In our previous article, we looked at some of the best automatic feeders available in the market to keep your beloved pet fed at required intervals. Closely associated with feeding your dog (or cat) is to ensure they have access to clean water throughout the day. Proper hydration becomes more important in summers and in case your pet is primarily on a dry-food diet. Dogs, for example, need an average of 0.6 to 1 fl. oz. of water per pound of body weight per day.
So how do you ensure that your pet or pets have access to hygienic water at all times?
If you are one of the many who have a busy schedule and are concerned about ensuring proper water supply for your furry friend over a couple of days and want to go beyond the traditional approach of filling your pet’s feeding bowl with water and worrying about the contamination or letting your dog drink from the toilet (ok, that was a joke!), then there are some great options available in the market. One such option is to use an automatic dog water dispenser, or waterer as it is often called.
In this article, we will look at some of the best automatic dog water dispensers and water bowls available in the market. These gravity water dispensers provide an excellent, inexpensive mechanism to keep your dog hydrated even when you are not around without the need for any power supply.
We will also look at some of the factors to consider while picking the best automatic dog water dispenser for your canine companion. You can pick the same water stations for your cats as well as most of the options that we list work equally well for them.
Do not forget to check out our article on the best pet water fountains if you are looking for an automatic water source with moving water and do not mind spending a little extra.
Best automatic dog water dispenser listSome of the best automatic dog water dispensers, waterers and water bowls available in the market are listed below:
|PetSafe Healthy Pet Water Station||S: 0.5 |
|- A uniquely designed waterer featuring a food-grade plastic water container and removable stainless steel bowl.|
- Features an air-tight lock-in lid for easy transportation and cleaning.
- Also, has a water flow-control valve to prevent water spill.
- The lid, base and bowl are dishwasher safe.
- Also supports an optional Healthy Pet water filter for removing chlorine and sediments from water.
|Petmate Replendish Gravity Waterer||S: 0.5 |
|- Bestselling, made in the US waterer with a food-grade, BPA-free PET plastic hopper and high-quality drinking base.|
- Easy to clean wide mouth with a spill-proof design.
- The drinking bowl is treated with Microban to prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria and is dishwasher safe.
- Waterer features a replaceable charcoal filter to further remove impurities from water.
|Critter Concepts Large Dog Water Dispenser||S: 3.5 |
|- Ultra-durable, commercially successful, made in the US automatic dog waterer that features a BPA-free, food-grade plastic water container.|
- Extremely sturdy and durable with dishwasher safe parts. Top choice of dog care centers around the country.
- Features a 7-inch, elevated drinking base, so fit for all dog breeds.
- Features 3-inch locking wheels for easy transportation.
- Also has a flow control wall and a drain plug to empty the bowl whenever required.
- Backed by a limited lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.
|AmazonBasics Gravity Pet Water Dispenser||S: 1|
|- Compact pet water dispenser with a PET plastic tank and food-grade plastic bowl.|
- Non-skid rubber feet prevent the waterer from sliding or moving. Integrated side handles make movements easy.
- Backed by a one-year AmazonBasics warranty.
- Works well as a cat water dispenser as well.
|Frisco Gravity Refill Pet Waterer||S: 0.25 |
|- Compact pet water dispenser made from 100% recyclable PET plastic.|
- Features an extra-wide opening, which makes for easy cleaning as well as fast refills.
- Integrated cut-out handles make movements easy.
- Backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty.
- Available in neutral gray color and four sizes. Suitable for all dogs and cats too.
|Aspen Pet Lebistro Gravity Waterer||S: 0.5 |
|- Standard, made in the US water dispenser featuring food-grade plastic hopper and water bowl.|
- Easy to clean wide mouth with a twist-lock, spill-proof design.
- The drinking bowl is dishwasher safe.
|Bergan Gourmet Waterer||S: 1.5|
|- Made in the USA, popular water station made with BPA-free plastic.|
- Wide mouth designed to reduce spills when placing in the basin.
- Molded watering bowl has a sturdy no-skid design and is dishwasher safe.
- Comes in two sizes with a feeder also included.
|Flexzion Pet Water Dispenser||3.0||- Standard gravity waterer made with environmentally-friendly PET plastic|
- Microban treatment to drinking bowl minimizes stains and odor-causing bacteria
- Elevated, dishwasher safe bowl, with no-skid rubber base.
|Torus Self-Filling Pet Water Bowl||S: 0.25 |
|- An ergonomically-designed, elegant-looking automatic dog water bowl with filter that provides cool, fresh water. Suitable for in-house as well as outdoor use.|
- Features a spill-proof bowl made with BPA-free plastic with insulated, rubberized inner liner.
- The bowl uses the hollow walls as a reservoir to automatically replenish water in the bowl.
- Comes with six carbon filters - one in the bowl and five additional to further remove impurities. Each filter lasts 1 month.
- Also available in smaller 1-liter (0.25 gal.) capacity.
|Lixit Waterboy Travel Water Bowl||0.75||- A made in the USA BPA-free plastic reservoir and bowl set.|
- Spill-proof design with the water flowing into the fitted bowl when placed properly. No spills or wastage of water if flipped
- Works great as a water source for a single pet in the house or multiple pets when traveling.
- Can be shipped to select countries outside the US.
|Heininger Portable Pet PorablePet WaterBoy Water Bowl||0.75||- A dependable, made in the US reservoir plus bowl set made with food grade, BPA-free plastic.|
- Has a no-spill design and stands upright for storage and flat for use.
- Innovative lid design which provides consistent, splash-proof flow of water.
- Can be used in the home or during travel.
What are automatic dog water dispensers and what are their major benefits?
Automatic dog water dispensers are specially designed reservoir type units or bowls that use gravity to fill the water in the water dish. In simple terms, these dispensers consist of a container (just like the hopper) to store water, inverted and fitted in a water bowl to fill. The water bowl of the dispenser has a spill proof design to prevent excessive spilling when in use.
Some modern gravity waterers such as the Petmate Replendish Gravity Waterer and Torus Self-Filling Pet Water Bowl even have filters to remove dissolved impurities from the water and thus help in ensuring supply for fresh, clean water to the pet. It is important to mention that gravity-based automatic dog water dispensers only provide a standing source of water.
Some of the major advantages and disadvantages of these types of water dispensers are listed below:
So, as you can see gravity-based, automatic dog water dispensers and auto dog water bowls still have some advantages over the more popular pet water fountains. You can look at these pros and cons and decide which watering solution you would like to go with.
In the next sections, we will look at some of the major factors to keep in mind before picking the best dog water dispenser and share our top picks. While most dog water dispensers that we list would also work well with cats, we will also list some of the best cat water dispensers available in the market.
How to pick the best automatic dog water dispensers?
Picking the best automatic dog water dispenser or bowl is not as difficult as picking an automatic feeder or a pet drinking fountain. Still, some of the major factors that you should consider while picking the best automatic dog waterer for your beloved pet are listed below:
- Purpose of the water dispenser
- Design of the dispenser
- Size and capacity of the dispenser
- Additional factors and considerations
Purpose of the dog water dispenser
As discussed above, gravity-based automatic dog water stations and bowls provide a convenient way for your pet to hydrate itself. However, these automatic water dispensers are suited for specific situations only, so you should consider the purpose for which you are considering getting an automatic pet waterer:
- Do you have one or more pets and what are their breeds? For single pet or small dog breeds and cats, you can opt for a travel bowl like the Torus auto dog water bowl. For multiple pets, you would have to consider a large-capacity water station like the Petmate Replendish Gravity Waterer.
- Are you considering a water station to provide water access to your dog or cats for more than a couple of days? In such cases, you would have to consider getting a water station with a capacity of 4 gallons or more.
- Are you concerned about the quality of your tap water and looking for additional filtering? In such cases, you would have to opt for a dispenser with an activated carbon filter to further remove odor-causing bacteria, chlorine, and any other dissolved impurities. You would, however, have to replace these filters periodically.
- Do you feel it would be challenging for you to fill a large capacity reservoir and invert it to fit into the dispenser? If you have difficulty refilling a reservoir, you should consider a waterer like the Critter Concepts Dog Water Dispenser, which can easily be refilled through the lid on the top.
- Do you have a pet which is old or has health issues such as arthritis? In such situations, you should consider getting a watering bowl that you can place on a stand or an elevated dispenser like the Critter Concepts Dog Water Dispenser, which would make it convenient for your pet.
Keep these considerations in mind before picking the best automatic dog water dispenser for your needs.
Design of the dog water dispenser
In addition to the building material, you should check out a few design-related features before picking the best water dispenser for your pet.
A design consideration is the availability of a carbon-activated/charcoal filter. Such a filter removes sediments and other dissolved impurities to provide a cleaner source of water. Some examples of automatic dog waterers which include such filters are Petmate Replendish Gravity Waterer and Torus Self-Filling Pet Water Bowl. However, since the domestic tap water is already filtered in most cases, you may not always need such filtration.
Another design consideration that can make a water station more convenient than others is how easy it is to refill the hopper/reservoir. Unlike, feeders which have a top lid for filling the hopper, the reservoir must be filled and then inverted and inserted into the twist valve for dispensing.
An exception to this is the Critter Concepts Dog Water Dispenser, which provides the ability to fill them from the top without removing the reservoir. Another advantage of this design is that you can add ice cubes to the water without any hassle.
Keep these design features and considerations in mind while picking the best dog water dispenser for your needs.
Size and Capacity of the dispenser
The size or capacity of the water station or bowl is another factor to consider before picking the best automatic dog water dispenser.
Dogs typically need 0.5 to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. So, you would have to pick a dispenser size depending upon the refill schedule that you can maintain. You can refer to the below chart, courtesy of our top pick – the PetSafe Healthy Pet Water Station to determine which size and capacity of the dog water dispenser would be suitable for your needs.
Additional factors and considerations
In addition to the factors above, there are a couple of other considerations that can make a purchase more attractive than others.
One such factor is the protection against mold, mildew and odor causing bacteria. This is not a major problem for automatic dog water dispensers which have a steel bowl. However, for dog water dispensers with plastic bowls, having Microban Antimicrobial coating on the bowl of the water dispenser is something to look out for. This coating helps prevent the growth of mold & odor-causing bacteria and other harmful pathogens on the surface of the water bowl/base over time. The popular Petmate Replendish Gravity Waterer is an example of water dispenser which provides this protection.
Another factor to consider is related to the presence of flow control mechanism for better portability. This is not a concern in the case of watering bowls as all of them have spill-proof designs that restrict water flow when not in use. However, in the case of water stations, the commercially popular Critter Concepts Dog Water Dispenser and the domestic PetSafe Healthy Pet Water Station both provide a flow control valve that allows you to manage the flow of water when transporting the dispenser. The Critter Concepts waterer even has wheels for easy transportation.
Finally, if you are someone who prefers a stainless-steel bowl over plastic ones, you would love the removable steel water bowl with the PetSafe Healthy Pet Water Station. This steel bowl is dishwasher safe, so you can clean and sterilize it easily.
Keep these other small considerations in mind while picking the best automatic pet water dispenser for your household.
Which are the best automatic dog water dispensers and what our picks are?
PetSafe is a worldwide leader in providing automatic feeders, waterers and fountains, and the Petsafe Healthy Pet Water Station is a great part of the range. Its features and price forced us to rate it more suitable for domestic use than the Critter Concepts Dog Water Dispenser, which stays our favorite for commercial pet care centers and kennels.
The PetSafe Water dispenser features a uniquely shaped food-grade, BPA-free plastic container which is well built with a handle on the top for easy transportation. The dispenser comes in three sizes – 0.5 gallons for small pets, 1 gallon for medium dogs, multiple cats or multi-day hydration and 2.5 gallons for large dog breeds or multiple pets.
The dispenser has a leak-proof and automatic spring valve to dispense water in the bowl when the reservoir is fitted over it.
The PetSafe water station has a dishwasher safe, removable stainless steel bowl. Stainless steel is one of the most recommended materials for pet bowls and you can easy sterilize it by tossing it in top shelf in the dishwasher. The lid and the base are also dishwasher-safe.
The PetSafe water station does not come with a water filter included with the dispenser, though you can get a water filter separately. This may be your only complaint with this gravity water dispenser.
If you are looking for a value-for-money gravity water station, then look no further than the best-selling PetMate Replendish Gravity Waterer. PetMate has been a leader in water dispensers and this gravity water dispenser is no exception.
The PetMate Replendish waterer is manufactured in the USA with BPA-Free PET Plastic. PET plastic is not only suitable for all pets, it is also environmentally safe. The waterer comes in four colors and four sizes ranging from 0.5 gallons to as much as 4 gallons. So, you have a lot of options to choose from, making it a suitable choice for all breeds – small, medium and large dogs.
The water reservoir has a wide mouth and a spill-proof design to prevent spills while setting up the station. The waterer features a replaceable charcoal filter to remove chlorine, chemicals and other dissolved impurities from water.
The water bowl is high-quality plastic and treated with a Microban antimicrobial protective coating to prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria. What’s more, the plastic bowl is top-shelf dishwasher safe, so you can clean it easily.
The only concern that you can have with this waterer is that it does not have a top lid to fill in water. You would have to fill the hopper and invert it into the dispensing valve, something you may find a little cumbersome. Still, this is a small inconvenience for the price.
If you are a pet owner who loves outdoor travel with the pet, or are looking for a reliable automatic dog water bowl with filter, then you must check out the elegant-looking, smartly-designed Torus Self-Filling Pet Water Bowl by Torus Pet (formerly Heyrex Torus).
The Torus water bowl was designed in New Zealand and consists of a BPA-free plastic bowl with an insulated rubberized coating. The hollow walls in the bowl act as a reservoir for storing water, which flows automatically in the bowl when required. The reservoir comes in two sizes – 0.5 gallons (2 liters) and 0.25 gallons (1 liter).
The insulation can keep water cold or hot for longer periods than other water bowls. Its low-profile filling minimizes chances of spills and splashes. What’s more is that this smart bowl has a carbon activated filter which can remove dissolved impurities and foul taste and odor from water. Each filter lasts for about one month and the bowl comes with 5 additional filters. You can easily get additional filters online.
The only complaint you can have with this water bowl is the plastic regulator design. Though it is sturdy, if you have a chewing pet, it can try to bite into the regulator. Still, most pets would find the regulator uninteresting, so it should not be a major issue.
If you have a large or extra-large dog such as a Lab, Maltese, German Shephard, Mastiff or Pitbull or have multiple pets, or you run a pet daycare, then you have to check out the Critter Concepts Large Dog Water Dispenser. It can be a lifesaver!
The Critter Concepts Dog Water Dispenser was originally designed specifically for kennels and dog care centers, but its performance and popularity has made it a favorite for large dog-households as well. It may not be the most elegant looking waterer out there but is surely the toughest one.
The Critter Concepts waterer (sometimes also referred to as Critter Concept Cooler) is made in the US (Las Vegas) and features an FDA approved, food-grade plastic water container. It is available in three sizes – 3.5 gallons, 5 gallons, and the extra-large 6.5 gallons. In terms of dimensions, it has a length of 17-inches and a width of about 12-inches. The height varies from 17-inches for the 3.5 gallon model, 21-inches for the 5 gallon and 25-inches for the 6.5 gallon hopper.
Filling the dog water dispenser is not difficult – it can be filled with water from the top using a jug and sealed. The waterer rests on three 3-inch, 360-degree, self-locking caster wheels which make the movement easy.
The watering bowl stands a good 7-inches above the ground and is about 50 ounces in capacity, making it comfortable for large dogs to drink through. The waterer is automatically filled using a gravity-based flow control mechanism and the flow is adjustable through a valve.
Assembling and disassembling is easy (it comes with an instructional DVD) and removable parts are top-shelf dishwasher safe. We recommend washing the hopper with hand using soapy water once a month or so.
The Critter Concepts dog water dispenser is advertised as virtually indestructible and is backed by a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects. So, though you pay a high initial price, you can use it for years!
Things to remember while using automatic dog water dispensers
Gravity dog water dispensers and bowls are an excellent way to provide your pet dog or cat access to clean and hygienic water, even when you are not around. However, to ensure proper usage, keep the following things in mind while using such water sources:
- Read the instructions carefully before setting up the water dispenser. You can also check out the installation videos by the manufacturer or other sources.
- Always set up the waterer on stable, flat surface to prevent any unwarranted tipping offs by pets.
- Ensure that you clean the water bowl in dispensers periodically – ideally once a week or at least twice a month.
- Ensure you flush out any remaining water and fill in fresh water periodically to ensure fresh supply every fortnight or so.
- In the case of gravity waterers, make sure you do not put the main container of the feeder in the dishwasher. Only the base and lid are dishwasher safe.
- Though you do not need to monitor the hydration regimen as closely as the feeding schedule, keep a track of the hydration frequency of your pets. If the pet shows low or excessive hydration, consult your vet.
Automatic cat water dispensers
We often get asked which are the best cat water dispensers?
If you are a feline owner and looking for an automatic cat water dispenser to keep your pet hydrated, then consider getting a cat water fountain. There is no secret that cats love drinking from a running water source and cat water fountains provide an excellent medium for clean, running fresh water.
Still, if you have multiple felines and are looking to get a gravity-based cat water dispenser, you can look at the small and medium models of PetSafe Healthy Pet Water Station or the Petmate Replendish Gravity Waterer, which have a capacity of 0.5 or 1.0 gallons. These automatic pet water dispensers have a bowl with low clearance from the ground, making them comfortable for the kitty to drink from.
Final thoughts on the best automatic water dispensers for pets
Proper hydration is extremely important for all pets, more so for dogs. And one of the ways to ensure that even when you are not around to fill the water bowl is to use an automatic dog water dispenser. One of the simplest type of automatic water dispensers and bowls available in the market are the gravity-based automatic pet waterers. These automatic water stations rely on principles of gravity to keep your pet dog or cat hydrated over a long period even when you are not around.
In this article, we reviewed and listed some of the best automatic dog water dispensers available in the market. We covered the main features of these types of waterers and water dispensers. We covered some of the major factors to keep in mind before picking the best automatic dog water dispenser for your household and shared our top picks.
We have also discussed about more advanced types of automatic water dispensers in our article on the best pet fountains. But if you are looking for a simple, inexpensive and power-free solution, one of these dog water stations and auto dog water bowls is an excellent item to have for your pet.
We hope that you found this article useful and it would help you in picking the best automatic dog water dispenser for your beloved pooch. Do let us know your feedback by providing your comment below. Until next time, have a great time with your canine companion!!