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One could argue that water fountains, especially filtering, self-pumping, aerating ones, are only for the most high-maintenance of pets. Well, high-maintenance pets my house certainly has.
Our indoor cat requires fresh water to be running from the faucet 24/7. The few times my Shiba Inu drinks water inside of the house are when he’s desperate (and he won’t drink outside of the house unless it’s from a dog water fountain). Of the water bowls I had, our larger puppy would drink it all in one sitting, making refills a back-bending chore.
So naturally a water fountain that could provide fresh, cool water sounded like a good upgrade from small stainless steel bowls. We also hypothesized that water fountains would encourage more drinking in our household.
To make sure we found a water fountain that met all three of our pets’ needs, we looked for one that was:
- quiet for our sensitive kitty
- easy to clean without special tools
- tiered for pets of varying heights
- able to filter out pet hair and dirt
Ultimately we went with the PetSafe Drinkwell Pagoda Fountain in Himalayan blue. While there were other tiered fountains, Petsafe’s Pagoda Fountain was ceramic and dishwasher safe—and came in different colors to match our home.
The PetSafe Drinkwell Pagoda Fountain—Key Features
The Pagoda Water Fountain, which holds about 70 ounces of water, is not the only tiered water fountain among the Drinkwell brand. We reviewed the Multi-Tier Pet Water Fountain as a more affordable alternative. Like the Multi-Tier Pet Water Fountain, the Pagoda Fountain has:
- an elevated top dish
- a carbon filter
- a low-voltage pump
- ambient running water noises
The primary difference between the Pagoda fountain and other multi-tier water fountains is the ceramic material and open-concept design. The top tier has two free-falling water streams opposite each other, so pets do not have to crowd and drink from the same stream. The heavy ceramic material is fantastically easy to wipe clean with a paper towel or cloth.
Our Dogs Prefer Drinking From the Pagoda Fountain
Assembly and cleanliness: 8/10
When it came to assembly, the Pagoda Fountain was super easy to put together. It took my partner under ten minutes to set the fountain up according to the instructions. The cord is long enough so you can place the fountain wherever you want.
Cleaning the fountain is also simple, although the bulkiness of the machine can be an inconvenience. If full, the fountain is heavy to carry and can easily take up space in your sink and dishwasher. (We have a smaller sink and dishwasher unit—as a result, we often have to plan when to wash the fountain.)
If changing a filter every two to four weeks is not your idea of ease, then this fountain may rank lower for you on assembly and cleanliness.
I love seeing the debris and pet hair also stand out against the white ceramic. It makes me feel confident that the filter is doing its job, and also allows me to make a note of when it’s time to clean the fountain.
Note: We keep a mat under the fountain because our Samoyed puppy drips water everywhere. However, the area stays clean and wet-free when our senior Shiba drinks from it.
Noise levels: 7.5/10
After set-up, we noticed that the fountain could be heard from the kitchen to the living room (about 20 feet away). The Pagoda fountain is definitely not a silent water fountain, but we found the noise relaxing, in a babbling brook way.
If anything, my partner and I appreciated the noise, as it informed us of the water levels. Whenever the fountain made a whirring sound, we knew to go and refill it—otherwise our puppy would bark at us too.
Pet reaction: 8/10
Our dogs immediately took to the Pagoda Fountain. My Shiba Inu loves drinking from the free-falling streams, while my Samoyed puppy happily laps water from the top dish. In fact, we retired their water bowls the same day and haven’t worried about whether our dogs are drinking enough water since.
Depending on their exercise levels, we refill the fountain anywhere from one to three times a day. Some nights, my Samoyed will wake us up so she can drink water from the Pagoda fountain rather than the bowl in our room.
As for our cat… while primary reviews for this fountain seem to be centered around feline use, our cat decided the Pagoda fountain wasn’t for her the moment she realized she had to share it. For an environmental win, we no longer feel compelled to keep the faucet running because of Petsafe Pagoda Fountain. (And fortunately she didn’t decide to go on strike and risk cat dehydration.)
Do You Need the Petsafe Pagoda Fountain?
Upon revisiting the product page for the Pagoda fountain, I did encounter some sticker shock. This fountain is more than double the price of your average multi-tier fountain. What likely swayed us when we purchased this fountain was the ceramic material (easier to clean and stays clean longer than plastic) and color options. If aesthetics are important, the Pagoda fountain will definitely delight you and your pets.
The other stand-out feature is the two-tiered waterfall streams. These streams provide more enticing drinking opportunities. If you have multiple pets who like to drink from waterfalls, this design allows them to drink at the same time. But if your pets don’t like to share, an expensive, centralized water fountain probably isn’t a smart purchase.
Skip the Pagoda fountain if you:
- are looking for a more affordable option
- need a water fountain to hold more than 70 ounces
- don’t want to change out filters frequently
- have pets who are shy about sharing
However, if utility and cost-efficiency is a priority, there are likely more accessible options out there, like the Multi-Tiered Pet Fountain. For example, the Pagoda fountain carries only up to 70 ounces of water, which larger dogs will quickly drain. This also makes the fountain un-ideal for large pets who may be home alone a lot, as there won’t be anyone to refill the fountain.
The filters also require fairly frequent maintenance, with charcoal every two to four weeks and the foam filter every four to eight weeks. If you’re a set-and-forget type of person, a water fountain with a filter won’t be for you. However, if your cat or dog prefers filtered water anyway, we found it worth making the effort to add a recurring reminder to our calendars.
Get the Pagoda fountain if you:
- want an open-concept design to maximize sharing
- know multiple pets want to drink from waterfalls
- want a heavy duty water fountain that’s also easy to clean
- like having color choices
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