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Doggystyle DIY Cooling Dog Bed

Doggystyle DIY Cooling Dog Bed

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It’s hot as woof at Casa de Kolchak this weekend.

Yes! The summer is finally, finally, FINALLY here! Oh holy woof, please let it last.

We all love that the rain has let up and we get to spend some time out in the yard. One of our favourite things about Casa de Kolchak is this big yard that is all our own and we can romp in. It’s totally awesome – or at least it is for Kolchak.

Felix feels the heat a bit more.

I don’t know if it’s that he’s fluffy or that he’s just a warm boy, but he gets over heated really fast. On the warmest days of the summer, he can usually be found laying in front of the A/C hogging all the bought air, laying on the cool tile floor in the bathroom or with his head in the fridge, cooling off (and searching for snacks).


You can get get these fancy beds that are designed to cool your pet down. You fill them with water and it soaks all into the bed and creates a cool surface. The only issue? Ours wasn’t exactly cool. I mean it was cooler than the room and coolers that the hot yard, but Felix still preferred the A/C, the bathroom tile and the fridge. It was a lower cost version around $30, so maybe if I had sprung for the $80 model it would have been better.

I’m pretty cheap, so I decided I had to find a way to do something really chilly at home.

I found a way, Felix LOVES it and I did it for as little as $5. Cha-ching – that’s what I’m talking about. I picked up all my supplies at the local dollar store for next to nothing, but if you love to order online, I’ve linked to Amazon where you can find similar items (and support Kol’s Notes, since they’re affiliate links), but seriously, it’s WAY cheaper to head to the Dollar Store.

Here’s what you need to make your own DIY Cooling Dog Bed at home:

DIY Cooling Pet Bed

WARNING: Safety is always our #1 priority at Kol’s NOtes. These beds are designed for SUPERVISED use ONLY. No exceptions. If the bed springs a leak or the valve opens, do NOT allow your dog to drink the liquid inside. This amount of alcohol could make your dog very sick or even be fatal. Supervision is key.

1. Make sure your toy has NO LEAKS. Let’s face it, cheap toys can be, well, cheap and the last thing you want is to make this thing and discover it leaks all over. To do this, blow up the toy and submerge it in a tub or basin filled with waterr, looking for ait bubbles.

In a milk jug or other large container, mix together rubbing alcohol and water. Adding dish soap and mix gently, trying not to create a bunch of bubbly foam.

Now comes the tedious part: filling the toy. OK, I’m not going to lie, I kind of imagined this would be…easier. It’s not. I tried all sorts of ideas: using a pastry squeeze bottle, using the nozzley thing you fill water balloons with…everything I could think of. There’s no super easy way to do this. (Unless you know a way, in which case, hit me up. I want to hear from you.) After all the trial and error, the best way was to use a tiny funnel and sloooooooooowy pour the solution into the floaty toy. It’s messy and not ideal at all, but if you have all the patience, it does work.

IMG_5209aWant a hot tip? Blow up the toy about half way before you start filling the toy. You need to have some air in to toy, otherwise the solution just oozes back out and this takes forever. You want to blow it up it before you start, otherwise you’ll end up like me. I realized 10 minutes into filling it that I needed to add some air and like an absolute idiot, I stuck this the toy dripping with soap & rubbing alcohol right in my mouth. BLEEEEAAAGH! Get it out! Get it out! Oh man. Don’t be like me. Just don’t.

After you’ve wasted the better part of a half hour watching the solution slowly run into the toy, squeeze out as much of the air as you can. Seriously, you want it all out. Leaving air in there will just make it bulky and harder to chill later.

 

Since you’ve likely made a soap mess, wipe the whole thing off with a towel. I decided to use a Q tip to dry our the inside of the valve, squirt a bit of crazy glue in there and then put the stopper in. I’d rather the thing didn’t leak, after all the work thankyouverymuch.

Now, roll the whole thing up, as small as you can and tuck it into your freezer. I know what you’re thinking: “Greaaaaat, another thing to eat up freezer space”, but it’s not that bad. We have one of those itty bitty hotel fridges that we keep the dog’s raw food in and this took up less then space than I thought, about 6x6x12. Keeping it frozen means I’ll have to get dog food a bit more often, but it’s worth it for a happy Felix.

 

IMG_5229a


Freeze for a few hours. I try to remember to pull it out once, unravel it and re-roll it in the other direction, since I think it chills better that way. Once cooled, it should have a watery gel texture. (Don’t let it freeze all the way – this is a cooling bed, not an ice pack!) Smooth out the gel into an even layer.

Lay the gel pad under a crate pad or blanket. I like to fit ours into this handy dog bed that has a thin insert I can put over the cooling gel part. I also like to put a towel under it, just in case it springs leak. Dog nails are sharp if you don’t keep on top of them and I’d hate to have a messy accident. Once it’s all set up, supervise your dog as he cools down.

IMG_5229b

Felix highly recommends it.

If your dog wants to cool off, but isn’t a huge fan of being TOO chilly, try filling the toy with plain water and refrigerating it or using the icy cold water from the hose. It’s definitely cooler than a hot day, but not quite as chilly as a icy bed. We’ve been doing this for several years and it’s a great way to help your dog cool off if you don’t have the freezer space. It has the added benefit of being easier to fill because you can use the hose attachment designed to fill water balloons, however, draining it between uses, so you can refill it with cold water is a hassle and a half.

How do you help you dog cool down on a hot day?

 

 

Kol’s Note: We do not recommend freezing the toy until it becomes an ice pack. You should never allow your dog to lay directly on ice, as this can cause something called “ice burn”. You also want to strictly monitor your dog’s time on a cooling bed. Ensure they take breaks and do not lay on it for extended periods of time. Always supervise your dog to ensure they do not chew on the bed or lick up any leaks. I’m not vet, but I suspect dish soap & rubbing alcohol isn’t very good for your dog to consume.

 

 

 

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