This Seemingly Silly Luxury Is Actually Important For Your Pet's Health

This hydration tool can help prevent disease and aligns with their evolutionary instincts.
Water fountains mimic your pet's natural instincts and can actually help prevent disease.
eastonchen123 / 500px via Getty Images
Water fountains mimic your pet's natural instincts and can actually help prevent disease.

One simple purchase can make a world of difference for your pet. The issue at hand? Hydration. It may be time to replace your pet’s water bowl with a fountain.

“Water fountains can deliver a lot of benefits for cats and dogs,” said Dr. Danielle Bernal, a veterinarian who specializes in animal nutrition and works on-staff at Wellness Pet Company. For starters, they provide fresher, cleaner water by “continuously filtering the water, reducing impurities and preventing bacterial growth,” Bernal explained.

This is especially important because “water bowls that sit out all day can often be breeding grounds for bacteria,” Dr. Carly Fox explained. Fox is a senior veterinarian at New York City’s Schwarzman Animal Medical Center, where she specializes in emergency and critical care. “This won’t necessarily cause illness in your pets but may deter them from drinking,” she said.

“Most fountains also cool the water,” Fox noted, “which tends to be more appealing to pets, similar to people!”

Keeping a water fountain in your home is especially crucial if you own a cat, according to both veterinarians. “For cats especially, their evolutionary heritage often saw them seek out fresh water sources over stagnant ponds for their safety and wellbeing,” Bernal explained. Using a water fountain “mimic[s] that preference,” according to Bernal, and encourages healthy water intake.

What makes water fountains especially appealing to cats is their moving water. “The flow of the water makes it instinctually seem fresher [and] cleaner to them, which promotes drinking,” Fox said.

Understanding cats’ evolutionary preference for running water is also important because they are more susceptible to kidney disease, Fox noted, which proper hydration can help.

Besides helping with kidney disease, water fountains can benefit pets with medical issues like diabetes, frequent urinary infections and blockages, endocrine diseases and more, according to both veterinarians.

An added plus? A water fountain is likely going to be more difficult for your pet to knock over than a water bowl, so you won’t have to deal as many messes — like loose water — on your floors, Bernal said. A water fountain is less likely to run dry than a bowl, especially in multi-pet households, she added.

We’ve rounded up some of the best water fountains for dogs and cats for you to consider, based on these recommendations. Read on for our picks.

HuffPost and its publishing partners may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Every item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change. The experts consulted for this story do not necessarily endorse the products ahead unless otherwise noted.

A 2.5-liter water fountain with an innovative detachable tank
This PetLibro water fountain is a standout for owners and pets alike because of its innovative tank, which detaches from its base. This design makes it easier for you to wash the fountain more frequently, since you won't have to deal with lugging an entire fountain to your kitchen. The fountain has a snap safety lid so your pet can't detach the tank by themselves by accident (or if they're prone to mischievousness).

The fountain also has a handy translucent base, so you can easily monitor when the water level is getting low. It's BPA-free, features four-layer filtration and offers two flow modes (bubbling and free-fall) so you can adjust based on your pet's preference.

Another plus? Reviewers love how quiet it is.

This also comes in a stainless steel version available at Amazon and PetLibro.
A sturdy stainless steel fountain designed for larger dogs and multiple pets
This fountain is specifically designed for larger dogs and multi-pet households thanks to its 7-liter water capacity and wide shape. It features multi-layer filtration for extra-clean water and offers two flow types (a faucet or bubbling mode). Reviewers say it's easy to clean and that they'll "never go back to [a] regular water bowl."
An affordable Amazon bestseller for cats and small and medium breed dogs
This Amazon bestseller sports over 23,000 5-star ratings thanks its five-layer filtration and pet-friendly design. Each of the faucet's "flower petals" gently streams water to encourage pets to drink (and catch their attention). It holds 2.8 liters of water, is made with food-grade, BPA-free material and is available in many colors.
A 2.1-liter ceramic fountain with an aesthetic gradient design
This ceramic cupcake-shaped water fountain is something of a hidden gem on Amazon. Its quiet bubbling provides fresh water without creating distracting background noise, and its "open access" design means pets can still drink out of it if your power happens to go out. It's also solid and sturdy enough that your pet won't be able to push it around or tip it over. Plus, its cupcake shape and gradient coloring is as cute as can be. It's available in purple, sky blue, dark gray and white.
A sleek stainless steel PetSafe fountain
I own this stainless steel option and my cat loves it, preferring it to the other fountain I have for her. It holds 60 ounces of water, and its sleek design makes it cool enough to act as its own modern decor. (I find its bubbling somewhat mesmerizing to watch.) It's durable and hefty enough to serve dogs as well as cats. Its deep reservoir also ensures that your pet will have access to water if you have a power outage.

Popular in the Community


HuffPost Shopping’s Best Finds