If you are in the market for a good quality cooling pad for your pooch, but not sure where to begin, then we are here to help. We’ve rounded up the TOP 10 Best Dog Cooling Pads from $7 to $179 for this buyer’s guide to make choosing one less of a hassle. You’ll learn why it’s important to keep your dog cool in summer and how to choose the best cooling pad from the available options.
What You Will Learn from This Guide:
- Symptoms of hyperthermia
- What is a cooling pad?
- How does it work? Technologies
- TOP 10 Best Cooling Pads
- Gel memory foam based
Dogs are incredible creatures; they will do anything to keep us pleased and happy. They wag their tails, jump up at nothing like they are dancing, demand your attention and ask to be walked, the longer walks, the better, even on the unbearably hot summer days. And you can’t resist the temptation of a good walking company even in the subtropical heat. It’s important, though, to understand that even if your dog keeps going despite the scorching summer heat, playing around and going loopy, it might be because she just can’t stop.
As a dog owner, you are responsible to recognize the signs of hyperthermia and do everything possible to prevent it. You can take a cooling mat with you, but most of them are pretty huge unless your dog is tiny, or you can put on any other portable cooling device from our TOP-24 cooling products for dogs to keep her protected. But even if you choose to put a cooling wear on your dog, it’s still important to know the signs and symptoms of overheating to watch out for.
Dogs can’t cool themselves by sweating, they will pant, but panting might not be enough to maintain a stable body temperature. Dogs can quickly overheat, in as less as ten minutes. The heatstroke is especially dangerous since it can cause brain swelling, damage to internal organs, among other serious conditions. Please, watch out for the following symptoms to know when you have to seek veterinary help immediately:
- Dog acting confused
- Seizures, tremors, convulsions
- Excessive drooling and panting
- Difficulty breathing
- Rapid heart rate
To prevent the unnecessary exposure to heat, please, stay out of the sun and always try to walk your dog in shade. Put protective clothing on your dog, like vests, jackets, coats, bandanas Read more: best cooling devices. And after a walk, invite your dog for a good rest on a cooling mat.
A cooling pad (or mat) is a special bedding that intends to cool down your pet. There are several types of cooling mats which work differently but they all strive to do the same: restore your dog’s body temperature to normal in as little time as possible. Let’s look at the technologies used in cooling bedding to see how they work and how to choose the best one.
- Water-based dog cooling mats
Water-based cooling mats are the ones that you have to fill with cold tap water. If you’ve ever had the water pillow, then you can imagine that it’s essentially the same thing. The advantages of the water-based bedding are that it’s completely safe, and it doesn’t have any toxic chemicals. Besides water is known to improve quality sleep and promote quick recovery.
- Ice pack cooling pads
Some cooling mats come with a set of ice packs that you have to freeze overnight and insert them into the mat before use. Again, these mats are safe for dogs. On the downside, imagine lying on ice bedding that has just been taken out of the freezer, how would you feel? Extremely cold at first, right? The ice can cause shivering and uncomfortable sensations which go away as the ice melts. Another downside is that some cooling pads come with a set of packs of a very specific size, and if one of the pouches pops up or cracks and leaks, it could be hard to find the replacement part.
- Pressure activated cooling gel
The pressure activated cooling gel pads, as the name suggests, are the gel pads that are activated under pressure of a dog’s weight. You have to beware that even if the manufacturers claim the gel inside the padding is super safe that might not be the case. While one dog, having consumed the gel, would be okay, another dog might get seriously intoxicated. Also, you have to keep the cooling gel away from the direct sun rays, as the gel absorbs the heat and will no longer serve its purpose. Thus, always keep the gel pad in shade.
- Phase Change Materials
PCM (Phase Change Materials) bedding contains a special chemical substance that absorbs or releases energy (heat) when it solidifies or melts. Initially developed for NASA, the technology is now available for the public. While it’s based on pure science, and thus supposed be effective, it’s toxic for dogs. Personally, I would stay away from the PCM bedding for dogs, because you never know when your dog decides to chew on it. In case it happens, though, you have to call Poison Control and seek veterinary help immediately. In this article, we won’t recommend any of the PCM beddings for pets.
- Simple breathable organic materials
There’s no advance science behind organic materials, but surprisingly they might work just as well. If you don’t want to play dice with the toxic chemicals, and prefer all-things-natural, then simple breathable bedding might be your best bet. Look for bamboo, linen, cotton, or other materials that naturally wick out the excess heat and moisture from the pet’s body keeping them cool and comfortable.
Now, let’s review the TOP 10 Best Cooling Pads for dogs. We’ve divided the products into several categories according to the technology: water-based, gel-based, and just regular fabrics.
K&H Pet Products Cool Bed III
K&H Pet Products is a reliable manufacturer that has garnered a solid reputation over the years as a dedicated producer of pet products in the US. With K&H, as a reputable business, you don’t really have to worry about quality, support, or warranty, that’s guaranteed with any product they brand.
With this cooling mat, all you have to do is pour cold water inside. The unique cooling core of the K&H Cool Bed diverts liquid throughout the bed for advanced cooling power. The tough nylon and vinyl exterior makes this bed great for both indoor and outdoor use (however, still requires a shade).
The manufacturer also claims the therapeutic effects of this water-based pad, stating that it helps with a pet’s arthritis, skin disorders, pain relief, and more. The cooling bed is available in 3 sizes and 2 colors.
The customer response is mostly positive. The complaining consumers said the bed was very hard to maneuver, being very heavy; others said the dogs could easily destroy it, causing water to leak. Being inexpensive, this product is worth a purchase.
Cooler Dog Turbo Cooling Mat
Cooler Dog cooling mat is actually a hybrid of gel and ice packs. The mat has 3 layers. The first one is a gel pad layer that distributes the heat absorbing power of the ice and provides comfortable bedding. The second layer is the FlexiFreeze Ice Sheets that contain 88 built-in ice cubes; it absorbs the heat from the gel pad while thawing. The third and final layer is a cell foam insulation layer that prevents the mat from warming underneath. The FlexiFreeze ice packs can be purchased separately, in case the pouches break down. When you purchase a Turbo Cooling Mat, you will have to assemble the layers yourself. To make things easier, the founder of Cooler Dog recorded a video on how to assemble the cooling mat properly, and you can watch it in case it seems complicated. Available in 3 sizes.
The most popular and widespread cooling bedding by far for dogs is based on pressure activated gel technology. Here, we’ll cover 4 best representatives of this type.
Hugs Pet Products Chillz Pressure Activated Pet Cooling Gel Pad
The cool pressure activated gel doesn’t require freezing or cooling, it absorbs the pet’s body heat, thus keeping your pouch cool. While the manufacturer claims that the gel is non-toxic, we recommend exercising greatest caution while using this product, because there have been consumer reports that suggest otherwise.
The overall positive response to the Chillz Pad makes it rather easy to recommend. Testers said that the dogs liked the mat and preferred it to any other bedding. Some consumers even bought the product for themselves to keep them cool during hot summer nights. Those who left bad reviews often complained of the varying quality of the different batches, with some consumers receiving a product of less than average quality. Available in 3 sizes and 2 colors.
Green Pet Shop Cooling Mat
Another best-selling pressure-activated cooling gel pad is manufactured by the Green Pet Shop. The mechanics are the same as with any other pressure activated gel pads, there’s no need to refrigerate or additionally cool down the pad before use. The manufacturer claims the pad stays cool for up to 4 hours, but that might be a little misleading, expect for up to 2 hours of cooling effect. The mat is relatively thin and very lightweight so you can carry it anywhere. Beware of the potential toxicity of the gel inside and prevent your dog from chewing on it.
The happy customers often praised the versatility of the mat: some used it for cats or even for themselves. The unhappy customers complained of the gel toxicity and misleading non-toxic information on the label, as well as the shrinkage that happened with a mat after several uses. Available in 5 sizes
Coleman Comfort Cooling Gel Pet Mat
Working just the same as any other cooling mat, this product is no different from the other pressure-activated gel pads. Evidently, it worked just as advertised, since most of the consumers were happy with the purchase, praising everything from its generous size to its cooling performance. The critics, however, said the pad wouldn’t work in the car because when the car’s getting hot, the pad is getting hot just as fast. It actually comes as obvious because all cooling gels work only in the cool shady areas. Despite this shortcoming, the product is worth the money. Available in 3 sizes.
Arf Pets Dog Self Cooling Mat
Another cooling pad worth mentioning is sold by Arf Pets. The pad works just like any other cooling gel pads and requires a very easy maintenance. The mat folds and retains its shape over time. The consumers praised the mat’s sturdy and durable material, the size, and the cooling effect. Those unsatisfied were concerned with the misleading non-toxic label, as well as the dye from the pad that stained the pets’ fur. Available in 3 sizes.
Dogbed4less Gel Cooling Memory Foam
Sometimes the gel can be infused into the memory foam filling of the pad. Dogbed4less, a small business in California, specializes exactly on orthopedic cooling bedding for dogs, which makes their products easy to recommend in this category.
Dogbed4less Gel Cooling Memory Foam mat comes with one Oxford cover and one waterproof internal zipper cover, which makes it a complete bedding package for the price. The 100% high-density gel infused memory foam doesn’t lose its shape and provides both cooling and therapeutic effects as it relieves the pet’s arthritis, joint, and muscle stiffness.
The overall positive response to the Dogbed4less Gel Cooling Memory Foam bed has been unanimous, with testers praising its high-quality non-slip materials and the longevity of its cooling effect. If you're looking for a larger model, this could be the bed for you. 2 sizes. 12 colors
Dogbed4less Orthopedic Gel Infused Cooling Memory Foam Dog Bed
Another product by Dogbed4less that’s worth mentioning is the company’s best-selling orthopedic version of the gel infused mat.
This bed comes with one waterproof internal zipper cover, one washable 180GSM Microfiber Suede external zipper cover, and MicroSuede brown non-slip external case. The hypoallergenic high density 100% gel infused memory foam pad provides the support and will not flatten overtime. Again, this bedding offers both cooling and therapeutic effects.
The overall positive customer response makes you want to buy this bedding not only for your dog but yourself if only it was available for humans. The customers also said the foam was very durable and didn’t lose its shape over time; two cover system protected the foam from mold, mildew, moisture, etc. The detractors noticed that the bedding cover was not waterproof, but rather water resistant. So beware and purchase a waterproof bedding case. 7 sizes. 2 colors.
iComfort Sofa Dog Bed from Serta
The Serta has been in business for more than 80 years, meaning you can’t go wrong with buying any of their products. The high quality of materials that the company uses in bedding is impressive. Of course, the buyer is expected to pay more for added comfort, convenience, durability, and high-quality of the brand.
iComfort is specifically designed for squeamish dogs who care a great deal where they sleep. This comfortable luxurious bed features a gel infused memory foam, zipper removable cover, and supportive backrest. The airflow is increased with technology-driven material that combines an open cell structure and exclusive Micro Cool+ gel. While overall consumers were positive about the quality of the product, there were a few detractors who said the product was way overpriced. Available in 2 sizes and 2 colors.
PAWZ Road Dog Blanket
If you’re looking for a very simple and easy solution, then this snuggly mat from PAWZ might be a great choice worth the purchase.
It’s made of breathable mesh and self-cooling fabric with super comfort design and high-quality materials. The mat is cool to the touch, non-toxic, and very thick, and comfortable.
The dog mat is easy to clean: just throw it in your washer on a gentle cycle. The customer overwhelmingly loved the simplicity of the blanket. Those who stayed unsatisfied expected a cooling gel or memory foam inside. So if you’re looking for an advanced cooling technology, this blanket is not for you. 3 sizes. 2 colors.
Pros and Cons
- Works great as a preventative measure against over-exhaustion and heat stroke
- Your dog may decline to lay on the mat as all dogs are different
- Won’t help much if your dog is already overheated, you might want to see veterinary immediately
- Gel and PCM based beddings are toxic, so you have to watch out for your pet not to chew on them
- The cooling effect (especially of gel) doesn’t last long and have to be used in a shady area, otherwise, it won’t be cooling anymore.
Comparative Chart of Dog Cooling Pads
With advances in technology and science, you now have plenty of options to keep your dog cool. When looking for a cooling mat, try to stay away from toxic chemicals, as they can inadvertently harm your dog. Other than that, the products reviewed above are really worth the investment.