Best Dog Cooling Mat Options -
An Australian Review
Our #1 Pick
The Best Value for Money
K&H Extra-Thick Cooling Orthopedic Dog Bed
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.” (2) Ernest Ward, DVM of VCA Animal Hospital says
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.
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. 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. You know when your dog is hot and bothered because they reposition themselves often. They may get up from their spot in the hallway to slumping 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 sit 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 so an extra-large dog may get on better with one of them.
Best Dog Cooling Mat Reviews Australia
Now that we know what makes a top cool bed, we’ve rounded up our favourites in this category to help you with your search!
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 with a focus on 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 Cooling Dog Bed comes in three sizes: small 43 x 60cm, medium 55 x 80cm, and large 80 x 110cm. 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.
Overall, for a reasonably priced option with a fantastic size range and two-year warranty, the K&H is a prime choice.
A grand choice for a small budget is the All For Paws Pet Cooling Mat. This quirky mat has an interesting water pattern design, which gives it a little bit of an edge over the plainer options on the list.
The cooling mechanism is gel technology this time. A non-toxic gel fills this pad for a squishy support surface with refreshing coolness. The manufacturer claims the gel can maintain the temperature around 10-15C lower than the surrounding temperature. The cooling sensation will last for 3-4 hours. Not bad for a mat at this low-low price point!
The exterior lining is made of tough PVC, withstanding light scratching and biting. The bed is also simple to clean. Just wipe down with soapy water and you’re good to go.
As for portability, the gel base is very lightweight. You can transport this mat very easily. It comes in two sizes: medium 50 x 40cm and large 90 x 60cm. This is a decent basis for size so it will suit most dog breeds.
The drawback of this option is the lack of a warranty or money-back guarantee. Despite being waterproof, leaving the bed exposed to the elements will affect the gel technology. Keep it out of direct sunlight or excessive heat to ensure the longevity of the product.
For such a low price and fabulous reviews, we are really impressed with the AFP Cooling Mat. Definitely give this one a go!
Our 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. This bed is no fun to chew at all, so dogs with the habit of gnawing on their beds will likely leave this bed alone. These factors make the Kazoo hardy enough to last you through the seasons, year on year. Considering the long-lasting power of the Kazoo, we think the budget range is very reasonable.
Thankfully, most dogs regardless of age, breed or weight will suit the Kazoo. It comes in 4 sizes with a funky zebra stripe design.
Of course, this isn’t a cooling mat in the traditional sense. It does have a cooling effect by way of its construction, but 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.
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.
This is also an orthopedic bed of the highest quality! A four-part construction with orthopedic memory foam gives your pooch reliable comfort. The foam molds to your dog’s body supporting their joints - perfect for elderly or disabled dogs.
The Sealy Bed is so advanced, it even fights odor. A charcoal layer within the bed absorbs odors, 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.
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.
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 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 x 60cm. Using the Velcro, you can enlarge it to 60 x 90cm. Though 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!
As we mentioned before cooling pads are sizeist! Luckily, we were able to find a wonderful option for large and extra-large dogs. Introducing the Scruffs Cooling Mat.
This mat measures at a whopping 120 x 75cm so your extra-large scruff will be able to use this mat to keep cool this summer - woohoo! The cooling energy comes from the non-toxic gel that reportedly stays 5-10 degrees celsius colder than the surrounding temperature. The manufacturer claims this chilling effect lasts for one hour, which is remarkably shorter than the CoolDog Ice Mat or the All For Pets beds. Both of these brands claim their mats will keep your dog cool for 3-4 hours. This is not the end of the world as your dog is highly unlikely to rest on a cooling pad for over an hour, but it’s worth noting.
The bed is amazingly easy to clean by scrubbing with soapy water and airdrying. Scruffs also notes it is easy to roll up to transport. This is one of the best options to use as a cooling pad for beds too. We love the Scruffs model - give it a go!
The Final Verdict: Which Bed Will Keep Your Dog Cool?
Our best overall pick is 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, the All For Pets 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.
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)
Next uplevel your dog’s suncare if they are susceptible to burning. (4) There are suncreams specifically for pets to protect their delicate skin.
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 October 11, 2020. https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/features/dog-cool-summer#1
- Ward, E. “Heat Stroke in Dogs”. VCA Hospitals. Retrieved October 11, 2020. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/heat-stroke-in-dogs
- Larsen, J. August 11, 2020. “How Much Water Should a Dog Drink?”. PetMD. Retrieved October 11, 2020. https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_dg_the_importance_of_water
- “Sun safety: skin cancer in pets”. PDSA. Retrieved October 11, 2020. 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 October 11, 2020.
- Negron, V. August 16, 2010. “Heatstroke in Dogs”. PetMD. Retrieved October 11, 2020. https://www.petmd.com/dog/emergency/common-emergencies/e_dg_heat_stroke