Many Americans own pets of one kind or the other. A significant number of Americans own a dog, and in some cases, even more than one.
Given how loyal dogs are to human beings, it comes as no surprise that many families consider them as a vital part of the households. Just like other members of the family, these furry friends also need to eat and drink on a daily basis.
While most people have no problem with the feeding part, many find it more challenging to ensure that their dogs drink enough water to keep them well hydrated. Pet water fountains are a relatively innovation, but their popularity among pet owners is growing.
Reasons to Buy a Pet Water Fountain
To understand the surging popularity of pet water fountains, it is important to understand the benefits of these fountains for pups.
1. Dogs Drink More Water
Anyone who owns a dog knows just how much moving water attracts and fascinates dogs. Additionally, dogs, as well as many other animals, prefer to drink out of moving water rather than from still waters.
Pet water fountains help to ensure that dogs drink more water, subsequently remaining better hydrated. Hydration is important for the kidney to flush out toxins from the dog’s body and also for the overall health of the dog.
2. The Water Is Healthier
Research has established that there are quite a good number of bacteria and other impurities in water. At the same time, however, studies have shown that running water creates a hostile environment for bacteria. This means that running water is likely to have less harmful bacteria.
Additionally, running water tends to have more oxygen which in turn helps to minimize the spread of bacteria in the water. The implications of this are that the water remains cleaner for longer as compared to stationary water in a normal water bowl.
Most pet water fountains also include charcoal, foam filters or other types of filters which are meant to help purify the water as it flows through to the bowl. This helps to remove any impurities and particles from the water hence improving its taste.
3. Increased Convenience
Pet water fountains are also beneficial regarding the comfort they bring for pet owners and more so in reducing the number of times that pet owners have to empty and refill water bowls for their furry friends. This is particularly important given the busy schedules that many Americans have.
4. Safer Environment For Pet Owners
Many bacteria and insects such as mosquitos often use stationary waters as their breeding ground. Mosquitos, for example, may expose pet owners to the risk of malaria while other bacteria and insects are responsible for the spread of diseases. Having a pet water fountain is a good way to keep these pests and bacteria away from home.
Factors to Lookout For When Choosing Between Different Pet Water Fountains
One of the most important factors to consider when shopping for pet water fountains is the budget. The quality of pet water fountains often varies, and the price is a good (but not always reliable) indicator of quality. Aside from the cost of the fountain, however, pet owners must consider factors such as;
Dogs and other pets come in different sizes and different breeds. Bigger breeds often require more water than the smaller breeds and may, therefore, require a bigger fountain. Moreover, small pet water fountains tend to have small water bowls which ultimately means that pet owners have to refill the water bowl every once in a while.
Most pet water fountains also use pumps to keep the water running. However, the pump may not move water around if the water level is not high enough.
A water fountain with a bigger water reservoir is therefore preferred as it is easier to maintain the water at the right level without having to refill the tank always.
Different pet water fountains are made using a different material. Some may use plastic, others porcelain ceramic and others even stainless steel. Plastic fountains are considered the best option for those who are looking to spend less while ceramic and stainless steel fountains are considered more expensive.
In the case of plastic, however, it is safer and more advisable to ensure that the plastic does not contain bisphenol A (BPA) as this chemical may endanger the health of the pup.
3. Fountain Filters
Pet water fountains often have filters which are used in filtering the water and removing impurities and other particles. Considering the type of foam used in the fountain is important. For example, some may only have a carbon filter while other fountains may even have additional filters made foam.
4. Ease of Cleaning
Dogs do not like drinking water from a bowl that is dirty. Pet owners will have to think about cleaning the fountains on a regular basis. The easier it is to clean the fountain, the more ideal it is. This includes ensuring that it is easy to disassemble the fountain and clean parts such as the bowl and reservoir effortlessly. Some fountains even include cleaning kits.
Nonetheless, it is important for pet owners to note that they must never wash the water pump or any of the electric components of the fountain.
Review of the Best Pet Water Fountains
1. PetSafe Drinkwell 360 Pet Fountain ($64.95 on Amazon)
This is stainless steel pet water fountain with a huge capacity of 1 gallon (equivalent to 120 oz). The stainless steel material enhances its aesthetics as well as its durability. The relatively huge capacity makes it an ideal fountain for use in homes that have more than one pet.
Additionally, the pups have an option of drinking water from the bowl or one of the fountains five free-flowing streams of water.
The biggest advantages of this pet water fountain include;
- The inclusion of a carbon filter as well as a foam filter
- Customizable stream control
- Ideal for both dogs and cats
- Comes with a free cleaning kit
- Enhanced stability thanks to the rubber feet
- The charcoal filter is replaceable.
However, the fountain also has its downsides;
- With a weight of 4.5 pounds, it is heavier and bulkier than its competitors.
- Requires more floor space
- Use is limited to indoors.
- More expensive
2. Hagen Dogit Design Fresh and Clear Drinking Fountain ($17.49 on Amazon)
This pet water fountain is perfect for those who own large breeds of dogs. This is because of its huge 200-ounce capacity. In fact, the fountain can provide one large dog or even two medium sized dogs with water for up to a week without needing a refill. Additionally, there is a special version of this fountain specially designed for large dogs.
The fountain comes with a motor that rotates 360 degrees as well as a built-in splash guard to minimize the risk of water spilling onto the ground.
The main advantages of this pet water fountain are;
- Multi-stage filtration using charcoal and foam filters
- Disassembling the parts for cleaning is easy
- Replaceable filter
- Ideal for both dogs and cats
- More affordable than its competitors
- Made from BPA-free plastic
- The unit is top shelf dishwasher safe
On the other hand, the unit is also disadvantageous from various fronts including;
- It is noisier than other units particularly when the water level is low
- It is not possible to adjust the pump flow speed
- Wrong positioning of the unit may lead to an uneven flow of water.
- Does not include a cleaning kit for the pump
- Only for use indoors
3. Pioneer Raindrop 6022 Ceramic Water Fountain ($48.96 on Amazon)
One of the very first noticeable things about this pet water fountain is its sleek design and aesthetics thanks to the fact that it is made from ceramic. This makes it an ideal option for those pet owners wishing to complement their décor.
Apart from the stylishness of the unit, however, there are other advantages to buying the unit;
- It has a free falling, circulating stream with an adjustable height. This makes it a perfect choice for households that have sick pets or old pets.
- Does not require any batteries to run
- It is easy to clean
- It has a replaceable filter
- The ceramic material enhances its strength and longevity. The ceramic also prevents the growth of bacteria.
- It is an energy efficient unit
- It has a long power cord which makes it even more convenient
- The unit is 100% dishwasher safe
On the downside, however,
- The unit weighs approximately 4 pounds; relatively heavier than others
- Ceramic requires careful handling, so it does not break
- It is noisy especially when the water level is low.
- Ideal for indoor use only.
- Has a relatively small capacity of just 60 ounces
4. Petsafe Drinkwell Outdoor Pet Fountain ($87.54 on Amazon)
This pet water fountain has one of the largest reservoirs in the market with a capacity of 3.5 Gallons of water. This makes it perfect for households with more than one pet or households with large dogs. However, one of the things that set it apart from other pet fountain units is the fact that it is usable both indoors and outdoors.
Aside from the size and the versatility of this unit, it also has other advantages such as;
- It is made from BPA free plastic.
- The unit is UV-resistant. This is meant to prevent it from fading when left outside.
- The bowls in the unit are deep. This helps to prevent splashing.
- Features both carbon and foam filtration systems.
- Ideal for both dogs and cats.
Nonetheless, it also has its disadvantages. These include;
- The unit only has one spout.
- The unit weighs 8.7 pounds making it significantly heavier than many of its competitors.
- It is relatively costlier than other units.
- No cleaning kit for the pump is included in the initial purchase.
5. Petsafe Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain ($44.95 on Amazon)
Petsafe is without doubt one of the leading manufacturers of pet water fountains, and this unit is a clear indication of this.
Indeed, this is one of the highest rated pet fountains in the market and with good reason too. It has a capacity of 168 ounces which is relatively larger than the capacity of other units in its category.
In addition to that, the unit boasts of having a low voltage operation which makes it safe not only for the dog or other pets but also for the pet owner.
The strong points of the unit include;
- A submersible pump which operates more quietly than other units.
- It is made from BPA free plastic.
- Adjustable flow level
- The unit is dishwasher safe and easy to clean.
- Features both carbon and foam filtration
- The charcoal filter is replaceable.
- Pet owners can also use it for cats.
Despite the clear benefits, the unit also has its cons. The most notable of these include;
- It is only used indoors.
- No cleaning kit is included in the initial purchase.
6. Petmate Replenish Pet Waterer with Microban ($14.95 on Amazon)
This is by far the most affordable pet water fountain on this list. Nonetheless, one should not confuse this affordability for lack of quality.
The first major benefit of the unit is that one does not have to connect it to an electrical outlet. This is because the water in the unit moves down with the help of gravity. This means that technically, the unit is not a fountain since it has no pump.
Nonetheless, the unit does include a filter which helps to clean the water as it moves down from the reservoir and into the bowl.
The benefits of this unit include;
- A carbon filtration pad which also has a microban antimicrobial surface. This helps to prevent bacteria from growing.
- It is relatively more budget-friendly than many other pet water fountains.
- It has a huge reservoir of water; approximately 2.5 gallons (or 320 fluid ounces).
- It is possible to use the unit both indoors and outdoors.
- It is also ideal for cats.
The unit also has its disadvantages such as;
- It only has a single carbon filter pad. This means that the water is filtered less.
- The unit is not dishwasher safe. Instead, experts recommend hand washing the plastic components.
- It is technically not a fountain as it does not have a pump.
- There is no clear indication of whether the plastic used in manufacturing the unit is BPA free.