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Dog Water Temperature: What Is The Best for Your Dog?

By Aviram K.
May 26, 2022
4 min read
Dog Water Temperature: What Is The Best for Your Dog?
✏️ This article has been reviewed in accordance with our editorial policy.
🏥 The information in this article is not a substitute for professional help.

It’s amazing how the wrong temperature can totally ruin a thing.

Soup’s too cold? You send it back to the kitchen.

Even a beautiful beach day can become unbearable if the sun gets too scorching.

Temperature impacts so many experiences on a daily basis. And did you know the same goes for your dog?

It’s true! Your pup likely has a temperature preference for his drinking water. There is also a recommended water temperature that your pup should be bathed in.

So, exactly what are these temperatures?

When it comes to drinking water, studies indicate that dogs may prefer cool water. As for bathing them, to best care for your pup’s sensitive skin, it is recommended that you bathe them in lukewarm bathwater. Hot water may scald them, and water that’s cold will likely be uncomfortable.

In this article, I will reveal the best drinking water temperature for dogs. In addition, I will also explain the best shower water temperature for dogs.

So, are you curious about what direction to turn the faucet to have your pup feeling his best?

Read on as I break down the ideal temperatures for your pup to drink and bathe in.

Let’s go!

Table of Contents
01
The Best Drinking Water Temperature for Dogs
02
The Best Shower Water Temperature for Dogs
03
Too Hot, Too Cold…Or Just Right?

The Best Drinking Water Temperature for Dogs

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Just because your pup can’t communicate their favorite drinking water temperature, it doesn’t mean they don’t have one!

Maybe you’ve been giving your dog water from the faucet, and you’ve never paid much attention to its temperature. Or perhaps you’ve watched your pup quickly lap up any old water that a waiter placed in front of him at a café.

It seems like they’ll drink pretty much anything!

While your pup may very well drink whatever water they can get, they likely do like one temperature of water over others.

What temperature is that, you ask?

In a study that assessed 11 mixed-breed dogs over 13 days, it was observed that the dogs displayed a strong preference for cool drinking water. The dogs were given the freedom to choose between water that was 15, 25, and 35 degrees Celsius (59, 75, and 95 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively).

The dogs in the study consistently chose the coldest water at 59 degrees Fahrenheit (~15 degrees Celsius).

The only exceptions to this were the dogs whose core body temperature measured the lowest in the study. These pups actually chose warmer drinking water than the other dogs.

Is It Safe for My Dog to Drink Cold Water?

It’s definitely safe for dogs to drink cold water.

There is a myth that giving your pup very cold water or water with ice can be detrimental. Rumor has it that cold water and dogs do not mix because it can cause them to experience deadly stomach spasms.

Of course, there is always a reason why tales like this come into being. The potential hesitation behind giving dogs cold water is actually rooted in a pup’s propensity towards bloating. If your dog has gulped down a lot of air in the process of gorging themselves on food or water, they may experience extreme abdominal pain.

This can develop into a serious condition called Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV). This condition can cause your dog’s stomach to twist so much that it restricts blood flow to the point of death. Certain breeds like Great Danes are more prone to developing GDV.

The best way to protect your pup from ever getting to the point of developing GDV is to watch their food and water intake. Spacing their meals and water, so they never get so hungry that they’re ravenous or so thirsty that they inhale water is a way to prevent this condition.

To sum it up, cold water being dangerous for dogs is likely a myth originating from horror stories that were truly the side effects of bloating.

The Best Shower Water Temperature for Dogs

The shower is another arena where your pup will be exposed to water. And in this case, getting the right temperature is very important!

Dog skin is far more sensitive than human skin. A hot shower may feel like heaven for you but could easily burn your pup! On the flip side, bathing in cold water is uncomfortable for your pup. Likely, cold water wouldn’t be your bath temperature of choice either!

So, how hot or cold should Fido’s bath water be?

The answer is right in between.

Lukewarm water is the perfect temperature for your dog. Around 37 degrees Celsius, which converts to 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

A good general rule of thumb is to never run your pup’s bathwater hotter than you would for a newborn baby. Keeping that level of sensitivity in mind gives you a good idea of exactly what your pup can handle.

Dogs that are very large, very small, or old may be more sensitive to the heat. If you feel your pup may fall outside of the norm due to these factors or a medical condition, I recommend speaking with your vet to confirm the best bath temperature for your dog.

Too Hot, Too Cold…Or Just Right?

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It may be surprising to learn that dogs really do have specific needs and preferences. Even down to what water temperature works best for them!

Don’t worry; your pup’s not just being a diva! There is research-based evidence showing that most dogs do truly prefer to drink cooler water.

And for safety and comfort reasons, your pup likes his bathwater just in the middle. Not too cold, not too hot!

Like a night on the town that suddenly becomes too chilly can be a buzzkill for you, the right temperature matters for your pup as they go through their daily lives.

If cool drinking water and lukewarm bathwater are all it takes to keep your dog comfortable, that’s not too much to ask!


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