Best cooling mats for dogs 2024: Cooling mats, pads, and beds for every pooch

Cute mixed breed dog lying on cool mat looking up on white brick wall background.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Help keep your canine cool with the best cooling mats for dogs. Whether you’re preparing for the summer, or you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that’s hot all year round, it’s important to make sure your pets are protected.

Dog cooling mats are one of the best ways to keep your pooch comfortable on hot days, giving them somewhere cool to lie down and shed that excess heat. Some use gels, some are filled with water, and some are just made from clever fabrics that wick away heat, but they all help to stop your dog from overheating.

They’re especially important for dogs with extra thick fur, or particularly energetic pups who won’t let the sun slow them down, but all dogs are thankful for a cool place to lie down on a warm day.

We’ve looked at plenty of dedicated cooling mats and picked out our favorites, but some of the best dog beds also include cooling functions too, so we’ve included a few of those in our guide. And if you have an older dog who isn’t as spry as they once were, some of the best orthopedic dog beds also have cooling tech built in too.

The best cooling mats for dogs 2024

How to choose the best cooling mat for dogs

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Easy to clean

Once placed on the ground, dog mats tend to pick up a lot of hair, dirt and dust, while any bed-like design is always prone to toilet accidents.

Any great cooling mat for dogs should be easy to clean, whether that's using a damp cloth or a washing machine.


Dog mats typically come in a variety of sizes. You'll want to pick one that's large enough for your pooch or get one that's large enough so that multiple pets can use it at the same time. Be sure to check any dimensions before you buy, especially if you're looking to use your mat inside a kennel or crate.

Ease of use

If you're fortunate to live somewhere particularly sunny, you may want to bring out the cooling bed frequently. Can the mat be set up and dismantled again with ease? If ease of use is most important to you, look for mats that don't require electricity, water, or refrigeration.


Are you a keen traveler? Then the ability to roll or fold your mat down becomes an important consideration when choosing the best cooling mat for dogs. Water-filled cooling mats or beds can become heavy and difficult to move. Opt for a lightweight option instead that can withstand the elements.


If your dog is particularly destructive, you may want to choose a sturdy bed that can withstand scratching, chewing, and biting. Shelving out good money means you expect the product to be long-lasting and to be used time and time again.


If your dog will be spending a lot of time on their mat, you should make sure it is comfortable enough for them. Some mats have more padding and softer outer material than others.

Non-toxic materials

Make sure the mat you choose is suitable for your dog and made from non-toxic materials. Nylon holds up well to wear and tear and is breathable. Avoid mats made with latex, plastic, rubber, or foam as they tend to sweat and trap moisture.

Do cooling mats for dogs work?

(Image credit: Getty Images)

We all want our best friend’s to be comfortable during the warm summer months, so we talked to Dr Rebecca MacMillan about the benefits of cooling mats and asked how effective they actually are.

“Cooling mats are definitely a useful tool when it comes to keeping your canine companion cool during the summer months. Most cooling beds have an interior that contains a layer of special cooling gel or water. This acts to draw heat away from your dog’s body as they lay on it, in a similar way that lying on a cold tiled floor does.” explains Dr MacMillan.

When using a cooling mat, there are some things to consider though, namely making sure you get your dog a big enough mat. Dr MacMillan says it’s vital to “choose a cooling mat that is large enough for your dog to stretch out fully on so that the maximum area of their body can contact it.”

Cooling mats have other benefits too. They’re often more comfortable for your dog to lie on, compared to the hard ground. They’re also typically portable, so you can take them out with you during picnics or trips to the beach.

As a final piece of advice, Dr MacMillan says that “As well as a cooling mat, you should always ensure that your dog has fresh water, access to shade, and is not exercised too much during hot weather, to keep them safe.”

Types of cooling dog mat

There are typically two different types of cooling technology used in dog mats or beds: cooling gels and cooling fabrics.

A gel cooling dog mat, pad, or bed usually works by becoming activated by pressure once your pooch sits or lies on it. Once activated, the mat or pad absorbs heat from your pet, then recharges and chills once your pet leaves.

Alternatives include beds made from a special, pressure activated cooling fabric, which is designed to absorb heat from your pet and dissipate it into the environment. There are also elevated dog beds, which also use fabrics, but rely on a lack of contact with the hot summer ground to keep your pooch cooler.

Ian Stokes

Ian is a freelance writer and potentially a dog trapped in human form. He loves animals of all shapes and sizes, and has lived with dogs, cats, chinchillas, guinea pigs, birds, fish, and even a tarantula throughout his life. He currently lives in a flat that doesn't allow pets, so he's living vicariously through everyone else's adorable pets. When he's not rolling around in mud, he can be found over at and LiveScience where he serves as the Tech & Entertainment Editor.