Gina called a few weeks ago to tell us how much she loved the K&H Cool Bed III. She wanted to share her experience with our visitors and we were happy to oblige. Here's what she had to say about the Cool Bed III cooling dog bed:

Hot dog on Cool Bed III

I would like to write this VERY POSITIVE review on the Cool Bed because it has turned out to be a fantastic help for our dog!  And truthfully, I am taking this much time to write because I want the Cool Bed company to continue to prosper so that during the next 15 years of our dog’s life, if one day we ever need another Cool Bed, the company hopefully will still be there.  We have had the Cool Bed now for a little over a year (in fact, because our dog grew to love the Cool Bed so much, we quickly purchased a second bed for our bedroom, so we’ve actually owned two beds during the last 1+ year).

It did take our two-year-old dog (a red tri-colored, wavy-haired Australian Shepherd) a little while to get used to the Cool Bed.  We bought the bed for him because he runs super HOT year ‘round!  When we first introduced the bed, our dog avoided it because of the way it sloshed a little each time he stepped on it or sat on it.  I think he also didn’t like that it would make a light noise when he pressed on it and a slight motion he could feel, which of course was completely unlike his quiet “regular” cold-weather-winter bed.

I was persistent to encourage him to try-out the Cool Bed even when, after three days or so, I began to feel discouraged. I just felt very determined to try to show my dog how the bed could enhance his life if he would just try it.  So, I had to persevere by continuing to feed him treats on his new Cool Bed (i.e., he would get treats when he would follow commands to “sit” or “lay” on the bed).  Also, I would play with him on and near the bed every day, and always act delighted around the bed.  Sometimes we’d just watch TV together while near the bed or while each of us was partially laying on it (of course I avoided putting my full weight on the bed when my dog was also partially on the bed so the weight wouldn’t be too much for the bed’s capacity).  We did this daily for just about a week or so until the new bed was no longer “scary” or appearing like a foreign object in the room to our dog.  During all this (i.e., the daily training for maybe a couple weeks at most), I would be sure to direct our dog to the Cool Bed as soon as he came inside from playing  (out in the hot Virginia Summer-time weather). I would tell him “sit or “lay” and give him a treat. 

After about the first week, he still would not choose to lie on the bed on his own (without my initiation), but he clearly was no longer scared of it.  Then, one early evening, after a hard day of play, bingo!... he eventually fell asleep on it!  Then the bed became his true pal.  Ahhh, he finally realized how awesome a nap on the new bed was!  He realized it was even cooler (yet much softer!) than all our wood floors!  In quick time, our dog was coming in from outside play and making a beeline for his Cool Bed!  Since then he obviously desperately “craves” its coolness and they are rather inseparable.

Yeah, it did take training and I had to endure several days of wondering if I had made an expensive mistake, but because I was successful to get through to my dog and prove to him the value hidden within the (weird-appearing/undulating) bed, he now gets the reward of enjoying a cooler existence for the next 15 years!  That's a lot of hours of heat relief! 

So, yeah, it was a lot of daily hassle for me for two weeks, but so worth it to see him happily hanging out, snoozing, or sleeping all night so much more comfortably on his Cool Bed.  I would suspect that with an elderly dog or perhaps a less obedient or less intelligent breed the training time might be longer or may not be successful because I do remember how my dog really did not like the bed at first!   However, if your dog can be taught to “get it”, well, it is just so worth it!

As for the construction/quality of the bed, we have been very satisfied.  The two beds we have, although used daily, still look great, they do not leak, and though we occasionally have had to drag them from room to room and some other abuse (e.g., multiple houseguests have even accidentally stood on the bed in our living room, not realizing it was a dog bed) they’ve help up. 

I noticed that the Cool Bed in our bedroom does make a little bit of noise when our dog shifts during the night. I am a very light sleeper (my husband never noticed this) so at first I was not happy to discover that the odd sound was waking me from my sleep.  However, in short time my brain apparently was able to “learn” that the sound was an “okay” night sound, and it soon stopped waking me at all. 

One thing to note about the Cool Bed is that once the bed is filled with water you can move it, BUT you should NOT move the bed quickly or without a helper because you must not let it bunch up while it is being moved!  If you move a filled bed without care to keep it completely flat, it will get crumpled up and stay that way (the inner padding can fold up onto itself and sort’of stick in a clump).  Once when a friend’s puppy visited us and had an accident all over my dog’s Cool Bed, I hastily moved the bed by myself and flopped it over the side of the bathroom tub to really wash it thoroughly.  But when I went to slide the bed back into the bedroom, it was all messed up almost like a big knot was in the middle.  I phoned Cool Bed’s customer service in quite a panic, and they were super helpful and able to talk me through how to get it back to normal, but it was not easy. 

Since then I’ve develop my own special technique for “unfolding” any crumpled corner that appears periodically (due to my young dog playing rambunctiously and running full charge into his bed while chasing a ball or toy that he throws to himself). 

So now, by using my self-invented “Braille-touch-un-fold” method those infrequent occurrences are no longer any concern to me… But my suggestion would be to not enter the school of hard knocks where I learned my method, and instead simply phone the Cool Bed company before you move a filled bed.  They will tell you exactly how to do it depending on the size of your bed.  The company should probably include a warning about how to properly move a full bed with each new Cool Bed sold (and also maybe some instructions or ideas on how best to introduce and train a dog to get used to the bed), and written instructions on how to clean it*,  and how to winterize the bed if you want to empty the bed or store it.

* For cleaning the Cool Bed the manufacturer suggests using a marine vinyl cleaner (use only a very eco-friendly brand in case your dog licks the bed or his paws!) which can be found at any boating supply/sports store.  So I tried that method but eventually found that a very mild dish soap with warm water applied along with a soft human fingernail or facial cleaning brush works better (quicker and cleans cleaner) than the vinyl cleaner.  The bed looks practically band new any time I wash it off.

Eventually, (i.e., probably after watching our Aussie happily lay on the Cool Bed for about six months) our 13-year-old beagle (rescued from severe abuse) [who is afraid of just about everything] has even taken a liking to sit on the Cool Bed occasionally!  Sometimes he ventures onto it by himself, but usually he does so only when his younger brother is on it.  We never trained the beagle to do this; we did not buy the Cool bed for the beagle, and NEVER thought he would venture near it!  But since he observed our younger dog so happy on it for so long, well, apparently he eventually wanted to be on it also.  (But note:  our beagle would never otherwise have gone near it -  if he had not had the long-term example of our other dog’s enjoyment!)  And yes, may wonders never cease, I have even spied our cat resting on and enjoying the refreshing cool of our dog’s Cool Bed.  (Truly a sight one has to see to believe - since cats usually love the heat!!)

We naturally imagined that in the winter months we would empty and store both of our Cool Beds.  Well, we ended up surprised to realize our dog never stopped using his Cool Beds all winter long!  Perhaps that is due to that we have a wood stove and heat with it primarily all winter so our home stays quite toasty in the winter.  The first winter that we owned our Aussie we did not yet have a Cool bed for him.  That year the wood stove obviously felt way too hot for him… as evidenced by…. while we were all watching TV in the evening, he would routinely and sadly leave the family’s company and exit the house (through his dog door) and sit all alone on the hard dirty back porch in the cold (until he would get too cold from the frigid air and then come back inside briefly, but get too warm and leave again). 

Well, this past winter, we had a Cool Bed located in the main living area and when the wood stove became too warm for our dog this past winter, instead of being driven out into the cold, he would just go lay on his Cool Bed, and he never again left the family to go lay out doors.  Also, in our bedroom when winter came, we added back our dog’s cold weather “regular” dog bed next to his Cool Bed, and to our surprise he spent more hours sleeping on the Cool Bed than on his padded & quilted cold weather bed.  During the winter nights I could hear his feet on the wood floor as he would changed from the warm dog bed to the Cool Bed and sometimes back and forth during the night (due to our wood stove fading and cooling down over night). 

Therefore, we never removed the Cool Beds all winter because our dog continued to use them every day and night.  Because our dog is young and plays hard, in the warmer months, I set up a quiet little fan next to his living room Cool Bed.  Our dog can often be seen racing into the house (via the dog door) and literally diving into his Cool Bed and laying on it next to the little fan for the ultimate relief after being outside!

These above facts are some illustrations of what I mean by our dog “LOVING” the Cool Bed!  One more would be the story of how just hours after we had our dog neutered (in moderate May weather, at age 2yrs) when he first returned home he groggily followed me to a place on the living room carpet and plopped down hard and fell into a coma-like deep sleep (from all the anesthesia and pain meds).  But low & behold, to my astonishment, after about four minutes he arose, looking so very pitiful as he tried to stand up on his spaghetti-like legs… and then, before I could even figure out why on earth he would awake from such a drugged sleep (my guess was maybe he suddenly needed to relieve himself outside, but no )… he quickly ended my puzzlement by staggering over to his Cool Bed where he collapsed down and then proceeded to sleep soundly for many hours. 

The Cool Bed is unquestionably his most comfortable spot.  It is truly providing my dog with a better life experience.

Additional details:  Due to economics, we do not keep our home air conditioning ever set any cooler than 74 degrees.  Yet the Cool Bed remains sooo cold to the touch 24/7, and definitely colder than any other area in our home.  And also, when the wood stove cranks up the winter temperature of our home to 80 degrees or so, the Cool Bed still serves as a cool oasis.

Our dog, now full grown is 59lbs. and we purchased the largest Cool Bed size available, which seems just right (with some extra room to spare) for him.  I hope this review may help the Cool Bed’s business, and may help potential customers decide if the bed might be the same invaluable “gift” for their dog as it has been for ours!

Sincerely, Gina in Virginia

Hot dog 2 on Cool Bed III

2 dogs on Cool Bed III

He wants on the Cool Bed III

Cat likes the Cool Bed III too!