Best Cooling Mats & Pads for Dogs Cool Beds for the Dog Days

Our canine companions do not perspire the same way we do. Unlike humans, who sweat almost everywhere, dogs only have a few sweat glands, and these are found on areas without fur, such as the paw pads and nose. That is why dogs rely on their primitive panting to cool down. But come summer and it will prove to be more difficult for dogs to remain comfortable. Just as we want to keep fresh and cool during the peak of summer, a cooling mat will make a huge difference for your dog. It also benefits puppies and senior dogs as well.

What is a dog cooling mat?

As the name suggests, a dog cooling mat (or pad) is a type of bedding that aims to lower the core body temperature of our canine companions as quickly as possible. Cooling mats come in various types, which work differently but all thrive to do the same.

How do cooling mats work?

Remember conduction heat transfer in science class? To understand how cooling mats (or pads) work, you need to be cognizant of how thermal energy is channeled from one place to another. Technically, this is what occurs in such canine products.

If your dog rests on a marble floor, which has a lower temperature than your dog’s body, your dog’s body heat will flow into the floor until both reach temperature equilibrium. In the same way, the cooling mat attracts heat from your dog’s body and cools it down until both share similar temperatures.

There are two fundamental categories of the cooling mat and these are as follows:

Water-filled dog cooling mats

Water-filled dog cooling mats are almost synonymous to the waterbeds humans use. If you actually use one in your home, then you can imagine that it is basically the same thing. You need to fill the compartment with cold water, which is the heat-absorbing element of the product.

The safety of this cooling mat is exemplary. Besides, water has therapeutic effects. However, this type of cooling mat seems to have fallen out of favor due to the fact that it easily loses its purpose. Heavily dependent on the fabric that contains the water, this product is rendered unusable even if your dog only manages to make a tiny hole.

Pressure-activated dog cooling gel mats

Have you ever tried those anti-fever patches that you place on the forehead to get rid of a fever? Similar to those, these mats contain pre-filled synthetic gel that feels cool to the touch.

Cooling gel mats are now preferred over water-filled mats, especially for owners of medium to large breeds. These products are flexible, portable, and relatively low maintenance. Adding to that, they are a lot easier to clean and can be stored in almost any available space.

However, you have to be aware of the risks associated with the gel. Your curious pooch will most likely experience digestive upset if he ate a huge chunk of the gel. That aside, you have to keep the mat away from direct sunlight, as the gel absorbs the heat and renders itself unusable.

Top Cooling Mats & Pads for Dogs

With a dog cooling mat, your furry pal can replenish his energy and remain cool-headed so he can make the most of his day. Since it can be hard to browse the web for cooling mats, we selected nine of the best cooling mats of the bunch!

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Dog Cooling Mat

Now, let us look into the features that should help you decide which product is the best dog cooling mat to buy.

Thermal efficiency

A dog cooling mat’s thermal efficiency is influenced by several factors such as:

  • the temperature gradient between the cooling pad and your dog
  • thickness and surface area of the mat
  • the amount and physical properties of the substrate used (water, ice, gel)

It is for these reasons many products share identical features but vary in thermal efficiency. Some products may cool your dog for an hour or two, while others can do it for up to five hours. Evidently, a thicker mat with more gel substrate provides a significantly longer cooling effect since it takes more time to reach temperature equilibrium. Likewise, the thickness of the mat ensures it can contain more heat molecules emitted by your dog.

boston terrier dog cooling mat


Common sense will tell you to choose a unit that can accommodate your dog comfortably. Cooling mats come in various shapes and sizes, so you won’t have to worry that you might not find a cooling mat that can support your dog’s weight or size. Ideally, it is better to choose a bigger mat to maximize the rate at which your dog’s temperature drops. Likewise, a bigger mat gives your dog more freedom to move around.


As with any product, durability is a factor too important to leave out. Of course, you want a product that can give you your money’s worth. The mat should not be easily punctured so it can last a few years rather than a couple of days.


Make sure the gels used inside the cooling mat are non-toxic. Usually, gel substrates labeled as non-toxic are usually made of cellulose, sodium, water, and sponge. According to Dr. Denise, a licensed vet and an expert at JustAnswer, it is unlikely that your dog will have a toxic reaction to these materials.

Ease of cleaning

Like all things, a dog cooling mat should be quick and easy to clean. Choose a product that is made with waterproof materials so you can easily wipe the mat clean when the need arises.


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