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Getting A Dog Cooling Mat: 9+ Questions Answered

Getting A Dog Cooling Mat: 9+ Questions Answered

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

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What’s The Best Dog Cooling Mat For Dogs In Australia?

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

In our experience, the Australian inventory often sells out frequently during summer, so they can be a bit hard to find sometimes.

You can check across most of the big online retailers to see if they have them in sock, such as Amazon, Catch, and Pet Circle.

If they’re sold out everywhere, you can often still buy them from Amazon with international shipping and free delivery through Amazon Prime.

Image: All For Paws | Available from $33.59 (size M) or $70.23 (size L)

AFP Pet Cooling Mat Sold Out – What Now?

As mentioned above, dog cooling mats can sell out quickly during Australian summers.

When that happens, you may get lucky checking your local retail pet shop as they often bulk up ahead of time. Have a look at Bunnings too, as many of their stores stock up on cool mats for dogs during summer.

If you prefer to make an online purchase, below is an alternative option from Catch.com.au with good reviews from other dog owners.

Paws & Claws Dog Cooling Mat

Image: Catch | Available from $12.99 (Size M) or $18.99 (size L)

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.

What Is Inside Pet Cooling Mats?

What is inside a Pet Cooling Mat depends on the type of 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 on the mat and digests the gel.

That said, be aware that if your dog likes to chew and digest items that he shouldn’t be eating, even a water-filled cooling mat can be a health hazard to your dog.

If that sounds like your dog, don’t leave it unattended with items that shouldn’t be digested. Manage their environment to keep them safe, and have a chat to your vet or dog trainer about how to move forward.

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

  • The advantage of a Water-Filled Mat is that they are often the safest 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. 

Ice Pack Cooling Pads

  • Ice Pack Cooling Mats come with ice packs that you have to freeze overnight before you insert them into the mat. Note that some dogs may find them uncomfortable at the start when they’re freezing cold.

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

  • These Cooling Mats are gel-based 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, it’s often recommended to only use them in the shade. If you expose them to direct sun rays, the gel may absorb the heat and will no longer serve its purpose.

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 however a few things you can do to help your dog. 

For example, you can try to put toys and treats on the cooling mat to make it more interesting. Praise your dog and give them a treat every time they lie down on the mat. Once your dog has been on the cooling mat a few times and has figured out that it’s a cold surface, they might choose to lie on it anytime they’re feeling hot to help them 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 normally 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 cooling mats for dogs. 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. 

Can My Dog Sleep On A Cooling Mat?

Yes, if your dog likes cool surfaces it can sleep on a cooling mat.

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 big 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 or towel 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.

Do Dog Cooling Mats Work?

If dog cooling mats work will depend on the individual dog. All dogs have different personalities and preferences. Some will appreciate the relieve of a cooling mat on hot summer days, but other dogs may show no interest in them.

Like it is with my things in life – it’s something you’ll have to try to find out.

If you don’t want to spend money on a cooling mat without knowing if it will work for your dog, you can try to improvise with a cold towel first.

To do this, make a towel wet and put it in your fridge or freezer, then offer it to your dog in a space that’s ok to get wet.

How Long Do Dog Cooling Mats Work?

How long dog cooling mats work will depend on the type of cooling mat you have. The average cooling mat works for 3-4 hours, but it’s best to check the instructions it came with. You can also reach out to the business that sold you the cooling mat if you can’t find this information elsewhere.

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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