As we saw in our articles on the best dog water dispensers and best pet fountains, we looked at how gravity-based automatic waterers and pet fountains can provide standing or flowing water to hydrate your beloved pooch even when you are not around. However, almost all the options we discussed in those articles are primarily meant for indoor use. What if you need something for your outdoor backyard, lawn or patio? Enter outdoor dog water bowls and fountains to the scene.
But which are the best outdoor dog water bowls and fountains available in the market?
In this article, we look at answering specifically the above question and list some of the best outdoor dog water bowls and fountains available in the market. These pet water dispensers work well for not only dogs but also cats and birds. And they do not require you to constantly monitor and replenish the bowls. We will also see some of the factors to consider before picking the outdoor dog water bowls and fountains and share our top picks. So, buckle up and read on!
Best outdoor dog water bowls and fountainsSome of the best outdoor dog water bowls and fountains available in the market are listed below:
|H2O Aqua Buddy Automatic Dog Water Bowl||64 fl.oz. Auto-fill|
12” x 11” x 5.5”
|PetSafe Drinkwell Indoor/Outdoor Dog Fountain||450 fl.oz. Fountain|
21” x 14” x 12.5”
|Trio Gato's Outdoor Dog Pet Water Sprinkler||Step-on Sprinkler|
8.7” x 8.5” x 2.4”
|Lixit Dog Faucet Waterer||Running Faucet|
3.5” x 1.25” x 1.25”
|Bergan Autowata Automatic Pet Waterer||48 fl.oz. Auto-fill|
10” x 11” x 5”
|Easy-Clean Outdoor Dog Water Bowl||24 fl.oz. Auto-fill|
15” x 9” x 4”
|Athena & Brando Outdoor Dog Water Bowl||40 fl.oz. Auto-fill|
10” x 8” x 5”
|PetSafe Drinkwell Everflow Pet Fountain||192 fl.oz. Auto-fill fountain|
16.5” x 16.9” x 11.6”
|Dogit Alfresco Outdoor Dog Water Dispenser||338 fl.oz. Fountain|
14.3” x 12” x 10.3”
What are outdoor dog water bowls and fountains?
Proper hydration is extremely important to dogs. Dehydration can lead to lethargy and multiple health issues such as UTI, kidney diseases and diabetes. Typically, a dog needs around 0.75 to 1.0 fluid ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. While some of the hydration can be in the form of moist food, most of the hydration would still come from water and your pooch would need anywhere between 20 ounces to 100 ounces of water per day, while a puppy would need 8 to 20 ounces of water every day.
For a dog that stays indoors, a simple water bowl or a gravity-based dog waterer is a good enough option. You can also opt for a dog water fountain to give your pooch access to running water. But what about the outdoors? What are your options for ensuring proper and on-demand hydration in your backyard or lawn? For such situations, you need an outdoor dog water dispenser.
Outdoor dog water dispensers are exactly what their name says – they are smartly-designed waterers that provide an outdoor-pet access to the fresh, clean water even when you are away. Outdoor dog water dispensers come in different types and you can pick the best option as per you and your canine’s preferences:
- Auto-filling dog water bowls: The automatic outdoor dog water bowls are the most popular outdoor dog water dispenser options. Needing only a simple connection to a water tap through a hose, these bowls auto-fill when they go out of the water. Such bowls work especially well for dogs and other medium to large pets. Some latest designs even use motion-sensor adapters like the ones used in household basin taps, though traditional auto-fill bowls still rule the space. These outdoor dog water bowls do not require any training for you or your pet.
- Step-On Sprinklers: These intelligently designed water dispensers are a lot more fun than the water bowls. They also need a simple connection to the water source and have a step-on platform to release a stream of water when the pet puts its paws on the platform. The best sprinkler waterers require very little load (less than 10 grams) and work pretty well for all dogs and even with some cats. The only problem with these dispensers is that they can end up being more of a fun toy for a playful pet and cause unwanted watering of the lawn or backyard. These step-on waterers do require some basic training for the pets.
- Faucet Waterers: If you have a dog that likes to spill the water from the bowl or play on a sprinkler, then the faucet water dispenser is the best option. This simple device can be attached to a water tap or spigot and then can automatically dispense small amounts of water when the doggo opens the valve by licking it with its tongue. Faucet waterers require a litter bit of training for the pet.
- Outdoor fountains: Outdoor pet fountains work essentially like indoor pet fountains. They have a water reservoir, a filter and a pump to constantly circulate the stored water. They need a power supply to work. Moreover, pet fountains have a fixed capacity and you will have to replenish and fill them yourselves, unless you opt for options such as the PetSafe Drinkwell Everflow Pet Fountain, which have a provision to attach a water hose.
From the above discussion, it is clear that you have a bunch of options for outdoor dog water dispensers and you can pick the best design based on your preferences. Now let us look at some of the best outdoor dog water bowls and fountains available in the market!
Which are the best outdoor dog water bowls and fountains?
Material: BPA-free, UV-resistant, Polypropylene plastic bowl with a plastic hose connector. Does not come with a hose or pipe.
Size and Capacity: 64 fl. oz.; 12” x 11” x 5.5”, 1.45 lbs.
- High-quality auto-fill dog water bowl with BPA-free, UV-resistant plastic construction. Made in the US and marketed by Real Pets Inc.
- Best-in-class oversized drinking surface with a large 2-quart capacity. Tapered design with edges-free bowl provides a convenient drinking surface to dogs, cats, even horses and livestock.
- Comes with a plastic hose connector that can be connected to any standard garden hose or tap spigot.
- Features an internal float and valve system to control and adjust the water level in the bowl.
- Easy to install and maintain. The bowl is dishwasher-safe.
- Available in an elegant silver color with more options available directly from the manufacturer. Backed by a 90-day manufacturer money back guarantee and a one-year warranty.
- A stainless-steel H2O Animal Hydration Flow Waterer is also available from the same manufacturer.
When it comes to outdoor pet hydration, the H2O Animal Hydration brand of US-based Real Pets Inc. has been on the forefront for years. Their outdoor dog water bowl models – the H2O Aqua Buddy Automatic Dog Water Bowl and H2O Animal Hydration Flow Buddy Waterer are the best-selling self-filling outdoor dog water bowls in the market and there is a good reason for that.
The H2O Aqua Buddy Automatic Dog Water Bowl features a high-quality BPA-free, UV-resistant Polypropylene plastic bowl. The bowl is completely outdoor safe and does not fade color or leach chemicals. After all, like other H2O Animal Hydration products, the Aqua Buddy is made in the US using the best manufacturing processes.
The Aqua Buddy comes with a hose connector which can be easily attached to a standard garden hose or outdoor tap spigot. The hose connector is made of plastic. The bowl also does not include a hose pipe or tube. It would have been excellent if the connector were made of metal like brass or copper and the manufacturer also offered a hose pipe, but this is not really a deal-breaker. If you are looking for a short hose or have an aggressive chewer, you can replace the arrangement with a metallic female to male connector and hose used with a washing machine. This arrangement would fit perfectly with the Aqua Buddy. The installation is easy, and you can use a wrench or simple household pliers to attach the garden hose properly.
The Aqua Buddy has an internal float and valve system (it is safely hidden in the covered back side of the bowl) to control the automatic refill and also adjust the water level in the bowl. This simple system works exactly like a cistern-type toilet flushing system and is pretty reliable. As soon as the water level in the bowl drops below the threshold, the float valve activates the water replenishment process to refill the bowl.
At 2-quarts (64 fl. oz.), the Aqua Buddy has the best-in-class oversized drinking bowl with a tapered design that is totally corners and edges-free bowl. The bowl works best when placed on a stable ground surface and provides a convenient drinking surface to dogs, cats, even horses and livestock. The bowl is dishwasher-safe
The Aqua Buddy is available in an elegant silver color with more color options available directly from the manufacturer. And if you are looking for a metallic outdoor dog water bowl, you can check out the stainless-steel H2O Animal Hydration Flow Waterer from the same manufacturer.
Like all other H2O Hydration Products, it is backed by a 90-day manufacturer money back guarantee and a one-year warranty against manufacturing defects.
Material: BPA-free, UV-resistant, high-impact polystyrene plastic.
Size and Capacity: 21” x 14” x 12.5”; 8.5 lbs.
- High-quality, large capacity pet water fountain with a free-falling water stream and garden hose refilling mechanism. Made in China under US-based manufacturer’s quality restrictions.
- Features a BPA-free, UV-resistant plastic body with two 1-gallon reservoirs having water level indicators. The fountain is outdoor-safe and does not fade in sunlight, though placing in the shade is recommended.
- Comes with dual filtration – Carbon and foam filters that remove sediments, chlorine, and unnatural taste and odors from the water.
- Features an outdoor rated submersible pump and anti-bite cord cover for a safe operation. A water stream ramp provides a quiet stream to the pet to drink from.
- Easy to clean with dishwasher-safe parts (excluding the pump). High sides on the drinking bowl help reduce splashing and spills.
- Available in standard dark grey color and backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty against defects.
As we saw in our article on the best pet fountains, PetSafe offers one of the best range of indoor and outdoor pet fountains since mid-1990s. The popular PetSafe Drinkwell Indoor/Outdoor Dog Fountain is one of their premier models and our favorite for outdoor use.
The PetSafe Drinkwell Outdoor Dog Fountain features a BPA, BPS and Phthalate-free polystyrene plastic construction, which is both durable and UV resistant. The fountain comes in a lead-free, dark grey color which does not fade or chip in sunlight. The fountain is manufactured in China under strict quality control processes.
The fountain has an aggregate capacity of 3.5 gallons. This includes two 1-gallon water reservoirs that are attached to the fountain. These reservoirs have a water-level indicator to help you determine if the fountain needs a refill.
One of the best features of the Drinkwell Indoor/Outdoor Dog Fountain is its two-stage filtration process. A large foam filter captures the sediments and debris before they clog the pump and a 3-layer activated charcoal filter removes smaller particles and odor-causing bacteria. The charcoal filter can last anywhere from 2-4 weeks, while the foam filter can last for over 2 months. Both the filters are replaceable, and replacements are readily available online or in nearby pet stores.
The Drinkwell Indoor/Outdoor fountain has a continuous free-falling stream with a ramp to provide a quiet circulation of water. The fountain uses an outdoor rated submersible pump and anti-bite cord cover for a safe operation.
The cleaning and maintenance of the fountain is a little more involved, though all the parts except the pump are dishwasher-safe in the top shelf.
Like other PetSafe fountains, the PetSafe Drinkwell Indoor/Outdoor Dog Fountain is backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty against defects.
Material: Heavy-gauge steel pedal with a copper valve and rubberized friction pads.
Size and Capacity: 8.7” x 8.5” x 2.4”; 3.7 lbs.
- High-quality outdoor dog pet water sprinkler that provides fresh, on-demand hydration. Made in China.
- Upgraded design with a leak-free copper valve that provides an adjustable narrow stream of water when the pet steps on the rubber pads. Some pet training is required.
- Comes with a 40.5″ fountain hose that can be connected to the garden hose or tap faucet.
- Easy installation with a plier or wrench to secure the connection.
- The dog water dispenser includes free bonus adapters, a connector and a 2-way Y-shaped garden hose connector for hassle-free installation.
- Available in a single size and backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty.
Material: Aluminum with stainless-steel nozzle.
Size and Capacity: 3.5” x 1.25” x 1.25”; 0.9 lbs.
- High-quality faucet waterer made of aluminum with stainless-steel nozzle. Fits any standard spigot or tap. Made in the US.
- With a little training, provides fresh running water to the pet with no water reservoir required.
- Smart auto open/shut-off when the valve lever is moved by the pet’s tongue. Works best for medium to large dogs.
- Simple to use with tool-free assembly and removal from the faucet.
- Available in a single size and backed by a five-year manufacturer warranty.
- Competitively priced at well under 15 USD.
Material: BPA-free, UV-resistant Polypropylene plastic bowl with plastic hose connector. No hose.
Size and Capacity: 48 fl. oz.; 10” x 11” x 5”, 1.25 lbs.
- A budget, self-filling outdoor dog water bowl with a durable, BPA-free, UV resistant plastic construction. Made in the US and marketed by Coastal Pet Products.
- Features a covered lid with a float valve to adjust the water level in the bowl. Can hold about 6 cups of water.
- Comes with a plastic connector that can be attached to a standard garden hose for self-filling when the water level is low. Does not come with a hose or tubing.
- Can be mounted on the ground or on the wall using two screws (not included).
- Competitively priced at under 20 dollars and backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty. Available in single blue color.
Material: BPA-free, UV-resistant Polypropylene plastic bowl with Stainless-steel hose. Brass-coated connector.
Size and Capacity: 24 fl. oz.; 15” x 9” x 4”, 2 lbs.
- A heavy-duty, auto-fill outdoor dog water bowl with BPA-free smooth plastic body and a stainless-steel water hose with brass-coated spigot connector. Made in the US.
- Edge and corner-free bowl provides a convenient drinking surface to dogs, cats, even horses and livestock.
- Equipped with a fast-fill float valve that can replace water faster than a large pet can drink it. Designed to fill without spraying, flowing or bubbling.
- Easy to assemble and disassemble to clean. Needs 5/8-inch and 1/2-inch wrench or pliers to set it up. Dishwasher-safe bowl.
- Available in single blue color with 5 or 10 feet water hose. Backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty.
Material: Type II Military-grade anodized Aluminum bowl with Polyethylene tube and plastic tap and hose hose-connector.
Size and Capacity: 40 fl. oz.; 10” x 8” x 5”, 1 lbs.
- A lightweight, self-filling outdoor dog water bowl with a rust-free anodized Aluminum construction. Made in the US.
- Comes with a 15” Polyethylene water hose and plastic tap and hose connectors.
- Easy 5-10 minute setup. Adjustable float valve provides auto shut-off when the bowl is full.
- Large drinking base with a low profile makes it perfect for all dogs and even small pets and cats.
- Competitively priced at under 40 USD. All accessories are included with the kit.
- Available in aluminum silver color and backed by a 100% satisfaction guaranteed commitment.
Material: BPA-free, UV-resistant, high-impact polystyrene plastic.
Size and Capacity: 192 fl. oz. (1.5 gal); 16.5” x 16.9” x 11.6”, 7.5 lbs.
- Auto-filling outdoor pet water fountain with a free-falling water stream and garden hose refilling mechanism. Made in China under the US-based manufacturer’s quality restrictions.
- Features a BPA-free, UV-resistant plastic body with brass-hose connector. The fountain can hold 192 fl. oz. (1.5 gallons) of water. Lid lock to prevent accidental detachment by pets.
- Comes with dual filtration – Carbon and foam filters that remove sediments, chlorine, and unnatural taste and odors from the water.
- Features an outdoor rated submersible pump and anti-bite cord cover for a safe operation. A water stream ramp provides quiet operation.
- Easy to clean with dishwasher-safe parts (excluding the pump).
- Available in standard white color and backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty against defects.
Material: BPA-free plastic body with fiberglass resin water station.
Size and Capacity: 338 fl. oz. (2.5 gal); 14.3” x 12” x 10.3”, 14 lbs.
- Elevated dog water fountain with built-in filtration and LED illumination. Made in China for North America-based company.
- Features a BPA-free plastic body with fiberglass resin water station. The water station is illuminated for elegant night time visibility.
- Elevated to about 10 inches of height, providing a comfortable drinking position to large dog breeds.
- Equipped with a carbon activated filter to provide fresh, oxygenated water.
- Has an outdoor certified transformer and super-quiet pump that provides a weather-resistant power connection even in rain.
- Rectangular design makes it slightly difficult to clean than other pet fountains.
- Comes with the fountain, filter, transformer, pump and LED lighting along with user manual.
- Available in standard black color with white water dispenser/light. Backed by a two-year manufacturer warranty.
If you are looking for additional options, you can consider getting a large-capacity indoor ceramic pet fountain instead of the to the auto-fill outdoor dog water bowls and outdoor pet fountains listed above. Ceramic is relatively weather-proof, and chemically inert. Just make sure you pick something which has a capacity of 100+ fl. oz. so that it can carry enough water for large pets.
If you have some backyard shade available, you can even consider stainless-steel pet fountains. Avoid plastic indoor fountains that are not marked BPA-free and UV-resistant, as prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause harmful chemicals to leach from the surface of the fountain.
Some of the options to consider are:
For some more information and options, you can check our article on the best pet water fountains.
If you have more than a couple of large dogs or are looking for a larger reservoir, you can consider getting an auto-filling water bowl for cattle or horses, such as the Lucky Farm Automatic Water Feeder Trough Bowl. These stainless-steel auto-filling bowls have a larger reservoir when compared to automatic self-filling dog water bowls.
How to pick the best outdoor dog water bowl or fountain?
With so many different types and models of outdoor dog water dispensers in the market, picking the best outdoor dog water bowl or fountain can be a challenging task. After all, you see such a wide disparity in the prices – from 10-dollar faucet waterers 10 100+ dollars pet fountains.
Once you have decided upon the broad budget, you can consider the following major factors before picking the best outdoor dog water dispenser for your pet or pets:
- Purpose and type of the dispenser
- Building material and design
- Size and capacity
- Additional factors and considerations
Purpose and type of the dispenser
Before you pick the best outdoor pet waterer, you would need to think about the primary purpose for which you are seeking such a water dispenser. Your primary purpose would essentially govern the type of outdoor water dispenser you should opt for.
If you have a single pet dog, you can consider a dog faucet waterer such as the best-selling Lixit Dog Faucet Waterer. If you want something more playful, then a dog sprinkler would also be excellent, though some dogs may treat it more as a toy and muddy your lawn or backyard, so prefer them only if you have kids or yourself around to look after their use.
However, if you have multiple dogs or you are looking for a continuous waterer for some outdoor feral cats or livestock, then a high-capacity auto-filling outdoor dog water bowl such as the H2O Aqua Buddy Automatic Dog Water Bowl or a water fountain like the PetSafe Drinkwell Everflow Pet Fountain would be an excellent choice. Their lower drinking station is also something that small pets would find easy to access.
If you have an older pet who needs an elevated drinking station, then the Dogit Alfresco Outdoor Dog Water Dispenser is probably the best bet.
It is also worthwhile to mention that water dispensers like faucets and sprinklers do require some effort on your part to train the pet to use it. This is not very difficult, but still something you have to keep in mind before leaving your pet alone with such a dispenser.
So, depending upon your primary purpose and requirements, you can zero in on the type of outdoor dog water dispenser you would like to opt for.
Building material and design
The building material of the dog water dispenser is an important factor to consider as it governs the overall durability and reliability of the product.
For outdoor dog water bowls, sprinklers and faucets, this includes the material of the drinking bowl or tray, the material of the pipe or hose connectors, valves and the material of the hose, if any.
Stainless-steel is considered the best material for outdoor bowls as it is chemically inert, durable and easy to clean, but this tends to make the bowl costlier and heavier. For plastic outdoor pet bowls, make sure that they are explicitly listed as BPA-free and UV-resistant, as that would mean the bowl is safe and durable to use outdoors. Similarly, metal connectors and hoses provide better leak-proof operation when compared to plastic connectors, which though easy to attach, tend to leak or break after prolonged use. All the options that we have listed are made of pet-safe materials, so you can use them without concern about the safety of pets.
Similarly, make sure that the pet fountains are made of outdoor-safe materials. Even the pump, power adapters, transformers, cords and other parts must be explicitly listed as outdoor-friendly. All the fountain options that we have listed have been tested and certified for outdoor use, but our favorite are the PetSafe Fountains – PetSafe Drinkwell Indoor/Outdoor Dog Fountain and PetSafe Drinkwell Everflow Pet Fountain, because of their durable high-quality plastic construction and outdoor-certified parts.
If your Fido is an aggressive chewer, you need to think about the protection to the power cord for pet fountains and water pipe for water bowls, especially in cases you would be away for a long time and your pet will have a free run with the water dispenser. All the options that we have listed have pet-safe cord or hose, but you can consider using a plastic tape or ChewSafe Cord Cover if you desire.
Check the building material of the water dispenser and associated parts before picking the best outdoor dog water bowl or fountain for your pooch.
Size and capacity
The size and capacity of the pet water dispenser is another factor to consider before picking the best outdoor dog water bowl or fountain.
Both cats and dogs need proper hydration to stay active, healthy and free from complications such as kidney stones, diabetes and stomach ailments. Dogs typically need 0.5 to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. Cats, on the other hand, require around 0.67 to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight.
While most outdoor pet water dispensers have a provision of automatic replenishment through a water source, you still need to ensure that the bowl or drinking station is big enough for the canine to have immediate access to the water. On the other hand, more the capacity of the bowl, more the chances of outdoor debris settling in it. Still, any self-filling bowl which less than 24 fl. ounces is just too small for dogs, though it may still work for cats.
Among self-filling outdoor dog bowls, the H2O Aqua Buddy Automatic Dog Water Bowl is our favorite, because of its large 64 fl.oz. capacity – it is just perfect for two or more large outdoor canines. Similarly, the PetSafe Drinkwell Everflow Pet Fountain is an excellent option because of the 1.5-gallon drinking basin, supported by an automatic self-filling hose.
Closely related to the capacity of the pet fountain is the size of the drinking station, bowl or basin. If you have multiple pets, ensure you pick an outdoor dog water dispenser that has a big enough drinking basin for multiple pets to drink together.
Additional factors and considerations
In addition to the major factors discussed above, there are a few miscellaneous additional considerations that can make a specific outdoor dog water bowl a better choice over others.
One such consideration is any additional accessories and installation supplies, if any, that come with the bowl. Things like spare valves, Y-splitters and water pipe or tubing and power adapters can go a long way in simplifying the installation and maintenance of these outdoor pet water dispensers. Check the package contents and any accessories before picking the best outdoor dog water bowl or fountain for your beloved pet.
Another vital consideration to check is the ease of cleaning and maintenance. Since outdoor dog water dispensers are exposed to the weather elements and outdoor dust, a water bowl or fountain that is easy to disassemble, clean and reassemble again. Dog water bowls are generally pretty easy to maintain – most of them are dishwasher-safe and do not have power cords or pumps to remove. Fountains require a little more involved maintenance: you would have to replace the filters, change the water and remove the debris from the drinking station. Of the options we listed, the Dogit Alfresco Outdoor Dog Water Dispenser requires most effort in cleaning and maintenance, mainly because of its rectangular design.
Lastly, one of the most important additional considerations is the warranty and post-purchase customer service support offered on the product by the manufacturer. Top manufacturers such as Petsafe, H2O and Dogit offer excellent one or multi-year warranties on their products, making them excellent choices. Just make sure you make your purchase only from the manufacturers and authorized resellers to ensure that you get the genuine product and not a knock-off. Any product that is shipped from overseas and takes more than a couple of weeks to arrive is probably not an original product.
Keep these small considerations in mind as well before picking the best outdoor dog water bowl or fountain for your needs.
Final thoughts on the best outdoor dog water bowls and fountains
In order to stay healthy and active, dogs and other pets need proper hydration. Access to clean, fresh water 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. For indoors, you can use an automatic dog water dispenser or indoor pet fountain to provide your pet access to water even when you are not around. But if your pet stays outdoors, or if you are playing water boy to some feral cats or birds, you need to look at outdoor dog water bowls or outdoor pet fountains.
In this article, we looked at some of the best outdoor dog water bowls and fountains available in the market. We looked at the different types of water dispensers you can consider, the factors to keep in mind before picking the best outdoor dog water bowl or fountain and also shared our top picks. Most of the waterers that we listed also work well for cats, birds and farm animals like goats and sheep.
We hope that you found this article useful and it would help you in picking the best outdoor dog water bowl or fountain for your beloved pooch. Do let us know your feedback and questions by commenting below. Until next time, have a playful time with your Fido!