The 6 Best Dog Cooling Mats Australia: Tested & Evaluated 2023
Summer is finally around the corner and your pooch is need of a quality dog bed!
It’s been a rough winter, but the sunshine is coming to brighten the year. With that in mind, the temperature is rising and your dog needs to be kept cool. (1)
“It is important to remember that dogs cannot control their body temperature by sweating as humans do, since they only have a relatively small number of sweat glands located in their footpads. Their primary way of regulating body temperature is by panting.” - Ernest Ward, DVM of VCA Animal Hospital (2)
Fans, grooming, and plenty of water are all great ways to keep your dog happy during the hotter months.
A dog cooling mat takes things to the next level. If you have an elderly dog, they may be less able to regulate their body temperature, making a cooling pad all the more important. In this blog, we’re going to go through the very best dog cooling mats in Australia and the key features of a fantastic mat for your dog.
So what makes us such experts? We teamed up with an independent panel of veterinarians, dog behavioural experts, and pet parents to test some of the most popular dog cooling mats Australia offers. After weeks of testing and several dozen cooling mats later, we finally agreed on this list. Let's check them out!
Quick Picks - The Top 3
Our Number 1 Pick -
Scruffs Cooling Dog Bed
- Spacious and comfortable
- Supportive foam base
- Two sizes available
- Breathable polyester mesh cover
- Keeps cooler without the need to freeze
Runner Up -
Scruffs Cooling Dog Mat
- Filled with cooling gel
- No need for freezing
- Available in extra large
- Can be used on top of a bed
- Good value for money
Third Choice -
K&H Extra-Thick Cooling Orthopedic Dog Bed
- Good size range
- Non toxic gel
- Well priced
- Orthopedic foam mattress
- Two year warranty
Australia's Best Dog Cooling Mat Reviewed
Now that we know what makes a top cooling bed, we rounded up our favourites along with our independent team of experts. After months of testing and dozens of options, we think our top choices below will help you with your search!
What sets this product apart from the rest?
"Keeping your dog hydrated and cool in the hot Australian climate is incredibly important. A cooling mat for dogs, like the Scruffs Cooling Dog Bed that we've listed in the top spot, is a great addition to help combat the h. We've trialled this option over a three summers now and it's held up great."
The trade off pet parents often have to make when choosing a cooling mat is the level of comfort vs cooling capabilities. Sure, many cooling beds are somewhat comfortable, but they often don’t have fluffy pillow bolsters like most dog beds (and we all know dogs love a place to rest their head). Well, this bed from Scruffs is different, offering both cooling properties and fluffy comfort around the edges.
The Scruffs Cooling Dog Bed being tested by our independent expert team
This mat features a supportive foam base and bolsters on all sides also filled with foam. In terms of comfort and support, it’s a great bed in general aside from the cooling function, unlike our second choice.
Moreover, the inner mat is filled with non-toxic cooling gel. The gel will stay five to ten degrees cooler than the environment. This means that you don’t need to refrigerate this bed. Now, our team of panelists note that the gel does get warmer as your dog lays on the bed, and after an hour it will lose the cooling effect. However, to ‘reset’ the cooling mat, you’ll just need to leave it unused for about an hour.
This Scruffs Cooling Dog Bed is suitable for small dogs like a Chihuahua to large dogs like a Husky.
The Scruffs Cooling Dog Mat is pretty much the same stuff as featured in the awesome Scruffs Cooling Dog Bed above. Only without the bed.
This mat is fairly thin, but it’s filled with cooling gel. The gel will stay five to ten degrees cooler than the environment without the need to pot the mat in the freezer, like their aforementioned model. However, the mat folds fairly small, so you could also put it in the freezer for a couple of minutes to make the mat extra cold in case it’s really hot outside.
The Scruffs Cooling Dog Mat being tested by our independent expert team
This mat can be used on its own, just spread on the floor. This is probably the most effective way to use it since the floor is usually colder than the rest of the room. Our experts also loved how you can also use this mat on top of your dog’s regular bed. This is nice for dogs who, like mine, absolutely love their beds, as it helps make them cooler while they snuggle in their spot.
This Scruffs Cooling Dog Mat is suitable for small dogs like a Chihuahua to large dogs like a Husky.
We love a good orthopedic dog bed. When a cooling pad and ortho-bed are rolled into one, it has got to be a winner for us! The K&H is the quintessential cooling dog bed like our number one choice since it offers supreme comfort for your pooch.
This bed uses cold water to keep your dog’s temperature down. There is an inner layer of orthopedic foam that provides the soft cushioning that elderly, disabled, or pregnant dogs will really appreciate. The exterior lining is made of vinyl and nylon, adding to its durability whilst remaining comfortable.
The K&H Extra-Thick Cooling Orthopedic Dog Bed being tested by our independent expert team
I really love how the K&H Cooling Dog Bed comes in three sizes: small 43 cm x 60 cm, medium 55 cm x 80 cm, and large 80 cm x 110 cm. Dogs of all breeds and sizes can get on well with this model.
The water-bearing nature of this bed makes it quite heavy though. Not suitable for travelling. The exterior, though quite hardy, won’t hold up to chewing or excessive scratching either, so if your pup is rambunctious in this department like mine is, you may need to look elsewhere.
Overall, for a reasonably priced option with a fantastic size range and two year warranty, the K&H is a prime choice.
This K&H Extra-Thick Cooling Orthopedic Dog Bed is suitable for small dogs like a Chihuahua to large dogs like a Husky.
Our independent panel of experts' pick for the cooling raised bed for your dog is the Kazoo DayDream Dog Bed. The Kazoo is a classically straight-forward raised dog bed, with a stretched, breathable mesh platform. The suspension promotes a cooling airflow as your dog is held off the ground.
The sturdy stainless steel frame is durable and weather resistant. The open-weave material is also scratch-proof and chew-proof. I also love how this bed is no fun to chew at all, so even my dog, who has the habit of gnawing on his bed, left this bed alone. These factors make the Kazoo hardy enough to last you through the seasons, year after year. Considering the long-lasting power of the Kazoo, we think the budget range is very reasonable.
The KAZOO Daydream Dog Bed Classic Zebra being tested by our independent expert team.
Thankfully, most dogs regardless of age, breed or weight will suit the Kazoo. Unlike other options in this list, it comes in four sizes with a funky zebra stripe design.
Of course, this isn’t a cooling mat in the traditional sense. But it does have a cooling effect by way of its construction, just not any special cooling water or gel in the material. The Kazoo is more suited to those who want an easy to clean, versatile, year-round bed that provides unparalleled ventilation and comfort to your pup.
This KAZOO Daydream Dog Bed is suitable for small dogs like a Chihuahua to medium dogs like a Blue Heeler.
If you have the means to pamper your pup, then the Sealy Lux Dog Bed is an excellent choice for you! The Sealy has everything you could want in a cooling dog bed. It uses cooling gel in the interior for a self-cooling effect. Your dog simply rests their weight on the bed to feel the fresh cold energy.
Like our number one and number three choices, this is also an orthopedic bed of the highest quality! A four-part construction with orthopedic memory foam gives your pooch reliable comfort. Our panel of researchers also noted that the foam molds to your dog’s body supporting their joints - perfect for elderly or disabled dogs.
The Sealy Lux Pet Dog Bed being tested by our independent expert team.
The Sealy Bed is so advanced, it even fights odour. A charcoal layer within the bed absorbs odours, staving off bad smells. If the bed does get dirty, the cover is machine washable.
This is a luxury dog bed so it comes at a high price point. We’d also point out that given the many layers of foam and lightweight covering, we don’t recommend this bed for chewers. However, for a premium cooling bed with all the benefits of a high-end orthopedic bed, you won’t find a better quality option.
This Sealy Lux Pet Dog Bed is suitable for small dogs like a Chihuahua to large dogs like a Husky.
Our pick for an ice mat for your dog is the CoolDog Reusable Ice Mat. This has a very simple construction with an inner water lining. You’ll need to pop this mat into your freezer to harden the ice before your dog lays on it, similar to our number two choice.
Ice mats are less reliable in terms of long-lasting cooling, as you will likely need to refreeze the ice pad quite often. That said, the initial cooling effect will be much more powerful than freezing gel would be. If the temperature gets unbearable and/or your dog struggles to control their corporal heat, this ice mat can offer instant relief.
The CoolDog Reusable Ice Mat being tested by our independent expert team.
The unique thing about this mat is that it can also be used as a heating pad! If you place the pad in a microwave rather than the freezer, you can heat it to a toasty temperature. Such a versatile product.
This mat comes in one size, but you can use the Velcro tabs to extend it. In its original state, it is 30 cm x 60 cm. Using the Velcro, you can enlarge it to 60 cm x 90 cm. Though our panel of independent experts lamented that this isn’t ideal for large or extra-large dogs, at least you have the option to stretch the size.
For a simple, low-cost ice mat, the CoolDog really packs a punch!
This CoolDog Reusable Ice Mat is suitable for small dogs like a Chihuahua to medium dogs like a Blue Heeler.
How Do Cooling Mats Work?
Like heated dog beds, there are a few different mechanisms that cooling pads employ to keep your dog chilled. The most common is a cooling gel. This is a non-toxic, viscous substance that has natural chilling properties. This gel is encased in the base to prevent from leaking. Your dog then lays on the mat to feel the refreshing sensation of the gel on their fur.
There are also ice mats for dogs, which use purified water wrapped in the lining to keep the bed frosty. You simply freeze the entire cooling mat to refreeze the ice. Ice mats are less reliable than gel in terms of temperature control since the ice will melt over time. On the other hand, the gel can be very messy if your dog chews the mat and ruptures the seams. The gel, though non-toxic, is still not ideal for consumption. Ice mats just use water so there are no dangers at all.
The third category is a bit of a cheat but I will explain. Elevated dog beds are great at cooling your dog because of their suspended sleep surface. Lifting your dog off of the ground promotes airflow and ventilation. The materials of raised dog beds are also not particularly insulating, so they make quite cool beds (in both senses of the word!).
Out of these three, figure out what will work best for your dog and the climate you live in.
How to Choose A Cooling Bed for Your Dog?
Of course, you want a cooling dog bed to actually be cooling! But there is a little bit of nuance here, which our panel of independent experts considered at length. We talked about how different beds have different forms of cooling so you want to make sure that your chosen product lives up to its promises.
If the gel in the bed is providing the refreshing tingles, it’s good to know how the gel is distributed and how the cold energy is released. Is the mat constantly cold or is it pressure-released? Do you need to keep the mat in the freezer for a time like you do for ice mats? See what works for you.
If you opt for a cooling raised dog bed, how high is the suspension? Is it effective in holding your dog’s weight off of the ground for long periods of time? The cooling mechanism isn’t as immediate or refreshing, but your pup will still appreciate the extra ventilation from floating off the ground.
All pivotal questions to help with your buying decision.
Cooling pads and mats are ideal for travelling because they tend to be lightweight. Raised dog beds are also quite portable. Their metal frames are easy to pack down and transport.
If you only intend for the cooling mat to be used at home, then portability is less of a factor. If your dog often travels with you or would benefit from a cooler environment when being transported in your car, a portable pad is very useful!
We mention this often but the best dog beds are ones that stand the test of time. That said, cooling mats for dogs are a slightly different case. Ideally, you don’t want the gel or water to be leaking from your dog’s cooling pad after just one summer. A leaky or badly constructed product is a waste of money.
When it comes to maintaining the shape of the bed, however, mats do not have the same issues as more fragile beds do like orthopedic or cave dog beds.
Cooling mats are also used temporarily by your dog. I know when my dog is hot and bothered because he repositions himself often. He may get up from his spot in the hallway to slump on the kitchen tiles to feel the freshness of the new sleeping space. It’s the doggy equivalent of flipping to the cool side of the pillow.
If your dog knows that there is a mat available to instantly bring their temperature down, they will saunter over to use it when they need it. It is rare for a dog to lay across a cooling mat for hours and hours on end unless they feel really hot. They’ll use the mat in short bursts. Therefore, your dog is less likely to wear out the product since it is used so infrequently.
As with cave dog beds, cool mats for dogs in Australia have a sizing problem. Small dogs are very much favoured when it comes to this category of beds. Options for large or extra-large dogs are scarce. Because of the construction of cooling pads, it is not the end of the world if the mat isn’t perfectly sized. Your dog is meant to lie across the bed for a boost of cold energy.
If your large dog lies across a smaller mat, they will still receive that burst of refreshment but it won’t be as effective. It’s like sleeping with half of the covers on!
As for cooling raised beds for dogs, they come in a wider range of sizes, and our panel of experts with extra-large dogs noted that their large pooches get on better with one of them.
My Final Verdict
Our independent panel of experts all agree that our best overall pick is the Scuffs Cooling Bed followed closely by the K&H Extra-Thick Cooling Bed for its combination of super comfy orthopedic support and long-lasting cooling properties.
If you’re on a budget and don’t need the foam mattress, we think the Scuffs cooling mat model is really spectacular value for money. It is comfy, cooling, and easily portable. We love it!
As the temperature rises and the long summer days draw nearer, your dog may suffer from the rising heat. This is especially true for double-coated dogs. With this in mind, outside of cooling pads, there are many ways to help your dog get through the summer comfortably.
Firstly, plenty of water should always be available for your dog. Jennifer Larsen DVM, Ph.D., DAVCN, from PetMD writes, “In general, dogs should drink approximately 1 ounce of water (1/8 of a cup) per pound of body weight each day.” (3)
Try to avoid walking your dog in extreme heat and be sure not to leave them in a hot car. (5) A portable cooling pad can be used in the car if you need to transport your dog for any reason.
Heatstroke is when your dog’s temperature rises above 39 degrees celsius. You may not have a thermometer on hand but the signals of heatstroke are quite obvious.
If your dog is overheating, they will show clear signs of distress:
- Excessive panting
- Uncoordinated movements
If you suspect your dog is suffering from heatstroke, you need to act quickly for a better prognosis. Dogs can die from heatstroke if they are not cared for as quickly as possible. Primarily, focus on getting their temperature down gradually. This could be by giving them a hose down with tepid water or providing a fan for them. Move them to a shadier area, well away from the sun. Make sure that if you choose to use water to cool your dog down, that the water is not too cold. Ice water baths immediately after heatstroke will cause shock in your dog. That will create more problems then it solves.
Contact your vet as soon as you can, and they will walk you through the next steps. At an emergency animal facility, your dog is likely to be checked for shock. They may be put on fluids too if they are severely dehydrated. (6)
- DiLonardo, M. “How to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Summer”. Fetch by WebMD. Retrieved September 9, 2023. https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/features/dog-cool-summer#1
- Ward, E., Williams, K. “Heat Stroke in Dogs”. VCA Hospitals. Retrieved September 9, 2023. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/heat-stroke-in-dogs
- Larsen, J. August 11, 2020. “How Much Water Should a Dog Drink?”. PetMD. Retrieved September 9, 2023. https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_dg_the_importance_of_water
- “Sunburn in pets”. PDSA. Retrieved September 9, 2023. https://www.pdsa.org.uk/taking-care-of-your-pet/looking-after-your-pet/all-pets/sun-safety
- Reisen, J. May 20, 2019. “Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe This Summer”. American Kennel Club. Retrieved September 9, 2023.
- Higgs, V. July 13, 2022. “Heatstroke in Dogs”. PetMD. Retrieved September 9, 2023. https://www.petmd.com/dog/emergency/common-emergencies/e_dg_heat_stroke