Great for messy dogs, this dish keeps water in its place

By Janet Kinosian
Updated February 16, 2010 07:02 PM

Our foster dog, Maxi, a big, beautiful brown Chesapeake Bay retriever could easily rival any dog for title of world’s sloppiest drinker. We’ve even got a ‘Maxi-mop’ on the back porch near her bowl for those eight-times-daily mop-ups of water.

The mess, though, isn’t really Maxi’s fault. She had two teeth removed from the left side of her mouth, which makes her long tongue hang out. It’s cute when it’s not splashing around in water, but when she’s lapping up from a bowl, Maxi might as well be Shamu splashing spectators at SeaWorld.

So when I first saw the new Road Refresher no-spill water bowl ($18), created by Natalie Ellis, a single mom from England, I was definitely intrigued. She came up with the idea for the ingenious plastic bowl after being stopped by policemen for paying too much attention to her dog’s spilled water while driving.

Ellis tinkered with it at her kitchen table until she came up with just the right prototype: a plastic bowl that has a floating plate inside that feeds through only enough water for your dog to drink. It immediately restricts the flow whenever there is a surge from cornering, braking in the car, or over-splashing on the home floor.

It also has a Velcro base so it sticks to carpets – both inside the car and at home – and is made from heat resistant, toughened polypropylene, and can be taken apart for cleaning.

The only negative I found is the fact that you need a little elbow grease to remove the black plastic top, though I suppose this is also for added safety.

Maxi took to the Road Refresher bowl quickly, lapping her water with her usual gusto – and no spills! After she left the bowl, I checked for slobber, and, no slobber. Amazing. The results have remained steady.

After about seven days, there were just a few small spills around her bowl – an immense improvement. And while I don’t know if Maxi notices any difference, we definitely do. We’ve even put away the ‘Maxi-mop’!