Our pets are 80% water. That fact really struck me as I looked out at my 100 lb. dog gulping water out of his dish outside. I looked a little closer at his bowl and saw ants on the edge and pieces of leaves and dirt floating at the top and started to feel bad.
I drink bottled water, strongly brewed coffee, and the occasional soda each day, and I can’t even remember to clean his bowl and fill it up. The worst is when I’m not home all day and come back to see an empty bowl, licked dry by my 2 large dogs.
I decided to make a change. I purchased 2 fountains, the Drinkwell® Outdoor Dog Fountain for during the day outside and the Drinkwell® Zen Fountain for inside at night. I filled it up with fresh water and vowed to commit to cleaning them each week. Getting fountains for Trigger and Moose ending up being the perfect move, but I learned a few odd things along the way.
1. It may take time for your dogs to get used to it. I expected them to immediately be taken with the fountain and give me a look of “thank you, mom, you’re the best," but really, they were suspicious at first. For 2 dogs that (I am ashamed to say) drink out of the toilet more than they do their bowl, this was a big step. After calling to them to drink out of the bowl and treating them after they do, they were hooked.
2. Find a protected area for the fountains. If you have a nervous chewer like me, you might want to place your fountain in a secure environment. Moose ate one of the reservoirs to the Outdoor Fountain the first day. I fixed this by creating a small ledge out of wood to slide the fountain under. Now I can slide the fountain out for refills and he can’t grab the reservoirs for a snack. Also, find an area where leaves and flowers can't blow into the water. You don’t want to clean that out all the time.
3. You will need power for these fountains. I know this should go without saying, but I just assumed I had power where the fountains needed to be. I didn’t. So scope out the place you would like the fountain and make sure there is a power supply near. Outside at the back of my house, I had to run an extension cord, so be aware.
4. Don’t forget to clean them. Just because you can clean these fountains less often doesn’t mean you don’t have to at all. Luckily, the parts are top shelf dishwasher safe, so I just take them apart and run a cycle. It's awesome! If you live in an area with hard water that tends to leave a white, gunky buildup, you can let the fountain soak in a vinegar mixture to polish it right back to its original shine.
5. Keep track of your pet’s hydration. Now that I'm more aware of what and how much my dogs should be drinking. I try to keep it in mind no matter where I go. It's shaping up to be a hot summer, so whether we're at the dog park or visiting family for a cookout, I always bring extra water for the pups. The fountains are great for home, but pet hydration should be important no matter where you travel.