The Best Automatic Dog Feeder You’ll Need This 2017
Most dog owners today live a busy life. Thanks to that fact , most of us don’t find the time to feed our dog on time. Now, this is where the best automatic dog feeder comes to our rescue. There are quite a number of Automatic Dog Feeders on the market. Here, we are going to take a look at 5 of the best automatic dog feeders today.
Now, before we jump straight to the products, let us first know a little bit about Automatic Dog Feeders.
What are Automatic Dog Feeders?
Automatic dog feeders are a clever piece of equipment that doesn’t require you to stay around to feed your dog. At a specific time or on performing a specific action, the dog feeder dispenses a specific the food automatically. This way you can exercise control over the amount of food your dog eats as well as the time, without actually being there.
How Does it Work?
The basic design of a dog feeder is simple. It contains an air-tight hopper, where the food is stored. There is also a mechanism which controls how much and when the food is dispensed. These are basically all there are to it.
Now, there are two different types of dog feeders – the one with the timers and the ones without timers. The latter ones are simpler. There is a sort of trap door which your dog would push open and the food would be dispensed, most commonly by the action of gravity.
Timed food dispensers are more complicated and expensive, but they are much more convenient. You just need to set the time and the amount of food that you want to dispense. The device would be automatically dispensing food at that specified time.
If you want to know how an automatic dog feeder works, you can check out this video. It’s basically a homemade device, but almost all the Automatic dog feeders available on the market works in a similar fashion.
The Advantages of Automatic Dog Feeders
So, what are the advantages of automatic dog feeders? Well, there are many. One of the greatest advantages of automatic dog feeders is the fact that you need not be around to feed your dog. This gives you a greater freedom. You can attend to other things without worrying about your dog not being fed.
Automatic dog feeders with timers have an added advantage. Unlike the ones without timers, where the dog can eat as much as he wants, in automatic timer dog feeders, you can control everything. This is, therefore, a much responsible option.
Possible Disadvantages of Automatic Dog Feeders
Now, Dog feeders don’t have any proven disadvantages. However, there are a few veterinarians and animal experts who feel that relying on dog feeders all the time would reduce the chances of forming a bond with your dog. In the initial stages, the dog needs to see you as the provider of food. This helps him to recognize your importance and increases the chances of a better bonding.
Dog feeders that don’t have timers would allow your dog to eat as much as they want, thereby promoting unhealthy eating habits.
As far as the ‘bonding issue’ goes, you need not worry much as long as you manage to spend a good deal of quality time with your pet. Also, try to feed your dog at least once a day with your own hand.
How to Choose the Right Automatic Dog Feeder?
Alright, now that we know that dog feeders are a good option for busy dog owners, let us take a look at how you can choose the right dog feeder.
1. Simple Design
The first thing that you should look for is that the device is not complicated enough for you to understand. You are going to operate it, so you need to understand how it operates. If you feel that a dog feeder with a timer has too many buttons and you can’t handle it, it is better to stick with the ones that don’t have the timer.
2. Strong Build
The next thing that you should look at is the build of the device. If it’s made with cheap plastic or other cheap materials, then the chance of malfunctioning increases. Now, when the device malfunctions and you are not around, your dog would end up starving. You wouldn’t want that, would you? So, ensure that the device you are buying is made to last.
3. Ensure That It has Food Grade Plastic
Most Automatic Feeders nowadays are made up of plastic. Now, that is not a reason to worry as long as long as the parts of the device, especially the hopper and the plate are made out of food grade plastic.
4. Try to Go for a Lightweight Device
Another thing that you might look for is a lightweight device. This would allow you to move the device around the house. Sometimes, this might come in handy.
**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Detailed Review of the 5 Best Automatic Dog Feeders on the Market
Alright, so let’s take a look at some of the best Dog Feeders on the market today. I have shortlisted some of the best feeders here. I have used some of them personally and I have heard great things about the ones I haven’t used. However, I would like to recommend that you try out the devices and find the best one for your dog
Okay, so let’s start with the device that I personally own at this moment. You might think I am a bit biased, but it is really not that way. What I really like about this product is that you get a greater control over the meals that you give to your dog.
Programming is also quite easy and you would be using the device like a pro in no time.
You can serve semi-moist food as well. I also like the fact that I can clean the device quite easily. This means that Zoey, my 1 year old Labrador would not be getting any dirt in her food. This comes from a trusted brand, so that also gives you confidence.
- You can program the feeding schedule with 12 meals a day with flexible meal portions that range from 1/8 cup up to 4 cups.
- To prevent gulping and vomiting, it dispenses meals greater than 1/8 cup over 15 minutes.
- This dispenser is ‘pet-proof’ which means that your dog would not be able to access the food in the hopper, no matter how hard he tries.
- It comes with a steel bowl rather than a plastic bowl. This makes it more hygienic.
- The entire device could be easily disassembled for cleaning and some parts could be cleaned in a dishwasher.
- Programming might seem to be complicated for some.
- This might not be appropriate for large dogs. You might need to refill it frequently.
This is the first automatic dog feeder that I had. It is a really simple device that works on gravity. When the dish gets empty, the food is dispensed from the hopper. You don’t need to push any buttons or do any programming.
It worked really nice, although occasionally I did face issues with the door jamming and food not being dispensed. That’s okay when you are around (like I was when I used the device), but when you are away at work, this might create problems.
I used the 12 pound one, which was big enough to feed young Zoey and her elder brother Jonah (Jonah, my German shepherd, passed away recently). It’s one of those devices where you get what you pay for. If you want to get a no-frills dog feeder, then this might be the right option for you.
- It is simple and easy to use
- Could be easily cleaned in a dishwasher
- It comes with environment friendly PET bottles
- Helps to remove mat and tangles from the dog's coat.
- Has a luxurious scent that refreshes straightaway by wiping the pet.
- No downsides for this shampoo have been registered so far.
- The smell maybe very strong for sensitive nose.
This is another good option for those who want a simple dog feeder. This works on gravity and doesn’t come with any timer. If you want a large dog feeder, then this might just do the trick for you as you can store a large quantity of food.
An interesting feature of the feeder is the magnetic door which closes tightly and keeps the food dry. Now, I have not personally used this but some of my friends have. I haven’t heard much complaint from them.
It is made up of galvanized steel which makes the device quite durable and hence, you can keep it in your backyard as well.
- Large quantity. Can hold food up to 25 lbs.
- It comes with a magnetic door, which closes automatically and keeps the food fresh and dry. It also protects the food from unwanted pests.
- You can hang it conveniently on the wall.
- The magnetic door might not function properly but it is not usually and you might need to prop it.
- The position of the feeder is too low. Hence, you can’t keep it on the ground.
This is a good option for those who are looking for an automatic dog feeder with a timer. This gives you a wide range of options to choose from. You can program up to 6 meals a day and that too in varied portions.
It stores a decent amount of food, so you wouldn’t find yourself refilling it every now and then. One feature which I really like is the fact that you can record your own voice and make the device call out to your pets. This kind of lends a personal touch to the process.
- Automatic feeder with timer which allows you program for 6 meals a day
- Flexible meal proportions, ranging from 1/32 cup to 7 cups.
- You can record your own voice to call out to your dog when the time for meal comes.
- Low power consumption.
- The audio cue is a good feature but the thing is you can’t turn it off. The default one is in Chinese.
- It does not come with a separate bowl.
- The instructions might be a little hard to follow (So, I am told)
Now, some of you might not consider gravity feeders to be automatic feeders and you might want something that gives you more control than an automatic feeder that runs on gravity. For them, this feeder seems to be an option that is good enough.
If you don’t want to push too many buttons, then this one is just right for you. It just comes with a simple dialer, which you can set at a specific time and then the dialer counts down to that time.
Once it reaches zero, your dog could enjoy the meal. Now, the thing is you can only feed your dog once before you need to refill.
So, if you are out for a longer period of time, this is not really a good option. But, if you are just going to your office for the day and you need to feed your dog just once, then this might be something that you would want to consider.
- This is the simplest of timed dog feeders. You just have to set a dial.
- It comes with an ice-pack that keeps the food fresh.
- You can mix and match different colors
- The dialer does not go off. It is on the whole time. This drains the battery.
- The amount of food you can keep might seem small for large dogs.
And the Winner is...
We have compared some of the best automatic dog feeders on the market today. It’s really difficult to pick a winner because everyone has their pros and cons. But considering all of that, I think the PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder is the best option among these. It is highly programmable as you can set everything –from the number of meals to the portion size, to the time of the day you want to feed. The device also has a strong build. It is easy to clean, lightweight and the best part is, I have never seen it fail in all these years.