Can a dog use a cat water fountain featured image

Can a Dog Use a Cat Water Fountain? Here’s What Pet Owners Should Know

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.


Answering the question – Can a Dog Use a Cat Water Fountain?

Yes, a dog can definitely use a cat water fountain! These nifty devices are designed with the needs of both canine and feline friends in mind. Pet water fountains operate on a simple yet ingenious principle. They use a motorized pump to circulate water through a filter, ensuring that our furry pals always have access to fresh, clean water. This design is especially appealing to pets, as it mimics the natural flowing waters they would encounter in the wild.

A dog and a cat drinking side by side from a pet water fountain answering the question on whether a dog can use a cat water fountain

1. Understanding Pet Water Fountains: Can a Dog Use a Cat Water Fountain?

Pet water fountains are a marvel of pet-friendly engineering. At their core, these fountains feature a motorized pump that circulates water continuously. This moving water is then passed through a filtration system, which is key to keeping the water clean and free from impurities.

But why is this important for our pets?

Both dogs and cats have an instinctual preference for flowing water. This instinct harks back to their ancestors who would often rely on streams and rivers for hydration, intuitively understanding that running water is fresher and safer. By replicating this flowing water, pet water fountains tap into these deep-rooted instincts, making our pets more inclined to drink water regularly. Hence the reason cat water fountains are superior to the traditional water bowl.

This is particularly beneficial for cats, who are often more selective about their water sources. Dogs, with their generally more easy-going nature, also find the flowing water appealing, ensuring they get their necessary hydration.

2. Hydration Habits of Dogs and Cats

A split image, one side showing a cat delicately drinking from a flowing fountain and the other side showing a dog enthusiastically lapping water

When it comes to staying hydrated, dogs and cats have their unique styles and needs. Understanding these can help pet owners ensure their furry family members are drinking enough water.

Cats, known for their discerning habits, often prefer running water as it signals freshness and purity in their minds. This preference can sometimes make them hesitant to drink from stagnant water sources, like a regular water bowl. On the other hand, dogs are typically less fussy about where they drink but still benefit from the appealing, fresh water provided by a fountain.

Pet water fountains cater beautifully to these natural hydration habits. For cats, the constant flow of water can entice even the most reluctant drinkers. Dogs, while not as particular, are likely to find the moving water intriguing and drink more frequently as a result. The bottom line?

A pet water fountain can be a game-changer in promoting healthy hydration habits for both dogs and cats.

Dog vs. Cat Drinking Habits

FeatureDogs 🐶Cats 🐱
Preference for
Water Source
Less fussy, will
drink from stagnant or running water
Prefer running
water, indicating
Volume of Water
Approx. 1 ounce of water (1/8 of a cup)
per pound of body weight each day.
4 ounces (about ½ cup) of water per 5
pounds of body
weight per day
Drinking StyleTend to lap
Delicate, light
Hydration NeedsHigher due to size
and activity level
Less, but critical for kidney and urinary health
Attraction to
Water Fountains
Intrigued by
moving water,
Enticed by running water, mitigates

3. Choosing the Right Fountain Size for Your Multi-Pet Household

Visual illustration showing how to Choose the Right Fountain Size for Your Multi-Pet Household

While it’s clear that a dog can use a cat water fountain, size does matter. For medium to large dogs, it’s crucial to choose a water fountain that can hold a larger volume of water. This ensures that your dog has enough water available throughout the day, especially important given their larger size and typically higher activity levels.

So, how do you pick the right size?

Consider your dog’s size and drinking habits. A larger dog or a breed known for being particularly active will benefit from a fountain with a greater water capacity. This prevents frequent refills and guarantees that your dog stays well-hydrated.

Example of the right size of water fountain to buy for a multi-pet household

If you have a large dog and a cat or more than that, you need a capacity of at least 7.6 liters (2 gallons) to keep up with your large dog’s thirst and your cat’s refined drinking habits. You see, larger dogs are like athletes – they need plenty of water to stay in tip-top shape. Plus, a roomier fountain means less refilling for you – a win-win!

If you have a smaller breed dog, you can opt for a smaller water fountain but the minimum I’d go for would be at least 3 liters.

An image of a good example of water fountain which is suitable for a multi-pet household such as a big dog and a cat

Now, here’s a pro tip: Opt for a taller fountain. Not only do they tend to stay cleaner, but they also align the water source closer to your big dog’s head level, making for a more comfortable and natural drinking experience. And don’t worry about your kitty; they’re usually quick to adapt and enjoy the benefits of a fresher, elevated water source.

4. Health Benefits: Can a Dog Use a Cat Water Fountain for Hydration?

When it comes to ensuring our canine companions’ health, hydration plays a pivotal role. Water fountains can be a real boon here, offering more than just a convenient water source.

The circulating, filtered water from these fountains is not just appealing; it’s a healthier choice for dogs. The constant movement of water in fountains helps prevent the growth of bacteria, ensuring the water stays cleaner and safer for drinking.

This is particularly beneficial for dogs, as it reduces the risk of urinary tract infections and other health issues related to poor hydration and unclean water. Proper hydration is crucial for maintaining kidney health and can help prevent the formation of crystals and stones in the urinary tract.

5. Practical Considerations for Multi-Pet Households

An image of a cozy home interior with a pet water fountain in a neutral space, featuring a dog and a cat drinking from it, illustrating a multi-pet household

For homes blessed with both canine and feline members, choosing the right water fountain becomes even more essential. Here are some practical tips for multi-pet households:

  • Size and Capacity: As mentioned earlier opting for a fountain that can cater to the highest water needs in your household. If you have a large dog, go for a larger fountain so that your cat and dog can share comfortably.
  • Placement: Consider placing the fountain in a neutral area where both your cat and dog feel comfortable. Avoid areas where your pets typically eat, as some animals prefer to drink away from their food.
  • Cleaning Routine: Regular cleaning is key, especially in a multi-pet household. Ensure the fountain is cleaned and the water is changed frequently to keep it appealing and hygienic for all your pets.
  • Multi-Level Magic: Here’s a nifty idea – a fountain with multiple drinking levels or a wide bowl. Why? This design gives each pet their own space to drink from, reducing the jostle at the water cooler.
  • Ease of Maintenance: Let’s not forget the human factor in the equation – you! Opting for a fountain that’s a breeze to clean and maintain will make your life easier. Look for designs that disassemble without a fuss and have fewer nooks and crannies for gunk to hide.

By addressing these factors, you can create a harmonious drinking station that caters to the hydration needs of all your pets.


The question of Can a Dog Use a Cat Water Fountain is met with a resounding yes. These devices are not just a fancy addition to your pet gear but a significant investment in your pet’s health and well-being.

They offer a fresh, enticing source of water that can lead to better hydration habits, especially beneficial for dogs prone to urinary tract issues. When selecting a fountain, consider the specific needs of your pets, particularly in terms of size and capacity.

Founder at Sweet Purrfections | [email protected] | Website | + posts

Meet Sean, a fintech whiz with a penchant for pet purrs and blockchain buzz. After a decade of fintech feats, Sean's tech talents leaped from ledger lines to litter lines, driven by a passion for pets and a vision for a more connected pet care community. With three critter companions as co-pilots, Sean launched this blog to share a treasury of pet-friendly tech tips and tales.