Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Water, Water Everywhere, Why Can’t My Rabbit Have A Drink?! This 8oz. Bottle Disappoints!

The Good: Cheap
The Bad: Cheap, Low capacity, Cage connection is flimsy, Leaky seal, Plastic
The Basics: A disappointingly cheap water bottle, the Pets International 8 oz. Clear Plastic Water Bottle is a letdown in every way.

Some who follow my Pets reviews might find it strange that right after writing an article of praise for a water bottle (click here for that review!) I would be back on here mercilessly panning another. The reason for this is simple: the water bottle I reviewed before is a great water bottle which my wife and I purchased when she bought our brand new rabbit, Rowe. After that, she bought a whole cage package which included many items. One of them was the Pets International Clear Water Bottle (8 oz. size) and it is a simple product which is a complete dud.

First, what is right about this product. Found separately outside such full-cage kits, it is remarkably inexpensive. Actually, it’s cheap, but we’ll stick to the positive for now. As a plastic water bottle, it is hard to break the Pets International Clear Water Bottle and because it is clear, it is very easy to check the water level to insure your pet is getting the water they need. That is all.

The Pets International Clear Water Bottle has lower capacity than I would like with only 8 oz. of water. Truth be told, I tend to be less attentive to watering my pets and as a result, bigger water bottles are preferable. While using this water bottle for testing, it was drained within a day. Sadly, most of that was not by Rowe.

My experiences with the 8 oz. clear water bottle were abysmal because the seal on the nozzle was bad in two places. First, the water bottle itself is made from a fairly soft plastic, up to and including the threads one has to use to screw the nozzle top on with. Because the nozzle top is a hard plastic and metal, the threads wear out remarkably quickly on this water bottle and can even make plastic shavings that end up in the water bottle (and your animal). Essentially the threading on the nozzle shaves the bottle itself. This is not great. In fact, with ours, we discovered the seal in the nozzle was similarly bad at its base. The nozzle has a simple rubber washer which creates a seal which prevents the water bottle from dripping . . . in theory. Ours, however was lopsided the first time the bottle was screwed closed and as a result, this bottle leaked constantly from the top of the nozzle.

The water bottle also leaked from the nozzle itself. This is a pretty standard small animal water bottle with a metal tube for the nozzle which has a metal ball. The metal ball is held in place by the water (and gravity) pushing against it, until the animal’s tongue pushes against it, which allows droplets of water to get by and into the mouth of the rabbit or other small animal. Even with the ball not moving, our Pets International 8 oz. water bottle dripped fairly constantly. This left both the bottom of Rowe’s cage (and the bedding there) soaked and Rowe looking for water in the middle of the night which was not easily accessible.

As well, the connector for this water bottle is atrocious and flimsy. It is basically a medium-gauge wire which is wrapped around the bars in the cage to hold the water bottle on and it is not very sturdy, especially for vigorous small animals; Rowe knocked her water bottle around a lot the few days we used this bottle.

Finally, experience at the pet store proved to me that in addition to consistent use which wears out the threads on this particular water bottle, the Pets International Clear Water Bottle suffers from denaturing with persistent use. For sure, at the pet store, we cleaned using bleach water, but I had to replace these plastic water bottles many times in my two-month tenure there because the plastic became brittle. While this might take three times as long with only constant water fillings, the plastic still degrades over time and is likely to leave the consumer in a place where they are replacing this bottle yearly (at the very least). A good durable glass water bottle can last an entire pet’s lifetime (and beyond).

Ultimately, I could find no reason – even as a temporary travel bottle (who wants one of those leaking all over a car?!) – to buy this water bottle on its own.

For another rabbit product, please check out my Kaytee Fiesta rabbit food review by clicking here!


For other pet product reviews, please check out my index page!

© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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