Best Dog Cooling Mats
Keeping your pet cool in the summer can be a difficult task, especially with cold-weather breeds. Unlike us, dogs don’t sweat, so it’s harder for them to keep themselves cool. They pant and drink water to help themselves cool off, and if there’s a shade or air conditioning available, they can take advantage of it. You may notice your dog opting to lay on your hardwood or tile floors on hot days, instead of carpet, because that can also make a difference. We can make water and cool spaces available to our pets, and for long-haired dogs, we can trim them regularly, but sometimes it feels like we can’t do enough to keep our dogs from overheating easily. This can be pretty stressful, but fortunately, there are products available that can make it all a little easier.
Dog cooling mats are a great low-maintenance addition to your summer pet supplies. They give your dog a place to lie down and cool off quickly. Whether they’ve been running around in the sun or simply enduring a heat wave in your area, they can find some relief by hanging out on a cooling mat. If your pup is having a hard time this summer, consider getting a cooling mat to help them out. You can use our list of the best cooling mats available to find a great option for them.
What is a Dog Cooling Mat?
Dog cooling mats come in a couple of varieties, but they are all places for a dog to lie down and get cool. The mats, which can be thin like a yoga mat or big like a regular dog bed, are cooler than the room temperature and cooler than the normal floor, so they help overheated dogs get comfortable faster.
Cooling mats aren’t too expensive, and they’re always a great investment. You’ll spend a lot of money over your dog’s lifetime if you always have to keep the room, they’re in very cold in the summer with air conditioning and fans. With a cooling mat, on the other hand, you only have to deal with the expense once. A good cooling mat will last your dog a long time, and you don’t need to refill or replace any parts. They can even be used as crate mats, bed toppers, or beds in the summer, as they are about the right size and can easily be moved anywhere to accommodate your needs.
There are two or three main types of dog cooling mats:
- Gel mat - These cooling mats are filled with a non-toxic gel that stays a few degrees cooler than the outside temperature. They don’t require any extra accessories, and once you decide where to put the mat, you don’t have to worry about it again! Your pup will stay cool for a while, although these are only good for cooling for short periods of time since they don’t get very cold.
- Water mat - This variety often looks more like a bed than a flat pad, as you fill it up with water. You can put ice in the water or put the entire mat into the fridge or freezer until it’s the temperature you want it to be, and then put it out for your dog. Obviously, the water or ice will heat up and melt eventually, so you’ll need to refill these or periodically put them back in the fridge. We recommend having a towel, blanket, or other surfaces in between the mat and your floor, as the condensation that results from them could damage your floors over time otherwise.
- Automatic gel mat - This is a variation on the first type of mat we mentioned. They are similar to regular gel mats, but they get to lower temperatures and stay cool for longer. Your dog can stay cool on one of these mats for hours at a time, and they only need to get up for a few minutes for the mat to “recharge” and get cold again.
How to Choose a Dog Cooling Mat
When choosing a dog cooling mat, you want to look for one that is the right size for the size and number of dogs you have. A larger dog obviously needs a larger mat than a small dog, but there’s no benefit to having extra mat space that won’t be used, so you should go for the smallest size that would fit your dog. The one exception would be that, if you have more than one small dog, a larger mat could allow them all to use it at the same time.
If you plan to use the mat as a crate mat or dog bed topper, you should also make sure that the dimensions of the mat fit the crate or bed you will be using. You may choose which variety of mat you’re interested in based on how low-maintenance you need the mat to be. If you have no problem adding ice to it or refrigerating it as necessary, then a water mat might be the best option, especially since it can get colder than gel mats. However, if you’re getting the mat so that your dog can stay cool when you’re gone on hot days, then a lower-maintenance option like an automatic gel mat may work better. Your home and the location the mat will be going in could also affect your decision. Since you don’t have to worry about condensation with gel mats, they can be better for floors that would be damaged by water.
What to Consider When Buying a Mat
Not all dog cooling mats are equal! Here are a couple of important things to consider when buying a cooling mat:
- Dog chewing habits - Even though all cooling mats, including gel mats, claim to be non-toxic, we don’t recommend getting a gel mat for a dog who is a big chewer. If they tend to tear up their beds, their crate mats, and their blankets, they will probably tear into the cooling mat. A water mat is harder to get a grip on to tear, and even if it is ripped open, the water inside is completely harmless.
- Training - Some dogs understand new toys and supplies intuitively, but others take a while to get the hang of it. Your dog may be confused by the mat at first, they may ignore it, or they may even be startled when they feel how cold it is after stepping onto it for the first time. If your dog knows commands like “lie down” and “go to your spot”, then training them to use the cooling mat should be pretty easy; with treats in hand, ask them to get on the mat and lie down. They’ll be rewarded with treats and with a comfy, cool place to relax, so they will figure it out quickly.
If your dog is uncomfortable and low-energy in the summer due to the excessive heat, you can help them stay cool and comfortable with a dog cooling mat. Whether you decide on a water mat or gel mat for your dog, it will keep them from overheating after playtime, at bedtime, and in any other situation where they need it. Be sure to get the right type and size of mat for your dog and their habits. If necessary, be prepared to train them to use the cooling pad so that they can get the most out of it. Take a look at our top ten list to find a mat that’s perfect for you and your pup.