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.
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
- Best Budget Pick: Coolaroo Elevated Pet Bed. Keeps your pup off the ground and cool by allowing air to circulate underneath.
- Best For Extra Shade: SuperJare Pet Cot Canopy. This bed provides an elevated mesh cot along with a shaded canopy to protect against the sun’s heat.
- Best For Chewers: Kuranda Dog Bed. Similar to the Coolaro, but sturdier and tougher to withstand your pup’s chompers.
- Best For Overheated Dogs: Arf PetsCooling Mat. This gel-filled cooling mat can keep your pooch cool for up to three hours, without the need for water or electricity.
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.
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 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 Five Best Summer Dog Beds
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.
- Off-the-ground design promotes and increases air flow on all sides of the bed, keeping your pet cool...
- Suspended platform provides added comfort by creating low-impact areas to pressure points and joints
- Breathable high density polyethylene (HDPE) fabric that helps eliminate hot spots
- Flea, mite, mold and mildew resistant
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).
PROS: Despite being a very affordably priced product, most owners found the Coolaroo Pet Bed to be a very high-quality bed. Many specifically addressed the bed’s durability, and most dogs seemed to find it comfortable.
CONS: Although most dogs can probably hop right on the Coolaroo Bed, it is 7-inches high, which may present minor problems for very small dogs and those who have mobility issues. At least one owner found that the screws rusted when the bed was kept outdoors for long periods of time.
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.
- HIGH STRENGTH PVC frame supports up to 100 lbs. For heavier dogs, try the Kuranda All Aluminum Dog...
- Elevated/Raised orthopedic design to keep your dog dry, cool, and comfortable.
- Easy to Clean, guaranteed to stand up to repeated cleaning.
- Cordura is abrasion resistant, is as durable as canvas, and it provides plenty of traction getting...
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.
PROS: The Kuranda Dog Bed received extraordinary levels of praise from the vast majority of owners who purchased it. Most found that their pet loved laying on the bed and that it helped them remain cooler. More than one owner emphasized that the bed’s high price was easily justified by the bed’s quality.
CONS: The primary complaint reported by the small number of owners who had a bad experience with the Kuranda Bed was that it was not as indestructible as advertised. So, don’t get this bed thinking that your toothy terror will be unable to damage it.
About: The Arf PetsCooling Mat is a gel-filled sleeping pad designed to keep your dog for up to three hours.
- BEAT THE HEAT – Keep your pet cool and comfortable with this solid gel self cooling mat. Your dog...
- SIMPLE, POWERFUL COOLING – With a solid gel interior, this cooling mat provides cooling relief for...
- 100% SAFE – This cooling pad is lab-tested and proven to be completely safe for every member of...
- VERSATILE COMFORT – Bring this mat anywhere to help your dog beat the summer heat. Place this...
Features: Designed to be portable and appropriate for either indoor or outdoor use, the Arf Pets Cooling Mat relies on a non-toxic gel to keep your pet cool.
It doesn’t require power of any kind, and it self-recharges without refrigeration or water. It can keep your pooch cool for up to three hours, and then can be recharged in 10-20 minutes just by not being used.
The Arf Pets Cooling Mat comes in a single size (32 x 35″), is foldable for easy transport, water-resistant, and easy to clean with a damp rag.
PROS: The Aef Pets Cooling Mat received very positive reviews from the majority of owners who tried it. It not only appears effective at keeping pets cool (even during summer trips to the beach), owners reported that is was easy to clean and several praised the mat’s ability to recharge relatively quickly.
CONS: A couple of owners had issues with the mat’s durable, as long-clawed pooches sometimes punctured the material. Still, this issue wasn’t too common, although one owner of a white pooch who broke through the mat found that the gel stained her pup’s paws blue.
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.
- THE ORIGINAL SELF COOLING GEL PAD FOR DOGS – The Green Pet Shop pressure-activated cooling pet mat...
- IT'S AUTOMATIC – This self-cooling pad for dogs works without water, electricity or refrigeration....
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).
PROS: Many owners raved about The Green Pet Shop Cooling Pad and a few used terms like “life-changing,” to describe it. Many dogs appear to use it willingly, it appears to keep dogs cooler, and several owners even admitted to laying on the mat themselves on hot days!
CONS: A few owners complained that the internal cooling pad (which is contained within an outer cover) shrank over time. Additionally, there were a few reports of dogs suffering neurological problems after chewing on the mat; so, this is not a good choice for dogs who exhibit destructive chewing problems.
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.
PROS: Most owners reported that the Superjare Pet Bed was easy to assemble, lightweight and strong. And, most importantly, it did appear to provide dogs with a comfortable laying surface and helped keep them cooler. The included canopy helps to keep your pet even cooler than an ordinary elevated pet bed.
CONS: A few owners complained that the bed wasn’t very stable and would wobble a bit. The included canopy may also be intimidating to nervous or skittish pups – a few owners reported that their dog appeared afraid of the bed. The canopy is also not designed to be rain-proof, which seems like a missed opportunity to provide additional value.
Our Recommendation: Superjare Elevated Pet Bed
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.