Although many people don’t realize it, dogs are just as vulnerable to overheating as humans. Elderly dogs, puppies, and pets with existing conditions can have an even higher risk of serious illness if they don’t get relief from the scorching sun.
Thankfully, there are more ways to keep your pup cool besides drenching them in water. Cooling mats and pads can be a convenient and easy way to keep your pet comfortable.
Below, we have reviewed the ten best cooling mats and pads for dogs. We will give you the details on material, durability, effectiveness, and ease of use. You will also learn the details of what to look for when you are out shopping. Keep reading to find out which option you should pass by, and which one you will want to share with your pup.
A Quick Comparison Of Our Favorites in 2022:
The 9 Best Dog Cooling Mats & Pads Reviewed:
1. The Green Pet Dog Cooling Mat – Best Overall
Our first pick goes to the Green Pet cooling mat. This pressure-activated gel pad comes in either small, medium, large, or extra-large sizes, and will accommodate pups up to 90 pounds. Your furry friend will stay cool for up to three hours with the cool-gel interior that recharges itself in as little as 15 to 20 minutes.
This brand comes in a blue shade and is made of a durable plastic that will not rip, tear, or bunch up if your pet moves around. There is no electricity, water, refrigeration, or batteries required, either, as your pup’s body weight causes the gel to cool and absorb the excess heat.
This non-toxic option can be used indoors, outdoors, and in the car. It can also be used in your dog’s crate, on the floor, or on any surface where your pet likes to lounge. What’s more, cleaning this mat is as easy as wiping it down with a wet cloth. Overall, we think that this is the best cooling mat for dogs.
2. Coleman Cooling Gel Dog Pad – Best Value
Our next option is the best dog cooling mat for the money. This is another pressure-activated cooling mat that uses gel to keep your pup up to 15 degrees cooler than the ambient temperature. The non-toxic pad is durable, and you can use it while traveling, at home, or outside.
Again, like our top option, this model will stay cool for almost three hours and takes 15 to 30 minutes to automatically recharge. There is no electricity, water, or refrigeration necessary, either. One drawback to this model, however, is the design of the mat. You can choose from green, blue, or a grey bone-shaped pad, although it is recommended for medium size dogs only.
The 24” X 30” pad is durable, yet it will bunch, and can rip if used by heavier pets. On a brighter note, the plastic-like material is easy to wipe down and clean when it gets rough. Other than being for a specific size pup, this is a great option if you are on a budget.
3. Dogbed4less Cooling Foam Dog Bed – Premium Choice
In the number three spot, we have a more expensive model that will be well worth the extra coin if you have an older pet or one that suffers from joint pain, arthritis, etc. This mat is a four-inch memory foam, gel-infused bed that automatically keeps your pup cool.
With this model, your pup will have an eight-inch headrest on one side of the mat, plus a durable outer cover that is washable and retains fewer allergens. The inner cover is waterproof and helps the mat keep its shape. You can choose from two different sizes, and it comes in seven colors.
Although this mat is very comfortable, the memory foam is not going to have the cooling power of our two options above. In fact, if your pet has issues with overheating, an additional cooling mat is recommended. Also, the approximately 15-pound mat is not easy to travel with or use outside of a basic bed. Other than that, this non-toxic pad is our premium choice.
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4. K&H Pet Products 1790 Cooling Dog Bed
Up next we have a mat that uses a water-saturated core to keep your pup cool. This pad uses water to pull the heat from your pet and releases the warmth into the air. The surface will get up to 22 degrees cooler for your pet. For this to work, however, you will need to fill the mat with water, although it is easy to use.
You can choose from small, medium, or large, and either a blue or gray color. You should also note there is no weight limit for this model, as it acts as a water bed distributing the pressure evenly throughout the pad.
Beyond that, the durable nylon-vinyl outer material is durable, plus it’s easy to wipe down. Furthermore, the brand is non-toxic, and you can add more water for added comfort for pets with arthritis, joint pain, plus it helps with skin conditions.
You want to keep in mind, however, that once the pad is filled you cannot pull it by the corners, or it will rip. What’s more, you will need to add grapefruit seed extract to stop bacteria build-up. Finally, the water only stays cool until your pet has warmed it up. Although the mat advertises only having to fill it once, you will typically have to refill it daily.
5. Hugs Pet Products Dog Cooling Mat
True to its status as the middle pick, we come to an average cooling mat. Here we have another gel-based model that is activated by the pressure of your pup. There is no electricity, water, or refrigeration needed for this model; however, it only stays cool for roughly an hour and a half to two hours.
You can travel with this mat or use it in your pup’s crate, on the floor, or anywhere your pal likes to laze about. The blue style comes in medium, large, and extra-large to accommodate all breeds, and it’s easy to wipe down with a damp cloth. Also, as customary, the mat is non-toxic.
Nevertheless, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, the plastic outer material is not as durable as some other options. It will tear and rip if your pup decides to give it a nip. Also, while the cooling part of the pad auto-recharges, it takes closer to an hour to do so.
6. Arf Pets Dog Self Cooling Mat for Dogs
The Arf Pets cooling mat is up next on our list of reviews. This mat is made of solid gel and is pressure activated. Typical of this style of cooling bed, it uses no electricity, water, refrigeration, or batteries to work. The automatic recharge feature allows the pad to cool itself, although it can take up to an hour with this model.
One good feature you can take advantage of is portability. The mat easily folds for travel, plus it can be used in the car, crate, and fits in any other space where it would be needed. Be advised though, this pad only comes in one 27” X 43” blue shade model. Also, you should note that larger dogs can cause the solid gel to lose shape and bunch up thus defeating the purpose.
A few other things to consider are the easy cleaning outer fabric and non-toxic, latex-free design. While those features are great, though, the nylon fabric is not durable and will rip with any excited movement from your pup. What’s more, the mat itself only stays cool for a little over an hour.
7. CoolerDog Dog Cooling Pad
Moving on to the number eight spot we have a 23” X 18” cooling pad that comes in a one, two, or four-pack. The multi-pack allows you to snap more than one mat together and make a bigger surface for larger breeds. While this is a good idea, the water bed cooling structure will create divots where the two pads connect, which is uncomfortable for your pal.
As mentioned, this model uses water to cool your pet, along with an ice sheet, as well. This unique option has four layers. There is the cover, foam insulation/pad, waterbed cushion, and Flexi freeze ice sheet, which is an 88 count ice cube insert. Obviously, you will need to freeze the ice cubes and add water for this model.
Although this is an interesting concept, it’s not the easiest mat to use. Also, the ice and water combo can make the pad too cold for some breeds (specifically small or short-haired pups). Furthermore, while the inner ice is non-toxic, it will get everywhere if the insert is punctured; the material is not durable, and the cubes burst if there is moderate movement.
There’s more bad news. The ice and water combo causes the outer material to sweat and become damp. Worse, you can’t fold or easily move the mat once it’s set up; one mat alone weighs 6.5 pounds. To end on a bright note, the outer cover is machine washable.
See more doggy gear guides – Here!
8. Tophie Dogs Cooling Pad
Our second to last cooling mat will keep your pup comfortable for up to 36 hours. The drawback? You will need to use a nerve-racking combination of water and electricity for this model. The gray mat comes in three different sizes, but we recommend you use it for medium size breeds under 60 pounds. It is made of a waterproof and machine-washable 100 percent cotton outer fabric, and a water-absorbent mesh high-elastic 3D cotton inner material.
The pad works by using the water to absorb your pup’s heat and transferring it to the air. Powered by a USB cord, the electricity cools the water which, allows it to draw more heat than if you used water from a faucet. The motor can lower the temperature to 82 degrees.
If considering this model, you want to be aware that it is harder to use, and you have to keep the mat plugged in and running until all the water evaporates, or it will not work correctly. What’s more, flipping the unit over or moving it in any way will cause a leak. This includes when your pooch does their circle, circle, fluff, fluff routine before they lay down. For that reason, this is not a good model for travel.
Be advised that the USB has a chew-proof cord, although constant supervision is required, not to mention, chewers of any kind are not recommended. Finally, the motor and fan are fairly loud, plus they vibrate so many dogs are not eager to use the mat.
9. AKC Reversible Pet Cooling Mat
Our last cooling mat for dogs is a reversible self-cooling option that auto-recharges and uses a non-toxic gel to keep your pet comfortable. It comes in four sizes to accommodate most breeds and 20 different colors and styles.
The biggest drawback to the AKC cooling mat is it does not work effectively. The pad does not get cool, and most dogs are not fond of laying on it. This model has a heavy plastic outer material that will be slightly cool to the touch like any other plastic material that is not left in the sun. Not to mention, as it doesn’t get cool, the auto-recharge time is obsolete. What’s more, the material of the design tears and bunches easily, and has a strong rubber-like odor that is unpleasant for humans and dogs.
Unfortunately, this mat is not great for travel or multi-use as it can become quite hot in enclosed spaces. The fabric is not easy to clean and holds odors and excess fur. Overall, this pad does not live up to its name, and will not be effective at keeping your pup cool.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Dog Cooling Mats & Pads
Important Things To Know About An Overheated Dog
Just like humans, your furry friend does have the capacity to overheat and become ill. That being said, there are a few things you should know to keep your pup healthy and comfortable. Read on to learn about factors that play into choosing the best dog cooling mats & pads.
First, a dog’s temperature runs between 101 and 102.5 degrees, therefore, while they may seem warm to you, it is just their natural temperature.
Second, any dog can become overheated; not just older or ill pups. Nevertheless, it is more likely for field dogs, older canines, and pups with pre-existing conditions. Equally important, exceptionally active pups (like field dogs) will continue to run on instinct. Their brain does not tell them to slow down or take a break.
This is where pet owners come in to help. Take a look at these signs that your pup is overheating:
- Excess Panting: Your dog does not sweat. Instead, they pant to lower their body temperature. If your pup is panting quickly and loudly it means they are working too hard to cool down.
- Wobbly: If you notice your pet is not quite steady on their feet, this could mean they are disoriented and weak due to the heat.
- Blue or Red Gums: Another sign of overheating is when your dog’s gums are blue or bright red. Typically, it means there is not enough blood flow throughout the body.
- Vomiting and/or Diarrhea: These two symptoms can mean your pup is too hot and needs to cool off. This is especially true if they have been out in the sun.
Another important factor to note is that dehydration and overheating typically run hand in hand-or in this case paw in paw. Ensuring your pup has frequent rests, plenty of water, and a cool spot (even shade) to relax is important. Also, if there is water nearby, let your pup wade in up to their belly to cool themselves down.
If you suspect your pooch is overheating or is severely dehydrated, try to keep them as calm and still as possible while giving them small yet frequent gulps of water. Also, wet them down with a cool damp cloth. Most importantly, though, get them to a vet as soon as possible, and call ahead so they are ready to assist you. Untreated overheating can cause heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and even sudden death if it’s not taken care of quickly.
Tips When Shopping
Another great way to keep your furry pal cool is with a cooling mat or pad. Not only are they great for active dogs, but they can be especially helpful with older pups, or pets that have conditions that make their temperature unstable.
When shopping for one of these mats, there are several features you can take advantage of depending on you and your pup’s needs. Here are some of the top and most important aspects of a cooling pad you should consider:
- Size: Let’s face it, if you get a mat that is too small it will be next to useless. You do not have to get a pad that is equal in size to your pup, although from their head to the base of their tail should fit on the pad.
- Cooling Action: There are a few different types of cooling mats. You can purchase a pressure-activated gel mat, a water bed mat, or one that utilizes water and ice. Although there are other types, these are the few we recommended. Keep in mind, other than pressure activated gel pads, you will need additional resources (water) to keep your pup cool.
- Affectiveness: This is a fairly obvious one, but it’s important to consider whether this mat will be used once in a while during the summer, or on a regular basis for an older pet. Cool time and recharge time can make a difference in whether the bed will be right for you.
- Padding: Speaking of older pets, some of these mats have more padding than others. This is important if your pup has joint issues or arthritis.
- Durability: This next consideration will make a difference if you have a nibbler or a rambunctious sort of fuzzball. Not only do you want the pad to hold up, but you also do not want it to bunch up thus losing its effectiveness.
There are many other features you may need to keep in mind such as color, travel friendliness, and ease of cleaning, but these options should be considered first to get the most from your cooling mat.
Need a mat to keep your pup comfortable in their crate? Check out our reviews on the ten best dog crate mats and pads to see which one is the best and which ones are not worth the money.
One final piece of info you should note is that each of these pads (without exception) work better when placed in a shady spot. It goes without saying that pups who are prone to overheating should not be trying to catch a tan, and the same goes for their cooling beds.
We hope our review of the ten products above have helped give you a better understanding of what options are available for a cooling mat for your pup. To recap, our favorite option is the Green Pet Shop 48395 Dog Cooling Mat. This self-cooling and recharging model is easy to use and will keep your pal comfortable during the hot summer months.
If you need a more affordable option, the Coleman CL-01401 Comfort Cooling Gel Pet Pad is a great alternative for preventing your pooch from becoming overheated. This gel mat is simple, effective, and the best mat for the money.