Flipping your pillow to the cool side during a hot summer night is such a universal pleasure that it’s become a cliché. 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.
Read on to learn about some of the things you want to look for in a summer dog bed and see some of our favorite models on the market! Or, if you’re in a hurry, just check out our quick picks below!
Best Summer Dog Beds: Quick Picks
- #1 K&H Pet Products Original Pet Cot [Best Overall Dog Bed for Summer]: This top-notch dog bed incorporates an elevated design and breathable mesh fabric to give your four-footer a great place to chill all summer long (while also making it easy to transport and clean).
- #2 Amazon Basics Cooling Elevated Pet Bed [Most Affordable Dog Bed for Summer]: Providing your pooch with a comfy summer cot doesn’t have to break the bank — this functional yet affordable option will keep Fido comfy without costing you a fortune.
- #3 K9 Ballistics Chew Proof Elevated Dog Bed [Best Summer Dog Bed for Chewers]: Got a power-chewing pupper in need of a comfy bed? This bed utilizes an aluminum frame and ballistic, ripstop nylon fabric to provide your pet with an indestructible dog bed.
- #4 Furhaven Orthopedic Bed [Comfiest Dog Bed for Summer]: Bolsters, orthopedic foam, and a special cooling gel layer all combine to provide your pup with a luxurious place to lay down without getting overheated.
Things to Look for when Picking a Summer Bed
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:
Good Air Circulation
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.
Easy to Clean Design
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 shade 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.
The 11 Best Summer Dog Beds
While you must be careful to select the best bed for your pup, any of the following beds should make a good summer bed for your pooch.
1. K&H Pet Products Original Pet Cot
K&H Pet Products Original Pet Cot
A premium, elevated, cot-style dog bed that’s made from breathable mesh for additional airflow.
About: This elevated cot from K&H provides your furball with plenty of circulation to keep cool during the warmer months. It’s easy to wash and collapses for simple storage, making it great for bringing on summer vacations with the fam.
You can even purchase an add-on canopy to block out the sun or an optional pad if your canine prefers a bit more cushioning.
- Elevated design provides air flow
- Cover is removable and washable
- Portable design
- Waterproof mesh fabric
- Largest size holds up to 200 pounds
- Sturdy elevated bed handles big dogs with ease
- Waterproof fabric makes this cot easy to clean
- Portable design makes this bed perfect for summer travel
- Not all dogs enjoy elevated pet beds
- Pups who tend to dig or scratch may rip through the mesh fabric
2. Amazon Basics Cooling Elevated Pet Bed
About: Amazon Basics offers this breathable and elevated pet bed at an affordable price. This bed sits about 7-inches off of the ground, providing furry friends with plenty of ventilation while they rest. It’s also pretty sturdy, as it can support dogs weighing up to 110 pounds.
- Breathable mesh fabric
- Easy to clean and assemble
- Generous size for sprawling sweethearts
- Affordable price
- Large enough for most dogs
- Affordable, elevated pet bed helps keep furry friends cool
- Generous size gives dogs plenty of space to spread out
- The elevated design is perfect for chewers
- The pet bet doesn’t feature rubber feet
- Some dogs feel nervous about elevated pet beds
3. Best Choice Products Elevated Dog Bed
About: If your sweetie prefers a sun-free sleeping experience, this shaded dog bed from Best Choice Products is a great pick. Equipped with a removable, sun-blocking shade, this bed is well suited for both indoor and outdoor use.
It also comes with a portable carrying case, so you’ll have no trouble taking this pet bed with you on summer road trips.
- Durable nylon fabric
- Breathable design with removable hood
- Easy to assemble with portable carrying case
- Elevated design promotes air flow
- Affordable price point
- Removable hood provides additional convenience
- Included carrying case makes this bed easy to take on the go
- Breathable design is perfect for use in backyards and patios
- Owners found that these beds run a little small
- Again, not all dogs will use elevated beds
4. Chillz Cooling Mat
About: If your canine companion likes to stay close to the ground, this Chillz Cooling Mat might make a perfect match. The gel mat is pressure activated and helps cool down your canine without requiring any external power (and it “recharges” in just 20 minutes).
Plus, this lightweight mat is easy to take on the go for keeping your dog cool on car trips or while on vacation.
- Gel mat cools your canine without power
- “Recharges” within 20 minutes
- Portable, lightweight design
- Non-toxic gel
- Cooling mat was super effective for most doggos
- Portable mat is easy to take on the go
- Can be cleaned with a quick wipe
- Not suitable for dogs over 50 pounds
- Might not be cushy enough for some dogs
5. Arf Pets Self Cooling
Arf Pets Self Cooling
Another flat summer dog bed utilizing a cooling gel layer, but with more padding than some others.
About: The Arf PetsCooling Mat is a gel-filled sleeping pad designed to keep your dog for up to three hours. Its cushy design keeps dogs comfortable while absorbing body heat to keep your pup feeling his best throughout the summer months.
To “recharge” the mat, simply let it sit on its own for a couple of minutes before inviting your dog to enjoy it again.
- Non-toxic gel helps keep your pooch cool
- Only takes 10 to 20 minutes to recharge
- Portable and suitable for indoor or outdoor use
- Doesn’t require any power
- Easy to clean with a wipe from a damp rag
- Large package counts save money, particularly with large dogs or multi-dog families
- The majority of dogs appear to love the pork-liver flavor
- Several owners note improvements in their canine’s coat health, skin condition, and digestion after regular use
- Some owners aren’t a fan of some ingredients like corn syrup
- A small number of dogs find them unpalatable
6. Coolaroo On The Go Elevated Pet Bed
The foldable bed collapses like a lawn chair and has lightweight, nylon fabric for quick cleaning. With an elevated design, this bed provides plenty of airflow making it perfect for indoor or outdoor use during the summer months.
- Durable nylon fabric
- No assembly needed
- Collapsible design
- Perfect for pups 100 pounds and under
- Comes with carrying case
- Super portable and collapsible design
- Dogs love using this bed while camping, adventuring, or just lounging around the house
- Tool-free fabric removal makes this bed easy to clean
- Does not accommodate extra-large dogs
- The bed does dip slightly while in use
7. K9 Ballistics Chew Proof Elevated Dog Bed
K9 Ballistics Chew Proof Elevated
A rugged summer pet bed featuring aluminum and ballistic nylon materials for supreme durability.
About: Are you seeking an elevated pet bed but fear a mesh bed will be too delicate for your super chewer? Check out this sturdy bed from K9 Ballistics! These chew-proof beds are designed to be sturdy and arrive preassembled so that your pooch can enjoy lounging immediately.
- Industrial-strength nylon fabric
- Designed to fit most crates
- Elevation provides air circulation
- Fits just about any dog with a 200 pound weight limit
- Preassembled design
- Lower elevation at 3-inches high might be appealing to some pups
- Chewproof fabric is perfect for pups or digging dogs
- Waterproof fabric is easy to clean
- Even though it is low, it still has an “elevated” feel some dogs may not like
- A couple of determined pups were still able to claw through the pet bed
8. SEALY Lux Pet Dog Bed
SEALY Lux Pet Dog Bed
A premium pet bed made with orthopedic foam and a cooling layer for summer-friendly support.
While it’s a bit more expensive than other options on the list, this is the type of bed that’s designed to last for years to come.
- Charcoal-infused base helps prevent odors
- Orthopedic support for older pups
- Washable cover
- Cooling gel layer
- Bolstered sides
- Dependable SEALY pet bed provided dogs with plenty of support
- Washable cover makes the bed easy to maintain
- Generous size gives dogs room to stretch out
- This is a pretty pricey bed
- The fabric doesn’t repel stains especially well
9. Furhaven Orthopedic Bed
Furhaven Orthopedic Bed
A super-comfy orthopedic bed for owners who want their canine to have a luxurious place to lounge.
About: Is your dog a creature of comfort? If so, the Furhaven orthopedic bed is great for your pooch complete with bolsters and a supportive design. This foam bed is supported with a cooling gel layer designed to keep your furry friend comfortable throughout the summer months.
- Bolstered sofa design
- Orthopedic foam with cooling gel layer
- Accommodates most dogs weighing up to 125 pounds
- Removable, machine-washable cover
- Orthopedic design reduces the pressure on your dog’s joints
- Dogs loved the comfy bolsters of this bed
- Foam and gel-infused design provides plenty of support while keeping your canine cool
- Affordable price for orthopedic bed
- Some owners wish this bed offered even more support
- Like many other beds, this model had a distinct odor upon arrival
10. Kuranda Crate Bed
Kuranda Crate Bed
Designed for use in dog crates, this elevated pet bed will keep your woofer cool and comfy while he sleeps.
About: Elevated beds can be great for ventilation, but what if you need to keep your canine cool and contained? The Kuranda Crate Bed is a great solution, offering an elevated pet bed that’s designed to fit inside wire crates.
This elevated pet bed comes with two leg options so that your dog can enjoy using the elevated bed in and outside a crate.
- Multiple leg options make this bed perfect for use in or outside the crate
- Elevated design helps keeps pets cool
- Made in the USA
- Stainless steel fasteners
- Chew-proof, easy to clean design
- Can be used in or outside the crate
- Various fabric materials to serve different hound habits
- Elevated design helps keep pups cool whether they’re inside or outside the crate
- Some owners found it difficult to assemble this bed
- Not all dogs like laying in an elevated position inside of the crate
11. K&H Pet Products Bolster Cot
K&H Pet Products Bolster Cot
One of the few elevated pet beds that’ll give your pooch a comfy place to rest his head while snoozing.
About: If your best buddy prefers bolsters to keep him comfortable, this elevated cot from K&H Pet Products is a great pick. The sturdy, elevated bed provides plenty of airflow keeping your pet cool all while providing a perimeter of cushy bolster.
The bolster portion can be easily removed for quick cleaning and taking this pet bed on the go.
- Fabric is waterproof and easy to clean
- Elevated design and mesh fabric provides plenty of airflow
- Removable bolster
- Portable design
- Easy to assemble
- Perfect for pups that appreciate a little more cushion while lounging
- Portable, well-ventilated design
- Durable even with larger furry friends
- Not great for dogs that like to scratch or dig
- The bed might sag slightly for larger dogs while in use
One Dog Bed for Summer to Avoid: Magicfly Pet Cooling Mat
While any of the summer dog beds above should work for your pooch (provided that you select one that suits Spot’s specific needs), there are a few you should avoid at all costs.
Some are poorly made, some feature insufficient cushioning, and others are simply priced too high for the value they provide.
One of the worst offenders is the Magicfly Pet Cooling Mat. It has an attractive price tag, which has led a lot of owners to try it, but as it turns out, the bed isn’t affordable — it’s just cheap.
Owners complain that it is thin, doesn’t help to adequately cool their pet, and slides all over the place during use.
Simply put, the manufacturers missed the mark, and you’ll want to spend your dog-care dollars elsewhere.
Situations That Warrant a Summer Bed
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:
Double-Coated or Extremely Furry Dogs
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.
Dogs with Short, Squat Bodies
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.
Large or Overweight Dogs
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.
Dogs Living in Warm Climates
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.
How to Find the Right Bed Size for Your Dog
Finding the perfect bed size is key for keeping your canine comfortable. We have a comprehensive dog bed sizing guide you can check out, but you can start by taking these tips into consideration while shopping for cooling dog beds:
- Consider your dog’s preferred sleeping position. Different dogs have different needs. Does your dog like a bolster for his head? Or does he prefer to be curled up and cozy? Will your dog rest easy on a flat surface or a more cushy one? While general sizing guides are helpful, you’ll want to consider your hound’s unique sleeping habits.
- Size up instead of sizing down. When picking out the right bed size for your dog, focus on your dog’s snout-to-tail-base length. Your dog’s bed should be at least as long as his body, but when in doubt, opt for the larger size to give your pooch some wiggle room.
- Consult the manufacturer’s recommendations. Have your mutt’s measurements at the ready before picking out a dog bed. Each manufacturer will have different sizing parameters so be sure to consult individual guides before making your final purchasing decision.
Additional Ways to Keep Your Canine Cool: Solutions for Sweltering Summers
Keeping your canine cool throughout the summer months is essential – and this includes those times he’s chillin’ on his bed as well as throughout the rest of the day and night. But cooling dog beds are the only way to do so.
Here are a couple of ways to help your best buddy beat the heat.
- Keep water close. Your dog should always have access to fresh, cool water around the house.
- Stay out of direct sunlight. Your dog’s bed should be positioned out of direct sunlight and in a well-ventilated area. If possible, choose a room with hardwood or tile flooring that will help keep him extra cool.
- Find some frozen treats and toys. Frozen dog treats and frozen toys can be a super fun way to keep your pooch cool while he’s having fun or relaxing.
- Layer the bed with cooling dog pads. If your canine has a particularly fluffy coat or just likes staying cool during the summer, you can use a cooling pad layer on top of his bed. These pads help absorb heat helping your hound stay comfortable throughout the warm summer months.
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.