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Whether you’re going on a road trip or a hike in the woods, your dog needs to stay hydrated, just like you do. Depending on where you’re going and what you’re doing, travel water bowls and bottles are more convenient than lugging along your pet’s normal bowl.
We tested and researched dozens of containers to find the best travel water bowls, evaluating them on durability, material, portability, and ease of cleaning. Our top pick, the Leashboss Splashless Water Bowl, features food-safe silicone, a broad lip to keep it from spilling, and a geometric design to prevent tipping.
Here are our picks for the best travel water bowls.
Best Overall: Leashboss Splashless Travel Dog Water Bowl
Doesn’t bend when you pick it up
Not recommended for flat-face, bearded, or giant breeds
The Leashboss Splashless has an interesting geometric design to help keep the bowl from tipping over in the car or even when a rowdy pup is stepping on it. The lip on the bowl helps keep water from sloshing out when you’re on the move. It doesn’t tip easily when you pick it up filled with water or when dogs are drinking. We’re not so sure the Leashboss is utterly splashless as it promises, but it does a pretty good job.
Made of soft silicone that is BPA-, PVC-, and phthalate-free, it has high sides and a tapered lip to keep water from spilling. It also has a skidproof base and holds more water than some of the other portable options. It’s dishwasher safe, but you might still have trouble cleaning out some of the slime that gathers in the pointy corners, so be sure to clean it regularly. This is one of the more attractive bowls, our testers thought.
Best Collapsible: Bonza Large Collapsible Dog Bowl
Has hook for water bottle
Heavier than some collapsibles
Collapsible bowls are so convenient, just clip one on your belt loop, keep it in the pocket of your car, or stash it in your backpack. They’re just so easy.
We tested so many collapsible silicone bowls, and they were all fairly similar. They looked the same except for different colors, but many appeared to be made by the same company. This one stood out because of its large capacity and several other key features. The packaging says the silicone is food-safe and BPA-free, whereas we’re not so sure with some of the others we tried.
It’s bigger than the rest, so you don’t have to keep filling it if your dog is big or particularly thirsty. (But that also means it won’t fit in your back pocket like some smaller products.) There’s a carabiner plus a silicone tab that can hook around a disposable water bottle to make it easier to keep everything together. The bowl is backed by a one-year guarantee and is dishwasher safe.
Best for the Car: Valterra Water-Hole Pet Dish
Hard to spill or splash water
Made in the U.S.A.
Lid can be hard to snap on and off
This is the one water bowl that didn’t spill or splash water in the car, even around curves or on bouncy roads. The top ring has an inner lip that keeps water from sloshing out. That lid can sometimes be difficult to pry on and off for cleaning, but once it’s on, you know that it’s very secure. Both pieces of the bowl are top-rack dishwasher safe.
The bowl is made from hard plastic and comes in either light blue or beige. One tester who often drives with dogs in the car said this has long been one of her favorites on the road.
Best for Car (Runner-Up): Kurgo No Spill Dog Travel Bowl
Wedge bottom to stay flat on car seat
Can be difficult to empty of water
This colorful silicone bowl is angled like a wedge to keep it flat on a car seat. It also has a wide lip to prevent water from sloshing everywhere. It works pretty well, although water might splash out on bumpy roads or sharp turns. The soft silicone makes it easy to cram into a backpack or tuck into a suitcase.
Interestingly, because it’s splash-free, it can be hard to empty when your dog is done with it. Water keeps filling up inside the lip. But it is dishwasher-safe, so you know it’s easy to clean, and grime won’t collect inside the edge.
Best Bottle: MalsiPree Dog Water Bottle
Fits in car cupholder
Can use it one-handed
Unused water goes back into bottle
Our testers were surprised they liked this bottle so much. It’s easy to use just one-handed and fits in a cupholder, which makes it convenient in the car. When your dog is thirsty, just turn the bottle on its side, press the button, and fill the lid with water. If your pup doesn’t drink it all, press the button again and let the water pour back down into the bottle.
There’s a lock to prevent water from spilling out and a strap for carrying. This is made of BPA-free plastic and can’t be cleaned in the dishwasher. It comes in two sizes, but the smaller one is really only useful for small dogs or very short trips.
Best Bottle (Runner-Up): KONG H2O Insulated Dog Water Bottle & Travel Bowl
BPA- and phthalate-free
Water pours easily back in the bottle
Needs two hands to use
Hand wash only
This water bottle is insulated, so it keeps your pup’s drink cool on the trail or in the car. But the stainless steel also makes it heavier than the other bottle, so it’s a trade-off. The screw-off cap doubles as a bowl. Just pour water from the bottle into it, and if your pup doesn’t finish it all, it’s relatively easy to pour it back in.
Unlike the MalsiPree bottle, this one requires two hands to use, so it’s a little more unwieldy. The whole set is BPA- and phthalate-free and can be recycled. There’s a carabiner clip to attach to your backpack, and it comes in four colors. One tester with a large dog said her pup had trouble getting enough water out of the small lid-bowl.
Best Budget: Outward Hound Port-A-Bowl Collapsible Bowl
Will leak if left with water too long
This lightweight, foldable bowl is easy to tuck in your pocket. It takes up very little space, and it’s incredibly affordable. Because it’s made out of nylon, it’s only meant to hold water for short bursts, not to sit out in the car or your campsite as a water bowl. Leave the water to sit too long, and the wetness will just seep through.
You can spot clean it or machine wash it in cold water if it gets gross, but it takes some time to dry out. (You might not want to put it right back into your pocket.) It’s not incredibly rugged, and the bowl will collapse if a dog plays or pushes it too much. But for the price and the convenience, it’s useful to have on hand.
Best Splurge: Yeti Boomer 8 Dog Bowl
Made of heavy stainless steel
Lots of colors
More expensive than most
This sturdy and heavy stainless steel bowl is definitely a splurge. But people who own them think they’re pretty impressive. The bottom has a solid, recessed nonslip ring, unlike others that have small or too easily removed rubber feet. The bowl comes in all sorts of colors, in addition to just stainless silver. It’s dishwasher safe and easy to wash by hand.
Although the bowl isn’t insulated, it seems to keep water cooler than some other bowls. It’s definitely more expensive than most, but it seems like it’s durable and long-lasting. It’s not necessarily for in the car (water sloshes) or for hiking (too heavy), but some fans like to take the sturdy bowl on trips for when they arrive at a campground or final destination because it holds up and is easy to clean. Others use it in the car but just fill it up on stops. “If this had a lid, it would be absolutely perfect,” says one tester who travels all the time with her pups.
Best Fabric Bowl: Ruffwear Quencher Dog Bowl
Light and packable
No carabiner, just a hook
Made by outdoor gear company Ruffwear, this collapsible square bowl is made out of rugged polyester fabric with a waterproof lining. It’s easy to fold up and put into your backpack or pocket when you’re out and about. And if your dog is messy, you can throw it in the washing machine.
There’s an integrated loop for carrying the bowl but no carabiner to attach it to your gear. The flexible bowl holds up pretty well when filled but can be tipped over by very eager pups. It doesn’t take too long to dry out. It gets added points for the attractive, rich colors.
Best for Messy Drinkers: LumoLeaf Dog Water Bowl
Deters spills and splashes
Slows down fast drinkers
Ring sometimes snaps off
Water seeps into floating disc
The LumoLeaf has a floating disc that controls water flow, which helps keep it from spilling but also prevents your pet from gulping down loads of liquid. Instead, he has to lap it up slowly as the top refills. Dogs might need a second to figure out how this works because only a little water is visible at the top of the bowl.
The floating disc keeps water levels mostly even, even on rocky surfaces or in the car. The bowl is top-rack dishwasher safe. The rim can get grimy, and the floating disc can trap water, so the manufacturer recommends it be washed about every three days. That includes taking the floating disc apart to wash it. That’s pretty high maintenance for everyday use.
What to Look for in a Dog Bowl for Travel
Most collapsible bowls are made out of either silicone or fabric. Sturdier bowls can be crafted of plastic or stainless steel. Look for food-grade materials that are BPA- and phthalate-free. Know that if your dog likes to chew and play with his bowls, the allure of silicone and fabric (and even plastic!) can be tempting.
Some travel bowls are all about portability. They’re lightweight and either fold or collapse, so you can tuck them into a backpack or your pocket. They often have carabiners or loops so you can clip them onto your gear. Bowls designed for the car don’t have to be quite so lightweight or easy to carry.
Bowls that are meant to be used in the car typically have a rim or special lid that keeps water from sloshing out. Some of these work better than others, and it all depends on how much water you put in the bowl, how eagerly your dog drinks, and how bumpy your travel is.
Travel bowls often can hold less water than the bowl your dog uses at home, particularly one you’d use on a hike or in the car. The bowls we tested held from 12 to 64 ounces. If you have a small dog, the lower capacity should be convenient, but you might have to refill it several times for a larger dog. Also, check the size of the opening to make sure your dog’s snout isn’t too big for a tiny bowl.
You might not be able to pop a bowl into a dishwasher when you’re on the road, but be sure to clean it as soon as you get home. Not all bowls are dishwasher safe, and some might have rims or corners where slime can accumulate. If a bowl isn’t dishwasher safe, be sure it can be washed by hand thoroughly and easily.
Why Trust The Spruce Pets?
For this story, we purchased nearly two dozen travel bowls that are popular with dog owners we know and have great ratings online. We asked dog owners to use them with their pets in the car, while out walking, and even at home. We rated them on effectiveness, durability, ease of cleaning, and overall value. Some didn’t make the cut early on, but there were some pretty popular choices.
This article was written by Mary Jo DiLonardo, who often reviews dog products for Spruce Pets. The proud mom of a rescue dog, she has fostered around four dozen dogs and puppies. Mary Jo has tried lots of different bowls with her own dog and foster pups and is always looking for the most durable and effective pet products. For more than 25 years, Mary Jo has covered a wide range of topics focused on nature, pets, science, and anything that helps make the world a better place.