My precious pooch is an indoor dog. So, when she spills water when drinking, I have to clean it up. If I don’t, it’s only a matter of time before I get wet socks. I hate wet socks!
If you are tired of cleaning up water puddles, then a no-spill dog bowl is just what you are looking for.
A no-spill dog bowl can instantly turn your water-splashing dog into a dripless drinker.
But which no-spill bowl is best for your dog?
Well, we can answer that.
We spent over 120 hours testing 17 different no-spill dog bowls. With the help of our dedicated dog testing team, we created the most detailed no-spill dog bowl review, ever.
- What is a no-spill dog bowl?
- What are the different types of no-spill dog bowls?
- How well do no-spill dog bowls work?
- Which dogs need a no-spill dog bowl?
- How did we test the no-spill dog bowls?
- Best all-around no-spill dog bowl
- Best no-spill dog bowl for flat-faced dogs
- Best no-spill dog bowl for small dogs
- Best no-spill dog bowl for chewers
What is a no-spill dog bowl?
As the name suggests, a no-spill dog bowl is designed to do one thing:
Stop your dog from making a mess when he eats and drinks – keeping your floor clean and dry.
How does a no-spill dog bowl achieve that?
Well, it varies from brand to brand.
Some have a lid to prevent water from splashing over the edge of the bowl…
Some have an opening so narrow that only your dog’s tongue can slide through…
Others defy gravity and won’t leak even if flipped upside down…
All told, no-spill bowls come in dozens of different designs.
While each no-spill bowl may look different, they are all designed to do the same thing… save your floor from a puddle of water.
What are the different types of no-spill dog bowls?
During our research, we came across three variations of the no-spill bowl.
A plastic bowl typically made from a three-part construction, this bowl will not leak a drop of water, even if flipped upside down.
This version is essentially a regular dog bowl with an awning running around the edge. This bowl prevents splashes from messy drinking and your dog nudging the bowl. However, it won’t stop a dog who is determined to make a mess.
3. Splash catchers
This design has a mat or container that the dog bowl sits on. It not only catches spilled water but dropped dog food as well.
Splash catchers can either come as a complete set, with dog bowls included, or sold separately.
How well do no-spill dog bowls work?
No-spill dog bowls have a somewhat mixed reception in the community. Some dog owners love them. Others are not so keen.
Based on our interviews with experts and dog owners, much of that seems to stem from unrealistic expectations or purchasing the wrong no-spill dog bowl for their dog.
Our review makes sure that you choose the best no-spill bowl for your dog. As for your expectations, let’s talk about that…
Yes, a good no-spill dog bowl greatly reduces spills, splashes and floods.
However, it won’t eliminate water drips completely.
You see, even the neatest dog has a splash of water on his face and jowls when he drinks.
Once your dog is finished drinking and walks away, water drips from his face, leaving a small trail of drops. It’s unavoidable.
This is especially noticeable with dogs that drool a lot.
It’s these few drips that upset dog owners who believe a no-spill dog bowl will eliminate 100% of all slobber.
Similarly, I came across some owners who believed a no-spill dog bowl would magically stop their dog from playing in their water bowl.
It might seem obvious, but…
No bowl is going to stop your dog from slobbering or playing games.
That’s just your dog being a dog. And, in my opinion, that’s part of their charm.
With that said, a no-spill bowl is still an incredibly useful product…
What a no-spill dog bowl can do is greatly reduce splashing and spills that happen during drinking – when your dog has his face dunked in the bowl.
Compared to a flood of water that comes from messy drinking, those few drips are not a problem at all.
It is worth mentioning that no-spill bowls work best with water. If you are looking for a dedicated food bowl, I suggest grabbing a
slow-feed bowl instead.
Which dogs need a no-spill dog bowl?
Depending on the breed of dog, a no-spill dog bowl can be an essential piece of equipment.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most compelling arguments for using a no-spill dog bowl.
1. Is your dog a messy drinker?
Let’s get the most obvious argument out of the way first.
Drinking without using your hands is difficult. And, your dog doesn’t have any.
Seriously, try kneeling over and drinking water out of a bowl without using your hands. It isn’t easy, is it?
With that said, some dogs are definitely messier than others.
If your dog nudges his bowl while he eats, has a sloppy drinking style or simply enjoys making a mess, then a no-spill bowl is a great way of preventing it.
2. Is your dog a gulper?
Assuming that your dog doesn’t choke first when he eats or drinks too quickly, he will swallow air, which can cause your dog to vomit.
A quick vomit may make your dog feel better, but it can leave you with a stained carpet and a mess to clean up or worse… you have to watch your dog eat his puke.
Even if your dog doesn’t puke, he could get a nasty case of hiccups from gulping down his water – but at least these typically pass after a few minutes.
Many no-spill bowls restrict access to your dog’s water, forcing him to drink slower.
3. Does your dog have long ears or a beard?
Do you have a droopy-eared dog, like a Basset Hound or Spaniel? Then, you are all too familiar with the ear dunking that happens every time he drinks from his water bowl.
Maybe you have a bearded dog, like a Schnauzer or Scottish Terrier. Well, that beard is going to get soaked when drink time rolls around.
If you are lucky, your dog will simply walk away from his water bowl and leave a dripping trail of water.
And if you are unlucky?
Well, this picture says it best…
Yep, your soggy pooch is going to shake and spray that water all over your yard, walls and clothes.
A no-spill water bowl can stop your pooch’s dangly bits from getting wet, preventing this disaster in the first place.
4. Your dog’s bowl is on carpet
Carpet has a lot of good things going for it. I love how soft it feels underfoot…
But when it comes to cleaning, I’d take a tile floor any day.
That’s why it’s best to feed and water your dog on an easy-to-clean surface.
But if you live in an apartment, then you might not have a lot of choice in the matter. And, the carpet might be the most accessible place to feed your dog.
If you find yourself nodding in agreement, then a no-spill bowl will keep your carpet clean.
5. Does your dog dig in his water bowl?
Yes, this is actually a thing. And if you have never seen it before, it comes as quite a surprise.
Picture your doggy digging in his water bowl like there’s gold at the bottom, a stream of water spraying out behind him like a motorboat.
Then, when the bowl is empty, he simply walks away, acting like nothing happened – leaving you to clean up the mess.
Other times, your dog may just soak his feet in his water bowl. Not that this is much better because your dog is still going to track wet paws around the house.
Now, it is worth mentioning that there are numerous reasons why your dog digs in his water bowl…
- Your dog is overheating.
- Your dog is bored.
- Your dog prefers to drink moving water, like that of a stream.
- Your dog sees his moving reflection in the bowl.
Or, maybe your dog just enjoys digging in the water bowl. If this is the reason, then a no-spill bowl will solve your problem.
However, if any of the other reasons listed above are responsible, you are best off addressing the cause rather than forcing your dog to deal with a no-spill bowl.
6. Do you have a puppy?
… Or maybe you have an adult dog who still thinks he’s a puppy.
I’m not sure what it is about water bowls, but just the sight of one can turn your preciously little puppy into a water-spraying jerk.
If your puppy isn’t splashing in the water, then he is probably wrestling with the bowl. And to make sure he makes as much mess as possible, he carries it around your home.
And when your puppy is all tuckered out, forget sleeping in his dog bed – the water bowl is much more comfortable.
Fortunately, most puppies outgrow this messy behavior. But until they do, a no-spill bowl is a simple and effective solution.
Did you find yourself shaking your head in agreement at any of the above situations?
Then, your doggy is a suitable candidate for a no-spill dog bowl.
During our research, the feedback on no-spill dog bowls was overwhelmingly positive.
However, that doesn’t mean that this product is fool-proof…
Most no-spill dog bowls are made from plastic. Because of this, they have the same flaws as any other plastic dog bowl…
If your dog loves to gnaw, then I don’t have to tell you that a plastic no-spill bowl and sharp teeth are a poor mix.
Another issue came up where the flat face of a Bulldog prevented him from easily accessing the water from the bowl. No matter how hard Champ pushed his face into the bowl, he couldn’t reach the water.
Now, I must stress that these experiences are uncommon. In many cases, these problems arise because the incorrect no-spill bowl was chosen for that dog breed.
For example, choosing a stainless steel bowl will be more than enough to stop a determined chewer.
Similarly, suitable no-spill dog bowls are available that allow even dogs with flat faces to access water easily.
Fortunately, you won’t have to deal with these problems. After all, use this guide to find the perfect no-spill dog bowl for your dog. We tested 17 no-spill dog bowls with a variety of dogs.
Speaking of which…
How did we test the no-spill dog bowls?
At DogLab, we take reviews seriously. We never recommend products that we wouldn’t happily give to our own dogs.
That’s why our testing team thoroughly evaluates each product we recommend – with paws-on use.
By the end of our testing process, we spent 120+ hours researching, testing and reviewing the most popular (and even some unpopular) no-spill dog bowls on the market.
Which no-spill dog bowls did we test?
The first thing we did was to decide on which no-spill dog bowls we should test.
Plenty of dogs make a mess when they drink. Because of this, there are dozens of different no-spill dog bowls on the market, all designed to solve the problem of your splashing pooch.
After researching the different no-spill bowls on the market, analyzing user reviews and interviewing experts, we narrowed down our selection to 17 different bowls.
While this might seem like a lot, some brands manufactured a range of no-spill bowls in different sizes, and we had to test them all.
By the end of our tests, we put 8 different brands to the test.
- Golden Wolf
- Modern Artisans
- Slopper Stopper
- Ryan’s Own
With our list complete, it was now time to go shopping. We purchased each no-spill dog bowl featured in our review today from Amazon.com.
Yep, at DogLab, we buy every product at the same price you pay. We don’t receive discounts for reviewing products.
Once every no-spill dog bowl arrived, it was time to test them!
What criteria did we use?
Let’s face it, the main reason you buy a no-spill dog bowl is to stop your sloppy drinker from spilling water all over your floor.
So, we gathered a team of water gulpers to try their hardest to splash and spill water from the bowls we purchased.
Each bowl was tested for a week by each dog, to give them time to get used to the bowl and learn how to use it correctly.
From there, we graded each bowl on its ability to prevent the area around the bowl from turning into a flood zone.
We also tested each bowl for…
- Ease of cleaning
- Did the bowl slide around during drinking?
Who tested the no-spill dog bowls?
It’s now time to introduce you to who tested the no-spill dog bowls.
We assembled a team of five testers to interact with, observe and rate how well each no-spill bowl performed.
Where possible, we source testers from Fetch A Friend Rescue, a rescue organization that takes in dogs from local shelters who would otherwise be put down, giving them a second chance to find a forever home. If you live in Upstate New York and are looking for a four-legged family friend, check them out!
Let me introduce you to…
Breed: Pit Bull mix
Despite being neglected by her previous owner, Pixie is an optimist and ready to find a new home with a family who will give plenty of belly rubs. She loves to play with other dogs, especially tug of war and is a total toy addict, often attempting to fit two or three toys in her mouth at once.
Good news: Pixie has been adopted!
Breed: American Bulldog mix
Champ had a very rough start to his life, spending it chained up in a yard. He now has aspirations of being a professional taste tester. If it’s on the floor, he puts it in his mouth. He’s not a barker but instead prefers to talk through cute, grunty noises.
Good news: Champ was also adopted!
Breed: Jack Russell mix
Hailing from the deep south, Leo is a southern gentleman. He doesn’t bark, is well-trained and, most importantly, brings the ball back to your feet when you throw it. After a fun day of playing, Leo loves nothing more than to snuggle and have his head rubbed.
Good news: Leo was adopted!
Breed: Yellow Labrador Retriever
Tucker is one of our regular testers and loves everything to do with the outdoors. Rain, hail or shine. And, snow… Especially snow. Tucker performed a few happy laps in the snow before we convinced him to test the no-spill dog bowls.
Me – lover of dogs and walks in the snow. Thanks in part to my opposable thumbs, I played a major role in reviewing all the no-spill dog bowls. Who else was going to clean up after all those spills?
Which no-spill dog bowl was best?
I’ll be honest with you… We went into this review expecting to pick an outright winner.
However, as we soon learned, no single bowl worked best for all dogs. In fact, very few no-spills worked well for the messiest drinkers out there – flat-faced dogs like Champ.
The reason for this is that many no-spill bowls rely on a narrow opening, one that flat-faced dogs couldn’t squeeze their face through.
So to begin with, I cover the two best all-around dog bowls – one for most dogs and one for flat-faced dogs. After that, I list suitable options for those looking for something more specialized.
Best all-around no-spill dog bowl
Out of all the no-spill bowls we reviewed, none impressed us more than the K9 Buddy Bowl by Ray Allen. During regular use, on its side or even flipped upside down, the bowl doesn’t let any water escape.
Not. A. Single. Drop!
The ability to lock in water makes this water bowl suitable for use at home or on the road – perfect for motorhomes or working dogs who ride with you.
Best of all, the design keeps long ears dry! Your Bloodhound couldn’t dunk his droopy ears in this bowl if he tried!
We flipped, threw and rolled the Ray Allen Buddy Bowl, but it refused to leak. The simple design was darn effective at containing water. The only time we made it successfully spill was by incorrectly placing the lid on the bowl.
Speaking of the lid…
We came across many user reviews claiming that the bowl is hard to open – something you do when cleaning time rolls around.
This is true. But it’s only a temporary problem when the bowl is new. The first few times you open it up can be a struggle, but once broken in, removing the lid becomes effortless. It took about 12 lid removals to break the lid in.
The all-plastic design allowed the bowl to slide around while our doggy testers used the bowl. However, this was only really a problem while they learned how to correctly use the bowl, bumping their snout on the edges in the process.
Once our pups mastered the correct technique, standing over the bowl instead of off to the side, the bowl hardly moved at all.
The initial moving wasn’t really a problem since the enclosed design prevented water from sloshing out of the bowl while it moved around.
If you are concerned about the bowl sliding, you could place the bowl against a wall or even use a non-slip mat.
The Ray Allen Buddy Bowl comes in three sizes:
- Small: 32 oz
- Medium: 44 oz
- Large: 64 oz
If in doubt or you have multiple dogs, choose a larger size. None of our testers struggled when presented with the next size up.
Even Champ, our flat-faced tester, could drink from the wide opening. Admittedly, he had to smoosh his face right in and looked darn silly doing it…
While the bowl is still useable, it’s not exactly the right tool for the job.
If you have a flat-faced breed, then our next recommendation is much more appropriate…
Best no-spill dog bowl for flat-faced dogs
If you have a flat-faced dog, you likely need a splash-proof bowl instead of a spill-proof one. All the spill-proof bowls we tested featured obstructions that made drinking more difficult for our flat-faced friends.
The Less-Mess Pet Bowl by Golden Wolf hits the sweet spot between preventing spills and splashes while still being easy-to-use for a flat-faced dog.
A plastic disk floats on top of the bowl. A small hole in the center of the disk lets a small amount of water through, limiting how much water your pooch can reach at any time. Instead of gulping, your dog needs to lap up the water. The result is that your dog will drink slower with less splashing and mess.
The non-slip rubber base prevents the bowl from sliding over the floor, but due to the open nature of the design, we didn’t have any tester bump the bowl while drinking.
If you don’t have a flat-faced dog, then I suggest skipping this recommendation.
You see, clever dogs with long snouts soon figure out how to remove the floating disk. While Champ, the Bulldog, was unable to grip the disc, Cooper, the Labrador, had it out in no time.
Once your dog removes the disk, he is once again free to make a mess. If your pup has a snout, check out our number 1 pick, the Ray Allen Buddy Bowl.
The same goes for puppies who put their feet in the bowl. If your dog does this, he will push the floating disc down, which results in water splashing out the bowl.
But if your dog doesn’t play games with his bowl or you have a flat-faced dog, the bowl works perfectly.
Champ used to drink from a stainless steel bowl. To say that he was messy is an understatement! He basically dunked his head in the water every time he drank, leaving a trail of water and drool as he walked away.
Once we swapped him over to the Less-Mess bowl, he became a proper gentleman. He drank with small, measured sips and didn’t splash any water out of the bowl at all. There were still a couple of drops that fell from his jowls, but it was nothing like the puddle he left behind when using his old bowl. And, besides, you get a few drops splashed from any bowl you use.
For best results, I recommend filling the bowl ¾ of the way full. It prevents splashing if your pooch accidentally bumps the floating disc.
The bowl only comes in a single size. However, thanks to the open top, both small Pugs and larger Bulldogs can drink from the bowl.
While our top picks outperformed, the following no-spills bowls are situationally useful. If you have a small dog or one that loves to chew, then you may find these bowls better suited for your pooch.
Best no-spill dog bowl for small dogs
If your mini pooch is too small to flip or push around his dog bowl, then our number one pick might be overkill for you. That’s why we decided to find a better solution for smaller dogs.
Introducing the Kugo Splash-Free Wander Bowl. The tilted opening and flexible sides allow even the smallest Chihuahua to access the water easily.
Made entirely of food-grade silicone, Kurgo designed this no-spill bowl to be travel-friendly. We easily folded the bowl in half and kept it in our glove compartment. While it is the most travel-friendly no-spill bowl, it is nowhere near as compact as the collapsible dog bowls we reviewed, which are much better suited for traveling.
Still, this no-spill bowl has a good reputation among the RV community, many of whom rely on it to stop their dogs from spilling water all over the floor.
During testing, it held up well, and water didn’t slosh around. The bowl didn’t slide around on grass, carpet or decking, and Leo didn’t spill a drop.
The same couldn’t be said for our larger testers, however. Tucker thought the bowl was a toy and preferred to play with it rather than drink from it – even when he was thirsty.
Best no-spill dog bowl for chewers
Is your dog a hardcore chewer? Then you are all too familiar with how quickly plastic and silicone dog bowls are destroyed – I’m thinking of you German Shepherd owners!
Unfortunately, the vast majority of no-spill dog bowls are plastic. And, the one stainless steel option is, well, not that great.
The only viable solution we came across during testing is this ceramic no-spill bowl hand-made right here in the USA.
Made from stoneware clay, the hard finish of the bowl discourages even the most determined chewer.
As you would expect from a ceramic dog bowl, these things are heavy. The smaller size weighs two pounds while the larger size comes in at four. Even so, an overly playful German Shepherd can likely carry it around with ease.
The inward curling edges effectively stopped water from sloshing over the edges – even when used by our messiest drinkers.
We were also impressed with just how little the bowl moved around. We tested it on carpet, tiles, wooden floorboards and even grass – the darn thing wouldn’t budge no matter who drank from it.
Dotted around the lip are three drainage holes. These allow water to escape when washing, preventing the risk of mold and mildew that often comes with trapped water.
Speaking of the lip, we did note that it made the opening a little too narrow to accommodate a flat-faced dog.
If your dog is a chewer and you want a no-spill bowl, this is as good as it gets.
The no-spill dog bowls that didn’t make the cut
Every bowl can’t be a winner. We test many products, and it’s impossible for them all to come out on top. Here are the bowls that just didn’t quite make the cut.
I had really high hopes for the Slopper Stopper dripless water bowl. It has amazing reviews and holds a gallon of water. The Slopper Stopper also has a stand available (sold separately) that allows you to raise the bowl higher. Unfortunately, the design is over-engineered and needlessly complicated to use. But what is most off-putting is the price – this was the most expensive no-spill water bowl we tested. Considering cheaper products performed as well or better, we see no reason to drop the extra cash on this dog bowl.
The Indipets Stainless Steel Spill Proof Bowl is the only no-spill bowl made entirely of stainless steel. Constructed in two separate pieces, a stainless steel bowl and a removable lip, this bowl offered all the advantages that any other stainless steel bowl would – durable, won’t be chewed and easy-to-clean. The steel lip is rigid and pokey and our Labrador Retriever got his nose stuck under it because of the design. Also, after taking the non-slip rubber ring off for cleaning, it is basically impossible to reattach. Quality control seems to be poor – the lids of the bowls we reviewed fit with varying degrees of snugness with one quite difficult to place back on.
The Prestige Road Refresher was very similar to our top pick for flat-faced dogs – it also features a floating disc that forces your pooch to drink slowly. However, the lip that runs around the rim of the bowl made the bowl considerably more difficult to use for many dogs. We had long noses get stuck and flat faces not fit. And when this happened, water spilled everywhere.
The Petmate No Spill Bowl was the least versatile of all the no-spill bowls we tested. It’s considerably smaller than expected. The narrow opening measured just over two inches across. This might be fine for small to medium dogs, but larger dogs had incredible difficulty drinking from it. Our largest tester, Tucker, flipped the bowl in frustration. It’s also incredibly lightweight and easily slid when bumped. Product inconsistency once again came up as the lids did not stay on. If you just want an affordable bowl to cut back on splashing, then it might be worth checking out, but you definitely get what you pay for.
Finally, Ryan’s Own No Spill Water Bowl was very similar to the Petmate model I covered above. It had similar flaws but was considerably more expensive.
Phew, if you made it this far, then you know everything you need in order to choose the ideal no-spill dog bowl for your dog.
A recap of our results…
The best no-spill dog bowls we tested:
|Ray Allen Buddy Bowl||Most dogs|
|Golden Wolf Less-Mess Bowl||Flat-faced dogs|
|Kurgo Splash-Free Wander Bowl||Small dogs|
|Modern Artisans Stoneware Water Bowl||Dogs who chew|
Which no-spill dog bowl does your precious pooch use? Let me know in the comments below!