Can Dogs Drink Warm Water

Can Dogs Drink Warm Water?

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Water that is warm is not harmful to a dog as long as he enjoys it. It can even help warm up a dog who has been out in the cold for a long time. Studies have shown, however, that dogs prefer cold water, and you should offer it to your pet on a hot day.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Drink Warm Water?“.

It is understandable that a pet parent would take some time to consider what type of water to give their pet especially if it is their first dog. 

Can Dogs Drink Warm Water

Can the dog be harmed by cold water? Is it okay to give a dog warm water to drink especially on a cold day when most of us humans reach for a hot drink? Do dogs prefer any particular type of water?

In answer to the last question there is one. Our article will cover all the options you have regarding the water you should give your dog other drinks you can use to keep your pet hydrated and the dangers of letting your pet drink too much water.

What temperature of water is the best for dogs to drink?

Hey Fido do you want some cold water? You might think that nobody would ask such a question but they did. Maybe not directly but pretty close. 

In 2005 a team of Australian scientists published the results of an experiment meant to find out what kind of water dogs prefer.

Three bowls of water were provided to the canine volunteers each day – one with cold water (4°C) one with room temperature water (24°C) and a third with warm water (40°C).

There was no change to the placement of the bowls that would affect the dogs. According to the experiment all dogs would prefer cold water regardless of the temperature outside or any other external factors.

There were only a few dogs who immediately went to the bowl with water at room temperature. Those who chose warm water tended to be in a minority and had one thing in common they all had a lower than normal core body temperature.

Should dogs drink cold water in the summer and warm water in the winter?

In an experiment conducted in Australia it was demonstrated that dogs can drink something warm when they are cold but should you do that with your dog?

It should not be a problem for a healthy dog to regulate his body temperature in winter or summer. Dogs do not sweat through their skin as humans do. Dogs have sweat glands on their paws to eliminate heat and they pant as a cooling mechanism.

The dogs coat long or short keeps them warm in winter and cool in summer so you would not have to worry about them even on a hot day.  

Basically the temperature of the water should not make much difference.

Common sense however must kick in at this point. A dog would also appreciate some cool water just as we like to drink something cold on a hot day to cool down a bit. Depending on your dogs preferences just as the experiment showed how cold your dog likes it depends on its preference.

Some owners put ice chips in their dogs’ water bowls or give them ice-cold water. You’ll know the dog enjoyed it if he laps it up just as he likely enjoys playing with a frozen toy.

Its possible that you have read articles saying ice water is dangerous for dogs and can even kill them but thats just an urban myth.

It is believed that ice-cold water can cause bloating which is linked to Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus which is indeed a very serious condition and can even be fatal.

GDV cannot be proven to occur from extremely cold water but drinking or eating very fast might indeed pose a risk.

Overall dogs would not suffer any harm if they drink some cold water. The main thing to consider is whether your dog likes it as its important to keep your pet well hydrated at all times especially when its hot outside.

Its not a good idea to put ice cubes in water for dogs since they pose a choking hazard. Instead give him some water from the fridge or put some ice chips in it.

On cold days warm water might be a good idea provided the dog does not find it amusing. Dogs prefer water at room temperature so they might find it strange that their water is now warm and refuse to drink it. He should apologize for the inconvenience and receive his normal water again if he does that.

Under no circumstances should you give your dog hot water or any other hot beverage. It is easy for a dog to get scalded by hot water due to its sensitive mouth and esophagus.

Tap water vs distilled water. Which is best for our dogs?

Even if an owner is dedicated to keeping their pooch safe they will buy special water for them but is that really necessary? I do not think so.

As a general rule if you are okay drinking tap water you should give it to your dog too. This will depend on the quality of the water in your area.

Too much fluoride or chlorine in your tap water might not be very safe for your dog but its not very safe for you either. Filter your tap water if you are using it.

Distilled water on the other hand is completely unnecessary and potentially harmful.

Drinking distilled water without minerals can lead to an electrolyte imbalance which poses serious health risks.

The bottom line the most important thing is to make sure that the water your dog drinks is clean and fresh. Dogs should never drink water from puddles or lakes because they might contain various pathogens. Make sure you wash his bowl every time you change the water in it.. 

Can dogs drink warm tea milk or coffee?

If your dog enjoys warm water theres no reason he should not be given warm tea or milk. However never give him coffee because it is dangerous to them due to its caffeine content. Additionally keep in mind that most decaffeinated coffees still contain traces of caffeine that your dog does not need.

A dog should never be offered even a sip of an alcoholic beverage not even beer.

 When it comes to tea never give your dog green or black tea because they contain caffeine as well. You can also drink herbal teas such as chamomile or peppermint which aid in digestion.

Generally milk is safe for dogs but they should only drink it in moderation if they are not lactose intolerant. Occasionally giving your dog some milk would not hurt him but do not fill his bowl with it.

What else can I give my dog to drink apart from water?

The only thing a dog needs to stay hydrated is water. Usually store-bought fruit juices contain added sugars so your dog should not consume them. However if you’re making fresh orange or apple juice he can totally have a few sips but not more as it might upset his stomach.  

How do you hydrate a dog that won’t drink?

It is an emergency if your dog is unwell and refuses to drink water; give him a few sips of water every hour to stay hydrated. When he refuses water try adding chicken broth to his bowl. He may find the flavor more appealing.

In addition you can stir some sauce from his favorite canned food into the drinking water.

Use a syringe without a needle or a turkey baster to squirt some water into the dogs mouth if he still refuses to drink.

What is the best way of warming up a cold dog?

You must warm up your dog quickly if he spends too much time out in the cold. Hypothermia can develop if he spends too long in the cold. To prevent it follow these steps:

Wrap your dog in a blanket that has been heated on a radiator for a few minutes.

Make sure your dog has a warm water bottle. You should not use scalding water as your dog might chew through the bottle and burn himself.

Warm him up with water tea or milk.

Can dogs drink too much water?

Just like any other animal dogs need water to survive. An excessive amount of water can be harmful to their health. Water poisoning can happen to dogs too although it is rare for them to drink enough water to make themselves sick.

It is important to remember that too much water can cause electrolyte imbalances in the body. Hyponatremia is the most serious problem as it refers to dangerously low sodium levels in the body. This results in water infiltrating the cells which causes them to swell. This swelling can damage or even kill a dogs brain cells if it occurs inside its brain cells.


Water that is warm is not harmful to a dog as long as he enjoys it. It can even help warm up a dog who has been out in the cold for a long time. Studies have shown however that dogs prefer cold water and you should offer it to your pet on a hot day. If there are no ice cubes in the water even ice-cold water can be good.

Maintaining good hydration is essential for your dogs health but keep in mind that dogs do not need a variety of beverages as we do. Milk should only be given in moderation when it comes to herbal teas. Caffeine and alcohol should never be given to dogs.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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