In our previous article on the best automatic pet waterers, we looked at how gravity-based automatic water stations and bowls help in keeping your pets hydrated even when you are not around. One of the major limitations of these water dispensers is that they provide access to standing water only. Studies have shown that both dogs and cats prefer flowing water for hydration. This behavior is more evident in cats, which are relatively fussy when it comes to drinking water.
So how do you ensure that your pet or pets have access to hygienic, flowing water at all times? The answer is getting an pet water fountain for your cat or dog. These pet fountains provide a smart and convenient mechanism to give your pet dog or cat access to fresh, clean flowing water. And if you have multiple pets, pet water fountains are even more useful.
In this article, we look at some of the best pet water fountains available on the market. The options we list are useful for small to large dog breeds and almost all cats. We will also look at some of the factors to consider before picking the best pet water fountain and also share some tips and tricks for maintenance.
Best pet water fountain listSome of the best pet water fountains available in the market are listed below:
|PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain||1.3 (168 fl.oz.)||- Best-selling pet water fountain made from BPA-free plastic. Parts are top-shelf dishwasher safe.|
- Has a pre-filter and premium carbon activated filter for clean water supply.
- Features a quiet submersible pump, along with an adjustable flow control regulator to manage the flow.
- Has a receiving ramp for splash-free, quiet flow of water.
- Backed by one-year warranty on pump and fountain.
|Pioneer Pet Raindrop Stainless Steel Pet Fountain||0.47 (60 fl. oz.)||- A popular pet water fountain with two-level drinking stations, made with food-grade, dishwasher-safe stainless steel.|
- Suitable for small and medium dog breeds and all cats.
- Has an ultra-quiet pump to circulate water and a charcoal filter to remove impurities.
- Backed by one-year warranty for pump and fountain.
- A ceramic version and the larger capacity Big Max Fountain are also available in the market.
|IPETTIE Ceramic Pet Water Fountain||0.55 (71 fl. oz.)||- A 360-degree water fountain made with environment-friendly, non-toxic ceramic/porcelain. Dishwasher safe.|
- Features a super-quiet, IP68-rated, submersible AC pump that provides aerated flow. Low 2W power consumption.
- Features a dual filtration system - foam + carbon activated filter with 3-stage filtration process for clean, fresh water.
- Available in two colors - white and blue and two designs - Tritone and Fiumi.
- Backed by 30-day hassle-free replacement guarantee and three-year manufacturer warranty.
- The upgraded package includes an additional pump and 3 carbon filters as bonus, along with a coupon for additional replacement filters.
|HoneyGuaridan Smart Automatic Pet Water Fountain||0.67 (85 fl. oz.)||- Innovative pet water fountain with a smart infra-red induction mode that saves energy and reduces carbon footprint.|
- Features a BPA-free, FDA-approved plastic body with a wide and smooth curve drinking station. Provides a height of 5.5 - 6.3 inches.
- Supports three modes of operation - infra-red induction mode that turns on the fountain when the pet is within 5 feet (1.5 m) of the fountain, continuous mode and intermittent mode. Has a LED light indicator for different modes and low water level.
- Comes with a activated carbon filtration system with 2-step purification to clean impurities.
- Backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty.
|MOSPRO Pet Water Fountain||0.53 (67 fl. oz.)||- Newly,designed, flower pet fountain featuring a BPA-free, antibacterial PP resin body. Higher 7.3-inch profile.|
- Supports a 360-degree stream flow with three water flow settings. Suitable for all cats and small and medium dog breeds. Also works well for birds.
- Super silent operation with a 2W pump that can run for over 10,000 hours.
- Equipped with 2-piece activated carbon filter, with two filters included with package.
- Backed by 12-month manufacturer warranty.
|Cat Mate Pet Water Fountain||0.55 (70 fl. oz.)||- Popular pet fountain made with food-grade, BPA-free plastic. All parts except the pump are dishwasher safe.|
- Has multiple drinking height stations, so suitable for older or multiple pet homes.
- Features a poly-carbon filter and Isolated Pump System(IPS) for super-quiet operation.
- Backed by a three-year guarantee for fountain and one-year warranty for pump.
- Also has a large 200 oz. Dog Mate version for using as a large dog water fountain.
|Catit Fresh & Clear Stainless-Steel Pet Water Fountain||0.50 (64 fl. oz.)||- Hygenic and dishwasher-safe pet drinking fountain with a stainless steel top drinking station. |
- Large water-to-air surface maximized oxygenation. Top drinking station makes it suitable for old cats and dogs.
- Quiet noise-less circulation. Dual-action carbon filter provides safe, clean water source.
- Backed by a 2-year manufacturer warranty.
|Hagen Dogit Design Fresh and Clear Dog Drinking Fountain||1.5 (200 fl.oz.)||- Uniquely-designed, large dog water fountain with an elevated drinking station, made with BPA-free plastic.|
- Silent operation, large capacity, suitable for medium to large dog breeds or multiple pets.
- Multi-stage filtration to remove chemicals and impurities. Also, comes with a large or value bundle with additional filters.
- Backed by two-year limited manufacturer warranty.
- Also has a popular Hagen Catit Flower Fountain version specifically for cats.
|PetSafe Drinkwell Avalon Ceramic Pet Fountain||0.55 (70 fl. oz.)||- Beautifully-designed ceramic pet water fountain available in two elegant colors - red and white.|
- Features two free-falling streams with three-way drinking design - upper dish, stream and lower dish.
- Suitable for small and medium dog breeds and all cats.
- Comes with a double stage, foam + carbon-activated filter for clean, pure water.
- Backed by one-year warranty on pump and fountain.
|PetSafe Drinkwell 360 Multi-Pet Water Fountain||1.0 (128 fl.oz.)||- Versatile, 360-degree pet water fountain made of high quality, food-grade stainless steel. Dishwasher safe (except pump).|
- Comes with a flow control regulator and five spout rings to create up to 5 streams of water.
- Large capacity, 360-degree design especially suitable for multi-pet homes.
- Also, has a receiving ramp to reduce splash and sound.
- Features a quiet submersible pump, along with two-stage filter - foam and activated carbon.
- Also has a BPA-free plastic version available.
|Pioneer Pet Big Max Ceramic Pet Fountain||1.0 (128 fl.oz.)||- Smart, elegant water fountain made with non-toxic, durable ceramic, with a plastic pump. All parts except the pump are dishwasher safe.|
- Has a unique multi-level drinking station.
- Large capacity, suitable for small to large dog breeds and all cats.
- Also features a charcoal carbon- activated filter to remove harmful chemicals and impurities.
- Backed by one-year warranty for pump and fountain.
What are pet water fountains and what are their major benefits?
Pet water fountains are electricity or battery-powered devices that provide filtered, continuously running water to your pet (or pets). A pet water fountain has three major parts – a reservoir that stores the water, a submersible or stand-alone pump which circulates the water and a filter that filters the flowing water. Some pet water fountains also have flow regulators and stream rings for multiple flow streams. Such cat and dog water fountains are especially useful for multiple pet homes.
Pet water fountains offer distinct advantages over traditional water bowls and gravity water filters. These major benefits and some limitations of these automatic water dispensers are listed below:
In summary, if you can put in the investment, pet water fountains are the best type of automatic water dispensers to consider for your beloved cat or dog. Cats are especially fond of flowing water and hence you should definitely consider getting a cat water fountain, more so if you have multiple cats at home.
In the next sections, we will look at some of the major factors to consider before picking the best pet water fountain and share our top picks. We will also share some popular outdoor dog water fountains that you can look at if you are looking for something for your porch or backyard.
How to pick the best pet water fountain for your cat or dog?
With so many options with different sizes, designs and building materials available in the market, picking the best pet water fountain can be a challenging task. Do not worry and read on!
Some of the major factors that you should consider while picking the best pet fountain for your needs are listed below:
- Purpose of the pet fountain
- Manufacturing material of the fountain
- Design of the fountain
- Size and capacity of the fountain
- Additional factors and considerations
Purpose of the pet fountain
As discussed above, pet water fountains a convenient way for your pet to hydrate with free-flowing water even when you are not around. But to pick the best pet fountain, you need to evaluate the following questions:
- Are you looking for a pet water fountain for a cat or a dog? Cats are specifically fussy about hydration, but due to their superior peripheral vision, love to drink from a free-flowing stream. They would specifically love the design of PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain and Cat Mate Pet Fountain, which offer a high running stream. For dogs, you would need to consider getting a larger pet water fountain. Specifically, for large dog breeds, you would need to opt for a fountain with a capacity in excess of 2 gallons.
- Do you have multiple pets? If you have multiple pets, then opting for a 360-degree pet water fountain or one with multi-level drinking stations is the best option as there would not be any competition between the pets for hydration.
- Do you have an old pet or one suffering from arthritis or joint ailments? If you have a special need pet, then you would find the elevated drinking station design of a fountain such as the Hagen Dogit Design Fresh and Clear Dog Drinking Fountain much more suitable for your pet.
- Do you have a pet that is uncomfortable with sound or gets startled easily? While almost all pet water fountains need some getting used to, if you are looking for an ultra-quiet flowing water fountain you can check out the Pioneer Pet or Hagen Dogit/Catit pet fountains. These automatic water fountains provide an ultra-quiet flow of water across an assisted ramp or surface.
- Do you have an aggressive or messy pet? If you have an aggressive or messy pet that likes to jump over furniture and topple furniture, then you should prefer getting a ceramic pet fountain which would be difficult for the pet to topple or dislocate.
Keep these factors in mind before deciding on the best pet water fountain for your cat, dog or both.
Manufacturing Material of the fountain
Once you have decided on the purpose and type of water fountain you are looking for, you need to consider the manufacturing/building material of the fountain. Pet water fountains are made of one of the three materials – plastic, ceramic(porcelain) and stainless steel.
Plastic water fountains are most common, lighter and generally cheaper. However, your pet can scratch the plastic, creating friendly breeding grounds for bacteria that can harm your pets. Moreover, chemicals employed in making plastic may leach into the water and be detrimental to pet’s health. All the plastic water fountain options that we listed above such as the best-selling PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain are made from BPA, BPS and Phthalate-free plastic, so are pretty safe for your pet.
Stainless steel pet water fountains do not have any chemical-leaching concerns. Stainless steel is the most recommended material by vets as it is scratch-proof and there is almost no chance of pathogen proliferation. Cheap quality fountains though may have rusting tendencies, that is why we list only the top of the line fountains such as Pioneer Pet Raindrop Stainless Steel Pet Drinking Fountain.
Ceramic (Porcelain) pet fountains are the most sophisticated, elegant-looking pet fountains. Porcelain is natural, non-toxic and environment-friendly. Ceramic fountains can even withstand prolong exposure to standing water. Such pet fountains are also heavy enough to be not toppled or moved easily by the pet. What’s more, such fountains come in smart designs and can fit the home decor through smart colors such as white, red, blue and black.
You can sometimes get the same type of water fountain in different materials – plastic, ceramic or steel, so you can pick the best pet water fountain as per your preference.
Design of the fountain
There are quite a few design-related considerations that you should check before picking the best pet water fountain for your household.
One of the most important design consideration you should factor in is the type of pump. Your pet fountain can have two types of Pumps – Submersible or Isolated/external. Submersible pumps are quiet and smooth, but you would have to clean them more frequently to remove any pet hair or dissolved impurities. Moreover, you must keep the water level above the minimum mark to avoid overheating and failure of the pump. Isolated pump systems do not have these problems but sometimes can be louder. Some cat water fountains such as the Cat Mate Cat Water Fountain employ smart design features to minimize the fountain noise, making them especially popular as quiet cat water fountains.
Another factor to consider is the type of filtration. All the options listed by us have standard, carbon-activated charcoal filters that remove harmful chemicals and odor-causing bacteria. Some pet fountains even have an additional foam filter to remove dissolved impurities such as hair, dust, and sediments. As an example, all PetSafe and Pioneer water fountains have multi-stage filtering.
Finally, the presence of 360-degree water streams, multi-level drinking stations, and flow regulators are some additional design factors that may make a specific pet fountain more suitable for multi-pet homes.
Keep these design factors in mind while picking the best pet fountain for your household.
Size and Capacity of the fountain
The capacity of the pet water fountain is another factor to consider before picking the best pet fountain.
Both cats and dogs need proper hydration to stay active, healthy and free from complications such as kidney stones, diabetes and stomach ailments. Cats are especially prone to dehydration issues because of their quirky drinking habits.
Cats require around 0.67 to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight. Since most cats weigh not more than 10 pounds, a 0.5-gallon fountain can last up to 4-6 days for one cat.
Dogs, on the other hand, typically need 0.5 to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day, so you would a larger pet fountain (1 gallon or above) to last more than a couple of days. Many options that we listed have larger versions also available, so you can pick them if desired.
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 have big enough drinking basin for all pets to drink together.
Additional factors and considerations
In addition to the four major criteria listed above, there are a couple of other factors that can make a particular pet water fountain more attractive than others.
One such factor is the looks of the fountain. Ceramic pet fountains are a preferred choice for people who want a fountain that enhances the décor in addition to hydrating the pet. Manufacturers provide a lot of unique designs – pagodas, flower fountains, rectangular basins and what not to appeal to the taste of pet owners. You just need to remember that the best pet fountain is one that serves the hydrating need of your pet!
Ease of cleaning is another important factor to consider. Most options that we listed are dishwasher safe (everything except the pump), so sterilizing them is easy by placing in the top rack of the dishwasher. You may also need to clean up the pump and filter from time-to-time to remove any pet hair, saliva or dissolved impurities. Off course to clean it properly, you would need to disassemble the fountain, which should not be a very difficult task.
Finally, as discussed above, the filters in pet water fountains need to be replaced periodically – generally once every month, so pick a model whose filter is easy to find online, cheap and easy to replace.
Keep these other small considerations in mind while picking the best pet water fountain for your beloved pets.
Which are the best pet water fountains and what our picks are?
The PetSafe Drinkwell series has long been the most popular plastic pet water fountain series, and the Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain is a worthy name in the collection.
The standard Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain has a 1.3-gallon (168 fl. oz.) capacity, which can hydrate medium-to-large dog for a couple of days and your cats for four to five weeks. And if you are looking for a large dog water fountain, then you can check out the PetSafe Drinkwell Big Dog Fountain, which has a whopping capacity of 2.25 gallons.
The Platinum is made of BPA-free plastic and all parts except the pump are dishwasher safe, so cleaning and maintenance are relatively convenient. It features a 5-inch free-falling stream of water driven by a 12V submersible pump.
The fountain has a flow control regulator to manage the flow of water, with lower flow rates providing a nearly silent flow of cool, filtered water. In order to further reduce the noise of water flow, the fountain features an inclined receiving ramp. Still, some pets may find the fountain a little intruding and may need some getting used to.
The Drinkwell Platinum dog water fountain boasts of a two-stage filtration. The pre-filter removes any dissolved impurities- hair and sediments. The main carbon filter removes any chlorine, dissolved chemicals, and odor-causing bacteria to provide your pet with clean, fresh water. Each filter can last up to 3-4 weeks and to get a replacement filter is not very difficult.
Pioneer Pet Raindrop Stainless Steel Pet Drinking Fountain – Best stainless steel pet water fountain
Stainless steel is probably the most recommended type of material for pet feeding bowls and there is a good reason for it. Because of the scratch-less metallic surface, it is nearly impossible for disease causing bacteria to stick to the surface and leach into your pet’s water supply. And if you are looking for a high-quality stainless steel water fountain, then look no further than the popular Pioneer Pet Raindrop Stainless Steel Pet Drinking Fountain or its bigger version – the Pioneer Pet Big Max Stainless Steel Fountain.
The Raindrop cat and dog water fountain is made of high-grade stainless steel. The fountain is dishwasher safe (excluding the pump) and extremely easy to disassemble and clean. It offers a two-level water drinking station – one elevated and one at a normal level, so it is suitable for multi-pet homes.
Its ultra-quiet pump provides excellent noiseless circulation of water. And you have the standard charcoal filter to remove any dissolved impurities or odors from the water.
Like all other Pioneer Pet Fountains, the Pioneer Pet Raindrop Stainless Steel Pet Drinking Fountain is backed by a one-year hassle-free warranty against manufacturing defects.
If you want an elegant, smart-looking, ceramic pet water fountain that offers a 360-degree drinking area, then check out the newly introduced IPETTIE Ceramic Pet Drinking Fountain.
The IPETTIE ceramic pet water fountain is made from natural, non-toxic, environment-friendly, dishwasher safe porcelain. It’s 71-oz. capacity makes it a perfect fit for small to medium dog breeds and all cats. And its 2.5+ lbs. heavy-duty construction means that the fountain cannot be easy displaced even by the most aggressive cat or dog.
The fountain offers three free-flowing streams, as opposed to two in most other stream fountains and three drinking modes – directly from the stream (pet’s favorite faucet drinking), bubble flowing water on top and the normal drinking bowl. The deep drinking dish means you do not have to worry about spills and splashes.
The IPETTIE ceramic pet water fountain has an ultra-low noise submersible pump which consumes as little as 2W and can last for 20,000 hours. And to filter the water, the fountain has a multi-stage dual stage filter- ultra-fine foam filter to remove hair, dust and other dissolved impurities and coconut shell activated carbon filter to remove odor-causing bacteria and chemicals.
What’s more, the IPETTIE Ceramic Pet Drinking Fountain offers a 30-day no-questions-asked money back guarantee and is backed by a three year warranty of the pump and one-year warranty on the fountain. And to further sweeten the deal, the upgraded package includes an additional pump and 3 carbon filters as bonus, along with a coupon for additional replacement filters.
The IPETTIE Ceramic Pet Drinking Fountain is available in two designs – our favorite Tritone and Fiumi. The Tritone design is available in two elegant colors – white and blue.
Pet water fountain placemats
One of the most important accessories to get with your pet fountain is a placemat to prevent splashed water from spoiling your floor or carpet. You can generally get a standard silicone or rubber food mat and place it under your pet water fountain.
If you are looking for some popular options, you can check out the following products. Just make sure that you pick the placemat that is big enough for your pet water fountain:
- Pet Standard Premium Pet Food and Water Mat: Elegant, leaf-shaped placemat that measures 13.5-inches by 17.5 inches. Made of EVA foam and latex and PBA-free. 1-inch elevated boundaries prevent the water or crumbs to spill.
- Catit Peanut Shape Placemat: Uniquely-shaped placemat that works best with Catit and other 360-degree pet water fountains.
- Hoki Found FDA Grade Silicone Pet Food Mat: Best-selling, waterproof budget food mat that also works well with waterers and pet water fountains. Rectangular with elevated sides to keep the spills secure on the mat.
Outdoor Dog Water Fountains
All the cat and dog water fountains that we listed are primarily meant for indoor use. If you have a large or extra-large dog who loves to stay outdoors, then you would probably need to get an outdoor dog water fountain. Such outdoor dog water dispensers are most popular with Labs, Retrievers, Terriers, Pitbulls and other large dog breeds.
While a discussion on the best outdoor dog water fountains would warrant an article for itself, here are some of the best options to consider if you are looking for a decent outdoor pet water fountain:
- Bergan Automata Automatic Watering Bowl: Best-selling, budget automatic pet water dispenser that fits seamlessly into a garden hose. An adjustable float valve allows you to manage the water level and prevent overflows.
- H2O Animal Hydration Aqua Buddy: Another popular outdoor dog water dispenser that can be attached to any standard garden hose. 2-quart drinking bowl, made from durable, UV-resistant polypropylene. Also works well with outdoor cats and other pets.
- PetSafe Drinkwell Outdoor Pet Fountain: High-end outdoor dog water fountain with a free-falling water stream, replaceable carbon filters and deep drinking bowl that is made with BPA-free, UV-resistant plastic. Best suited for large and extra-large dogs who love to stay outdoors.
Things to remember while using a pet water fountain
Since pet water fountains are more sophisticated then the gravity water dispensers, they require more maintenance and care. Please keep the following things in mind while using such water sources:
- Read the instructions carefully before setting up the pet fountain. You can also checkout the installation videos by the manufacturer or other sources.
- Always setup the pet fountain on stable, flat surface to ensure consistent water flow and prevent any unwarranted tipping offs by pets.
- Ensure that the power line/cable is securely fitted in the plug and is not extending in the path of your pets. If you have a chewing dog or cat, ascertain that the power cable/cord is not directly available for the pet to chew upon, especially when you are not around.
- Some pets, especially cats, like their food and water sources to be far away from each other. If your kitty is not drinking water from a fountain, consider moving it to the other end of the room to see if the pet prefers such an arrangement.
- If your pet fountain has a flow regulator, keep the flow to medium setting. Higher flow setting would unnecessarily exhaust your filter quickly. Moreover, lower pump setting means quieter running.
- Ensure that you clean the fountain reservoir periodically – ideally once a week or at least twice a month. You can use vinegar or bleach and a bottle cleaning brush to clean up. Some fountains have dishwasher safe parts, so cleaning is easy. You can also use the following commercial fountain cleaners once every 3-6 months:
- EasyCare FounTec Algaecide and Clarifier
- PetSafe Enzymatic Cleaners and Odor Remover
- Auraco Small Fountain Cleanse
- If you see some black carbon dust particles in the bowl, don’t be alarmed. Simply clean the filter with fresh water.
- Replace the filters in your fountain as per specified timeframes – generally once a month.
Final thoughts on the best pet water fountains
In this article, we discussed the most popular type of automatic water dispensers – the pet water fountain. These water fountains provide a convenient access to fresh, running water to pets, even when you are not around. We also looked at some of the factors to consider while picking the best pet water fountain for your needs and shared our top picks for plastic, steel, and ceramic pet water fountains.
If you are looking for a water dispenser that can keep your dog or cat hydrated with cool, fresh water, then you should consider getting a dog or cat water fountain. The pet fountains are also extremely useful for multiple-pet homes.
We hope that you found this article useful and it would help you in picking the best pet water fountain for your beloved cat, dog or both. Do let us know your feedback by providing your comment below. Until next time, have a great time with your pet!!