We have had our Elite Gourmet Waterer for more than 8 years now. When we bought it, we hemmed and hawed over why we needed a 3 gallon waterer for 2 dogs. It was the cheapest dog waterer on the shelf at PetsMart, so we bought it anyway.
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Now with 5 dogs of our own, and foster dogs, the Elite 3 Gallon Waterer seems almost too small! With all the dogs in the house, the Elite 3 Gallon Waterer gets filled every day, with warmer days requiring 2 fill ups.
The Elite 3 Gallon Waterer is still just the right size if you ask me. 3 gallons of water is enough for 1 or 2 dogs, that you don't have to worry so often. With more dogs, it gives them enough water to drink, without me breaking my back to carry the water jug from the sink to the dish!
The Elite 3 Gallon Waterer sits in a corner in my kitchen. At times there have been mats under it, but like now it usually just sits on the floor. The base is about 16 inches front to back, and 14 inches side to side, so it is relatively unobtrusive except when a dog is standing at the dish drinking. This is only a problem if you have never lived with a dog, and haven't learned the dance of stepping over and around them. With the water reservoir in place, the whole thing stands roughly 15 inches high.
Our Elite 3 Gallon Waterer has its label still, that states the waterer holds "about" 3 gallons of water. The clear jug on top is not quite 3 gallons in size, but you can get 3 gallons of water in the Elite 3 Gallon Waterer by putting water in the drinking bowl area. I believe this is why they claim only about 3 gallons.
I normally do not add extra water to the drinking bowl when I fill the Elite 3 Gallon Waterer, as that can get messy. I like that the clear water reservoir that sits on top of the drinking bowl has a screw on lid to make filling the waterer a little less messy. The screw on lid has a hole in it, where the water moves through into the drinking bowl. When transporting the reservoir from the sink to the bowl, that hole has an attached plug that "seals" it.
Once the water reservoir has been placed on the drinking bowl, and the two are snapped together, you reach in under the reservoir and simply open the plugged hole. Water fills the drinking bowl with a glug-glug sound, that fascinates anyone with 4 feet in this house. Filling the Elite 3 Gallon Waterer is a sport at our house. Carrying the filled reservoir, weighing about 24 pounds with the water, and doing the dance to avoid stepping on or tripping over the dogs, who needs a gym!
While the label on the Elite 3 Gallon Waterer does not say it is dishwasher safe, I have run the drinking bowl through a cycle or 2. I never do it with any "people" dishes in with it though, only when I run the dog and cat dishes. The bottom of the drinking bowl holds about as much water as the reservoir on top. Okay, maybe not THAT much, but it holds a lot of water. I dump it out, but it sloshes on the dishes on the bottom rack... Hence why I only do it with cat and dog dishes. I would NEVER put the water reservoir through the dishwasher.
Having the Elite 3 Gallon Waterer hasn't meant no mess, just less mess. Some of the cats like to slosh the "old" water out to get the fresher water out of the resevoir. Then there are the messy drinkers...NOTHING is going to save you from water mess if you live with a messy drinker!
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