The 10 Best Dog Travel Bowls
This wiki has been updated 26 times since it was first published in April of 2016. If you're planning a trip with your pooch, make sure you pack one or two of these dog travel bowls, so you can keep him or her hydrated and well fed without having to lug around heavier and larger standard dishes. Coming in lightweight designs made of plastic, fabric, and stainless steel, they make hydration and mealtimes easy, and many of them are collapsible for compact storage. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
March 05, 2019:
Removed the Dexas Popware Double Feeder due to concerns about mildew and durability, along with the Petoga Couture Alfie Pet, which is advertised as waterproof, but is prone to leaking. Added the Bonza Premium, which are larger and more durable than most other collapsible options, and come with their own handy carrier. The Timber and Tide Collapsible is great for hiking and camping, as it's made to stand up to the elements and has a waterproof lining. For those looking for an all-in-one option, the Overland Dog Gear Set comes with everything you need to keep your pooch fed and watered on the go at a budget-friendly price, including containers and a scoop for food, but the five-cup bowls may be a little large for smaller breeds.
Why Your Dog Needs A Travel Bowl
They take up about as much room as a small stack of papers.
If you already own a nice set of bowls for your pooch at home, then you might be thinking that, when you hit the road, you can just pack those. You'll find a few issues come up when you try that, though. First off, not all of your adventures involve riding in cars, planes, and trains — some are more active, like hiking and camping. On trips such as these, your animal is entirely dependent on you to find and serve him water (unless he's one of those scavengers who can do that for himself). Storing heavy, clunky dishware made of metal or ceramic in your already over-stuffed backpack is a nuisance when you're relying on your body strength the whole trip to carry your load. Travel varieties are extremely lightweight — weighing mere ounces — so they won't put any more strain on your back.
The second problem is that even on more leisurely trips when taxi trunks and airplane overhead compartments will be holding your gear most of the time, you still won't want to bring regular dog bowls. You know you're charged for every pound you go over the limit on airlines. Even if you won't be taking to the skies, you'd probably rather save the space for all the souvenirs you plan on picking up. After all, you know you have a hard time turning down your pup's request for that Eiffel tower-shaped squeaky toy. When he looks you in the eyes and that oxytocin starts flowing, you'll give him whatever he wants, so leave room in your suitcase for new things for Fido by using collapsible travel bowls. They take up about as much room as a small stack of papers.
You might just rely on the kindness of the staff at restaurants to give your furry friend some hydration. Sometimes, unfortunately, they're so busy they don't have time to fill this request. Other times, they bring you a community water bowl that hundreds of pooches have sipped from. It's best to avoid those since they can carry all types of bacteria. If you're lucky, a server will bring you a plastic to-go container filled with H2O, just for Spotty. These, however, can have sharp edges that can cut your dog's tongue. You won't have to worry about any of these problems when you have a travel bowl with you.
What To Look For In A Travel Bowl
With many adventures ahead of you and Fido, it's important you select the right travel bowl for all of his needs. He gives you so much more love than a neurotic cat ever would, so he deserves to be spoiled. If he's a sporty pup who rides along in your bike carrier or basket, because you prefer to travel on two wheels rather than four, you might like a bowl that can attach to just about anything. A strong carabiner will let you hook your bowl onto a bike, scooter, or other alternative forms of transportation. Owners of rambunctious pets who like to play with their dishware once they're done imbibing might want one made from tear-resistant materials.
This is especially important when you're far from home, have only packed so much food, and replenishing after endless spills is not an option.
Consider the size of your pet and how much he likes to eat and drink, too. You don't want to find yourself refilling his bowl every half hour because he's already slurped down all of his water. Meanwhile, bowls that raise up too high can be troublesome for teacup and toy breeds. Luckily, some can be popped up and set to various heights to accommodate all shapes and sizes of pooches. Confirm that your model doesn't contain any toxic materials like BPA, and that it is mold and mildew-resistant — remember that animals don't wash their plates as often as we do, nor do their owners. On that note, look for bowls that can go in the dishwasher to make your life easier.
If your pooch is in the habit of pushing around his food or water, look for bowls with non-slip bottoms. This is especially important when you're far from home, have only packed so much food, and replenishing after endless spills is not an option. Brightly-colored varieties are also quite useful, especially on cluttered campsites or in messy hotel rooms where it's hard to spot such a small item.
Tips For Traveling With Dogs
You should bring Fido with you whenever you can. If you leave for an awesome trip and don't let him come, he'll know you're being selfish. So pack him a doggy suitcase, too, and consider these tips. If you're going on a long road trip, look up some nice spots for your pup to do his business in advance. You don't want to wait until his bladder is about to explode, and you're in the middle of a long stretch of desert highway. Identify parks or beaches on your route in advance, and stop at them.
Be sure to get your animal a checkup before hitting the road.
Pack more than enough food. Bringing just enough for the days of the trip could be a problem if your pup gets sick and vomits up some of his food, if your trip gets delayed, or if any of the other uncontrollable troubles come up. You may want to pack a stylish collar, too. Should Spotty escape your hotel room or RV when you're traveling, the strangers nearby won't recognize him the same way your neighbors at home would, so identification tags are important. If your pup's collar breaks on the road, you'll be grateful for a backup one.
Be sure to get your animal a checkup before hitting the road. If he has any new conditions that will require special attention while traveling, you need to know about those sooner rather than later. Check that your accommodations are dog-friendly and, as for activities, do a little research on restaurants, parks, and dog-friendly events you can take him to, so he gets to enjoy himself, as well.