Introduction: DIY Self Watering Dog Dish

Picture of DIY Self Watering Dog Dish

Here's an easy way to keep your dogs dish or bowl full of water so he or she won't go thirsty! Recently I was at the hardware store and had a 4" PVC coupler in my hand and had an ah-ha moment! I realized right away how I could make a self watering dog bowl to eliminate my dogs occasional dry water dish. What I came up with was an easy to make self filling dog dish that works flawlessly! It re-purposes a soda bottle, pop bottle, or cola bottle to make this self watering bowl, which is good for the environment, and my dog!

Step 1: A Quick Video

Some can visualize better by watching the video. Good luck with this Instructable!

Step 2: Parts List

Picture of Parts List

All dog bowls are different in size so specific measurements for this instructable aren't necessary. Watch the video at the end to get a better idea.

You'll need:

1) a piece of plywood for the base.

2) a piece of 2x4 for the stand

3) one white 4" PVC coupler (get it at the hardware store)

4) 4 screws.

5) 2 litre pop bottle with "hour glass" shape

6) optional: paint it whatever colour you like!

Step 3: The Base

Picture of The Base

First, take the piece of plywood and use the 4" PVC coupler to scribe a rounded shape on the front corners. This will keep it feet and dog paw friendly.

Step 4: Cutting the Base

Picture of Cutting the Base

Now use a jig saw to cut the corner pieces. If you don't have a jigsaw, a good sanding will do the trick.

Step 5: Sanding and Smoothing

Picture of Sanding and Smoothing

This step is optional. I used my router with a rounding bit to round out the edges of the 2x4 to give it that store bought pro look.

Step 6: Adding the Base

Picture of Adding the Base

Now pre drill 2 holes in the base for the 2x4. Use 2 screws to attach the base to the 2x4. You don't have to pre-drill but it makes it easier to assemble.

Step 7: Cutting the Coupler

Picture of Cutting the Coupler

Next make 2 marks on the coupler about an inch or 26mm apart and cut it out using a hacksaw. Use sandpaper to smooth out the edges.

Step 8: Drilling the Coupler

Picture of Drilling the Coupler

Make 2 marks and drill the coupler. It's easy to spread the PVC coupler apart a bit to get the drill in there or drill from the back.

Step 9: Attaching the Coupler

Picture of Attaching the Coupler

We're ready for the last step! Place your dog bowl on the base. Fill the bottle with water and screw the cap on. Now slide the bottle into the PVC coupler upside down making sure the hour glass part of the bottle is seated in the middle of the coupler. Now hold the PVC coupler against the 2x4. The level of the water will be determined by the position of the mouth of the bottle. You can choose to have a low water level or high, whichever you want. Now remove the bottle and screw the PVC coupler to the 2x4 with 2 screws.

Step 10: Your Dog Will Love You!

Picture of Your Dog Will Love You!

You're finished! Slide the bottle into the coupler and remove the cap!

Step 11: How to Make a Self Watering Dog Dish

Some can visualize better by watching the video. Good luck with this Instructable!


swiperfox (author)2017-03-19

Here is a another way to do it.

*a 2-liter bottle

*a foot-long pvc or plastic hose with diameter to fit on mouth of 2-liter bottle; the other end with 45-degree cut (just like a big needle in appearance)

*a bowl - to which the pointed end of the pvc will stand upon; probably needed to secure it in place so it won't be displaced when the pets drink; but removable if needed to clean it.

*a string - to tie the bottle to a post

Because of the foot-long pvc, there would be more headroom for the pets to drink from the bowl.

OliviaM28 (author)2016-06-16

does it really work ?

swiperfox (author)OliviaM282017-03-19

It really does work. Its another version of it is a water bottle for chickens.

And the Water Dispenser for Humans

chrisnotap (author)OliviaM282016-06-16

You can see in the video that it actually does.

OliviaM28 (author)chrisnotap2016-06-17

O OK I did not see the video

msennett (author)2016-07-01

With it pushing triple digits temps every day, I ran out and bought 3 4in couplers and 3 sodas for the project. One for dog area, back patio and in the house! My bottles must be a new manufacture batch that are a mm or so too small. They catch if empty but no so much when filled. I added heavy rubber bands between the mount screws to squeeze the PVC. They squeeze enough to hold the bottles. Quick, easy and very effective project. Awesome, thanks.

TWJL1 (author)2016-06-22

cool!!!! Im gonna ask my cousin to make it!!!

Ali Suhail (author)2016-06-15

Great Idea! thanks for sharing. looking for an idea to build a food dispenser for cats pellets.

jmcguire3 (author)Ali Suhail2016-06-16

I think this would work well it you just cut the top of the bottle off at the first curve and placed it close enough to the cat's bowl so it would only run out when there was no other food holding it back. Did that make any sense?

Ali Suhail (author)jmcguire32016-06-19

Thank you very much, it does make sense! will try it and let you know

Ali Suhail (author)jmcguire32016-06-19

Thank you very much, it does make sense! will try it and let you know

Anthony. (author)2016-06-18

now, if one can only take the dog out to do its thing after drinking the water. and whatever else they normally have to do.

JonathanMurray (author)2016-06-17

Nicely done - now finish it by... finishing it! A coat of polyurethane (or even just paint) to keep the wood from soaking up spilled/splashed water would be a must here. Your plywood base will soon start pulling itself apart otherwise.

JenA22 (author)2016-06-16

Great idea we did this with a big glass bowl and attached the water bottle to spindles that were already part of the kitchen division....

Thik about FREEZING THE WATER BOTTLE toss a few bottles of water in your freezer the dog has cool water and do try to check inside and clean the bottles of slime - its a good idea to toss them after a few uses - they peel inside sometimes.

Our girls had distilled water and loved ice cold water.

Wish we could just get a bowl made of glass with the screw in bottle portion attached .....that's all for now....take care

ele421 (author)2016-06-16

I will make one for my dog

mstall9 (author)2016-06-16

What a great idea! I was a little frustrated, however, that the list of tools needed to do this project was not all-inclusive. There was a need for sandpaper, jigsaw, hacksaw, router and a drill - none of which were mentioned in the tools needed list! These things may be commonplace for most folks, but being a single woman I don't have many tools. Of the five things I listed above, I only have a drill, so I would need to make arrangements to get these other tools. Just wanted to point this out; have a great day!

chrisnotap (author)mstall92016-06-16

Still first instructable. Sorry.

PhilS43 (author)2016-06-14

Like poultry waterers, same principal.

Might be useful for a plant waterer? Fish tank top-up?

bmaverick (author)PhilS432016-06-14

Yes as a plant water device too! The Hydroponics system can be copied and made easy to use by incorporating this device. Thus, low cost hydroponics is really easy and cheap to do for anyone.

jmcguire3 (author)bmaverick2016-06-16

The URL for FoodRising should be a dot org. Just to help out ;-)

chrisnotap (author)PhilS432016-06-14

Great minds think alike! I had the aquarium top up on my list to make soon. The plant waterer could be more difficult, you don't want to drown the plant, would be hard to control.

PhilS43 (author)chrisnotap2016-06-14

Agree - the trick might be to keep the compost away from the water tray and use some sort of wicking system - terracota unglazed pots might work. Plenty of scope for development. I'm guessing, but getting the level of the reservoir to match the tray level could be critical. It brings to mind the mercury column barometers.

Sekretmastera made it! (author)PhilS432016-06-14


leahblackwolf (author)2016-06-15

this is genius!

Rowster09 (author)leahblackwolf2016-06-15

ya think

leahblackwolf (author)Rowster092016-06-16


ptkrf (author)2016-06-16

Even though you don't have to refill dog's water bowl that doesn't mean you should clean it once a day - bacteria start to form in there and that does no good for your dog.

AlanS14 (author)2016-06-15

Shame it's for dogs, not cats or other pets.

chrisnotap (author)AlanS142016-06-15

Wait a second, think about it, you're trapped inside "the box". Think outside the box as we've heard so many times. It's only the title that has you thinking that way. It can be used for any pet you have!! Cat, dog, squirrel, pot belly pig, whatever you can think of, use it for that!!!

Sekretmastera made it! (author)2016-06-14

I did it. But sometimes the pressure deforms the bottle and poured some of the water, making the flood. It is better to apply a rigid bottle, ideally made of glass.

M L G (author)Sekretmastera2016-06-15

that is a very good point secretmaster! well pointed out!
I have to say though that as soon as I saw this I was thinking stuff the 2 liter bottle
I'm going to do this with a 5 liter bottle, which are way more rigid, but I have to say thankyou as I wasnt sure how I was going to make a stand for it, your photos have solved that issue for me in a second, thank you!

beer20 (author)2016-06-14

voted, thanks for sharing!

Dhani C (author)2016-06-14

Looks great!

doc14u2 (author)2016-06-14

excellent idea mate, tho I must ask, I'm here down under, in good old Australia, and if I built it here, wouldn't the water flow up and into the bottle?


All jokes aside, our new mutt will love it, thank you very much

pew (author)2016-06-14

Why do you need to cut the coupler?

chrisnotap (author)pew2016-06-14

so you can spread it to fit the bottle in

pew (author)chrisnotap2016-06-14

thanks! that's what i thought but wasn't sure.

daniel41campero (author)2016-06-14

Great!!! I'll have to make some similar, but with this device of the picture, since my dogs stay at the other side of water souce.

daniel41campero (author)2016-06-14

Great!!! I'll have to make some similar, but with this device of the picture, since my dogs stay at the other side of water souce.

jodylebouton (author)2016-06-14

I shall be making 4. 2 dogs, 1 cat and 1 bunny. This way I know they will all have water when they need it. Of course my blue tick heeler chickie will be prancing around the house with hers.

Cldupont (author)2016-06-14

I just used a square plastic box or tube (Tap Plastics) that fully contains the soda bottle, with a 1/4" hole or two drilled in the bottom where the bottle opening sits, and four little cubes or adhesive bumpers (also from Tap) placed/glued underneath the box at the corners. Place it in a large dog bowl and voila! Fast, easy and unobtrusive. Glue it to dog dish if your dog might knock it over.

DustandDoghair (author)2016-06-13

Hey! This is great!

Just curious: If you cut out the bottom of the bottle, would it be easily reloadable...or would that change the properties of the bottle too much for it to work (she wondered, clearly demonstrating both her laziness and her cavalier disregard for principals of science)?

kahrloz (author)DustandDoghair2016-06-13

this works by allowing air in just one way, when air gets in water gets out

DustandDoghair (author)kahrloz2016-06-14

I thought that might be the catch :) this instructable...I have a thirsty lab who will love it, too!

This method is much easier than what you're suggesting.

seamster (author)2016-06-13

This is such a great idea!

chrisnotap (author)seamster2016-06-13


About This Instructable




Bio: how to make, how to build, how to do it yourself, create, invent
More by chrisnotap:This Is Why You Should Never Smoke!!PVC Humane Capture Release Squirrel TrapHow to clean Apple Ear Pods.
Add instructable to: