With so many options to choose from, how do you find the best automatic dog water bowl for your pet?
The best automatic dog bowls are those that help you make sure your dog always has access to clean drinking water. But before you choose one for your pup, you should understand the benefits of these gadgets, how much water your dog needs per day, and the qualities you should look for in a dog water fountain or self-refilling bowl. Only then will you be able to make an informed decision.
*This article may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of the links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you 🙂 .
Benefits of Automatic Water Bowls for Dogs
Dog water fountains or self-refilling bows offer numerous benefits to both you and your dog. In general, having one will allow you to enjoy these advantages:
- They ensure the availability of water. These pet fountains store large volumes of water and automatically refill the bowl to guarantee a constant supply of drinking water.
- They reduce your workload. It’s tedious to check, empty, clean, and refill your dog’s bowl multiple times a day. With the right product, you’ll only need to refill your dog’s bowl once a day (even less frequently for larger capacity bowls).
- They provide clean drinking water. Many of these innovative dog bowls have filters that ensure your pup’s drinking water isn’t contaminated by illness-causing dirt and bacteria.
- They keep water fresh. Automatic dog bowls keep water from becoming stale and ridden with saliva by constantly circulating water or dispensing small volumes at a time.
- They reduce waste. Keeping your dog’s water fresh and clean using a regular water bowl requires you to throw away remaining stale water before refilling. By keeping water fresh or dispensing it as needed, you don’t waste nearly as much water.
- They encourage drinking. A constant supply of fresh, clean drinking water makes your pup more likely to meet their daily hydration requirements.
How Much Water Should Dogs Drink per Day?
As a general rule, dogs should have 0.5 to 1 oz. of water per pound of body weight per day.
So, the daily hydration requirement of a typical 70-pound adult German Shepherd is between 35 to 70 ounces of water or a quarter to half a gallon. On the other hand, a 22-pound adult French Bulldog should have 11 to 22 ounces of water per day.
Keep in mind that dogs that are fed wet or fresh food also get some of their hydration requirements from their diet. Additionally, many factors affect how much your dog needs to drink on a daily basis.
Sometimes, they’re thirstier because of weather conditions or their level of activity on a specific day. Unless otherwise advised by a vet, it’s always better to just keep fresh water accessible at all times regardless of their daily requirement.
Things to Look for in an Automatic Dog Water Bowl
Choosing the best automatic dog water bowl for your household will depend on a number of factors, including how many dogs you have, their specific hydration needs, and your lifestyle.
These are the essential details you should consider before selecting one:
Choose something that can hold more than your dog’s daily requirement so that that you don’t have to refill it multiple times a day. If you have more than one dog or even other pets that might use this, make sure you consider their hydration needs as well.
Ease of Cleaning
The bowl itself will need to be washed regularly to keep from accumulating bacteria. But how do you keep the rest of the device clean? Check the materials as well as the design to determine how easy it would be to clean and how often you’d need to do it.
Maintaining an automatic dog bowl isn’t always just about washing it clean. Can you wash the filters? If not, how often do you have to replace them and how much would each replacement cost?
Different automatic dog bowls offer different features. Some have lights for better visibility at night. Others have adjustable fountain settings. Determine which extra features you and your dog could really benefit from.
These will take up some space and will always be visible in your home. It’s not at all silly to consider aesthetics when choosing a pet fountain. Feel free to choose one that suits your design preferences.
Best Automatic Dog Water Bowls
Once you know what to look for, consider the following highly recommended dog water stations:
PetSafe – Healthy Pet Water Station
The Healthy Pet Water Station by PetSafe comes in three different sizes that range from small (64 ounces or .5 gallon) to large (320 ounces or 2.5 gallons). It is a gravity-powered dispenser that refills using a flow-control valve, so it doesn’t make any noise or consume any electricity.
This water bowl is made of BPA-free plastic and a stainless steel bowl, which makes it safe for your pet and also easy to clean. Most parts are even dishwasher safe!
It’s compatible with the Healthy Pet purifying filter, which you can buy separately if your tap water is of questionable safety.
- Available in 64, 128, and 320 oz
- Refills using a flow-control valve
- Doesn’t require electricity
- Pet-safe and easy to clean materials
- Dishwasher safe
- Purifying filter is sold separately
PetSafe – Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain
The Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain by PetSafe holds up to 168 ounces (approximately 1.3 gallons) of water that flows in a gentle stream, which you can adjust according to the needs of your pet. Since the water flow is constant, dogs are encouraged to drink more frequently and water is always fresh.
This pet fountain is BPA-free and dishwasher safe, and it comes with a replaceable filter that keeps water free from dirt, unwanted tastes, and bad odors. Built-in LED lights further make this dog fountain unique, since you can easily flip a switch to make it visible in the dark.
- Holds up to 168 oz
- Constant but adjustable stream
- Encourages frequent drinking
- Water is always fresh
- BPA-free and dishwasher safe
- Comes with replaceable carbon filter
- Features built-in LED lights
- Not suitable for outdoor use
PetSafe – Drinkwell Avalon Pet Fountain
The Drinkwell Avalon Pet Fountain by PetSafe is a dog bowl that has two free-falling streams of water that keeps water fresh and oxygenated. It also comes with an activated carbon water filter to keep water clean and safe.
Because of its circular, open bowl design, it can be used from any angle and will still give dogs access to water in the event of a power interruption.
This pet fountain doesn’t have a reservoir but holds up to 70 ounces (approximately half a gallon) of water.
Instead of plastic, it is made of ceramic that’s not only scratch-resistant but also dishwasher safe. The pump is also easy to disassemble for hand washing.
- Boasts two free-falling streams.
- Keeps water fresh and oxygenated
- Comes with activated carbon water filter
- Circular, open bowl design
- Made of scratch-resistant ceramic
- Dishwasher safe
- Easy to clean pump
- 70-ounce capacity and absence of a water reservoir means more frequent refilling
Pioneer Pet – Big Max Ceramic Drinking Fountain
The Big Max Ceramic Drinking Fountain by Pioneer pet is best for large breeds or multi-pet households. Although it doesn’t have a separate water reservoir, it holds up to 128 ounces (1 gallon) of water.
It boasts a cascading water design and allows dogs to drink both from the top of the fountain or from the larger bottom basin.
This electric dog water fountain comes with a charcoal filter and continuously cycles water to keep it fresh and aerated all day. Plus, it’s made of premium ceramic that’s not just tough enough for large dogs but also safe to clean in the dishwasher.
- Excellent for large breeds or multi-pet households
- Holds up to 128 oz
- Cascading water design
- Comes with charcoal filter
- Continuously cycles and aerates water
- Made of premium ceramic
- Dishwasher safe
- Could be too large for small dogs
Veken – Pet Fountain
The Pet Fountain by Veken is an electric motor water bowl with a 100-ounce (.75 gallon) capacity. It features a top bowl from which water is gently dispensed and cascades down to a larger bowl.
It is made of premium, food-safe materials and is constructed specifically so that it’s easy to clean and maintain.
This pet fountain uses a triple filtration system that makes sure your pet’s water is always fresh, aerated, as well as free of odors, heavy metals, and dirt.
It also has a window from which you can measure your pup’s water consumption and also determine when it’s time for a refill. Additionally, it has LED lights that will keep it visible in the dark.
- Holds up to 100 oz
- Features a two-tier design
- Cleans using a triple-filtration system
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Easy to monitor water levels
- Features built-in LED lights
- Replacement filters aren’t always available
How to Introduce Your Dog to a Pet Water Fountain
Some dogs embrace new things easily, while some are more wary of unfamiliar objects. If your dog is the latter, they might find it difficult to adjust to having a new water bowl.
Buzzing and other unfamiliar sounds from a pump might cause them some anxiety. They might also feel stressed when the water flows as the bowl automatically refills.
For such dogs, it helps to introduce the bowl slowly. Keep it turned off and place it where they can sniff, lick, and build their trust.
Then, you can pour some water into the bowl (still keeping it turned off). Praise and treat them for every attempt to drink so they can associate the device with positivity.
After that, you can turn it on and continue to encourage them with treats and praises until they’re comfortable enough to use it as their sole water bowl.
Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy an Automatic Dog Water Bowl
Although the benefits of having a dog water station are plenty, there are certain situations when it’s not advisable for you to get one.
For example, when you have a young puppy and you’re still in the early stages of potty training, you’ll want to restrict access to water at certain times of the day.
Additionally, if you have an older dog that has already developed bladder problems, it’s best to avoid giving access to a constant supply of water to help them keep a regular, albeit more frequent, potty schedule.
The same is true for dogs with other health issues. In these cases, it’s always best to consult a veterinarian regarding how to deal with your particular dog’s hydration needs.
The best automatic water bowls offer plenty of benefits to both you and your dog. Although these pet fountains might seem like an extravagance, the advantages they bring are well worth the money you spend on them.
Remember that proper hydration is essential to your dog’s health and longevity, so a drinking bowl that offers a constant supply of fresh water is a great addition to your home.