When you’re a dog owner, you know that feeding times and portions are crucial. They help your pet stay energized and healthy. But how do you control meals when you’re at work or out on the town?
That’s where an automatic dog feeder comes in (just brush them before you leave). Automatic feeders take away stressful pet feeding schedules. These automated feeders are designed to dispense a specific amount of food at set times, so your dog always has the food it needs.
You no longer need to worry about leaving huge bowls of food and your dog overeating, or asking friends to pop by. Simply schedule the feeding and relax knowing that your pet is safe and satisfied.
There are hundreds of automatic dog feeders on the market, which means that it can be challenging to figure out where to start your search. We’ve taken care of that part for you — after combing through many different brands, models, and features, these are our five favorite feeders for your furry friend.
Top 5: Automatic Dog Feeders Review
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The WOpet Automatic Pet Feeder supports up to four feedings per day, which is ideal for both regular work days and weekend outings. With a variety of portion sizes, the WOpet can adjust the portion size depending on how much your dog needs.
If you’re looking for accurate portion control, this product can help. It allows you to choose any serving size between two tablespoons and four and a half cups; with this product you can feed a toy poodle or a St. Bernard. Setting the portions is easy, thanks to the high-visibility LCD screen. With just a few taps, you can set the feeder for the whole day.
This WOpet feeder features integrated voice commands to help remind your pet that it’s time to eat. You can record your own voice, which creates a sense of familiarity. If your dog is nervous when alone, your voice can soothe them and convince them to eat.
When it’s storage is full, the feeder holds up to 20 cups of food. It accepts most standard dry food types, as long as the individual pellets measure between 0.2 inches to 0.6 inches in diameter. You can take the food storage compartment out to add more food or wash it between uses.
The PetSafe Smart Feed Feeder features a high capacity and flexible programming options, making it a great choice for busy dog owners. With its sleek design, it looks great in your kitchen or any part of your home.
The most important feature of this product is its sophisticated programming system. It connects to your home’s Wi-Fi network, which allows you to handle all of the meal scheduling through an app on your smartphone.
You can schedule up to 12 meals each day — or, if you’re held up somewhere, simply activate the Feed Now option on your phone. This ensures that your pet will always be well-nourished, even if you can’t get home for mealtime.
Does your dog tend to eat food too quickly? Simply activate the Slow Feed option. Slow Feed will slowly release your pet's food over the course of 15 minutes. That way, your dog is forced to eat slowly, which helps maintain happy and healthy digestion. Plus, you don’t need to worry about coming home to vomit!
Our favorite aspects of this PetSafe feeder are the backup options. If your Wi-Fi connection goes out, it still dispenses food on schedule. When the power shuts off, the optional battery backup kicks in. These systems give you serious peace of mind, especially when you’re rushing around on a busy day.
If you’re looking for a simple feeding solution, the Arf Pets Automatic Feeder is a great choice. It’s designed with user-friendly controls and an easy-to-understand interface, so you can breeze through setup and scheduling.
It allows you to set up to four automatic feedings during the day. For each feeding, you can pick up to ten 24 ml units of food. That way, your dog always gets the correct amount.
Setting a meal portion is easy. This product comes with a large, lighted LCD screen, so you can see clearly even in the early hours of the morning. You can even record a 10-second voice clip that plays at mealtime.
Does your dog love to dig for more food? It comes with a magnetic lid that stays firmly closed, so your pet can’t get in.
The WESTLINK Automatic Pet Feeder is designed for precise portion control. If you’re trying to reduce your dog’s weight to a healthier level, this system can help you achieve that goal. You can use this with a variety of dry-food shapes, as long as they are smaller than 0.39 inches across.
It allows for up to four meals per day. The magic, however, is in the portion sizes. For each meal, you can choose to dispense between 1 and 39 portions where each portion measures around 10-12 g. This allows you to create the ideal meal for any dog.
With automatic dog feeders, dry food can occasionally get stuck in the gears, preventing the meal from releasing properly. The WESTLINK feeder is designed to prevent this. It uses an infrared detection system to ensure that food is dispensed correctly.
You can power it using three D-cell batteries. Alternatively, it comes with a USB power option. The integrated voice recorder lets you create custom greetings for your dog. The bin holds 6L of food to cut down on the number of refills per week.
When it comes to simplicity, this PetSafe 5 Meal dog feeder is hard to beat. It features a super-streamlined design that’s ideal for technophobes. Simply fill each of the five segments with food and close the lid. At your pre-scheduled times, the dish will rotate so fresh food slides under an opening in the lid. Your pet will only eat that one segment while the rest are covered. At the next feeding, the dish rotates again.
Does your pet eat different amounts at different times of the day? This product makes that easy to work. Simply fill the compartments with the correct amounts. Each compartment can hold up to one cup of food. Since there’s no dispenser, you can also use this product to serve semi-moist food.
On the top, a simple set of buttons makes it easy to set the feeding times. An LCD screen shows you the precise timing of each meal. To power the unit, just insert four D-cell alkaline batteries.
automatic dog feeder Buying Guide
Your dog’s feeding schedule contributes to their overall health and wellness. That’s why it’s important to select an automatic dog feeder that fits your pet’s needs in addition to working with your schedule. As you’re looking at different options, some things to consider include:
Automatic feeders can be programmed to release food for your dog, but most come with limits. Before you buy, make sure that those limits work with your schedule and your dog’s feeding routine. If the machine only allows four feedings, but you need to schedule five, it probably isn’t the best fit. It’s also a good idea to check that the portion control capabilities meet your dog’s serving size.
Does your dog have separation anxiety? If so, it can be stressful to be home without you all day. Some feeders come with voice-recording capabilities. That way, you can record yourself speaking to your dog. This small step can bring a great deal of comfort to an anxious pet. Plus, it creates a positive association with mealtime, which is ideal for pets who struggle to get enough nutrition.
Automatic feeders need power to operate, which means that you need to install batteries or plug in the unit. Examine your house — is there an outlet nearby your dog’s feeding location? If not, you might need to opt for a battery-operated feeder. If you’re buying a corded model, make sure it has a battery backup. That way, if the power goes out or your dog pulls the cord out of the outlet, they will still be fed on time.
Are you gone for long periods of time? If so, it's important to choose an automatic feeder with a high capacity. That way, you can rest assured that your pet will be fed, and you don't need to refill the container every other day.
best automatic dog feeder
Each of these feeders can help you maintain a regular meal schedule for your dog, even while you’re at work. For most pet owners, we recommend the Pet Safe Smart Feed; its convenient app-based programming makes it easy to schedule feedings from anywhere.
If you want to upgrade your feeding system, order the Pet Safe automatic feeder today!
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Benefits of Automatic Dog Feeders
Chances are, your pup needs to eat more than once throughout the day — and in many cases, those feeding times don’t line up with your schedule. With an automatic pet feeder, you can make sure that you’re sticking to your vet’s suggested feeding schedule.
Does your dog ever wake you early in the morning begging for breakfast? If you’re not an early riser, this wake up call can be frustrating. An automatic feeder takes care of it for you, keeping both you and your dog happy.
If you work during the day, or if you need to be out in the evening, it can feel restricting to run home for feeding time. This is another time an automatic feeder can help — it keeps your beloved pet fed, even when you’re not there. Even better, if there’s an emergency, it will make sure that your dog is fed on time.
Some dogs struggle with weight management. With the automatic feeder, you can manage portion control even from a distance. That means that your pup isn’t scarfing down a huge bowl of food early in the day and going hungry until you get home. These small bursts of nutrition can make it easier to manage your dog's weight and to maintain a steady activity level that promotes a healthy lifestyle for your pup.
Note: it may also be useful to look at insurance options for your pet before you go on a trip.
Auto Dog Feeder Frequently Asked Questions
How do automatic dog feeders work?
Automatic dog feeders are designed to feed your dog at pre-programmed times, making it possible for you to stick to their feeding schedule even when you're away from the house. With an automatic feeder, you'll be able to fill the large canister with food and let the feeder take care of feeding your dog while you work or tend to other tasks.
How are electronic feeders different from gravity feeders?
Electronic feeders run off of either electricity or battery power. These products can be programmed to dispense set amounts of food at different times throughout the day. Since you can control the amount of food dispensed at a time, you can prevent your dog from overeating.
Once you receive your electronic feeder, you'll need to take a few minutes to program it. This shouldn't take too long, but you'll want to set the different times you want your dog to be fed and how much food you want dispensed during each feeding. Electronic feeders will cost more than gravity feeders, but they include more options and features that many feel make the extra cost worth it.
Gravity feeders do not require electricity or a battery to run. They feature a simpler design and do not need to be programmed.
With a gravity feeder, the top compartment is attached to the bottom food bowl. As food is eaten from the bottom bowl, new food will automatically fall down to refill the bowl.
One problem many dog owners have with gravity feeders is that their dogs can overeat. Many dogs do not self-regulate, and will continue eating if more food is available. If your dog is prone to overeating, you'll likely want to get an electronic feeder.
How much food can automatic dog feeders hold?
Different products have different capacities, so the amount of food held will vary. Most automatic feeders can hold somewhere between about 15 cups of food and 30 cups of food.
Your dog's daily food intake will affect how frequently you need to refill the food canister. Whereas smaller dogs may only eat about a cup of food a day, larger dogs may eat multiple cups in one day. Obviously, you'll need to refill the canister more frequently if your dog eats four cups each day than if they only eat one.
Are there smart pet feeders that will allow you to let your dog know when you dispense their food?
Yes, there are some dog feeders that can connect with your smartphone or mobile device. These options will let you interact with your dog during feeding times. They feature a two-way microphone that will let you talk to your dog (and hear their replies) when they are near the feeder.
Some feeders also have a camera that will let you see your dog as they are eating or monitor other activities when they are near the feeder.
Smart pet feeders offer additional benefits as well. You can easily adjust your dog's feeding schedule or change the quantity of food that will be dispensed using your phone. If you're away unexpectedly, you can also use the app to dispense a meal that you were planning to feed to your dog.
A smart feeder can also help you make sure the food canister remains food. They can send you alerts to let you know if the food level is getting low and needs to be replenished.
Some non-smart feeders also offer you the option to create a recording that will be played every time food is dispensed for your dog. While these don't offer the ability to have a live conversation, hearing your voice could provide a comforting effect for your dog at mealtimes.
Can dogs break into automatic feeders and eat too much?
When choosing a feeder for your dog, you'll want to look for one that has a lock or a tamper-proof compartment. These options are designed to prevent dogs from gaining access to the extra food in the compartment and overeating.
How many meals can I feed my dog each day with an automatic feeder?
You will want to consult with the specific information for the different feeders you are considering. Some allow you to give your dog up to 4 meals a day, while others can be programmed to dispense more than 10 meals each day.
How much does an automatic dog feeder cost?
While gravity feeders typically cost less than $15, electronic models can range from around $50 to over $150.
The different features and settings offered by each model will impact the total cost. You'll also pay more money if you're looking to get a smart feeder that will allow you to use an app to control the feeder or communicate with your dog through a microphone.
How often should I feed my dog?
A dog's age impacts the number of times they should eat. It is generally recommended to feed adult dogs about two times a day and puppies between three and four times each day (young puppies should be eating four times a day).