The Best Dog Cooling Mats, Beds, and Pads to Keep Your Pup Cool This Summer
Summer heat is just around the corner. We would all love to be outside with our dogs for those fun summer activities like taking your pup camping or going for a daily run together, but in the heat of the moment of summer fun (see what I did there?) our dogs can quickly become uncomfortable and even overheat.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) provides easy tips on how to protect your dog during summer months. They say dog owners should plan to leave their doggie pals at home when the heat begins to rise. If you do decide the temps are safe enough to bring Fido along, watch for signs of heat stress like excessive panting, restlessness, drooling, unsteadiness, and anxiousness. If your dog's temperature is not well-regulated they can experience heat stroke, which can quickly become life threatening, so recognizing when it is just too hot for dogs is crucial to keeping them safe.
Our canines are just not well-suited to high temps and high humidity. Since dogs pant instead of sweat like we humans do, you need to monitor their behavior and provide them constant access to shade. You should also avoid leaving them alone outside (and never in a car!) for any amount of time, and avoid walks or other forms of exercise on hot asphalt or during the heat of the afternoon and early evening.
And of course, hydration is key! Any time you're out and about with your dog, make sure to bring a collapsible dog bowl with water or even a dog water bottle, and make sure your dog always has access to fresh, cool water at home.
One additional way to give your pup a little extra help to prevent dangerous overheating is by using a dog cooling mat or cooling dog bed. There are many different brands and styles out there, but they're all designed to help lower your dog's body temperature.
"I keep cooling mats all over my house and especially in my car for my dogs, " says Haylee Bergeland," CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, RBT, editor of pet health and behavior for Daily Paws. "No matter what breed of dog you have, cooling mats are a summer must," she says.
How Do Cooling Dog Beds and Mats Work?
These cooling dog beds and mats generally are filled with either water or a heat-absorbing gel. Some will cool automatically, and others require refrigeration ahead of time. Lying on these beds will help lower your pup's temperature to match that of the bed.
"It's important to have options, especially if you have a breed that is more prone to issues from the heat. In the car I keep mats that cool automatically readily available. In my house I might keep one or two smaller mats that can be kept in the fridge and pulled out when my dog seems to want one, like after a quick walk or just on an especially hot day, " says Bergeland.
Does My Dog Need a Dog Cooling Mat?
It's difficult for dogs to cool themselves down since they don't sweat—especially dogs with thick, long coats, like golden retrievers and German shepherds. They can try lying in the shade or on a hard-surfaced floor to cool off on hot days but a cooling mat provides a little extra comfortable boost. You can help give them some relief by making a dog cooling mat available in their crate, doghouse, or other favorite spot.
What Should I Look For in a Cooling Dog Bed?
- It should be large enough for your dog to comfortably lie on—we don't want any dog booties hanging off the edge!
- Make sure it's easily transportable—most fold up and are very mobile.
- It should have plenty of cooling power. The best dog cooling mats and beds reach and remain at 15–20 degrees cooler than the air temperature.
- Make sure the mat is made from durable materials so your dog doesn't puncture it with a sharp nail.
The Best Cooling Dog Beds and Mats
Arf Pets Self-Cooling Dog Mat
This cooling gel dog mat makes the top of our list. It's highly durable, folds up flat, and is made from latex-free materials. It's self-cooling for up to three hours, and it automatically recharges in 15–20 minutes of non-use. Measuring 23 x 35 inches, it retains its shape and easily wipes clean.
Shop Now: Arf Pets Dog Self Cooling Mat, $50; amazon.com
The Green Pet Shop Cool Pet Pad
This cooling gel dog mat is also one of the most popular because of its pressure-activated cool pet pad. No need to plug it in or refrigerate it overnight. As soon as your pet steps onto or lays on this pad, it begins to cool down for up to four hours. It recharges itself, is hand-washable, and comes in 5 sizes.
Shop Now: The Green Pet Shop Cool Pet Pad, $40; chewy.com
K&H Cool Bed III
The third most popular cooling dog bed still reaches the tops of most lists. Available in three sizes, this bed is made from a tough, long-lasting nylon/vinyl mix. There is no electricity required—just add water and adjust the comfort with the easy air valve. The available sizes are best for medium and large breed dogs, and the bed can hold up to 80 pounds.
Shop Now: K&H Cool Bed III, $58; chewy.com
Coleman Comfort Cooling Gel Pad
The Coleman Comfort Cooling Gel Pad measures 24 x 30 inches and is best for medium-sized dogs. You can choose from five different colors, and this mat stays 5–10 degrees cooler than room temperature. It uses a cooling gel, so there's no need to refrigerate it or use electricity. Plus, it easily wipes clean.
Shop Now: Coleman Comfort Cooling Gel Pad, $34; amazon.com
Chillz Cooling Dog Mat
The Chillz Cooling Dog Mat is pressure-activated and uses cooling gel. No refrigeration or electricity is required, and it automatically recharges after 15–20 minutes of non-use. It comes in one color in three different sizes.
Shop Now: Chillz Cooling Dog Mat, $30; amazon.com
Dogbed4less Memory Foam Gel Cooling Bed
Dogbed4less makes a gel cooling dog bed with memory foam. It has a fleece topper that's waterproof with an anti-slip bottom. The bed comes in four sizes and is wrinkle-resistant, washable, and perfect for bringing on the go.
Shop Now: Dogbed4less Memory Foam Gel Cooling Bed, $38; amazon.com
Furhaven Indoor/Outdoor Cooling Bed
The Furhaven cooling dog bed is gel cooling and has a water-resistant removable cover. It comes in four different colors and three different sizes, with the largest size able to hold up to 95 pounds. This bed also contains a layer of orthopedic foam. But take note that the description says it only cools your pet's sleeping surface down by one or two degrees.
Shop Now: Furhaven Indoor/Outdoor Cooling Bed, $35; chewy.com
K&H Pet Products Elevated Dog Bed
This cooling dog bed is an elevated pet cot. It cools your dog with its "breathable mesh center for constant airflow." It has a durable metal base with anti-scratch rubber feet, and it collapses easily for transportation and storage. This dog bed comes in two different colors and four sizes.
Shop Now: K&H Pet Products Elevated Dog Bed, $33, chewy.com
Sealy Lux Premium Orthopedic Bolster Dog Bed
We all know Sealy for their human mattresses, but they also make many different pet beds, too! The quad-layer technology in this cooling orthopedic bed incorporates four layers of foam in a combination of memory foam and cooling gel, making it a cool and cozy spot for any pup. It has a removable, washable cover and is available in four sizes and colors.
Shop Now: Sealy Lux Premium Orthopedic Bolster Dog Bed, $77; chewy.com
Frisco Cooling Orthopedic Pillow Dog Bed
This cooling dog bed is made with orthopedic memory foam for joint support with a top layer of cooling gel memory foam—perfect for staying cool and comfortable in the hot months!
Shop Now: Frisco Cooling Orthopedic Pillow Dog Bed, $44; chewy.com