It it hot here. Really hot. Taking even a short walk without water seems cruel, but the options for carrying it aren’t good. For a while we used a collapsible water dish from Ruffwear, but Silas wouldn’t always drink the water. I had to stop, pour water into the bowl, and offer it to Silas. If he turned it down, I had to either pour out the water on the ground, or carry a water dish around with me. The only upside to this system is that I could share water with him, since I was pouring his water out of a bottle. The downside was that it really used a lot of water. (Note: I *adore* that Ruffwear bowl for everything else, though. Easy to pack and carry, durable, completely water tight, holds a good quantity. We still use it for everything except trips to the park.)
These bottles operate like a hamster bottle, from what my dim childhood memories tell me. Under the small cap is a stainless ball bearing. As the dog licks, his tongue pushes the ball bearing up and turns it, allowing water through. No fuss. No pouring water. Minimal water wasted. The top unscrews at the lower edge of the black segment to allow filling and washing.
It isn’t a perfect system. For some reason, it’s very easy to cross-thread the small cap. There’s a retention string that keeps you from losing the cap, and it is always in my way. The dog will still get water everywhere, both because it slings off his tongue and because water leaks out around the ball bearing as you tip the bottle up. Not a lot, but it will definitely leave a wet place on a car seat even if you have a tidy drinker.
Generally speaking, though, I love this bottle. Silas had no trouble figuring out how to use it. We have a pretty good little routine–we’re walking along and he stops and sits, which is my cue to offer him some water. (I would never ask him to sit before I would give him a drink when he’s hot and tired; he volunteers it.) He’ll take a few licks, then go on for a few minutes before he repeats. Quick and easy. It holds 24 oz, far more than Silas needs for our regular outings, but I like erring on the side of more.
Bottom line: Nice!