As seen in:
PetSafe
Drinkwell Ceramic Pagoda
Pioneer Pet
Raindrop Oval
PetSafe
Drinkwell Platinum
Cat Mate
70 ounces
Aspen Pet
Cool Flow
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Good

Made of easy-to-clean ceramic. Strong, reliable pump. Includes carbon filters and three drinking options.

Stainless steel. Movable spout. Affordable price.

Pets can drink from stream or bowl. Includes replaceable carbon filters and a "pre-filter." Large capacity (168 ounces).

Quiet pump. Three-level design includes flowing water.

Constantly circulates water. Filter has a 120-day lifespan.

Bad

Occasional complaints about fountain noise.

Smaller capacity (60 ounces). Filter replacements are pricey and difficult to find.

Internal buildup is possible. Cleaning is slightly more complicated because the fountain has several parts.

Prone to mold and slime buildup if not cleaned regularly.

Smaller bowl might not be big enough for some pets. More prone to clogs than some competitors.

Bottom Line

This hearty ceramic unit offers three drinking levels for animals of all ages. Dependable and durable, it's simply the best available.

A low-cost, stainless steel pet fountain with a few known drawbacks.

Made of BPA-free plastic, this large-capacity fountain appeals to pets and those on a budget. The best deal around.

A quiet, quality pet fountain priced in the mid-range.

Even with proper maintenance, this fountain is not quite as durable as some of its competitors,

How we decide
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Models Considered
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Consumers Consulted

Best Pet Fountains

If your pet doesn't have access to an ample water supply, he/she may resort to other water sources, such as the bathtub or sink. Pet fountains are a fairly new innovation, but they're marvelous because they provide a constant supply of fresh, flowing water. We compare five of the best pet fountains on the market so you can make an informed purchasing decision.

Products we Considered

PetSafe
Drinkwell Ceramic Pagoda
Pioneer Pet
Raindrop Oval
PetSafe
Drinkwell Platinum
Cat Mate
70 ounces
Aspen Pet
Cool Flow

Considerations

Construction/Design

A pet fountain's construction and design are more important than they may seem. Some pets are allergic to plastic; a fountain that's made of this material could cause an acne breakout. Metal or ceramic fountains would be the better choice for pets with this allergy! Some fountains provide a stream of fresh water; others frequently replenish the water in the bowl. In this section, we discuss the construction and design of each contender on our shortlist.

Capacity

Capacity is an important consideration when buying a pet fountain. After all, some pets drink more than others, and multi-pet homes need more water than single-pet homes! However, consumers need to consider whether a large-capacity fountain would be emptied often enough for the water to stay fresh. In this section, we examine the capacity of each fountain.

Durability

Pet fountains, especially those in multi-pet homes, get a workout. They run more or less continually, so a high potential for wear and tear exists. In this section, we compare the durability of each fountain so buyers can choose the best for their pet.

Price

Pet fountains vary in price. Cost often depends on construction, materials, and capacity. In this section, we compare the price of each contender and explore the features and benefits you get for your money.

Considerations

Construction/Design

PetSafe Drinkwell Ceramic Pagoda Pet Fountain

The PetSafe Drinkwell Pagoda fountain is made of ceramic. This means it is safe for pets who are prone to develop acne from plastic fountains or bowls. The design is also good for pets who are arthritic, since they can drink from the top of the fountain without having to hunker down and put pressure on their joints. The flowing water stream is attractive to some pets, as is the bowl itself, which provides three options for drinking. The ceramic is easy to clean, and the carbon filters help keep water fresh.

Pioneer Pet Stainless Steel Fountain Raindrop Design

The Pioneer Pet Raindrop Design Pet Fountain is made of stainless steel. Pets who get chin acne from plastic bowls can safely use this fountain. The fountain circulates the water to keep it fresh, and the stainless steel construction is dishwasher safe. Owners can move the spout from one side of the bowl to the other as they see fit. Carbon filters are included with this product, but owners tell us that replacement filters are sometimes difficult to find.

PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain

The PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain, made from BPA-free plastic, can be safely cleaned on the top rack of the dishwasher. The water flows from the top of the fountain to the bowl. This is an attractive configuration for pets whether they prefer to drink from a stream or from a bowl. For extra freshness, the Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain comes equipped with replaceable carbon filters. A useful "pre-filter" helps catch hair and other large particles before they enter the animal's drinking supply – a definite benefit.

Cat Mate Pet Fountain, 70 fl. oz. Water Capacity

The Cat Mate Pet Fountain is as suitable for small dogs as it is for cats. It is made of plastic and features a polymer-carbon filter for water purification. To suit the needs of all pets, the fountain comes with a three-level design as well as a flowing water stream. The pump is very quiet and shouldn't frighten animals who are disturbed by loud noises.

DELUXE FRESH FLOW PET FOUNTAIN

The Deluxe Fresh Flow Pet Fountain is made from plastic and features a water stream that flows into a bowl. The water constantly circulates to help promote freshness. The unit includes carbon filters to help purify the drinking water. Pets can choose to drink from the bowl or the stream, but users report the bowl is not very large; this could be a problem for some larger animals. The filter's lifespan, at 120 days, is longer than that of some competitors. Owners like this longer lifespan because the filter needn't be replaced as often.

The ceramic PetSafe Drinkwell Pagoda Fountain by is safe for animals who are prone to developing acne from plastic fountains or bowls.
Considerations

Capacity

PetSafe Drinkwell Ceramic Pagoda Pet Fountain

The PetSafe Drinkwell Ceramic Pagoda Fountain has a capacity of 70 ounces. This is an ample capacity for cats and most small dogs. Buyers who have more than one dog (or several cats) may need to replenish the water more frequently, but in general, 70 ounces should be good for two to three days. Some owners have said that the unit is noisy, but others recommend keeping the fountain full in order to eliminate noise.

The 60-ounce capacity of the Pioneer Pet Stainless Steel Raindrop fountain is not as large as other units on the market. In single-cat homes, however, this smaller capacity shouldn't be an issue. The diminutive size is great for tight spaces and/or high-traffic areas in the home. As with most pet fountains, keeping the fountain filled (and the spout centered) reduces noise – an important consideration for animals who tend to be a bit skittish.

PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain

With an impressive capacity of 168 ounces, the Drinkwell Platinum fountain is suitable for multi-cat homes or households with small to medium-sized dogs. According to the manufacturer, the larger capacity means that the owner needn't fill the fountain as often. This is certainly appealing from a time-saving point of view, but less frequent fill-ups could potentially lead to buildup inside the pump. Therefore, it might be wise to refill the PetSafe Drinkwell fountain frequently anyway. (Of course, this would probably not be an issue in a multi-pet home where the reservoir is emptied naturally by several animals.)

Cat Mate Pet Fountain, 70 fl. oz. Water Capacity

The Cat Mate Pet Fountain has a 70-ounce capacity. This is the average capacity for pet fountains, and it means that the water will probably need to be changed about twice per week. (Unless, that is, the animal in question drinks a lot of water!) Cats enjoy water at their choice of three different levels with this plastic fountain. According to users, the Cat Mate is very easy to refill.

DELUXE FRESH FLOW PET FOUNTAIN

The Deluxe Fresh Flow Pet Fountain has a 108-ounce capacity, but because the water level needs to stay above the pump, it would probably need to be filled at least twice per week. Notably, owners with multi-cat homes tell us that the fountain needs refilling three or four times per week. According these same people, however, refilling is an easy task – not a troublesome issue. Pet owners who are drawn to the quietness of the Deluxe Fresh Flow Pet Fountain's operation may be willing to overlook the extra maintenance requirements.

The PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain is made of BPA-free plastic and is dishwasher safe.
Bill
Expert Consultant
Bill
Engineer, Do-It-Yourself Guru

Bill has been a hardware store owner, locksmith, and general home repair guru for over 40 years. His ability to solve problems and repair every item in every situation is a true gift. In his spare time, you may find Bill working in his garden, tending to his perfectly manicured lawn, or riding his bike.

Considerations

Durability

PetSafe Drinkwell Ceramic Pagoda Pet Fountain

As one might expect, the ceramic construction of the PetSafe Drinkwell Ceramic Pagoda Fountain enhances the unit's durability. Ceramic does not deteriorate like plastic can, and it is not sensitive to light. Owners tell us that the pump is reliable, but replacement pumps are readily available should the need arise. As long as the fountain is cleaned regularly and kept filled, wear and tear is minimal. In short, this stellar product should give years of good service.

Pioneer Pet Stainless Steel Fountain Raindrop Design

Pet fountains tend to work best when they are kept clean and the filters are changed to keep the pump from working too hard. Unfortunately, some Pioneer Pet Fountain owners have reported pump failure after less than a year of use. However, other users say the unit functions well and is dependable for the long term. Since users also say the unit is easy to clean, diligence in this area would probably increase the unit's life cycle.

PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain

In terms of durability, owners of the Drinkwell Platinum fountain report the best results when the pump is cleaned frequently. With proper, regular care, owners agree that they are able put off pump replacement for a much longer time. Because it has several parts, the PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum is quite not as easy to clean as some of its competitors. For buyers who need the convenience of a large-capacity pet fountain, however, this is not a big drawback.

Cat Mate Pet Fountain, 70 fl. oz. Water Capacity

Users have reported that, as with many pet fountains, cleanliness is the key to a long life for the Cat Mate Pet Fountain. (Unless regularly cleaned, the fountain is prone to mold and slime buildup.) Fortunately, it's not difficult to clean the Cat Mate, and it's not prone to limestone buildup as some stainless steel fountains may be. Owners who take care of their unit reduce wear and tear and enjoy a durable, long-lasting pet fountain.

DELUXE FRESH FLOW PET FOUNTAIN

Users have reported the Deluxe Fresh Flow Pet Fountain has durability issues. If the pump works too hard, it tends to fail. Therefore, scrupulous cleaning is necessary to maintain it. Cleaning the Deluxe Fresh fountain isn't difficult, but it must be done on a regular basis. Even with good cleaning habits, however, users still report it doesn't last as long as other pet fountains because it is prone to becoming clogged with pet hair and food particles.

The PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain, with its 168-ounce capacity, is a great choice for animal lovers who need a fountain with an extra-large reservoir.
Considerations

Price

PetSafe Drinkwell Ceramic Pagoda Pet Fountain

At $79, potential buyers may feel the initial cost of the Drinkwell Ceramic Pagoda Fountain is a bit steep. If you want quality, however, the features and durability afforded by this fountain are well worth the price. The fountain has a proven track record of working well, and pets love the drinking options – which means they drink more, thereby increasing hydration and promoting health. The fountain is easy to clean, and the ceramic construction does not promote bacteria growth, resulting in cleaner water for companion animals.

Pioneer Pet Stainless Steel Fountain Raindrop Design

The Pioneer Pet Stainless Steel Raindrop fountain, at $33, is a good choice for buyers who need a non-plastic fountain but can't afford an expensive unit. This is the only stainless steel contender on our list, and it's a good buy for the features it offers – including ease of cleaning. Buyers may need to look a little harder for replacement filters (they can be difficult to find), and the replacements may cost a bit more than filters for other pet fountains on today's market.

PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain

The $39 Drinkwell Platinum Fountain wins the Best Bang for Your Buck title for its low cost and high quality. In addition to holding a large amount of water, it incorporates many features that you typically find on more expensive pet fountains. It's a great buy, but as with all plastic fountains, potential buyers should be aware of the fact that some animals develop chin acne when their skin comes into contact with plastic.

Cat Mate Pet Fountain, 70 fl. oz. Water Capacity

At $26, the plastic Cat Mate Pet Fountain is priced in the mid-range of most pet fountains. It has many desirable features: three levels for drinking, a quiet pump, a reasonable price. It's easy to use and clean, and it has a small profile – a plus for those who live in smaller spaces.

DELUXE FRESH FLOW PET FOUNTAIN

At a cost of $33, the Deluxe Fresh Flow Pet Fountain sits in the mid-range of the pricing spectrum. While the pump may operate very quietly – and the filters are long-lasting – it is still more prone to failure than some other contenders on our shortlist. Thus, it may not be the best buy for those wanting a better product for the money. If capacity is a major concern, we recommend either the Drinkwell Platinum. Price-wise, the Cat Mate and Deluxe Fresh have more to offer. Still, this fountain could be a good choice for those who want a quiet unit with durable filters.

If you want a top-quality pet fountain, the features and durability afforded by the PetSafe Drinkwell Ceramic Pagoda Fountain are well worth the price.

Best of the Best

The PetSafe Drinkwell Ceramic Pagoda Fountain has so many good qualities going for it, it's hard to find a drawback. The ceramic construction helps protect pets who may be prone to plastic-related chin acne. The 70-ounce capacity is ample enough to serve most cats or small dogs. (Pet owners should expect to refill it several times per week.) The PetSafe Drinkwell unit comes with a replaceable carbon filter to help keep the water fresh. Conveniently, the fountain's replacement filters are available both in stores and online.

All pet fountains benefit from regular maintenance. Ideally, a PetSafe Drinkwell Ceramic Pagoda Fountain owner would take care to clean this appliance about once a week. Most owners agree that this is an easy cleaning routine that they can definitely live with! Pets enjoy the Pagoda Fountain for its three drinking levels: the bowl, the top of the fountain, and the flowing water between these two extremes. Elderly pets in particular may find it much easier to drink from the top of the fountain, since they will not have to hunker down to get their water.

Users report that they are satisfied with the durability of this product. Some owners have said the Pagoda Fountain requires more stringent maintenance than other fountains, but the extra effort is worth the payoff: pets drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. The Drinkwell Pagoda Pet Fountain is head and shoulders above the competition, and that is why we crown it as the Best of the Best.
Best of the Best
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Elderly pets in particular may find it much easier to drink from the top of this three-level fountain, as they don't have to hunker down to get water.

Best Bang for your Buck

The Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain has the largest capacity (168 ounces) of all the fountains on our shortlist. It's suitable for multi-pet homes, and although made of plastic, it's BPA-free and dishwasher safe. The product features replaceable carbon filters to help owners keep their pets' water fresh and clean. At a price of just $39, this excellent product wins our Best Bang for Your Buck title by a landslide.

This versatile unit offers companion animals several choices. A pet can drink from a flowing stream of water or directly from the bowl. Yes, plastic fountains require more frequent cleaning, and this fountain may be a bit more difficult to clean than some other models. Furthermore, some pets (but certainly not all) are prone to chin acne when they come into contact with plastic. However, the Drinkwell Platinum's filters are long-lasting, and the fountain's large capacity means it needn't be refilled very often.

Overall, this product's low price and alluring features make it a great choice for people on a budget – especially those with larger pets or multi-pet households.
Best Bang for your Buck
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The Drinkwell Platinum's filters are long-lasting, and the fountain's large capacity means it needn't be refilled very often.
The team that worked on this review
  • Amy
    Amy
    Writer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Editor
  • Jess
    Jess
    Researcher
  • Jimi
    Jimi
    Product Analyst
  • Ben
    Ben
    Operations

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