Whether your pets like to graze or get regularly-timed meals, you might find one of these automatic pet feeders is just what you need when you're away from home - whether at work or on a break for a couple of days. These popular feeders are automatic or electronically timed to dispense your pet's kibble in the appropriate amount and when you tell them to.
Plenty of humans praise these feeders for saving them from having to wake at 4:00 a.m. to feed their kitties, who seem to only want to eat when we're sleeping, or for saving parents from having to decide between feeding hungry kids or or hungry dogs. Ever have to wait until pet feeding time is over before you go out for dinner with friends? Pet feeding may not be a problem for you, but having an electronic feeder makes your life less stressful anyway!
One of the most important reasons people chose automatic feeders is to control their pets' weight and to keep them from eating too much and getting sick. An automatic pet feeder competes with slow feeding dishes for pets in terms of slowing your pet down, but it saves you the work of having to fill the dish every few hours. But, you need to read and follow the directions on the automatic feeder you choose. It seems that the biggest problem pet owners have with the pet feeders stem from poor manufacturer instructions or customer failure to follow the instructions provided.
There are basically two types of automatic or electronic feeders: One holds all the food in a canister and dispenses a pre-set portion of the food into a feeding dish when the electronic timer dictates, like this eTTgear below.
The other basic type of automatic or electronic feeder contains individual feeding trays that are already filled with food, but not exposed to your pet until the machine exposes a full feeding tray to your pet. Like this....
Most of the automatic feeders currently on the market are intended for dry food. If you feed your pets canned food, you should purchase a feeder that lets you pre-fill, like the PetLucky pictured immediately above. (I do not know what "Pet Summerwinds" are.) If you do serve wet food in this type of dish, you should only fill enough food for one day or less, as the food will spoil over a longer period of time. This is a great feeder style for pets who are on medications, as you can time them to appear when your pet is scheduled for him to take them - don't forget the Pill Pockets!
Check these out these popular automatic pet feeders and see if you can find one that meets yours and your pets' needs....
The 2-meal PetSafe Feeder holds 1.5 cups of dry food in each feeder, and each has a timer on it. You can set them to open for up to 48 hours. The PetSafe 2-feeder requires only one AA battery for energy.
The 5-meal PetSafe Automatic Feeder holds up to 1 cup of dry food in each container and can be programmed for up to 5 meals per day. This is great for grazing dogs and cats who need their portions controlled. Some users have placed wet food in the compartments successfully in both of the PetSafe feeders. But you can put a variety of foods and snacks in this kind of feeder, as long as it is just for day-feeding. Bowls are dishwasher safe in both the 2-meal and 5-meal feeders.
This model of the PetSafe automatic feeder is a best seller on Amazon.com. It is, as its name implies, simple to set up and deliver dry food to your pets. One 'bell and whistle' that I like is that you can use it as a slow feeder - setting it to drop a portion of food, say, every 3 or 4 minutes over a 15 minute time period - or as a regular feeder at longer intervals - say a full meal every 8 hours. You can program it to distribute food in a given amount up to 12 times per day. Or you can have it set for once or twice a day. It's very versatile. The container holds 24 cups of food. Customers say that you can use freeze-dried food, like Stella & Chewy's in this feeder. The Pet Simply Automatic Feeder operates on 4 Size D alkaline batteries; an electric adapter is available separately from the manufacturer. If you're not home for a day or two, it's best to get the adapter; then, if the power goes out, you have the battery back-up.
The Cat Mate C3000 is great for cats and small to medium dogs and can provide up to 3 full meals a day or distribute food I like the fact that it can distribute as little as 2 teaspoons of small dry food, even on a "frequent feed" schedule. This model also has a great instruction video which you can watch before you buy on Amazon.com. It runs on 4 C-cell batteries.
Customers ask tons of questions about specific automatic pet feeders before they buy on Amazon. You are probably familiar with the kinds of questions that are asked. I always read through the questions and answers asked to acquire as much information as I can. The Cat Mate questions are pretty typical, but I had to do a double-take on this one:
Question: "Is it okay to put human food? I can't stop eating."
Answer: "This is perfect for that purpose. In my own tests I have found that I can get a whole day's food into the hopper. I have mounted the hopper on the wall above my bed and removed the bowl. Now I simply lay in bed all day with my mouth open and am fed throughout the day. Hamburgers work particularly well." (Helpful Horse)
Answer: "Well if it's dry and fits through the auger then yes. However if you are using it for a high calorie food, you'll eventually get too heavy to move to go back to the store. You'll need an enabler to refill the machine for you and to call the EMT's to remove your body once you die." (Gary Setter)
Although smart pet feeders are still really in their infancy, the Feed and Go seems to have the highest percentage of very satisfied customers, and the company has just put out this new version (2018!), ironing out any kinks there might have been in previous models. Yes, you can watch your pet eat (there's a little camera hidden in the back of the feeder section), and you can talk to him and listen to him and take photos or videos with the Feed and Go app - IOS and Android available. One feature I really like is that, although you set-up the feeding timers via wi-fi, once they are set they will work, even if your wi-fi goes out. Customers report this model is easy to set up. (Now that's good!) Here's a quick peak at how the Feed and Go operates. (You may want to set your volume down just a little.)
There is no shortage of automatic feeding devices, but the above five are among the most popular and highest in customer satisfaction. Here are just a few more I should mention that are more specialized and have high customer satisfaction:
PetLucky Automatic Feeder With Voice Reminder A solid little all-around feeder for cats and small dogs (image above).
eTT Gear Electric Dry Food Dispenser Big container for dry food, good for large dogs. (image above)
Surefeed Microchip Pet Feeder A great design, the Surefeed is primarily for multiple pet households to keep the thieves from eating each others' food!
WOpet Feeder Bowl With Ice Pack Nice feeder, especially for raw or canned pet food. Holds only one meal, but can be programmed up to 48 hours.
WOpet Smart Feeder For Pets Smart feeder for single pet, dry feed, can program up to 4 meals per day. Control through IOS or Android.
Tip: Before you purchase an automatic or smart pet feeder, check the reviews regarding the sound that notifies your pet that food is available. It could be your own voice that you have programmed or the machine's own alert. You want to make sure that the sound is as clear and gentle as possible, so as not to frighten your pet.
Whichever automatic feeder you choose, may it make your life easier and your pet feel more special!
That's the buzz for today!