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The 5 Best Heated Dog Bowls for Cold Weather (and 1 You’ll Want to Avoid)

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Gear By Kate Brunotts 8 min read February 24, 2022

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heated water bowl

Does Fido’s water freeze from time to time? Pet parents who live in cold climates are unfortunately prone to running into this predicament, which creates obvious hydration issues for your hound. 

Fortunately, there’s an easy fix: heated dog bowls.

Equipped with an internal heating element, these water bowls are designed to gently and safely warm the water they hold to keep it in liquid form.

However, not all heated dog bowls are created equally — some are much better than others. Below, we’ll explain some of the things you’ll want to look for when picking the best heated dog bowls and identify a few of our favorites options for your furry friend. 

Best Heated Dog Bowls: Quick Picks

  • #1 K&H Thermal Bowl [Best Overall Heated Dog Bowl]: A generously sized, 96-ounce, BPA-free, MET-certified water bowl featuring a steel-wrapped cord for safety.
  • #2 PETLESO 68-Ounce Heated Dog Water Bowl [Best Overall Heated Dog Bowl Runner Up]: Similar to the K&H Thermal Bowl, but slightly smaller and equipped with an indicator light.
  • #3 PETLESO 20-Ounce Heated Bowl [Best Heated Dog Bowl For Crates]: A compact heated water bowl that you can attach to the sides of your pet’s crate to prevent spills.  

Reasons to Use a Heated Dog Bowl in Cold Weather 

So, why would you consider using a heated dog bowl? Here are a couple of reasons why it may make sense for your furry friend:

  • You need to keep your hound hydrated. Even when the sun is nowhere to be found, our dogs still need to have access to plenty of fresh water during the colder seasons. Water is essential for your dog’s digestive system and helps carry out a host of other functions in the body. 
  • They’re a convenient solution. You probably could make DIY heated dog bowl, but that would be a pretty difficult project and it would raise all kinds of safety concerns. A commercially manufactured heated dog bowl will be safer than a homemade alternative, and it can save you and your pooch a lot of hassle. 
  • Some dogs may be sensitive to cold water. Dogs may not like drinking super cold water, especially when it’s already freezing outside. Cold water can also cool down pups during seasons where they need to retain as much heat as possible to stay comfortable. 
Is a heated water bowl overkill for your climate?

Many owners live in places where temperatures only rarely dip below the freezing point. And when the temperatures do drop in these places, they rarely fall far below 32 degrees.

In these kinds of scenarios, you may want to simply opt for a dog water fountain instead.

Some of these feature perpetually moving water, which may be all it takes to prevent the water from freezing. Meanwhile, others only dispense water when your pet activates the fountain, thereby allowing you to side-step the frozen water issue entirely.

The 5 Best Heated Dog Bowls for Cold Weather

Without further ado, here are some of the best heated dog bowls to keep your hound hydrated throughout any season. With plenty of sizes and shapes to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect hydration station for your canine companion. 

1. K&H Thermal Bowl

About: K&H offers this large thermal bowl perfect for pint-sized pups, gentle giants, and any size in between! The 1.5-gallon bowl is safety certified and features a steel wrapped cord to protect your pooch while drinking. 

Best Overall Heated Water Bowl

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K&H Heated Water Bowl

K&H Thermal Bowl

A MET-certified, 1.5-gallon BPA-free plastic water dish with an internal thermostat.

Features:

  • BPA-free sturdy plastic bowl
  • 5.5-foot steel wrapped power cord
  • Large bowl holds up to 1.5 gallons of water
  • Safety certified and tested by MET Labs
  • Automatically controlled by internal thermostat

Pros

  • We like the bowl’s capacity — 1.5 gallons is a ton of water
  • Owners appreciated that the bowls didn’t get too hot
  • Pet parents found these bowls durable and easy to clean 

Cons

  • The plastic bowl probably won’t stand up to problem chewers 
  • Some owners reported that the bowl sometimes allowed partial (but not complete) freezing

2. PETLESO 68-Ounce Heated Dog Water Bowl

About: If you like the K&H Heated Water Bowl, but you’d rather have one with a built-in indicator light so you can tell at a glance when it’s on, the Petleso Heated Water Bowl may be the perfect pick! Like the K&H model, this bowl is made from BPA-free plastic and features a steel-wrapped cord for safety.

Best Overall Heated Water Bowl Runner Up

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PETLESO Dog Heated Water Bowl- Pet Water Heating Bowl for Cats Dogs Chicken Birds Outdoor Winter Dog Bowl, 68OZ

PETLESO 68-Ounce Heated Dog Water Bowl

A heated, 68-ounce, MET-certified, BPA-free water bowl with an included indicator light.

Features:

  • Comes with indicator light
  • BPA-free blue plastic
  • 68-ounce bowl is warmed by 35 watts of power
  • 65-inch steel-wrapped anti-chew cord
  • Bowl is certified by Met Labs 

Pros

  • Pet parents were impressed with the quality of this bowl given its affordable price
  • Owners reported that the bowl worked well in very low temperatures
  • Some owners found it helpful to use a smaller bowl inside the main bowl to facilitate easier cleaning  

Cons

  • Some owners complained of cracking plastic after a few months
  • Playful pups frequently tipped over the bowl

3. PETLESO 20-Ounce Heated Pet Bowl

About: Seeking a heated bowl that’s compatible with your canine’s crate? This compact option from PETLESO might be exactly what you’re looking for. The USB-powered thermal bowl is super portable and keeps water between 77 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Best Heated Water Bowl For Crate Use

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PETLESO Pet Heating Bowl, USB Portable Pet Crate Heating Water Bowl for Dog, Cat, Bird, Chicken Indoor Bowl, 600ML(20.5OZ)

PETLESO Heated Pet Bowl

A 20-ounce, crate-mountable, USB-heated water dish made from sturdy plastic.

Features:

  • Compact 20-ounce heated pet bowl
  • Portable pet bowl clamps onto wire crates
  • Powered by a USB cord
  • Heats water to 77 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Sturdy plastic material 

Pros

  • This bowl seems to maintain water at a higher temperature than many other models
  • The crate-clamping design helps prevent spills
  • It will help save floor space in your pet’s crate

Cons

  • USB power may not be the most convenient option for some owners
  • The bowl only holds 20-ounces of water

4. Allied Heated Pet Bowl

About: If your pooch is prone to spillage, this heated pet bowl by Allied is definitely worth considering. The plastic thermal bowl features a wide base that’ll help keep it upright while in use, and it holds up to 1-quart of water. 

Most Spill-Proof Heated Water Bowl

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Allied Plastic Heated Pet Bowl, 1-Quart

Allied Heated Pet Bowl

A 1-quart heated water dish with a flared bottom to help prevent spills.

Features:

  • 1-quart heated pet bowl
  • Tip-free design keeps water in place
  • Cord is wrapped for safety
  • Made from easy-to-clean plastic
  • Backed by a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty

Pros

  • Owners reported that this bowl was both sturdy and stable
  • Generally, owners found that this bowl prevented freezing
  • The manufacturer’s warranty is a nice perk

Cons

  • This bowl holds less water than some other models
  • Owners in especially cold climates found that it didn’t always prevent water from freezing

5. Farm Innovators Heated Bowl

About: This unique square bowl from Farm Innovators is perfect for spaces that are better suited for square bowls. The sturdy plastic bowl heats with 60 watts of power, so you can count on your dog’s water being ready to drink at all hours.  

Best Square Heated Water Bowl

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Farm Innovators Model D-19 1-1/4-Gallon Heated Water Bowl for Chickens, 60-Watt

Farm Innovators Heated Bowl

A 1.25-gallon square water dish that provides better space efficiency in some spots.

Features:

  • Square bowl is perfect for some spaces
  • Controlled by an internal thermostat
  • Holds 1.25 gallons of water 
  • Wrapped, protected power cord
  • Features a 60-Watt heater 

Pros

  • The bowl’s square shape is perfect for use in some spaces
  • This heated bowl keeps water a bit warmer than most other models
  • This bowl has an impressive capacity

Cons

  • This heated bowl uses 60 watts of power which is significantly more than some of the other thermal bowl options
  • Some pet parents noted that the plastic eventually cracked 

One Heated Dog Bowl To Avoid 

While on your quest to find the perfect heated dog bowl, it’s just as important to know what not to pick as it is to know what you should pick. For example, you wouldn’t want to select a heated dog bowl like this one from Akoyovwerve for the following reasons: 

  • There aren’t a lot of verified reviews. With something that could potentially be a safety hazard, it’s important to select a bowl that’s been vetted by scads of customers. 
  • There aren’t any instructions provided by the manufacturer. Electronics and water can be a dangerous combination, so it’s crucial that your bowl of choice provides safe usage instructions to protect you and your furry family member. 
  • It isn’t clear how safe the container is. It’s best to find a heated dog bowl that’s been tested for safety. Even so, you’ll still want to monitor your pooch while using any new heated dog bowl just in case. 
  • The pictures aren’t realistic. It’s clear that the pictures are photoshopped, and without customer-submitted photos, there’s no way for you as a consumer to determine what this bowl might look like in person.
  • There are obvious mistakes in the ad copy. This particular water bowl is labelled as being for cat use, yet the (photoshopped) pic includes a cute little pooch. If the manufacturer is making these kinds of mistakes, it doesn’t bode well for the product.  

Things To Consider When Choosing a Heated Dog Bowl for Cold Weather

Here are a couple of factors you’ll want to take into consideration while finding the perfect heated dog bowl for your canine companion: 

  • Capacity: You’ll obviously need to make sure your bowl of choice is big enough to keep a sufficient quantity of water available for your furry friend. 
  • Materials: You’ll want to find a bowl that can stand up to your dog’s constant use in the elements. Most heated water bowls are made from either plastic or metal, and while both are acceptable, metal options will usually present fewer fire hazards.
  • Cord Safety: Because dogs occasionally chew on electric cords and you’ll be using the water bowl outdoors, you must pick a heated dog bowl with a sturdy — preferably steel-wrapped — cord for extra protection against chewing and the elements. 
  • Cord Length: You’ll need to ensure that the bowl’s cord is long enough to plug into an outlet that’s in the vicinity of your pet’s H20 station — something many owners fail to consider. 
  • Power Consumption: Keeping your pup’s water in liquid form doesn’t require a ton of power, but over the course of several months, the power usage from a heated water bowl can add up. Therefore, you need to look for one that’s fairly energy efficient. 
  • Price: It’s great to find a thermal bowl that won’t empty out your wallet, but make sure that your bowl of choice is safe and functional for your furry friend. 
  • Shape: Think about where you plan on placing your heated dog bowl. It may be helpful to have one shaped bowl over another to fit seamlessly in a particular space. 
  • Easy to Wash: Simply put, dog bowls get dirty (particularly when they are outside), so you’ll need to wash it regularly (preferably, every day).. Accordingly, you’ll want to pick a bowl that’s easy to clean.
Don’t Forget to Keep Your Canine Warm in Cold Weather

Ensuring that your pet has access to liquid water is obviously important, but you must also be sure that your doggo stays warm enough — especially if he’s spending lots of time in his dog house during cold weather.

But don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to insulate a plastic dog house to keep it warmer, and there are even ways to heat your dog’s house without using electricity.

***

A heated dog bowl can help your hound stay properly hydrated throughout the colder months. These tools are perfect for any pet parent who lives in cooler climates. 

Has your dog used a thermal dog bowl? Does he like to play in the cold? Tell us all about it in the comments! 

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Written by

Kate Brunotts

Kate is a dog-loving content specialist with over a decade of canine-care experience. She is currently a professional dog walker and pet sitter, with previous experience working at the Heart of Chelsea Animal Hospital in Manhattan. When not spending time with four-footers, she can usually be found crafting top-notch dog-care articles that pet parents can trust. Kate loves dogs of all shapes and sizes, but Bernese Mountain Dogs hold a special place in her heart.

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