The Best Dog Cooling Mats & Pads in 2023
Dogs rarely feel cold even in sub-zero temperatures. Many a dog owner has watched their dog happily frolic in the water on a very cold day or snooze comfortably away in the snow. On the other hand, dogs can and do easily overheat, even in fairly mild temperatures.
One way you can increase the comfort level of your pet is to get them a cooling bed or mat. We have assembled and tested the top five best dog cooling mats on the market this year, so let’s check them out!
Our Top List
Last update on 2023-11-17 at 01:27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
1. Dogbed4less Memory Foam Cool Dog Bed
This high-quality memory foam bed is ideal for older dogs because it supports their joints and provides a very restful sleeping experience. The ultra-thick, extra supportive foam doesn’t compress and doesn’t create pressure points. In addition, it has a waterproof liner that protects the foam, and each bed comes with two removable washable covers. The combination of the waterproof liner and the special supportive foam means this bed stays cool as it supports your dog’s joints. The bed is thick, has a non-slip bottom, and is rectangular in shape.
- Orthopedic memory foam
- Waterproof liner and removable washable cover
- Comes in six sizes and two colors
- Supports joints while keeping the dog cool
2. Arf Pets Self Cooling Mat
This interesting cooling mat contains a solid heat-absorbing gel inside a blue plastic cover. The gel absorbs your dog’s body heat and can absorb heat for up to three hours. After three hours, it needs a 20-minute break from your dog in order to discharge the body heat into the surroundings, after which it is ready to go again.
The cover can easily be wiped clean, and if desired, a removable cloth cover can be purchased separately for use with this mat. The mat requires no water, refrigeration, batteries, or any other means to work; it is entirely automatic.
- Absorbs dog body heat
- Solid gel inside an easy-clean blue cover
- Comes in three sizes
- Can be folded flat for easy transport
3. The Green Pet Shop Cooling Mat
This product is very similar to the Arf Pets bed, also consisting of a solid gel that absorbs the dog’s body heat that is contained inside a plastic cover. It absorbs body heat for up to three hours, and then automatically recharges itself. It doesn’t need water, refrigeration, or batteries either. You can easily wipe the cover clean.
- Absorbs dog body heat
- Solid gel inside an easy-clean cover
- Comes in four sizes
4. K&H Pet Products Cooling Bed
This cooling bed contains dry cooling granules that have to be activated by filling the bed up with water after you receive it. The manufacturer says you only need to fill it up once and then use it forever, but many users have stated that the bed grows unhealthy mold and bacteria inside it unless the water is regularly replaced. One option is to add grape seed extract to the water, which the manufacturer says won’t damage the cooling granules and will retard the growth of bacteria and mold in the water inside the bed.
Once activated, the bed absorbs body heat from your dog and then discharges the heat into the air after the dog leaves the bed. The cover of the bed is made of smooth plastic, easy to just wipe clean. The thickness and cushioning properties of this bed can be adjusted by the user by simply adding more or less water to the bed.
- Contains water-activated granules that absorb body heat
- Extremely durable puncture-resistant cover
- Comes in three sizes
5. Coleman Pressure Activated Cooling Gel Pad
This mat contains a gel-like substance that stays around 10 degrees cooler than the ambient temperature. It does not require water, refrigeration, batteries, or any other means of activating or re-charging it. It just works automatically. However, the cover is a bit flimsy and can sometimes develop small holes over time.
- Stays around 10 degrees cooler than the ambient air
- Easy to clean
- Comes in two sizes and two colors
We at Pet Dog Pals prefer the Dogbed4less bed. While the gel-filled cooling mats are a great idea, they are all very thin and provide little to no support of the dog’s joints or have much of a cushioning effect. The thick memory foam bed provides plenty of support and cushioning while remaining cool.
An option for additional cooling would be to place one of the gel-filled mats on top of the memory foam bed; our suggestion for the best gel-filled option is the Arf Pets version.
The first thing to consider before running out and buying a cooling mat or bed is to determine if your dog is, indeed, uncomfortably warm. Obviously, panting heavily and acting distressed are clear signs of being too hot, but dogs also give out more subtle cues.
The most common sign of a hot pup is the dog spreads itself out on a hard, cool surface like tiles in order to sleep. The fact that the dog is clearly willing to suffer the discomfort of lying on a hard surface to stay cooler is a strong hint your dog may be in need of cooling. Other hints are dogs that park themselves as close to the window AC unit as possible, or dogs that really try hard to not go outside at all during the warmer months, preferring to hang out in the central air.
It is generally only the double-coated larger breeds of dogs that get uncomfortably warm. Many small dogs regardless of coat type are more prone to feeling too cold, and dogs with a very short, thin single coat are often in more need of sweaters than cooling mats.
Further Reading: For Winter, check out heated mats here.
Picking your bed
The first consideration when shopping for a cooling mat is the ease of use. Some of the cooling beds on the market require refrigeration in between uses or need to be regularly soaked in water before they will exhibit any cooling properties. These products are far inferior to the products filled with a solid gel that simply automatically absorbs dog body heat and then automatically recharge themselves.
Look for a bed that is as sturdy as possible. Many dogs like to “make their bed” by scratching vigorously at a surface before lying down, and those claws can easily puncture or tear beds with flimsy covers. In addition, if you have a cat in the household that likes to sharpen its claws on things, you’ll definitely want to look for a sturdy, puncture-resistant bed.
The next point is to make sure the bed is large enough for your dog. When using a cooling bed, most dogs will stretch out and even a fairly small dog can occupy an astonishing amount of space. We suggest waiting for your dog to naturally lie down in a stretched-out position and measure how much space the dog occupies. Unfortunately, very few of the mats available on the market come in an extra-large size. You may wish to purchase two large mats and place them next to each other for a very large dog.
Dog beds also tend to get dirty really fast. Look for a cooling bed that says it is easy to clean or one that comes with a removable washable cover.
A final consideration is whether you plan to move the bed around a lot, such as moving it into your car for trips and then back into the house or carrying it to the park so your dog can use it after a fun game of fetch. Some mats are lightweight and/or can easily be rolled or folded for transport, but some are heavy and stiff.
Some dogs, especially younger ones, can be quite destructive. It doesn’t matter how sturdy the bed is if a young destructive dog decides it’s a toy to shred to pieces. It will end up in pieces. Therefore, it is a really good idea to confirm that the contents of the bed are completely non-toxic in case your pet goes to town on it and manages to ingest some of it.
Tips and tricks for cooling beds
- For extra comfort, consider placing the mat on top of an orthopedic type bed
- Don’t leave the mats filled with cooling gel in direct sunlight; it will break down the cover and gel and reduce the bed’s lifetime considerably
- Don’t leave your cooling bed in the car all of the time. The hot car in the summer will destroy the bed and the cold car in the winter will cause the gel to freeze solid and damage it
- Even if you have a mat in your car for the dog, do not leave your dog in a hot car; these products aren’t sufficient to overcome the extreme heat that rapidly builds up in cars during the warmer months
We are the Pet Dog Pals, a group of avid pet owners, bloggers, product testers, and writers for all your canine needs! We own a collective 16 dogs and 21 cats to help us test and review pet products. Our top lists and tips come from experience to help you be the best dog owner you can be!