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There’s a lot to be excited about when those cold winter days are behind us. But for our dogs, summer weather often comes with some tradeoffs, like more panting and hunting for a cool spot to snooze. One appealing alternative to naps in the bathtub is a dog cooling mat.
Cooling mats can make a difference in a dog’s summer comfort—and the market is full of options, ranging from long-lasting gel mats to ice-based freezer beds and soakable mesh pads.
To find the best, we tested the popular gel-based Green Pet Shop Cooling Mat and compared it to an affordable Amazon favorite, the LHRXTY cooling pad.
Reviewing the Green Pet Shop Cooling Mat
The Green Pet Shop Cooling Mat is a versatile mat that can be used just about anywhere: in a dog kennel, on the living room floor, in your dog’s favorite shady spot, and even in the car.
Because of the gel filling, the mat itself is surprisingly heavy, with the extra-large weighing just over eight pounds. That heft makes it easy to keep in place; you don’t have to worry about this pad sliding across the hardwood or getting bunched up when your dog inevitably circles several times before laying down. We found it easy to drag to a new location in the house (though not a great option for your suitcase).
To test the Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat, we let our resident bed tester, Ruby the Bernese Mountain Dog, give it a whirl. She’s usually skeptical about new accessories and loves to “play it cool” for the first few days. But even Ruby couldn’t resist the charm of this cooling pad for long. (It helped that our air conditioner broke the week we started our product test.)
Though Ruby usually spends her day within six inches of her favorite person (me), at night her long fur got to be too much for her, and she discreetly curled up on the mat for a test snooze. Here’s what we found over the next several weeks:
1. The Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat Works With No Prep
Some dog cooling mats require you to wet them down or prepare cold packs in the freezer for several hours. This mat needs no such prep, relying instead on a pressure-activated gel to stay cool. The concept is actually pretty neat: underneath an easy-to-clean exterior is a thick layer of gel that cools with the weight of your dog. I could feel it working when I held my hand to the impression Ruby left in the mat.
Its effect isn’t as dramatic as an ice-filled cooling pad’s, but it certainly provides a cool place to land, and two of our three testers migrated to it regularly when they were hot. The mat’s chill lasted for two to three hours, and it only took about 20 minutes to recharge. Ruby spent an entire night on the mat, which tells me that it was also quite comfortable for extended naps.
2. The Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat Is (Mostly) Portable
As I mentioned above, the mat is a little bit heavy (let’s call it “sturdy”), but it certainly can be moved around the house and yard or put into the car for a trip. On a particularly hot day, we plopped it in the yard and let our good friend Hershey give it a test ride. He was up for the challenge and had no issues lounging on it while we monitored the kids running through the sprinkler.
We also tried the cooling mat in the kennel. It provides a decent amount of support and is a great option for the summer when you don’t want a mat with a lot of padding or material that only adds to the heat. Luckily, we found the sizing for each mat correlates well with kennel sizes.
3. The Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat Stays Put
This might not seem like a big deal, but for Ruby, a mat that moves is a deal breaker. Ruby is not a graceful dog. She doesn’t daintily recline; she plops herself down as if the 90 pounds crashing to the floor is NBD. This means that the bed needs to stay put, or she’s not interested. Sabine, our other dog, agrees; she’s a multi-turner and takes a minimum of five spins each time she lays down. If the mat moves, the process begins anew.
Fortunately, the weight of the Green Pet Shop mat and the material are such that it stays where you put it, no matter if it’s on a tile floor, on hardwood, or out in the yard.
4. The Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat Is a Little Pricey
Ruby and Hershey are both all-in on this cooling mat (Sabine is too busy hogging the giant fluffy calming dog bed we reviewed a while back), but what they don’t know is that the cooling mat is a bit pricey, especially if you need a larger size.
Given the price, we decided to find out whether a less expensive cooling pad might offer the same benefit—so we tried out Amazon’s popular LHRXTY cooling pad.
How Does the Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Pad Compare to the LHRXTY?
The LHRXTY cooling pad is a less expensive model with a different design: it relies on lightweight silk, cotton, and mesh to create that “just-turned-the-pillow-over” coolness.
We wanted to see if there was a noticeable difference in our dogs’ interest in the mat and whether it could provide a chill similar to the Green Pet Shop mat’s.Shop on Amazon
Here’s what we found:
- Prep. As far as prep goes, these mats are the same: there’s no need to pre-cool either pad. (Though if you wanted to try, the LHRXTY would fold up and fit in your freezer.) Result: It’s a tie!
- Portability. The LHRXTY cooling pad is highly portable. It weighs almost nothing and can be easily folded and packed. Result: LHRXTY wins!
- Stays Put. The LHRXTY absolutely does not stay put. With each of our dogs, it got all folded and balled up every time the dogs tried to lay on it. For this reason, we couldn’t get the dogs to stay on it for long periods of time. Result: Green Pet wins by a mile!
- Cooling. The LHRXTY fabric did feel cool to the touch, but that coolness did not last long, especially when used outdoors on a hot day. The Green Pet provides a coolness that you can feel long-term. Result: Green Pet wins!
- Price tag. The LHRXTY is more affordable. Result: LHRXTY wins!
Recommendation: The Green Pet Shop Cooling Mat
Paws down, our dog testers gave the Green Pet Cooling Mat more attention. They stayed on it longer, it provided a coolness that we could feel, and it kept its shape as they lounged.
Who will like the Green Pet Shop Cooling Mat:
- Dogs who need a mat with a moderate, long-lasting chill
- Pet parents who want to set it out and forget it—no prep work or maintenance required
- Big pups who like a mat that won’t move when they sit
Who won’t like the Green Pet Shop Cooling Mat:
- Dogs who like a really cold mat (check out ice-filled mats like the CoolerDog)
- Senior pups and dogs who like a lot of padding or bolstered edges (check out the Arf Pets mat, which we tested on two fussy cats)
As for the LHRXTY cooling pad, we think it’s a nice summer crate mat, especially for senior pups, since it has a little more padding and stays significantly cooler than your average dog bedding. But it doesn’t have the cooling power or the stamina of gel mats, and it can’t hold a candle (or an ice cube) to a freezer mat.Shop on Amazon Shop on Chewy Shop on Walmart Shop on the Rover Store
How We Chose
The dog cooling mats featured here were selected based on a combination of our own hands-on testing and a comprehensive look at customer reviews across a wide variety of retail platforms. Our review prioritized effective and long-last cooling capacity, portability, stability, and price. We’re also guided by the experience of living and playing alongside our own much-loved and strongly opinionated pets, who are never stingy with their feedback. (Thanks, Ruby!)
Looking for more products to help keep your dog cool?
- Our 9 Favorite Dog Cooling Vests to Beat the Heat
- Testing a Dog Pool Float: Does the SwimWays Raft for Pups Hold Up?
- Should You Buy a Swimming Pool Just for Your Dog?
- Review: Timbuk2’s Muttmover Dog Backpack Is an All-Purpose Winner
- The 8 Best Cooling Beds to Get Your Dog Chilling
- 7 Must-Have Dog Water Bottles and Travel Dog Bowls