Many dogs prefer drinking cool water on hot days. In this article, I’ll explain why a cool water source can be beneficial, along with four of the best dog water bowl coolers.
Ice cubes are a short-term solution, but they need to be topped up throughout the day. A better option is to buy a dog water bowl cooler. These keep water chilled for longer, ensuring your dog always has access to a refreshing drink.
In this article, I’ll explain the benefits of using a cooling bowl, along with the various options on the market. I’ve also recommended four of the best cooling bowls for dogs.
Effective cooling and BPA-Free
My top pick for a cooling bowl is the excellent H&H Coolin’ Pet Bowl. With both an internal frozen water cavity and cooling crystals, it’s one of the best ways to keep your pet’s drinking water cool throughout the day.
Water is a vital component in almost all bodily functions and processes. If your dog doesn’t drink enough water, dehydration can quickly cause organ damage and even death.
Making sure your dog doesn’t spend too much time outside in the hot sun is a priority when the temperatures rise. Providing access to fresh water at all times is also essential, as dogs need regular drinks to avoid dehydration and to maintain a safe body temperature.
On a hot day, drinking lukewarm water isn’t appealing. By keeping the water chilled, you may be able to encourage your dog to drink more.
There has even been a small scientific study that backs up the theory that dogs prefer to drink cool water, particularly when the weather is warm. In short, if you want your dog to drink more, keep the water cool!
Cold water may even provide a mild cooling effect, although it won’t directly lower your dog’s body temperature more than tepid water.
There are a variety of bowls that keep your dog’s water cooler for longer. Some actively chill the water, using frozen gels or bases, while others are made with materials that are slower to warm up.
Frozen water bowls contain freezable material. By putting this material in the freezer overnight, you can keep your pet’s water cool for longer during the day
Some bowls have water-filled cavities that turn to ice when frozen. Others have removable gel inserts that can be frozen separately. These are useful if you’re restricted for freezer space, although fully freezable bowls usually chill water for longer.
The cooling effect varies depending on the bowl, but typically lasts 6-8 hours before wearing off. For hygiene reasons, make sure you clean the bowl before putting it in a fridge or freezer!
Tip: Keep in mind that most frozen bowls are plastic, which isn’t as durable as stainless steel or ceramic. They can also crack and harbour bacteria, so it’s important to keep your dog’s bowls clean.
If you don’t mind spending a bit more and have a spare electrical socket, you could try a water fountain.
These circulate water to keep it fresh. While fountains don’t cool water as much as a freezable bowl, they provide a mild cooling effect and often filter the water to keep it clean. Some dogs also prefer drinking running water.
Water fountains aren’t suitable for all pups though. If you have a nervous dog, the noise and movement of the water may be off-putting.
If this is the case, slowly build positive associations with the fountain. Reward your dog with a tasty treat for any interaction with the fountain, starting with it switched off and then progressing to having it on for short intervals.
Although ceramic bowls don’t have active cooling properties, they’re usually thicker and more porous than plastic bowls. This means they tend to keep water cold for longer.
They also don’t have the thermal properties of a stainless steel bowl. In hot weather, it’s best to steer clear of a steel bowl, as they are quick to heat up.
In warm weather, using a ceramic bowl will be helpful, but in hot temperatures a frozen water bowl or fountain will be more effective.
Listed below are my four recommendations for the best dog water bowl coolers. I’ve included a selection of different types, depending on what would work best for you, your home and, of course, your dog.
The K&H Pet Products Coolin’ Pet Water Bowl combines an internal water cavity with cooling crystals. When filled and frozen, this creates an icy container to keep your dog’s water chilled throughout the day. It’s also BPA-free and available in two sizes.
Okay, it’s unlikely to chill for the 15 advertised hours, but if placed in the shade it’ll provide a refreshing drink for most of the day. It’s also a good choice for taking on a picnic or day trip, as the cooling crystals stay cold for a relatively long time.
The K&H doesn’t have a removable gel insert, so you need to freeze the entire bowl. This increases the cooling properties of the bowl, but you’ll need more space in your freezer – especially if you choose the larger size. If you have a small freezer compartment, it’s probably best to choose a bowl with separate freezable material.
A downside is that the crystals in the Coolin’ Pet Water Bowl mean it can’t be put through the dishwasher. Hand washing it is straightforward, but it’s still less convenient than regular dog bowls.
Overall, the K&H is a great choice – as long as you have plenty of freezer space. It provides a strong cooling effect and doesn’t require electricity. The large size is also brilliant for bigger breeds.
Tip: Try popping a small amount of water in the base of the bowl before it goes in the freezer. This helps keep the next day’s water colder for longer.VIEW PRICE
If your dog loves to drink from a river, tap or other running water source, then the Pioneer Pet Raindrop Dog Fountain may encourage them to stay hydrated. It’s available in several materials, although the ceramic option is probably best for keeping water cool.
The fountain gives your dog the chance to drink from filtered and circulated water. It’s a lot more stylish, compact and easy to clean than many fountains on the market too.
As well as circulating the water, the Pioneer Pet fountain has a charcoal water filter system. This ensures any debris or slobber from your dog’s mouth is kept at bay. It also removes impurities and bad tastes, and this can be helpful if you have a fussy drinker!
Available in a few color options, the white variety is probably the most effective for allowing you to see the water levels and if a filter change is required. It’s also easy to assemble and the parts can be cleaned in the dishwasher.
There are a few drawbacks compared to frozen water bowls though. You don’t get as much flexibility in terms of where you locate the fountain, as it needs to be connected to an electrical socket. It’s also not suitable for outdoor use and requires new filters every four weeks.
It’s not for owners on a budget, either. The fountain is considerably more expensive than a traditional cooling bowl, especially when you factor in the cost of replacement filters.
Even so, the Pioneer Raindrop Fountain is the perfect choice for dogs that like to drink from fresh running water. It’s not cheap and requires ongoing maintenance, but is a stylish fountain that encourages dogs to stay hydrated.VIEW PRICE
If you’re a small dog owner or have limited freezer space, the Petmaker Ice Water Pet Bowl is a more practical choice.
This bowl has a non-toxic gel insert that can be frozen on its own and then reattached to the bowl. Unlike the K&H, you don’t have to worry about fitting a bulky bowl into your freezer. The Petmaker is also dishwasher safe, making it easier to keep clean.
It’s not the best choice for large breeds though. The Petmaker only holds 16 oz of water, which big dogs can gulp down quickly. You’ll need to be vigilant about keeping it topped up.
Because the bowl itself doesn’t have an internal cavity for freezing water, don’t expect it to keep the water as cold for as long either. Plus the gel insert can start to leak if not handled with care or after long periods of use.
All in all, this bowl from Petmaker is a great choice for small dog owners that have limited freezer space. It’s probably not big enough for large dogs though.VIEW PRICE
The CoolerDog Freezable bowl is a plastic option that contains cooling gel. It’s a simple bowl that’s probably not big enough for large breeds, but is a reasonably priced alternative for smaller dogs.
Like the K&H, you need to freeze the entire bowl to keep water cool, rather than just a removable insert. This means it retains a colder temperature for longer, although it’s less convenient than bowls with gel inserts.
Like the Petmaker bowl, this model can only hold up to 16 ounces of water – so it’s not a good choice for large breed dogs. On the plus side, the smaller size makes it easier to fit in a freezer. It also does a decent job of chilling water and is more durable than bowls with removable inserts.
On the whole, the CoolerDog Freezable offers decent cooling properties without taking up too much freezer space. It’s just a shame it doesn’t have a larger water capacity.VIEW PRICE
There is a myth that allowing your dog to drink cold water or eat ice cubes can cause bloat. This fast-developing and life-threatening condition occurs when air gets trapped in the stomach, causing it to stretch and flip.
Drinking cold water and ice won’t cause bloat. However, if your dog quickly gulps down large quantities of water when they’re feeling hot, this could lead to air getting trapped. It’s not the water temperature that causes this though.
While ice cubes aren’t associated with bloat, they are a choking hazard and can damage teeth. Avoid giving large chunks of ice to your dog – even on hot summer days.
A dog water bowl cooler can provide your pet with a refreshing drink on hot days. Freezable bowls are often the best option, although fountains and ceramic bowls can also be useful depending on your dog’s drinking preferences.
My top pick is the K&H Coolin’ Pet Water Bowl. It’s a sturdy bowl that can keep your dog’s drinking water chilled for hours, even on a hot day. Just make sure you have enough space in your freezer before you buy.
I hope this article has helped you decide on a dog water bowl cooler. Don’t hesitate to get in touch using the comments section below if you have any questions or feedback.