In very cold climates and months, regular dog water bowls may not be useful because the water will freeze, or will be too cold for drinking. Using a heated dog water bowl is the only way to solve this problem if you're keeping it outdoors.
Heated water bowls for dogs automatically keep the water from freezing but not so warm that a dog won't be enticed to drink it. These bowls are ideal for pets that enjoy spending a lot of time outside, particularly northern breeds, hunting dogs, or sled dogs.
Dogs Drink More Water in Winter
What many pet owners don't know is that dogs drink more water in the winter months. The reason mostly comes down to two factors: (1) cold dry air and low humidity, and (2) more energy spent to keep a dog's body warm through extra production of the molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
ATP is crucial in the process of providing energy to a dog's body. Giving your pet freezing water to drink may result in the opposite effect, where the body will get colder, and begin utilizing ATP even more, which then results in more water needed to make up for this process.
In addition to that, freezing water may also negatively affect a dog's digestion because it slows down the process and constricts blood vessels. Studies found that room temperature water is the best for digestion in animals (dogs and people included).
Using a heated water pet bowl is an easy way to ensure your dog is drinking water of exactly the kind of temperature they need, and to prevent dehydration. The dog will also not search for water sources that may be polluted. Below we've reviewed and ranked some of the best heated water bowls for dogs.
The Best Heated Water Bowls for Dogs
1Thermal Outdoor Heated Dog Water Bowl
by K&H Manufacturing
We liked the K&H Manufacturing thermal dog water bowl for its clearly tough construction, its energy efficiency, and the extra safety features. It's simple to use as well: just plug the bowl into a power source, fill it with water, and it continuously keeps water from freezing even at extremely low temperatures. It's a fairly large bowl with a diameter of 13” and depth of 4.5”, so it will hold water aplenty. It consumes a little less electricity than a 30-W light bulb, which is reasonable and economical.
- COLD WEATHER USE: Heated pet...
- ENERGY EFFICIENT: This 96...
- QUALITY: Heated water bowl...
- AUTOMATIC: Thermostatically...
- SAFETY: We don't just use...
Four sizes are available starting from the minimum capacity of 32 ounces to a maximum of 1.5 gallons. Another feature we enjoyed is its stability. If you’re worried about your dog tipping over their bowl, the K&H one feels heavier and sturdier than the other best-heated water bowls for dogs on this list. It sat solidly on the ground and was not easy to tip over. Finally, for what you get, the price is one of the most cost-effective on our list of bowls.
Now, the drawbacks. Even though the manufacturer claims it'll keep water warm below -20 degrees F, that was not the case. The water gets colder when it's just below 0° F. Another issue is that it's difficult to clean, and you might even need to line this plastic bowl with an extra stainless steel bowl for easier cleaning. There are also many reviews that note that the quality control of this product is way off.
1-Quart Heated Bowl for Dogs
The Model QT-1 1-Quart Heated Bowl from Farm Innovators may not be as large as the other rated best-heated dog water bowls on this list, but it’s equally functional, sturdy, and affordable. It has twin walls that give it a tough anti-tip assembly coupled with a strong wire-wrapped anti-chew cord protector for added safety.
Because it’s thermostatically controlled, it turns on automatically only when temperatures dip below freezing, allowing for less power consumption. It came with a 1-year limited warranty against defects (which are actually common with heated water bowls for dogs). The bowl measures 6” in diameter and 2” deep which is generally enough for a dog staying overnight.
- 1 quart heated pet bowl is...
- Great for small animals
- Sturdy twin wall anti-tip...
- Heavy-duty "anti-chew" cord...
- 25 watts of power
One problem with this is that it actually may keep the water a little too warm, depending on the temperature outside. Another drawback, compared to K&H, this one isn't as aesthetically good-looking; however, this is a minor note and shouldn't be important for most owners. Here's a bigger issue – while we didn't have this problem, doing more research on this product revealed that pet owners who had it for more than one season noticed the heater began to falter. There were several reports of that.
3Plastic Heated Pet Bowl
by Allied Precision Industries
Find it on Amazon ($26.58)
Unavailable on Chewy
This heated water dog bowl from Allied Precision Industries has a full capacity of 5 quarts, allowing for adequate water supply for a couple of days without the need for refilling. The bowl itself is made from durable plastic. A mechanism for thermostat control that runs on a waterproof 50-watt motor keeps water from freezing over in icy conditions.
- Thermostatically controlled.
- Capacity of 1. 25 gallons
- Enables the consumer to remove...
- Nonheated Bowl Replacements...
- Bowl is nestable, and the cord...
A thoughtful feature that we liked is that it lets you disconnect the cord when heating won’t be necessary. This will make it easier for us to store it away after winter or to use it without the heating part. This bowl is dishwasher-safe while most other best-heated water bowls for dogs actually are not. The manufacturer also offers replacement bowls if needed; not only for replacing a worn-out bowl but also as a handy extra bowl, all of which come with a 1-year warranty.
Now, the heating element has a tiny issue like the one above where it keeps the water too warm or even evaporates it in certain temperatures outdoors. You will need to refill water more frequently, basically. Looking through other pet owners' reviews, we've noticed a couple of mentions of it not lasting more than one season.
4Stainless Steel Heated Dog Bowl
by Allied Precision Industries
Find it on Amazon ($59.92)
Unavailable on Chewy
This is Allied Precision Industries’ stainless steel version of the above-featured plastic heated pet bowl. It provides exactly the same functions and features as its plastic counterpart: it is thermostatically controlled, dishwasher-safe, the waterproof heating component is removable and it has a capacity of 5 quarts or 1.25 gallons.
- CONSERVES POWER AND ENERGY -...
- ANTI TIP DESIGN - This heated...
- ANTI CHEW POWER CORD - This...
- STAINLESS STEEL BOWL - The...
- DISHWASHER SAFE - Removable...
This is one of the more expensive options among best heated water bowls for dogs, but it's also better looking, healthier (stainless steel bowls are less likely to be riddled with bacteria), and comes with unique features. Chew-resistant power cord (completely covered with strong steel coil) can be stashed in a cavity at the bottom, which is great for when you're not using it. It is powered by a 50-watt 120-volt mechanism. There’s a 1-year limited warranty. The stainless steel material is rust-proof.
Our only complaint (not considering the high price point) though is about the rubber gasket around the bottom of this heated pet bowl. Basically, it dries out and tears quickly, leaving the bowl unstable and making it much too easy to slide around the floor.
51-1/4-Gallon Heated Water Bowl
by Farm Innovators
Find it on Amazon ($30.99)
Unavailable on Chewy
The final one of these best heated pet water bowls is made by Farm Innovators, a well-known manufacturer. It offers a few original features, including a square shape which is not too common for dog bowls. The square frame makes it harder to tip over and more stable at the base.
It has a capacity of 5 quarts or 1.25 gallons of water and consumes 60 watts. It has a durable built-in heater that is thermostatically regulated. Power consumption is minimized since it automatically turns on only when temps are down to zero. The tough anti-chew power cord protector makes chewing undesirable and daunting.
This water bowl may also alternate as a food plate for dogs. By simply adding a small amount of hot water to the bottom, it keeps your pup's meal warm if need be. It measures 12”x12”x4.8” bowl and is generally used not only for dogs but also for cats, chickens, and other farm animals.
- Heated pet bowl
- May be used for pet feeders...
- Thermostatically controlled to...
- Square design heavy duty...
- 1 1/4 gallon capacity
There appear to be some quality control issues, however. While we didn't have this problem, researching the product further, there were some reports couple of the bowls arrived damaged (isolated cases). And, similarly to a few other bowls mentioned above, it's possible the bowl will only last a season or two, as these heaters tend to break after this time, which appears to be a trend among heated pet bowls.