I have been looking into buying a dog water fountain, as I have found that these are recommended by vets because they encourage a pet to drink sufficient water. This is vital – and even more so, if your dog is recuperating after an illness, surgery or heartworm treatment.
There are two reasons why a dog water fountain is so appealing. Firstly the running water it provides really does encourage a pet to drink when he perhaps doesn’t really feel like it and secondly because our pets’ sense of smell is far more acute than our own, the taste and odor of chemicals in tap water can be off-putting so the filters inside these clever devices provide water that is more palatable.
When I started looking into the different models available, I must admit, I did rather think that these were a bit of a luxury – however, having researched the positive health benefits, I am a convert!
This fascinating video shows how a dog actually drinks water. Before I watched this, I always thought that the dog scooped water in its tongue (like a spoon) and brought it into its mouth on the tongue – I was wrong! Check this video out!
What are the benefits of a dog water fountain to my dog or cat?
Both dogs and cats love to lap running water if they can. Often my little dog Murdoch will drink from a stream close to our home that I know to be fresh and sweet – he seems to really enjoy it. I’m sure that many of us will have had a cat who loved to drink from the faucet or a dog who enjoys lapping water from the garden hose – it could well be that running water is imprinted into the animal brain as being more healthy than still water that can become stagnant and brackish, maybe this is goes back to the time when dogs and cats did not have people to look after them and they had to find their own food and drink.
If you feed your pet on dry food – which many of us do because it is so convenient and economical, you must always have fresh water available. Many vets go further and actually recommend dog water fountains as a way to encourage your pet to drink. This is in order to avoid problems with the kidneys and urine infections as well as avoiding problems for other vital organs that can be brought about by dehydration.
The images below are from Amazon.com where you can buy your pet fountain at a great price. If you live in the UK, there are lots of Dog Water Fountains From Amazon UK – also at great savings!
What should I look for in a good dog water fountain?
A dog water fountain should ideally be made out of a non-scratch material and for this purpose, stainless steel or a glazed ceramic are very hard to beat. Plastic does tend to scratch more easily and this could cause cleaning problems as bacteria can become established in the scratches. If you also have a cat, you should bear this in mind as for cats in particular, this can be a problem. As cats lap their drink and their chins come into contact with the water container they are very likely to develop an unpleasant skin problem called feline acne from these unseen bacteria. This can get very nasty and will need veterinary treatment to resolve – so a non-scratch water container is pretty much an essential.
This video demonstrates the Drinkwell Pet Fountain for Large Dogs
You will see that Drinkwell Fountains have all the key features I have mentioned
Because to get flowing water, you need to have some mechanism to pump it round the dog water fountain, the pump is a vital feature. Cats are more likely than dogs to be disturbed or take fright from the noise of a pump but in any case, if you have one in your kitchen for your pet’s convenience, you do not want to be listening to a noisy unit all day so choosing one with the quietest possible pump will do everyone a favour!
Next, you need to consider how easy any particular dog water fountain is to maintain. Many are dishwasher safe, you just need to remove the pump unit and you can whizz the unit through the wash cycle and be sure that it is really hygienically clean. Lots of units are supplied with a simple brush cleaning kit or these are available separately so it is very easy to spend a couple of minutes every few days to keep the drinking water dispenser sparkling clean. In addition, consider how easy it is to change the filters to keep the unit running perfectly.
Next, you need to think about how much water the unit can hold and how many pets will be drinking from it. Ideally, you want a unit that can accommodate enough water for a couple of days to ensure that even during hot weather your pet is never without a cool fresh drink. Some units have a large reservoir, some come with the option of buying a larger reservoir if required.
Finally, you need to consider economy, not just how inexpensive the dog water fountain is to purchase in the first instance, but also, how frequently the filters need to be changed and how much they cost. You also need to ensure that you can identify a ready supply of these as any unit you buy will be useless without them.