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7 Best Automatic Dog Feeders in 2021 (Expert Picks)

No matter how much we want to be with our pooch 24/7, there are times when we need to leave him alone at home. But since he needs to eat on time, we can invest in an automatic dog feeder to make sure he won’t miss a single meal while we are away. This pet product will also make our lives easier and help us ensure he stays on a consistent feeding schedule.

In this day and age, there are other types of automatic dog feeders being sold in the market. There are smart feeders perfect for dogs with health concerns and requires small frequent meals. To make feeding time more fun and less stressful, we can rely on the best automatic dog feeders in the market.

7 Best Automatic Dog Feeders

Here are the best automatic dog feeders:

Best Overall: PetSafe Healthy Automatic Feeder

Key Features:

  • Anti-jam prevention
  • Schedule flexible portions
  • Requires 4 D-cell alkaline batteries
  • works with dry and moist pet kibble
  • BPA-free plastic feeder parts
  • Stainless-steel bowl
  • Dishwasher–free
  • Adaptor and 2 meal splitter accessory sold separately

If we are after a reliable pet feeder for our buddy’s dry or moist kibbles, then we can rely on the PetSafe Healthy Automatic Feeder. It can dispense food between 1/8 cup to 4 cups at a time. It can also be programmed to provide our pooch with up to 12 meals each day.

The removable bowl is easy to clean and is actually dishwasher-free. It includes feed now option or a pause feeding feature for maximum flexibility. We can use batteries to operate the machine or buy the separate power cord to plug it in.

We can also buy a separate 2 meal splitter if we want. This helps customize how we want his food to be dispensed. Note that this feeder can provide up to 12 meals each day.

Best Smart Dog Food Feeder: Dogness WiFi Automatic Feeder

Key Features:

  • 720P HD camera
  • 2-way audio talk
  • Large capacity (6.5 lbs dry food)
  • Reset Button
  • Accurate portion control
  • Free APP support
  • Removable and washable food tray
  • Compatible with Android 4.0 and above or iOS 7.5
  • Comes in 6 colors
  • With AC cord/battery powered

The Dogness WiFi Automatic Feeder makes it very easy to keep our pooch fed even in our absence. It comes with an AC cord or we can simply use batteries instead. It can hold up to 6.5 pounds of dry dog food and can feed him the right portion every single time.

The two food dispenser trays enable us to  choose the amount of food to dispense each time. This WiFi-enabled feeder comes equipped with an HD camera and a 2-way voice interaction. Now, we can watch over our pooch and tell him when it is time to eat even when we are away.

Note that this automatic feeder is only for dry food. It can hold up to 6 meals each day, which means we don’t need to worry about our canine buddy’s feeding time the whole day. It is compatible with gadgets with Android 4.0 and above or iOS 7.5.

Best Gravity-Fed Feeder: Petmate Cafe Feeder

Key Features:

  • 6 lbs capacity
  • Dishwasher-safe feeder base and lid
  • safe and eco-friendly PET plastic
  • Requires no batteries
  • Comes in 5 sizes and 4 colors

If we are after a feeder that will continuously dispense food as our pooch eats, then we can try the Petmate Cafe Feeder. This means he will never run out of food until the storage container gets empty. This is designed to provide our pooch with an affordable but reliable feeder during our busy days.

It comes with a reservoir that can hold up to 6.5 lbs. of kibble. It does not require any batteries nor do we need to plug in the device just to make it work. The best thing about it is that it is made with environment-friendly materials perfect for eco-conscious pet parents and dogs.

Best Budget Smart Dog Feeder: WOPet SmartFeeder

Key Features:

  • HD camera
  • APP control
  • Two-food dispense trays
  • Compatible with iOS 7.5 or Android 4.0 and above

The WOPet SmartFeeder is one of the best smart dry food dispensers in the market. It allows us to interact with our pooch whenever we are out for errands thanks to its built-in HD camera and voice interaction features. It is relatively easy to program and is compatible to most Android and IOS phones.

This smart feeder enables us to schedule his feeding time accordingly. Remember that timed meals are just as important as regular feeding. This is perfect for dogs who eat too fast and have digestive issues.

Best for Wet and Dry Pet Food: PetSafe 5 Meal Pet Feeder

Key Features:

  • 5 1-cup portions
  • Removable BPA-free plastic tray
  • Feed now option
  • Suspend feeding option

PetSafe 5 Meal Pet Feeder is one of popular food dispensers in the market. This is perfect for owners who will only be away for a few hours. It has five compartments that can hold up to a cup of kibble per serving.

The dog food dispenser is easy to program and the tray is dishwasher-friendly. Note that since each compartment only caters up to 1 cup of kibbles, this is only good for small dogs that require small frequent meals. Its sleek and modern appearance makes it a cute feeder for our pooch.

Best Value: Arf Pets Automatic Feeder

Key Features:

  • Magnetic lock lid
  • 4 Daily Distribution Alarms
  • Blue Light Up LCD Clock & Display
  • Battery or power cable-powered
  • Dishwasher-safe tray

This automatic pet feeder is perfect for pet owners needing a budget-friendly feeder. It can dispense between 2 spoons and 1 cup of kibbles each feeding. This makes it a good choice if we have a small pooch or if he needs small frequent meals.

The feeder’s LCD screen helps us set the exact amount we want our pooch to be served each feeding time. What’s impressive about this cheap but quality feeder is that it has a 10-second voice recording tool. This means we can record a command that tells our best buddy that it is time for him to eat.

Best Budget Gravity Pet Feeder: AmazonBasics Self-Dispensing Gravity Pet Feeder and Waterer

Key Features:

  • 12-lbs feeder capacity                 
  • 2.5-gallon water dispenser capacity
  • Side cut-out handles
  • Non-skid rubber feet
  • With limited one-year warranty from Amazon Basics

Our pooch needs water as much as he needs food. So, the AmazonBasics Self-Dispensing Gravity Pet Feeder and Waterer can do the trick of keeping our canine buddy fed and well-hydrated even if we are not home all day. The only time we need to refill the feeder and waterer is once he finishes up all the water and kibbles in the container.

There is no need to plug the machine or use batteries just to make it work. We only need the magic of gravity to keep the bowls filled. This means our dog’s food and water bowls are kept full 24/7. We don’t need to worry about our pooch accidentally knocking the dispensers thanks to the non-skid rubber feet.


Benefits of Using Automatic Dog Feeders

Automatic Dog Feeders have so many perks to offer. It goes beyond the fact that these pet products can help make feeding time a lot less stressful. The following are just a few reasons why an automatic dog feeder purchase actually makes sense.

Establish regular feeding times

Routine is very important, even for dogs. Our pooch needs to have a regular routine that will give him a better sense of time. Knowing what to expect will give more structure to his day.

Automatic dog feeders do the trick of giving our pooch a consistent feeding time. This is especially true among puppies. We no longer have to worry about forgetting his feeding time since the automatic dog feeder can do all the hard work.

Make feeding time easier for multi-pet households

If we have more than one pooch waiting to be fed at different times, then we can rely on an automatic dog feeder to get the job done. This means we can leave our pets safe at home knowing they will be fed on time as necessary.

Give home alone dogs more stimulation

Sometimes, we will need to leave our pooch at home, work, go on a short trip, or to run some errands. But since he needs to be fed at certain times each day, we can’t just leave them a bowl full of food. Some dogs are reluctant to eat unless their owners tell them to do so.

With smart pet feeders, we can talk to our pooch and interact with them even when we are miles away. This means we can tell them to eat whenever necessary. Some even have HD cameras to let us see if he heard us the first time.

Prevent overfeeding

Some automatic dog feeders only provide the right portion of kibbles to our pooch. This helps prevent him from overeating. This also helps dogs avoid digestive issues from kicking in due to fast and overeating.

Feed them at reasonable hours

There are times when we need to leave our pooch at home very early in the morning. Other times, we need to stay out late and past his dinner time. With automatic feeders, we no longer have to worry about feeding them at less-ideal times.

Make feeding less than a chore

There are times when we simply want to sleep in especially during our days off. But with a pooch to feed, we have to get up early the next morning to feed him. With an automatic feeder, we can set the feeder at an ideal time so we can enjoy more time lounging in bed.


Types of Automatic Dog Feeders

There are typically four types of automatic dog feeders available in the market. These are as follows.

Clamshell-style dispensers

These are the type of feeders that have one or more compartments. These contain a hinged lid and a latch that open up when it is time to feed our pooch. This works with any type of dog food including moist dog food and dry kibbles.

Circular dispensers

Such dispensers have different food compartments. During a preselected time, a rotating lid will expose a compartment. We can use any type of dog food for this type of feeder.

Gravity-fed systems

These are the simplest form of feeders in the market. These are meant to keep our dog’s bowl full until it runs out of kibbles. It works with gravity pulling the food out as he eats, giving him the freedom to eat until he is full.

Mechanized vertically fed feeders

These work only with dry kibble and will only dispense food during preselected times. These types of feeders give us better control on how much food and when to feed our pooch.  These typically cost more since these are higher-quality feeders.


Things to Consider When Buying an Automatic Dog Feeder

Not all automatic feeders are made equal. We want to find a feeder that ticks all of our boxes, including the following items.

Security

We want a feeder that will keep our pooch’s food safe and secure. If the materials used are flimsy, then our pooch may break the feeder way too early for our liking.

High Quality Feeding Dish

We want the feeder’s feeding dish to be easy to clean and eco-friendly. We don’t want anything that has toxic materials. Thankfully, there are stainless steel and high-quality and pet-safe materials available in the market.

Ability to Handle Large Kibbles

Some feeders can only dispense small kibbles. But if our pooch has big kibbles, then we need to find one that can dispense his kibbles. We don’t want our pooch getting hungry just because the kibbles are too big to fit in the dispensing feeder.

Air-Tight Food Reservoirs

We need his food to be kept fresh always. This is why it pays to invest in air-tight food reservoirs for our feeders. We also want the food reservoirs to be high-capacity and high-quality.

Programming Features

Some automatic feeders are smarter than the others. Depending on our needs, we can buy a feeder that matches our requirements. Note that some feeders have HD cameras and voice interaction features if we want to be  able to see our pooch and talk to him while he eats.

Capacity

Some feeders can only hold a small amount of kibbles at a time. Others have small compartments for each feeding. We need to consider how much food our dog eats to determine how much dog food capacity to invest in.


5 Tips For Leaving Your Dog Home Alone

Dogs are not meant to be left alone for many hours at a time. But then, there are times when we need to leave them for a bit. We may be working in an office, needs to run some errands, or needs to engage in outdoor activities where he is not allowed.

As a general rule, we should only leave puppies 2 hours each day the most. Adult dogs can handle being alone from 4-6 hours each day. For seniors, it is between 2-6 hours per day.

As much as possible, know what dogs can be left alone before getting one. This is one thing many pet owners fail to do before getting a pet. If we leave a dog that is not suited to being left alone, then he will only be easily bored and restless, causing them to engage in unwanted behaviors.

When leaving our pooch home alone, there are a few things we can do to make it easier on his part. These are the following.

The first one we need to do is to tire him out. Giving him exercise before we go out will allow him to rest while we are gone. This will make him less lonely and make it easier for us to leave the house with less hassle.

If we have a new pooch, then we should leave him in a room he feels the most comfortable at. This will make the space less intimidating for him. Once he is used to being home alone, then we can give him free reign at home.

We should make sure he is fed regularly and during his free time. We can ask a sitter to feed him or hire a dog walker. If there is no dog sitter available, then we can rely on an automatic dog feeder to do the trick.

If we can, we can also consider getting another pooch to keep him company. He may be reluctant to share our attention at first. But once he gets to know his new brother or sister, he will be less lonely when we stay out.

We also need to make sure he has enough toys to keep him entertained while we are gone. If not, he can put his attention on our belongings and start destroying some things. We need to prepare his toys before we leave and make sure he knows where to get them while we are away.

Once we are back at home, we need to make sure we give him our love and attention to make up for our absence. We can choose to walk him in the park or around the neighborhood, play with him with his favorite toys, or allow him to have a playdate with his best buddies. These physical activities are essential to help them burn those pent up energy from staying indoors all day.


Conclusion

There are different types of automatic dog feeders for our pooch. We can find one that meets his requirements and our budget. Thanks to this list, we won’t have a hard time looking for the right one.

But then, there are many things worth considering before making an automatic dog feeder purchase. Aside from the quality, we need to consider his feeding requirements. By keeping this list in mind, we can have a happy pooch that is well-fed and well-adjusted even if we are busy pet parents ourselves. 

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