Ways to Carry Water and Making Sure Your Dog Can Drink it
Today we will be covering dog hydration again, but looking more specifically at water systems. While it’s important to have enough clean water, it is not the only consideration you should have in mind when planning a trip with your dog. One important issue to consider is how you plan to carry water for your pup and the method of getting the water to your dog.
In a previous post, A Guide to Keeping Your Dog Hydrated, I talked about ways to keep your dog hydrated on outdoor adventures. Today, I am going to share the products BeeGee uses for water; when they work best; and their issues.
At a Base Camp
When BeeGee and I are out on adventures with a base camp, our REI Dog Water Bowl is the best bowl for the job. Unfortunately, REI doesn’t carry it anymore, but carries a very similar Ruffwear bowl (its more expensive though!). The bowl weighs 5.2 oz, is made of a flexible cloth/fabric mix, and holds approximately 1.5 liters, but is too large to fit in BeeGee’s pack. This bowl works best when at a permanent campsite with a water faucet or water pump. You don’t need to carry any water, just fill the bowl with water, and let your dog enjoy.
|The Rei Dog Water Bowl: it works great at a permanent campsite|
Without a Pack
On short trips when it’s not worth the hassle to put BeeGee’s pack on or when I feel it is to hot out for her wear her pack, I will carry her water for her. To do this I use the OllyDog 1 liter bottle. The 1L bottle weighs 7.4 oz, is made from hard plastic, and has a form fit water bowl that attaches to the bottle. This bottle is a water carrier and bowl all rolled up into one. Plus, 1 Liter of water will last BeeGee a while. However, the OllyDog bottle is heavy when filled with water and is too long to fit in BeeGee’s pack.
|The OllyDog 1 L Bottle. It has an attachable water bottle making it a complete water system|
The Old Method
When we go backpacking and BeeGee is carrying her own pack, the OllyDog 600ml bottles were our go to water system. BeeGee would carry 2 bottles, 1 in each side of her pack. This helped to keep the pack balanced and even. Each OllyDog 600ml bottle weighs 5.2 oz, is made from hard plastic, and has an attachable water bowl. However, carrying both bottles adds a lot of extra weight for BeeGee. In addition, the bottles take up a lot of room in her pack and are inflexible so other items fit awkwardly.
|OllyDog 600ml bottle. Carries water and has an attachable water bowl.|
The Latest Plan
For our latest plan, BeeGee will carry 2 soft water bottles and a collapsible silicone bowl. The soft water bottles we use are Platypus SoftBottle. A platypus bottle weighs almost nothing at 0.5 oz, holds 500 ml, and is made of flexible plastic. In addition, the bottles use the same threading as my Sawyer water filter, so I can filter water straight into her bowl. Furthermore, the bottles are flexible so they fit better with the other items in BeeGee’s pack.
Unfortunately, the bottles weren’t made specifically for pets, so a bowl is needed to drink from (unless your pup will drink straight from the bottle). To fix this I picked up an inexpensive collapsible silicone bowl at Walmart. The bowl weighs 4.4 oz, holds around 500ml of water, and folds up all compact like. However, the bowl is finicky about folding up and is much deeper than it is wide. I feel that there is a better collapsible bowl out there at will continue to look.
The new system has worked out to be a little bit better so far because it packs better and it weighs half as much as the old system. We will continue to use this until we find something better to replace it.
I hope that looking at what BeeGee and I use will help you decide how you will carry water for your trail buddy. My biggest considerations for her are comfort and weight. I don’t want to carry heavy, uncomfortable gear so I bet BeeGee doesn’t want to either. Just remember that having available clean water is the ultimate goal. In the end, it doesn’t matter how you carry water or what bowl you use if no water is available.
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