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

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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.

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

Hydration Habits of Dogs and Cats

When it comes to staying hydrated, dogs and cats each exhibit distinct preferences and behaviors. Grasping these nuances is crucial for pet parents aiming to ensure their beloved companions maintain optimal water intake.

Cats have a naturally low thirst drive, a legacy of their ancestors’ diet, which was rich in moisture from prey. This trait presents a modern challenge, particularly for cats on a dry food diet, which doesn’t offer the moisture they’re biologically accustomed to.

While wet food can partly address this gap by providing some hydration, it’s not a complete solution. Many cats, regardless of their diet, simply don’t drink enough water on their own. This is where the technology of cat water fountains can make a significant difference.

Dogs, contrastingly, do not share this finicky nature. They’re generally more open to drinking from various sources, including still water. However, this doesn’t mean they wouldn’t enjoy or benefit from a water fountain’s appealing features.

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

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

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.

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. 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’re the proud parent of a smaller breed dog, opting for a more compact water fountain makes perfect sense. However, to keep those tails wagging with hydration, I’d recommend choosing a fountain that holds at least 3 liters of water.

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

Health Benefits for Dogs Drinking from Cat Water Fountains

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.

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.


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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it OK for cats and dogs to share water?

Absolutely, as long as both pets are healthy, there’s no problem with them sharing a water source. Cats might be a bit more particular about their water’s cleanliness, but a cat water fountain ensures the water stays fresh and appealing at all times.

Do dogs like to drink from water fountain?

Yes, dogs typically enjoy drinking from water fountains. The moving water not only piques their curiosity but also offers a fresher taste compared to stagnant water in a regular bowl. This can encourage them to drink more frequently.

How do I make my fountain water safe for my dog?

To keep fountain water safe for your dog, regularly replace the filter and clean the fountain with pet-safe cleaners. Ensure it’s always filled with fresh water.

Photo Sean C. Founder of Sweet Purrfections

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.