04/11/2010 at 07:05 PM EDT
After Brian Fate came home from a hot day at the park and reached inside the refrigerator to grab a cool Gatorade, he looked at his over-heated chocolate Labrador/sharpei mix, Ophelia, and thought to himself: "Why do dogs only get tap water? Ugh."
From that thought comes Dogdration
– the first flavored, vitamin-enhanced premium dog water beverage.
Made in Santa Cruz, Calif., and launched in December, the all-natural 100 percent human-grade peanut butter flavored drink is allergen-free and laced with ginseng for vitality and health, glucosamine for hips and joints, brewers yeast for skin and shiny coats, and electrolytes for hydration.
"It's interesting to see different dogs react to the drink," says Fate, who studied natural resources, recreation and tourism at Colorado State. "They've never smelled anything like it in their water bowls and some will dive in and lap and lap and lap it up; others come to it a bit more tentative. 'What's this treat smell?' they say. It's kind of cute."
Since its 99 percent water you can be creative: Freeze it into ice cubes or popsicles, stir it into daily food "like a gravy," says Fate (his Ophelia who loves that), even use it for added taste and flavor in dog biscuits and cookies.
The only thing you'll want to do is refrigerate it once it's opened since the brewer's yeast has then been activated. Oh, and "maybe not try to swig it yourself," says Fate, who notes that the healthy liquid treat is made for canine and not human taste buds. (We tried it and while not bad, certainly not Evian.)
It's a tad pricey at $3.99 for a 20-oz. bottle (you can buy a solo bottle or cases come packed by 12) and Fate plans on concocting two more flavors for the privileged pooch palette. "It's definitely a product for people who love their animals and want to give them the best, even water," admits the Kansas City resident.
The whole idea of creating a new category for pets is "fun and exciting," says Fate, whose family physician is the one who came up with the name, Dogdration. "You're learning things you never thought you'd know and doing it all for the pleasure of your beloved animal companion and dogs all over, so that's pretty cool."See more dog water solutions on PEOPLEPets.com:PetSafe's Filtered Water Dispenser Lets Clean, Fresh Water FlowBottle Toppers Help Quench Your Dog's Thirst