.0” x 12.0” cooling pad.
- L: 34.0” x 23.0” x 4.0” with 25.0” x 12.0” cooling pad.
- XL: 40.0” x 30.0” x 4.0” with 28.0” x 18.5” cooling pad.
- Gel-based, pet bolster bed with a polyester outer surface and bolster and self-cooling beaded gel packs stored in the zippered compartment. Made in China for US-based company.
- Proprietary CoolPhase gel cell technology provides air flow and gel-based cooling for 2-3 hours. Recharges automatically in 15-20 minutes on non-contact.
- Pressure-activated, non-toxic gel pad that does not require pre-chilling, but the removable gel pad can be kept in the refrigerator for a short time for instant cooling relief.
- Comfortable side bolster provides additional comfort. Can be used both indoors and outdoors.
- Available in standard grey and blue color combination and two sizes. Backed by a one-year warranty.
Type and Material: Water-based cooling pad. Multi-layer cooling pad with nylon canvas fabric outer sleeve cover, non-toxic purified-water filled ice mat core and neoprene rubber non-slip bottom.
Size: 24.0” x 12.0” x 1.0”.
Price: $ to $$$ depending upon the number of mats.
- High-quality reusable dog hot/cold mat with a durable canvas cover, non-toxic purified-water filled mat and a non-slip neoprene rubber bottom. Designed and made in the US.
- Features a unique patent-pending temperature control mechanism. Put in freezer for cooling or microwave for heating. Can last for 1-4 hours.
- Pre-filled with purified water and non-toxic preservative additive. Replacement ice mats are also available.
- Compact and folds to a small size for putting in microwave or freezer, or for travel.
- Available in modern dog print and single size, suitable for small or medium dog breeds. Comes with a Velcro hook and loop links to combine multiple cooling mats and form larger areas for all dog breeds.
- Backed by a 100% satisfaction guaranteed commitment by the manufacturer.
Type and Material: Water-based cooling pad. Multi-layer pad with quilted nylon outer layer, PVA-based HyperKewl fabric inner with waterproof liner and poly-cotton trim.
- XS: 20.0″ x 15.0″ x 1.0″.
- S: 24.0″ x 19.0″ x 1.0″.
- M: 30.0″ x 21.0″ x 1.0″.
- L: 36.0″ x 26.0″ x 1.0″.
- XL: 42.0″ x 28.0″ x 1.0″.
- Innovative water-based dog cooling pad having a quilted nylon outer with HyperKewl fabric inner, waterproof nylon liner, and black poly-cotton trim. Patented HyperKewl fabric is made in Denmark.
- Designed to provide 5-10 hours of cooling relief per replenishment. PVA plastic-based HyperKewl fabric can last for up to 100 wet/dry cycles.
- Economical and durable. Simply soak the removable HyperKewl pad in water for 2-3 minutes, squeeze and place in the pad.
- Leak-proof design that allows the cooling pad to be used indoors as well as outdoors.
- Handwash only with a brush and light soap and water. Avoid soaking in detergent.
- Available in six sizes and two color combinations – blue and silver. Backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty.
If you are looking for alternative dog cooling products or if the dog is not comfortable using a cooling pad, then you can look at getting an elevated dog bed with mesh fabric cot. And for better air circulation, you can get a small table fan.
Some of the best elevated dog beds available in the market are listed below:
- Kuranda Elevated Dog Bed: Best-selling and most popular non-folding elevated dog bed with a PVC or aluminum frame and abrasion-resistant Cordura cot. Available in five sizes and four color combinations and backed by a one-year warranty. Made in the USA.
- K&H Pet Products Coolin’ Pet Cot: Elevated pet bed with a sturdy steel frame, non-skid feet and 600D polyester mesh fabric with water-based cooling pad center. Designed to hold up to 150 lbs. Backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty.
- SuperJare Elevated Pet Bed with Canopy: Budget elevated dog travel bed with a meshed 1680D mold-resistant, polyester cot and canopy and tubular steel legs. The meshed cot surface provides proper air circulation and ventilation to the pet. The removable canopy provides protection from the sun. Available in two sizes and comes with a carry bag for easy transportation.
Alternatively, you can consider getting a dog cooling collar or a bandana. The dog cooling collars and bandanas work on almost the same principles as dog cooling pads and can provide some relief – both indoors and outdoors.
Some of the best dog cooling collars available in the market that you can check out are listed below:
- All For Paws Chill Out Ice Bandana: Best-selling dog cooling collar made of non-toxic material with Velcro straps. To use, run it under the water or place in the freezer for a few minutes. Available in three sizes.
- K9 Chill Dog Cooling Collar: Another popular dog cooling collar made with a unique blend of breathable lightweight material. Only needs to be moistened with cold water and designed to retain the chill longer than normal cotton towel or sponge. Machine washable.
- Outward Hound Coolit Bandana: Budget dog cooling bandana made of non-toxic polymer crystals that can absorb up to 30 times weight. Simply soak in water and put it on the pet.
How to pick the best dog cooling pads or mats?
Picking the best dog cooling pads or mats is not much different from picking any other type of dog sleeping pad. The best dog cooling mats or pads have the following main characteristics:
- The cooling pad is durable and built to last, while still being reasonably priced. It is also non-slip and puncture-resistant.
- The cooling pad is big enough of the pet to sit and sleep on.
- The cooling pad is safe for the pet to use and effective in cooling down the pet quickly for a long time. It should be able to last at least 2-3 hours at one time and help in lowering the temperature by at least 5-10 degrees.
- The cooling pad is easy to replenish or recharge without a long wait. And it does not leak water or dampness to the dog’s fur or skin when in use.
- The cooling pad is compatible with other gear like the dog crate or kennel.
- The cooling pad is easy to clean and store (without any odor build-up) and it can be used in most indoor and outdoor situations.
Once you have decided upon the broad budget, you can consider the following major factors before picking the best dog cooling pad or mat for your pet or pets:
- Cooling pad type and building material
- Cooling capacity and performance
- Size of the cooling pad
- Color and style
- Warranty and support
Cooling pad type and building material
The type of cooling pad and its building material and quality is an important factor to consider as it governs the overall durability and reliability as well as the cooling performance of the product. This includes the material of the outer layer, cooling layer and the inner layer along with the material of the trim and periphery.
As discussed above, dog cooling pads are available in two broad categories – water-based cooling pads and gel-based cooling pads. Water-based cooling pads are traditional cooling mats which use cold water as the medium. They are, however, prone to leaks and hence not very suitable for use on hardwood floors or if you require fast, quick cooling.
Dog gel cooling pads are more popular these days. These self-cooling, pressure-activated gel cooling pads provide more efficient cooling and do not require refrigeration, electricity or water replenishment. They can last for 3-5 hours and recharge within 10-15 minutes of non-use. And the gel used in the picks that we listed is non-toxic and safe for pets, even in case of accidental ingestion.
So, if you are looking for a portable, lightweight cooling pad you should first consider getting a dog gel cooling pad, unless your doggo does not like the squishy surface of these pads or is an aggressive chewer who can ingest the chemicals-based gel.
Irrespective of the type of cooling pad that you decide to go with, ensuring that it has high-quality, sturdy construction is mandatory. While there is now chewing or claw-proof dog cooling pads, the options that we listed are made of multi-layer, technical fabric blends with the top layer providing a comfortable sleeping surface, the middle layer acting as a cooler and the bottom layer providing a non-slip surface.
Some models also offer additional padding for extra comfort and concentrated cooling. In terms of overall build quality and other features, The Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat and Hugs Pet Products Chillz Pet Cooling Gel Pad among gel-based cooling pads and K&H Pet Products Cool Bed III Cooling Dog Bed have the best construction quality and hence are our favorites. The high-end Sealy Lux Orthopedic Dog Bed with Cooling Gel is also an excellent option, especially if you do not mind the premium pricing.
Check the manufacturing material of the cooling and associated parts before picking the best dog cooling pad or mat for your pooch.
Cooling capacity and performance
Closely related to the type and building material of the dog cooling pad is its cooling capacity and performance.
As discussed above, the standard dog cooling pads can provide a cooling effect of 5-15 degrees for anywhere from 1 hour up to 4 hours, depending upon the temperature and humidity. The water-based cooling pads can last for longer but gel-based cooling pads can provide the cooling effect faster than water-based cooling pads.
High-performance cooling pads such as our top picks – The Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat and Hugs Pet Products Chillz Pet Cooling Gel Pad among gel-based cooling pads and K&H Pet Products Cool Bed III Cooling Dog Bed among water-based cooling pads do a better job than most other options as they have been verified to have a cooling effect of 10-20 degrees and can last without recharge or replenishment for more than 3-4 hours. Moreover, our top recommendations for dog gel cooling pads recharge quickly and retain their shape within 10-15 minutes of non-use.
It is worthwhile to reiterate that the cooling pads work better in shade, wherein the rate of conduction is high, and the sunlight cannot affect the cooling process. The thickness of the coat and the physical activity of the canine can also impact the overall cooling performance. Dogs which have thick fur and are extremely enthusiastic would require a slightly more frequent replenishment than docile, fur-less dogs.
Check the advertised cooling performance and actual in-field experiences before pulling the plug on a specific dog cooling pad or mat. And if in doubt, pick one from our top pick recommendations – you would not be disappointed.
Size of the cooling pad
Once you have zeroed in on a specific type and model of dog cooling pad, you need to pick a size that is most suitable for your dog. It is important to pick a pad or bed that provides a comfortable sitting and sleeping surface and also fits your pet’s crate or kennel. The shape and style of the pad and your pet’s size and breed can often play a major role in this. You also need to remember that bigger the cooling pad, the heavier it is and the more space it will take.
Most manufacturers provide dog cooling pads of multiple sizes. You can also check the Q&A section and reviews on Amazon for some more information. Pay special attention to the overall dimensions and the dimensions of the cooling surface. And if you are unsure of the size to get, reach out to the manufacturer for help or pick the mat that is one-size-up.
In summary, measure-up your pet and pick the best dog cooling pad or mat size based on the sizing chart provided by the manufacturer.
Color and style
While it might not have a big impact on the functionality of the cooling pad, the color combination and in which the cooling pad is available is also something you may want to look at.
Bright, reflective colors and designs are not only fashionable but also make the cooling mats do a better job in reflecting the radiant heat.
While many of the options that we listed including our top picks are available in single color combinations- typically bright blue, some dog cooling pads and beds such as the Sealy Lux Orthopedic Dog Bed and American Kennel Club Reversible Pet Cooling Mat are available in multiple fashionable color combinations, so you can pick the most suitable one as per your liking and your pet’s preference.
Warranty and support
In addition to the major factors discussed above, one of the most important additional considerations before picking the best dog cooling bed or pad is the warranty and post-purchase customer service support offered on the product by the manufacturer.
Top manufacturers such as K&H Pet Products, TheGreenPetShop and Sealy score big in this category as they offer excellent one or more year warranties on their dog cooling pads along with a dedicated customer support service – a testament of the superior quality these products offer.
Just make sure you make your purchase only from the manufacturers and authorized resellers to ensure that you get the genuine product and not a knock-off. Any product that is shipped from overseas and takes more than a couple of weeks to arrive is probably not an original or effective product.
Keep these small considerations in mind as well before picking the best dog cooling mat or pad for your beloved pet.
Final thoughts on the best dog cooling pads and mats
Hot summers are not the most enjoyable times for dogs. Unlike humans who can sweat to manage their body temperature, canines instead rely on panting to cool themselves down, a mechanism that may not be always sufficient, especially for older canines or ones with a thick fur.
Dog cooling pads and mats are designed exactly to help you with this – these dog beds provide accelerated cooling to the pets and help them maintain their body temperatures better even in hot conditions. But picking the right dog cooling pad is important.
In this article, we listed some of the best dog cooling pads and mats available in the market and shared our picks for the best water and gel-based dog cooling pads. We briefly looked at how these cooling mats work and also listed some of the major factors to keep in mind before picking the best dog cooling pad for your pet.
We hope that you found this article useful and it would help you in picking the best dog cooling pad to help your Fido beat the heat this summer. Do let us know your feedback and questions by commenting below. Until next time, have a happy summer with your beloved pooch!