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This Seemingly Silly Luxury Is Actually Important For Your Pet's Health

One simple purchase can make a world of difference for your pet. The issue at hand? Hydration. It may be time to replace your pet’s water bowl with a fountain.

“Water fountains can deliver a lot of benefits for cats and dogs,” said Dr. Danielle Bernal, a veterinarian who specializes in animal nutrition and works on-staff at Wellness Pet Company. For starters, they provide fresher, cleaner water by “continuously filtering the water, reducing impurities and preventing bacterial growth,” Bernal explained.

This is especially important because “water bowls that sit out all day can often be breeding grounds for bacteria,” Dr. Carly Fox explained. Fox is a senior veterinarian at New York City’s Schwarzman Animal Medical Center, where she specializes in emergency and critical care. “This won’t necessarily cause illness in your pets but may deter them from drinking,” she said.

“Most fountains also cool the water,” Fox noted, “which tends to be more appealing to pets, similar to people!”

Keeping a water fountain in your home is especially crucial if you own a cat, according to both veterinarians. “For cats especially, their evolutionary heritage often saw them seek out fresh water sources over stagnant ponds for their safety and wellbeing,” Bernal explained. Using a water fountain “mimic[s] that preference,” according to Bernal, and encourages healthy water intake.

What makes water fountains especially appealing to cats is their moving water. “The flow of the water makes it instinctually seem fresher [and] cleaner to them, which promotes drinking,” Fox said.

Understanding cats’ evolutionary preference for running water is also important because they are more susceptible to kidney disease, Fox noted, which proper hydration can

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