We reviewed the best dog water fountains. While you probably never had any problems getting your pooch to drink, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t ensure that he has fresh, clean drinking water all the time. With a dog water fountain, you can keep your dog happy and hydrated even on the busiest of days. Now, if only choosing one is as easy…
Actually, it is. That’s what our team is here for, after all. Our staff along with their always-up-for-something-new pets are ready to take on the variety of pet products out there to help you make the best choice for your pet. Now, let’s get to it — the best dog water fountains!
How does a dog water fountain work?
A dog fountain typically features a tank where water is stored. It also has a motor that continuously recirculates the water through a filtration system to keep it flowing and fresh (e.g. free of dirt, hair, food bits, etc.).
Of course, like most products out there, you’ll find a variety of dog water fountains to choose from. There are basic ones like a water dispenser, fountains for indoor use, and ones for outdoor use. You’ll find water fountains that can be used for multiple pets of different sizes (multi-tier). And then there are the different materials to consider — stainless steel, plastic, and ceramic. The good news is that there’s a dog water fountain for everyone.
How did we pick?
We tested several dog water fountains for durability, capacity, ease of use, features, and dog-safe materials. From there, we looked for the best fountains that fit the different needs of pet parents and their fur babies. Check out our results below.
The Top Picks for Best Dog Water Fountains: Ranked
#1 Best Overall Dog Water Fountain: PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum Fountain
- LARGE WATER CAPACITY: 168 ounce water capacity is great for pets of all sizes or multiple pets
- ENCOURAGES DRINKING: Free-falling stream entices pets to drink more water
- FILTERED WATER: Includes replaceable carbon water filter that removes bad tastes and odors, keeping water fresh
- LESS REFILLS: Built-in reservoir increases capacity and extends time between refilling your fountain
- ADJUSTABLE STREAM: The pumps adjustable flow allows you to customize the water flow for your pet
PetSafe’s Drinkwell Platinum Water Fountain wins our vote for the best overall dog water fountain. It is made of BPA-free plastic and can hold up to 168 ounces of water. You can easily keep several small to medium-sized dogs hydrated with just this one fountain. Compared to other fountains we tested, this is one of the few that actually had a transparent reservoir which enabled us to see how much water was left and when we needed to refill it. It doesn’t have an automatic shut-off feature, but the transparent tank is the next best thing.
The fountain features a free-falling stream which does really entice dogs to start drinking, as our dogs can attest. They were constantly lapping up the water falling into the bowl. And even though the water is continuously falling into the bowl, the fountain is pretty quiet. Speaking of that stream, we were happy to find out that we could actually adjust the flow, so you can speed up the flow or slow it down depending on your dog’s preference.
The fountain comes with a filter – a replaceable carbon filter that removes odors and debris. We loved how we didn’t feel pressured to clean the bowl everyday. Plus, the fountain is dishwasher-safe which definitely made things much more convenient. Not all fountains can say the same. Take note that it does require some deep cleaning every 2 to 3 weeks. And some of the nooks and crannies weren’t easy to reach. But overall, we rate this fountain easy to use and maintain.
Of course, it’s not perfect. This is not an indoor/outdoor dog water fountain. You can probably put this in your back patio as long as it’s shaded. But for the most part, this is an appliance for indoor use. In addition, the pump is not replaceable. At least, not with the manufacturer. You’ll need to do a bit of research to find one in case yours conks out. All that being said, we still rate the Drinkwell Platinum Fountain as the best overall.
Click here to check out PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum Fountain
#2 Best Stainless Steel Dog Water Fountain: Pioneer Pet Raindrop Fountain
- Circulating drinking water is naturally appealing to your pet
- Replaceable raindrop charcoal filter (#3002) for clean and pure, healthy water
- Dishwasher safe, stainless steel construction allows for easy cleaning
- Modern rain drop shape compliments décor of any room
- For optimal performance we recommend that you clean the fountain once a week and disassemble/clean the pump once a month
While BPA-free plastic is ok, some pet parents prefer something even more durable – stainless steel. If that’s you, then we recommend the Pioneer Pet Raindrop Foundation. It’s also the ideal option for dogs who are allergic to plastic.
As we’ve mentioned, the raindrop is made of premium stainless steel which comes with a number of benefits. Aside from durability, this material is easy to clean and dishwasher-safe which ups the convenience factor. It also looks good and won’t be the odd man out in your kitchen. Plus, the metal makes the fountain hefty enough that your dog could flip it or easily move it around.
Like our number one pick, the Raindrop also comes with a filter that cleans the water, keeping it fresh for your dog. However, it does have a different design. Instead of falling water, it flows down like a stream. Our dogs didn’t seem to mind the difference. They could drink straight from the reservoir (which was where the water flowed down to) or choose to drink from the top where the clean water bubbled up from.
Since it is made of stainless steel, we “think” this can easily be used as an indoor/outdoor fountain. In our testing, we didn’t encounter any problems when we placed it on the deck in the backyard to be used while the doggos were playing around. But it might be more practical to get a step-on for outdoor use instead of lugging this fountain around.
One thing to note was that we could sometimes see some of the hair and debris at the bottom of the reservoir. Our dogs didn’t seem to mind, though our eyes did. In addition, the reservoir could only hold up to 60 ounces which means you’re going to be refilling this fountain more frequently if your dog is big on drinking.
Assembling and reassembling the fountain was relatively easy. You just need to make sure the pump elements are all aligned correctly. For the most part, te Raindrop was everything we wanted in a water fountain for a dog. It’s definitely our 2nd choice if the Drinkwell fountain is out of stock.
Click here to check out Pioneer Pet Raindrop Fountain
#3 Best Ceramic Dog Water Fountain: PetSafe Drinkwell Pagoda
- Water Capacity: 70 Oz. Water Capacity Is Great For Cats And Small To Medium Sized Dogs
- Encourages Drinking: Dual Free Falling Streams Add Oxygen For Freshness And Encourage Pets To Drink More Water
- Filtered Water: Includes Replaceable Carbon Water Filter That Removes Bad Tastes And Odors, Keeping Water Fresh
- Two Bowl Levels: Upper And Lower Dish Provides Two Drinking Areas For Pets; Elevated Dish Is Great For Senior Or Arthritic Pets
- Hygienic Construction: Ceramic Design Is More Hygienic And Looks Great In The Home
Ceramic is prettier than stainless steel and antimicrobial unlike plastic. So, it’s not really surprising some pet owners prefer to get a ceramic dog water fountain. And in this category, we’ve found only one will do – the PetSafe Drinkwell Pagoda.
This is a multi-tier drinking fountain that provides your dog with easy access to water all around. The top tier allows pets to drink without bending too low, a perfect solution to arthritic and/or senior dogs. The lower tier is perfect for small dogs and cats. And based on our testing, the multiple avenues of access – including the two free-falling streams from the upper tier – allow multiple pets to drink simultaneously without bumping their sibling or friend aside.
Unlike all our other picks, this multi-tier fountain comes in multiple colors (we got the blue). It is easy to clean – no nooks and crannies here. And it features TWO filters. The active carbon removes odors and bad tastes from the water. The foam filter catches pet hair and other debris, leaving the water and the bottom of the fountain clear.
So, why didn’t we pick this one as number one? Well, it has a limited capacity – only 70 ounces which isn’t ideal if we wanted to refill the reservoir less frequently, especially since we have large dogs. Also, the price tag made us wince a bit. Plus, it is much louder compared to most of our other picks. We could hear the water running from a different room which might not bother some. But if you are like one of our staff, the sound of running water made them constantly check if there was a leak or a faucet left open.
Click here to check out PetSafe Drinkwell Pagoda
#4 Best Dog Water Fountain for Large Dogs: Zeus H2EAU Drinking Fountain
- Provides a continuous supply of fresh and clean drinking water
- Large surface area adds oxygen for fresher, tastier water
- Multi-stage filtration absorbs water impurities
- The Fountain holds 200 fluid ounces of water, ensuring that there is an abundant amount of water for several days or for multiple dogs
Got a large dog? The Zeus H2EAU Drinking Fountain is perfect for you. It’s quite different from all our other picks. In our testing, it provided the cleanest and freshest water. This can be attributed to the fact that this fountain came with filters – 3 of them. The multiple layers in the filtration system was something that we hadn’t seen in our other picks.
The Zeus has a 200oz capacity which means you won’t have to refill the reservoir too frequently (around once a week) for one big dog or a couple of medium-sized ones. It has no automatic shut-off feature. The pump does start making a loud humming noise once the water level is at 24 ounces. Otherwise, this fountain is whisper quiet. So, we looked at that humming noise as an early warning system.
Another reason why this fountain is best for big doggos is its elevated design. The height of the fountain made it easier for our big dogs to drink without bending too low.
Other things we, as pet owners, liked was how easy it was to refill the fountain. It had a large surface area which ensured we didn’t spill any water while pouring. It was also quite easy to clean. Any grime on the BPA-free plastic can easily be wiped down.
The only drawbacks to this fountain that we could find was the need to frequently replace the filters (at least once a month if you have only one dog) and there’s no option to adjust the flow of water. But those aren’t real dealbreakers. Just some things you might want to note.
Click here to check out Zeus H2EAU Drinking Fountain
#5 Best Outdoor Dog Water Dispenser: Trio Gato Happy Dog Pet Water Fountain
- UNLIMITED CLEAN WATER ON DEMAND FOR DRINK OR PLAY by top-dog quality water fountain for dogs.
- “SELF-SERVICE” OPERATION: no more dog water bowls to clean or fill; fast installation.
- PREMIUM QUALITY BUILD: We designed this water fountain for dogs with heavy gauge steel to guarantee its strength and durability. It also has a leak-proof copper valve and rubber friction pads to minimize movement when in use.
- EASY ACTIVATION AND TRAINING: Step-on dog fountain quickly trains your dog to step up on paw-design pedal.
- BONUS CONNECTORS, EASY SET UP; Setting up this doggie water fountain outside requires absolutely no specialized skill. Every purchase comes with a bonus: A 2-way Y hose connector that let you easily connect this pet water fountain to your water connection! Adjusting water pressure is done easily using the control valve on it.
This dog water fountain is quite different from all our other picks. All of the other models we tested automatically recirculate the water to keep it fresh and flowing as soon as the tank is filled and the devicr is plugged in. The Trio Gato Happy Dog Pet Water Fountain is anything but automatic. It’s a step on water dispenser.
A step on water dispenser is exactly what you expect it to be. Your dog will step on a pedal to get the water flowing. The concept is similar to human drinking fountains. The beauty of this design is that it doesn’t require any refilling or cleaning on your part. Plus, your dog will find it fun as he gets fresh, clean water on demand.
This step on water fountain can be connected directly to a hose or faucet. There are rubber friction pads to prevent the device from moving while your dog is drinking. The copper valve prevents leakage. The fountain is made of heavy gauge steel for durability. And you get a free 2-way Y hose connector to make it easy for you to use two hoses simultaneously as well as control the water pressure and height.
As a water fountain, this definitely hit the spot. It was easily a favorite among our dogs. And we didn’t find it hard to train them to serve themselves whenever they felt thirsty. However, it is limited to outside use only. If you have a backyard and often let your dog/s stay there instead of indoors, we definitely recommend this one.
Click here to check out Trio Gato Happy Dog Pet Water Fountain
Last update on 2021-06-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The 5 Best Dog Water Fountains: Reviewed for 2021 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is the best water fountain for dogs?
The best dog water fountain is one that suits your lifestyle and makes your dog drink more. It’s quite possible that what’s best for you and your pet won’t work well for a different pet parent and pooch. But there are similar features that all pet owners need to consider:
Ease of use
Drinking water isn’t a problem that you normally deal with when you’ve got a dog. But a huge benefit of getting a dog water fountain is making life more convenient for you. But it wouldn’t be convenient if the fountain was too hard to deal with, whether it’s assembling, maintaining, or cleaning it. It’s best to get something intuitive. Take note that ease of use is not just for you, but for your dog as well. You need to make sure that your dog won’t have a problem drinking from the bowl. A senior dog dealing with arthritis may find it hard to drink from a fountain that’s low on the ground. One with mobility issues may also find a step on dog water fountain difficult to operate.
Having a large capacity would allow you to fill the fountain less often. But you’ll also need a large capacity water tank if your pets are huge. Large dogs need to drink more. The same thing applies if you have more than one dog or pet in the house.
Stainless steel is undoubtedly the most durable material. But it costs more than BPA-free plastic. Ceramic looks good, but it costs more. Each type of material has its own pros and cons. Your choice of material will depend on a few things – durability, price, ease of cleaning, and allergies.
Obviously, you don’t want a dog water fountain that makes too much noise. Not only might it affect the quality of sleep your pet gets, it can easily become irritating whenever you’re in its vicinity. Make sure to check reviews for any mention of the noise level of a fountain. Even if you plan to get one that’s for indoor/outdoor use, it’s best to err on the side of caution and get a fountain that’s quiet. You will appreciate this if you find yourself napping in the back patio and keep getting woken up by the sound of the fountain.
Do dogs need water fountains?
Good question. According to some experts, dogs generally don’t need encouragement to drink, unlike cats. However, that doesn’t mean that they won’t benefit from using a water fountain or water dispenser. Like cats, dogs prefer to drink moving water because it’s fresh, clean, and cool. It’s also partly because of instinct; their ancestors drank from running water because it was safer. More importantly, a water fountain will enable you to skip the task of refilling your pet’s water bowl once in a while. Depending on the capacity of the fountain and your dog’s thirst, you can probably get away with refilling the tank every three days or so. Which means cleaning it won’t be an everyday task either. So, yes, dogs need a water fountain. Their pet parents need them too.
Can a dog use a cat water fountain?
Yes, dogs can use a cat water fountain. Both dog and cat water fountains function the same way and have the same features. The main difference between the two would be the size of the fountain. Cat water fountains typically have a smaller capacity which makes them ideal for cats and small to medium-sized dogs.