With technological innovations right at the corner, it’ll no longer be surprising to see almost everything become automated. Perhaps one of the most helpful and recent technological advances aimed at pets is the automatic dog feeder.
As the name implies, an automatic dog feeder allows you to automate the feeding process for your pet. Not to mention, it helps you maintain their diet as well. In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the best automatic dog feeders on the market along with their benefits and a short buying guide.
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Benefits of Automatic Dog Feeders
Aside from the fact that you can automate the feeding process for your furry friend, what are the other benefits you can get from using an automatic dog feeder? They are as follows:
It helps you feed your dog on the right schedule
If you work a 9 to 5 job, that only means your dog will be left all by himself for all those hours you’re not there. With an automatic feeder, you can feed him on time, especially during lunch and dinner times.
It can give your dog some sort of stimulation while alone at home
Dogs can easily get bored especially when they’re left at home alone all day. With an automatic feeder, you can give them some sort of stimulation that will help calm their nerves and give them a bit of fun activity to do as well. This is especially true to feeders that allow you to play a voice message to your dog.
It makes managing several pets at once easier
If you have more than one pet at home, you no longer have to struggle maintaining harmony when feeding them. This is because an automatic feeder will allow you to set the schedule for each of your dogs. For example, you may choose to feed your terrier early in the morning before you go to work, then set it to feed your larger dog an hour or so later.
You can establish a regular feeding schedule
Some dogs, particularly puppies that have a sensitive stomach, can benefit from a consistent feeding schedule. An automatic feeder can help this and even remove the need to monitor the clock regularly just to feed them during the right times.
It can prevent overeating
One of the best things about an automatic feeder is that you can prevent your dog from overeating. There are feeders out there which are programmed in a way that they’ll only release tiny amounts of food throughout a certain duration.
This can be quite helpful if you want to get your dog to eat small portions at a time. Additionally, it can help reduce, if not prevent, the occurrence of bloating or any other digestive problems.
You can save more time and money
Lastly, automatic feeders allow you to save more time and money from spending on a pet sitter. After all, it’s not that easy to find a dog nanny whom you can trust to take care of your pet.
There are plenty of feeders on the market, each of them having their own set of unique features and highlights. Also, they’re really affordable and are designed to last for a long period of time, thereby allowing you to save money in the long run.
How to Choose the Best Automatic Dog Feeder
Now that you’ve known about the benefits you can get from automatic feeders, let’s take a look at the things you have to consider when buying one. While shopping, you should take note of the following:
Type of Feeder
Automatic feeders are available in a variety of styles, each having different features and benefits. The types you can find on the market are the following:
A gravity-fed feeder is the simplest type of automatic feeder out there. Rather than giving your dog individual meals, it just fills his bowl with dog food until the food reservoir runs out. It is a great choice if you want to feed your dog on a free choice basis. However, it’s not ideal if you have a dog who continues eating until no food is left.
A circular dispenser comes with several compartments for storing food. In spite of the name, a circular dispenser isn’t necessarily shaped like a true circle. It has a rotating lid which exposes a certain compartment during a certain time, thus giving food for your dog.
This type contains a number of moving parts, although they’re less prone to breakage which can potentially lead to choking hazards. There are also some circular dispensers which are programmed in a way that you can provide different meals throughout a certain duration.
This type of feeder comes with one or more compartments and feature a hinged lid. During a certain time, the latch is released to open the top of a compartment and allow your dog to gain access to his food.
In spite of having a few moving parts, a clamshell feeder has less electrical components than most complicated feeders out there. It also works with any food most of the time.
This type of feeder comes with a huge reservoir which only dispenses food once the timer opens up the chute. Generally, this type of feeder is more flexible compared to a gravity-fed system. However, it is more expensive and comes with more moving parts.
Also, you need to choose high-quality products and make sure they’re properly maintained. Lastly, vertically-fed feeders will only work with dry dog treats and food, making it unusable for wet foods.
Type of Food
Aside from the type of feeder, you should also consider the type of food that a certain feeder allows. Most automatic feeders are designed to accommodate dry dog foods, although other models allow wet food as well. Take time to determine if your dog is into dry or wet food before you even consider a particular feeder.
You don’t want your dog’s food to get stuck inside the feeder. Therefore, it’s only ideal to choose a feeder that comes with an anti-jam feature. Basically, this feature prevents food from jamming, thereby preventing your dog from starving simply because his food hasn’t been properly dispensed.
Automatic feeders come in different sizes to hold kibbles of varying size. Depending on how much food you want to store, you’ll have to pick a feeder that’s appropriately sized and comes with the right capacity.
Its capacity is determined by how much food it can hold and distribute. Most models on the market are capable of storing up to 10 liters. When picking a feeder, make sure you take a look at its minimum and maximum portion capacity. Also make sure that the amount of food you set to dispense won’t overflow your pet’s bowl.
Automatic feeders have a manual mode which allows you to pick a particular time of the day for dispensing food. Most of them have a timer only for a certain time of the day. Meanwhile, high-end feeders will allow you to set a number of schedules within a day. Also, they can provide you with full control of the feeder with the help of your smartphone so you can manually feed your dog using your device.
As much as possible, you have to make sure that the food stored in an automatic feeder won’t spoil quickly. Therefore, it is important to look for a model that comes with an airtight reservoir. With an airtight reservoir, you can prevent the food inside from going stale quickly. This is quite important especially for large-capacity units.
Easy Cleaning and Maintenance
It’s important to keep a feeder clean most of the time since it can help prevent bacteria from growing, especially when you give your dog wet food. It should be easy to clean, come with dishwasher-safe parts, and easy to disassemble.
9 Best Automatic Dog Feeders
PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder
Designed for Holding Huge Amounts of Food
Albeit a little more expensive compared to the other products on this list, the PetSafe Simply Feed is a combination of control and modern design into one. It’s ideal for those dog owners who don’t prefer a “smart” feeder synced up to their smartphones.
With the Simply Feed, you can program the feeder to dispense up to 12 meals a day. You can even choose the amount of food to dispense for each meal. This makes it an excellent choice if you have multiple pets who eat the same food but at different intervals.
The portions you can give to your dogs range from 1/8 cup to 4 cups depending on their needs. Also, as it has an anti-jam conveyor system, you can place either dry or semi-moist food inside.
Why We Like It:
- Allows you to schedule up to 12 meals every day
- Comes with a solid, heavy-duty design
- Features a slow feed mode which helps regulate your dog’s diet
PetSafe Smart Feed 2nd Generation
Super-Smart Snack Replenishment For Tech Savvy Pet Owners
The PetSafe Smart Feed second generation is a highly advanced product designed to give you plenty of control over how and when you feed your pet a snack. It offers the height of convenience via an abundance of technological features including:
- Being ALEXA enabled so you can ask your Amazon Echo to feed your pet a snack from anywhere within your home
- Amazon Dash automatically reorders your pets food when it’s getting low
- Notifies you when the food is empty or running out via special sensors
- You can monitor your pets feeding from any location because of Smartphone compatibility
- The ability to feed your pet smaller dispensed meals more often to help them eat more slowly
- Flexibility with the amounts you feed your pet
- Flexibility with how often you feed your pet
The dispenser really is a one stop shop for your pets snacking and dry food meal needs. It’s perfect for owners who want to feel that little bit more connected to their pets’ care. It is also great for pet owners who find they could do with more convenient options when it comes to giving their pet a snack.
Whether you’re out for a few hours and kitty needs something to eat, or you’re looking to keep your dog from wolfing down his kibble, the PetSafe second generation is a really handy piece of smart home kit.
Why We Like It:
- Lots of advanced tech features for remote pet food monitoring, control and convenient dispensing
- Tons of flexible settings to make programming specific to your pet
- Easy to use and program
- Suitable for Android and IPhone
What We Don’t Like:
- Currently no official way to make the product suitable for two pets
- Pets can figure out how to press the button and feed themselves
Arf Pets Automatic Dog & Cat Feeder
Your Pets Will Love Hearing Your Voice Recording When It’s Time For Dinner!
The Arf Pets Automatic Feeder is an automatic pet feeder designed to keep your pet well-fed and happy throughout the day. You can select up to four dispensing times with individual portion sizes too. This makes it easy to ensure the product is working for the specific needs of your furry loved one. There’s even a lid lock to stop greedy pets breaking in and getting their stash early.
Owners will love that the settings are easy to adjust with an LCD clock and display. You can also record your own dinner call for your pet which goes off when it’s mealtime. This is a lovely feature that ensures your pet associates your voice with their mealtime when you’re not there.
Why We Like It:
- Easy to use
- Individual portion size and mealtime control
- Lid lock to stop pets breaking in
- Record your own dinner call option
What We Don’t Like:
- May not be as reliable as higher end models
- Durability may not be as high as higher end models
WOPET Automatic Pet Feeder
Allows Meal Automation with its Programmable Timer
The beautiful thing about the WOPET automatic pet feeder is that it has a built-in programmable timer that can be set to automate your dog’s daily meals. It comes with a convenient LCD screen where you can enter each meal schedule with ease. With that, you no longer have to worry about power interruption and your dogs going hungry since this feeder is supported by wall and battery power.
Just like other automated feeders, you can program an individual portion size for every automatic feeding. This way, you can set regular consumption habits throughout the day with ease. You can also set the meal sizes per feeding to support the needed consumption of any dog size.
It also has a feature where you can record a customized audio recording for your pet by merely speaking on the microphone sign. The recording will play during each meal of your dogs which will surely boost their appetite.
Why We Like It:
- It comes with a bigger capacity than other feeders by holding up to 20 cups of dog food
- Features a detachable design you can wash the bowls with ease; dishwasher-friendly as well
- The manufacturer provides a 24-hour customer support service center that is more than willing to assist you in your questions
- Comes with a 12-month warranty
Roffie Dog and Cat Feeder
Large Capacity Hopper For Longer Between Refills
The Roffie automatic cat and dog feeder is a great choice if you’re looking for an easy way to feed your pets on time, even when you’re not in the house. You just program it to dispense up to 4 meals a day at a time to suit your pet. You can then choose the portion sizes which are between 2 teaspoons and 4.5 cups of dry kibble. The kibble is kept fresh between feeds with a sealed lid. For even more convenience, the hopper is a good sized 7 liters so there’s longer between refills.
Being able to do this is really convenient for pet owners who want to slow down their pets feeding, feed their pet when they are not in and who want to ensure their pet has a reliable food schedule.
Owners will appreciate that the product has a recording option where you can record a dinner call message for your pet. This adds a little more personality to the process of feeding, and helps the pet continue to associate you with their feeding time.
Why We Like It:
- Flexible programming for feeding times and portion sizes
- Recording option for dinner call
- Sealed lid to keep kibble fresh
- Large capacity hopper
What We Don’t Like:
- Limit to kibble size used
- Initial programming can be tricky and may not be helped buy included instructions
PetSafe 5-Meal Pet Feeder
Quick and Easy to Set Up Feeder
Yet another quality product from PetSafe, this pet feeder (as the name implies) allows you to schedule 5 separate meals at different intervals throughout the day. As it’s fully programmable, you can easily decide when it will open and provide your dogs with food.
Additionally, it’s very easy to use and set up. It even comes with a clear LCD screen so you can set meals with ease. Lastly, its BPA-free plastic construction is durable and reliable, giving you peace of mind knowing that it won’t get broken so easily.
Why We Like It:
- Each of the section is capable of holding one cup of food
- Comes with a removable and dishwasher-safe tray
- Allows you to store both dry and wet food
Petmate Pet Cafe Feeder
Clear Gravity-fed System for Transparent and Easy Feeding
With its simple design, the Petmate feeder is perfect if you want an automatic feeder that doesn’t come with a lot of confusing features. It’s basically a gravity-fed feeder that will make sure your dog’s bowl is consistently filled with food at all times until the storage is empty.
It has a clear container so you can know the level of food remaining as well as an extra wide mouth to allow food to go through without the risk of blockage. Lastly, it has a removable lid so you can refill and clean it with ease.
Why We Like It:
- Requires no battery or power to operate
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Simple and transparent design
AmazonBasics Self-Dispensing Gravity Pet Feeder and Waterer
A Waterer and Feeder in One
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly feeder without compromising its quality, then this gravity-fed feeder and waterer from AmazonBasics is definitely worth looking into. Basically, it’s a package of a feeder and waterer in one (you can also choose to purchase just one at half the price).
With its size, it can hold up to 12 pounds of dry food. It’s even made of transparent PET plastic so you can know the remaining level of food inside. As it has a simple design, you can easily clean it whenever the need arises.
It has non-skid feet to prevent it from sliding across your floor, and there are no moving parts which can lead to possible choking hazards.
Why We Like It:
- Comes with zero moving parts
- Can store up to 12 pounds of food
- Has a clear, transparent design for easy food level monitoring
HoneyGuaridan A36 Automatic Pet Feeder
Comes with Food Jamming Prevention Function
This pet feeder was made with a unique motor inversion scheme to prevent dog food from jamming. In the event that food gets stuck in the feeder, the motor will turn oppositely to deliver food.
Aside from that, it has a built-in infrared sensor that conveys alerts when the food dish is sufficient. It can dispense portions of 0.28 ounces per feed for one piece. It has a detachable food vessel and a stainless steel bowl so you can clean it quickly and easily.
Also, this pet feeder comes with a low-food-alarm. When the LED light flashes blue, it means that the food level is too inadequate and you have to refill the bowl with more food.
Lastly, it comes with a built-in audio recorder as well as a speaker that you can use so you can communicate with your pets during their mealtime. You also have the option to record a 10-second audio message during your call.
Why We Like It:
- You can set up to 6 meals per day
- The manufacturer offers a 12-month warranty
- They also have a 24/7 online consumer assistance team that will help answer any inquires
- Can be washed easily, thanks to its detachable bowls
BELOPEZZ 6L Smart Pet Automatic Feeder
A Highly Affordable Yet Reliable Feeder
This feeder has an automatic low food supply detection and controlled portion setting to avoid unnecessary feeding. Apart from that, it can also provide you with pieces of information as to how much food is left or if your dogs were sufficiently fed.
The sensors that come in this device will detect low or excessive food levels and stop feeding depending on your setup. It has a 6-liter container for dry food and has two sizes of dispenser: small and large.
It is suitable for dogs of all sizes as it can dispense four meals a day that can be set at distinct times with varying amounts. It can also register a 10-second audio message that can be arranged to be played when your pet is feeding.
Lastly, it supported by wall and battery power supply to make sure that regardless of the circumstances, your dogs can still be fed on time. The life span of this device can last up to a minimum of 2 years.
Why We Like It:
- Retails at only around $60 which is a lot cheaper than its other competitors
- It comes with a durable frame with anti-abrasion and anti-slip function
- The manufacturer is dedicated to being environment-friendly and pollution-free during the production
When choosing an automatic dog feeder, you also have to consider the age, weight, breed, size, and activity level of your dog. By doing so, it will be a lot easier to come across the best automatic dog feeder that can easily meet your little friend’s eating needs and habits.
By making the right choice, you can hopefully provide your dog with the right amount of food and control his diet even when you’re away from home.