252: Ed Vaccaro on Hydration for Outdoor Pets and Small Animals.

            Creating a product for animals that also helps plants and then getting it to market.

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Ed grew up in northern California during the 70’s. His parents were in the flower business and his uncle was in the plant business. His relationship with his family and their businesses influenced the direction he took in life. A keen animal lover from early childhood, he joined the famed animal husbandry organization 4-H.

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After working in the solar industry for a while in the 80’s, he eventually went back to his roots and launched his own plant business.  He quickly won accounts with two large grocery store chains and opened a store in the San Francisco Flower Market. These days Ed is the proprietor of HydroPet an automatic outdoor water bowl for pets – that periodically automatically refreshes itself while re-purposing old water to nearby trees, shrubs and plants.  

In This Podcast:

We learn about the motivation to create an ingenious watering device for animals which directs discarded water into useful watering for plants. Ed Vaccaro shares more than just how his unique product works, he shares how he was able to get it onto store shelves and make a new business from a great idea.

Listen in and learn about:

  • Creating a hydration system for his own pets
  • Being motivated to create the product and take it to market
  • What the hydropet is and how it works to keep hydration access for pets
  • How fresh water is something that animals recognize and will drink more
  • How the left-over water is repurposed so the water stays fresh
  • His studies of solar and hydronics
  • Taking his idea and making a business out of it
  • Working with the Blue Ocean strategy to make his business work
  • How even though this item is about pet hydration, it is making a difference through its irrigation aspect
  • How he got the patent for this product
  • How the pet stores turned him down, but the home stores were interested
  • The steps he took to get this product on the shelves in the stores
  • How the fresh water is delivered and kept fresh
  • The Hydropet is American made
  • Getting great advice from Jim Duarte, founder of Petsmart

As well as:

  • His failure – Getting rejected by the pet stores because they did not see the potential
  • His success – Getting the account at Home Depot and Rainbird
  • His drive – Never wanting to go back to the point of having lost everything or being broke again
  • His advice – Successful people do the things that other people don’t want to do

How to reach Ed:    

Website: TheHydroPet.com


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  1. I found this on Amazon and it was very affordable. I watched a video and thought I would give it a try. I was amazed at how quick it set up, I was done in 5 minutes and it worked right out of the box. I set it to come on 2 times a day and my dogs love it. I really like the convenience as I can go to work and know with confidence that my dogs will never be without water again.

  2. My husband found this at our local Home Depot hardware store and it works terrific. He set it up in the yard for our dogs in the shade near a tree. It holds a gallon of water and it automatically cleans out and refreshes the bowl with new water. I could see bugs and mosquitoes being flushed out as it replenished the water. Even our cat loves it. We like it because it is super convenient and safe as it has no electric parts at all.

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