Water fountains may look like a fancy, unnecessary pet accessory, but they can actually be very beneficial. They’re more hygienic than stationary water bowls, and they can encourage dogs to drink more water and prevent dehydration.
There are many different types and models, so it can be overwhelming trying to find a water fountain that’s suitable for your dog. Therefore, we have some reviews of some of the best dog water fountains to help you from straying off course. Along with reviews, we have a buyer’s guide that will help you determine which water fountain will be best for your furry friend.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2022
The 10 Best Dog Water Fountains
1. Drinkwell 360 Stainless Steel Pet Fountain – Best Overall
The Drinkwell 360 Stainless Steel Pet Fountain is a very well-rounded and sufficient water fountain, making it the best overall dog water fountain. It holds up to a gallon of water, which is enough for large dog breeds and multi-pet households. However, it may not be enough water for extra-large breeds.
The water falls from all directions, so your dog can easily access flowing water. The stainless-steel base resists bacteria, and it’s also dishwasher safe. The fountain should be cleaned every 2 weeks, and multi-pet households should clean it more frequently.
You can also adjust the cap to change the water flow, and the ramps on the side of the fountain prevent splashing. The base of the fountain has rubber feet to prevent it from sliding or toppling over.
2. Frisco Square Dog & Cat Fountain – Best Value
The Frisco Square Dog & Cat Fountain is a relatively affordable option. It may not have a bunch of extra features, but it’s reliable, making it the best dog water fountain for the money you pay.
The fountain has a design that minimizes splashing, and you can be extra safe and adjust the water flow to a low setting. It has a contemporary and clean design, comes in neutral colors, and makes little to no noise. So, it blends in well in any room.
Cleaning this fountain can be a little more inconvenient than other fountains because it’s not dishwasher safe. If you properly maintain it, cleanup is a simple process. Most of the parts come apart easily, and you just have to wash the fountain with a soft sponge and mild dish soap. However, many dog owners have reported that it can be difficult getting the pump cord out when you have to clean the fountain.
3. Drinkwell Seascape Ceramic Dog & Cat Fountain – Premium Choice
The Drinkwell Seascape Ceramic Dog & Cat Fountain has a sleek and clean design. It’s also very quiet, so it won’t scare off any timid dogs, and all you’ll hear is the calming sound of bubbling water.
The filter is made of two parts. It has a foam piece that blocks hair and debris from circulating in the bowl. It also has a carbon piece filter that removes odor and bad taste, so your dog will always drink clean and refreshing water.
For single pet households, the fountain can be cleaned every two weeks. It’s easy to disassemble and clean, and it’s also top dishwasher safe. The fountain’s pretty heavy, so young puppies won’t be able to knock it over easily.
The fountain doesn’t have a very high capacity for water, so it’s best for small and medium-sized dogs.
4. PetSafe Creekside Ceramic Dog & Cat Fountain – Best for Puppies
Dog water fountains can be very beneficial for puppies because puppies can be more susceptible to contracting a bacterial infection. Their immune systems aren’t as developed as an adult dog’s immune system. However, it can be challenging to find a good water fountain because young pups might want to play with the stream of water, rather than drink from it.
The PetSafe Creekside Ceramic Dog & Cat Fountain is a good option for puppies because it doesn’t have a single stream of water that splashes into a catch basin. Rather, it has water that flows straight onto a tower and down to a bowl, which eliminates any jets and streams.
The bowl and tower are both very smooth and make lapping up water very easy and comfortable. The fountain pump is also very quiet, so shy and timid puppies can approach it without any reservation.
The fountain has a great design for puppies, but it won’t grow with larger dog breeds. It only contains 60 ounces of water, which isn’t ample enough for large adult dogs.
5. Drinkwell Outdoor Plastic Dog & Cat Fountain
The Drinkwell Outdoor Plastic Dog & Cat Fountain has one of the largest water capacities that you’ll be able to find. It holds an impressive 450 ounces, which is great for large dog breeds and multi-pet homes.
Due to its large size, it won’t be an ideal choice for toy breeds and smaller dogs because the bowl is very deep, and the stream is too deep in the center of the bowl for them to reach. However, the central location of the stream prevents water from splashing beyond the bowl.
This fountain is made with high-impact UV-resistant plastic that can withstand temperatures above 40°F. So, it’s excellent for outdoor use and is the perfect backyard accessory for dogs that like to romp around and play fetch.
6. Cat Mate Plastic Dog & Cat Fountain
This fountain is an excellent option for small to medium dog breeds. It has a low catch basin for smaller dogs to drink from, and it has a tier on top with bubbling water that’s easy for taller dogs to access. This design makes the fountain an ideal option for multi-pet households.
The stream of water immediately flows down a ramp to reduce splashing. This setup can also make this fountain suitable for puppies that like to play with water. It’s also tip-resistant, so puppies will have difficulty knocking it over.
The fountain also disassembles easily, and the parts are dishwasher-safe, so cleanup is a very simple and convenient process.
The only reason why we don’t recommend this water fountain for large dog breeds is because of its small capacity to hold water.
7. Drinkwell 2-Gallon Pet Fountain
The Drinkwell 2-Gallon Pet Fountain is great for multi-pet households and larger dog breeds. It can hold a lot of water, and the bowl is large enough for big dogs to use. Dogs can also choose to lap water from the stream that flows from the spout located at the top of the fountain. The water flow is also adjustable, so it can be changed to a quieter setting for more timid and sensitive dogs.
Though the fountain is made with large dogs in mind, the height of the spout is relatively low, so it might be uncomfortable for taller dogs to drink from it. Many dog owners also share experiences of the fountain working great for a couple of months, but the pump breaks down rather quickly. So, the whole fountain does need to be monitored and maintained very well to reduce the chances of the pump breaking down.
8. Pioneer Pet Stainless Steel Dog & Cat Fountain Raindrop Design
The Pioneer Pet Stainless Steel Dog & Cat Fountain Raindrop Design has a sleek and trendy design that looks great in any modern room. It has a bubbling stream that makes a pleasant sound that encourages dogs to drink. The stream flows smoothly down a ramp to reduce splashing and gathers at a wide pool at the bottom.
The parts are dishwasher-safe, but the design makes it difficult to disassemble and separate the washable parts from the pump. If you’re not on top of cleaning this fountain regularly, it can form buildup pretty quickly.
Overall, this fountain poses the classic dilemma of fashion over comfort. It looks great and has a unique appearance, but it can be difficult to clean and maintain.
9. Drinkwell Original Plastic Dog & Cat Fountain
The Drinkwell Original Plastic Dog & Cat Fountain has an unintimidating design that’s perfect for smaller dogs. The height of the spout is ideal for small dogs to drink from comfortably without straining their necks. The stream also falls onto a ramp to reduce splashing. However, the size of the stream is pretty round and wide, so it might encourage playful dogs to splash the water.
All the parts are dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup. The pump itself isn’t noisy, but the water stream is a little louder than other water fountains because it’s free-falling and hitting the ramp. This sound doesn’t deter most pets, and it may even encourage them to drink from the fountain because they can hear the water flowing.
10. Drinkwell Platinum Plastic Dog & Cat Fountain
This dog fountain can hold over a gallon of water, so it’s excellent for multi-pet households or larger dog breeds. It has an adjustable, free-falling water stream with a ramp underneath to prevent splashing. Dogs have the option to lap up water from the water stream or in the pool of water that gathers at the base of the fountain.
The fountain is very easy to clean. The pieces come apart easily, and they’re dishwasher safe. The plastic is also BPA-free, so it’s very safe for dogs to use.
The spout is located pretty high up so that it casts a long stream of water. This is a nice feature because it allows dogs of all sizes to drink from the stream comfortably. However, playful puppies might get distracted and start playing with the water.
A common issue among customers is that this fountain clogs easily for shedding dogs with long coats. Therefore, it’s best for short-haired or low-shedding dogs.
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Dog Water Fountains
When it comes to shopping for a new water fountain for your dog, there are several factors to keep in mind. You’ll want to consider the material used, water capacity, and durability.
For the most part, pet water fountains are made with three common materials:
- Stainless steel
Plastic water fountains are lightweight, and the parts are usually easy to disassemble for cleanup. They also tend to be the most affordable types of water fountains, and since the plastic is easily moldable, you can find many cute and fun options.
When looking at plastic water fountains, make sure that the plastic is BPA-free so that it’s safe for your dog to use without getting sick. For added convenience, select plastic that’s dishwasher-safe. There are so many dishwasher-safe plastic water fountains, so it’s not really worth buying one that you can only hand wash.
These water fountains look more luxurious than plastic water fountains. They’re also bacteria-resistant, so they’re the better option for puppies, senior dogs, and dogs that have weaker immune systems.
Stainless steel fountains are pretty easy to clean, and many of them are also dishwasher-safe. They tend to be more expensive than plastic water fountains, but you can still find some affordable options, such as the Pioneer Pet Stainless Steel Dog & Cat Fountain Raindrop Design.
Ceramic water fountains have a more natural and neutral look. Sensitive dogs may prefer ceramic over stainless steel because stainless steel can be very hard and cold to the touch. It performs at a similar level as stainless steel when it comes to durability.
Ceramic fountains tend to be more durable than plastic fountains because they’re scratch-resistant. Some ceramic materials can contain an active ingredient in the glaze with antibacterial properties.
One of the main reasons you’d want to use a water fountain over a stational water bowl is that it can encourage dogs to drink more water and stay well-hydrated. So, you want to make sure that a water fountain has the correct water capacity.
In general, dogs should drink between ½ to 1 ounce of water per pound of their body weight. The amount of water intake will vary depending on factors, including the dog’s activity level, weather, pre-existing health conditions, and the type of food it eats.
As a general rule of thumb, you’d want to select a water bowl that can hold more water than your dog’s daily water intake. For example, a 50-pound dog should drink between 25-50 ounces of water a day. Therefore, the maximum capacity of the water fountain should be at least 50 ounces.
Make sure to look for a high-quality pump that runs the whole water fountain. One of the best ways to determine a pump’s quality is to read customer reviews. Look for reviews that mention how long the customer has been using the water fountain and how long the pump lasts.
A good pump can last many years, while a low-quality pump can break within weeks or months. However, keep in mind that the pump’s longevity also depends on how well it’s maintained. Make sure to follow cleaning instructions and replace the filter at appropriate intervals to help the pump run smoothly.
After developing our reviews, we’ve concluded that the Drinkwell 360 Stainless Steel Pet Fountain is the overall best dog water fountain. It provides a steady stream in multiple directions, lasts a long time, and it’s easy to clean. We also like the Frisco Square Dog & Cat Fountain because it’s an affordable option and has all the essential functions you’ll need from a fountain.
Water fountains may look like an over-the-top pet accessory, but it actually has significant benefits. They’re a great way to help dogs stay hydrated and keep their water clean and safe.
Featured Image Credit: Debby Harrison, Shutterstock