Best Answer: Yes! A self-filling water dish means your pet will be getting a constant source of clean drinking water throughout the day, so you don't need to refill it as much. There are plenty of options to choose from as well, so no matter what kind of budget you're on, you can find a self-filling water dish that fits you and your pet's needs without breaking the bank. Keeping your pet hydrated is one of the most important things you can do as a pet parent.

What's the benefit to a self-filling water dispenser over the regular water bowl I'm using?

Even though a plain old water bowl is the most budget-friendly and basic option around, it's definitely not the best. The water sits in the bowl and gets stagnant, possibly becoming a breeding ground for bacteria. Water bowls should also be cleaned daily to prevent bacteria build up.

Pets also often drop off debris into their water bowls, whether it's food, hair, or other nasty bits, and none of this gets filtered out unless you dump out the bowl and get fresh water.

With an automated water dispenser or fountain, there are a ton of benefits. If you end up going with a larger capacity model, you won't need to refill the bowl several times a day. Fountain types circulate the water around, so it remains clean and fresh, thus encouraging your pet to drink more water.

If you're away from home for an extended amount of time, you won't have to worry about your pet's water supply, since there will always be a constant stream of water available to them until you get back.

What are the different types are out there?

If you do some research, you'll find that there are a few different options to choose from: lick valves, automatic watering bowls, water cooler dispensers, and pet fountains.

Lick valves, also known as pet watering nipples, are little tools that fit directly over an existing faucet. There are electric ones that detect your pet's presence through a built-in sensor, which causes the water to be released. Manual ones are triggered by your pet's licking. These are best used outdoors, and only if your pet can reach the faucet.

Automatic watering bowls are usually used outside since you connect it to a hose. It works like a traditional toilet tank: connect the bowl to a faucet with a hose, and the float and valve work together to maintain the water supply in the bowl. Other than that, it's pretty similar to a regular water bowl, except the float and valve get triggered when the water is low. However, they still get dirty with debris.

There are a ton of advantages to using a self-filling water bowl, including constant hydration and pet health.

Water cooler dispensers are just like the human version. An upside down bottle dispenses water into a bowl through gravity, and this only happens when the water level in the bowl drops below a certain point. They're simple, easy-to-clean and maintain, and mean fewer refills for you. The only drawback is that they can get pretty heavy if you get the bigger sizes.

Pet fountains are the best if your pet doesn't mind the movement, or likes drinking from the garden hose. With these, the water is constantly being recirculated through the fountain with an electric pump. Because there's a water filter, it never gets stagnant and dirty. However, these do need to be refilled every couple of days and the filters eventually need to get replaced.

Do vets recommend an automatic water dispenser?

Veterinarians will tell you that proper hydration is incredibly important for your pet. For example, a dog should be drinking one ounce of water per pound of body weight daily. If your pet has some health issues, is still a puppy or kitten, or is even pregnant, then more water is needed than the average.

You can keep giving your pet a regular old bowl of water, but it's hard to measure their daily intake with this method. Using an automatic water dispenser helps you keep track of exactly how much water they're getting each day.

Below we've listed some of our favorites, including those of different types so you can figure out which works best for your pet.

Our pick

PetSafe Healthy Pet Water Station System

Simple, affordable, and constant

We like the PetSafe Healthy Pet Water Station System because it comes in three sizes (64, 128, and 320 ounces) for all of your hydrated pet needs. It's sturdy too, and the stainless steel water bowl is hygienic and safe for your pet.

Runner-up

PetSafe Drinkwell Original Cat and Dog Water Fountain

Fresh, clean water all the time

The Drinkwell is a fountain that filters your pet's water supply so they only get the cleanest water to drink. It can hold up to 50 ounces of water, the stream flow is adjustable for your pet's needs, and it's easy-to-clean.

Simple and affordable

AmazonBasics Self-Dispensing Gravity Waterer

Just the basics

The AmazonBasics Self-Dispensing Gravity Waterer comes in either small (one gallon) or large (2.5 gallon) sizes for your pet's needs. It's simple, requires little maintenance, and keeps your pet healthy and hydrated. Plus, it also comes in a bundle with a gravity feeder to simplify your pet's meals too.

Fresh and fun

Parner 2.5L Flower Automatic Drinking Fountain

A touch of cute flair

This adorable water fountain has a huge capacity of 2.5L, which is about enough water for one month (for the average dog). There are also three different water flow settings (gentle, bubbly water, and quiet) to encourage your pet to drink more water.

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