We are starting to feel the chilly weather as the colder months are approaching fast. Similarly, you’ll see our furry friends curl up to stay warm inside our homes. While there are many products that offer warmth to our pets, there are also economical options such as a hot water bottles. But, can you give a dog a hot water bottle? Let’s find out if it’s safe for our canine companions.
Can You Give A Hot Water Bottle to Dogs?
The good news is, yes, you can give a hot water bottle to dogs to keep them stay warm. Just like us, hot water bottles give comfort and relief to our dogs during winter. Aside from providing their blankets and other plush materials for warmth, you can add hot water bottles for extra heat, too. But, you need to follow certain conditions to make sure your dogs remain safe with the hot water bottle.
First, never place boiling hot water inside the bottle to avoid scalding. The hot water bottle for dogs should only be warm enough and not piping hot. Otherwise, you’ll put your pup at risk of burns on their skin, especially the stomach area. Additionally, wrap the hot water bottle with a cloth before giving it to your pup for added protection against burns. This will also prevent the bottle from cooling fast since the heat is trapped by the cloth.
Second, make sure to close the lid of the bottle tightly. You wouldn’t want the hot water to leak from the bottle unto your dog’s bed and blankets. Third, supervise your pup when giving the hot water bottle. Place the bottle on the bed or sofa, or even on your lap when cuddling with your pup for added heat. Don’t leave your pup unattended, especially if your dog is a chewer. They may chew on the bottle cap causing the water to leak.
Benefits of Hot Water Bottles to Dogs
Hot water bottles offer advantages not only for us but for our furry pals, too. Let’s take a look at what benefits your dogs can get from pet hot water bottles, especially during winter.
Keeps Dog Warm at Night
The drop in temperature after sundown may make our furbabies feel chilly at night. Even dogs with thick fur are not immune to cold weather. Despite having warm blankets, dogs may still feel cold, especially those with single coats. Giving them a hot water bottle wrapped in a cloth or sock will make them feel warm at night.
Dogs with arthritis may suffer more pain during the cold season. Help alleviate your senior dog’s discomfort by keeping him warm and giving him a hot water bottle. When your dog is recovering from an injury, a hot compress such as using a hot water bottle can promote healing, too. This is because heat can help increase blood flow and prevent joint stiffness.
Easier to Use
You have many options for keeping your dog warm during the freezing weather. You can get a heat lamp, an electric warm pad, or warming beds. But, they won’t beat the hot water bottle in terms of cost, because it’s free! Plus, it’s very easy to prepare. All you need is an empty bottle, hot water, and a cloth to wrap it.
Can Puppies Tolerate a Hot Water Bottle?
Puppies may tolerate hot water bottles if they are warm and not scorching hot to the touch. To make the hot water bottle suitable for puppies, wrap it with a thick cloth or towel. Puppies’ skin is more sensitive than adult dogs. That is why some pet parents don’t agree with giving puppies a hot water bottle due to the risks of burns. As previously stated for safety, never use steaming hot water.
Before reaching 7 or 8 weeks old, puppies stay near their mom to keep themselves warm. That is because puppies are not able to regulate their body temperature yet. So, when the weather is cold, they have a high risk of developing hypothermia. It can lead to serious health issues or even death. So, keeping puppies warm at all times is vital for their survival, especially during their first month.
Aside from the warmth from their mother, you can add extra heat by using a hot water bottle. You can also use other items such as microwaveable hot packs, warming beds, or blankets. Since puppies are more vulnerable, you need to monitor them and never leave them unattended with these heat-producing products.
Other Tips on How to Keep a Dog Warm
Aside from giving your dog a hot water bottle for warmth, there are other means of making your pup feel cozy despite the freezing cold. Here are our tips on how to keep your dog warm:
1. Routine Care
The cold weather may affect your dog’s health, especially if they have chronic ailments, such as arthritis. During this time of the year, they may experience stiffness and mobility issues. Keeping your dog warm may alleviate the pain, but will not give the same relief from medicines and supplements prescribed by their vet. Don’t forget their routine care too, such as flea treatments, and heartworm prevention.
2. Skip Baths
Because the weather is cold, it’s not the best time to bathe your dog. Even hot baths may still make your dog feel cold afterward. Also, winter makes the skin feel drier than usual, and bathing may even make it worse. You can still keep your dog clean even without bathing them. You can use wet wipes, freshening sprays, and dry shampoos on your pup to keep him clean.
3. Use Plush Toys
Not only will these toys bring fun, but they also keep them company during chilly nights. Plush toys are usually made of thick fabric and warm stuffing that will help keep your dog warm. Just be wary if your pup is a chewer. They might chew on the toy leaving a mess and risking ingestion of some parts of the toy.
4. Rice in a Sock
Another inexpensive Do-It-Yourself warmer consists of a cup of rice and a thick sock. Just pour the cup of rice inside the thick sock, tie it securely and, heat it in the microwave oven. Make sure it’s not too hot before giving it to your pup to avoid burns. This is also a safer option in case your dog ingests the rice because it’s edible.
5. Heat Packs
If you have the classic rubber heat packs at home, you can use that for your pup too. Just fill it with hot water, place the protective cloth sleeve, and put it near your pup or under his bed. You can also get heat packs in any drug store for an affordable cost.
6. Warm Blankets
Fleece and wool blankets are perfect to keep your dog warm. Don’t limit your pup to just one, you can even give two or three depending on how cold the weather is. There are many inexpensive options online and in stores. There are different designs available and you can even customize them with your pup’s name on the blankets.
7. Bed Heater
Another option that you can place under your dog’s bed is an electric heat pad. This thermostatically-controlled device can provide mild yet comforting heat for your pup. Just make sure your dog won’t chew the electric wire. You can check heat packs online or ask for some information from your vet.
8. Elevated Kennel
If your floors are tiled or made of concrete they’ll absorb the surrounding temperature. Since the floor is freezing, your dog is more exposed to the cold. If they are in their kennel, they won’t have much of a choice but to bear the cold floor. So, try lifting their kennel to a more elevated height away from the floor to lessen the cold.
9. Dog Clothes
Dog clothes aren’t just intended for fashion, but also for warmth and protection against the cold. Like humans, dogs also has clothes for different seasons, so choose the “pup” wear made from insulating materials such as fleece and wool.
Heat up your pup’s muscles and joints by engaging them in physical activities. If it’s too cold outside for a walk or runs, you can enjoy indoor activities that offer as much exercise. In this way, you can help increase their blood flow, and also prevent stiffness in their joints.
Can You Give A Dog A Hot Water Bottle: FAQs
Now, you’ve got some knowledge of the benefits and tips for keeping your dog warm and cozy. Let’s tackle the frequently asked questions about hot water bottles for dogs.
Yes, your dog may sleep with a hot water bottle in his crate or bed. The hot water bottle will let him stay warm while he sleeps. Just make sure to not use boiling water, and to wrap the bottle with a cloth to avoid skin burns.
Yes, a hot water bottle will help settle a puppy, especially during the first few nights in a new home. Crate training a puppy can be a struggle at first. Puppies are used to the warmth of their mother or littermates. So, when left alone in a crate, they may feel uneasy. Placing a hot water bottle for a puppy in the crate will mimic the mother’s warmth, thus helping the puppy settle.
You can keep your dog warm enough at night by providing him with a warm bed and blankets. You can also give him some pet clothes to wear. If it is not enough, consider other additional warmers mentioned earlier such as rice in a sock, heating pads, or a hot water bottle. Just make sure to follow safety precautions.
Heating pads are beneficial to dogs. But, if used improperly, it may cause overheating or hyperthermia and hurt your dog. According to a study from 1999 to 2004, the mortality rate of dogs suffering from heat stroke is 50% only. It is a serious health issue that can be prevented. So, make sure to use heating pads that are dog-specific. Also, monitor your pup when using heating pads, to avoid heat stroke.
If your dog looks cozy and relaxed with the warmers you’ve provided, then he is good. But, continue to monitor your dog from time to time. Watch out for signs of extreme cold like shivering and lethargy. On the other hand, check out for signs of overheating too, such as panting and extreme salivation.
No need to worry about your dog during the cold, chilly nights of winter. Giving him pet clothes, a warm bed, and blankets can help him stay warm while he sleeps at night. And if he needs extra warmth, you can add in the inexpensive hot water bottle or other heating products we’ve previously shared. But of course, nothing beats your sweet cuddles with your beloved pooch!