My dog, Finley, is used to drinking out of a small-stainless steel bowl, which needs to be refilled about three times a day. Sure, this is inconvenient, but I’ve hesitated to get her a bigger bowl because the idea of filling a giant vessel with fresh water and then letting it sit and stew for days on end grosses me out. I won’t drink from my own water glass if it’s been exposed to the air for more than an hour or so.
But, at this point, I’m eight months pregnant and bending over to fill my pup’s bowl multiple times each day is getting to be tiresome. (Full disclosure: I’ve actually resorted to filling her bowl with a watering can a few times just to avoid those deep-forward bends.) So I was over the moon when the folks at Heyrex offered to send me the TORUS Water Bowl for testing out on my thirsty Vizsla.
When the device arrived in the mail, I was immediately impressed with its construction. The materials are top-notch (BPA-free food grade polypropylene, in case you wanted to know), and the bowl appears sleek and smart. It may not be as fuss-free and minimalist as your average doggy water dish, but it looks like the coolest, space-age technology your pet could ever drink from.
I took a quick look at the instructions and began rinsing the replaceable filter to get started. After letting it sit under a running faucet for 10 seconds, I grabbed the bowl and filled the reservoir to capacity before placing the clean filter inside the opening. Then I capped it off and twisted the knob to the lock position so the water would stay contained. Once I had it safely on solid ground (you never know with my changing center of gravity these days!), I turned the knob to the doggy icon, which means the bowl is open for business. Finley immediately trotted over and starting lapping up water as it flowed into the bowl.
Aside from merely seeming state of the art, the TORUS delivers on its modern design in a few key ways. The insulated bowl holds an impressive two liters of cool water, which is plenty for two or three days of drinking for Finley. By storing water inside a hollow wall chamber, the bowl keeps fluids fresh and clean until they’re ready to be consumed. As the pooch drinks, new water streams out of the storage area and into the center drinking well. This auto-replenishing system is the key to the TORUS’ functionality and what’s going to save my aching back from having to bend and snap every time Finley polishes off her H2O.
Our first time using the TORUS proved it’s also a good alternative to traditional bowls because it doesn’t easily knock over and spill liquid everywhere. Finley can get pretty excited at just about anything (a clothespin, an errant piece of dust, anything) and send her water dish flying, so the stability of this new design is a huge plus. And it also boasts on-the-go portability — something I never would have thought of had I not read the product’s instructions page. If you place the valve into the lock position, you can toss the TORUS in the back of your car and have ready-to-drink water whenever you need it at the twist of a knob.
Of course, I can’t ask Finley if she prefers the taste of the carbon-filtered water to the plain stuff that she was accustomed to drinking, but her new tendency to sip from the TORUS instead of the dish we keep in her crate is probably enough proof. Thankfully, the filter doesn’t need to be replaced for an entire month. By that time, I’ll no longer be pregnant, although that’s no guarantee that I’ll have an instantly easier time bending over.
Quality: A+. The bowl is tough and sturdy, made with BPA-free food-grade polypropylene. It’s built to last with a low profile and rubber feet for added stability.
Style: This isn’t your classic-looking stainless-steel or ceramic dog bowl (and no cutesy bone motifs), but the modern design is still pleasing to the eye and comes in three color choices — gray, blue, and red.
Function: The automatic-filter-and-replenish system works like a charm as the insulated bowl keeps your pooch adequately hydrated at all times. The only thing this bowl is missing is an alarm to let you know when it’s close to empty.
Creativity: It deserves bonus points for essentially reinventing the wheel. Who knew the standard doggy bowl wasn’t good enough? Beyond that, the travel component is a huge plus.
Value: Most dog owners might balk at spending more than $10 on a water receptacle for their pet, but if you forego all the other fancy stuff — including holiday-themed and collapsible bowls, as well as elevated water dishes with underlying mats — then buying one pricey bowl might make some financial sense.
At $59.95, the TORUS is a serious pet purchase. But, I have to admit, this is one of those snazzy products that you don’t really believe you need … until you have it.
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About the author: Whitney C. Harris is a New York-based freelance writer for websites including StrollerTraffic, Birchbox and WhattoExpect.com. A former book and magazine editor, she enjoys running (with Finley), watching movies (also with Finley), and cooking meatless meals (usually with Finley watching close by).