While summer can be fun, it’s taxing on our dogs. That’s because they don’t sweat a lot, and they wear fur coats — year-round. Panting releases some of their body heat, but not enough to keep them cool when the temperature rises. But it’s more than just a matter of being uncomfortable. When your dog overheats, it can lead to serious problems: heat exhaustion followed by heatstroke, which can be fatal.
Some of use keep the air-conditioner running 24/7 to help keep our dogs cool. But that will cost you. One very effective way to cool your pups down and lower your electricity bill is to invest in a cooling mat.
There are three types of cooling mats:
- Automatic gel-filled
- Simple gel -filled
With all types, if your dog is a chewer, don’t leave him unattended when using the pad.
Let’s take a look at those three types.
Water-Filled. This works by simply filling the mat with water and freezing or refrigerating it. Simple, yet effective. These will form condensation as they melt, and your floors may get damp.
Automatic Gel-Filled. This one is regarded as the most effective, but it’s also the most expensive. The mat is pre-filled with a gel that is lower than the outside temperature by 5-10°. It also comes gel technology to provide extra cooling properties.
Simple Gel-Filled. This is the least expensive option, but is also the least effective. It still works great as long as the temperature is not too high. It works like the automatic gel-filled without the technology for extra cooling. The gel just maintains a temperature that’s 5-10° lower than the outside temperature.
Here are some of the best on the market:
Art Pets Self-Cooling Mat
The Art Pets Self Cooling Mat is an automatic gel-filled mat that is covered with a comfortable, non-toxic and durable material and filled with a self-charging gel. It will keep your dog cool for up to t=3 hours and then recharge itself with 15-20 minutes of non-use. This means it requires no batteries, electricity, water or refrigeration, which makes it low-maintenance and portable. It’s also easily cleaned by wiping with a mixture of mild soap and water. Available in three sizes.
Price: $49.99 to $69.99
The Green Pet Shop Cooling Mat
Another self-cooling option, The Green Pet Shop Cooling Mat is pressure-activated and non-toxic. It begins cooling as soon as your dog lays on it, and keeps him cool for 3-4 hours. It also recharges itself after 15-20 minutes of non-use. Manufactured in a medical facility, this pad is light, thin, mold resistant and durable, with reinforced edges. Using a soft cloth, clean with mild soap and wipe with water. Available in five sizes.
Price: $21.98 to $72.99
K&H Pet Products Cool Bed III
The Cool Bed III is a water-filled mat that you can refrigerate or freeze for extra cooling. It works by absorbing your dog’s natural temperature (which is normally around 102°F) and converting it to room temperature. That means that even if the room temperature is 80°, the cool bed will be 22° cooler than your dog’s normal temp. The more water you add, the more cushiony the bed. You will have to experiment to find your dog’s sweet spot. You only have to fill once, but K&H recommends adding a few drops of grapefruit seed extract to the water to prevent bacterial growth. Available in three sizes and two colors.
Price: $24.09 to $45.72
The Cool Pet Pad Cool Dog Bed
The Cool Pet Pad is pressure-activated — no chilling or filling. Your dog lies down, and the gel gets to work on contact. It recharges automatically with some downtime. Made of puncture-proof nylon, it’s filled with non-toxic, safe gel, and it comes in sizes to fit dogs from a Chihuahua to a Mastiff. Durable, reusable, and veterinarian approved. Available in 5 sizes. $29.95 to $89.95
All our picks our independently chosen, but we do earn an affiliate commission to support our work. However, if we don’t like the product, we aren’t going to write about it. Making a few cents off an affiliate just isn’t worth it to us.