Friday, August 27, 2010

The Poop Scoop: Pet Water Fountains

Today's blog concerns pet water fountains. As an owner of both dogs and cats, and one dog that has very bad teeth but a heart condition and cannot have them cleaned under anesthesia , I needed something that would filter and keep their water clean, while promoting the cats to drink more. One of the cats had a blockage and it is best to encourage cats to drink a lot anyway.

I have tried numerous commercially available plastic fountains, only to have them get slimy as the plastic collects bacteria. Even with a filter. The design left a lot to be desired- most of the water flows over the top of the filter. It has an abundance of parts that are difficult to take apart. Also, the pumps go bad rather quickly.

Another important point to make is that plastic, especially made in China leaches harmful chemicals into the water, and some cats can get 'cat acne' from touching the bacteria laden plastic.

In researching a new fountain, I came across stainless steel. However these are made in China and the steel has been found not to hold up particularly well.

Then one day I came across an American company called Sierra BioScience, which makes a ceramic lead free American made bowl . The product name is Glacier Point for cats and comes in 2 sizes.What impressed me about this company is that the filter is of a higher quality and I don't have to worry about the possible petrochemicals leaching from the plastic. The units come equipped with a glass bottle and are capable of holding 4 of them to refill the filter.

One very important thing I noticed was that the designer /owner, Barry Farris, actually recommends purchasing vinegar in the glass bottles- the vinegar to use to clean the unit, and the bottle to reuse as a water supply source. He made the nozzles to fit the vinegar bottles and is not out to make money on selling people refill bottles! What a concept!Barry is also very involved with his customer service. He supplies you with his home phone number and email and responds to questions very quickly. He has well researched data on cats need for hydration as well as problems with plastic. He holds several patents. Here is what Barry had to say; "In a nutshell, me and my company are the exact opposite of the companies that design a product so it can be made cheaply and without any effort to built a better product and then ignore their customers. I started the company as a tribute to my departed wife who was a true cat lover. Attached is a picture of her and Muffy, one of her most favorite cats (note, picture could not be emailed due to my inefficiency at computer stuff). The inside family joke is that I have always been allergic to cats so living with a multi-cat lover for over 30 years and now taking care of her last cat, Jack, says something about me but I am not sure what." Barry FarrisSierra

BioScience There are several youtube videos to show the fountains in action (and the 'silver fox' that is Barry! LOL).

a setup video

pump comparison

customer videos!

I really love this small American company. Barry is a doll too. I am very happy with my fountain, its ease of use and adjustable flow. Plus I feel so much better about the health consequences using one of these. It will be cheaper in the long run due to the durability of the parts and the replacement filter costs being much lower than that of other companies filters. They are very easy to set up and maintain. I got a large one in white and am considering adding a second for my second floor (you know how cats are!) The pets all loved it right away!if you would like to talk to Barry ask some questions, his website is above and he can also give you his phone number. Check it out!



Art and Sew Forth said...

This is awesome! You can almost FEEL the quality pouring out of that little faucet! A GREAT post!

Giupetto and Gianna Tails said...

This was really a great post Lori.
I bet my Gianna would LOVE this. She has some sort of obsession with water. Bet she would love the running water. This whole setup looks well thought out, and looks well worth the purchase.
Thanks for the info.

doodypops said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
doodypops said...

Sorry typo!
Yes, the quality is amazing. My basin is heavy duty ceramic. very sturdy won't tip. I haven't seen ceramic this good for some time.
And I did pay for my unit- just wanted to say that! I really do mean all the great things about them.

SassySashadoxie said...

Sasha is so looking at me like, but mom Sassy has one!! heehee Thanks for the info, Sasha has it on her christmas wish list right under doxie mind control satelight dish. heehee.

doodypops said...

it totally looks like a Sasha machine!

AngelPups said...

Really awesome post, Lorin! You definitely do your homework!!! And this is ingenious ;-)

makingstuffwithlove said...

This is a really neat post :) What a wonderful company that is so interested in customer service -- and using the vinegar bottle is very ingenious. Wish I had one of these....

meowmeowmans said...

Thanks for the great and informative post!

Golden Woofs! SUGAR said...

Woof! Woof! It's very interesting ... cause I have difficulties drinking water from "anywhere" I like the water from home which is filtered. Thanks for the info. Happy BLOG HOP Weekend. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Anonymous said...

Passing through from the blog hop. Pleased to meet you!

Cody's Closet said...

Lorin = What a great find and an entrepreneur who wants to solve an issue and cares about animals!

Great blog!