Is That Water Safe For Your Dog?

This blog post is sponsored by Primo Water! Primo Water generously donates a Primo Water Dispenser With Pet Station to each of our animal rescues of the month! Find Primo Water near you!

The weather has been brutally hot for us this year during our travels. True, I lived in Florida for most of my life and I am used to summer heat. But when you have dogs, the heat proves to be a real challenge in many ways.

My dogs love the water. Brickle is definitely a beach dog.

Digby prefers creeks and rivers.

But the last few months have caused us to stop us in our tracks when it comes to cooling off in that innocent looking lake, creek or stream. Is it safe to let my dogs swim there? And if I have any doubts, is a few hours of fun worth their lives? The answer is a big, barking no.

I’ve never been one to worry about every aspect of traveling with dogs. Ticks, bugs, mud and getting lost come with every territory. We live our lives but with Brickle and Digby’s safety in mind. But we live.

However, the last few months, news article after news article has been everywhere regarding dogs dying from drinking water filled with deadly blue green algae. I really had no idea what it was!

I was pretty upset about this outbreak actually. We arrived at a new campground in North Carolina and it was right on a lake.

I immediately thought how great it would be to let the dogs swim. I didn’t really see any blue green color. But I decided to check online and see if this lake’s water quality was safe. Answer? Nope. It had tested positive for the algae. In the past, I may have thought it to be ok just to dip their paws in the lake if they didn’t drink it. But it was hot. I knew they would be thirsty. And most of all, I hate disappointing them!! So I figured out a plan. I was going to bring lots of water. I would hydrate them before we got near the lake. And I hoped they wouldn’t try to pull me in to drink it. Yes. That’s happened.

So I loaded up so much water from Primo Water that my backpack was unbearable. But losing them because they were thirsty and managed to drink that lake water? Much more devastating! Obviously. Would my plan work? Why do we rely on Primo Water even more than ever? We pretty much don’t know why we didn’t start drinking it long ago.

Primo’s website explains “There are lots of things that make Primo Water awesome, but safety is at the forefront. When you choose Primo Water, you’re standing up for yourself. So, go ahead. Tell those parasites, bacteria and heavy metals who’s boss. If there’s one thing we should be able to rely on, it’s our water-plain and simple.”

I have enough to worry about on the road when it comes to what we eat, where we go that is dog friendly, and I could go on and on. Water is an issue we have dealt with since starting our travels. From places in the desert with unsafe water, to places with no water at all, daily necessities like water are more than a challenge. It means life or death to us all.

But the blue green algae is now a new challenge. And Primo is here to help. What are our suggestions on keeping your dog safe from toxic water in our lakes, streams, rivers and other bodies of water?

1. Don’t give your dog a reason to drink water other than what you carry, hopefully Primo Water! Give them water before, during and after exercise.

2. Do not let your dog swim in any body of water that you don’t know has been tested. And even then, consider waiting until this scare is completely over. However, know that drinking any foreign water will always, always have risks. Isn’t Primo Water a better option?

3. Never underestimate the power of water when it comes to your dog’s happiness. Just like there is never enough happy, you can never have enough water. We use the five and three gallon jugs when we travel with the chargeable pump.

And don’t forget the Primo Water Dispenser With Pet Station!

“Now every member of your family can enjoy the delicious taste of Primo® water with the new Primo® Water Dispenser with Pet Station. Primo brings its advanced technology in water cooling and heating with an innovative design that delivers refreshing water to your cat or dog at the push of a button. A recent study has shown that bulk water users drink 25% more water. With a Primo® Water Dispenser, you can enjoy cold or hot water and your cat or your dog can enjoy refreshing water at the push of a button. The Primo® Water Dispenser with Pet Station features the innovative flex design, allowing you to install the pet bowl on the front, right or left side of your water cooler, fitting virtually anywhere in your home while providing easy access for your cat or dog.

Life for us is never boring. And really, water is not a boring conversation when it comes to our dogs’ lives. Just as important as exercise and diet, water is a key to a longer and healthier lives for us all.

It’s up to us to keep our dogs safe from things like unsafe water sources. Don’t chance it. Don’t take a chance on the water your dog drinks. We find Primo Water has made a huge difference in our lives. And we have been able to find a refill station or prefilled jugs everywhere we have traveled! You can check locations and shop dispensers at

So is that water safe for your dog? If it’s not Primo Water, think twice. And stay safe, dog parents!

Rachael Johnson

Co-founder 2 Traveling Dogs

Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are our own. We received compensation for this post.

Primo Water has generously agreed to sponsor our “Rescue Of The Month”! Congratulations to Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue in New Hampshire who will be receiving their own Primo Water Pet Station!

Dog Treat Hacks Found In The Grocery Store

This is part of our Saturday Editorial Series. Normally, we let the dogs do all the talking on our dog blog every weekday! Join rescue dogs Peanut Butter Brickle and Digby Pancake for their take on life and travel at And join over a million followers on social media who help us “Make Rescues The Breed Of Choice!”

Let’s face it. Life is busy and hard for us all. We have been taught that our dogs have to eat food that SAYS it is dog food. We have been taught that dogs can only have treats that SAY dog treats! Why is this acceptable to us? Because we think that it is easier. Because we are so busy.

But how many of us have had to go to the grocery store for ourselves and then to a pet food store for our dogs? How is that saving time?

Why can’t more people realize that our dogs deserve real food? Maybe we think it is more expensive to feed them real food. Maybe we think that there is too much of a risk to feed them anything else than what dog food companies tell us to. Well, that is what they want you to think. And they are wrong.

For over eight years, our dogs have survived and flourished on a homemade diet. But we started with treats. And it’s a great place to start! We want you to start today too.  We all love our dogs and we all want to take care of them in the best way possible.  Just like no one can take care of your dog like you do, no one should be able to tell you…especially no one from a dog food corporation on what is best for your dog.

Today, we bring to you our first dog treat hacks! Look for part two next week!

Brown Rice Cakes

Brown rice cakes are a low calorie, gluten-free, crunchy treat for dogs. Pick the brands that offer organic, no salt, plain and sugar-free options. Low in fat, sodium and calories, this snack is great for energy on the trails.

Dehydrated, Baked Chicken Or Any Lean Meat

Ok. You have to cook this. But it’s not hard! You don’t even have to add any seasonings! Buy a dehydrator and follow instructions or just bake in your oven. We live in an RV. We do this. You can do this. Compare the cost to homemade with dog treat brands.  Remember the “made in China” scare for jerky?  Know where your dog’s treats are sourced from.

Bone Broth

Bone broth is a wonderful “pick-me-up” treat for dogs, especially in the summertime or when your dog is a little run down or ill. Bone broth can also benefit dogs with allergies and food sensitives, as it is a phenomenal immune system booster. Make your own (find our recipe at or buy an organic, salt-free version.

Matzo (Matzoh) Crackers

This is Brickle’s favorite snack! Matzoh is unleavened bread made with water and flour. Pick the no salt, no flavoring options. If you can find organic, that’s even better! Low in fat and calories and a good source of carbohydrates.


This is our favorite on the road snack for the boys. Cashews are good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids and protein. But limit quantities as they are high in fat.  Also pick unsalted and make sure they are not mixed in with any other nut that could be bad for them like macadamia nuts (no!).


You do have to put a tiny bit of effort on this treat. That means taking the lean meat and rolling it into a ball and baking it. You can do that! If you want to add other ingredients, check out our recipe for Mutt Meatballs at

Low-Fat Mozzarella Sticks

Picking a cheese low in lactose like low-fat mozzarella is a great, occasional, protein packed snack for dogs. Limit quantities.

When you begin to think outside the pet food store, your possibilities are endless.  Don’t believe that it’s too hard to feed your dog real food.  A good life includes yummy food.  We should not, and I will not deprive my dogs of that.

This is just part one of a two part series! Look for more treat ideas you can find right in your own grocery store on next Saturday’s blog too! And look for how the boys reacted to these treat ideas on our Facebook page, Sunday, January 6th at 10 a.m. ET! You can also find many great recipes for dogs on our recipe site,


Do you have a treat idea that your dog loves? Let us know! We may include your treat on next week’s blog!

-Rachael Johnson, Founder of 2 Traveling Dogs and Your Dog’s Diner

Find these treats on our Amazon store if that’s how you do your shopping! Shop Now! 

We receive compensation for items sold from our Amazon storefront.