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You likely already know how important it is for you to stay hydrated (insert the obligatory ‘drink eight glasses of water per day’ reminder here), but hydration is equally as important for your pup. And while making sure they have access to plenty of fresh water is easy at home, it can become more challenging when you’re on-the-go, whether that’s taking a long walk, hiking, camping, traveling, or simply playing at the dog park. Still, these are the times—particularly when it’s hot—that it’s more important than ever to keep your pup well-hydrated. Enter the beauty of a portable dog bowl.
“Dogs, unlike humans, cannot regulate their temperature through sweating. Instead, they pant to cool down, during which saliva evaporates to cool the surrounding blood vessels of the mouth and tongue,” explains dog trainer Steve Frost, KPA CTP, president and lead trainer of A Sound Beginning Chicago. “Having a portable water bottle on-hand allows us to help our dogs replenish the fluids lost when panting, which can effectively combat overheating and even heatstroke, ensuring our pets remain safe and comfortable in warmer weather,” he says. The other boon of having your own source of water on hand? It eliminates the need for dogs to drink out of communal bowls, which can potentially be a source of bacteria, notes Danielle Bernal, DVM, global veterinarian with Wellness Pet Company.
Keep in mind that dehydration in dogs can occur quickly, within anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours, depending on the level of exertion, notes Gary Richter, DVM, author of The Ultimate Pet Health Guide and founder of Ultimate Pet Nutrition. Again, that’s why having one of these portable dog water bottles on hand from which you can regularly offer water is so helpful, he points out. These days, there are plenty of options out there, offering a little something for every situation and every pup’s preference.
Ahead, nine of the best portable dog water bottles.
Anyone who is concerned about the quality of the water their dog is drinking; this features a built-in filter to ensure water is free of any harmful contaminants. It’s also a good choice for those looking for an option that can be operated with one hand.
Those on a budget, since the JollyPup Portable Smart Pet Water Bottle is more expensive than many of the other options on the market. It also only holds 10.5 ounces of water.
While this option is pricier than many of the other portable dog water bottles out there (and the most expensive one on this list), it’s well worth every penny. First and foremost, it touts a built-in filter: “Water filters are a great way to ensure your dog is getting the best quality water he or she can drink, no matter where you go,” says Dr. Bernal. It’s also perfect for taking with you on the go; it touts a removable lanyard that makes it easy to attach to any bag or even carry on your wrist. And if you do want to stash it inside a backpack or bag, you won’t have to stress about spills, says Frost. He’s a big fan of the leak-proof design (courtesy of an internal O-ring), as well as the inline bowl that slides out, a great space-saving element.
The design is both streamlined and stylish; the bottle even comes in four different colors. It’s also both durable and safe, made of food-grade, BPA- and lead-free thermoplastic polymer materials. We just wish it held more than 10.5 ounces of water.
Water capacity: 10.5 ounces | Weight: 8.4 ounces | Size: 18 x 6.4 x 18 cm | Dishwasher Safe: Unknown | Material: Thermoplastic polymer
Those looking for size variety, as well as a bottle that can easily fit into water bottle holders on bags and backpacks.
Anyone who wants to be able to toss their portable dog water bottle in the dishwasher.
Dr. Bernal is a fan of this pick for its built-in bowl and ease of use. “It’s a great, compact choice for when you and your dog are on-the-go. You can easily turn the bottle to the side and push the button to let water flow in the bowl,” she says. It also comes in two sizes, the smaller of which is especially good for puppies and smaller breeds. Either way, the overall size of the bottle is similar to that of a standard (human) water bottle, so it easily fits in places such as cup holders and water bottle pouches on backpacks.
A silica gel ring, coupled with a lock button feature, help ward off unwanted leaks and spills. One major drawback: It definitely can’t be put in the dishwasher, which does make cleaning it a bit of an extra chore. It also bears mentioning that it’s not BPA-free.
Water capacity: 12 ounces, 19 ounces | Size: 3 x 3 x 8 inches, 3 x 3 x 10 inches | Dishwasher Safe: No | Material: Plastic
Those who are out for long periods of time, since this bottle is made of FDA-grade stainless steel which is both very heavy-duty and durable and keeps water cold for up to 8 hours.
Those who can’t have both hands free to use the bottle, or who care about condensation developing on the bottle.
“This 22 ounce water bottle is perfect if you’re looking for a more durable, heavy duty option,” says Dr. Bernal of another one of her favorites. She also points out that because it’s made of double-walled stainless steel (which is also BPA- and phthalate-free), it has the added benefit of keeping water cold for up to eight hours, a nice perk for your pup on hot days. Plus, the entire thing is dishwasher safe, making cleaning a breeze.
It does come with a carabiner clip for easy attachment, but just keep in mind that it won’t fit in standard cup holders. You also will need to have both hands free in order to unscrew the top and pour the water into the attached bowl; the silicone grip on the outside helps with the grip in that scenario. However, the included bowl does have a nice wide mouth that makes it a good choice for many different sized dogs.
Water capacity: 22 ounces | Size: 3.6 x 3.8 x 8.4 inches | Weight: 8 ounces | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Material: Stainless steel
Owners of big dogs, as the Kong H2O K9 Unit Insulated Stainless Steel Dog Water Bottle holds up to 25 ounces of water and is one of the largest options on our list.
Those on a budget, because it does come with a bit of a higher price tag than many others.
Jamie Freyer, DVM, a veterinarian at Veterinarians.org recommends this choice, which holds an impressive 25 ounces of water and is great for bigger dogs or longer outdoor adventures. He likes that it’s made from BPA-, phthalate-free stainless steel, and boasts a two-in-one design; unscrew the bottom portion and turn it into a bowl.
We like that the entire bottle is made from recyclable and sustainable materials, including even an eco-friendly paint finish. Just keep in mind that it does need to be hand-washed, and, because it is a bit larger than many other dog water bottles, it can feel slightly bulky and more cumbersome. You’ll also need to have two hands free in order to use it.
Water capacity: 25 oz. | Size: 9.5 x 3.25 x 3.25 inches | Weight: 0.7 lbs | Dishwasher Safe: No | Material: Stainless steel
Anyone looking for a good value option, which can also pull double duty as a bottle for both humans and dogs.
Those who need something that’s compact and portable; the wide size makes it a bit cumbersome to carry, and it doesn’t come with any type of carabiner or strap.
Letting your dog drink out of your water bottle admittedly sounds a little bit gross—but that’s not the case here. This double-duty pick features a standalone, detachable bowl, so it can function as a water bottle for both humans and dogs during hot weather or strenuous activity, Frost points out. You can drink out of the top, then unscrew the bottom portion, a silicone bowl that’s perfect for your pup to drink from. (It even has an anti-slip bottom so it won’t slide around as they drink.) Given that it can hold a whopping 50 ounces of water, you never have to worry about there being plenty of H2O for both you and Fido.
While it may look like it’s made of glass, it’s actually made out of Tritan, a super heavy-duty, BPA-free type of plastic. That means it’s both shock- and scratch-resistant, even if you drop it. Just keep in mind that it is much wider than many bottles, which can make it a slight pain to carry on walks or hikes, and there’s nothing to prevent leaks. In other words, be sure that the top is screwed on tightly once you and your dog are done sipping.
Water capacity: 50 oz. | Size: 5.25 x 4.5 x 9.5 Inches | Weight: 0.63 oz | Dishwasher Safe: Unknown | Material: Tritan plastic
Dog owners who bring their dogs on long car trips or camping, as well as owners of large and giant breed dogs.
Anyone looking for a portable pick to bring on walks or hiking.
With a whopping three quart water capacity, Frost says this bowl is great for large and giant breed dogs; it’s also perfect for situations such as camping or in RVs or even the car. (To that point, because it is so large, it’s definitely less portable and not the right pick to take with you on hikes and walks.) Still, it has a spill- and splash-proof design—it won’t spill even if it’s turned upside down.
There’s also a built-in bowl, and it is very reasonably priced, given how large it is. While it is large, it’s also very lightweight, thanks to the fact that it’s made from BPA-free plastic. And, if you have two dogs that each want their own water bowl, it’s conveniently sold in a set of two.
Water capacity: 3 quarts | Size: 8 x 3 x 12.2 inches | Weight: 0.01 ounces | Dishwasher Safe: Unknown | Material: BPA-free plastic
The frequent travelers; the UPSKY Dog Travel Water Bottle is unique in that it has two chambers in one bottle — one for food and one for water.
People who prefer that a bowl be built-in to the water bottle, as these bowls are attached separately.
“If you’re taking a bit of a longer trip, you may want to check out this option,” suggests Dr. Freyer. “The all-in-on set includes two collapsible bowls and room for both food and water.” Credit a unique, dual-chamber design that can hold up to 10 ounces of water and seven ounces of food. The two compartments are separated with a silicone gasket to prevent water from getting into the food and vice-versa.
The bottle also features measurement indications on the side so you know exactly how much of each your dog is getting. There are two wide-mouth spots on the single lid, making it easy to dispense the food and water separately. To that point, it comes with two silicone bowls and two carabiners for attaching them to the bottle itself. It can be a bit clunky for shorter trips, but for longer occasions or packing for travel it’s very convenient (and affordable!).
Water capacity: 10 ounces | Size: 4.3 x 4.3 x 9 inches | Weight: Unknown | Dishwasher Safe: Bottle is, lid isn’t | Material: Thermoplastic polymer
Anyone who wants a very light, very easy to carry, affordable bottle.
Those looking for a sturdy, long-lasting option. This isn’t particularly durable, and the plastic isn’t BPA-free.
“While it may not be as durable as a stainless-steel option, this weighs just 0.15 pounds and can easily be used with one hand while you’re handling your dog in the other,” says Dr. Bernal, who also says it offers good quality for an even better price. Flip down the bowl (which is really more of a drinking trough) and give the bottle a few squeezes to dispense the water.
Also nice: You can pop in standard plastic water bottles in place of the included one, and it has a clip that makes it easy to attach to your belt or waistband and take with you on walks. (Because it’s so light, you’ll barely notice it.) Just be sure to hand wash it in order to maintain the integrity of the plastic material.
Water capacity: 10 ounces | Size: 4.3 x 4.3 x 9 inches | Weight: Unknown | Dishwasher Safe: Bottle is, lid isn’t | Material: Thermoplastic polymer
Those who want to ensure no water gets wasted while using the bottle, as well as picky pup drinkers who only want to drink out of real bowls.
People who want to be able to have their hands free while their dog is drinking, as you need to keep squeezing the bottle to dispense the water.
Dr. Freyer calls this “one of his favorites,” thanks to an innovative design that both prevents you from wasting water as well as minimizes spills. How it works: Grip and squeeze the bottle and water will flow into the bowl that’s attached at the top. Once your pup is done drinking, release your grip and any leftover water will go back into the bottle. It’s perfect for situations where you want to make sure you’re not wasting any H2O — think during hikes or when access to refills may be limited for a while.
The fact that the built-in bowl is an actual bowl is good for picky drinkers, though it does make carrying it around slightly more annoying since everything isn’t tucked in and compact. However, the attached fastener strap makes for a convenient hand strap, and there’s also a loop to add a carabiner.
Water capacity: 20 ounces | Size: 4.25 x 3.5 x 8.5 inches | Weight: Unknown | Dishwasher Safe: No | Material: BPA-free polypropylene
How you’ll use it: Are you planning on using the bottle for quick walks or for week-long camping trips? Will you be using it every day, or just occasionally? Dr. Bernal says the first thing to think about before choosing a portable dog water bottle is how you’ll be using it as this will dictate certain other features you need to consider. To that point…
The capacity: It’s important to make sure the bottle you choose can hold enough water for your dog, notes Dr. Bernal. In general, dogs should drink approximately one ounce of water per pound of body weight per day, although there are a lot of other factors that can affect this amount, she says.
How portable it is: This is the whole point of the bottle being a ‘portable’ dog water bottle, after all. Ideally, you want a portable dog water bottle that’s either easy to carry in your hands or has some type of attachment so that it can be clipped to a bag. If it's heavy or too wide to fit into most standard bottle holders or even too awkward to hold on your own, it may feel like more of a nuisance than anything else.
The drinking reservoir: Most portable dog water bottles have a built-in bowl or dispenser of sorts, but they do come in all different shapes and sizes and you’ll want to make sure the one you go with is comfortable for your dog. “An ideal portable dog water bottle should have a deep enough drinking reservoir to accommodate your dog’s respective tongue length,” says Frost. “He or she should be able to drip roughly ¼ the length of their tongue in it.”
Each portable dog water bottle works slightly differently. Some you simply need to squeeze or tip over, others you may need to actually unscrew and pour into a bowl. To that point, some of them have a built-in bowl, while others do not.
No, dogs shouldn’t be chewing on plastic water bottles. There’s the potential that the cap can come off and they could swallow it, or they could break off pieces of the plastic that could be sharp and damage their mouth and intestines.
Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal preference. However, if you choose to go with tap water, Dr. Bernal notes that filtering it if possible ensures your dog will be getting the highest-quality water possible. (Or look for a bottle with a filter built in like the JollyPup offering!)
It can be challenging, particularly for dogs who have larger and/or longer tongues that won’t fit inside the bottle. That’s where portable dog water bottles with built-in bowls or dispensers come in, as these are designed to make it easy and natural for dogs to drink from.
Melanie Rud is a beauty and lifestyle writer who covers a wide array of topics, and is also a dog mom to two rescue pups. She interviewed several veterinarians and dog trainers to compile the products featured on this list.
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