The 15 Best Cooling Dog Beds for Pups That Run Hot

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Dogs love their cushy, comfy beds, especially when the outside temperature climbs and the only tolerable activity is lounging and slurping water. You see, canines may be our favorite mammals, but they don’t regulate body heat as well as we do. (Greeting a loved one at the door? Yeah, they do that way better.) Panting is one of the only ways they have to stay cool. So even if it’s not 100 degrees outside, shopping the best cooling dog beds is going to make your little one more comfortable. These are our collapsible, elevated and downright ergonomic favorites.

The Best Cooling Dog (and Cat) Beds at a Glance

Why Do I Need a Cooling Dog Bed?

Heat stroke in dogs is a medical emergency. Canines pant to release heat and cool themselves down. They only have sweat glands on their paw pads. If the temperature of their environment gets too high or they are not in a properly ventilated space, they may lose the ability to regulate their internal temp - which is bad news! VCA Hospitals says when a pup’s body temperature reaches 103 degrees, it’s officially heat stroke territory. (Hint: Having a dog thermometer in your pet first aid kit is a smart move.) This can happen quickly, which is why cooling dog beds are ideal when your dog is outdoors in the summer (or indoors if you don’t have air conditioning).

Signs of heat stroke include excessive panting, dry or discolored gums, disorientation and even seizures. Not only should cooling dog beds be used to prevent your dog from overheating, they can be used to cool down dogs who may be on the brink of heat stroke. Always make sure your dog has water and shade on hot days - heck, even on cool days if it’s extra sunny out!

Folks with breeds like Pugs, Boxers and Bulldogs must be doubly cautious. These canines, known as brachycephalic breeds, have a harder time regulating temperature due to their shortened muzzles. Even a little extra heat and humidity could negatively affect them.

Cooling dog beds can also provide pain relief. Arthritic animals or post-surgery pups often enjoy cooling beds because it soothes their aching joints. Some of the beds on our list are basically giant heat-absorbing pads, so it’s not a bad idea to try one if your aging dog seems uncomfortable in his current spot.

Do Cooling Dog Beds Really Work?

Since dogs don’t cool down the same way we do (remember, they pant to release heat and only have sweat glands in their paw pads), they require external forces to keep them from overheating. This means anything cool to the touch or beds that can provide them with a nice breeze.

Depending on your dog’s coat, you may need a combination of products to create the optimal temperature for your pup. For example, thick-coated Bernese Mountain dogs should probably be kept out of the sun on very hot days. A double duty raised bed with a canopy might be necessary to actually cool them off. Italian Greyhounds, on the other hand, may just need a thin chill mat to get the job done. Some dogs are made for hot weather.

Our point is: cooling dog beds work as long as you match them to your dog’s specific body and coat type. Remember to provide your dog with plenty of water and shade on hot days, no matter what breed you’ve got.

What Is the Coolest Material for Dog Beds?

The tricky thing about dog bed material is it has to be durable, yet breathable. On our list you’ll see several raised beds. These are going to be made with thicker, synthetic fabrics like nylon and mesh because they have to hold up your pup while letting them breathe.

When it comes to floor beds, look for a cooling layer (typically gel), a breathable fabric cover or both. Cotton and canvas are good materials, though some beds with cooling gel use more durable polyester covers. These are much less breathable, so if you know the cover is polyester, make sure there’s a cooling layer just beneath it.

Brown dog atop a brown elevated cooling bed.
  • Why We Love It: Comes in four sizes, holds large breeds, chemical-free fabric, easy to clean, indoor/outdoor
  • How It Works: Raised for airflow, breathable fabric
  • Cons: Assembly required

Sometimes all it takes is a nice breeze to cool your dog down. This elevated cooling bed sits eight inches high and comes in three sizes: small (dogs up to 50 pounds), medium (dogs up to 75 pounds) and large (dogs up to 100 pounds). It’s made with a super-breathable, durable, high-density polyethylene that is 100 percent recyclable fabric, meaning it has no harmful chemicals, is easy to clean and strong enough to withstand outdoor elements. Think of it like a camping cot for your pup.

Reddish tan mix poodle breed a top a blue travel bed.

Best Portable

2. Pet Gear Cot

  • Why We Love It: Lightweight, no assembly required, foldable
  • How It Works: Raised for airflow, breathable mesh
  • Cons: No skid-proof

Whether you’re heading out on a road trip or into the next room, lugging a heavy cooling dog bed isn’t ideal. This 40-inch long cot weighs just seven pounds and folds up into a more manageable size for carrying back and forth. The legs fold out (no assembly required) and have rubber grips to prevent the bed from sliding around. Pet Gear does make a larger version for big breeds, too. Designed to be water-resistant and breathable, this is a stellar solution to a hot dog anywhere. Some users noted the skid-proof claim is a stretch and that the bed may slide around if your pup jumps on it or moves around a lot.

Lifestyle shot of a small gray dog on blue dog bed.

Best for Senior Dogs

3. Frisco Cooling Orthopedic Pillow Bed


  • Why We Love It: Only 3” high, made for large breeds or seniors who need space
  • How It Works: Cooling gel foam layer
  • Cons: Only comes in larger sizes, cover may pill easily

Senior dogs need orthopedic support without having to climb up onto a tall bed. This Frisco cooling bed provides all that and more. Its top layer is cooling gel foam which eases achy joints. The cover is machine-washable and the bed itself, though fairly large, is lightweight (only six pounds). One reviewer noted their Husky runs hot but is in love with this bed - a testament to its cooling properties.

Black and white shepherd dog lays on a mattress looking dog bed.
  • Why We Love It: Comes in sizes small to XXL, machine washable cover
  • How It Works: Breathable canvas fabric prevents heat build-up
  • Cons: Needs 48 hours to fully expand, could use more cushion

If you live in an ever-changing climate (hello, everyone), you may need a dog bed that can be both warm and cool. This one by EMPSIGN is reversible. One side has “dry, breathable canvas” that will keep your dog chill on hot days. When it arrives, you have to let three full inches of foam fully expand before applying the cooling/warming cover (which is machine washable). Some reviewers note it’s not as plush or cushy as they’d like, so adding a blanket underneath may be good if your dog suffers from joint issues.

Shaggy brown dog on a blue cooling mat
  • Why We Love It: Easily portable, works on top of many beds/surfaces, non-toxic
  • How It Works: Cooling gel activated by dog weight (can be refrigerated)
  • Cons: No cushion or support

Even if your pup snoozes the whole damn afternoon, he’ll stay cool on the Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat. This bed kicks into action as soon as it feels your dog’s body weight and recharges itself after roughly 15 minutes of inactivity. While the design is more focused on cooling than comfort, it easily lays on top of thicker cushions or beds to keep your pup happy on a hot day (which is especially helpful if you travel together in the car a lot).

Big white and brown dog on a tan and brown dog bed.
  • Why We Love It: Great for senior or arthritic dogs, machine washable cover, sizes range from small to XL
  • How It Works: Cooling gel layer
  • Cons: Not super soft

Sealy, a company known for its human mattresses, makes an orthopedic dog bed with high-quality foam (for comfort) and a Pro-Charcoal base (for odor absorption). The heat regulating Cooling Energy Gel gathers high temperatures on the bed’s surface and sends them back into the air or onto the floor beneath it. Rest easy knowing your dog is keeping cool and staying stable, as there's a no-slip bottom that prevents them from scooting around as they chase cars in their sleep). Some reviewers noted the cover isn’t super soft and some of their dogs weren’t into that sensation.

White dog sleeps on a gray dog bed.

Best Indoor

7. Furhaven Pet Dog Bed

  • Why We Love It: Machine washable cover, big size range, gel-infused memory foam
  • How It Works: Cooling gel foam layer
  • Cons: Not ideal for heavy chewers

The secret of this sofa bed style dog furniture is the layer of cooling gel foam that's tucked under the quilted cover (which is machine washable and comes in 14 different colors). The design is wide enough to accommodate your pet inside the bolsters, or they can opt to use the bolsters as a headrest to realign the pressure on their frame while they sleep. And the nooks and crannies of the bed are perfect for a little snuffling around before settling down to nap. The manufacturer states the top of the bed (aka the part your dog sleeps on) will stay one to two degrees cooler than the air.

Product shot of a blue cooling pad.
  • Why We Love It: Long-lasting cooling effect, puncture-resistant
  • How It Works: Cooling gel activated by dog weight
  • Cons: On the pricier side

If your dog loves her crate (and/or you are crate training), this mat may become your pup’s BFF. It requires no technology or refrigeration. Made with non-toxic cooling gel means there’s no work on your end beyond placing it in the crate (they work well in the back seats of cars, too!). The mat stays cool for up to three hours. Don’t worry, Art Pets says this thing is puncture-resistant, so doggy nails won’t damage it. (Bonus: The nylon material ensures easy cleaning). It comes in three sizes: 35” x 55”, 23” x 35”, and 27” x 43”.

Gray Schnauzer looking dog atop a camping dog bed with a canopy and elevated above the grass.
  • Why We Love It: Made for large breeds, canopy for sun protection, sturdy, waterproof, can remove canopy for indoor use
  • How It Works: Raised for airflow, breathable mesh, canopy for sun protection
  • Cons: No option for toy breeds (but tiny pups have no problem fitting on these beds)

The manufacturer says this elevated bed is “a luxurious accessory for furry kings and queens” and we couldn’t agree more. Set your pup up right on this steel-framed bed covered in breathable fabric. The canopy protects dogs from the sun. It comes in three large sizes, so be sure to choose the right one for your dog breed (the smallest version holds up to 60 pounds, largest version holds up to 120 pounds).

A cat sits inside a pop up cooling bed outside.

Best for Small Dogs (or Cats)

10. Etna Pop Up Shelter Pen

  • Why We Love It: Portable, lightweight
  • How It Works: Cooling gel pad, canopy for sun protection
  • Cons: May not do well on windy days

This foldable shelter comes with a cooling gel pad and expandable tent. Designed for pups up to 25 pounds, it’s ideal for tiny companion animals who need a cool spot to sit while you’re socializing or lounging. This also works well if you’re at an outdoor event and it starts to drizzle! Plop your pup in here to keep them dry.

Big bulldog lays on blue mat.

Best for Recovering Pups

11. K&H Cool Bed III

  • Why We Love It: No toxic gels, tough exterior
  • How It Works: Fill with cold water
  • Cons: Must fill with water

As a waterbed for dogs, this bed is literally one of the coolest on our list. It makes recovery from surgeries, skin issues and stiff joints easier on your dog’s body. The bed requires no cords, batteries or weird chemicals. To activate the cooling core, just pour water through the filler cap and the bed will absorb your dog’s body heat and bring things back down to room temperature. Bottom line: Stick to the manufacturer’s instructions and you should be just fine.

Golden retriever lays on quilt.
  • Why We Love It: Portable, can be placed on existing beds, machine washable
  • How It Works: Absorbs heat with cooling fabric
  • Cons: Not suitable for outdoors

Perhaps your dog prefers blankets to beds? Go with this cooling blanket from PetFusion. The lightweight, breathable fabric (it’s made with 20 percent cool technology PE fabric) absorbs heat from your dog to lower their body temperature. An ideal option for car rides or couches on sweaty days.

Shepherd dog lays in an elevated covered dog bed.
  • Why We Love It: Water- and mold-resistant fabric, can be zipped when raining
  • How It Works: Raised for airflow, breathable mesh, canopy for sun protection
  • Cons: Some dogs are afraid of it, assembly required

Camping trips with your pooch are fun, unless they get uncomfortable in high temperatures. This dog bed is not only elevated and covered, it’s designed to keep your pet safe from the elements. The fabric is nylon and water-resistant. It won’t get moldy or grow bacteria, either. Two windows provide circulation when it’s nice and can be zipped up to keep out rain if necessary. K&H says the large size can hold up to 200 pounds. Some reviewers said their dogs were wary of getting into this bed! Maybe ease your pup into it if she scares easily.

Product shot of blue dog bed on legs with comfy white center.
  • Why We Love It: Cools and heats, heating control won’t overheat your pup
  • How It Works: Electric fan
  • Cons: Challenging set-up, not suitable for dogs over 70 pounds, must be plugged in

This is smart tech in cooling bed form! Activate this bolster-style bed to fan your pup from below on hot days. The mesh cushion lets air flow through. (The button should be blue; if it’s red, the heat aspect is activated.) This bed comes in two sizes but isn’t suitable for breeds over 70 pounds. The biggest drawback seems to be the set-up and since it needs an outlet, it must be strategically placed in your home. Don’t leave it on for more than four hours!

cooling dog beds coldest

Best for Wear and Tear

15. Coldest Cozy Dog Bed

  • Why We Love It: Machine washable cover, lots of size availability
  • How It Works: Cooling gel layer
  • Cons: Many users say the cover’s zipper gave them difficulty

The Coldest Cozy Dog Bed is said to stand up even to tough chewers, which is great because even jaws of steel need to cool down every now and again. Made with the manufacturer’s signature Coldest Fusion Weave fabric, this bed is super cozy and keeps dogs cool “longer than regular dog beds.” Even though it boasts waterproof technology, this definitely seems like an indoor bed. However, the cover is machine washable. So if there’s no rain in sight and your dog wants to join you on the deck, who are we to stop you?

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Sarah Ashley

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Sarah Ashley is a Chicago-based freelance journalist. She has covered pets for PureWow for six years and tackles everything from dog training tips to the best litter boxes. Her...
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Dana Dickey

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Dana Dickey is a PureWow Senior Editor, and during more than a decade in digital media, she has scoped out and tested top products and services across the lifestyle space...
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