- This post contains affiliate links. Read more here.
Dog cooling mats are the perfect answer to long, hot summer days and nights, when dogs can’t escape their fur. And some pups can be more sensitive to the heat than others. Large breeds and long-haired breeds may be less active in the summer, and brachycephalic breeds (such as English and French Bulldogs, Pugs and Boston Terriers) may have trouble breathing in hot weather. So, cooling dog mats are a great tool to help keep your best four-legged friend comfortable.
Whether your dog is at home, on a walk or riding in your car, you can watch for physical issues or changes in mood that indicate that warm weather is taking a toll on your usually active and playful friend. For example, they may be snappish and less receptive to petting—especially from strangers. You can help keep your canine cool by walking them at cooler times of the day and making sure they always have access to shade and plenty of fresh water.
A dog cooling mat, with gel or water, will provide some additional heat relief. They work best when kept in a cool area and out of direct sunlight. Typically, it takes dogs a few days to discover the pad and get used to it. (If it turns out your dog’s not crazy about the gel or water-filled beds, you might try one of these elevated beds that improve airflow.)
Top Cooling Dog Beds for 2021
To help our furry friends stay cool this summer, we’ve pulled together our top choices for cooling pet beds. Please note that with any of these beds, it’s a good idea to check them frequently for damage. If your dog is chewing on the pad, you’ll want to remove it. Gel pads are filled with non-toxic material—but even so, ingesting the filling can cause loose stools, stomach upset or further problems in rare cases.
Get ready to chill:
This solid-gel mat from Arf Pets is made of sturdy nylon fabric that holds up to wear and tear. It’s weight-activated and capable of responding to your pup’s body heat for up to three hours. Nontoxic, lightweight and durable, this is the go-to cooling dog bed for many pet owners.
The smooth surface cleans easily with a damp cloth. Fold it up along the creased lines for summer travel or winter storage.Shop on Amazon
The Furhaven bed comes in four sizes from small to jumbo plus to keep all sizes of dog nice comfy and cool. The durable poly-canvas covers can be removed and machine washed—plus you can also buy a second cover if needed. The interior cushion has a gel-foam core, plus a layer of memory foam that’s topped with gel-infused memory foam. There are also a huge range of colours to choose from
Caution: not recommended for dogs who chew.Shop on Amazon
Another popular self-cooling dog bed, this pad is weight- or pressure-activated. Its cooling effect lasts up to four hours and the pad requires only 15–20 minutes of non-use to recharge.
This pad comes in three sizes and is foldable and easily portable—making it the perfect accessory to take along for that family trip to the beach or even on long car trips. To clean, simply take a damp cloth and wipe it down.Shop on Amazon
The latest update to this water-cooled dog bed features a tough nylon/vinyl exterior. To use, fill it with the recommended amount of water, adjust the pad’s air valve, and place it away from direct sunlight to give your dog instant relief on a hot day. The water remains at ambient air temperature, keeping the bed cooler than the dog. (The bed is intended for use in temperatures below 35C degrees.)
For traveling, drain the water to make the pad lighter and more portable—you can fill it up again when you reach your destination. To keep the water bacteria-free, the manufacturer recommends adding a drop or two of grapefruit seed extract.Shop on Amazon
This affordable cooling bed stays around 8C degrees cooler than room temperature. It’s filled with non-toxic gel and can be easily wiped clean with a damp cloth. Perfect for using alone or in a pet carrier, this bed is also tough enough to deal with those unruly dog nails. However, it’s not chewproof—so if your dog loves a gnaw this might not be for you.Find on Amazon
These pads come in two different sizes and are made from comfy-yet-durable material providing up to three hours of cool relief.
You can clean the pad with a damp cloth and fold it down the middle for easy storage and travel. No need to worry about the gel inside—it’s non-toxic and safe for dogs children, and the environment.Shop on Amazon
This orthopaedic temperature-regulating dog bed is a great choice for older dogs with arthritis or joint pain, thanks to the additional comfort of memory foam.
The bottom of this pad is made from rubber anti-slip and waterproof material. While the cover is made of splash and spill-proof materials and can easily be cleaned in the washing machine at 60C. Choose from four sizes.Find on Amazon
This cute and comfy bed is perfect for your dog year round—just turn the inner cushion over for to suit the season. One side of the pillow is a soft plush, perfect for winter months, and the other side is a breathable canvas to stay cool in summer. Perfect for smaller dogs and puppies, you can toss the bed into the washing machine to clean.Shop on Amazon
More Tips for Keeping Your Dog Cool
To help keep dogs cool during summer exercise:
- Move walks to early morning or late evening
- Walk along a shady route
- Carry a doggie water bottle and a collapsible bowl with you for water breaks
- Avoid asphalt and hot pavements, as they can burn dogs’ paws
To keep dogs cool at home:
- Make sure your dog has access to plenty of shade and water when they’re outside
- If your dog normally stays outside for long periods, move them inside
- Keep air circulating inside. Air conditioning is better than fans, but you can also open windows to create a nice cross breeze—or place a bowl of ice right in front of a fan that oscillates
- Be sure to have plenty of clean, fresh water available in a few different locations in your home
- Whip up some frozen dog treats—couldn’t be easier, and dogs love them!