One of the harshest adversaries pets and pet owners face throughout their lifetimes is the weather conditions.
Although the spring and summer provide a nice cozy feeling, the winter is not that much of a friend to pets.
Especially those who live in kennels absent the comfort of house heaters.
Although dogs can adapt to low temperature, it will be difficult without drinking water. So, it is important to keep their water unfrozen or warm. You can try rubber bowls, adding ping pong balls on the water, or using electrically heated bowls to prevent freezing.
We will dwell more on these below.
How Do Dogs Handle Cold Temperatures?
Like humans, dogs are also prone to experience cold.
They are not robots, after all. But contrary to their owners, dogs have a better adaptive mechanism that allows them to survive better in the cold than humans.
The primary defense of dogs against cold weather is their morphological characteristics.
They have a protective coat of fur that keeps them warm and regulates the external temperature surrounding their body.
It helps them adapt to harsh weather conditions.
But not all dogs are created equal. Certain factors differ from one dog to another.
This measures the thickness or thinness of a dog’s fur — naturally, the thicker, the better surviving under cold conditions.
Although this does not affect the cold. Darker fur colors like black, gray, and brown are more absorbent of heat from the sun.
Thus, they are more uncomfortable under direct sunlight compared to their lighter-colored cousins.
Smaller dogs get affected by adverse temperatures than bigger ones.
Because the smaller they have than bigger breeds, there is a lesser capacity to generate heat from the inside.
Like in humans, the higher the body fat composition, the better insulated they are against the cold.
The same goes for dogs.
If they have excellent body fat surrounding them, they will keep themselves warm better than skinny ones.
However, fats are not ideal for health reasons.
Age and health
the very young and the older ones are less adaptive to adverse environmental conditions than the healthy ones in the prime of their years.
These factors play a significant role in a dog’s cold weather survivability.
Which Dogs Can Survive Better in The Cold?
As mentioned earlier, some are just better at it than others.
Here are a few examples:
- Siberian Husky
- Alaskan Malamute
- Saint Bernard
- Tibetan Mastiff
- Bernese mountain dog
Nevertheless, dogs are still susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia just like humans are.
So, as a rule of thumb is, if it is cold for you, it is also for them.
How to Keep Their Water from Freezing Over?
If dogs have an adaptive mechanism to fight the cold, their water bowls do not.
And like every water put inside the freezer, a few minutes in, and they start to freeze.
Think of the winter season as a giant freezer, hence, the frozen water in dogs’ water bowls.
It can be very irritating, mainly because it is uncomfortable for dogs to lick ice over instead of drinking from free-flowing water.
That is why there have been interventions to prevent the freezing of dog water. And we will be discussing 8 of them with you guys!
1. Add some ping-pong balls to the bowl
The thing about water freezing is that the molecules that make up the water form a crystal bonding among themselves, which causes the frozen look.
Naturally, water molecules are freely flowing, but the temperature makes them clump up with each other and form a sturdy crystal conformation.
The ping-pong balls can help stir the water when there is wind.
Through this simple DIY trick, the water fails to crystallize hence preventing ice from forming effectively.
Although this might work if the wind is present, without wind to facilitate its movement, the ping-pong balls will freeze along with the water bowl.
2. Put the water bowl in a Styrofoam cooler
Another DIY trick is putting the water bowl inside a Styrofoam cooler.
Styrofoam maintains the heat inside it for more extended periods than just exposing its contents to the atmosphere.
So, putting their water bowls inside Styrofoam coolers will also preserve the heat inside and decrease the time it takes to freeze the water.
Cutting an opening on the side where the dog can fit their heads in to get a sip would be great.
Also, do not direct the cut opening to where the wind blows.
3. Use rubber water bowls
Rubber is a better insulator compared to metallic containers.
Therefore, the water will maintain its heat longer in the rubber bowl than not.
4. Mix a little oil, sugar, and salt into the water mixture
The rationale behind this is that by adding these substances to the water, you reduce the mixture’s freezing point.
Thus, the temperature required to freeze water (zero degrees Celsius) will not be enough to freeze the oil-salt-sugar water mixture.
Just put a little of each.
5. Use electrically heated water bowls
If you have the resources to buy one of these, it would be the best option.
The heat generated by the bowl will be the primary facilitator of heat that prevents the water from freezing.
Of course, presuming that you will let your dogs stay indoors while it is freezing outside.
Make sure to refill the bowl occasionally, as the temperature will make the water evaporate faster.
6. Run a heater near their bowl
Another electric-powered option you may use is by running a heater near the bowl.
It will keep the water warm and give comfort to your dogs by also giving them heat.
7. Use of microwave heat pads
Microwave heat pads have an insulative fabric like flannels filled with grain crops like wheat.
This simple yet genius material can offer a better fighting chance against the freezing of dog water.
By merely placing the heated pads underneath the bowl, you can maintain the water’s temperature longer.
8. Place a saltwater bottle inside their bowl
The principle behind this is when you add oil, sugar, and salt to the water.
The only difference is that you add the sealed saltwater bottle to the water bowl.
Since salt water has a lower freezing point than regular water, the water bottle will maintain its temperature longer.
In turn, the dog water will benefit from this heat.
Additionally, as the air blows, the bottle will also move, which will prevent water crystallization that leads to ice formation.
With the easy tips above, you can help keep your dog’s water warm and without freezing despite the temperature.
It is imperative that having warm or lukewarm drinking water during the cold weather is vital for your dog.