How to build your own pet waterer

Did you know that water should represent between 60 and 70% of the body weight of an adult pet?

But pets are unpredictable drinkers at the water bowl. They can leave more water on the ground than ends up in your mouth…

It takes careful observation to see if your pet is trying to tell you something about his health, so learn to read the signs…

In the meantime, a pet waterer can be a great way to keep them hydrated. They’re attracted to running water…and fountains, compared to still (and stagnant) water dishes, harbor fewer bacteria that can cause serious health problems for your pets.

Not only that, they can be a nice feature in your home, one that you and your pets can enjoy…

Simple steps to make a pet waterer

Wet pet food contains up to 78% water, while dry kibble only contributes about 10% of a pet’s water intake. You should have plenty of fresh, clean water available based on your pet’s diet.

Be aware that they may be trying to tell you something if they avoid the water bowl altogether…or drain it more often than usual.

Here’s a simple way to make your own pet fountain…

1. Choose your boat.

This can be an ornate ceramic dish on a small pedestal or a glass fish bowl or tank. Be sure to choose a container that is between 1.5 and 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. If you use ceramic, make sure it’s certified food-safe.

Something that isn’t overturned too much will prevent spills and damage to the bin or floors! As you know, some puppies love to get their paws in the action…

2. Purchase a fish tank pump with a 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 out of the top of the bowl and creates the sounds and feel of a stream.

You’ll also want to be able to adjust the water flow in case it’s too strong or too weak for your boat and the amount of water.

3. Use stones, glass beads, or a clamp to suspend the pump.

Lining the bowl with decorative stones or glass beads from a craft store or dollar store will allow debris to settle to the bottom of the dish.

Put them where your dog can’t reach them and it will keep the filter at the correct height.

Again, the beads and bra should be non-porous. You want something that is smooth and easy to clean.

4. Plug your pump into a surge protector.

Whenever you are mixing electricity and water, it is advisable to take precautions.

Leave a loop down the cord between the wall outlet and the source and make sure that if water is spilled, it does not splash or submerge the surge protector.

You don’t want the pump to cut itself, or give your pet an unwanted bump on the nose or tongue! How eager do you think she will be to drink water after hurting herself? Not that much.

Remember that hygiene is important for your pet’s drinker

We cannot stress this enough.

There are bacteria in your pet’s mouth that aren’t naturally harmful to them…but if they get into your water source and have a chance to grow, they can make your pet seriously ill. It can even cause deadly diseases.

You should apply good hygiene practices to all toys and dishes that your pet comes in contact with on a regular basis. This includes their food bowl, even if they have dry food. Bacteria in your saliva can transfer to your food bowl and grow in the right light and temperature conditions if not cleaned properly.

I hear a lot of people joke that their dog has an “iron gut”… but there are some bacteria that can do a lot of damage if you don’t take care of them. And they may feel bad and can’t communicate with you about the reasons why…

Biofilm in a water dish is easy to manage. Be sure to clean the pet fountain every three days.

  • Change filter and o-ring per manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Remove any stones, glass beads, or anything else you may have put in the fountain for decoration or to support the bomb.
  • Wash all parts in a mild, non-toxic soap solution. To remove stubborn biofilm residue, rub the sides of the container with a baking soda paste, rinse well, then wash with warm water and mild soap.
  • Be sure to rinse all soap residue from the parts.

Dogs, cats and many other pets love having access to fresh running water. Pet fountains can be expensive, but you can build your own for a fraction of the cost.

Just make sure your pump is strong enough for the size of your pet and its water bowl, and that all parts can be thoroughly cleaned.

And, if any of your pets start behaving differently around their water bowl or food bowl, be sure to listen carefully… they could be trying to tell you they’re not feeling well.

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