Dog sitting on a cooling mat

The Best Dog Cooling Mats (2022 Reviews)

Our veterinarians research and recommend the best products. Learn more about our process. We may receive a commission on purchases made from our links.

When the temperature starts to rise, it’s easy for your beloved pup to get overheated. Puppies, older dogs, and certain breeds may have trouble keeping themselves cool in the heat. The best dog cooling mats help your dog stay comfortable and safe when it’s hot outside.

There are many dog cooling mats available on the market today, and choosing the right product for your pet can be difficult. Because of this, we asked our veterinarian, Dr. Jamie Whittenburg, to help us identify the top choices and she selected the Arf Pets Pet Dog Self Cooling Mat as her top pick. Read how she chose the top 5.

Our Vet’s Top Pick

Arf Pets Pet Dog Self Cooling Mat

An interior with pressure-activated cooling gel helps this mat pull away body heat for a solid three hours without the use of electricity or water.

Cooling mats can be used in an indoor dog house, back porch, or wherever your dog likes to relax when he gets warm.

Our Vet’s Top 5 Dog Cooling Mats

Here are the top picks from our veterinarian. Compare the ratings and features of different models.

Editor’s Picks Brand Rating Dimensions Material Cooling Method
Best Overall Arf Pets Pet Dog Self Cooling Mat 4.3 27 x 43 nylon gel
Best Budget Buy Pawple Dog Cooling Mat 4.0 32 x 22 vinyl, nylon, foam water
Best Large Dog Cooling Mat The Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat 4.3 43.3 x 27.5 vinyl, plastic gel
Best Outdoor Cooling Mat Coleman Pet Indoor/Outdoor Cooling Mat 4.2 20 x 36 vinyl, plastic gel
Best Water Cooling Mat SCENEREAL Dog Cooling Mat 3.4 35.4 x 23.6 polyvinyl chloride water

*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers

Who Should Buy a Dog Cooling Mat

  • Owners of short-nosed breeds — Breeds like bulldogs and pugs that have flattened snouts cannot cool themselves as efficiently as other breeds. Consequently, they can easily overheat.1
  • Owners of dogs with thick or double coats — Huskies, chow chows, and Akitas are only a few of the dog breeds bred for cold weather that could have trouble staying cool in hot temperatures. Breeds with double coats have two layers of fur and can get too warm as well. Breeds designed to live in cold weather may have a double coat, as do some working dogs like Australian shepherds, golden retrievers, and Labrador retrievers. Double coats have twice the fur, leading to twice the insulation and heat.2
  • Owners of a puppy or senior dog — Puppies and senior dogs cannot control their body temperature as well as dogs in their prime. The young and old may need extra help staying comfortable and safe.3
  • Owners of an overweight dog or one with a dark coat — Excess weight makes a dog work harder to move, leading to excessive panting. In the heat, that puts them in danger of heat stroke.4 Dogs with dark coats can also get warmer than average, putting them at risk for heart problems too.
  • Hot climates — If you live where the temperatures get into the upper digits, your dog might need extra help staying cool, no matter his breed.

Who Should Not Buy a Dog Cooling Mat

  • Mild climate — If you live in a mild or moderate climate, you probably don’t need a dog cooling mat unless you own a breed that’s prone to overheating.
  • Owners of dogs who are primarily indoors — A dog who lives primarily in an indoor, climate-controlled environment may rarely be in an environment over 75-degrees Fahrenheit.

If a cooling dog mat isn’t right for your dog, you can you may want to check out one of our other guides to find the right bed for your dog, such as our guide to comparing the best waterproof dog beds, our breakdown of the best outdoor dog beds buying guide, our list of elevated dog beds, or our guide to evaluating the best dog couches.

Research Tips from a Veterinarian

To assist a dog that will be staying outside during hot weather, cooling mats wick heat away or apply a cool substance like water to cool the dog. There are many options available, so it is important to evaluate your pet’s unique situation and needs before you purchase a dog cooling mat. Consider the following when making your decision.

  1. Cooling method —My favorite (and the most common) type of dog cooling mat is the gel variety. These mats contain a special type of pressure-sensing gel that absorbs your dog’s body heat. Gel mats do not require refrigeration, batteries, or electricity. Water mats cool the dog using cold water. They’re not as convenient as gel mats and are more likely to burst. After the dog uses the pad for some time, it will need to be refilled with cold water, too. Ice cooling mats must be placed in the refrigerator or freezer prior to use. These mats will also need to be re-refrigerated or refrozen after one use. It may be necessary to place a blanket or towel over an ice mat to prevent a mat that’s too cold from damaging your dog’s skin. Care should be taken, especially with small or thin-coated dogs.
  2.  Size — Before purchasing a dog cooling mat, you will need to consider your dog’s size and their typical body position when they lay down. If a cooling mat is sold by the weight of the dog only, it is essential to obtain actual measurements and compare them with your dog. A slim dog may require a much larger pad than the one that correlates with their weight.
  3. Cleaning requirements — Some dog mats quickly accumulate hair and unpleasant odors, and it is vital to be able to clean them. Mats made of nonporous materials are easier to clean because they can simply be wiped down. These materials do not absorb odors as readily as cloth-like materials. However, mats with a washable cover tend to be the easiest to clean because the cover can be removed and cleaned in the washing machine.
  4. Durability — Cooling mats are only designed to withstand a dog lying on them. While some brands are more durable than others, cooling mats are not a good option for destructive chewers.
  5. Additional features — Cooling mats with a nonslip base offer a safe, sturdy surface when on a hard surface, including tile, hardwood, or linoleum floors. The nonslip base keeps the mat in place when your dog is getting comfortable or getting up from the mat. Also, take note of the mat’s cooling time. Most dog cooling mats claim to cool for two to four hours. However, the exact length of time the mat stays cool depends on the ambient temperature, the mat’s material, and the dog.

It’s vital to remember that dogs cannot control their body temperature by sweating the way humans do. Dogs have a very small number of sweat glands located in their footpads, but these are not effective for body cooling. When hot, a dog will pant in order to dissipate heat.

Please note that if your dog is showing signs of hyperthermia (0verheating) or heat stroke, a cooling pad is not sufficient. Heat stroke in dogs is very serious and often fatal. Take your dog to the nearest veterinarian if he has been in the heat and:

  • is breathing rapidly or heavily
  • has dry, tacky gums or pale gums
  • is very tired or disoriented
  • has a seizure

How Much Do They Cost?

Between $20 and $75

Most dog cooling mats cost between $35 and $70. The price typically reflects the materials used and the mat’s size. Large gels mats are at the mid to top of the price range, depending on their size. Water mats tend to be less expensive, especially if they’re made for small dogs. The mat’s size plays an important factor in the price—the bigger the mat, the higher the price.

Our Methodology: Why Trust Pet News Daily

As a veterinarian, I’ve seen the dangers of overheated dogs. Many of these products were chosen based on the features I know to make a difference in a dog’s comfort and temperature control. High-quality gels that absorb body heat and durable materials that can withstand the wear and tear of an active dog both factored into the decision-making process. I also looked for mats that came in several sizes to fit dogs of different breeds. — Dr. Jamie Whittenburg

The Best Dog Cooling Mats: Full Reviews

Our Vet’s Top Pick

Arf Pets Pet Dog Self Cooling Mat

An interior with pressure-activated cooling gel helps this mat pull away body heat for a solid three hours without the use of electricity or water.

The Arf Pets Pet Dog Self Cooling Mat caught Dr. Whittenburg’s attention for the combination of cooling materials, quality, and durability. This particular model is ideal for dogs weighing less than 80 pounds. However, it comes in five sizes, recommended by weight (so make sure to get the measurements before committing). The model designed for 50 to 80-pound dogs measures 27 by 43 inches.

The cooling gel center is activated by your dog’s body weight, cooling him as soon as he lies down. It keeps pups cool for three hours and only needs 15 minutes to “recharge.” The nylon exterior and gel interior are both made of non-toxic materials. Should your dog chew or damage it, no toxins will enter your dog’s system. The nylon resists moisture and easily wipes clean, too.

Pros
  • Weight-activated, cooling gel center
  • Cools for three hours
  • Non-toxic materials on the interior and exterior
  • Recharges in only 15 minutes
Cons
  • Some dogs repelled by the gel’s odor
  • Fabric can rip from scratching
Best Budget Buy

Pawple Dog Cooling Mat

This mat offers a cushy bottom layer for extra comfort while cooling.

The Pawple Dog Cooling Mat provides both cooling and cushioning at an affordable price. This water mat comes in three sizes to help you get the right fit for your dog. Water goes in through an adjustable air valve. A foam interior helps extend the cooling power of the water while adding cushioning for older or arthritic dogs.

The tear-resistant fabric wipes clean, but it’s non-toxic, too. Everything from the foam on the inside to the sturdy exterior are safe should your dog ingest them. The Pawple is also approved for indoor or outdoor use.

Pros
  • Foam center adds cushioning
  • Water cooling lets you adjust the temperature
  • Non-toxic materials on the interior and exterior
Cons
  • Must refill through a small valve
  • Time-consuming to empty and fill
Best Large Dog Cooling Mat

The Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat

Simple gel cooling and a size that fits large breeds make this a mat for the over-sized pup in your life.

The Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat’s XL mat can cool the large breeds that struggle in the heat. The XL size measures 27.5 x 43 inches. However, it comes in five sizes, so small dogs can get the same benefits in a mat that fits their body. This self-cooling mat doesn’t require water, refrigeration, or electricity. The pressure-activated gel naturally absorbs body heat, pulling it away from the dog for up to three hours. It recharges in 15 to 20 minutes, so your dog doesn’t have to go long before he’s comfortable again.

This particular mat isn’t designed for extra cushioning, as it’s only 0.2 inches thick. If your dog needs some cushioning, it can go on top of a dog bed, sofa, or another soft surface. The mat is also made of non-toxic materials.

Pros
  • Pressure-activated gel absorbs body heat
  • XL size accommodates dogs weighing 80+ pounds
  • Lasts 3 hours and recharges in 15 to 20 minutes
Cons
  • May shrink over time
  • Surface may be too slippery for older dogs
Best Outdoor Cooling Mat

Coleman Pet Indoor/Outdoor Cooling Mat

This mat lets dogs stay cool while camping, at the beach, or on a trip to the park.

Coleman is a well-known brand in the outdoor/camping industry. The Coleman Pet Indoor/Outdoor Cooling Mat meets the brand’s reputation for durable outdoor gear. This model comes in four colors and two sizes with a vinyl-like exterior material. Each mat has chambers filled with cooling gel. The gel maintains a temperature that’s five to ten degrees cooler than room temperature.

The chambered design creates seams that make the mat easier to fold, transport, and store. It doesn’t offer extra cushioning, so you may need a dog bed or another soft surface underneath it for older or arthritic dogs.

Pros
  • Cooling gel-filled chambers
  • 4 colors
  • Durable, vinyl-like exterior
  • Easy to fold for transport and storage
Cons
  • Narrow widths
  • Sharp claws may puncture the exterior material
Best Water Cooling Mat

SCENEREAL Dog Cooling Mat

This mat’s durable PVC exterior lets dogs chill and relax.

The SCENEREAL Dog Cooling Mat comes in two sizes and two exterior design patterns. Both sizes have a small valve through which cool water can enter and fill the mat. Once full, the PVC exterior material cools your dog. You can adjust the fill level to add some extra cushioning or keep the water level low to reduce the risk of a puncture.

A chambered design folds easily when in storage or for travel. Keep in mind that the water stays cooler if kept in the shade and laid on a cool surface like shaded grass or an indoor location. Placing the mat on hot cement quickly heats the water and makes the mat more at risk for puncture due to the rough surface.

Pros
  • Chambered design is easy to store
  • Adjustable fill level
  • Durable, PVC exterior
Cons
  • Can puncture if placed on a hard surface
  • Dogs may require time to get used to it

Frequently Asked Questions

Are cooling mats for dogs effective?

Dog cooling mats are effective when used correctly. For example, a mat will stay cooler longer when placed in the shade or a cool area. Gel models are effective as long as they’re given enough time to recharge after becoming warm. The key is to use the mat as directed.
How long do dog cooling mats work?

The cooling time depends on a number of factors, including the dog’s size and weight, the mat type, and the room or outdoor temperature. Gel mats offer the most consistent cooling. Water and refrigerated mats will get warm faster when used in hotter temperatures. They could last anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours or more, depending on the temperature and where they’re used (indoors or out).
What is the best cooling mat for dogs?

The Arf Pets Pet Dog Self Cooling Mat is one of the best on the market. Its pressure-activated cooling gel works within a comfortable design and durable construction.
Can my dog sleep on a cooling mat?

Your dog can sleep on a cooling mat. However, most mats get warm after three or four hours. Your dog may wake up in the middle of the night restless and hot. You can refresh the mat or offer some other type of cooling option at that point.

Beyond that, if you’re looking for additional products to help keep your puppy healthy and happy, we also have a series of buying guides to help you select the best dog ear wax cleaner, the best dog grooming clipper, the best dog clippers for poodles, the best blow dryer for dogs, and our guide to finding the best brush for an Australian Shepherd.

Article Sources

Pet News Daily uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Johnson T. Don’t Make my Mistake: Prevent Heatstroke. VETzInsight. Published August 15, 2019. Accessed January 3, 2022.
  2. Glen Oak Dog & Cat Hospital. Dogs and Heat Stroke: 11 risk factors & warning signs and how to prevent it. Glenoakanimalhospital.com. Accessed January 3, 2022.
  3. Meyers H. How Hot is Too Hot? Heatstroke in Dogs. Akc.org. Published May 6, 2021. Accessed January 3, 2022.
  4. Meyers H. How Hot is Too Hot? Heatstroke in Dogs. Akc.org. Published May 6, 2021. Accessed January 3, 2022.
Dr. Jamie Whittenburg
Dr. Jamie Whittenburg is a graduate of Texas Tech University and Kansas State College of Veterinary Medicine. A practicing veterinarian for 16 years, she works with cats, dogs, and small exotics. She has a special interest in feline medicine and surgery. In 2013, she opened her own practice, Kingsgate Animal Hospital. When not working, Dr. Whittenburg enjoys hiking and reading.