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Back in the day, you might have had to enlist the help of a friend, relative, or dog sitter to stay with your dog while you are away. Not anymore. With an automatic dog feeder, you can rest assured your BFF will be taken care of in your absence. You can feed them while you are away, check on them and even talk to them.
- What Is An Automatic Dog Feeder?
- How Do They Work?
- Best WiFi-Enabled Automatic Dog Feeders
- Best Automatic Dog feeders with camera
- Best Selective Automatic Dog Feeders
- Best Auto Dog Feeders for Large Dogs
- Best Wet Food Automatic Dog Feeders
- Best Wet and Dry Compatible Auto Dog Feeders
- Best Treat Dispensing Auto Dog Feeders
- The Best Gravity Dog Feeders
- Best Water Fountains for Dogs
- Notable Mentions
- Who needs automatic dog feeders?
- Types of Automatic Dog Feeders
- Pros and cons of Automatic Dog Feeders
- Things to Consider Before Purchasing an Automatic Dog Feeder
- 1. How do I program an automatic dog feeder?
- 2. Is setting up a smart feeder difficult?
- 3. Are automatic feeders good for dogs?
- 4. Do automatic feeders help you calculate food portions for your dog?
- 5. Can I use auto dog feeders with raw food?
- 6. Are automatic dog feeders hard to clear or maintain?
- 7. Is it possible to also hear your dog when using smart dog feeders with audio-recording capabilities?
- 8. Do I have to train my dog to use an automatic dog feeder?
- 9. Can my dog chew the auto feeder?
- 10. Should I buy more than one feeder if I have dogs of different sizes
- Final Thoughts
What Is An Automatic Dog Feeder?
From the name, you already know that an automatic dog feeder dispenses food to your dog automatically. This means that you can set a feeding routine to it to feed your pooch at the exact time every single day—whether you are around or not. You can also portion food sizes and control food supply for your dog.
How Do They Work?
A typical automatic pet feeder has the top and bottom sections. The top part consists of an inverted glass or plastic compartment where food is stored. The bottom section is the actual dish from where the dog eats.
An automatic feeder utilizes a programmable timer that lets you decide how much food to feed your pooch and when. A pet feeder with a camera or voice recorder helps you say hi to your dog from time to time, check on them and take pictures of them.
Put simply, with smart dog feeders, you can control everything from feeding schedule, overeating, portion control, and dogs who like to wake up early for breakfast to dog siblings who like to steal each other’s food and those with dieting or health concerns that require strict feeding time routines.
Automatic Dog Feeders are not designed to completely replace the care and attention that you should give to your dog but they guarantee that your dog will receive their foods or treats when you are away from home or if you want to focus on more strict feeding routines.
Best Automatic Dog Feeders
Best Automatic Dog feeders with camera
If you are looking for a feeder that works exactly like a dog sitter, you will never go wrong with WOPET SmartFeeder. Besides allowing you to feed your dog remotely or schedule his mealtime via your Smartphone, the feeder comes with an HD camera for video and voice recording, allowing you to see, play and talk with your dog.
The food reservoir is extra-large, so the feeder can dispense up to 39 food portions with each portion weighing 10-12 g. Additionally, you can portion each feeding starting at 2tb. spoons to about 4.5 cups of dog food to accommodate both small and large breeds. Lastly, the feeder comes in a simple and sleek design with white color to fit any home décor.
- Has video chatting and recording capabilities
- Its camera has night vision capability, allowing you to take clear and high-quality images both day and night.
- Can use batteries, so your dog will never go hungry because of a power outage
- Features with interchangeable feeding trays
- Made from BPA-free components
- Inner compartments are removable and are dishwasher safe
- Only suitable for dry foods—not wet or canned food
- Your home’s Wi-Fi network has to be above 2.4GHz frequency for the feeder to work optimally
If you are looking for an auto feeder that can allow you to check and interact with your dog when you are away from home, Furbo Dog Camera is another excellent choice. Created with veterinarians and expert trainers, the feeder comes with tons of amazing features. To begin with, the feeder features 1080p HD video Cam with a 160-degree wide-angle view as well as two-way audio to help you interact and stream live videos of your dog remotely. It also features a barking sensor that can detect and send signals to your Smartphone whenever your dog is barking.
Another great feature that comes with this feeder is the capability to toss treats and a clicker sound feature which you can use to reinforce obedience training.
- Comes with video and audio features to help you keep an eye on your pooch both night and day
- It is quite sturdy and comes with a spill-proof bamboo top
- It is easy to set up and easily connects with the Smartphone via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- The reservoir has a half-cup capacity, so the feeder works perfectly only with small dogs
- May not withstand heavy chewers if it is knocked down
This is another amazing auto feeder that allows you to feed and interact with your dog while you are away. The feeder has 165-degree HD cam with night-vision to help you keep an eye on your dog day and night. It has 6.5 pounds of dry food capacity, which means that you won’t need to refill it too frequently. You can also program the feeder to dispense exact portions of dog food, ensuring that your dog consumes the right amount of food it needs and doesn’t overeat.
- Allows for custom voice record and play for programmed meal time
- The camera has a good resolution and wide-angle
- Allow you to program up to 6 meals in a day with the capability to customize each portion
- Has desiccant pocket to keep your dog’s food humidity-free
- Has a jam-free dispensing mechanism
- It has a power adapter and battery port to ensure that your dog is fed normally even if there is a power outage.
- The food tray is small, so not suitable for large dog breeds
- Not compatible with Alexa
Best Selective Automatic Dog Feeders
Also referred to as RFID-enabled auto dog feeders, these are feeders that are designed to allow one dog at a time to eat from the bowl. This is achieved by recognizing a microchip or collar tag on your dog via Bluetooth or Infrared technology. When the dog is near the feeder, the lid open for the dog to eat and closes immediately the dog walks away. Any dog or pet without a collar tag or microchip won’t eat from the same bowl.
These feeders are, therefore, handy when:
- You have more than one dog in your household who tend to compete for food
- One of your dogs has health issues and need to take medications or maintain a specific diet
- You want your dog’s food to always remain fresh. Remember that the food is exposed to air only when your dog is eating
- You have curious children who may be tempted to try some pet food.
If you are looking for a selective feeder that can help you cater for dogs with special dietary requirements, OurPets Wonder Bowl is one of the best options to go for. Like other selective feeders, the Wonder Bowl is backed by infrared technology that can detect the collar tags on your dog, giving him access to food or treats. Because the lid only opens when your dog is eating, it keeps the food fresh for long. Its stainless steel bowl is also easy to clean and dishwasher-safe
- Infrared technology-controlled lid only opens for dogs with tags, making it great for dogs that fight over food, dogs on a special diet, and safe for small children who may be tempted to play with dog food.
- Has battery slots, which means that your dog won’t go hungry if there are power outages
- The feeder comes with one collar hence saves you from the hassle of getting one
- Sturdy design to prevent sliding
- The feeder is a bit loud when operating
- The sensor may sometimes fail to reach the dog’s tag if the food is too low—so it might not favor big dogs
The lid may close on the dog’s head when the tag is hanging on the bowl or when the dog turns his head on the side of the feeder
The intelligent SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder relies on RFID technology to unlock its contents with the correct microchip worn by the pet. Essentially, when your dog approaches it, the lid slowly pulls back to uncover the food within.
The bundled bowls work on a digital platform. This means that the feeder has the ability to weigh the right portion for your mutt and determine how much food has been consumed. The package comes with two bowls of the 2-2.5-cup capacity of dry food, and a silicone mat to collect loose food. The unit is only powered by 4-C batteries.
- Intelligent feeding system
- Can house up to 32 chips
- Bowl can be easily detached for cleaning
- Perfect for pets with special diets
- Sturdy design
- Food is protected from children and other pets
- The device lacks a timer
- The bowls are not dishwasher safe
- Quite pricey compared to other models
- Doesn’t have provision for an AC adapter
- Doesn’t have an ice pack to keep the food safe
Like other selective dog feeders, the PortionProRx automatic feeder uses the RFID technology. This means the feeder will only dispense food once a dog wearing an RFID tag approaches it. The device is also excellent when it comes to portion control. You can serve up to 6 meals a day with the portion ranging from 1.2 cup – 6 cups. You can even program it to dispense smaller portions for dogs that tend to overeat. Other features include a self-locking lid and a sensor that can recognize and stop a dog from stealing food.
- Generous capacity
- Can feed up to six meals a day
- Protects other pets from stealing food
- Has a high price tag
- Additional tags are quite pricey
As the name suggests, the Wireless Whiskers pet feeder uses a wireless tag technology to ensure a good feeding routine for your dogs. Ideally, your dog puts on a wireless tag on his collar. Like other selective feeder models above, the unit dispenses food when the tag is activated and closes once the allowed portion has been consumed. Each pet wears a different tag to show the unit the specific one in need of food. The device comes with an AC adapter, two wireless tags, a feeding tube, wireless whiskers units, and a top cover. The feeder holds up to five pounds of food and can feed about 3-4 big dogs or 8 smaller ones. It even comes with a feature that shuts it to prevent snacking at night.
- Easy to set up and add pet systems
- Suitable for multiple pets with varied diets and appetites
- Prevents against stealing of food
- Large enough to hold 5 pounds
- The manual is rather complex
- The doors aren’t airtight
- The bowl cannot be removed for cleaning purposes
Our Pets Smart Link Intelligent Pet Care Selective Feeder depends on Bluetooth technology to know when to serve food to your mutt. Your dog wears a SmartLink tag and as it approaches the feeder, food is released. This eliminates the stealing of food between dogs and small children. The feeder holds up to 1.5 cups of food and is battery-operated.
- Has the ability to track a pet’s habits and sends notifications to the owner
- Easy to clean
- It is dishwasher-safe
- Doesn’t come with a power adapter
- Sensor is wrongly-placed
Best Auto Dog Feeders for Large Dogs
The Balimo Automatic Smart Pet Feeder is a pet owner’s number one choice when looking for an efficient and effortless way to feed their big dog. With up to four feedings per day and flexible meal portions from 1-39 per meal, you can enjoy the peace of mind knowing your furry friend is well fed at the right time.
This feeder has a big container that can hold up to 7 liters of dry food. The best part about it is that you can feed any pet size, thanks to the flexible meal portions. What’s more, you can record a message for your pet and utilize the low power consumption to ensure your dog never misses a feeding.
- Comes with a power cord and adapter
- Can be adjusted to any size of the animal
- Has an airtight seal to keep food fresh and dry at all times
- Features a well-designed and sturdy model
- Powered by both an Ac adapter and USB cable
- Opening the lid is an inconvenience
The Aspen Pet LeBistro Portion Control Programmable Pet Feeder is worth special mention on this list primarily for its innovative technology. The model comes with everything important for a busy pet parent. For one, it has an easy-to-read LCD display and programming buttons to help you customize feeding schedules accordingly. The dispenser can also serve 0.25-3 cups of dry food for up to three meals a day.
Additionally, it has a twist-lock removable lid that makes it hard for your pup to gain access to stored food while the food hopper is transparent to let you know when to refill it.
Last but not least, the feeder is battery operated (3D batteries) and is quite easy to refill, clean, and set up.
- Easy to read LCD display
- Flexible feeding settings make it suitable for a wide range of dog sizes
- It is light and can, therefore, be knocked over easily
- Has too many moving parts
- Issues with dispensing the correct amounts of pet food
With a programmable feature of dispensing 1-39 portions per meal and up to four meals a day, the BELOPEZZ Smart Pet Automatic is certainly handy for dog owners, especially those with large breeds. The model comes with a programmable timer and a voice recorder with a 10-second time allowance. The feeder also has a dispenser with a capacity of 6L and can let down smaller or larger portions depending on the dog in question.
With three-D batteries, the device can work efficiently for two years. It even has an automatic detection to control feeding.
- Quality ABS housing
- Anti-abrasion and drop
- Can run from a battery or a power outlet
- Comes with both small and large dispensing wheels
- The machine is impenetrable
- The reserve is airtight
- Compact and sleek design
- Offers long-term service
- The assembly instructions are quite complicated
- Some malfunction at times
If you are looking for a feeder that will ensure your big mutt is fed at the right time every day, the Westlink automatic feeder has got you covered. This design is characterized by a large food dispenser controlled by an in-built infrared detection to avoid overfeeding and/or starvation.
Expectedly, the model also comes with a 10-second voice recorder so you can let your pup listen to your voice as they feed. Finally, the large 6L capacity of the storage container means you won’t need to refill the food on a daily basis.
- Great for both smaller and bigger dogs
- Easy to clean
- Ensures easy feeding for all pet sizes
- Low power consumption
- Attractive infrared sensor
- Not tamper-proof
- Only battery-operated
The Qpets AF 200 is among the largest and advanced feeder technologies on the market today. The model can hold up to 10 lb. of dry pet food and can dispense anywhere from ¼ – 5 cups per serving. It also has a built-in voice recording and up to 6 months of battery life.
The Qpet automatic feeder is suitable for small, medium, and large pets.
- Easily programmable and innovative
- Has a transparent container to show when a refill is due
- Long-lasting battery life
- Ideal for just about any pet size
- Can dispense up to four meals per day
- The feeding bowl is dishwasher safe and easy to remove
- Easy to program and set up
- Good capacity for storage of a lot of food
- Works perfectly with any kibble size
- Inaccurate food portions
- Occupies a large bowl area
- The LCD panel has insufficient lighting
- Incompatibility issues between the hopper and the bowl
Best Treat Dispensing Auto Dog Feeders
If you are looking for a device that can help you entertain your dog while you are away or check on him once in a while to keep him active or you want to stop him from chewing things that he shouldn’t, Petcube Bites Treat Dispenser is what you need.
Featuring a Wi-Fi cam with clear 1080p HD video capability, 1380 wide-angle view and a night vision capability, you can check on your dog day and night seamlessly. It also comes with a high capacity treats storage reservoir that can hold up to pounds of snacks or treats, making it a perfect choice for large breeds or multi-pet households. You can also vary the distance that the feeder flings the treats—up to 6ft. Additionally, the feeder comes with a treat level sensor that can notify you when your dog food or treat is running low.
Lastly, it is easy to set up as all you need to is to plug the device into a power source and allow it to connect to your home’s Wi-Fi. It only takes a few minutes to connect to your Smartphone or tablet assuming you have downloaded the Petcube app.
- The camera can stream in 1080p HD video, which is way better than the standard 720p in other dog feeders with camera
- Has 2-way audio device, allowing you to hear what’s going on with your doggo and send voice messages to him
- You can sync the feeder with your Smartphone via Bluetooth
- Comes with simple set-up instructions
- You can share pictures or videos of your dog on social with one push of a button
- Offers free cloud-based video storage, allowing you to save snapshots of the last 4 hours of your dog’s activity for free
- Camera has night-vision capabilities
- The alert function isn’t specific about what activity is taking place. Other models like Furbo can specifically alert you if your dog is barking.
If you are looking for a way to dispense treats to your dog and talk with him at the same time through a high-quality audio system, Petzi Treat Cam is the best device to go for. All you have to do is fill the device with your preferred treats then dispense them remotely at a time of your choosing via a Smartphone. You can also capture candid photos of your dog and say hello whenever you feel like via the inbuilt audio system.
As a bonus, Petzi even has a social network where you can share photos of your dog with other dog owners.
- Comes with an audio capability to help you talk with your dog
- Has a night mode with IR light
- Fixed-lens camera with autofocus
- Social media network for dogs
- Can only dispense treats but not full meals
- Doesn’t come with a feeding bowl
- The audio is one-way
- Because there is no bowl and the treats sort of just fly, it can mess your floor
The big appeal of this feeder is its many special features, including built-in microphone and laser treat dispenser that lets you talk, listen and reward your dog his favorite snack anytime, anywhere. It also features a 130-degree wide-angle lens camera, which allows you to see a lot of details on the 720p HD video stream. Even better, the feeder has designated buttons to help you capture still photos and videos while you are video streaming. Files are also saved automatically to your camera roll.
- It is pretty easy to set up as all you need to do is plug it in and sync it with the Pawbo app, which then walks you through the necessary steps.
- Sleek, minimalistic design. It will look great in just about any room
- Includes several ringtones to help you get your dog’s attention fast
- Camera lacks night vision capability
SKymee’s dog camera provides a way for you to be close to your pet without being really being physically available. The camera is integrated with a motion-detecting feature that alerts you when your pup is in need of some love or treats—which you can offer via the sound feature or press a button to dispense a delicious treat.
With its two-way audio technology, you can communicate with your dog from anywhere. The good thing is that you can do this from multiple devices. The device dispenses treats through the Alexa software to keep your pup active and happy. The 1080p HD camera has a 4x zoom and a wide-angle view to help you see your pet clearly any time of day.
- Powerful night and day vision
- Ability to snap and share pics on social media
- Fitted with an alarm event recording feature
- Relies on AC power source only
The Best Gravity Dog Feeders
The two-in-one bundle feeder and waterer from AmazonBasics is in the lips of many pet owners for all the right reasons. It comes with amazing features that your dog will absolutely love. For one, it lets you chose the right size according to your feline’s appetite. The large combo contains a food dispenser with a capacity of 12 lbs. of dry food while the waterer has a capacity of 2.5 gallons. The smaller alternative can hold 6lbs. and 1 gallon of food and water respectively. The hopper itself is made of transparent plastic material to help you know when to refill pet food.
The feeder expectedly requires no batteries, power source, or programming to operate. It dispenses food by gravity. Perhaps the greatest thing about it is that it is equipped with side handles to aid in lifting, carrying, and cleaning. It is also one of the budget-friendly options out there compared to other similar products.
- No moving parts that need replacement from time to time
- Fitted with side handles and non-skid feet
- Has two options to take care of small and large dogs
- Made of PET and PP materials
- If not properly secured to the base, the waterer may leak
The Petmate Pet Café gravity feeder is another convenient and functional device. With the ability to dispense food at specific time intervals, you can carry on with your daily tasks knowing your dog is well-fed in your absence. The pet feeder has a 12-pound food capacity and is thus ideal for big pets. There are two smaller sizes for dog owners with smaller breeds.
It is fairly easy to use. To load food in the hopper, all you do is remove the snap lid from the storage section. The feeder even comes with an easy-grab cutout to help you lift the dispenser without making a huge mess. It is also incredibly easy to disassemble for cleaning purposes.
- High quality and sturdy
- Comes in a number of beautiful colors
- The wide-mouth bottle detaches from the base quite easily
- The food tray is quite small
- The hopper is not dishwasher safe
With an angled-food tray and the assurance that your pet will eat to their fill, the Van Ness Medium Auto Feeder, 6-Pound is certainly worth special mention on our list. This feeder has a hinged top that is securely attached to the container. This ensures your dog doesn’t gain access to the food when mealtime hasn’t reached.
In addition, the lid is quite easy to detach and clean. The bowl is also quite easy to clean. Like other gravity feeders, the Van Ness feeder doesn’t require a power source to function. This means your pet will have food all the time. Finally, the feeder is made from clear material, so you know when a refill is due. This one holds up to 6 lbs. of dry food.
- Easy to clean
- Holds up to 6 lbs. of food and is this ideal for large dog breeds
- Food is dispensed as long as the bowl is empty
- Doesn’t have a timer meaning you cannot schedule meal times
- High chances of overeating
The gravity feeder from Flexzion, made from PET plastic, is an eco-friendly design that can make your life easy as a dog owner. It is created in a way that ensures food is replenished when supply goes low. The PET plastic used to manufacture this feeder has antimicrobial properties to fight against odor and stain. It is also quite durable and resistant against high impact.
The hopper can hold up to six pounds of dry food and can feed a large dog without starving or overfeeding it. The handles of the feeder are also recessed to help you lift it with relative ease. Finally, it has non-skid feet to secure it in place at all times. Flexzion feeder is an excellent option for multiple pet households.
- Environmentally friendly
- Non-skid feet help with stability
- Not dishwasher safe
- Has no timer
Best Water Fountains for Dogs
If your furry buddy cherishes fresh-tasting water, this drinking fountain is an awesome choice for him. It has strong water-filtering capabilities, thanks to its purifying filter, which ensures there are no potentially harmful impurities in the water your dog is about to drink. The filter absorbs impurities and traps debris hence providing your pet with cleaner and safer drinking water.
Additionally, the fountain features a re-circulating water flow, which ensures that the water doesn’t remain stagnant and eventually becomes stale. It is perfect for large dogs and dogs with physical problems such as injuries or old age.
- Features an elevated drinking basin providing dogs with comfortable drinking positions.
- It comes with an integrated splash guard that helps reduce water spillage.
- It has a large capacity of up to 355 ounces, meaning you won’t have to keep refilling it from time to time
- Great for watering multiple pets simultaneously
- Offers an uninterrupted water flow, keeping the water fresher and tastier
- Not ideal for watering smaller pets
- The filtration system may become faulty with time
The drinking fountain is meticulously built to take your pet’s drinking experience a notch higher. The stainless steel fountain boasts a modern design and an elegant shape that works well with any home décor. It is also equipped with a replaceable charcoal filter to purify and clean the water, making it completely safe for your furry mate. Its pump is ultra-quiet and oxygenates and circulates the water making it quite appealing to pets. Additionally, the stainless steel construction doesn’t only allow for easy cleaning, but further inhibits bacterial growth, making your lovely pet less susceptible to bacterial infection.
- Makes drinking water alluring to pets
- Has a large capacity thus saving you from multiple refills each day
- Its pump is covered by a 1-year warranty for replacement of any defective parts
- Easy to disassemble and clean
- The charcoal filter needs regular replacements
- The pump must be cleaned regularly to keep it performing optimally
The drinking fountain is ideal for dog owners striving to bring fresh water to their dogs throughout the day. It houses an elevated dish that is suitable for arthritic or senior dogs. Its replaceable carbon filter effectively removes odors and bad tastes from the water while its dual free-falling streams feature helps keep the water fresh for pets.
The fountain also features a ceramic design that makes it an attractive addition to any home. The ceramic design also makes it quite easy to clean. The 70-ounce drinking fountain provides 2 drinking spots for dogs and is ideal for medium and small pets.
- Has a submersible pump that is designed for quiet operation
- Powerful filtration system for easy removal of debris, odors and pet hair from the water
- Overall great quality
- Not suitable for large pets
- Can only be used indoors
Designed to provide your dog with pure, delicious drinking water throughout the day, this drinking fountain is ideal for busy dog owners searching for a fountain that can dispense freshwater with fewer refills. It comes with Microban Antimicrobial protection to counter bacterial growth that can potentially make your pet ill.
Its gravity flow design coupled with a charcoal filter ensures your dog can enjoy a consistent flow of clean and delicious drinking water. It also comes with a wide array of bowl colors, so it can complement all the rooms of your home.
- A nice design that integrates perfectly with any room
- Offers convenient outdoor use
- Suitable for all pets irrespective of their age
- Easy to clean
- Quite delicate
- It spills everywhere whenever it filled with water
Considering that there are many varieties of feeders on the market, no single auto feeder will be perfect for every situation. With this fact in mind, here is a quick overview of other amazing automatic dog feeders that we couldn’t afford to ignore:
With fantastic feeding flexibility, the CEESC Electronic Automatic Pet Feeder 5L Digital LCD Screen and Voice Recording is among the leading automatic pet feeders in the market today. This feeder gives you an opportunity to choose the portion size for your pup and can feed your dog up to three times a day. The model also comes with a 10-second voice recording you can set to play at mealtimes. The CEESC model also features a 6-month battery life, a food hopper with a capacity of 22.5 cups, and a digital LCD display.
- Flexibility with regards to feeding settings: You can set feed time as you please and select the number of cups according to the appetite of your furry friend.
- A tight food hopper to keep food fresh and dry.
- An easy to clean model
- Simple to operate LCD display
- The interface used to set feedings can be a little complex
- Doesn’t have DC and AC power connections
The Joytool Automatic Pet Feeder is bound to make your life easy as a pet owner. For one, it gives you the ability to set your feeding schedules and meal portions as you please. Like other models, the Joytool feeder gives you an option of 1-39 portions and up to four meals per day.
It also utilizes infrared induction to control the amount of food dispensed per serving. This protects against jamming of the feeder and spilling of food. The feeder also features a voice recorder and speaker to help break boredom during feeding. You have the option of a power adapter or batteries (or both) to power the feeder.
- The dispenser is easy to clean and disassemble
- Can feed a dog for up to five days
- The head part is leak-proof and keeps food fresh for longer
- Sleek and modern design
- Sturdy and durable
- Portion accuracy control
- Not ideal for large pets
- Limited to only four meals
- Suitable for only dry foods
When life gets in the way of you taking care of your dogs, sit back and relax, thanks to the convenient automatic pet feeder from Petcul. This handy feeder ensures your pup eats the right portion of their meal at the right time.
You have the option of feeding your dog up to four meals a day and 1-39 portions per serving. That’s not all; the storage container holds up to 3lbs of dry food and works with infrared detection software which controls the portions to avoid spillage. The model uses three D-size batteries that can stay for a year.
The Petcul feeder also has a voice recording option for owners who fancy talking to their furry friends.
- Can be connected to an AC power outlet or ran on batteries
- Low power consumption
- Infrared induction
- It is great for both small and medium-sized dogs.
- You may lose settings when you unplug or move it
The Iseebiz Automatic Pet Feeder is yet another exceptional model for feeding both cats and dogs. With this feeder, you can program feeding schedules up to four times a day.
Like the CEESC feeder, the Issebiz also lets you choose the correct portion (between 1 and 39 portions) for your pet. It also comes with a power adapter, so you can put the hassle of changing batteries to rest. However, it has a battery option in case you want to run on batteries.
Like most feeders on the market, the Iseebiz has a storage area complete with a leak-proof technology to keep food dry and fresh at all times.
Finally, the feeder comes with a voice recorder where you can save a 10-second message to encourage your dog to eat.
- Can be AC powered or run on batteries
- Easy to refill
- Features a tight seal to avoid spilling in case of an accident
- Requires minimal space
- Power issues
- Feed times are sometimes prolonged
- Doesn’t work well with huge pieces of kibble
- Likely to malfunction sooner
If you are looking for an automatic dog feeder that is reliable and won’t jam around the clock, the HoneyGuaridan A36 is your best choice. With the ability to dispense 1-80 portions up to 6 times a day, you can rest assured your mutt is taken care of in your absence. The feeder features a unique infrared motor inversion technology to prevent jamming. It also contains a 13-cup removable storage container, a voice recorder, and a programmable schedule.
- High food storage capacity (13 cups)
- Anti-clog system
- Flexible meal frequency and portion size
- Has an AC/DC adapter
- Features a sleek design
- Easy to set up, clean, and program
- Perfect for all pets
- Highly durable
- Noisy food dispenser
- You can only program it after testing the portion
The Bergan Feeder Gourmet is yet another automatic food dispenser for small cats and dogs. The feeder is accompanied by a waterer to offer an all-round feeding solution for pets.
The feeder is wide enough to dispense a large amount of food and water to feed your dog for a number of days. The petite feeder is easy to refill and holds a capacity of 6lbs of dry food while the bowl has approximately 1 cup of dry food capacity.
Other features of the automatic feeder include a spill-proof lid, a tilted surface for stability, and a water dispenser that can hold up to 1.5 gallons. Both products are made from BPA-free plastic.
- Requires no power to operate
- Easy to clean
- The feeder features a sturdy design
- Good capacities for both food and water
- Reasonably-priced compared to similar models in the market
- Hassle-free refilling and changing of both food and water
- Ideal for feeding two or more pets
- No need for programming
- Exposure of food and water to elements
- The clear plastic and top lid don’t fit well in place
- Doesn’t allow for setting up specific feeding times
- Not suitable for multiple pet feedings
The Arf Pets automatic feeder is also a good device when it comes to customizing your dog’s feeding process. Pet owners adore the feeder because of its ability to dispense specific portion sizes befitting their dogs.
The feeder can serve 1-10 portions for every meal (each portion is 240ml), and is, therefore, great for dogs of all sizes. Furthermore, you can record a message on its recording system and even set four distribution alarms throughout the day.
This automatic feeder has a built-in LCD clock and runs on 3 D batteries. Its compact design makes it ideal for smaller spaces. Simply choose your dog’s portion size and the unit will dispense it during meal times.
- Dispenses food for small and large dogs
- Parts are easy to remove for cleaning
- Efficient for portion control
- The clock is too fast
This Eyenimal’s Small Pet Feeder can dispense up to 12 meals in a day with each portion containing up to 10 grams of dog food. Although it is only perfect for small dogs, it can also come in handy if your dog has weight problems.
Most importantly, it comes with a clear LCD screen, making scheduling and portioning of meals easy and fast. The food bowl and container are dishwasher-safe and can be detached and washed separately, making cleaning and maintaining the feeder a breeze. What’s more, the feeder comes with a voice recorder that can record up to 10 seconds of custom message.
- Can dispense up to 12 meals a day
- Easy to program
- Has a voice recorder
- Comes with a 2-year warranty
- Only suitable for small dogs
Who needs automatic dog feeders?
- Dog Parents who aren’t sure of the right amount of food to give their dogs: Too much food can cause diabetes and obesity in some dog breeds and too little food can get your dog malnourished. So, all dog parents love to be able to figure out the right amount of food to give their dogs—at the right feeding times on a daily basis. However, busy schedules can get in the way. This is where automatic pet feeders come in handy. The feeders can help you dole out the right amount of food to your dog at set schedules throughout the day.
- People who want to maintain regular feeding times for their dogs seamlessly: Eating at the same time every day is not only healthy for your dog but it also makes your life easier. After all, a dog that eats on a schedule will also poop on a schedule making it easy for you to manage poop accidents. Regular eating may also help you notice any change in your dog’s health considering that the initial signs of sickness in dogs is lack of appetite.
- People who have dogs with specific Dietary needs: Automatic dog feeders are helpful for spacing out meals out during the day if you have a dog with poor impulse control or if you are maintaining individual dog’s diet in a multi-pet home.
- Dog owners who want to fully enjoy their weekends: Instead of having your dog wake you up very early to get his breakfast, you can pre-set the automatic feeder to allow for extra lounge hours in the morning.
- Owners who want their dogs to get stimulated while they are away: Many automatic feeders have voice recorders, which means that you can record and play customized messages to your dog. With such feeders, therefore, you can easily soothe the nerves of your dog while he is home alone and break up his day during the long hours you are away from home.
- People who prefer to feed their dogs on a free-choice basis: Some dog owners prefer to give food to their dogs on a continuous basis as opposed to feeding them at specific times. For such dog owners, gravity-fed feeders make this simple to accomplish. In fact, if you choose a large-capacity feeder, you may only need to fill its storage compartment every other week or so. This implies that you won’t need to re-fill the food dish every now and then.
- People with dogs that require more than 2 meals a day: Some dogs may need to eat 3-4 meals a day instead of the typical twice-a-day schedule that’s recommended for most dogs. If your dog is prone to bloat, for instance, it is safe to feed him small food portions spread throughout the day. Multi-meal automatic feeders can come in handy for such dogs as they can be programmed to dispense several small meals throughout the day.
Types of Automatic Dog Feeders
Like other dog products, there are several types of automatic dog feeders. Whether you need a feeder for multiple pets, one with the capability to watch the video footage of your dog, or one with a bigger capacity, there are feeders that suit any task you can think of.
Here are the most common types of feeders available in the market today.
1. Gravity Feeders
These are the least sophisticated types of feeders. They use gravity (instead of a power source) to dispense food whenever the food in the bowl starts to run out.
Essentially, they have a vertical food reservoir that connects to a small dish that fills with the dog food. As your dog eats the food in the dish, gravity dispenses additional food from the reservoir. When the dish is full, the reservoir will not release more food as the food will be backed up in the reservoir, preventing further flow.
2. Electronic Feeders
These are the most common types of automatic feeders. They are programmed to dispense a given quantity of food at particular time frames without your intervention.
- Dogs with weight problems
- Dog owners who value hygiene as their operations can be paused to allow for quick cleaning.
Not Suitable For:
- Areas with frequent power issues
Types of Electronic feeders
- Rotary-Style feeders: Have 5-6 food compartments. When it is time for a dog to eat, the inbuilt spindle rotates, opening the right compartment. The only issue with these types of electronic feeders is the fact that the capacity of the compartments is small, so you may have to program them to dispense more meals at a time if you have a large dog breed.
- Programmable Hopper Feeders: In these feeders, the bulk of the food is stored in a large container and only gets dispensed at mealtimes. Most of them have a screen or interface where you can program the quantity of food to be dispensed and the corresponding feeding times. Best models allow you to do the programming bit via your Smartphone.
- Selective Feeders: These are good if you are going to feed more than one dog. They use an RFID collar or microchip ID tag to differentiate between your dogs. So, they will only open and dispense food when the right dog approaches the feeder.
Pros and cons of Automatic Dog Feeders
- They are convenient to use as you only need to refill your dog’s food every few days, saving you time and energy.
- Give you better control of the quantity of food to give your dog.
- Since they work on timers, they make it easy to maintain a regular feeding schedule for your dog. In other words, they will never “forget” to feed your pooch. They are the best feeders to opt for if your dog is an early riser and love to eat his breakfast while you are asleep.
- Are handy for dog owners with reduced mobility.
- Can provide better simulation for your dog if he is alone at home. Automatic feeders with voice recording capabilities can provide your dog with an excellent simulation that helps him soothe his nerves and break up the day for him.
- Saves you from the hassle of hiring a dog sitter or having to ask for favors from friends and neighbors to help you feed your dog when you are away.
- Simplifies the management of several dogs as you don’t have to struggle with maintaining harmony during mealtime. With selective feeders, you can easily set schedules for each of your canine friends.
- It can prevent overeating as you can program them to dispense tiny quantities of food throughout a given duration. It can also help reduce the occurrence of bloating in dogs as well as other digestive issues.
- They are more expensive than regular feeders or feeding patterns.
- Although most feeders are pet-proof, very few are insect-proof and can attract bugs and other types of pests.
- Like other gadgets, automatic feeders have the potential to malfunction, leaving your dog without food. While other high-end feeders have apps that can notify you when your dog has eaten, you may not realize immediately if a basic component of the feeder malfunctions. Accordingly, it is not advisable to rely on these types of feeders when you are going for a few days’ trip.
- They deny you the perks that come with hand-feeding such as reinforcing the bond between you and your dog.
- You still have to do some refilling and cleaning jobs. For instance, you still need to load the food reservoir of these feeders regularly and wash out the dish on a daily basis. When a component malfunctions, you still need to troubleshoot it or pay for a technician. Additionally, you may need to train your dog to use the feeders as some dogs tend to become nervous when they hear the sound from a feeder.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing an Automatic Dog Feeder
Just like other products, there are excellent automatic dog feeders and not-so-good options. To get the most out of your next purchase, you need to consider certain factors, including:
- Type of Food: Consider the type of food that the feeder can dispense. While most automatic feeders accommodate only dry food, there are models that can dispense wet foods as well. Take your time to figure out whether your doggo is into dry or wet foods and go for an appropriate feeder.
- Capacity: Some dog feeders are not designed to dispense large food portions, which can be a problem if you have a large dog breed that eats big portions. So, before settling on a feeder, check its capacity versus your dog breed.
- Air-tight reservoir: A good feeder should have an air-tight reservoir to keep your dog’s food fresh for longer. In particular, this is a critical consideration for large-capacity feeders.
- Connection: If you buying a feeder that requires a Wi-Fi connection to operate, avoid those that need to reconnect to Wi-Fi every time they open. Instead, go for options that don’t need to connect every now and then. They will save you a lot of time.
- Locking System for the food reservoir: A poorly constructed feeder may allow your dog access to food before schedule feeding time. Opt for one with some form of locking system and those that are made from strong materials (this even more essential if your dog is a heavy chewer).
- Dog-friendly Dish: It is vital to go for a feeder with a non-toxic, smooth-sided and dog-friendly feeding dish. High-quality plastic and stainless steel dishes are the most recommended types of dishes.
- Number of Dogs: If you have two or more dogs, you need to go for feeders that can serve multiple dogs. A selective automatic dog feeder, for instance, can come in handy if you have dogs that compete over food or display guarding behaviors over food bowls.
- More programming functionalities: Go for feeders with a wide range of programmable features, including the capability to control food portions, to pause feeding, schedule feeding intervals, and monitor previous feeds among others.
- Camera and monitoring Features: It is fulfilling to see your dog’s action when he is alone or to confirm whether he has eaten his food or not. A feeder with a camera or a monitoring feature will allow you to see all these via your Smartphone. Some high-end feeders will even notify you if your pet has eaten or not. Choose a feeder based on what you need to know about your dog’s feeding behaviors.
- Slow feeding capabilities: If you have a dog that gulps his food fast, you need to go for auto feeders that have slow feeding capabilities. Such feeders will dispense predetermined portions of food not once but over a set period of time. The feeders are also great for dogs that are prone to bloating and those with digestive sensitivities.
- Cost: Your budget should also dictate the type of dog feeder to go for. Good feeders range from $150-$350. Even if you settle on an expensive option, you should remember that it is worth it because you are going to use it for a good cause and for your best canine friend.
1. How do I program an automatic dog feeder?
Programming your automatic dog feeder will depend on the type or model of feeder that you have. Most smart feeders have clock functionalities that allow you to set up your current time. You will then be prompted to input your desired feeding schedule. Some feeders may allow you to adjust the amount of food that you would wish to be dispensed at each feeding time. The most important thing is to read the user manual of your particular automatic dog feeder.
2. Is setting up a smart feeder difficult?
Setting up smart dog feeders is super easy. All you need to do is just to plug your feeder, sync it with your Smartphone and push a few buttons to put it in the mode that you prefer. Most users haven’t reported any difficulty in setting up smart feeders.
3. Are automatic feeders good for dogs?
Yes. Most automatic feeders are great for dogs. There are no known health concerns about the use of automatic dog feeders. The only thing you should remember is that the devices should never replace the care and attention that you should give your dog but a way to feed your dog diet when you are away from home.
4. Do automatic feeders help you calculate food portions for your dog?
No. They don’t but you can set them to dispense a given amount of food. The best way to figure out the correct quantity of food that you should give your dog is to talk to your vet for recommendations.
5. Is it possible to also hear your dog when using smart dog feeders with audio-recording capabilities?
Well, while some models allow one-way hearing only, it is possible for you and your dog to hear each other in certain high-end models.
6. Do I have to train my dog to use an automatic dog feeder?
Well, most dogs don’t need much time to figure out where their food bowls are. However, there are some dog breeds that are intimidated by the sound that some feeders produce. For such, you can take things slowly and where necessary use some clicker training to make them accustomed to the feeders.
7. Can my dog chew the auto feeder?
If your dog is a heavy chewer and has a habit of breaking into things that he can sink his teeth into, then there are high chances that he can try to chew or destroy the feeder. For that reason, we recommend buying stronger auto feeders or training your dog to be considerate before you purchase one.
8. Should I buy more than one feeder if I have dogs of different sizes
This will depend on the functionalities of your auto feeder. The most important thing to do is to buy a multi-dog feeder and feed them at exactly the same time to prevent the more dominant breed from denying the other a chance to eat.
It is always fulfilling to spend mealtime with your canine friend. And hand-on feeding has been proven to reinforce training and bonding. Put simply, you cannot substitute the care that you show to your pooch by feeding him yourself. However, if your schedule keeps you away during mealtime or if your dog is experiencing some behavioral or medical issues that require frequent feeding, automatic dog feeders is the best solution that can keep your mind at ease and keep your doggo healthy and happy.