Dog Feeders: Automatic Dog Feeders | Pet-Store

You should give as much care and attention to your pets as possible. Sadly, many people are too busy to look after their four-legged friends. Luckily, the modern pet supplies industry offers an array of smart solutions: doors for dogs,  automatic feeders, dog cameras, and water fountains. Getting an automatic dog feeder ensures that your pet always has easy access to food. Choosing the best automatic dog feeder is not an easy affair. The market offers way too many options to select from.

To help overwhelmed pet owners find a proper auto feeder for dogs, we created a simple guide. After reviewing hundreds of products, we chose a few that will catch your attention. All the products described are worth their money. Let’s start our quest to find out which one is the best on the market.

TOP PICK: PetSafe 5-Meal Automatic Pet Feeder

Top Choice
PetSafe 5-Meal Automatic Pet Feeder
PetSafe 5-Meal Automatic Pet Feeder
A Robust Pet Feeder Solution With Timer Storing 5 Meals
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PROS:
  • the bowl has five sections for meals
  • it has an inbuilt timer with multiple settings
  • a robust case prevents damage from scratching
CONS:
  • no remote control feature
  • batteries are not included

This Dog Feeder can change your life. PetSafe 5 features a rotating bowl with five sections. Each contains a small portion of food exposed when a timer rotates the bowl. This elegant solution works great. You can leave your pet at home alone and be sure that it has at least five meals ready to eat. Depending on how often you usually feed your dog – it might be enough even for a whole weekend.

The mechanism is simple. You need to open the lid with a triangle hole and load the bowl with portioned meals. Close the lid and set up the timer. Voila, you can now forget about feeding your dog for up to 2 days. Choose time frames for an automatic feeder, according to individual preferences of a pet.

PetSafe 5 is not a food dispenser. It is a simple yet effective machine that stores five pre planned meals. The price is quite low for a product this good and reliable. You can get this auto feeder on Amazon.

Why Is It the Best? 

This product is easily one of the best automatic dog feeders out there. PetSafe’s 5-meal pet feeder has a robust case, an inbuilt timer, and it allows a pet to get the food when the time is right. The price is also reasonable. Over two thousand users deemed this product worthy of using. With such high praise from buyers and our experts, these feeders take the crown.

Runner-Up: HoneyGuaridan A26 Automatic Pet Feeder Food Dispenser

Runner Up
Automatic Pet Feeder Food Dispenser
WESTLINK 6L
Automatic Pet Feeder Food Dispenser for Dogs with Voice Recorder and Timer Programmable
$69.99
View on Amazon
PROS:
  • awesome design and ergonomics
  • many unique features like voice recording
  • a fully automatic pet feeder with a dispenser
  • infrared sensors
CONS:
  • not completely pet-proof
  • tends to get clogged sometimes

This product is a fully automatic pet feeder packed with various features.

WESTLINK  comes with a large food reservoir of 6 liters (1.59 gallons). Probably, the best thing about is the possibility of precise control over the size and number of meals per day. Depending on your pup’s nutritional schedule, you can choose between 1, 2, 3, or 4 meals per day. The size of one meal can be 1 through 39 portions

The feeder features a large control panel with a digital display. The device is easy to set up (most options are selected with a couple of clicks). Extra features include voice recording, which allows recording specific voice commands for your pup. Also, WESTLINK is equipped with infrared sensors used to check whether there is uneaten food in the bowl. It helps prevent oversupply and clogging up.

The feeder has a beautiful white & gold design and looks sleek. However, it is made of 100% plastic (of a decent quality though). The device boasts an ultra-low power consumption and has a battery backup, which is great if you live in a region where power outages are a common thing. All in all, dog feeder has an excellent price/quality ratio, but we’d like it had stainless steel or ceramic bowl to boost its hygienic value.

Best Budget Pick: PetSafe Healthy Pet Gravity Dog Food Station

Best Budget Choice
PetSafe Healthy Gravity Food Station
PetSafe Healthy Gravity Food Station
Simple And Efficient Automatic Pet Feeder Solution
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PROS:
  • An uncomplicated dog feeder with a stainless bowl;
  • A sturdy plastic construction;
  • Costs less on Amazon.
CONS:
  • seems a bit flimsy;
  • the bowl tends to get rust over time.

Another entry from PetSafe is a top auto feeder without anything fancy. PetSafe Healthy Gravity Dog Food Station is an automatic feeder. The tank releases food as your pet eats it. Meaning that if your pet has some eating disorders (tends to overeat often), it might not be the best choice.

There are two versions of the PetSafe Healthy Gravity Food Station. One comes with a 4lb tub and another one with a 2lb container. Get the one that suits the size of your pet: a larger animal will need more food while smaller animals tend to eat less but more often.

PetSafe Healthy Gravity Food Station is pure efficiency. It is very practical: a stainless bowl is firmly attached to a sturdy plastic case that contains a food tank. The design is simple. Cleaning and using it is effortless. Disassemble the device whenever you need to wash the dishes or empty the tank. Use warm water to clean it quickly.

This automatic feeder is one of the best dog food feeders for busy people. It is cheap, sturdy, and works for any animal. A sound choice for those who need a reliable yet straightforward auto feeder and often leave pets alone for days.

Why Is It So Cheap?

You can get it for a reasonable price and even cheaper with discounts. The price is low because this auto feeder does not have a timer or other unique features. That is a simple, fully automatic pet feeder that refills the container as it is being emptied.

Best Timed Dog Feeder: PetSafe Smart Feed for Dogs

Best Timed Dog Feeder
PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Feeder
PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Feeder
Flexible And Stylish Smart Automatic Pet Feeding Solution
$159.95 / $189.95
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PROS:
  • The most technologically advanced Dog feeder;
  • Can be controlled remotely with an exclusive application;
  • The automatic feeder has 12 programmable meal times;
  • It looks stylish in any interior.
CONS:
  • a bit pricey
  • needs a consistent Wi-Fi connection

If SmartFeed were cheaper, we would have chosen it as our top pick. This smart automatic pet feeder features a plethora of exciting functions like wireless remote control and 12 programmable meal times. The tank holds up to 24 cups of food and releases from 1/8 to 8 cups per serving. The amount depends on the dietary habits of an animal.

PetSafe Smart Feed is an automatic dog feeder. You can control it with an application on your smartphone. All functions can be remotely activated if needed. This food dispenser obeys your commands or works on its own according to timer settings.

The design of the device is excellent. It has a grayish-blue color to it and looks fantastic. The bowl can be removed from the automatic feeder for cleaning. The interface is minimal since you control it through the application. Overall, an excellent choice for technology geeks and people who like elaborate stylish things.

A Bit Too Much? 

An excellently timed pet feeder has a price within a reasonable range. This smart automatic pet feeder costs way above fair price. It is a hefty price for a timed feeder, but it has numerous highly usable features!

Best Gravity Dog Feeder: Old Tjikko Water Feeder

Best Gravity Dog Feeder
Old Tjikko Water Feeder
Old Tjikko Water Feeder
Affordable Simple Gravity Feeder With Big Container
$32.99 / $47.99
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PROS:
  • This pet feeder has a sizeable 8lb container;
  • Works great for puppies and kitties;
  • It uses all kinds of dehydrated food.
CONS:
  • the opening is too narrow, so food tends to get stuck
  • it is all-plastic

Yes, it says “for dogs” in the title, but Old Tjikko is a generic pet feeder that operates like a regular automatic cat feeder as well. A large vessel holds up to 8.3lb of food. You can leave your pet for a week alone with this automatic pet feeder, and it won’t run out of food.

The construction is simple yet robust and effective. Old Tjikko relies on gravity and does not have a timer. As your pet east the food, the bowl refills itself from the tank above. It is undoubtedly not one of the best automatic pet feeders out there, but it gets the job done. Also, this automatic feeder’s price is good.

Big and Useful?

The size of the device may seem too much, but it holds over eight pounds of food. The device is a perfect choice for people who need to leave their dogs alone for long.

Best Programmable Dog Feeder: Petmate Programmable Pet Feeder

Best Programmable Dog Feeder
Best Programmable Dog Feeder
Petmate Programmable Pet Feeder
Portion controlled Large LCD screen Easy Programming Twist-lock lid that keeps food fresh
$59.95 / $79.99
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PROS:
  • excellent adjustability
  • a twist-lock container lid
  • easy to set up and use
CONS:
  • it doesn’t plug in (only a battery-powered option available)
  • it is not pet-proof

The Programmable Pet Feeder Petmate feeder is a fully programmable unit for hassle-free scheduled pet feeding. It comes in two sizes – with an 18-cup and 30-cup container. Irrespective of the container size, you can select the number of meals per day and the number/size of portions in one meal – up to 3 meals per day, from ¼ to 3 cups per meal.

Setting up the feeder is very easy, thanks to a large LCD screen and a detailed instruction that is included in the supply package. The plastic container is transparent, so you see how much food is left. It features a twist-lock lid, which ensures air-tightness. All the parts of the Petmate Programmable Feeder are made of sturdy BPA-free plastic – safe for health and easy to clean.

Keep in mind that the feeder can’t be plugged in, as it doesn’t operate off mains power supplies. Instead, it uses 3 D-batteries. A nice feature is a low battery indicator near the screen. All things taken together, using the Petmate Programmable feeder is a piece of cake. It is simple, reliable, and provides enough flexibility. That said, it is not entirely pet-proof – small dogs can get food right from the food chute with their paws.

Best Outdoor Feeder: Little Giant Galvanized Steel Chow Hound Dog Feeder

Best Outdoor Dog Feeder
Best Outdoor Dog Feeder
Little Giant
Galvanized Steel Chow Hound Dog Feeder, 25Lb
$42.26 / $54.99
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PROS:
  • an affordable, reliable, and easy-to-use solution
  • features door magnets
  • can be hanged or placed on the ground
  • compatible with all types of dry food
CONS:
  • you can’t adjust the meal size and the number of meals
  • gets rusty over time

Outdoor feeders for dogs must meet several essential requirements. They need to be waterproof and prevent food from soaking when it’s raining. They must provide decent protection from insects and rodents. Finally, they must be easily accessible to your dogs. The Little Giant feeder complies with all these requirements. 

It looks like a rectangular box made of galvanized steel with a lid on the top and a push-open door on the front. Dry food is poured through the upper opening, after which the lid is closed, and the feeder is either placed on the floor/ground or hung on the wall. The front door features magnets, which prevents its occasional opening. 

Before you leave your pup outdoors with the Little Giant feeder, you need to train the pet to use it. To access food, a dog needs to push the front door with its nose or head. Commonly, large and medium-sized outdoor dogs experience no difficulty with it. Mind that the portion size is not regulated; with this feeder, your dog can eat as much as it wants to. So if the pup tends to overeat, you shouldn’t leave too much food for him. Galvanized steel is rain-proof, but it gets rusty over time.

Who Should Buy an Automatic Dog Feeder

automatic dog feeder

An automatic feeder is as essential as a good dog harness. It is a lifesaver for frequently traveling people and those who work full time. Most pets need to eat 3-4 times per day. To keep their food fresh, you need to come back home each time you need to feed them.

A better idea is buying an automatic pet feeder that will either continuously refill the bowl or dispense a set amount of food periodically. Both versions of an automatic pet feeder work great.

An automatic pet feeder with timer helps you better control nutrition for your pet. Neutered and in-house animals should use little calorie intake. You don’t want to make your adorable companion obese. A pet feeder that releases standardized portions of food works best for owners who wish to feed their pets properly.

Let’s admit the reality that some of us are just lazy. We don’t like spending too much time feeding animals. We love playing with them and petting them, but we despise working. An automatic feeder is a simple way to cheat. Just put 3-4 pounds of food in the tank and let the device do the job. Your four-legged pal will soon get used to eating according to a predefined schedule.

A gravity pet feeder is also handy for lazy owners. Just dump the food in the container. The dispenser will refill the bowl continuously. Your pet will never run out of stuff to eat.

Important Features to Consider

dog's feeder

Modern dog feeders often come packed with features. Does an average dog owner need all of them? We don’t think so. Meanwhile, there are some things you need to consider when choosing a dog feeder. Here are the key parameters you’d better check before making a purchase:

  • Timer. It is a handy feature that makes it possible to feed the pet in preset intervals. Feeders with a timer are appreciated by those who have to stay away all day long. Thanks to it, you can provide 3 or 4 meals per day to your dog even if you are not at home. The majority of automatic electronic dog feeders come with the feature of timer these days. 
  • Security. An automatic dog feeder must be safe to use. It should be made of safe, non-toxic materials, such as BPA-free plastic, stainless steel, or ceramic. Ideally, a feeder must be chew-proof, as pups are smart enough to understand where their food comes from. You want to be sure your four-legged friend won’t crack the reservoir and eat everything while you are away. For active chewers, choose sturdy metal or non-transparent plastic containers. They are meeting the needs of large breeds. Parents of giant dogs need to consider such parameters as the size of the reservoir and the bowl, size of one portion, the sturdiness of the feeder itself, and compatibility with larger pellets. An air-proof food container. Make sure the reservoir is closed tightly and doesn’t let air in. Firstly, it will increase its break-in resistance. Secondly, in the vacuum, the food will longer stay fresh. That is especially true for large-capacity containers, as food tends to go stale if it contacts with air for a long time.
  • Easy to clean. It’s recommended to clean dog feeder reservoirs and bowls regularly to prevent bacterial growth and unpleasant odor. Try to choose a feeder, which has dishwasher-safe parts and which is easy to assemble/disassemble. 
  • Dog Feeder Voice message recording. Some people consider this feature excessive; others love it. If your pup readily responds to your voice, you may try to record short messages, especially for him. Mind that the recorded voice always sounds slightly different, and dogs can be scared at first. Once your pet companion gets used to it, he will enjoy communicating with you even when you are away. 
  • Type of food. Ideally, switching to a dog feeder, you don’t need to change your pup’s nutrition scheme or type of food the pet is used to. That said, most feeders are compatible with dry food only. That is because of dry food, it is easy to dispense, and it stays fresh longer. Also, dry food is the most convenient option for those dog owners who have to spend much time out of the home. If your pup eats only wet food or you have to feed it with wet food for medical reasons, you need to consider buying a special feeder that can dispense this type of food. Usually, these are rotating plates with separate slots where one slot is equal to one portion. You may put an ice pack in each slot to keep the fresh food longer. Some manufacturers even include ice packs in the packaging supply. The most advanced automatic feeders for wet food come with the feature of a built-in refrigerator. 
  • Wi-Fi connectivity. If you have a home Wi-Fi network and a smartphone, a feeder with a built-in Wi-Fi module may become an interesting and useful solution. Just install an app on your smartphone, connect the feeder to the home network, and control its work remotely. Some feeders are even equipped with web-cameras so that you could see what your pet is doing now.

Other things one needs to consider when choosing a dog feeder are an LCD, the power source (electricity, batteries or gravity), the dimensions, and design. Making a choice is easy when you know for sure what you need.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Will My Dog Eat from an Automatic Pet Feeder?
Some animals need time to get used to a new routine. Any change in the regular pace of life is stressful for your pet. Be slow. Be present during feeding for a couple of days to make sure your pup isn’t scared. Most doggies quickly get used to an automatic pet feeder.
What Kind of Food Can I Use?
Most dry foods will be compatible with most automatic dog feeders. The size of an individual pellet may affect dispensers with holes smaller than an average piece of food. However, most food manufacturers use standardized pellet sizes. If you have concerns, contact the company that manufactures the product you like and ask them.
Can I Use Automatic Dog Feeders Outside?
A gravity covered dog feeder can be used outside. The same is with some robust devices with timer. A more advanced dog feeder with sophisticated interfaces and electronics should be used indoors only.
How Should I Set the Timer?
Each animal has unique dietary preferences. You know your pet better than anyone else. Make sure that it gets enough food. Imagine when you usually feed it and set the timer accordingly. Consult with a vet when in doubt.

 

Linda R. Reyes

Linda is a passionate writer and a happy owner of 2 pets. She's been writing about pets since 2014 and tested many of the products herself. Expert in her field, Linda knows exactly which products can help pets and their owners have a more pleasant life.

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