If you’re no longer working from home, you may not always be around when your pet needs you. One thing your pet can’t go without for eight hours? A fresh refill of water. Luckily, there’s a better way to keep them hydrated beyond just investing in a super-big water bowl.
A pet fountain helps keep your cat or dog’s thirst quenched, while also keeping their bowl (and water!) clean. Need to know more? Here’s everything you should consider when shopping for a pet drinking fountain for a dog or cat, how to pick one and the 12 best pet fountains on the market today.
Do I Need a Pet Fountain?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of what to look for in a pet fountain, let’s decide if you and Fido actually need one.
It’s a given that pets need clean water, but what looks clean to you may not be all that great for drinking. Bacteria, slime and viruses can easily grow on your pet’s water bowl, unseen but still dangerous. So, if you don’t want to go through the hassle of cleaning your pet’s water bowl every day, investing in a pet fountain is a good idea.
Similarly, if you’re not always around when your dog or cat needs extra, fresh water, a dog water fountain or cat water dispenser can help, as it not only cleans the water via a fountain filter but also typically dispenses more water than your average bowl.
Pet fountains are ideal for pet parents who want an easier level of care and more convenience in their pet’s daily routine while ensuring that their pet’s water intake is adequate.
What to Consider When Shopping for a Pet Fountain
So what do you need to think about when shopping for an automatic pet water fountain? Here are a few factors to keep in mind.
You’ll want a pet fountain that’s going to be big enough to give your pet all the water they need daily but not so large that it’s in the way. Smaller breeds and cats will not need as large a pet fountain as large dog breeds.
Depending on how much you’re looking to spend on a pet fountain, you may want a higher or lower-quality fountain. If you’re okay with investing more in this particular piece of pet gear, you might look for a pet fountain made from scratch-resistant, durable material such as ceramic or stainless steel. These higher-quality fountains are also often easier to keep clean. However, if you’re not looking to spend all that much or want to see how your pet takes to a fountain before investing in a more expensive option, you can always go the plastic route.
However, aesthetics is also something to consider. For example, if your pet’s water and food bowls are out in the open, where guests can see them, you may want to go with a fountain that’s a little more on the stylish side. On the other hand, if you keep your pet’s food and water in a hidden location or somewhere like a laundry room, looks might not be that important to you.
Some fountains have unique features, such as water filters that can remove minerals and soften hard water. Some are adjustable, so you can raise or lower the bowl for pets who may have accessibility issues. As you consider a pet fountain, think about the special features that you’d most want or need.
Not all pets enjoy the noise a water fountain can make. Some water fountains bubble or gurgle, while others splash with a waterfall-like effect. Think about your pet’s tolerance for strange or unusual noises. If you know they’re not keen on unfamiliar sounds, you’ll want to look for a fountain that’s on the quieter side so that your pet actually uses it and gets enough water.
12 Best Pet Water Fountains
Now, which are the best pet fountains currently on the market? Check out these options.
This stainless steel pet fountain resists bacteria but is dishwasher safe when it needs a quick clean. The filtered water constantly circulates, and you can adjust the water flow, choosing from five settings to pick the best fit for your cat or dog. The carbon and foam filter is replaceable, and the fountain can hold up to 128 ounces of water.
This futuristic-looking pet fountain features a plastic tray but boasts a few extra perks that make up for the plastic. Rather than running off an electrical cord that requires you to position the bowl near an outlet, it can run off a cord or battery. In addition, the triple filtration system softens hard water and the soft ripple effect makes for quieter use and no splashing.
Similarly, this stainless steel fountain features a raindrop design that slowly rotates the water for less noise. Dishwasher safe, with a 60-ounce capacity, the fountain features a replaceable charcoal filter. Minimalistic and very similar in appearance to an average pet bowl, this fountain is a good choice if you think your pet will have difficulty adjusting to a new water source. Plus, it’s budget-friendly on Amazon.
For something that’s a little more aesthetically pleasing, this ceramic fountain is a good pick. The unique design comes in four stylish colors—beige, red, blue and white—so you can pick the best option for your decor. Holding 70 ounces of water, this pet water fountain features two waterfalls on each side of the dish and the tiered, raised design makes it easier for elderly pets to access.
This porcelain water fountain with its whimsical light blue paint is intended for cats or small doggies. The tiered water dispenser cleans water quietly via a three-layer filtration system that purifies water, removes bad tastes and odors and captures hair and other debris that’s worked its way into your pet’s bowl. The cat drinking fountain comes with three filters and two water pumps.
If you’d prefer not to go with a powered fountain, there are other options. This fountain is gravity-powered and features a large holding tank and a removable, stainless steel bowl. Choose from three capacity options: 64 ounces, 128 ounces or 320 ounces. The holding tank is translucent, so it’s easy to keep an eye on the water level. The activated carbon filter keeps water clean since it only dispenses as it’s needed.
For an ultra-budget option, this plastic fountain is one of the better picks on the lower end of the price spectrum. It comes in three colors—green, blue and beige—and all feature a daisy design at the top of the fountain, with the water running over the petals into a basin below. An LED night light illuminates the bowl’s bottom and a water light comes on to alert you when the automatic pet fountain needs to be refilled.
This unique option is (obviously) designed with cats in mind. With no filter, no motor and no need for electricity, this cat water dispenser is as basic as it gets but still does its job. The large dish is low to the ground so it can’t be toppled over, and a large water basin at the back of the fountain distributes water via gravity as needed. The fountain holds 27 ounces of water, so about two days’ worth for the average cat.
Another budget-friendly option, this large capacity and high-quality pet fountain is big enough to meet the hydration needs of multiple small pets. The flower fountain distributes water into a square basin below and you can pick from three different flow options, for a louder or quieter flow. The 84-ounce fountain comes with replacement filters and a silicone mat to keep things nice and dry.
This large dog-specific water fountain holds 200 ounces of water. The elevated bowl circulates water continuously and quietly and is easy to access for senior or larger dogs who may not be able to bend down to reach lower water bowls. The bowl and fountain are made from BPA-free plastic. The replaceable filter softens hard water, removes debris and adjusts taste and odor.
This pill-shaped water fountain comes in several attractive colors and features a small spout that runs 24-7. The ultra-quiet flow is comparable to the same decibel levels you might hear when breathing. A five-level filtration system uses ion exchange resins and coconut shells with activated carbon to keep water fresh and clean. Pick between plastic or stainless steel models. Whichever you choose, you’ll also get an AC pump and adapter, one replaceable capsule filter and a cleaning brush.
This 68-ounce fountain is a good cordless water fountain if you’d prefer a battery-operated option. Ideal for both cats and dogs, the fountain features an elevated and elongated water basin and a small fountainhead that distributes water in a steady stream. The fountain has two replacement filters, so you’re set for a while. An LED light keeps the fountain basin illuminated after dark.
Pet Fountain FAQs
Still have questions about your new pet fountain? Here’s what you need to know.
Does a pet fountain replace a regular water bowl?
A pet fountain can replace a regular water bowl but you don’t want to toss those old standby bowls just yet. They can still come in handy if your electric fountain stops working or if you like to provide your pet with multiple water sources throughout your house.
How do I introduce my pet to a water fountain?
Introducing your pet to a new way of doing things can be difficult and the noise level of some fountains can be off-putting. While you’re getting your pet accustomed to the sound of moving water, leave another source of water elsewhere and consider adding something a little more tantalizing to the bowl, just at first, like broth. If your pet is still having issues, see if your fountain of choice can be lowered in volume (by choosing a different flow setting) or consider swapping your fountain out for a silent variant.
Are pet fountains better for cats or dogs?
Cats often take more easily to a running water source like a fountain, whereas dogs can be a little more irritated by the noise. Cats can especially benefit from an extra water source in the house, as it’s a little more difficult to keep cats properly hydrated which is important for their kidney health.
Do pet fountains come with any safety issues?
So long as you take care of the pet fountain and are careful, there should be no safety issues. Just be sure that, if you have a pet fountain with a cord, you keep it firmly plugged in and the area around the bowl free from any spilled water. Additionally, keep the fountain filled with water as much as possible, as allowing the fountain to go dry could cause a mechanical malfunction. You should also clean the bowl on occasion, to prevent bacteria growth, about once per week.
Keep Your Pet Equipped with Everything They Need
From water bowls to dog beds, keep your pet equipped with everything they need to live a healthy, enjoyable life. You can find pet gear reviews and roundups in the ChatterSource Pet section.
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12 Best Pet Fountains:
- PetSafe Stainless 360 Pet Fountain
- PetKit Eversweet 3 Smart Pet Fountain
- Pioneer Pet Stainless Steel Fountain
- PetSafe Pagoda Ceramic Water Fountain
- Porcelain Cupcake Cat Water Fountain
- PetSafe Healthy Pet Water Station
- Catit Flower Fountain
- KittySpring Waterer 2
- Veken Pet Fountain
- Zeus H2EAU Drinking Fountain
- PetLibro Capsule Water Fountain
- Tronssien Battery Operated Cat Water Fountain