Three best pet fountains

By
tech-spanfeller
BestReviews

Have a backup water source available while your pet acclimates to the fountain because some animals might be reluctant to use it at first.

Some pets, especially cats, can be extremely fussy drinkers. They'll drink from the toilet or the tap dripping into the sink, but they won't go near the fresh bowl of water you leave out for them. If this sounds like your four-legged friend, you might have more luck with a pet fountain.

All you need to do now is decide which one to buy, but that's easier said than done. It's tough to figure out which features are important and what your pet might want from a fountain. This guide will help you find the best pet fountains and pick out one that's right for you and your furry family members.

Considerations when choosing pet fountains

Material

You have three main choices of material when it comes to pet fountains: plastic, stainless steel, and ceramic. Plastic fountains are lightweight and inexpensive, but they look cheap and they're more likely to harbor bacteria. Stainless steel is durable and easy to clean, though these fountains can be heavy. Ceramic pet fountains look attractive and tend to be heavy and rugged, but they can break if treated roughly.

Ease of use

Unless spending hours reassembling the inner workings of a pet fountain is your idea of a fun time, you want a model that's easy to clean and use. Ideally, you should be able to simply plug in the fountain and watch it go. It should also be straightforward to clean and change the filters.

Size of pet

Make sure you choose the appropriate pet fountain for the pet or pets who will be drinking from it. While you can find models that suit both large and small animals, they do have different requirements. Cats and toy dogs need a low area to drink from, while larger dogs prefer to drink from a slightly higher point. Larger pets drink more, so they'll need a pet fountain with a larger capacity.

Pet fountain features

Capacity: Pet fountains range in capacity from less than 60 ounces to over 160 ounces. As a rule, cats and small dogs require much less water than large dogs. However, if you have several cats or small dogs, you'll need a fountain with a larger capacity. Also, bear in mind that you'll need to top up smaller fountains more often.

Filtration: All pet fountains should have a built-in filter so that pet hair, saliva, dirt, and other detritus doesn't circle around in the water for days. Most feature just a standard charcoal filter, but others have a prefilter as well. Whatever the filtration system of your fountain, you'll need to change the filter every couple of months, so make sure replacements are easy to source.

Pet fountain prices: Basic pet fountains start at around $30 to $40. These tend to have smaller capacities and/or be made of plastic. In the $40 to $60 range, you'll find a selection that includes extra-large plastic fountains and smaller ones made of stainless steel or ceramic. Expect to pay around $60 to $75 for high-end fountains made of ceramic or stainless steel.

FAQ

Q. Why should I buy a water fountain for my pet?

A. Some of the main reasons why people like these fountains is because they have larger capacities than standard water bowls, they filter the water as it cycles, and they tempt pets that usually only like to drink running water.

Q. Are pet fountains noisy?

A. Apart from the gentle trickling of water, pet fountains hardly make any noise at all.

Q. How often should I change the water in a pet fountain?

A. We'd recommend completely emptying and refilling the water in your pet fountain every one or two days. However, you should check the water level a few times a day because it might need topping up depending on the capacity, the number of pets you have, and how much they drink.

Pet fountains we recommend

Best of the best: PetSafe Drinkwell Pagoda Pet Water Fountain 

Our take: Attractive and highly durable. You couldn't ask for much more from this top-notch ceramic fountain.

What we like: Reliable and easy to clean. Three drinking levels for pets of different sizes.

What we dislike: 70-ounce capacity could be too small for large dogs or several pets.

Best bang for your buck: PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum Cat and Dog Water Fountain 

Our take: Offers exceptional value for the money, especially considering the 168-ounce capacity.

What we like: Option to drink from bowl or flowing water. BPA-free. Filters included.

What we dislike: More difficult to clean than some.

Choice 3: Pioneer Pet Raindrop Pet Drinking Fountain 

Our take: Sleek stainless steel fountain is perfect for cats and small dogs but not larger animals.

What we like: Easy to clean. Dishwasher safe. Movable spout. Reasonably priced.

What we dislike: Replacement filters can be hard to find.

Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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