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Dogs can overheat quickly when the weather starts to warm up. Sometimes, that shift from winter to summer skips right over spring--giving you (and your pup) hardly any time to adjust. Here in Northern California, Mother Nature couldn't decide what season we were in. One day felt like spring, the next resembled late summer, and the one after that brought winter weather back as quickly as it had gone. It was a little difficult to keep up with as a human, and our pets were having an equally hard time adjusting. None of them could quite figure out why it was sunny and mild, then sweltering hot, then below freezing and raining. Needless to say, it was a bit of a trip.
Our puppy, Grizzly, is only 5 months old and the constant shifts in temperature were the hardest on him, because he hasn't experienced all the different seasons yet. (Though we can already tell that summer is not his jam.) He's a German shepherd who's slowly losing his baby fur in favor of the breed's famed double-coat. Thankfully, we got the chance to test out LESURE's dog cooling mat and raised cot during the hottest spell of our area's ever-changing weather. These two products were a hot puppy's dream!
LESURE Raised Dog Cot Bed - Amazon, $39.99
First, we tried the elevated cooling bed because I was a little unsure about busting out the cooling mat right off the bat with a teething puppy. The bed needs to be completely assembled, but the instructions are easy to follow and it goes fairly quickly. Since everything is new with a puppy his age, I had to show Grizzly how to get up onto the bed. At first, he wasn't quite sure what to do, but got the hang of it quickly with the help of treats and toys.
After a few times of getting up and down off of the bed, Grizzly decided he approved and played with his chew toys on the bed until he fell asleep. Even though he's a puppy, I got the large size. He's already just under 40 pounds and is only going to keep growing into those giant paws and goofy ears. When I first built the bed, I thought it would be way too big for him--but it works perfectly, especially when he sprawls out. It also comes in small and medium sizes, so every type of pup can enjoy a cooling throne.
The breathable mesh that's stretched over the powder-coated steel frame allows air to circulate underneath the bed and keep Grizzly cool. It has a bit of bounce and is easy to clean with a wet cloth (which we learned the hard way after some treats disagreed with his tummy). The bed quickly became Grizzly's go-to spot after he comes inside from going to the bathroom or eating his lunch. He still thinks it is a great spot to nap and often chews on his rope toys while perched on the bed. Occasionally, he'll try to chew on the parts that wrap around the metal, but this type of puppy behavior is easily redirected.
LESURE Water Injection Pet Cooling Mat - Amazon, $39.99
While the raised dog bed was a big success, I wasn't sure how the cooling mat would hold up against a puppy. The surface has a PVC coating for easy cleaning with high-density foam on the inside for some cushion. Since Grizzly is a big dog, I requested a size large. One neat feature of the cooling mat is that instead of gel inside, it can be filled with water. The water provides the cooling effect, while the foam provides support. It holds four to six gallons of water and the cap on the bottom corner of the mat is easy to remove, with a stopper to prevent leaking. Draining the mat is very easy. Just remove the stopper and tilt! When it's empty, the cooling mat rolls up nicely for travel.
I filled the mat with less than the recommended amount of cool water (probably a gallon or so) and did not opt to add ice. I was curious to see how cold it would get with just the water, and how long the cooling effects would last. The mat stayed cool to the touch for two weeks with the original water inside.
I slowly introduced the mat to Grizzly while keeping a close eye on him so he couldn't sneak in a nibble. Full disclosure, he was not a fan at first. He sniffed at it a few times and walked over it once, but it sat largely untouched on the kitchen floor after that. Then, on one very hot day, my kids decided they wanted to try it out. (They were big fans!) Sensing that his new mat was about to be stolen by the human siblings, Grizzly decided he better give it a try.
Grizzly hopped onto the cooling mat and settled in. He was cautiously optimistic about the squishy feeling of the mat, but as the temperature approached 100 degrees, his tune changed. He actively sought out the mat and it became his go-to nap spot. He even slept on the mat in the evenings, before it was time to go into his crate. While it may have taken a lot of convincing to get this pooch on board, I think we'd both give these products 5 stars.
Has your dog used either of these products or something similar? Tell us on our Wide Open Pets Facebook page.
READ MORE: 7 Fantastic Finds That Can Help Keep Your Dog Cool This Summer
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