If your pooch is a spaz in the car, good luck getting him calm down enough to drink from this bowl

By Jacob Luft
Updated January 01, 2010 12:45 PM

If there’s a spectrum for dog behavior in moving motor vehicles, then my two dogs represent the opposite ends. My beagle is the carefree, head-hanging-out-the-window type – even on a frosty winter day. He’ll get up on the dash, jump from the back seat to the front seat, try to get on my lap while I drive. As for my corgi, she can be found trying to wedge herself under the passenger-side seat, shaking so hard her hair falls out in clumps.

I’m guessing most dogs either love or hate the ride, which makes me wonder exactly how useful something like the Spill-Proof Pet Travel Bowl ($29.99) from Flydog can really be for dog owners. If your dog is a spaz in the car, good luck getting it to calm down long enough to take a drink out of this bowl. If your pup is terrified during even the shortest of road trips, then you have a better chance of training it to make lunar landings than convincing it to take a sip from this product.

As for the piece of hardware itself, it isn’t the prettiest thing to look at – dull gray and in the shape of a bedpan – but it succeeds in the most basic sense: It is very much spill-proof. In another plus, the bowl detaches from the holder, allowing you to use it in the dog park, where Fido is more likely to want a drink than in the car. My biggest complaint is that it’s hard to clean – you need to make sure to wipe off any water that may be beneath the cover, or else you’ll get gunk buildup.

I tested it by putting four cups of water in the bowl and driving around my hilly neighborhood, going up and down steep inclines, and not a drop spilled on the upholstery. Then I made the mistake of trying to test it with my dogs in the car. The corgi, freaked out at the prospect of going for a ride, jumped in and landed squarely on top of the bowl, breaking it off from the holder. Water did indeed spill everywhere, mixed in with the clumps of corgi hair.