Flipping your pillow to the cool side during a hot summer night is one of life’s greatest pleasures. But humans aren’t the only species to appreciate a cool place to lie down – your dog surely loves this feeling too.
After all, how many times has your dog walked inside on a hot day and laid down on the cool kitchen tile?
While you’ll have a tough time teaching your dog to flip his pillow over in the middle of the night, you can provide him with a bed that will provide the cool comfort he deserves, so that he can enjoy one of life’s greatest pleasures too.
Unless you are specifically trying to provide your dog with a warm place to sleep, you can use a summer-style bed in just about any situation. Many will even offer additional benefits, such as taking the pressure off your dog’s joints (in the case of elevated beds) or reducing inflammation (as may occur when self-cooling beds are used).
However, cool beds are especially helpful in the following situations and scenarios:
Huskies, malamutes and other furry dogs originating from northern latitudes were bred to thrive in cold climates. These dogs will often need a bit of help staying cool and comfortable, and most will love a good bed for the summer.
A dog’s shape has a lot to do with his internal thermostat. Long, lithe and leggy breeds typically vent heat to the surrounding atmosphere quite easily, so they stay relatively cool. Short, squat dogs, on the other hand, retain body heat much more effectively. Accordingly, you’ll want to ensure your bulldog or pug has a cool place to sleep in the summer.
Like shape, a dog’s size also affects the rate at which he cools off. Generally speaking, large dogs have more trouble keeping cool than small dogs do, so they often benefit most from cool summer beds.
If you live in the deep south or the American southwest, you’ll probably want to provide your dog with a cool bed. This is especially true for dogs that must sleep outdoors or in rooms that aren’t air-conditioned.
There are a number of good summer beds on the market, but some are much better than others. Try to keep the following features and characteristics in mind when making your choice:
Some good summer beds rest directly on the ground, but many of the very best models are elevated. This allows air to pass between your pup’s body and the ground, which will keep him much cooler than a standard bed that rests on the ground will.
Fabrics that allow air to pass through their fibers help ferry body heat away from your dog’s skin, thereby keeping him cooler. Some beds even use mesh-like materials, which offer a lot of air exchange and provide remarkable comfort.
Some dog beds and mats are filled with heat-absorbing gels. When your dog lays on the mat, his body heat is absorbed by the gel, which then conducts the heat away from his body. Some of these beds can even be placed in the freezer to make them extra cold.
If you’re on the move a lot, there are actually wearable cooling gel dog vests as well, which can be easier to strap on a dog who can’t sit still.
Like any other bed or matt, you’ll need to keep your pet’s clean to avoid problems. Most of the best beds for summer use are made from mesh or plastics, and they can simply be rinsed off with a hose or wiped down with a wet cloth. However, if you do select a fabric-based, conventional bed for your pet’s summer needs, be sure that it is machine washable.
A few really nice summer beds come with canopies to help shield your dog from the sun. This will help to keep your dog cooler, and because they’re usually removable, beds featuring them remain portable. In truth, there’s little downside to their inclusion and a significant amount of upside.
While you must be careful to select the best bed for your pup, any of the following five beds should make a good summer bed for your pooch.
About: The Coolaroo Elevated Pet Bed helps keep your pet by cool by raising her above the ground, so that air can flow underneath the bed, thereby making it easier for her to shed body heat.
Features: The Coolaroo Elevated Pet Bed features a powder-coated steel frame and a high-density polyethylene knitted fabric, which is both comfortable and breathable. While strong, the frame is lightweight and portable, and the mesh is flea, mold, and mildew-resistant, as well as easy to keep clean – simply take it outside and hose it down (just be sure to let it dry thoroughly).
The Coolaroo Elevated Pet Bed is available in four colors (Nutmeg, Gray, Green, and Terracotta) and four sizes (small, medium, large and extra-large).
About: The Kuranda Dog Bed is another elevated pet bed, which seeks to keep your dog cool by allowing air to pass beneath her body.
Features: The Kuranda Dog Bed features a walnut-colored PVC frame that is designed to support dogs up to 100 pounds. The laying surface is made from Cordura, a material that is as durable as canvas and guaranteed to stand up to repeated cleaning. It also provides plenty of traction for your dog, unlike some other elevated beds that use slick materials.
The Kuranda Dog Bed is available in four colors (Burgundy, Forest Green, Khaki, and Smoke) and five different sizes (small, medium, large, extra-large, and extra-extra-large). It is backed by a one-year warranty.
About: The Unleashed Pets Self-Cooling Mat is a gel-filled sleeping pad designed to keep your dog about 10 to 15 degrees cooler than the ambient temperature.
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Features: Designed to be portable and appropriate for either indoor or outdoor use, the Unleashed Pets Self-Cooling Mat relies on a non-toxic, heat-absorbing gel to keep your pet cool for up to two hours. It doesn’t require power of any kind, and it self-recharges without refrigeration (it takes about 15 to 20 minutes to restore its full cooling power).
The Unleashed Pets Self-Cooling Mat only comes in one color (blue), but it is available in three sizes (Small, Medium, and Large). It is foldable, water-resistant and easy to clean with a damp rag.
The Unleashed Pets Self-Cooling Mat comes with a collapsible water bowl. This probably shouldn’t factor heavily into your decision-making process, but it is a nice bonus.
About: The Green Pet Shop Cooling Pad uses a non-toxic gel to help absorb heat from your dog to keep her cooler on hot summer days.
Features: The Green Pet Shop Premium Cooling Pet Pad is a durable, foldable, plastic pad that is filled with heat-absorbing gel. It requires no refrigeration, recharges automatically when your pet hops off (it takes about 15 to 20 minutes to do so completely), and it will keep your pet cooler for three to four hours.
You can clean the Green Pet Shop Cooling Pad with a damp sponge, but it is also machine washable – you can even tumble dry it on a no-heat setting. It is only available in blue, but it is available in five different sizes (Small, Medium, Medium/Large, Large, and Extra-Large).
About: The Superjare Elevated Pet Bed not only helps to keep your pet cool by raising her up off the ground, it comes with a detachable canopy to shield your pooch from the sun.
Features: The Superjare Elevated Bed features a sturdy steel frame and the laying surface is made from breathable 1680 D Oxford fabric and mesh. You can wash the fabric component by hand in cold soapy water or you can simply wipe it down with a damp rag. The bed is also easy to disassemble and take with you – it even comes with a carrying bag.
The Superjare Pet Bed is available in two colors (Gray and Brown) and two sizes (Large and Extra-Large). The Large model will support up to 100 pounds, while the Extra-Large model will support 120 pounds.
While any of the above beds should help keep your pup a bit cooler, the elevated designs probably provide a little more comfort, as they’ll keep your dog’s shoulders, knees, and hips off the ground.
All three elevated designs reviewed above should work just fine, but if you’re gonna get an elevated pet bed, you may as well get one that comes with a sun canopy too.
The Superjare Bed is quite a bit more expensive than the Coolaroo, but it is actually cheaper than the Kuranda. So we say, go for it!
Do you provide your dog with a summer bed? Have you found one you (well, he) likes? Tell us all about it in the comments below.
Last update on 2018-12-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Ben is a proud dog owner and lifelong environmental educator who writes about animals, outdoor recreation, science, and environmental issues. He lives with his beautiful wife and spoiled-rotten Rottweiler JB in Atlanta, Georgia. Read more by Ben at FootstepsInTheForest.com.