S E A T T L E, Aug. 31, 2003 -- — A man marketing a new line of bottled water for pets says he got the idea from his finicky dog.
When it came from the tap, Jason the dog wouldn't drink a drop.
"[He] wasn't drinking water period — out of the toilet, anywhere," Bill Fels, founder of Pet Refresh, told the ABCNEWS affiliate KOMO-TV in Seattle.
But when Fels took Jason camping, he learned the pooch loved stream water.
"I took him to the vet, figuring there was something wrong," Fels said. "The vet said he just doesn't like the taste and flavor of city water."
Fels started purifying mountain water for Jason, and then his friend's dogs, and Pet Refresh was born.
Beef and Chicken Flavors
Fels said the bottled water is just hitting stores, and he is marketing it for dogs, cats, birds and rodents.
He drives to the Carbon River near Mount Rainier in Washington state to fill up, filtering out the natural bugs and bacteria before adding his special flavors.
Those include "beef and chicken, right now," Fels said. "I'm working on a chlorophyll [version] for nervous dogs with nervous stomachs and bad breath."
But do pets really need bottled water?
Veterinarian Ann Brudvik said tap water is safe, but she knows people often hate the taste.
"There are some pets that find it that way, too," she said. "On the other hand, if we're talking about dogs, they generally will eat or drink just about anything."
So, who would pay about $2 a bottle for dog water?
"For all the other things we get our 13-pound little Shih Tzu, bottled water wouldn't be out to the question," said one dog owner, Emmett Garbett.
But some pet owners were dubious.
"I would probably laugh," said Haruko Sagami.
"I would think it's ridiculous, really ridiculous," said Sandy Hill, laughing out loud.
Fels believes they can go ahead and laugh all they want. Though it may seem like a luxury item to some pet owners, he and Jason will keep working on new products, and he believes they will sell.
"They're part of the family," he said of pets. "I don't believe you scrimp on your family."Theron Zahn is a reporter for ABCNEWS affiliate KOMO-TV in Seattle.