As with buying any bed, there are certain things to look for that will ensure a cooling dog bed will be effective, and this generally includes the size and material of the bed.
It’s common sense to know that a small bed won’t keep a large dog cool, and yet many people guess the size will be right for their dog without measuring them first. We understand that trying to put a tape measure next to your dog may be tricky, but it will certainly pay off in the long run. We recommend measuring the distance from your dog’s nose to the base of its tail, so you have a clear picture of what space the dog has when fully stretched out.
Again, not an easy task, but checking your dog’s weight is especially important if you’re going to buy an elevated dog bed. A lot of the lifted dog beds have a maximum weight capacity even if you think the size of the bed would be appropriate, so it’s always a good idea to check. As a general rule, 30 pounds (14 kg) or less is generally considered a small dog. Dogs weighing over 55 pounds (25 kg) is usually considered a large dog.
The choice of material largely depends on what your priority is for your dog’s cooling bed. The coolest possible material is mesh because it allows the most airflow. Canvas materials, nylon and polyester are going to be cool as well, although they won’t provide any cushioning on their own.
Naturally, memory foam is the most orthopaedic and comfortable material, but even with cooling gel, you may still lose some of the coolness because there is just not the same air circulation.
If you don’t want the heat of memory foam, but you have a senior dog with joint problems, then lifted/elevated dog beds are actually vet recommended since lying on a hard surface puts pressure on joints, and an elevated bed makes it easier for older dogs to get up anyway.
Many of the filled cooling beds will have a removable cover that’s machine washable. However, some of the elevated dog beds may require that you dismantle the bed to take the machine washable cover off, while some may be spot clean only. You can spot clean stains with an enzyme cleaner that’s designed to break down deep-set stains.