For about two months or so I have been using a spill-proof suspended water bowl in my car for the dogs. When the weather allows, I love bringing my dogs with me everywhere I go. They love getting out of the house and I love having some company when I’m out and about (plus we can discover some fun doggie places in our travels). I also like using my car as a giant crate during various dog events. It gives me a place for the pups to hang out before/after a run. It gives them a more quiet, low-key place to hang out. Even when it’s not too warm out, it’s still important to give the pups access to water.
It’s always been the most annoying aspect of having the pups with me was making sure they had access to water–particularly when i’m NOT in the car with them (I never leave them for long, just when dropping things off or picking things up or short errands). The risk of soaking wet seats is a very real one.
I have tried a variety of solutions. I had a big 1.5gal jug that I was able to wedge in between my center console and the backseat that I would open when I parked. This was an okay solution but because the jug had to be so full for it to be easy to access that the potential for disaster was huge! I tried leaving a “spill proof” bowl in the backseat… that was a HUGE failure. It looked like someone stepped IN the bowl and tipped it and it spilled and was just a mess.
So, what’s a girl to do? Well, I was browsing a local … discount store, Trader Horn. For those of you who don’t have Trader Horn stores near you… it’s like this old-school general store–it has tools, pvc piping, basic carpeting, some furniture, garden center, craft supplies, small selection of food, pet goods, and even sporting rifles. You name it, this store has it (though it may be the style for 20 years ago LOL)! Anyhow, I was browsing the pet isle and I saw this interesting product, the “Spill Proof Suspended Waterbowl.” I was intrigued so I decided to spend the $20 to buy it. It’s not perfect, but it’s the closest thing to perfect (for what I’m looking for) that I’ve found so far.
- The “spill proof” claim is actually pretty accurate. I took my car off-roading in a VERY bumpy pasture and while there are some minor splashing, very little of it made it out of the bowl. It got the inner lip of the bowl wet but even with big bumps, hard turns, and slamming on my breaks, the water stayed in the bowl **I tested it when I had the bowl about 1/2 way full
- Although the directions were crappy, it was super easy to put together and set up
- The dogs liked having water available all the time and used it frequently–it was perfect when practicing frisbee at a park when I swap dogs they could easily grab a drink at their leisure
- It holds a good amount of water–it’s not too huge that it takes a lot of water to just cover the bottom, but it’s also enough water for two dogs to drink from
- It is pretty easy to empty and clean
- Can be used as a normal travel bowl
- It fits on my crate so I can use it as a crate bowl as well
- It takes up quite a chunk of space in the backseat. I had to pull the front seat forward to give the pups more room in the backseat
- I’ve had to adjust it a few time–but it never gets so out of whack that it spills
- Even when adjusted to be at its shortest level, it still sits pretty low, would love for it to sit just a little higher up
- It wasn’t super cheap (though it wasn’t that expensive either)
- The water in the bowl gets warm easily if in the sun since it doesn’t hold that much water.
This is a product that I have come to enjoy. It’s not perfect but it really does serve its purpose well. It doesn’t spill, makes water available to the dogs at all times (not just when stopped), doesn’t take up room on the seat, and is easy to use. The icing on the cake is that it is somewhat versatile in that it can be used in a crate and can also be used as normal travel bowl. There are some non-fixable issues (it’s a little too long for my small car) but it is overall a nice product that is really quite unique.
The last “down side” is that it’s not found everywhere and it’s actually a little bit hard to find… the one on e-bay is more than double what I paid for it in store. It is sold on amazon.com but is again, nearly double what i paid for it (after shipping). If someone is interested in one of these email me and i’ll see if i can get it to you for cheaper.