Soothes pets on contact for up to four hours. No electricity or refrigeration needed. Recharges 15 to 20 minutes after non-use. Can be used for dogs suffering various medical conditions. May be life-changing for dogs who dislike heat. Well-constructed and cool to human touch.
Must be stored flat to avoid creasing. Not good for pets who chew. Gel could harden after not using pad for extended time.
Made of comfortable, non-slip material. Doubles as a pee pad. Holds up to 10 cups of liquid without leaking. Washable. Can be put in kennels, cars, indoors, outdoors, and more.
Some customers said it did not provide as much cooling as they preferred.
Ice silk material is self cooling, and provides instant relief for your pet. Fabric is chew proof and durable, and can be used indoors, outdoors, and on car seats. Easy to clean and dries quickly.
Mat is not made from waterproof material. It also lacks anti-slip properties.
Cozy and comfortable for dogs. Quickly and effectively cools down your pup. Easy to clean. Made of sturdy and strong material that will last ages. Ice sheet refreezes quickly.
Ice sheet must be stored in freezer. Leaves some condensation when melting. Some reviewers wished it would stay cooler for longer.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Hot weather can be unpleasant for dogs. If the heat is extreme enough, it can even be dangerous. Cooling pads for dogs, which are made of cool materials that absorb body heat from your four-legged friend, can help your pooch regulate her body temperature and generally feel more comfortable on a hot day.
But before you buy, you'll need to decide what type of cooling method you think your pooch will prefer — a squishy gel cooling pad, a water cooling pad, or a chilly ice cooling pad. It's also important to consider the size of each cooling pad so that you buy one that's large enough to accommodate your dog. As for the outer material, it should be sturdy yet comfortable and preferably come with a nonslip base.
Read on for our full buying guide, which will tell you all you need to know about cooling pads for dogs. You can also check out our list of top picks.
Gel cooling pads are the most common type of cooling pad for dogs. These pads use a special type of pressure-sensitive gel that produces a cooling effect when your dog lies on it. Gel pads don't require refrigeration or any type of power source, so they're extremely low maintenance and need no preparation.
Water cooling pads need to be filled with chilled water to cool off your pup. These require access to a cold tap, but they don't need much forethought so are ready to use when you need them.
Ice cooling pads need to go in the freezer (or have a freezable insert that does) before you can use them, which means you need to plan ahead. They can also be too cold when they first come out of the freezer. You may need to put a towel or doggie blanket between the pad and your pooch, so she doesn't get too cold.
Choose a canine cooling pad of an appropriate size to fit your dog. The best brands usually offer cooling pads in a range of sizes, but some are one size only, which may or may not fit your dog. Some manufacturers list the approximate weight of the dog that's suited to each size pad, but this is just an approximation — so if your dog is tall but slender or short but stocky, these size guides will be inaccurate. Alternatively, look at the dimensions of each cooling pad and compare them to the size of your dog. Remember, a too-large cooling pad is always preferable to one that's too small.
Consider how easy your chosen cooling pad is to clean, as you don't want it to get stinky and have no way of thoroughly washing it. Some are made from nonporous wipe-clean materials that don't absorb odors and can simply be washed down with a damp cloth. If your chosen model can't be wiped clean, we'd recommend picking one with a machine-washable cover.
Cooling pads for dogs without a nonslip base may slide around on hardwood, tile, or linoleum floors, particularly when your dog lies down and gets up. Unless you have carpet throughout your home, a nonslip base is ideal.
Since it might spend a few months in your living room, it's best to choose a dog cooling pad that goes with your décor or has a fairly neutral, inoffensive color or pattern.
Precisely how long will the cooling pad keep your dog comfortable for? The majority list a cooling time of between two and four hours, but this can vary depending on external factors.
Inexpensive: Basic cooling pads for dogs can cost as little as $5 to $20. Unfortunately, the cheapest models aren't always durable or reliable. Some cooling pads start leaking gel or water within just a few days of use.
Mid-range: For $20 to $40, you can find canine cooling pads that are fairly sturdy and are great for occasional use or for smaller dogs.
Expensive: High-end cooling pads for dogs cost roughly $40 to $80. This includes the largest and the most durable models.
Q. Why is the heat such a big problem for dogs?
A. It's difficult for dogs to regulate their own temperature when they get too hot, as they can't sweat to cool off in the same way that humans do. Instead, panting is their main self-cooling mechanism, but it actually isn't a particularly effective method of reducing body temperature. Heat stroke in dogs is often fatal, which is why it's important not to allow your dog to overheat in hot weather. A cooling pad can help your four-legged friend cool down her core temperature, however, which is why we'd highly recommend all dog owners have one.
Q. Can cooling pads for dogs be used both indoors and outdoors?
A. Yes, the vast majority of dog cooling pads are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. However, when used outside, the cooling effect will be shorter, especially in direct sun. On exceptionally hot days, we wouldn't recommend letting your dog spend too much time outside, even with a cooling pad to help keep her cool. A shaded or air-conditioned room will be much cooler and more comfortable for her.
Q. How will I know when my dog cooling pad is ready to use?
A. Water cooling pads only need to be filled with cold water before using them, and ice cooling pads simply need to spend time in the freezer first. However, gel cooling pads are a little trickier to gauge, but it's still fairly simple. It takes about 10 to 20 minutes for a gel pad to "recharge" once it's exhausted its cooling capabilities and your dog has moved from it. After this time, it should have radiated the absorbed heat back into your surroundings and will be ready to cool down your pooch again.