The Best Outdoor Dog Water Bowl for Year Round Use

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Here are the best outdoor dog water bowl we’ll be covering:

If your dog spends a lot of time outside, then it’s important to get them an outdoor water bowl. Your dog should generally drink 0.5 to 1 ounce of water for each pound of body weight. 

This means that a 40 pound Samoyed should drink between 20 and 40 ounces of water daily, while a 5 pound Yorkie only needs 2.5 to 5 ounces of water daily. 

This may not sound like a lot of water, but it’s important that dogs have access to water when they need it. If your dog spends a lot of time outside, it may be time to invest in an outside bowl.

Our recommendation for the best outdoor dog water bowl

You may be wondering how to go about keeping a bowl outside for your dog. Before you start your search, there are some things you should consider:

Weather proof

If you want to have a dog bowl outside, you should consider options that are not going to crack or fade in direct sunlight. You don’t want to have to buy a new bowl a week later because it was exposed to too much sunlight and got damaged. Also, consider if you live in an area where the bowl could freeze. If so, you may want to consider some freeze-proof options so your dog isn’t stuck with a frozen water bowl.

Durability

Since the bowl will be outside, there is a good chance it may get knocked around or may have to be placed on an uneven surface. If you get an outside bowl, make sure it is durable, can withstand a fall and is heavy to keep it from being easily spilled.

Easy to clean

The best outside bowls are the ones that are easily cleaned. Even if you find the perfect bowl, being difficult to clean can cost you a lot of time and energy. So try to invest in a bowl that doesn’t require a lot of extra work when cleaning.

Finding the right bowl can be a little overwhelming, so we have gathered some options here for you to consider. If you’re looking for the best outdoor dog water bowl, then take a look at these options:

K&H Pet Products Thermal Bowl 

Freeze proof option

This 32oz bowl is able to keep water from freezing in up to -20°F. This bowl is thermostatically controlled to keep the water from freezing without heating it. It will turn on and off as needed to keep the water where it needs to be. So, you won’t need to bother to unplug it whenever it gets above freezing temperatures outside.

It comes with a 5.5′ stainless steel wrapped cord to ensure that it does not get damaged. This is a huge benefit for me as my dog tends to chew on new things. Also, this product is BPA free, so you never have to worry about chemicals being a danger to your dog. The electronics are inside of the bowl so they can’t be damaged or harm anyone as they won’t be exposed to the water.

This bowl is also very easy to clean, just avoid the dishwasher. I would highly recommend this item if you deal with freezing temperatures a lot. If you’re anything like me, when it snows you don’t always remember to check their outside bowls. With this bowl, you don’t have to worry about that. Just plug it in and go.

Farm Innovaters Heated Pet Bowl

Stainless steel heated option

This is another heated option for those of us who live in cold areas. Like the previous option, it is heated and comes with a steel-covered cord, though this cord is 6″ shorter than the first option. This blue bowl comes in 2 different sizes. 

Depending on your dog’s needs, you can get this bowl in 3 quarts and 5.5 quarts. This bowl has a non-skid rubber bottom prevent it from moving around too much.

This bowl is thermostatically controlled just like the option above. So, you don’t have to worry about the water being hot. This bowl’s electronics are covered in plastic, and then the plastic is covered with the stainless steel bowl. While this makes the bowl very safe for your dog, it is a little difficult to clean. Be sure to only wash it by hand.

This bowl uses more watts of energy than the previous bowl. So, be aware where you are plugging it in. If you want to have the choice of different sizes, you want to use it outside in low temperatures or your puppy prefers a metal bowl over plastic, then this may be a good option for you. 

Waggo Dog Bowl

Ceramic option 

This ceramic bowl comes in 2 sizes and 3 colors. This 2lb bowl is durable and perfect for outside use. Its heavy weight will allow it to stay in place if your dog tends to knock their bowls over. Because of the size, you won’t have to worry about refilling it as often as you do with smaller bowls.

This bowl does not have a non-skid bottom, so it may slide around a little, but the weight of the bowl should help. Ceramic is pretty durable, but it is not shatter proof. Keep this in mind if you plan on putting it high up like on a deck or stairs. This ceramic bowl is dishwasher safe and microwavable, in case you wanted to warm the water or use it for a food bowl.

All for Paws Chill Out Dog Cooler Bowl

Warm day option 

This bowl is perfect for those hot summer days. This bowl is made to keep water cool for a long time, up to 8 hours. The inside of the bowl is lined with BPA free, non-toxic gel that will absorb water. So, all you need to do is soak it in water for a short time, and then place the bowl in the freezer. Once frozen, fill the bowl with water and it’ll keep that water cool for hours.

This bowl comes in 3 sizes, medium, large and extra large. The base is slide-resistant so you never have to worry about ice getting into the water. Because of the large base, this bowl does not hold a lot of water. 

So, it may need to be refilled a few times throughout the day, but it will keep the new water cold for as long as the gel ice lasts. 

Maslow Standard Bowl 

Extra large option

The Maslow standard bowl is a stainless steel option that is absolutely huge. It can hold 17 cups or 136 oz of water. This bowl is able to be used indoors and outdoors, but we’re going to focus on the outdoor features. This stainless steel bowl is non-porous so it discourages the growth of bacteria and is very easy to wash. It can be hand washed, but it is also dishwasher safe. It is designed to stay rust-free.

Because it is so large, this bowl is perfect for just one dog or even multiple. The stainless steel is heat resistant, so you don’t have to worry about it getting too hot in the sun. If you prefer a non-plastic option, this is made of stainless steel and not easy to chew or break. Because it is so easy to clean, Maslow also recommends it for taking your dog to outside parties or even for camping.

This is a more simple option as there is no heating or cooling option available. But if you want a more basic but large option to be able to put outside for your dog, then this is definitely a good option to consider.

Outdoor dog bowl care in the summer

So, now that we’ve gone over some options, let’s talk about care during the summer. The main danger of keeping water outside is algae growth. Algae is easily noticeable by its green hue. So, if you notice any green on your dog’s bowl be sure to thoroughly clean it.

Before you start to see algae, you may notice that your dog’s bowl looks a little slimy. This is a normal occurrence in dog bowls, and you’ve probably seen it before. The slimy residue in their water bowl is called biofilm. It comes from your dog’s saliva, and it isn’t necessarily bad for them. Although, if you have a picky dog like I do, they might make you wash it out before bothering to drink again.

Biofilm should be cleaned out regularly to ensure that your dog is getting fresh water, but biofilm should also be cleaned out because if left uncleaned, it can turn into algae, which is dangerous for your dog. If left to spread and consumed, it can put your dog at risk for bladder infections, urinary tract infections and even ear infections.

There are some steps you can take to prevent the growth of algae. As previously mentioned, make sure the bowls are being cleaned regularly. If you notice a lot of biofilm on your dog’s bowl, it may be best to avoid plastic bowls. Plastic bowls are more susceptible to retaining germs and bacteria as it ages. 

So even a clean plastic bowl can be dangerous if it has previously been uncleaned. Plastic bowls can be fine for your dog, as long as you are doing your part to minimize bacteria growth. 

Outdoor dog bowl care in the winter

If you have cold Winters like I do, then having an outside dog bowl can be difficult because it tends to freeze. We have provided some options for dog bowls above that can keep their water from freezing, but there are some other options you can try.

If you don’t have an outside outlet, then keeping your dog’s water from freezing can be a bit more challenging. You can try to put ping pong balls in the water. This method uses wind to move the ping pong balls around the water to keep it from freezing. 

There are also microwavable pads available that can be placed under the bowl to keep it warm enough to not freeze. Although, this method won’t last very long as the heat may quickly wear off if the temperature is very low.

Buying a heated bowl is the best option to keep your dog’s outside water bowl from freezing. But they can be a little pricey. If your dog is picky with that they drink out of, then you may not be able to buy a brand new bowl. That’s okay because K&H created a bowl warmer that can be used with the bowls you already have.

Take a look at the K&H bowl warmer here.

This will effectively do the same thing as a heated water bowl without the need to buy a new bowl. Just place your dog’s bowl on top, plug it in and you’re ready to go. This does use more power than the water bowls listed above because it can heat many different amount of water. Also, it’s thermostatically controlled so you don’t have to worry about turning it on and off.

Finding the best outdoor dog water bowl can be a little overwhelming with so many different options available, but we’ve narrowed it down depending on your needs. So check out the options above and see what’s right for you and your dog. 

Just remember to keep them safe by cleaning the bowl out often so that bacteria doesn’t spread. Your furry friend will be happy to spend more time outdoors with an outside dog bowl. So try one out today and keep them happy and hydrated.