How To Keep A Dog’s Water Bowl Cool: 10 Tips & Tricks To Try

by | Dog Food

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It gets very hot and humid where we live, which makes it difficult to keep our dogs’ drinking water cool enough. I know how important cool water is in helping dogs regulate their body temperature, so I decided to look for all possible ways to keep the dog water bowl cool in the heat.

A dog’s body is 80% water, which makes water vital to their health and happiness. Making sure a dog has fresh, cool water to drink is an important part of taking good care of your dog.

But sometimes temperatures rise so much that it feels like there’s not much you can do to keep your dog’s drinking water cool.

Here are all the tips and tricks I found to keep your dog’s water bowl cool, no matter how hot it gets…

  • Place the water bowl in the shade or in the coolest spot

To keep a dog’s drinking water cool, keep the water bowl in the coolest area possible, to stop the water from getting too warm.

If you have an outside dog, put the water bowl in the shade and in the coolest spot you can find.

If the water bowl is kept inside the house, place it on a cool surface, such as on tiles, and keep it close to the air conditioner if you have one.

Just be sure that this is somewhere where there aren’t many bees around, or they could be attracted to the water.

  • Place the water bowl on a cooling mat

If you don’t have a tiled or cool surface to put the water bowl, place it on a cooling mat such as this one from Amazon.

Cooling mats have gel in them that reacts to pressure, absorbing heat and having a cooling effect for several hours. It’s also one of the best ways to keep a dog cool – click here to find out all the ways to cool down a hot dog.

  • Buy a water bowl made of ceramic or clay

Water bowls made of ceramic and clay tend to keep water cooler for longer than other materials, such as steel and plastic.

These bowls also tend to be more resistant to mold – click HERE to find out how to keep mold out of your dog’s water bowl.

  • Add ice cubes or a small bottle with frozen water

If you feel the water starting to warm up or you know it’s going to be a hot day, put a few ice cubes in the water to cool it down. Ice melts faster on a hot day, so you might need to add more cubes more often on hotter days.

Check out these cute bone- and paw-shaped ice trays from Amazon for a special touch.

If you don’t want to add ice cubes to your dog’s water, freeze water in small bottles or small plastic containers. Put a bottle or container in the water bowl to keep the water cool, just make sure your puppy or dog doesn’t get hold of it and chew on it.

  • Keep a spare water bowl in the freezer

Have two water bowls for your dog that you rotate.

Give your dog water in one of the bowls and keep the other one in the freezer.

You can safely freeze most metal, glass, or plastic bowls. Ceramic and clay bowls may crack in the freezer. This is because they are porous and absorb water, and they tend to crack when this absorbed water turns to ice and expands.

Once or twice a day, take out the frozen water bowl and fill it with water. Then replace the water bowl that your dog is using with the cold bowl of fresh water.

Empty the warm bowl, rinse it out, and put it in the freezer to cool down for the next round.

To keep the bowls colder for even longer, tape ice packs around them before freezing them. If you don’t have ice packs, make your own by putting some water in resealable plastic bags, such as these double zipper ziploc bags from Amazon, and squeezing all the air out of them before zipping them closed.

  • Get a gel cooling water bowl

There are dog water bowls available that have a gel cooling pad at the bottom of them, such as this one from Amazon. Other bowls have gel packed inside the bowl, such as this one with 2 pounds of freezable gel.

If you freeze the cooling pad or bowl for a couple of hours, the gel can keep water cool in the bowl for up to eight hours.

There are two things to note here about these gel cooling bowls:

  1. These bowls are small and hold only two cups (16 ounces) of water when filled to the brim. They won’t hold enough water for larger dogs or for a dog that’s outside the whole day.
  2. Some customers say that the gel pads leak over time with certain brands or that their dogs chew the bowls and release the gel. Even though the gel is non-toxic, it’s not something you want your dog drinking so this is something to watch out for with these bowls. If the gel starts leaking, throw it away immediately.
  • Get a water bowl with cooling crystals

Water bowls with cooling crystals are very effective in keeping a dog’s drinking water cool. Here is one that gets very good reviews on Amazon.

To activate the cooling crystals, just put some water in the interior cavity and freeze the bowl overnight. These bowls can keep water cool for up to 15 hours and might be a better and safer option than the gel water bowls above.

  • Get an automatic water filling bowl

To keep an outside water bowl full of cool, fresh water, you could try a water bowl that comes with or attaches to a hose.

These bowls fit on a standard garden hose, so you can connect it to the faucet and let the bowl refill itself with fresh water whenever your dog drinks from it.

Here’s an automatic water bowl from Amazon that can be attached to your hose.

Here’s a self-filling water bowl from Amazon that comes with its own short hose.

Remember to place the bowl in a cool, shaded area to keep the water cooler. Some people put the bowls inside their house but there’s always a chance that they might leak or overflow.

  • Get a step-on dog sprinkler

These fun step-on dog sprinklers are great for outdoor dogs that you don’t mind getting wet.

Teach your dog how to stand on the step to activate the water fountain of fresh water. Because these sprinklers provide fresh water, the water is cooler than water that stands in a bowl for a long time.

If your dog gets too hot, they can always cool themselves down by playing in the water.

Here’s a cute dog step-on sprinkler from Amazon.

These sprinklers work better than traditional water fountains for dogs when it comes to keeping the drinking water cool. Normal water fountains just move the water around, but these step-ons provide fresh drinking water to the dog whenever he/she needs some.

It’s still recommended that your dog has access to a bowl of fresh water.

  • Freeze your own water bowls

If you have space in your freezer, you can make your own ice water bowls.

Take a large steel or plastic bowl and put some ice cubes in the bottom of it.

Put a smaller bowl in the bigger bowl, on top of the ice cubes.

Put some cans or heavy items inside the smaller bowl, to hold it down. You can also use tape to hold it in place.

Fill the gap between the two bowls with water and put the bowls in the freezer overnight.

When you’re ready to use your ice bowl, take it out of the freezer. Remove the tape and heavy cans/items, then put some very warm water inside the small bowl, to release it from the ice.

Carefully lift out the small bowl.

Now put the bigger bowl in some warm water to loosen the ice inside. Gently turn the bowl over on to a towel, and release the ice bowl.

Fill the ice bowl with water and give it to your dog. Be sure to put the ice bowl on a towel or a surface where the ice can melt without damaging your floors.

Your dog’s water will stay cool for hours and hours, and your dog can lick the ice to cool down even quicker.

If your dog isn’t drinking enough water – 1 ounce of water for every pound of body weight per day and more if they’re active – encourage them to drink more water by making the ice bowl out of beef or chicken broth, or use the water after boiling chicken.

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I'm Monique. I love animals and everything about them. "Ayo" means happy, and this is where I share all I know about having happy, healthy pets so you can have happy pets too.

Ayo Pets participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, the ShareASale affiliate program, and other affiliate programs. This means that if you buy a product or service through one of our links, we may receive a small commission from the sale for referring you. Thank you for your support!


Monique has had pets all her life and will have them for the rest of it.

She currently has 4 adopted fur kids.

Monique loves researching and sharing what she finds out about taking the best care of animals.

Ayo is an African word for ‘happy’, which is why this site is called Ayo Pets (Happy Pets).


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