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savvy shopping

The best dog water bottles for hikes, dog parks, and other adventures

Updated June 23, 2020

Created By

Coral Drake, Andy Bowen
5 travel bowls for on-the-go H2O // these portable dog bowls are easy to clean and sanitize
dog drinking water

that's one way to do it

🔍 How we picked our favorites

We assembled a list of the most popular water bottles — We looked to Chewy and Amazon for the best-selling bowls and pored over the reviews.

We focused on the bottles that are easiest to sanitize — Sanitization is extremely important. We only picked bowls that are dishwasher safe and easy to take apart and clean.

The essentials

  • Sanitation is key — You should sanitize your dog’s water bottle at least once a week to prevent the growth of mold or mildew and the spread of disease. All our recommendations are easy to take apart and clean.
  • Make a cost-conscious decision — The best water bottle isn’t necessarily the most expensive. Only pay for features you need, and don’t choose the most durable water bottle if you have a tendency to lose things.
  • Keep the water coming 💦Your dog should drink at least their body weigh in ounces of water during an active day.

At a glance: Our favorite bottles

What makes a good water bottle?

Spill and leak-proof. The last thing that you want is for your dog’s water bottle to get water all over your bag, pants, or your dog’s backpack. Choose a water bottle that is spill-proof and leak-proof so your dog can have the water they need without getting it everywhere.

Transportability. The goal for your dog’s water bottle is to bring it with you wherever you need to go with your dog. It is very convenient if the bottle has a clip or a case that makes it easier to carry or attach to your bag. It is also important to choose a water bottle that is the right size for your dog so it won’t weigh more than it has to.

Easy to clean. It is essential that you be able to thoroughly and easily clean your dog’s water bottle, so look for an option that can come apart and be pre-soaked and/or scrubbed as necessary

Durable. Your dog’s water bottle is an investment into your adventures together, and you want a bottle durable enough to last through many hikes and cleanings

Easy to drink from. Your dog already has a lot to distract them on the trail so, which can make it challenging to make sure that they get enough to drink. If the bottle you choose isn’t easy for your dog to drink from, it may be even harder to get them to drink enough on the trail.

Keeps your dog from making a mess. Many dogs tend to be messy drinkers. This can result in collars or harnesses being dampened which can in turn increase rubbing and the potential for sores. Furthermore, if your dog makes dirt into the mud while drinking, they can easily end up with mud all over themselves or the equipment. Therefore, you want a water bottle that your dog can drink from without making a mess.

2 rules for cleaning and sanitizing your water bottle

Your dog’s water bottle is likely to get pretty dirty, so it’s important to have effective ways of cleaning it. Unless your dog’s water bottle is sanitized properly, it can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria, which can make your dog sick.

Cleaning your water bottle well is even more important if dogs drink directly from it and the water splashes back in with the rest of the water. Dogs tend to put all kinds of gross things in their mouth, and a water bottle can become a petri dish for growing whatever ends up in the bottle.

Rule 1: Wash the bottle every after every use

We know what you’re thinking, but really, this isn’t a big deal. Just rinse the bottle and pop in the top rack of your dishwasher. Handwashing with warm water and detergent takes more elbow grease but works just fine.

Rule 2: Sanitize every couple uses — or at least once a week.

Soak the bottle in one of the following solutions for about 10 minutes, ensuring that the entire interior and exterior including the part that your dog drinks from is submerged. Alternatively, you can fill the bottle was the solution and soak the lid and/or straw in a container with the solution.

Pet-safe sanitizing solutions

  • Pure white distilled vinegar
  • Pure 3% hydrogen peroxide

Thoroughly rinse your bottle several times to make sure no cleaning solution remains. And don’t forget to thoroughly dry it before putting the lid back on to avoid growing mold.

👉 We don’t recommend using bleach on your dog’s water bowl regularly. And if you feel like it’s so nasty you have to bleach it, consider getting another. 

Choosing the right type of bottle

Messy drinkers. Does your dog tend to get more water on the floor, themselves, and you than they manage to get into their mouths? Water bottles that allow you to put out a small amount of water at a time help to minimize the mess.

Timid dogs. If your dog is scared of new things, they may not drink from the water bottle or may not drink enough to keep themselves hydrated, but just enough to briefly satisfy their thirst. For such dogs, pouring water into a separate bowl may be the best option.

Giant dogs. Big dogs have big tongues and big water needs, so choose a giant bottle with a generous section for them to drink from. Bottles that squirt upwards into a large bowl are a good option for big dogs.

Multiple dogs. If you have more than one dog, it is best to have a separate water bottle for each of them or to pour water into separate bowls to minimize the spread of disease. Even if your dogs drink from the same water bowl at home, they may spread different germs to each other on a walk.

Tiny dogs. Little dogs may struggle to drink from water bottles with deep bowls, so these dogs generally do best if the water is poured into a separate bowl or with a very small section for drinking from.

Why it's important to keep your dog hydrated

👉 Your dog should drink at least their body weigh in ounces of water during an active day.

Drinking plenty of water is essential for your dog’s health, and not getting enough to drink while exercising can be very dangerous for your dog. Dogs should drink about an ounce of fluids per pound of body weight. When dogs are very active and especially when they are in hot temperatures, they will drink even more.