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- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
Providing access to a clean water source is essential to keep your canine companion healthy and hydrated, and there are a lot of ways to go about it.
A dog water fountain is a convenient alternative to standard bowls for providing fresh and clean water to your pet—and especially for encouraging reluctant drinkers. Luckily, there’s a wide variety of pet water fountains to fit your household’s hydration needs.
What To Look for in a Dog Water Fountain
When you’re choosing a dog water fountain, capacity is a good place to start. A small fountain might circulate six or seven cups, while the largest dog water fountains can hold as much as 50 cups. A dog needs roughly one ounce (or an eighth of a cup) of water per pound of bodyweight per day, though that number can jump dramatically in hot weather or after heavy exercise. You’ll want to pick a fountain that offers enough water for all the pets in your household on a refill schedule you’re happy with.
Next up is filter design. A good filter will flush out dirt and hair—so you don’t have to. Most filters need to be changed every two to four weeks, so you’ll want to take a look at the price of refill filters to make sure you’re on board with the investment.
The material might also influence your decision. Plastic tends to be lightweight, portable, and more affordable, while stainless steel is good for durability and easy cleaning. If, however, you have a pup who tends to paw at or flip their bowl, ceramic is for you!
You’ll also want to consider how much noise the machine makes, especially in a heavy-traffic indoor area. We’ve tested fountains so loud we thought the basement was flooding, and we’ve also found some whisper-quiet options that just burble gently. Where you plan to put your fountain might determine how much noise you’re willing to tolerate from the pump and splashing.
Last, consider elevation. If your dog suffers from arthritis or joint issues, you’ll want to buy a dog water fountain that’s raised off the ground for easier access. If you’re watering pets of different sizes, you might want to try a multi-tiered option that lets both little and big drinkers slurp with ease.
We’ve rounded up our favorite dog water fountains (though cats enjoy them too!) in different styles—one is even interactive—and sizes for both indoor and outdoor use that can help keep your dog hydrated and happy year-round.
Best for Multi-Pet Households: PetSafe Drinkwell Multi-Tier Pet Fountain (Verified Review)
This lightweight plastic PetSafe model offers a unique multi-tier design that encourages pets of all sizes to partake! It’s a solid option for big dogs thanks to its larger, 100-ounce (12.5 cup) capacity. The design offers options for different drinking styles—elderly dogs, for example, will have an easier time drinking from the top tier, while small and short-legged pups (plus cats) can access the bottom without trouble.
Our tester’s favorite part, though, was how easy it is to clean—this fountain is top-rack dishwasher safe.
- Low-voltage submersible pump allows for quieter water flow
- Large 12.5-cup water capacity
- Okay for indoor and outdoor use
Sleekest Design: PetSafe Stainless 360 Dog Fountain
The PetSafe Drinkwell 360 provides 128 ounces (a whole gallon!) of fresh and running water for your dog. This is an ideal big-dog water fountain and can accommodate a single large dog or multiple smaller pets. The fountain, like many others on the market, is equipped with a filter to help maintain a fresh taste and scores well among recent buyers. We like that the stainless steel is durable and the motor relatively quiet.
- Great for multiple pets
- Adjustable flow control on cap
- Top-rack dishwasher safe
Best Budget Pick: Pioneer Pet Swan Pet Drinking Fountain
As many pet parents already know, some dogs love to drink from the faucet! This dog water fountain has a sleek design that mimics a water faucet to encourage more drinking. Best for indoors, the design of this dog water fountain offers a quieter experience, in part due to the USB-connected pump. It uses a replaceable charcoal filter and is easy to clean in the dishwasher.
- Quiet pump technology
- Elegant design that fits into home decor
- 80-ounce (10 cup) capacity
Best Outdoor Fountain: PetSafe Drinkwell Indoor/Outdoor Dog Fountain
This dog water fountain has a massive capacity! Two storage tanks offer a whopping 450 ounces (56+ cups) of water, which will keep a whole pack of dogs well hydrated. The design includes high sides to keep slobbering and splashing to a minimum, which many reviewers appreciate.
While this fountain can be used indoors, it has a sturdy build for outside use, with a UV-resistant coating to help minimize fading from exposure to the elements. Like many fountains, this one is also top-rack dishwasher safe.
- 450-ounce (56+ cup) water capacity
- Rugged design for outdoor use
- Easy to clean and use
Best for Small Spaces: Premium Automatic Electric Dog Water Fountain
This electric indoor-only fountain incorporates an LED light for added charm and visibility! It’s advertised as a small dog water fountain and has a 58-ounce capacity. The flowing water design encourages drinking and the premium charcoal filter keeps the water clean, hygienic, and free of debris.
- LED light illuminates running water
- Small size is great for small living quarters
- Flowing design encourages drinking
Best Ceramic Dog Fountain: PetSafe Drinkwell Seascape Ceramic Pet Water Fountain
Another creative and aesthetically pleasing design, this ceramic pet fountain provides up to 80 ounces (10 cups) of fresh water for your dog. This fountain features dishwasher-safe components and can be used both indoors and outdoors. It has a submersible pump and circulating water—a design feature that minimizes pump noise.
- Ceramic is hard to flip or nudge
- Features circulating and flowing water that encourages drinking
- Minimal pump noise
Quietest Fountain: Automatic Stainless Steel Dog Water Dispenser
If you’re looking for a quiet, solid-capacity dog water fountain for your living room, this one’s for you! This stainless steel water fountain includes a dual filtration system and holds up to 108 ounces (nearly a gallon) of water. Even better, the only thing you’ll hear at night when this is plugged in is the soothing sound of running water.
- Quiet 1.5W pump
- Dishwasher safe
- Carbon filter to remove hair and odors
Most Interactive: Outdoor Dog Step On Drinking Water Fountain
If you’ve got a playful dog who loves water, then this entertaining Step On Drinking Water Fountain is for you. Simply attach your hose to the back of the drinking water fountain and watch your pup have fun while they stay hydrated.
You’ll want to make sure, though, that the hose has a chance to get any hot water out (if it’s been lying in the sun) before you attach it. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your pup’s water intake. The fun of splashing can occasionally lead a dog to drink too much, which in rare cases can result in water intoxication and an urgent trip to the vet.
- Easy to install
- Entertaining and encourages drinking
- Fun for adults and kids