As pet sitters, we care for many different animals in a day in a multitude of homes. We also come across a wide variety of pet fountains. We can easily tell you which fountains we love… and those we’d like to see head out to the trash. It’s because of this that Zoo Sitters decided to test a large dog water fountain to find the very best. We settled on the Big Dog for review.
In my opinion, Drinkwell is the name to know in pet fountains. I’ve always been impressed with the diverse line they carry as it really allows pet owners to be sure they purchase a fountain that is just right for their pets. Every time I come across a fountain I think is decent, I always end up seeing the Drinkwell name somewhere on it.
Because of this, I really wanted to review one of Drinkwell’s fountains for myself. When their “Big Dog” fountain arrived, I couldn’t wait to put it to the test for 30 days, exposing it to the rigors of my own pets and seeing how well it would hold up. With Pit Bulls and a curious kitty in my pack, a lot could go wrong.
And yet, it couldn’t have gone smoother. At first, my dog Drayvin was a little leery of the fountain. Being he’s a rescue, sometimes new things make him tentative. His nervousness however went away quickly once I toyed with the flow adjustment feature. This allowed me to slow the fountain to a mere trickle, keeping everything very quiet and much less scary. After dinner, Drayvin made his way to the bowl and while at first leaning far back in case the fountain came to life and attacked him, he took his first drink.
The kitty had no issues at all. Her natural curiosity had her checking out the fountain before I even had it filled.
After a week, I adjusted the flow to the highest setting and now the water runs through quickly, being filtered as it goes.
The Big Dog I tested used a simple charcoal filter that consists of a polyester pad to catch hair and debris along with carbon pad to remove bad tastes and odors, complete with granulated charcoal in between the two for enhanced filtration. The filters are easy to remove and replace and replacement packs are readily available for purchase.
The Big Dog fountain is ideal for large breed dogs. It holds a large capacity (2.25 gallons) and has a very deep drinking dish. The deep dish was really helpful as not only do I feel it made Drayvin feel like he was just drinking out of a normal water bowl, but it also stopped him from drooling and splashing water all over the floor. While I did not test this additional feature, for those of you with really messy pets, you can purchase an optional fountain mat that will catch spills for an extra 3 inches around the bowl.
The Big Dog also comes with an attached 1 gallon reservoir that is easy to fill. I really liked that the opening was large enough to hold ice creating a lovely cold drinking fountain for my babies. This fountain also features a covered anti-bite electrical cord as well, a nice addition as we can never have too many safety features.
Cleaning the Big Dog was super easy. Then again, this is a fountain I’ve had a lot of experience with at client’s homes. Simply unplug the unit, remove the reservoir to lighten the weight and carry the base to the sink. I’ve always had luck simply using hot water and the sink sprayer to clean out this fountain. Drinkwell also offers an optional cleaning kit to get into those small crevices that may otherwise be overlooked. Just keep in mind if you purchase the Big Dog, that the base does hold a lot of water so picking the unit up off the ground for cleaning can be a little heavy.
So what’s the advantage to using fountains? Water that sits is going to grow bacteria – plain and simple. Fountains naturally aerate your pets water by adding oxygen every time the water breaks the surface. This constant circulation inhibits bacteria growth between cleanings which entices your pets to drink more. A pet that drinks more, stays more hydrated and in turn stays healthier. This can be especially important for cats as many cats do not drink as much water as they should. Not only can this lead to urinary tract diseases but cats with UT diseases and kidney diseases have a critical need for water to support their kidney functions and prevent crystal formation and obstructions.
While the Big Dog may not be a great option for those with smaller dogs or only cats, keep in mind that Drinkwell does carry a wide variety of fountains to suit every type of household. If you are thinking of going the fountain route, I’d say keep the Drinkwell line at the top of your list.