Ever heard of a pet cooling mat? Basically, its a mat filled with water or gel that your dog or cat can lay on to cool down. Cooling mats aren’t just for hot areas – they can be used in cool indoor spots too, for more effective cooling down after your pet has gone for a walk, played or exercised.
So, what do they cost and are they worth the investment?
What is a pet cooling mat?
First off, what is it?
A pet cooling mat does what it says – it’s used to cool off a hot dog (excuse the pun) or cat during a heatwave or post exercise. This can help stop them from overheating or, even worse, suffering from heat stroke.
Although dogs may pant and cats lick themselves to cool down, they sometimes need a little extra help. They don’t sweat like us hoomans so can find it harder to regulate their body temperature. This is why you’ll often find them lying on cool concrete or tiles.
A pet cooling mat is another cool surface, and it stays cooler for longer.
How does it work?
A cooling mat is gel-based and, unlike air conditioning and other ways of cooling, requires no electricity. It cools itself through a (usually) non-toxic chemical that absorbs heat and lowers the temp for your pet.
The mat activates when weight is applied, i.e. when your pet lies down on it. It will then recharge itself automatically after a brief period of non-use. Genius.
A water cooling mat is another option. These mats are generally less reliable in terms of temperature control as they’ll get hotter as the ice melts. However, you may prefer them if your pet is prone to chewing – you don’t want them accidentally ingesting the gel. On that, read about dog choking hazards and other accidental ingestion risks here.
The upsides of a pet cooling mat
As with anything, there are pros and cons. Here are the top pros…
If you’re looking for a quick way to cool down your pup, these are effective. A 2019 study looked at the best method to cool working dogs down post exercise, with the options being:
- Immerse dog in water
- Pet cooling mat
- Natural cooling via a fan (the control)
Immersing the dog in water was the most effective, but the cooling mat performed better at reducing heat in dogs compared to the control group that used fans. And you don’t need to deal with a wet dog.
Works without electricity
The fact that you don’t have to plug in the mat means it’s easy to move around and take along with you wherever you may go. It’s also more economical than cooling your dog off with air conditioning or a fan.
Can double as a bed
While during winter you can always have your furball cuddle you in your bed (and here’s why you should), during summer we need some space. So if you’re looking for a new bed for your pet, why not instead get your pup or cat a cooling mat, which will double as a thin bed.
The downsides of a pet cooling mat
While the cooling mats serve a good purpose, there are two sides to the coin. Let’s discuss when it might not be worthwhile for you to get a cooling mat.
Pet cooling mats average around $50 – $125 depending on the size and brand. Gel mats tend to be more expensive. As you can imagine, the larger your pet, the larger the mat needs to be – which will hike up the price.
What is this, hooman?
As is the case with most things new, it may take your doggo or cat some time before they understand the purpose of their pet cooling mat. Try luring them over to the mat with their favourite toy or a treat on a hot day. This way they’ll discover firsthand the wonderful cooling they can find there when they feel like it.
Chewing on gel
If your pet likes to chew or scratch things up, getting a gel pet cooling mat isn’t the best idea. Even though most brands claim their gel is non-toxic, we prefer to err on the safe side.
Is a pet cooling mat worth it?
In our opinion, a pet cooling mat is definitely worth it if your cat or dog uses it. Imagine not being able to cool yourself down quickly or effectively. What a blessing a mat must be for so many fur kids.
And as we’ve mentioned, cooling mats don’t require electricity. This makes them so economical for the regular pet-comes-too travellers amongst us. They’re perfect to take along on camping trips or to remote areas without power.
Of course, some dogs and cats will love their mat and some won’t care less… so ask yourself if you’re willing to spend before knowing which way your pet will lean. Perhaps borrow one from a friend to test out first?
Head here for more tips on taking care of your pet in summer.
Seriously cool insurance
We know you’re a cool pet parent, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this article. Part of being a oh-so-cool responsible pet owner is making sure they’re covered in case of accident or emergency. Why not choose pet insurance for that added peace of mind?
Take financial stress off your plate so you can focus on being the best pet parent you can be.