Helping dogs in the summer heat. Cooling mats

Some of us can easily endure the heat, and some suffer, preferring an air-conditioned room to sultry fresh air. But not only people suffer from the heat in summer. Therefore, every day the question becomes more relevant: how to protect the dog from the heat in summer?

Air temperature above +25 degrees leads to overheating of the animal's body and is hard to tolerate by dogs, since their body does not have enough sweat glands and the animal cools its body due to its protruding tongue. That is why in the summer it is so common to see dogs with their tongue hanging out and heavy breathing. Pets with long and thick coats or thick undercoats are most affected by high temperatures.

Manufacturers of pet products have been creating products for many years to help dogs cope with the summer heat. The best dog cooling mat has acquired the greatest popularity among such products. Our article today will be devoted to them. Our tips will help you understand how cooling pads work and make the right choice to help your dog handle the heat.

How to tell if your dog is hot and needs a cooling mat

Every loving owner, watching his pet, will always pay attention to the change in his behavior and will not disregard the animal's attempts to cool off. 

What to look for:

  • The animal becomes less active and tries to lie down in a dark and cool place

  • The dog sticks out his tongue, keeps his mouth open and has rapid shallow breathing

  • Lying, the dog rolls over on his back, showing his stomach, or spreads his stomach on the floor.

In extreme heat, the dog may not even be attracted to his favorite toys and his appetite may decrease. So, it's time to help the animal and give him a life-giving coolness with the help of a cooling mat.
You should not resort to a cooling mat if the dog is in an air-conditioned room and the ambient temperature does not exceed +25 degrees.

What are cooling mats for dogs

Cooling mats reduce the body temperature of the animal due to the cooling effect created by the mat. All mats inside have filling, the temperature of which is lower than the temperature of the animal's body, due to which the dog's body is cooled. Since the temperature difference between the filling of the mat and the body of the animal does not exceed 15 degrees, the use of mats does not harm the animal.

Depending on the type of filling, cooling mats are of three types:

  1. Cooling occurs due to cold moisture. The inner filling of the mat consists of polymer hygroscopic granules that absorb cold moisture. Such a rug is immersed in cold water, allowed to absorb moisture, while the granules increase in size and fill all the free interior space of the rug. Then, the mat, gradually drying up, gives coolness to the animal for 1-3 days. Periodically, the mat can be watered with cold water. Such rugs, being soaked with moisture, become heavy, and not all animals, feeling the humidity, are ready to lie on such a rug.

  1. Mats with pre-cooling. This type of mat contains a special gel inside, which is subjected to cooling. The rug itself is placed in the refrigerator, after the gel has cooled down, it gives coolness to the animal for 5-6 hours, after which it needs to be re-cooled. These rugs are inconvenient in that for their use it is necessary to have access to cooling devices - refrigerators and they are not very hygienic, since the rug is constantly moving from the floor to the refrigerator and vice versa.

  1. Self-cooling mats. This type of rugs appeared on the market relatively recently, but its popularity is constantly growing due to its ease of use. The mat is filled with a gel that activates under the weight of the animal. A chemical reaction takes place inside the gel, the result of which is a decrease in the temperature of the gel by 8-10 degrees relative to the ambient temperature. Such a mat "works" for 4-6 hours, after which it takes a little time, about 40 minutes, for the mat to acquire its original state and be ready for work. These rugs are lightweight, do not take up much space because they fold up and can be used in any situation: in the house, in the yard, in the car, in various rooms and on various surfaces, in carriers and cages. These mats have an easy to clean finish.

Choosing a cooling pad

Knowing how the cooling effect of different mats works and knowing in what situations you will need to use it will help you make the right choice. If you are planning a trip and your pet will be resting in the back seat of the car, then a mat that uses water for cooling is not suitable for you, in this case a self-cooling mat is the most convenient option.

Cooling mats, regardless of their content, are available in several sizes, designed for dogs of different breeds. These sizes are not unified and manufacturers themselves determine the most optimal size of the mat for dogs of small, medium, large sizes, focusing on the weight and size of representatives of a particular breed. In order for your dog to feel comfortable, it is advisable to choose a mat size that matches the size of your dog's body.

Almost all models of self-cooling mats have a moisture-resistant coating. Some models have an anti-mosquito coating that repels blood-sucking insects. This parameter is important if you are planning a vacation with your pet in nature or near water bodies, and will also protect your dog from mosquito bites, which can be carriers of various diseases, in particular dirofilariasis.

Are cooling mats harmful to a dog's health?

Some believe that lying on a cooling mat, a dog can get cystitis or boils on the abdomen, get pneumonia or another disease due to hypothermia. These statements are false, since the cooling mats have a temperature that is no more than 15 degrees below the environment, which is not capable of harming the animal. Even lying on a cold tile floor for a long time will harm your pet more than time spent on a cooling mat. This applies to moderately chilled mats. However, there are situations in which emergency cooling of the body and the use of an excessively chilled mat for a short time may be required. Mats to be cooled in refrigerators are suitable for such purposes.