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How to Build Your Own Pet Drinking Fountain
Did you know that water should make up 60-70% of an adult pet’s body weight?
But pets are hit-and-miss drinkers at the water bowl. They can leave more water on the floor than what ends up in their mouths…
It takes careful observation to see if your pet is trying to tell you something about their health, so you should learn to read the signs…
In the meantime, a pet drinking fountain can be a great way to keep them hydrated. They are attracted to the running water… and fountains, compared to stagnant (and stagnant) water dishes, contain less of the bacteria that can cause serious health problems for your pets.
Not only that, they can be a pleasant feature in your home, one that you and your pets can enjoy…
Easy steps to make a pet drinking fountain
Wet pet food is up to 78% water, while dry food only contributes about 10% of a pet’s water consumption. You should provide sufficient clean, fresh water according to the diet your pet follows.
Remember that they may be trying to tell you something if they either avoid the water bowl altogether… or drain it more often than usual.
Here’s a simple way to make your own pet fountain…
1. Select your vessel.
This can be an ornate ceramic dish on a small pedestal or a glass fishbowl or tank. Be sure to choose a tub that is between 1.5-5 gallons – depending on the size of your pet – that is non-porous.
It should be easy to clean in your sink or dishwasher. Do not use plastic of any kind. Be sure that if you use ceramic, it is certified food safe.
Something that isn’t too tipped will prevent spills and damage to the container or your floors! As you know, some pups love to get their paws right into the action…
2. Buy an aquarium pump with filter.
Make sure the pump can handle the capacity of your tank or bowl.
It’s best to tell the store why you’re buying the pump… you’re looking for a fountain effect that comes from the top of the bowl and creates the sound and feel of a stream.
You also want to be able to adjust the water flow if it is too strong or too weak for your vessel and the amount of water.
3. Use rocks, glass beads or a bull clip to suspend the pump.
Lining your vessel with decorative stones or glass beads from a craft or dollar store will allow dirt to settle to the bottom of the dish.
Put them where your dog can’t get to any of it and it will keep the filter at the right height.
Again, the beads and fastener should not be porous. You want something that is smooth and easy to clean.
4. Plug your pump into a surge protector.
When mixing electricity and water, it is wise to take precautions.
Leave a downward loop in the wire between the plug and the fountain, and be sure that if water is spilled, it will not splash or submerge the surge protector.
You don’t want the pump to short out or give your pet an unwelcome zap on the nose or tongue! How eager do you think they will be to drink water after being injured? Not so much.
Remember that hygiene is important for your pet’s drinking fountain
We cannot stress this enough.
There are bacteria in your pet’s mouth that are not harmful to them naturally… but if it gets into their water source and has a chance to grow, it can make your pet very sick. It can even cause fatal diseases.
You should use good hygiene practices on all toys and dishes your pet comes in contact with on a regular basis. This includes their food right – even if they are given dry food. Bacteria in their saliva can be transferred to their food bowl and grow in the right light and temperature conditions if it is not cleaned properly.
I hear so many people joke about their dog having an “iron gut”… but there are some bacteria that can do real damage if you don’t take care of them. And they may feel bad and not be able to communicate with you about the reasons for…
Biofilm in a bowl of water is easy to handle. Be sure to clean the pet fountain every three days.
Change the filter and O-ring according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Remove any stones, glass beads or anything else you have placed in the fountain for decoration or to support the pump.
Wash all parts in a mild non-toxic soap solution. For tough biofilm residue, scrub the sides of the container with a baking soda paste, rinse thoroughly, then wash with warm water and mild soap.
Be sure to rinse all soap residue from the parts.
Dogs and cats and many other pets love to have access to fresh running water. Pet fountains can be expensive, but you can build your own for a fraction of the cost.
Just be sure that your pump is strong enough for the size of your pet and their water bowl, and that all the parts can be cleaned thoroughly.
And if some of your pets start acting differently around their water bowl or food bowl, be sure to listen to them carefully… they may be trying to tell you they’re uncomfortable.
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