Dog’s need to eat at least twice a day. But let’s be honest, sometimes life just gets the best of us, and you find yourself unavailable during feeding time. It’s at this point that caring and savvy dog owners look into automatic dog feeders.
Feeding your doggo . . . remotely?
An automatic dog feeder is a timed device that releases food at specific time intervals. It also ensures that your dog receives the right amount of food, not too much, and not too little.
One can easily see how this would be an ideal tool for dog owners who are trying to help their dogs lose a little bit of weight. This is just one of many benefits that come along with this pet tech.
Best automatic feeders reviewed
Once you take all of the aspects mentioned in this guide into consideration and make your calculations, it’s time to button down and choose a feeder that suits the need of you and your dog. Here’s a handy time-saving list of automatic pet feeders we’ve researched and compiled to make your decision just a little easier.
Arf Pets | Automatic Pet Feeder
This automatic food dispenser will make feeding your dog hassle free, and can dispense 1-10 portions per meal. Each portion measures approximately 24mls. It can be set up with four distribution alarms per day and can hold up to 4lbs of dry food.
It has a blue LCD clock display that features adjustable settings, and a magnetic lock lid. The recorded meal plan sends out a notification approximately ten seconds in advance, and this feeder runs on three D batteries, or you can use a power cable outlet.
The sleek design, constructed from a lightweight and durable material is ideal for any home.
- Automatic feeding with timer
- Customized meal plan
- Has a recharge option
- Has a large capacity
- Prone to toppling over
This product has a rating of 4 out of 5 stars, and most customers were pleased with the product. One customer called it “extremely functional.” Others stated that their dogs absolutely loved this feeder, and it was able to keep them well fed while the owners were away.
PetSafe | Smart Feed Automatic Dog Feeder
This dog feeder comes with smartphone programming that requires a connection to a wireless router of 2.4 GHz. This will allow you to control your dog’s feeding from just about anywhere with your Android or Apple smartphone.
The feeder allows twelve customized meals for feeding your dog, with flexible options and it can dispense 1/8 cups or 4 cups of food, depending on your pet’s requirements. It also has a slow feeding option that distributes food slowly with 15-minute intervals to prevent bloating in your pooch.
It sends notifications whenever feeding time is imminent, and this should help in giving you peace of mind that your dog does not miss a meal. It should also feed your pet as programmed even if the Wi-Fi connection is lost.
The unique design makes use of a conveyor that dispenses foods of all shapes and sizes, and also allows the use of wet food. This conveyor helps prevent food jams and keeps the dogs from sneaking food when they shouldn’t.
It is detachable, which makes it easy to clean and maintain. It is also safe for your dog as it’s manufactured from stainless steel and BPA free plastic material.
- Smartphone programming
- Made of stainless steel and BPA free plastic
- Easy to clean
- Conveyor design to prevent food jams
- Large capacity
- Batteries are only a backup
The rating for this PetSafe automatic dog feeder is 4.1 out of 5 stars. Most customers gave it a big thumbs up because of its mobile phone connectivity. The ability to control their dog’s feeding from any place was very well received, and thus they recommended it to any dog owner.
SureFlap | SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder
This is ideal for homes that have multiple pets, and it should prevent them from stealing each other’s foods. It is designed in a way that ensures the right food is consumed by the right pet.
It also helps with weight management for your pet. The feeder comes with microchips and SureFlap RFID collars for identification of your dog. It is sealed, which keeps the food fresh and free of flies.
- Helps feed a multi-pet household
- Assists with weight management
- Has microchips for tracking your dogs
- Sealed to keep food fresh
- A bit pricey
This automatic pet feeder has a high rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Most of the customers were happy with it as it was able to bring control and order to their many pets. They also commended it for its ability to control the volume of food their dogs ate.
WOpet | 7L Automatic Pet Feeder
This will help feed your pet while you are away as it has four scheduled automatic feeds per day and uses a built-in programmable timer. It also has an LCD screen that helps control the food portions via minimalist buttons which makes it user-friendly.
It’s wall powered, or you can use three D sized batteries which ensures that your pet will never miss their meal. You can also program a private message for your dog which should keep the dog excited during meal times. You simply press the mic for at least 3 seconds to record a personal message.
It is suitable for dry foods only, and the pellet sizes range from 0.2-0.6 inches in diameter, meaning a holding bin of four meals per day. The storage capacity holds up to 20 cups of food at a time, and it is removable and easy to clean.
- Large storage capacity
- Can handle up to 4 meals a day
- Has alternate power options
- You can record a private message
- Easy to clean
- Reasonably priced
- Only operable with dry foods
The product has excellent reviews, and most customers gave it a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Customers who used it said that it gave them the freedom and convenience to feed their dogs from wherever they were located. They were delighted with the results.
WESTLINK | 6L Pet Feeder – Automatic
This automatic dog feeder should make feeding your precious dog hassle free. It also helps with your dog’s dietary needs and well-being. Its power consumption is very low, and it uses D batteries.
Comes with a 6-liter capacity and allows up to 4 meals per day. Between 1-39 portions can be dispensed and each portion holds around 10-12g of food. All you need to do is pick the portion size of your choice and allocate the meals.
With a built-in voice recorder, it allows you to record a private message for your pet during meal times. It works by you recording a 10-second message, perhaps calling your pet closer for mealtimes.
It has an infrared detection mechanism that helps prevent food spills. It is suitable for all types of dry foods, but, the food size should not exceed more than 0.39 inches as it will get stuck in the dispenser and cause a blockage.
- Allows recording of a private message
- Has a large capacity
- Has a low energy consumption
- Infra-red detection prevents blockage
- Ensures your pet is fed on time
- Only allows dry foods
The product has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, and most of the customers who have used it were happy with the product. They said that it was able to feed their pets well and efficiently without them being present; it’s also reported as durable and practical.
Types of automatic dog feeders
There are three main types of automatic feeders, and this is based on how they actually work, namely automatic feeders and gravity feeders.
These use a simple mechanism to dispense food whereby the system automatically allows dog food to fall into a bowl. These are the most straightforward forms of dog feeders, they are mostly inexpensive and easy to maintain, while being incredibly user-friendly.
The beauty of this type of feeder is that it will refill the bowl each time it empties, and you will not experience technical difficulties since it does not have the programming features found on an electronic feeder. It may, however, cause your dog to overfeed as it continuously dispenses food.
These models are automated and generally more expensive, but allow a dog owner to control the amount of food dispensed. There is a schedule setting that must be programmed for the dispensation of food. The feeder then works by dispensing food according to the specified time and amount.
These are similar to the electronic feeders, but they have more up-to-date technology incorporated into their programming, including:
- night vision
- motion sensors
- Wi-Fi technology
- media feeds, and
- smartphone applications.
The smart feeders is the direction where most electronic dog feeders of today aim for, as it offers users much more versatility and control when it comes to feeding their dogs remotely.
What to look for in a good automatic dog feeder
Choosing the best feeder for your dog could be a daunting task, but, if you consider the following points mention below, it could also make the decision stress and worry-free.
Food jamming is common with automatic feeders. Ensure that the feeder you choose has a safety mechanism that gets and dispenses food quickly in order to prevent jamming. For example, a nylon that lubricates the unit and keeps the food from getting jammed in the exit point.
Continually jammed feeders defy the point of not needing to worry that your dog is missing a meal, which could actually be detrimental to their health if they’re left for an extended period of time, such as a weekend.
Capacity refers to the amount of food that can be dispensed by the feeder at one time. Most models hold up to 10 liters in their storage areas. Ensure you specify the quantity you’d like dispensed at each mealtime to avoid overfeeding your dog.
The size of your dog also comes into play when making this decision.
Types of food allowed
While most of the automatic feeders are ideal for dry foods, some do actually accept wet foods and even homemade meals. If you’re looking at feeding your dog wet food, opt for one that accepts all types of foods, ensuring your dog has a wide variety of meals at their disposal.
Choose a feeder that allows you to program when to feed your dog. This is ideal if you want to control the amount of food that your dog consumes per day. Some high-end feeders can connect to your smartphone, allowing you long-distance control, from wherever you might be.
Hygiene and cleanliness
Regular cleaning of the feeders is essential if you want your dog to remain healthy, and therefore you must choose a feeder that is easy to clean and maintain. It’s a major bonus if parts of the feeder are dishwasher safe.
Most of these feeders tend to be a little on the pricey side, but with some research, you may find one that should suit your needs and your budget. Another thing to consider is that more expensive is not always better, but keep in mind that the costlier ones are often manufactured by reputable companies with higher quality parts.
All in all, find a feeder that is well designed, incorporates most of the features above and allows you to have control over your pet’s feeding times.
If you’re on a tight budget, these best cheap dog foods might help you out.
Final say on automated dog food dispensers
Dogs require plenty of care, and if you are a busy working professional, an automatic dog feeder is an excellent addition to your home. Dogs should never miss feeding times because you’re running late.
If you are not using an automatic dog feeder, getting one could save you plenty of headaches and planning. Plus it helps in ensuring that your pet receives the right amount of food at the right time. Do not take it for granted that you will be back home on time – play it safe and keep your dog fed, happy, and healthy.