Last updated: September 5, 2021

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As soon as you adopt a dog it becomes a member of the family, so naturally you want to always give your furry friend the best care you can. Keeping your pet properly hydrated, by using one of the best dog water fountains available on the market is crucial for their well-being. While all dogs need water to survive, if you mainly feed your dog dry food, they will require even more water to help digest their meals.

Your dog must always have enough water to maintain its health and keep its energy up, especially in the hottest months during summertime. However, choosing one of the best water bowls or fountains on the market is not as simple as you would think. This is due to the big variety of materials used in the manufacture of these products, and with all the different sizes and types it is easy to feel overwhelmed. In order make your purchase process easier, we have compiled this helpful guide, so you can learn everything you need to know and choose the product that is perfect for you and your furry friend.

Key Facts

  • The size of your dog is the first thing to consider when looking for a suitable dish or water fountain. The bigger your dog, the more water it will need to drink each day. Therefore, an option that can only hold a quarter of a gallon of water won't be suitable. This is especially true if you spend many hours away from home everyday.
  • The material used to manufacture a dog bowl or water fountain is very important. Some plastic products may contain compounds that are harmful to your dog's health. If your four-legged friend has a tendency towards allergies, you should buy them a hypoallergenic product.
  • If your dog tends not to drink much water, it is best to choose an automatic or water fountain model. A water fountain for your dog will provide a continual flow of water, keeping it fresh and it will be easy for you to notice if it happens to stop working or runs out of water.

Our Selection: The Best Dog Water Fountains

As we mentioned previously, choosing one of the best dog bowls or water fountains can be a complicated process. To help you avoid spending hours searching through the infinite number of options available, in this section we present you with the five best products for providing your dog with water that are available on the market right now.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Dog Water Fountains

As you are no doubt aware after looking at the various products in our ranking section, the range of products designed for providing your dog with water is more extensive than you could have possibly imagined. There are many designs, materials and operating methods being offered by manufacturers. Don't worry, it is normal to feel a little overwhelmed. To help guide you through the decision process, in this section we answer the most frequently asked questions about dog bowls and water fountains, so that you have all the information you need to find the product that is best for you.

Portrait of smiling couple purchasing new pet bowls in pet store

A non-slip base of a dog bowl will stop it from sliding around.
(Source: Iakov Filimonov: 123074829/

What is a dog water fountain used for?

A dog bowl can be most basically described as a dish which is used to hold water or food for your dog. There are also drinking fountains that are advertised as being specifically made for dogs, the vast majority of them are fairly universal in how they operate. Most of the products with a more simple design, usually also offer the option of storing food in addition to providing water.

Keeping your pet properly hydrated is essential for its health and well-being. The best dog bowls and water fountains are offered in various sizes, which means you can always find an option that is suitable for the size of your dog, or for the amount of animals you have. In addition, they are manufactured from a wide-range of different materials, which we will take a look at in the following section.

What kinds of materials are used for making dog bowls?

Generally speaking, the best dog bowls currently available on the market are made from three different types of materials: plastic, metal (usually stainless steel) and ceramic. It is important to understand what each type of material can offer your dog, as well as how it could even affect you. Taking all this into consideration, you will need to decide which option is best for you and your dog:

  • Plastic: Plastic drinking bowls are usually the least expensive option, which obviously makes them very appealing. In addition, they are the most convenient for taking with you whenever you go away vacation with your dog. However, you need to be careful that the plastic dish you buy is of high quality and is free of BPA (a toxic compound often used in the manufacture of plastics).

On the other hand, the cleaning of bowls made from plastic can be a nightmare. This is simply due to the fact that plastic products are often easily scratched, leaving crevices that are an ideal place for all types of bacteria to grow. This means that they need to be washed almost daily.

  • Metal: The highest-quality metal dog bowls are usually made of stainless steel. This type of product is a great choice because of how easy it is to clean. Stainless steel, unlike plastic, is not porous meaning that there is a much lower potential for bacteria to buildup. Another great positive feature of metal dog bowls, is that they usually have a longer lifespan.

Although they are more hygienic and durable, the best stainless steel dog bowls are usually more expensive than plastic models, but not by much. Many metal dog bowls have a non-slip base and are designed not to roll over. This is a great help for people who have dogs that are very enthusiastic and make a big mess, especially when eating their food.

  • Ceramic: The best ceramic dog bowls are usually the most aesthetically pleasing. Many of them have a pretty design or pattern, and they are available in lots of different colors. The main issue with these types of products is that they are usually heavy, which makes them difficult to take with you on vacation. Also if you have a particularly large dog, you might want to go with a metal bowl instead, as it will be more durable.

Experts warn that ceramics which are fired at low temperatures are often quite porous, making them similar to plastic dog bowls in terms of hygiene. Additionally, if they are not fired at a high temperature they can break relatively easily. If you buy a ceramic dog bowl, don't expect it to last as long as a metal or plastic dish.

What important features should I look for when buying a dog bowl or a water fountain?

Once you have chosen the material that best suits you and your pet, you need to consider at all the other features that are commonly found in the best dog bowls. The first feature to think about is also related to the material used to make the dish, it must be hypoallergenic and odorless so that your dog finds it pleasant to use. The second big factor to consider is that it has a design that makes it quick and easy to clean.

Dick DaleMusician
"There's a saying. If you want someone to love you forever, buy a dog, feed it and keep it around.".

Finally, you need to be sure that the design is suitable for your dog. There is no point buying an expensive water fountain for example, if your dog is too small or timid to use it. In terms of the base, make sure it is non-slip, so that your dog doesn't push it around while using it, spilling food and water all over the floor.

What types of dog bowls and water fountains are available on the market?

Among the best products on the market are the more classic dishes that can be placed on the floor, or that sit on a platform. These types of dog bowls are sometimes sold in dual format, which allows you to give your pet both water and food at the same time. They are the cheapest option and do not require any additional expense to use.

On the other hand, there are now automatic drinking fountains available from lots of different manufacturers. Some of them use tanks that hold over a gallon of water, and provide a continual flow of water that encourages dogs to drink. There are other models that keep a bowl constantly full of water, which are more suitable for very shaggy dogs, or dogs with long ears that might get wet if they use a fountain.

What are the advantages of an automatic dog bowl?

New technology has resulted in the development of water fountains and automatic feeders for dogs. There are some manufacturers out there with big imaginations, and a whole new world of different designs are now available. These models offer a lots of very clear advantages over more traditional dog bowls:

  • Some models allow you to control and manage them from anywhere using a mobile device
  • They have a varied storage capacity, with options available for dogs of any size
  • Using a cistern with a big supply of water, the dog cannot splash, spill or drink all the water. Even when you are not at home, you can be confident your dog will always have access to enough water
  • Many models provide a continual flow of water
  • They use filters to get rid of bad odors and keep the water tasting fresh
  • Some models use additional filters to remove any waste that might accidentally fall inside
  • The best options are quite expensive, although can offer good value for money in the long term
  • The filters should be replaced once every couple of weeks, adding an extra expense (although they are not usually very costly)

Are dog bowls with dual dishes more useful?

At first dog bowls that have two dishes can be more useful, since they allow you to pour in more water, or a combination with food. However, your dog may not like it as much as two separate units. It is also possible that while using it, your dog may contaminate the dish used for water with some food. Although dogs are not as fussy as cats, it may make the water less appealing to them.

Dogs sleeping

Most dog bowls are made from hypoallergenic materials.
(Source: pexels: 1284238/

Where is the best place to keep a dog bowl?

Fortunately, dogs are not as fussy as cats, or that is the general rule at least. So it shouldn't be too difficult to designate a convenient place to keep their dishes. Obviously, it is best to put it in a quiet place, where your dog will feel comfortable. Additionally, it is best to keep their water and food bowls apart, so that their water does not become contaminated with their food.

Why do some dog water fountains have water filters?

One of the advantages of water fountains and automatic feeders for dogs, is that they usually have one or more filters. Carbon water filters are the most commonly used type, which helps to get rid of bad smells and keeps the water tasting fresh. This is very important, because you need to encourage your furry friend to drink as much water as possible for their general health and well-being.

On the other hand, there are other types of filters used to eliminate waste and unwanted contaminants, such as dust or food (especially if it is placed near the drinking fountain), or any other substances that might fall into the water. This is obviously a great feature for your dog. Any type of filter is going to help keep the water nice and fresh.

Do I need to think about the design of the base of a dog bowl?

In general, the best dog bowls currently available incorporate non-slip bases. The materials used to make these bases are usually hypoallergenic. Many brands specifically use 100% all-natural materials in their construction. This way the health of your dog will never be at risk, so you don't have to worry.

A non-slip base will ensure that the dish doesn't move around while your dog is using it. This will help to avoid it being knocked over, or water constantly being splashed all over the floor. Larger units, such as water fountains, usually have smaller bases, but due to their extra weight they are usually very stable and not easy for your dog to accidentally knock over.

Can a dog bowl cause my pet to have an allergic reaction?

The material from which a dog bowl is made can cause an allergic reaction. However, don't be alarmed. These days the vast majority of dog bowls are hypoallergenic. That means, they are made of materials that do not produce allergic reactions. However, the model you want to buy could possibly be made of potentially harmful materials. It is very rare, but the best idea is to make sure before you buy a product that it is described as hypoallergenic or made from all-natural ingredients.

Shopping Criteria

At this point, we hope we have answered any possible questions you may have about the best products designed to provide your dog with water - that are currently available on the market. However, we haven't finished yet. Now that you know all about these important pet accessories, you just need focus on a few important criteria to be sure that you find the product that is best for you and your pet.


Both cats and dogs need to have constant access to a clean supply of water. However, during the workday you may be forced to spend long hours away from home. Even if you keep your dogs at an outdoor farm, they will need a supply of water during your absence. This is why drinking fountains, or bowls with a large reservoir are the best option.

Size of Your Dog

Owning a Chihuahua is not the same as having a Great Dane or a German Shepherd. You will also need a different product depending on whether you own one, two or even more dogs. The bigger the dog, or the more pets you have, the more water you need to offer them. To do this correctly, you should check the storage capacity of the product you are going to buy. This will usually range from 1/8-2 gallons, or even more.

Dwight D. EisenhowerFormer President of the USA
"What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it's the size of the fight in the dog".


As we mentioned previously in this article, there are different benefits offered by plastic, metal and ceramic products. While plastic drinking bowls are the most economical, they have a number of drawbacks that you will not experience with metal or ceramic dishes.

Ease of Cleaning And Durability

Type Ease of cleaning and durability
Plastic Very easy to clean initially. However, in the long run it becomes more difficult, as this material tends to gradually degrade. Plastic products are usually very resistant, but always inferior in quality to ones made from stainless steel, and have a shorter effective life span
Stainless steel Usually very easy to clean. It is a scratch-resistant material, which prevents deterioration and the accumulation of bacteria, as commonly found with plastic products. Metal dog dishes are the most durable, made from robust, solid materials that are highly resistant
Ceramic Fairly easy to clean, although some ceramic dog bowls are very porous, making the accumulation of bacteria more likely. They can be brittle, and will shatter into many tiny pieces if smashed. However, quality-made products, fired at high temperatures are usually very solid and will be resistant in the long term

Design And Functionality

Regardless of the material used to make a drinking fountain, or water bowl for your dog, or the amount of money you plan to spend on it, the most important factor is the design and its functionality. The product must be easy to setup. In addition, it has to be appealing and easy for your dog to use. Otherwise, they won't use it and the purchase will be a waste of money.


Popular culture reminds us that a dog is a person's best friend. The relationship humans have had with dogs throughout our history as a species has been one of affection and collaboration. If you have a dog in your care, you are responsible for always providing access to fresh water, as well as enough food and exercise.

To buy the best product for providing your dog with drinking water, your decision should be based on a several key factors. The best drinking fountain for your dog will depend on the material it is made of, its design and functionality, the size of your dog and your budget. Now that you have finished reading our guide, you have all the information you need to find the perfect product that both you and your furry friend will love.

(Source of featured image: bullltus: 105227817/