Best automatic water bowl for dogs

Best automatic water bowl for dogs

While an automatic water bowl might seem like a luxury, they are a sound investment. The best automatic water bowl for dogs makes tap water more palatable to your dog. As such, it encourages them to drink, and adequate hydration is vital for your dog’s long-term health.

Our top choice for a good all-rounder is the PetSafe Drinkwell Water Fountain but for more options, read on.

Automatic water bowl for dogs – the benefits

If you’re wondering why you should get your dog an automatic water bowl, the benefits may surprise you. While your dog may drink from muddle puddles, given a choice most prefer to drink running water.

Automatic water bowls encourage your dog to drink more by providing moving water. Drinking more water can improve your dog’s overall health by keeping them hydrated.

Adequate water intake helps your dog’s kidneys flush out toxins. Not only that it also decreases the chances of medical issues caused by dehydration.

That’s not the only reason why automatic water bowls are a smart choice though. The water that sits in a regular dog bowl is nothing more than a stagnant pond. Not only does it gather outside contaminants like dust. But every time your dog laps water they are adding bacteria to their only source of hydration.

If they’re lucky, our dogs get their water changed twice a day. Often without the bowl being adequately washed between refills. That slimy feeling around the edge of the bowl is bacteria, and your dog gets to drink that every day. Moving water makes it much more difficult for the bacteria to grow. This results in cleaner and healthier water for your dog to drink.

Another benefit of having an automatic water bowl is that it is much less likely to run out of water. If your dog spends any time alone, ensuring they have enough water is essential. Automatic water bowls can help ensure that they do.

In this article, we’ll be reviewing the following automatic water bowl for dogs

What to look for in an automatic water bowl

Automatic water bowls are available in three main types of material, ceramic, plastic and stainless steel. All of which have their advantages and disadvantages.

While plastic tends to be more economical, it is prone to get scratched. As the surface becomes, rough bacteria can build up making it a less hygienic choice than its ceramic and stainless-steel counterparts.

However, although stainless-steel is a robust and hygienic choice, it struggles to keep the water cool in a warm environment. Not only that but like plastic, it is lightweight and not a good choice for rowdy dogs who can easily knock the bowl over.

Ceramic bowls are nice and heavy and keep the water cool for longer. But are at the higher end of the budget and can suffer from breakages.

How do automatic water bowls work?

There are two main types of automatic water bowl;

  • Gravity fed
  • Mains powered

Gravity water bowls

Gravity water bowls like gravity feeders have two parts; a bowl that your dog drinks from and a reservoir that stores the bulk of the water.

If you think of gravity water bowls like the water coolers you get in offices, then you’ll have a good idea of how they work. As your dog drinks from the bowl, water gets released from the tank above refilling it. Once the lower bowl is full again, it stops more water coming down.

The advantage of gravity water bowls is that they’re simple. Although they don’t provide a constant flow of water, they do give your dog fresh water every time they take a drink.

Electronic water bowls

Electronic water bowls are primarily mains operated and offer your dog running water throughout the day. What’s more, they often come with water filters that help make tap water more palatable to your dog.

Many of them have adjustable flows. This means that you can tailor the water streams from a slow trickle up to a bubbling brook. Not only that, but some even have thermal adjusters which are perfect for keeping the water from freezing when it gets cold.

The advantage of electronic water bowls is they keep the water moving. This means that your dog gets access to a constant stream of fresh, filtered water throughout the day.

How to choose the best automatic water bowl

Whether you opt for a gravity filled or a fountain type water bowl, it’s useful to consider the following;


The more capacity a unit has, the less often you need to fill it. It’s a plus point if you have a large dog or multi-pet household that need to share the water. It’s also worth considering the least amount of water the unit holds before you need to top it up. If that level is high, it means more refilling.

Shape and Size

It’s not just about aesthetics. The shape and size of an automatic water bowl will determine how easy it is for your dog to use. A small dog will struggle to reach a tall unit as will dogs with mobility issues.


It may not be the first thing you think of when considering what water bowl to but it matters. Timid or fearful dogs are often not comfortable approaching noisy objects. The last thing you want to do is scare your dog and put them off drinking.

Water filters

Many of the electronic water bowls include filters. While these filters make tap water more palatable for your dog, you need to factor in the cost. Not only that but are the filters readily available and what happens if the manufacturers stop making the bowl? Can you get the filters elsewhere?


You’ll still need to clean the water bowl on a regular basis. How simple is it to do so? Is the unit easy to assemble and disassemble? Is it dishwasher safe or will you need to clean it all by hand?


Remember that most automatic water bowls need an outlet for power. Are you going to be using the unit inside or out? Will it be in direct sunlight? Can your dog knock it over? All these things help determine what type and material of bowl you’ll need.

Best automatic water bowls for dogs – our top 5

Catit Senses 2.0 Cat Flower Fountain 3L, Cat Water Fountain
  • Cat fountain features 3 different water flow settings for picky drinkers and offers maximum oxygenation for fresher, better tasting cat water; the unique design filters water so that it always stays...
  • Can hold up to 3L in the cat water bowl and takes up little floor space; dimensions are 9.0 x 8.3 x 7.7 inches
  • Includes triple action softening cat water filter and small energy-efficient pump with power cord (if extension cord is necessary, connection must be watertight and dust proof); made of BPA-free...

As the name suggests, the Catit Flower fountain design is aimed at cats. But don’t let that put you off as it’s perfect for small to medium dogs.

Easy to assemble and clean the Catit Flower fountain has three water flow settings. The unit comes with a triple action filter that ensures a clean, odourless stream of water.

Despite its compact size, the Catit fountain has an impressive 3l (100 fl oz) water reservoir. That’s big enough for even the thirstiest dogs.

What’s more; the upright design is remarkably sturdy making it difficult to knock over even when the tank starts to empty.

It’s easy to keep the unit in good shape; the filter needs changing at least once a month and the unit cleaned (by hand) every week or so when you fill it up.


  • Easy to operate and clean
  • Large water capacity which means less refilling
  • Very quiet which is good for timid dogs


  • There’s no way to tell the water level as the unit is opaque. However, the pump begins to make a noise when the water is low; an indicator light would be a better option
  • While the unit provides a continuous stream of water via a pump, there isn’t a bowl as such. This means that if there’s a power outage your dog doesn’t have any water
  • The pump is feeble and lets the unit down

isYoung Dog Fountain, 84oz/2.5L Pet Fountain Automatic Water Dispenser for Dogs and Cats, Healthy and Hygienic Dog Fountain
  • ENCOURAGES DRINKING: Free-falling stream entices dogs and cats to drink more water
  • LARGE WATER CAPACITY: 11.0in(L) x 9.8in(W) x 7.1in(H), 84 oz. water capacity is great for pets of all sizes
  • FILTERED WATER: This pet fountain removes bad tastes and odors, keeping water fresh

If you’re after a corner unit, this water fountain from isYoung is perfect. It’s made from BPA-Free plastic and is top-shelf dishwasher safe (excluding pump) which makes it easy to clean.

More suited to smaller dogs due to its size and water capacity of 88 ounces, the isYoung water bowl provides a constant waterfall of filtered water.

The unit is simple to set up and has a long 6ft power outlet. While the water capacity isn’t large, this unit does have the advantage over the Catit Flower Fountain. If there’s a power outage, your dog still has access to water as there is a reservoir that will stay full irrespective of whether the pump is working.


  • Simple set-up
  • Easy to take apart and clean
  • The pump is quiet which is great for nervous dogs


  • No automatic shut off when water runs low which means the pump keeps running and burns out
  • No separate water tank, it’s just the water is the bowl that gets recirculated. As such the water needs topping up frequently – sometimes twice a day which is also average for a normal water bowl
  • While the pump is quiet the water is noisy, like having a small water feature in the corner of your room

Pioneer Pet Raindrop Fountain, Pet Drinking Fountains (96 oz, Stainless Steel)
  • Circulatin drinking water is naturally appealing to your pet
  • Replaceable charcoal filter helps to clean and purify water
  • Dishwasher safe. Ultra quiet pump circulates and oxygenates water

There’s a lot to like about the Pioneer Raindrop water bowl. Its low-level design, clean stainless steel and quiet pump make it attractive to both dog and owner.

It gives your dog choices of where to drink from. They can choose the bubbling top section, the still water below or if they are feeling adventurous the tiny waterfall section.

Although the Pioneer Raindrop bowl doesn’t have a ‘tank’ of water, the bowl itself holds up to 96 ounces of water that is continuously filtered via a submerged pump.

It’s a cinch to clean as you can put it in the dishwasher. What’s more, the low-level design makes it sturdy even with enthusiastic dogs.


  • Sturdy, and easy to clean
  • The bowl has a reservoir which enables your dog to drink even if the pump stops working
  • The pump is quiet making it a good choice for nervous dogs


  • The stainless steel does heat up in warm weather. Adding ice cubes helps keep the water cool but is an added faff
  • The pump lets the unit down as it’s unreliable
  • No automatic shut off if the water is low, the pump will keep on running and eventually burn out so keep it topped up

PetSafe Drinkwell Original Dog and Cat Water Fountain with Bonus 50 oz. Reservoir, 100 oz.
  • WATER CAPACITY: 50 oz water capacity is great for cats and small dogs
  • ENCOURAGES DRINKING: Free-falling stream entices pets to drink more water
  • FILTERED WATER: Includes replaceable carbon water filter that removes bad tastes and odors, keeping water fresh

This PetSafe Drinkwell fountain provides the best of both worlds. With a bonus reserve, the unit holds 100 ounces of water meaning you don’t have to fill it up as often.

Your dog has the choice of drinking filtered water from the fountain or the water pool at the base. What’s more, the ramp that receives the water reduces both splash and water noise.

The unit has an easy to reach flow control, and most of it is top rack dishwasher safe making it easy to clean.


  • Good strong motor
  • The additional reservoir is excellent as it minimises the number of times you have to fill it.
  • The Flow control makes it easy to adjust to your dog’s preference


  • Fairly noisy motor – it produces a definite hum
  • Some areas of the unit are tricky to clean. PetSafe does sell a separate cleaning kit that’s designed for those hard to reach places but it’s an additional cost
  • As with the other pumps, there isn’t a safety switch if you run out of water- the pump will just keep running

K&H Manufacturing Cleanflow Filtered Pet Water Bowl with Reservoir Medium 1.4gal + 1gal Granite
  • Filters contents up to 130 times per hour.
  • Charcoal filter helps remove impurities.
  • Invites more water. Consumption.

A special mention goes to this water filter from K&H. It isn’t quite a water fountain, but it does provide water movement. With a sizeable 1.5-gallon reservoir, it uses carbon infused filters to provide clean water for your dog.

Although it’s a gravity fed water bowl, a pump agitates the water mimicking running water. It also has a raised centre which means that any debris stays out of reach of your dog and gets sent around the edge of the bowl into the filtration system

Easy to clean (best by hand) although the bowl is dishwasher safe. It comes with cleaning brushes and a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.


  • As the unit is gravity fed even if the pump stops working your dog has access to fresh water
  • Large enough for big dogs and multi-pet households
  • Easy to see when the unit needs refilling


  • The pump is noisy which isn’t great for shy or timid dogs
  • The charcoal filtration system is a bit feeble
  • The water level in the bowl stays very high. While this gives your dog plenty to drink it also means that water gets splashed everywhere as they drink.

Best automatic water bowl for dogs conclusion

Our top choice for a good all-rounder is the PetSafe Drinkwell Water Fountain.

We like the fact that even if the pump stops working your dog still has access to water. What’s more the addition of the reservoir tank means fewer refills. So you’ll never have to worry that your dog will run out of water if you are away from home longer than expected.

Not only that, but the unit is easy to clean and is BPA-free plastic making it safe for your dog to use.

Last update on 2020-10-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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