Us Brits like to talk about the weather. Hot or cold, snowy or windy, we pretty much always want the opposite of the hand we’ve been dealt.
So far, 2018 has hit record high temperatures at home and abroad and I don’t know about you, but I’ve found it a bit of a challenge to keep my dogs cool. So with the warm weather set to stick around for a while yet, we’ve put four super cool products to the test to help you keep your own dog cool for under £40.
The Dog Cooling Bandana
From Dogsnug - Priced from £16
Designed to help keep dogs cool by dipping in water before tying around your dog’s neck, this striking, cool bandana is designed to sit on your dog’s neck, dipping down to their chest for maximum efficiency and on hot days will stay quite wet for up to five hours.
Machine washable at 30 degrees, after use you can pop in the washing machine. Available in sizes small to x-large (there’s a measuring chart to help you decide which your dog might need), I decided Mia would be the best candidate for our review.
It’s a pretty compact but effective way to cool a dog down.
I found it perfect for our short early morning walks, then re-rinsing throughout the day and night. On the hottest days, I hand washed for speed to get rid of the not so fresh smell that comes from something being damp fairly consistently.
Mia has been using it pretty much constantly and it does seem to make a difference, especially at night when the heat makes her restless.
Scruffs® Cool Dog Mat
From Scruffs - Price £16.99
Filled with a non-toxic gel, Scruffs say this self-cooling mat will be typically 5-10 degrees cooler than room temperature and when in use, the mat will stay cool for roughly an hour. When a dog gets up from it, it essentially resets itself, so you don’t need to pop it in the fridge or freezer, it manages itself - which is pretty handy.
At home, this mat has been a firm favourite of Chris and Mia.
Unlike Mia, Chris isn’t particularly a serious character. He likes to have fun and play, but he’s also revealed himself to be the best judge of cool spots in our home, so it speaks volumes that he was the first to decide that getting a cool mat was a great decision (thanks Chris).
The cool mat is double sided, with a darker shade of blue on one and a lighter blue on the other. It wipes clean, which is handy for cleaning the inevitable dirt and dog hairs.
Alice Flanagan and her dog Flo also reviewed the Scruffs cool mat for us because we wanted to get another dog’s take on the cooling mat.
Alice told us, “I’ve bought Flo two cool mats before she was lucky enough to win this one and she has never bothered with any of the mats I bought her, but as soon as I put this mat down she laid on it (pictured above) and she’s continued to lay on it since she got it! It has really helped her in this heat and I have already recommended it to lots of friends!”
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Dog Cooling Vest/Coat
From Dogsnug - Price £39.00
Similarly to how the cooling bandana works, this lightweight cooling vest for dogs works best when wet and cools the dog down when the water evaporates and it dries over a couple of hours.
It’s made with stretchy fabrics and fun, bright colours, which really do bring a smile (and memories of glow sticks!) every time.
The top part is light and airy and made of stretchy fabric so it is comfortable to wear. Dogsnug also says this fabric is designed to pull heat off the dog’s body.
The belly area of the vest is triple layered with an absorbent fabric that stays cool and the neck area has soft fabric to avoid rubbing.
Whereas the cooling bandana can be worn for long periods, I found the vest is best worn for short bursts, such as early morning walks or runs.
Scruffs® Cool Dog Bed
From Scruffs - Price £39.99
The Scruffs Cool Dog Bed is primarily designed for dogs who want, or need, to stay cool but who like a bit of comfort and padding on their beds to sprawl out on.
Essentially, there are three layers to this bed.
The top mesh layer is breathable for airflow and this is backed up by two further layers which are inserted using the opening underneath to lay the second layer, a gel mat (which uses the same non-toxic gel technology as the Scruffs cool mat mentioned above) and the third layer, a padded foam base.
The side walls that surround the bed are made using 100% recycled green fibre fill, which Scruffs say gives the bed enhanced durability during machine washing.
When I first saw this dog bed, I could definitely see why dogs might go for this. Some dogs really do like comfort beneath their paws and I like the fact it’s been made available in sizes up to x-large for bigger dogs.
It’s certainly comfy and Danny likes the cushioning around the bed to rest his chin on.
With three dogs, I found myself moving the bed downstairs for the day and back to the bedroom at night to give each dog the chance to lie on it and cool down.
This revealed one thing - the flap behind the bed might be ideal for making sure your dog has all three layers in place - but the foam and gel layers essentially then also move when you pick up so you have to adjust them each time you set it back down.
However, the ability to remove the gel layer for the colder months does make this bed an all-year round bed and a pretty cost effective one at that.
We shared a bed with Austin and his owner Emma Bate. Here’s what Emma and Austin told us:
“Austin has been loving the cool bed - he’s seeking it out in preference to his normal bed or the cooling mats that he has.
“The bed itself is very well made and being quite heavy it doesn’t slide around in the floor. The only criticism I have is that when you pick the bed up the cooling mat and pad fall out as there’s no zip on the underneath. The outer bed washes really well too and dries quite quickly - we had to wash it after Austin returned from a muddy walk and made straight for the cool bed.”