Buddy Bowl – How to keep water available for pets on a boat

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One of the small details that went overlooked when we first moved onto our sailboat was keeping water available for the dogs. It’s never been an issue before. We just put a bowl out and check it a few times a day to make sure the kids have plenty of water. We know they like to drink mostly after eating and after a run, with a little bit throughout the day. No big deal.

When we first moved aboard the food and water routine was no different than it was on land. Fill the bowls and the dogs empty them. It wasn’t until our first sail with the dogs aboard that we realized our original plan wasn’t going to work. I had read a few suggestions online that some people just use an oversized bowl and only fill it up half way or less so that the water doesn’t slosh out all over the place when you’re under way. Guess what spilled the water out when we tried this method? Me! I spilled more water out of that bowl while moving around in the cockpit than the amount of water that was spilled from the boat heeling over.

In researching more helpful tips and tricks for liveaboard dogs I came across the “Buddy Bowl.” That was it! It was perfect!!

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I contacted Great American Spillproof Products and they gladly sponsored our adventures by providing us with two (2) 64 oz TOTALLY SPILLPROOF Buddy Bowls for Gunner and Betsy!! These will be totally essential for every day use while anchored up and especially while we are underway.

We keep one tucked behind the ladder at our forward companionway next to where we feed the dogs inside the boat. Gunner and Betsy know right where it is and they have no trouble at all helping themselves when they feel a little thirsty. Gunner ALWAYS lets Betsy drink first if they are both thirsty after a run :) He’s such a gentleman, just like his daddy.

We keep the second Buddy Bowl on the floor of the cockpit so the dogs will always have water while topside. When we are underway, they frequently like to lap up a little water every hour or so. We’re in southern Florida now and heading to only warmer climates so its super important for us to have water available at all times for our pooches. It’s also important to keep water available for them if they are feeling seasick. Last time we took the boat out we put them down below and Betsy didn’t feel that good. She was happy to know where the water was though.

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The staff at Great American Spillproof Products recommended sending us the 64 oz models instead of their standard 44 oz size based on our weather conditions and the size of our dogs. They hold more water (a HALF GALLON!) so you don’t have to refill them as often! It doesn’t look like the 64oz bowls are available in their online store but I’m sure they can help out if you’re interested in getting one for your furry friend.

It looks like it might be hard for the dogs to actually get to the water but it’s really no trouble at all. Gunner has a long nose but it’s just his tongue that needs to get inside to where the water is. Gunner is also a VERY messy drinker and his food, water and slobber usually get flung at least a foot from his bowl. The Buddy Bowl is even more awesome because it catches all that excess water inside instead of spraying out away from the surface of the water where his tongue hits. Score!!

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We tested them out and sure enough, they are totally spill proof. The Buddy Bowl will even hold the water if you tip it upside down! The bowls are made in the U.S. with non-toxic/BPA-free food grade plastic, and they keep the water cleaner with less surface area for bugs, dust and other dirt to collect in. There are fastening points on the bottom for tying the bowl up for storage or keeping it in one spot. We don’t have to worry about tying it down though since there’s not too many places it could slide to :) They actually stay put very well on their own.

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The Buddy Bowl is easy to clean and even dishwasher safe. Even though we don’t have a dishwasher anymore its still a cool feature :)

This really is an awesome product and could be used in the car, on a boat, outside, inside, at the beach, camping, in a crate, anywhere! It’s also especially handy if you have little ones around that like to spill the water bowl and splash around :)

We are proud to promote the products we love by sharing our experiences with others in hopes that it may bring the same joy to you!

If you’re interested in ordering one of these, the online store on the BuddyBowl website is down at the moment. Simply send an email to cree@greatamericanspillproof.com to place an order!

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14 comments

  1. Camilla says:

    Happy New Year from Tasmania. We actually have the Buddy Bowl on Namirda for the Wei’s. I sent away to the U.S. and was very impressed with the speed in which it arrived. Ours is up in the cockpit and is terrific in Tasmania’s notorious high winds.I am ordering another one today as we shall be setting off for Queensland in March.
    Cheers, Camilla

  2. Matt Davis says:

    Great post. We will certainly have to pick one of these up for our pup. Is there a link where you guys can get “credit” for the purchase? Thanks for sharing! Matt & Courtney

    • Matt and Courtney,
      Thanks for asking but we don’t make any money or benefit from our referrals of the Buddy Bowl :) The manufacturer sponsored us by providing two free Buddy Bowls and in exchange we did an honest review of the product. We like to help promote anything that we think others would benefit from as much as we have and these bowls seriously rock! We hope that sharing our experiences will help others along the way. If you want the larger size you may want to contact the company since I think they only have the 44 oz size on their website. There is a link on our products and services page but I will add one to the post as well.

  3. Laura says:

    No wonder they love it, it looks like a toilet bowl! Just kidding of course, this is a great idea. If I lived on a monohull I’m sure I’d want one but luckily we haven’t had any problems on our catamaran…yet.

  4. Can anything get in to the bowl? Our problem with our dogs is that their dog hair or dust gets in to the bowl which we have to dump and refill. This process works but it wastes precious fresh water! Seems like an awesome product.

    • Kelley, A little bit of dog hair and dust still gets in there but 50% less than a regular bowl because of the surface area. Instead, most of it lands on the top rim and can easily be wiped off. When it lands inside the cone its also pretty easy to scoop some hair off the water surface against the cone to get it out. If your dogs are anything like ours, there’s dog hair all over the place all the time ;)

    • Hi Diana, Unfortunately if your dog has larger/longer jowls its almost impossible to prevent water dripping from their mouths as they walk away. The buddy bowl does help, though I always place a small towel underneath to catch some of the drips as they walk away too.

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