I was out hiking this weekend with my dog on a warm and sunny day. And I failed to bring any sort of drinking bowl for him. This is often not a problem in the woods and mountains of the Northeast, where streams, rills, and rivulets are everywhere, but this particular hike was almost completely dry. Which left my poor dog to lap up water from a very funky puddle of old rainwater that had collected at the summit.
I felt bad, and neglectful, so I was intrigued when I came across the Grrowler (sic) from Rocky Mountain Underground, a combination dog collar and water bowl. This wide fabric collar can be unzipped and expanded to create a drinking container on the spot. Even better, the post-drinking slobber bucket goes back around the dog’s neck, rather than inside your pack with your other stuff. There’s even space to pack in a few poop bags or a small emergency leash (included).
The Grrowler has been featured by Men’s Journal, which gave it top billing in its round-up of new products from Summer Outdoor Retailer; and was also warmly reviewed by Outside Magazine. The collar is available in small and large sizes and retails for $39.99.
Of course, there are drawbacks to such canine gadgetry (gimmickry?). Forty bucks is a lot to pay for a dog water bowl, especially when there are many cheaper options out there, such as the Quencher ($15) or collapsible Bivy Bowl ($25), both from Ruffwear. Or you can just carry a lightweight plastic bowl or Tupperware container to keep it simple and cheap.
That being said, all of those alternatives do require you to remember to bring them in the first place, so I do like the idea that you’re automatically toting along your dog’s drinking vessel the second you clip on the collar. Hike on!