A complete guide to Automatic Pet Feeder for your pets
In our increasingly busy lives, we may often find ourselves being constrained to look after our pets and their feeding needs.
This might be because of our long working hours, time spent in traveling or any other constraint that may require one to be out of the house for long hours, sometimes for days together.
This, ultimately, would mean our reserved capacity to be around to take care of our pets, especially to meet their food needs.
As a response to our needs, there is a whole market of automatic feeders that can offer us their invaluable help.
From simple gravity-driven products to high technology solutions, there are ample options for a parent to explore.
In this article, we review a few of the most attractive options available, to help you in making the right choice.
Factors to consider while picking your product
So let us assume that you are looking at an automatic feeding appliance to take care of your pet or pets, while you are out of the house.
How should you evaluate your best fit solution? What are the characteristics that would make a particular automatic feeder appropriate or redundant to you?
Before digging deep into these products and their usefulness, it is important to know what to look for in these products.
In other words, what are the factors that we need to consider before choosing the product?
The following section tries to shed some light on these factors.
Since automatic feeders come in a wide price range, your budget constraint might play a critical role in deciding the right product for you.
Starting from only a few dollars going upwards to multiples of hundreds of dollars, each of these systems would carry a very varying price tag.
Consequently, it might be a good idea to lay a budget allocation before setting the task of selecting the equipment.
It is understood that your fixed allocated sum will be only an indicative figure.
But by defining the range of your willingness to spend on the item, you will be able to eliminate some of the options from the long list of items available in the market that you may find outside your budget.
Ultimately, this will help you narrow down on your options and get you closer to your goal of identifying the right product for you.
Is your pet a big eater? How many servings are appropriate for him? What are the portion sizes?
All of these questions need to be explored and answered.
Once this information is available and clear, it will lead you to the right product.
Since most of these products differ on the types of food that they can accommodate, a good idea could also be to have this parameter defined clearly.
For example, some of these products offer the option of storing only dry foods, while others may have a provision for storing all kinds from dry to wet.
Further, some systems may also have a restriction on the size of the food being churned out.
Therefore, before starting the exercise of scouting these products, these dietary preferences should be clear to you.
All the products that do not meet your criteria will automatically be eliminated.
Another factor to be considered is technology.
What is the level of monitoring that you would like to prefer?
Would you want to clearly define the portion size and the timing of the meal?
Is your pet likely to overeat or vomit?
Or would you be okay with an uninterrupted supply of food for your pets?
Once answers to these are clear, you will be able to identify the right equipment for you and your pet.
Having briefly considered and evaluated the basic parameters on which these products differ, we can now proceed with reviewing these products.
The following section helps shed some light on the most prominent features of the top 15 products in the market, with their potential advantaged and shortcomings.
We hope that by the end of the article you are able to identify the product that is most suited to your needs, without any difficulty.
Top 15 Automatic Pet Feeder
This pick is for parents who may not be always around to feed their pets.
As good as an alarm clock, you don’t have to worry about feeding your pets while you are away.
It is an easily programmable product that pours out a pre-defined portion of your pet food at intervals chosen by you.
It is also compact and easy to install and maintain, making it our top pick for programmable food dispensers.
• Large LCD screen with a built-in meal counter
• Removable bowl
• Twist-lock lid
• A user manual and guide
|Compact and stable design||The number of meals is restricted to three, which may not work for all|
|Ease of setting up quantity and intervals||Plastic bowl may not be the ideal solution|
|Removable bowl ensures ease of maintenance and cleaning||Also lacks ‘slow feeding modules’ that come with most of the automatic feeder systems|
|Translucent jar makes it easy to monitor the quantity||Product is not suitable for moist food – restricting parents in their choices|
|Long battery life (up to six months)|
|Twist lock rules out spillage|
|Top shelf is dishwasher safe|
Overall, however, it is a good product for those looking for a pre-portioned, timely solution for your pets which requires minimum supervision.
Also, the product may be ideal for pets who are content with a three times a day eating schedule.
One of our top choices in the class of automatic feeder is this one.
This fully automatic feeder uses smartphone programming via a Wi-Fi enabled the app to dish out up to 12 meals a day.
This is a convenient option for parents who want to monitor the portion size of their pets as it offers a provision to define the size of each meal.
The system comes equipped with-
• Digital timer program
• Anti-jam conveyor system
• User and operations manual
• Removable stainless steel bowl
|A programmable digital timer, that can dish out up to 12 meals a day||The only negative may be an opaque storage jar. This means a complete reliance on the display or the app.|
|Provision for dry as well as semi-moist foods of varied shapes and sizes|
|Slow feed mode to prevent gulping and vomiting|
|An ‘immediate’ and ‘pause’ feed mode to provide for last minute changes in dishing schedule|
|Removable stainless steel bowl|
|Pet proof dispenser enabled with locking lid|
|Dishwasher safe attachments|
|Option of being a battery operator or a power adaptor operated system|
|Translucent storage jar for easy monitoring of quantity|
Other than that, this automatic feeder may be ideal for parents who would like to feed their pets a mix of food;
both dry and wet.
Also, for pets that may run a risk of fast gulping or vomiting, the product might be the best fit.
Additionally, of course, since it offers up to 12 feeding slots, it is sure to benefit even those with the biggest of appetites.
Offering smart solutions to smart parents, this product comes with a wifi enabled the app for operation and control.
The product can be operated or monitored using an Apple device (with IOS 9.0 or later) or an Android smartphone 5.0 or later.
You may no longer have to worry about feeding your pets, as the product offers an effective solution to feeding while you are away.
This smart feeder is equipped with the following-
• A wifi enabled interface
• A locking lid
• 24-cup translucent hopper
• Removable stainless steel bowl
|Wi-Fi interface makes it possible for a user to access and monitor it from anywhere||Overall, the product is good, offering one of the best solutions available for busy parents. However, the only shortcoming could be the fact that the app is available for only IOS or Android users|
|Offers up to 12 meals a day, with a ‘feed now’ option to feed outside the set schedule|
|Issues ‘alerts’ in case the feeder goes offline|
|Capable of dishing dry, as well as semi-dry food items|
|In-built slow feed option to prevent bloating and vomiting|
|Stable, pet proof design with lock system|
|Product, with all its attachments, are completely dishwasher safe|
|Comes with a provision for battery back-up|
Other than that, the product should meet all your requirements including catering to big appetites, overeaters, and those who like to eat a mix of dry and wet foods.
IsYoung Automatic Pet
Feeder – for small eaters
This automatic feeder is by the isYoung group. With 5.5L capacity, the product can suffice for most eaters who are content with a three-times-a-day serving.
An easily programmable system, it offers a parent to take care of their pets while they may be away.
Each standard system is equipped with-
• An LCD interface
• A voice recorder to play pre-recorded instructions to your pet
• Complete user manual
|A large capacity of 5.5L||Not dishwasher safe|
|An LCD to track vital parameters of your pet||Only suitable for dry food|
|A voice recorder that can make it easier for your pet to accept the feeder||Not suitable for very young pets|
|Easy to remove food tray, that makes it easy to maintain and clean||Can only accommodate up to three servings a day, which might not be sufficient for many|
|Comes with a plastic bowl that is not the easiest to maintain|
|Does not have an option of pairing and connecting to an app|
Unlike the last two products, this system is suitable exclusively for those who may be content with only three servings.
For parents who would like to feed only dry food to their pets, this might fit the bill very easily.
Qpets Automatic Pet Feeder
– small but powerful
From amongst an array of high priced product, this Qpets Automatic feeder comes as a respite.
Costing only a fraction of most of the products in its competition, this product is sure to get your interest.
Offering different slots for different categories of food, this seems like quite an impressive product.
Each of these Automatic Pet Feeder equipment is fitted with-
• Six compartments for storing different kinds of foods
• Built-in clock with LCD display
|Separate compartments for dry, moist and wet food||Frequent need to refill as the storage capacity is limited|
|A very compact design, making it convenient to carry anywhere||Lower capacity might also make it less suitable for big pets|
|Slot for recording six personal messages for your pet|
|Offers at the most, six feeding slots in a 24hour period|
|Also has a lid-lock making it pet-proof|
|The tray is removable and dishwasher friendly|
|Suitable for very small pets as well|
From amongst an array of high-cost products, this product is sure to be popular with many parents.
We recommend this for parents that offer mixed food options, like to measure portions, and would want to have an option open for a portable automatic feeding device that they can carry on their travels as well!
This automatic pet feeder works best for small to medium pets.
Using latest technology, the product offers a reasonably economical solution to parents, who want to take care of their pets while away.
Each of these pet feeders come with-
• A slot for feeder
• A display cum programming controller
• One year warranty guarantee
|Provision for up to six meals a day, up to 4 cups a meal||Scope for feeding semi dry products|
|Voice recording system for a 12 seconds message||Non-detachable parts may potentially make is a little incontinent to clean|
|Anti-spill feature using infra-red technology||The food size cannot exceed 1cm, which makes it extremely constrained|
|Option of using batteries as well as adaptors||The feeding space might be able to accommodate only one pet at a time, so not suitable for big pets or multiple pets|
The product will be the best fit for parents who are content with serving only dry and almost homogeneous food to their pets.
We also like the additional provision of the power adapter, just in case you run out of batteries, unprepared.
So, a great pick for single, small pets.
So, this is where things are getting interesting.
A pet feeder that works with Alexa! This smart feeder with a price tag of a hundred dollars plus is one of the latest products of its kinds in the market.
It has all the latest features like an app interface, programmable option for quantity control, defined slits for meals, real-time data sharing through apps, and the like.
It comes with-
• A built-in app interface
• A free-built in SmartFeeder ramp
• A user manual and instruction manual
|An app based interface||A substantial customer base has complained of parts landing up in their pets' mouths, and sometimes even their stomachs. Further, there have also been multiple users facing problems with their customer service.|
|A stainless steel insert, which makes it easier to clean and maintain|
|A smart feeder that indicates when the stock of food is low|
|Missing voice recording provision, that is offered by most of the competitors|
|Easily detachable system that is dishwasher safe|
At the same time, we recommend the Petnet Automatic SmartFeeder for smart parents who would like to stay abreast of all important updates and information regarding their pet’s health.
At the same time, we do hope that they are able to fix these issues and also improve their customer service!
No fancy claims, no fancy technology! This pet feeder, made out of a sturdy plastic material, it uses principles of gravity to automatically refill the feeder, whenever it runs out of the food.
A standard system comprises of the following-
• A wide mouth feeder
• Attached storage unit
|Simple, easy to maintain product||The product offers a basic solution only. There is no app connectivity or an alarm system for any kinds of updates. The biggest constraint to success could be for those pets that may continuously eat – for it has no mechanism to stop the supply. So your pet may run a chance of becoming overweight.|
|Since it does not use any advanced technology, there is no likelihood of the product failing|
|Transparent storage makes it easy to monitor the quantity|
We recommend this product for those who like their pets to nibble as and when they want.
It might also not be a bad idea for parents that may have more than one pet as the mouth of the feeder is big enough to accommodate.
Since the cost of acquiring as well as maintaining the product is not very big, the product might be worth a try for sure.
This automatic feeder is at par with most other automatic feeders in its class.
The product is an easily programmable solution for small pets that may need up to three times a day meal.
Meals are served based on programming which defines ‘when’ and ‘how much’.
Each of these feeders come equipped with-
• An LCD screen
• A transparent plastic hop to store food
• A plastic feeder
|An LCD screen makes it easy to check the important information at a glance||Feeding time of up to three times a day might make it unsuitable for big pets|
|Transparent hop means the quantity of the food is easily monitored||Not suitable for semi-dry or moist food, again making it restrictive|
|Pre-recorded messages can make it easier for your pets to adapt||A product completely out of plastic makes it a little difficult to maintain|
|Detachable parts make it easy to clean and maintain||No connectivity through app – real time data cannot be monitored|
|A stable design||Parts are not dishwasher safe|
|No option of using power adapters, might not be suitable for use for longer periods|
This system might be a solution for parents that are not looking for anything too fancy!
A feeding time of up to three times a day will ensure that this is best suited for catering to needs of small pets that are content with up to three times a day serving.
At the same time, since portions can be monitored this might be a popular choice for parents with this requirement.
Petmate Pet Cafe Feeder
– no battery alternative
This feeder relies on gravity to turn it into an automatic food dispenser.
Each time the food gets exhausted in the feeding bowl, food is pushed through the hop, replenishing it instantly.
All these systems come equipped with-
• A transparent hop
• Plastic serving feeder
|Simplicity in operations||There is always a constant supply of food|
|No fear of a breakdown, as there are no programming or batteries involved.||No provision to monitor the quantity of food being consumed by your pets|
|Big feeder offers ample space for your pets to eat comfortably||A complete plastic case means difficulty in maintenance|
|Only dry foods are possible to be stored and dispensed|
Despite the numerous above mentioned shortcomings, the product might prove to be a popular choice for those who do not mind unlimited servings of foods to their pets.
Also, if you don’t feel the need to monitor the portions or to mix both dry as well as semi-dry or wet ingredients, this is the right choice for you.
This product feels like an upgrade to a similar product by Fitiger that we have just covered.
Also uses the same ‘gravity’ principle to dispense food at all times of the day.
A standard product comes with-
• A plastic body
• Stainless steel feeding bowl
• Two color variants
|Simple to operate||It’s limited capacity to cater to big pets, with bigger appetites|
|Stable design||Also, in case there are more than one pets, the feeding bowl might prove to be insufficient|
|Offers uninterrupted supply of food to pets||The plastic storage unit being non-transparent might make it difficult to monitor the amount of food supplies. This, coupled with absence of any provision for alarm or notification makes it a difficult option|
|Special lock to keep it pet safe||Constant supply might lead to weight gain by your pets, and perhaps other complications|
|Detachable stainless steel feeding bowl makes it easy to clean||This is only suitable for dry food, so any other kind of food is ruled out|
Clearly, this option of automatic pet feeder will work the best for the pets that have a small appetite as only two variants offered are with 2lbs and 4lbs capacity. Also, if you have only one pet and don’t plan to increase the brood, this might be an economical choice for you.
|Product can be put into dishwasher for cleaning|
|Offers two capacities 2lbs and 4lbs|
A simple product for simple needs – this pet feeder, made out of a sturdy plastic material, it uses principles of gravity to automatically refill the feeder, whenever it runs out of the food.
For all of those who are not looking for any of technologically intensive unit, this comes as a perfect solution.
Each of these feeders come with –
• A plastic feeder unit
• A transparent storage
|Since there is no programming, the product is very simple to operate||For pets who continuously eat, it may lead to problems like over eating and/or vomiting|
|There are no batteries involved, so the feeder is likely to work continuously||This feeder is not appropriate for semi-dry or wet food products, making food options a little restrictive for parents|
|Transparent storage is a big plus, making it easy to monitor the quantity||Also, a plastic feeding bowl might not be the best solution for those looking for an easy to maintain and clean equipment|
For those who want a constant supply of food for their pets and a hassle-free product, this is the right choice.
We recommend using it for pets that do not run a risk of being overweight by constant eating or, alternatively, who will not eat frequently despite food being always around.
Also, pick this one only if you do not need to be connected to the functioning of the product – as this does not offer any data sharing via any app or any other interface.
This automatic feeder can be compared to a similar product by Qpets.
Equipped with six different compartments, this feeder provides a slot for dry, semi-dry and even wet food.
Equipped with a digital display and a programmable module, this is a perfectly compact solution for parents who do not want food to be restricted to one kind only.
Each of these feeders consists of-
• Six different slots
• LCD display with a built-in clock
• Lid-lock to keep it pet safe
• A provision to record audio messages
|Offers up to 6 meals a day||Frequent need to refill as the storage capacity is limited|
|Is suitable for all kinds of food – dry, semi-dry and even wet||Small slot size might make it difficult for big pets|
|It is extremely compact – making it convenient to carry it anywhere|
|Personal recordings may make it easier for your pets to adapt|
|Removable tray that is easy to clean|
|Suitable for very small pets as well|
|Easy to control portions via programming|
One of the most compact solutions for automatic feeders, this is an interesting, low-cost option.
So, if you are looking for an option which allows you to serve different consistency of foods and monitor it, this is a great solution.
It is especially useful given its compact design, making it convenient to carry around on trips or otherwise.
The only condition would be a small pet, since this may not be a very sensible solution for big pets, as the slots and storage capacity of the unit is restricted.
This automatic feeder comes in three color variants.
The equipment is an economical solution for pets that like to have food available to them all throughout the day.
An easy to operate article, this Petmate feeder is equipped with-
• A wide mouth plastic feeder unit
• A clear hop
|Transparent storage that makes it easy to monitor the supplies||Since this is a constant feeding option, it might lead to pets gaining weight. Therefore, this factor needs to be considered before buying this unit.|
|The system is such that it needs no intervention to operate|
|Easy to operate and maintain|
|Detachable parts that are dishwasher friendly|
|Unlimited servings are a plus for big eaters|
|Stable design that prevents any tipping over or spillage|
Given the nature of the product, we recommend it for parents who would prefer having food around their pets at all times.
Since this does not contain any real-time data monitoring, it should be preferred by parents who do not want this option.
At the same time, this is very easy to operate a system that should work for a very long time, because there is not much that can go wrong and cause the system to fail.
Therefore, this is a sturdy, long-term solution for basic automatic feeding needs.
The last on our list is the Automatic feeder by Outad.
This product is equipped with the last technology with respect to programming, provision to record messages, etc.
So, while you are away at work, your pet can enjoy food at home even with a pre-recorded message that might make him feel your presence around.
And yes, the programming makes it possible for you to control the portion size as well.
So, you can keep a watch on your pet’s health, while being away at work.
Each of this system comes with-
• A large, transparent storage unit
• Plastic feeding bowl
• LCD panel
|A see through storage unit that helps monitor the levels of food left||On the flip side, the only thing we miss the limitation of three meals a day and a stainless steel bowl. Other than that, the product may work very well to take care of your feeding needs for your pets.|
|A provision to dispense food at the most three times a day|
|Easily detachable parts make it easy to clean|
We find the product most suitable for very young to middle-sized pets.
Since the system is programmable, it gives an option to control and monitor the size of portions, as well as meal timings, which is great.
Additionally, most of the parts are detachable and very easy to clean, making it a good option for parents.
Of course, only pet owners who have only dry food to serve to their pets will find this product useful, as it does not offer any option to store or dispense semi-dry or moist foods.
At the end
Having discussed top 15 automatic pet feeders, we can safely conclude that the options in automatic pet feeders are galore.
Although ultimately, all these equipment have one ultimate goal of feeding your pets in your absence, there are several factors that one product different from another.
Some feeders are technology driven, offering programmable solutions to your problems.
At the same time, there also exist products that use a simple gravity principle to dispense out food.
There are also some that are capable of providing real-time update and information regarding all vital statistics through a display or an app. In terms of food options as well, different products have different capabilities – some are capable of churning out only dry food, while others can accommodate dry, semi-dry as well as wet foods.
Storage capacities differ too, while some may be able to store as little as 2lbs, others are able to contain many liter worths of foods.
Also, some products are completely battery driven, while others have provisions for being run on power batteries as well.
All these factors, ultimately, will have a bearing on convenience, as well as the usefulness of the product.
However, in the end, having discussed all the options and product capabilities in detail, we hope that we have made your task of identifying the most appropriate product easier than before.
So, there is no need to feel guilty about not being able to cater to your pet’s feeding needs anymore.
Just pick the product that is best suited to your pet’s need, and you will never have to worry about feeding your pet anymore.
And with some options even providing for a pre-recorded message being played, your pets will always feel your presence around!
So go on, and pick the right one.