Dog Cooling Mats – Everything You Need To Know

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Dog wearing sunglasses
Image by Mel Elías on Unsplash

Dog Cooling Mats can help keep our dogs cool in summer. Unlike us humans, dogs don’t sweat through their skin. They sweat a little bit through their paws, but for the most part, dogs have to rely on their panting behaviour to release excess heat that is trapped inside their bodies. Panting isn’t the most effective way to release excess heat, so dogs often suffer during hot and humid summer days.

A Dog Cooling Mat can help to address this issue by cooling off your dog’s body from underneath. They help to make your dog more comfortable on hot days or after an energetic play session.

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What Is A Dog Cooling Mat?

Have you ever noticed that your dog prefers to lie on tiles or concrete floors when it’s hot? That’s because tiles and concrete floors are colder than wooden floorboards or carpet. A Dog Cooling Mat does the same for your dog, with the positive side effect of keeping your dog cooler for longer.

While all of them have the same purpose, there are different types of Dog Cooling Mats.

Water-Filled Mats (stay cold for up to 7 hours)

  • The advantage of a Water-Filled Mat (check the latest prices) is that they are entirely safe and the most affordable option. All you have to do is to fill them with cold tap water. Note that they can leak, spill, or get mildewy. Water-Filled Mats can also cause problems if your dog is a chewer.

Ice Pack Cooling Pads

  • Some Cooling Mats come with ice packs that you have to freeze overnight before you insert them into the mat. They are safe for dogs; however, some dogs find them uncomfortable at the start when they’re freezing.

Pressure Activated Cooling Pads | Gel Cooling Pads (3-4 hours)

  • These Cooling Mats are gel-based (check the latest prices) and don’t need water or electricity for activation. They work through a chemical in the pad that absorbs the dog’s temperature and cools them down. It activates through weight when the dog lies down on it and it will re-charge itself automatically after a brief period of non-use.
  • Look for a Cooling Pad with a non-toxic gel. You can also freeze or refrigerate these mats to make them colder if you want. If you decide to purchase a Pressure Activated Cooling Pad, be aware that you can only use them in the shade. If you expose them to direct sun rays, the gel absorbs the heat and will no longer serve its purpose.

Phase-changing Cooling Pads For Dogs (will stay cool the longest)

  • Phase-changing Cooling Pads are filled with a unique chemical substance and are designed to keep at a cool 58°F (14°C). The content works by releasing and absorbing sufficient energy at phase transition to provide useful heat/coolth. In simple terms, it goes from a solid-state to a liquid-state and absorbs heat in the process.

What’s The Best Dog Cooling Mat?

The AFP Pet Cooling Mat is a popular Dog Cooling Mat with great reviews that ships from within Australia. It’s designed to stay 5-10 degrees cooler than room temperature, features non-toxic gel and is easy to clean.

Dog relaxing on a cooling mat

Image by All For Paws

What Is Inside Pet Cooling Mats?

What is inside a Pet Cooling Mat depends on the cooling mat you purchase. There are simple cooling mats that you fill with tap water, so that’s all that’s inside. Other cooling mats are filled with special chemical substances. They can stay cooler for longer, but they can also be a health hazard to your dog if he chews and digests the gel.

How Do You Use A Dog Cooling Mat?

A Dog Cooling Mat works by your dog lying on it. Dogs are creatures of habit, so your dog might not figure out what to do with a cooling mat straight away. There are several things you can do to help your dog. If your dog sleeps in a box or crate, you can put the cooling mat in there.

You can also try to put toys and treats on the cooling mat to make it more interesting. Praise your dog and give him a treat every time he lies down on the mat. Once your dog has been on the cooling mat a few times and has therefore figured out that it’s a cold surface, he might choose to lie on it anytime he’s feeling hot to help him cool down.

Do You Put Dog Cooling Mats In The Fridge?

You don’t have to put your cooling mat in the fridge. That said, if you have a cooling mat that is gel or water-based, you can make it colder quicker by putting it in the refrigerator.

Are Dog Cooling Mats Safe?

For the most part, many dog owners find that cooling pads are an excellent and safe way of keeping their dog cool on hot days. That said, everything can be a hazard for dogs if chewed and digested. It’s recommended to monitor your dog at the beginning, and if you’re unsure it’s best to discuss the topic with your vet or dog trainer.

Two dogs playing in water
Image by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

Are Dog Cooling Mats Toxic?

Dog Cooling Mats are not toxic, but like many objects, they can become toxic if chewed and digested by your dog.

Are Pet Cooling Mats Safe For Humans?

Yes, humans can use Pet Cooling Mats. They’re perfectly safe for humans, so go ahead and use them if you feel like they’d help you cool down on a hot day.

How Can I Keep My Dog Cool At Night?

There really is nothing worse than a hot and humid night. This is especially true for dogs, who can’t simply take off their coat before going to sleep at night.

As you can imagine, giving your dog a cold surface like a Cooling Mat to sleep on at night can make a tremendous difference to the well-being of your pet. If that’s not an option or if you’re worried about your dog chewing on the cooling mat, you can also give your dog a wet blanket at night.

If that’s not enough, you can freeze water bottles that are filled with water, then wrap them in a dishtowel and put next to your dog at night.

Last but not least, don’t forget to keep your dog’s water topped up when it’s hot!

Do Fans Keep Dogs Cool?

Many people will put up a fan for their dog on a hot day. Fans have the positive effect of providing white noise, so they can block out possible sound from the outside and help your dog to relax. That said, it’s not clear if fans can help your dog cool off.

The reason for this is that fans do not cool the air. They work through convection and sweat evaporation. Since dogs don’t sweat through their skin in the same way as humans do, fans might not work the same way for them as they do for us. 

Are Dog Cooling Mats Worth Your Money?

It really depends on the dog if a Cooling Mat is worth your money. Many dogs will love having access to a cool surface; others won’t be interested.

You can certainly play a role in your dog appreciating the cooling mat though. Put some toys and treats on the mat, so that your dog associates it with something great.

Sometimes it will take some time for your dog to figure out the purpose of the cooling mat, but many dogs will love them once they do. If your dog is absolutely not interested in the cooling mat, why not use it for yourself or your children on a hot summer day? 

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