Best Buy: Amazon.co.uk
Price: £10 approx.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Border Terriers hate hot weather. Certainly my Indy does!! For the last few years, and as Indy is getting older, we see that hot weather affects his energy levels greatly, making him very lethargic. It is crucial that your dog is kept as cool as possible during the warmer months, or else his overall well-being risks to get affected – his heart and breathing systems may be severely affected by the hot weather, exactly in the same way and with the same sudden consequences as for elderly humans. There are simple precautions that you can take to improve your dog’s quality of life when the weather gets warmer, so that you carry on and enjoy life with your dog (see my 5 Tips to Help your Border Terrier Cope with Hot Weather).
So, on the occasion of Indy’s imminent 12th birthday (mark that date on your calendar, it’s 26th June, today!!!), we decided to try one of the many cooling devices on the market, and we treated him to the lovely Pet Cooling Mat. Well, Indy loved it!!
So, how does it work? The mat is very thin, and easy to carry as not heavy at all. It contains gel which, with the weight of your dog and his/her movement, cools up.
We received it a couple of days ago and started using it straightaway, as in the last few days we have had thunderstorms with hot and humid temperatures. We put it on his bed on top of his usual blankets, but yesterday I took it to his cage in the car. I do not have air con in my car, so I tried a little experiment to see whether Indy was keen on it, and kept the windows close. Indy sat on it on the way to the shops, and did not pant – in fact he sat there for the whole 20 minute journey, snoozing quite comfortably. On the other hand, on the journey back, Indy managed to roll it in a ball, so that he was now sitting on the blankets underneath on a corner of the cage, and he did pant all the way – so much so that in the end I did open the window.
I believe the mat comes in different sizes, but I am glad I got the medium size for Indy, as it can then cover the whole width of his bed and of the car cage.
Pros & Cons
The one negative things I can think of, and which I saw happen with Indy, is the fact that Indy could move the pad away when starting scratching the blankets underneath – and that was due to the fact that the mat is so light and easy to carry. This can be easily solvable if you remove blankets from under the mat and keep it on a flat padding.
However I can vouch that the Pet Cooling Mat does work magnificently in keeping your dog cool. As I could not quite establish whether the mat produced coolness when Indy sat on it, I tried to put pressure on the mat with my hands and moved my hands about, and the mat indeed does become cooler when put under the pressure of weight.
Apparently the mat is also good for cats, so maybe if your dog will allow it, you can share it with his/her feline companions!
However, the box comes with no instructions leaflet, and for this reason I am going to rate this product with a 9. Call me a freak, but I do like to know what material, i.e. which type of gel is being used in the pad. There is no sign of explanation in the box, although it does mention the medical conditions the pad is ideal for in canines, with its soothing action for post-op or clinical recovery.