Getting dogs to drink can be challenging. Often, they would rather lap up fresh rainwater from puddles than drink from the very fine water bowl that you have provided for them. Dogs and cats can be very fussy when it comes to drinking from standing water. However, there is a way to provide fresh, great tasting water without having to constantly refresh your dog’s bowl or continually go out in the rain.
The answer is to invest in a dog water fountain. Such a dog water dispenser continually circulates the water and often contains a water filter to ensure that the water is fresh, oxygenated, and free from bad tastes and odors. However, with so many different pet drinking fountains available, it can be difficult to know which is best for your dog. Our panel of pet experts and dog lovers have compiled a list of the best dog water fountains to point you in the right direction.
The Best Dog Water Fountain
The PetSafe Drinkwell Multi-Tier Dog and Cat Water Fountain have a large 100 fluid oz water capacity. Its multi-tier design makes it ideal for pets of all sizes, as well as arthritic or senior pets. The free-falling stream of water also encourages pets to drink, particularly those who dislike drinking from a standard bowl. The water fountain includes a replaceable carbon water filter. This helps to keep the water fresh and to remove bad odors and tastes. The unit itself is easy to clean and can be placed on the top shelf of your dishwasher. It is also BPA-free and includes a low-voltage submersible pump for quiet operation.
Suitable for pets of all sizes
100 fluid oz water capacity
Multi-tier bowls and free-flowing water stream
Replaceable carbon filter
Easy to clean – dishwasher friendly
Low-voltage submersible pump
- Weight2.45 lbs
The Dogit Design Fresh and Clean Dog Drinking Fountain sit at a raised but slightly tilted angle to make it easier for your dog to reach the water. The large surface area improves water oxygenation, providing your dog with better tasting and fresher water. The fountain has a multi-stage filtration system that collects sediment, food, hair, and other debris. It also contains activated carbon to absorb any impurities, bad odors, or bad tastes in the water and a re-circulating system that cools and aerates the water. The fountain runs almost silently, only gurgling when more water needs to be added.
Designed for dogs but also suitable for cats
200 fluid oz water capacity
Elevated and angled access to water
Replaceable carbon filter
Multi-stage filtration and re-circulating system
- Weight1.9 lbs
The PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum Cat and Dog Water Fountain has a capacity of 168 fluid oz and is ideal for pets of all sizes, as well as for homes with multiple pets. It includes a free-falling stream to encourage pets to drink and a replaceable carbon water filter to remove bad odors and tastes. The built-in reservoir increases the capacity of the water fountain, meaning you spend less time refilling the fountain. The water stream is adjustable so you can set it at the flow that is right for your pet. The fountain is BPA-free and can be cleaned in the top shelf of your dishwasher.
Suitable for pets of all sizes, as well as multiple pets
168 fluid oz water capacity
Water reservoir and free-falling stream
Replaceable carbon filter
- Weight4 lbs
The Lunvon 100oz Pet Fountain has three modes, allowing you to control the flow of water into the drinking area. A soft touch button provides easy control over the three modes as well as allowing you to turn the fountain on and off. The replaceable carbon filter removes bacteria, chlorine, bad tastes, and odors from the water. It also removes calcium and magnesium from the water, minerals that can cause health issues in some animals including cats.
The pet fountain is ideal for small and medium-sized dogs and cats. It works quietly with a durable muted pump and noise-canceling water dispenser. It also includes a warning light and automatic pump stop when water levels in the reservoir drop too low. The water fountain is easy to disassemble and clean and includes a water filter change reminder.
Suitable for small and medium size pets
100 fluid oz capacity
Three water flow modes
Replaceable carbon filter
Low noise operation
Low water warning light and pump stop
Easy to clean
- Weight2.6 lbs
The Pioneer Pet Raindrop Stainless Steel Pet Drinking Fountain provides your pet with fresh circulating drinking water. Its replaceable charcoal filter removes impurities while the pump oxygenates the water. The high-quality stainless steel construction is dishwasher safe and easy to disassemble for cleaning. The drinking fountain has a 60 fluid oz capacity and runs smoothly and quietly. The water fountain runs off mains electricity and has a detachable 7.3-foot cord, making it easier to find a suitable place for the fountain in your kitchen.
60 fluid oz capacity
Replaceable carbon filter
Low noise pump
Stainless steel construction
7.3-foot power lead
- BrandPioneer Pet
- Weight2.5 lbs
The PetSafe Drinkwell 360 Multi-Pet Stainless Steel Dog and Cat Fountain are ideal for homes with multiple pets who like to drink at the same time. The circular shape gives plenty of access for everyone, while the 128 fluid oz capacity means fewer trips to refill the reservoir. The number of fountains can be changed from one up to five depending on your needs and you can control the flow of water as well. The replaceable carbon water filter ensures that bad tastes and odors are removed from the water. The fountain is constructed from stainless steel and can be washed on the top rack of your dishwasher.
360-degree access for multiple pets
One to five water fountains
Controllable water flow
128 fluid oz capacity
Stainless steel construction
- Weight4.28 lbs
The Petacc Pet Fountain is ideal for cats and dogs. The extremely quiet automatic electric water bowl has low power consumption at 2 watts and is able to operate for a total of 10,000 hours, giving it a lifespan of approximately two years. The 70 fluid oz capacity reduces the amount of time you spend refilling the bowl while the finely polish antibacterial resin material is BPA-free and non-toxic. The fountain has three flow settings and the circulation system oxygenates the water, improving the taste and encouraging your pet to drink more.
Suitable for cats and dogs
70 fluid oz capacity
Low power consumption
BPA-free and non-toxic
Three flow settings
- Weight1.85 lbs
Best Dog Water Fountains Buying Guide
Encouraging your dog to drink is a vital part of keeping them healthy. A dog water dispenser can certainly help you to achieve this, but only if you get one that is right for your dog and meets their needs. In this section of the buying guide, we explore water fountains in more detail and discuss what you need to look for when buying a dog fountain. We also explore the advantages of a pet water fountain and how best to clean your fountain. Finally, we discuss dehydration in dogs, the signs to look for, and the best way to avoid it.
What to Look for When Buying a Dog Fountain
When choosing a pet water fountain for your dog, you want one that they are going to use. There is little point spending a small fortune on one that has amazing features if the bowl is too deep for your dog, or the fountain is too high for them to reach. Size is just one of the many features you need to consider when buying a dog water fountain. Some of the other key things to look for include:
- Large water capacity – the best dog water fountains either have a large capacity bowl or an additional reservoir that holds extra water. This reduces refilling frequency and reduces the risk of the fountain running dry and damaging the pump.
- Free flowing water – while the main purpose of a dog water fountain is to keep the water moving and fresh, the best have a free falling water spout for your pet to drink from. This is ideal for dogs who find it difficult to stoop low enough to reach the bowl or who prefer the sensation of drinking from a tap.
- Replaceable filter – Even moving water can pick up hairs, dirt, and debris. It can also pick up smells and tastes from the surrounding air. A carbon water filter helps to remove these elements, keeping the water fresher and more appealing for longer.
- Removable power lead – Being able to remove the power lead or having a rechargeable power pack makes the water fountain much easier to clean.
- Easy to disassemble – Taking the water fountain apart to replace the battery, filter, or to clean it should not be a challenge.
- Dishwasher safe – while not essential, it does make your life a lot easier if you can place at least the main bowl in the dishwasher. It also means that you have peace of mind that is has been cleaned thoroughly.
- Quiet operation – most dog water fountains rely on a pump to circulate the water. These pumps can be noisy and if they are too noisy can actually frighten your dog and deter them from going close to the fountain. A water fountain with a quiet operation does not cause this problem and is better for you as you do not have to listen to it either.
Advantages of a Pet Water Fountain
A pet water fountain has many advantages over a traditional dog’s water bowl. Firstly, your dog is more likely to use it and therefore less likely to become dehydrated. It also means that you waste less water as there is less left to go stale and need throwing away. Dog water fountains tend to have larger capacities than normal bowls, which means you spend less time refilling the bowl.
The water in the bowl lasts longer as well. So even if your dog isn’t drinking it, you do not need to remove it as quickly. This is because it is being continually moved, refreshed through the filter, and continually oxygenated. As a result, it does not stagnant and the likelihood of bacterial growth that can lead to that green slime you find on standing water is greatly reduced.
Dog water fountains hold more water than traditional bowls as well. This means you spend less time filling the bowl and less time cleaning up spilled water.
Signs Your Dog Might Be Dehydrated
Dehydration happens when your dog’s body is losing more fluid that it is taking in. Your dog loses fluid during the day through normal activities such as breathing, panting, evaporation, urination and defecating. The fluid they lose is replaced when they eat or drink. However, when they do not drink enough fluid to replace what they have lost your dog's health and mental well-being can suffer.
The first thing that your dog’s body does when it is not receiving enough fluid through normal channels is shift fluid from the body’s cells. This results in your dog losing electrolytes, such as chloride, sodium, and potassium. These electrolytes are essential to muscle function and a range of other bodily functions. As they are removed from your dog’s system, they begin to feel the effects. At its most extreme dehydration can lead to organ failure and even death.
Knowing the signs of dehydration is vital to stop this from occurring. The most common signs of dehydration include:
- Excessive panting
- Reduced energy levels
- Dry gums and nose
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of skin elasticity
Loss of skin elasticity is not easy to see in dogs, particularly those with heavy or long coats. However, there is a simple test you can do to check. All you need to do is gently pinch their skin between your thumb and forefinger and then let go. If your dog is well hydrated it will quickly spring back to its original position. If they are dehydrated it will take longer to fall back to where it started.
It is a good idea to do the test on your dog when you know they are well-hydrated to give you a baseline to work from. All dogs are different so comparing with another dog could give a false reading.
You can also test your dog’s gums to get a better understanding of their hydration levels. If their gums feel tacky to the touch, then they are at risk of dehydration. Again, it is a good idea to have a baseline to work from as some dogs have moister gums than others. While you have your finger in their mouth, you can also test the refill time of their capillaries. Simply press your finger against the gum and then remove. If your dog is well hydrated the area where you pressed will only remain white for a few seconds. If they are dehydrated it will take much longer to return to its normal pink color.
How to Prevent Dehydration in Dogs
The most effective way to prevent dehydration in your dog is to ensure that they always have a plentiful supply of fresh, clean drinking water where they can access it. It is a good idea to monitor how much your dog drinks so that you are aware of any changes that occur.
Ensuring that your dog has somewhere cool and comfortable to rest during warm weather can also help to reduce the risk of dehydration. Keeping them up to date with vaccinations and monitoring their general health and eating patterns is also important.
How To Clean a Dog Water Dispenser
It is important that you follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for cleaning your dog’s water dispenser. Only ever place in the dishwasher if the instructions state that it is safe to do so and be clear which parts can be washed in this way.
Ensure that all parts of the water fountain are cleaned regularly and at least once a month when the water filter is changed. Use this opportunity to check for clogs, damage, and any other issues that could impair the quality of the drinking water or stop your dog from accessing their water. Ensure that you follow any separate instructions for changing and priming the carbon filter to ensure that it works correctly and effectively.
Never use harsh or abrasive chemicals on any part of your dog’s water fountain and ensure that it is thoroughly rinsed before being refilled ready for them to drink from.
Ensure that it is completely detached from its power source before any cleaning is undertaken. Drain any remaining water from every part of the water fountain to ensure that you are not mixing old water with clean water once it is washed. Finally, make sure that all connections are dry before reconnecting to the power source.
Our Top Pick
Our top pick is the PetSafe Drinkwell Multi-Tier Dog Water Fountain has a large 100 fluid oz water capacity. Its multi-tier design makes it ideal for pets of all sizes, as well as arthritic or senior pets. The free-falling stream of water also encourages pets to drink, particularly those who dislike drinking from a standard bowl.
The water fountain includes a replaceable carbon water filter. This helps to keep the water fresh and to remove bad odors and tastes. The unit itself is easy to clean and can be placed on the top shelf of your dishwasher. It is also BPA-free and includes a low-voltage submersible pump for quiet operation.