Accessories

The Best Automatic Dog Feeders

As much as we love our dogs, there are occasions when we have to sadly leave them home alone. Dogs thrive best when they eat two meals a day on a regular schedule, but this can be difficult to achieve if you have to stay late at work one evening or if your dog sitter calls in sick. It can be upsetting for both you and your dog to be apart for long periods of time.

Life can be made a little better for our pups when we can commit to delivering consistent feeding times. Instead of feeding your pooch outside of their usual schedule, automatic feeders can be pre-programmed to feed your dog at the appropriate breakfast and dinner times. Alternatively, casual grazers can eat as and when they please. It is important to note that these devices are not designed to wholly substitute your care and attention when it comes to your dog’s diet.

This article explores 5 of the best automatic dog feeders currently on the market, along with a complete buyer’s guide to help you decide which one is right for you and your dog.

FAQs

What is an automatic dog feeder and how does it work?

An automatic dog feeder is exactly what the name implies: a food dispenser that releases food for your dog automatically, without any human input.

What types of automatic dog feeders are available?

The two most common types of automatic dog feeders are gravity fed systems and electronic feeders.

Gravity feeders are simple. Every time your dog eats, food will effortlessly fall down from the container into the bowl. In comparison, electronic feeders can be pre-programmed with feeding times and portion sizes. You can read more about the benefits and drawbacks of each type of automatic dog feeder in our buyer’s guide below.

How many times a day should I feed my dog?

The Pet Health Center from WebMD recommend feeding your dog one or two times a day. Preferably, feed your dog twice a day at 8 to 12 hour intervals. Take a look at the suggested amount found on commercial dog foods and split this into two portions.

Sometimes this suggested amount can be more or less than what your dog requires. In this case, visit your veterinarian who can calculate the exact amount your pooch should be consuming.

The Best Automatic Dog Feeder: Reviewed

There are two types of dogs in the world: ones that can be left to sensibly graze on unlimited food or ones that can never stop eating. No matter what type of pooch you have, automatic dog feeders can be life changing.

Below, we have listed the 5 best automatic dog feeders that we are sure you and your dog will be impressed with.

1. WOpet Automatic Pet Feeder

The WOpet automatic pet feeder looks excellent with its sleek and streamlined design. With an impressive 7 litre capacity it can hold up to 20 cups of food. When the time comes to add more food, you will be delighted with how simple it is to remove and refill the feeders storage compartment. The feeding tray is easily removed and easy to clean, as well as being dishwasher friendly.

Key Features

  • Capacity: 7 litres
  • Power Supply: Wall powered and/or battery powered.
  • Food Type: Suitable for dry food only (pellet size 0.2-0.6 inch)
  • Technology: Schedule 4 feedings daily, voice recording playback.

The technology behind this model is great. You’re able to schedule up to 4 automatic feedings daily. This is great for those of you looking to keep your dog in a set feeding routine. You can also control your dogs portion sizes from 2 teaspoons to 4.5 cups worth of food. This makes it suitable for all dog breeds. Another feature we love is the option to record a voice message for your dog which can be played at feeding times. If you’re worried your dog might need a little encouragement to eat while you’re out this is a useful feature.

2. Iseebiz Pet Food Dispenser (6L)

The Iseebiz automatic pet food dispenser is another great option if you’re looking for a high capacity model. This holds up to 6 litres of food which is 1 litre less than the WOpet feeder but it is still pretty impressive. It is similar to the WOpet feeder in the sense that it provides up to 4 automated meals a day. These range between 10g and 390g servings.

Key Features

  • Capacity: 6 litres
  • Power Supply: Wall powered and/or battery powered.
  • Food Type: Unspecified
  • Technology: Schedule 4 feedings daily, voice recording playback and infrared.

You can dismount the feeder and remove the top as well as the feeding plate for easy cleaning. You shouldn’t find this too difficult, but it does come with an instructional video.
This feeder also supports voice recordings for your dog, helping it to feel less alone if you’re out during feeding time. The infrared sensor helps prevent blockage by checking for any left over food in the tray. If it senses a few meals worth it won’t produce more grain until it has been cleared. All round this is a very good automatic feeder that you and your dog will love.

3. Iseebiz Automatic Pet Feeder (3L)

Next on the list we have got another brilliant automatic feeder from Iseebiz. As you can see, this feeder is slightly different in terms of appearance when compared to the previous model. The most notable difference between the two being the capacity. This feeder has a capacity of 3 litres which is half the capacity of the previous model. However, if you own a small dog then this shouldn’t be much of a problem for you.

Key Features

  • Capacity: 3 litres
  • Power Supply: Wall powered and/or battery powered.
  • Food Type: Dry
  • Technology: Schedule 4 feedings daily, voice recording playback and infrared.

This feeder has the great technology that came with the previous feeder. It’s got the automated meal scheduling (up to four per day) with customizable portion control. You can choose between 1 and 39 portions per meal. The voice recording mechanism will help to prevent your dog feeling isolated while you’re out the house. The infrared technology helps to prevent the feeder from blocking. This is another great automatic dog feeder from Iseebiz, but one better suited to smaller dogs.

4. PETKIT APP Control Smart Pet Feeder

The PETKIT feeder has an innovative design that allows you to control feeding from anywhere using your smart phone (compatible with Apple or Android devices). This feeder holds a very respectable 5.9 litres worth of food. It comes with a double fresh lock design, which helps your dogs food stay fresh.

Key Features

  • Capacity: 5.9 litres
  • Power Supply: Wall powered and/or battery powered.
  • Food Type: Unspecified
  • Technology: Schedule 4 feedings daily, smartphone/Wi-Fi connectivity and “never stuck” technology.

As well as smart phone control this feeder also allows automatic scheduling of up to four meals per day. You can dispense between 1 and 20 portions with each portion 20 grams in weight. The “never stuck” feeder creates a self adaption system which helps prevent your dogs food from jamming the feeder. Our only criticism is that it doesn’t have voice control. That said, this is still a very good automatic dog feeder with impressive technology.

5. Arf Pets Automatic Pet Feeder

The Arf Pets automatic pet feeder can hold just over 5 litres of dog food. It can be set to schedule up to 4 daily distributions with between 1 and 10 portions per meal. Each of these portions is 24ml in size. The fact that you can select a range of portions is great for dogs that are on strict meal control.

Key Features

  • Capacity: 5.18 litres
  • Power Supply: Wall powered and/or battery powered.
  • Food Type: Dry
  • Technology: Schedule 4 feedings daily, voice recording and LCD clock.

This comes with voice recording ability allowing you to make a recording of up to 10 seconds. Perfect for calling your dog or playing them a comforting message while you’re not at home. All in all this is a very well rounded feeder with a decent capacity and a good list of features.

So Which Option Is Best? Our Winners

Winners The Best Automatic Dog Feeder article

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All 5 of the products we have comprehensively reviewed are excellent examples of automatic dog feeders. Nevertheless, if you are going to invest in one of the feeders which one would it be? Below, we take a look at our stand out automatic dog feeders.

Our Top Rated Automatic Dog Feeder: WOpet Automatic Pet Feeder

Here’s why:

  • It has the best capacity of all the feeders we reviewed.
  • Takes a range of pellet sizes between 0.2 and 0.6 inches.
  • The manufacturer promises a 30 day full refund and a years warranty on the product.
  • Falls back to battery power should the mains power supply fail.

Even though we’ve found our overall winner, it’s important that we mention some the other options we were very impressed with.

Not all dogs are the same size. For those of you with smaller dogs, you’re likely to provide them with smaller portions and wont need as much overall capacity. If this sounds like you then we would recommend getting the Iseebiz automatic 3 litre pet feeder. This is the most suitable automatic dog feeder for small dogs.

Automatic dog feeders are an innovative concept in themselves but some come with really impressive technology. We found the PETKIT Automatic Pet Feeder to have the best level of technology. It has all of the scheduling capabilities of the other feeders but also comes with smart phone connectivity. This is great for those of you who will look to feed your pet on the fly. However, it is worth mentioning that this doesn’t come with a voice recorder.

Buyer’s Guide: Key Benefits Of an Automatic Dog Feeder

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There are many benefits of owning an automatic dog feeder. Here are 8 speedy reasons for investing:

  • Dogs love structure and consistency. This also applies to feeding schedules.
  • Your dog will always get fed. Whether you at home or not, your dog will always have a supply of food at meal times.
  • Useful for people who are unable to commit to regular dog feedings. This may not just apply to people who work away from home, but also those who are elderly or disabled.
  • Helps you notice if there is something wrong with your dog’s health. In fact, the first sign of sickness is often a lack of appetite.
  • Eating the same time every day is healthy. By doing so, your dog will poop at the same time every day too. This may be useful in deciding when to take your dog for a walk.
  • Great for weight management and health conditions. Electric dog feeders will allow you to pre-program portion sizes and schedule feedings. In this way, dogs can gain the health benefits of eating small regular meals. It also prevents bloating and obesity.
  • Great for managing feeding times in multiple dog households. You can feed your small pup on their own while your greedier dog is occupied eating their own meal in a separate room.
  • Stylish and modern appearance. Feeders come in a variety of colors and styles that can blend well with your décor. Compared to some dog accessories, they will not look out of place in the home.

Overall, the benefits of an automatic dog feeder are clear. Not only they benefit your dog’s life, but yours too.

Note that most of these advantages apply to electronic dog feeders.

Should I Buy a Gravity Or Electronic Feeder?

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Now that you have decided on investing in an automatic electronic feeder, the next question is whether you need a feeder that dispenses food automatically by gravity or through electronic programming.

Gravity Feeders

Gravity feeders have an upright reservoir for storing dog food that is connected to a bowl or dish. As your dog eats food from the dish, the work of gravity transports more food from the container when the bowl drops below a specific level. With such a simple design, there is no need for sophisticated programming. You can be confident that this tool will never disappoint and your dog will never miss a meal. However if you have a multiple pet household, they may squabble over the food.

While gravity feeders can be compatible for dogs that enjoy grazing when they like, they are not recommended for dogs that have the tendency to never stop eating. A constant supply of food could easily lead to overindulging and associated health conditions such as obesity and diabetes. In addition, food that is left out all day can attract unwelcomed insects or rodents.

Another disadvantage of gravity feeders is cleaning. As the food bowl always has a supply of food, it needs to be completely empty before it can be cleaned.

Electronic Feeders

This popular type of automatic feeder allows you to have complete control over how much your dog eats and when they can eat it. Specifically, you tailor to your dog’s individual needs by setting designated feeding times and the amount of food dispensed each time.

Regardless of where you are during feeding times, you can provide your dog with a consistent and regular feeding schedule. As mentioned previously, electronic feeders are great managing weight and health-conditions such as hypoglycaemia, pancreatitis and diabetes. This is because dogs can gain the health benefits of eating small regular meals. Electronic feeders are also easy to clean because they can be turned off or have their functions paused.

Furthermore, it can be easy to miscalculate portion sizes by relying on sight alone. Portions are spot-on every time, but only with a high quality electronic feeder. This is because low quality electronic feeders can make programming errors, subsequently leading to your dog missing a meal, being overfed or underfed.

Make sure you invest in a reliable, high quality feeder such as those reviewed earlier in this article.

What Makes a Good Automatic Dog Feeder?

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When it comes to looking for the perfect automatic dog feeder for you and your canine companion, there are a few characteristics to aim for.

Security

Automatic dog feeders built with premium quality materials will prevent your dog from breaking through and retrieving food before the designated feeding time. Some feeders have reservoirs constructed with steel and feature secure locking systems to hold back even the most insistent dogs.

High Quality Feeding Dish

The feeding dish needs to be high quality, non-toxic and hardwearing. This guarantees durability to last a long time, while also withstanding heavy chewers!

Capacity

The size of the breed will depend on the size of the kibble and portion capacity you wish to have. For example, large-breed dogs such as Alaskan Malamutes and Great Danes will benefit from feeders designed to dispense great portions of large-sized kibble. In comparison, this may not be important for smaller dog breeds.

Easy to Clean

Owning a feeder inevitably involves the responsibility of cleaning it on a regular basis. Gravity feeders are more difficult to clean than electronic feeders as they hold a constant supply of food. Look for products that are easy to disassemble and dishwasher friendly for the utmost convenience. You will be thanking yourself later!

Programming Features

Automatic dog feeders have a wide variety of programmable features. At the very least, you should opt for a feeder that will allow you to choose how many meals a day it offers and the size of those meals. The amount of feeds that can be provided should suit your dog’s needs.

Other programmable features may include the ability to pause feeding, keep track of previous feeds and deliver one-off feeds without changing the main programming.

Connectivity

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With the increased advances of technology, there are now automatic dog feeders that can connect to an app on your smartphone device or tablet. This allows you to track and make changes without being in close proximity to the feeder. Check to see if your device is compatible before purchasing.

Pre-Recorded Messages

Some dogs may value dinner calls when it is meal time. This can be effective for dogs that respond to a specific voice command. Messages that have been pre-recorded can be played when it is time to eat.

Airtight Food Reservoirs

Feeders with a tight seal will stop air from entering the reservoir. This smart feature will keep food fresher for longer, guaranteeing a yummy meal every time.

Number of Dogs

If you have a multiple-dog household, you may not necessarily need multiple feeders. However, you may want to consider investing more than one automatic feeder if your dogs are competitive or present guarding behaviors over food.

Food Type Compatibility

Most automatic feeders are suitable for dry food, whereas others are compatible with both. Carousel type feeders are most suitable for wet or moist food. Ultimately, look for a product that is going to meet your dog’s needs.

Long Lasting Battery Life

Battery-operated automatic feeders require a long lasting battery life. Extravagant feeders have many impressive features, which are likely to drain the battery life very quickly. As you can imagine, this can be an issue when you are relying on the feeder to work on time. We recommend opting for a feeder that uses an electrical outlet to minimize these types of problems.

Final Thoughts On Finding the Best Automatic Dog Feeder

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Whether you are looking for assistance to keep your dog fed every day or want something unique that offers more, the best automatic dog feeder can be the answer for catering to your dog’s needs.

Unless your pooch is very self-controlled when it comes to feeding portions (a rare quality indeed!), owners should always choose electronic feeders. These devices lend a hand in meeting your dog’s health and dietary needs for a long and fulfilling life. Whatever the reason for your absence during feeding times, you can rely on an automatic dog feeder to deliver a strict and regular feeding time.

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