Leaving your dog lonely at home is something that we all have to do at a certain time. In our fast-paced world, it is normal to get caught in work and other commitments that may keep your dog lonely for an extended period.
Despite this, one thing that you should ensure is that your lovely dog gets his food at the scheduled time every day. Getting the best automatic dog feeders to dispense food to your dog is something that will give you peace of mind whenever you are not in the house.
Owing to the ease that these automatic dog feeders work, it is therefore not only good for your dog but also makes your life and daily routine easier.
An automatic dog feeder also teaches your dog some good feeding habits. You can control the amount of food your dog takes within the specific session of a day. Be careful not to starve your dog, just give him the amount of food that is necessary for him while not overfeeding him.
Dogs need to have regular feeding time and patterns. It is quite hectic to maintain this if you are manually feeding him whenever you are in the house since your availability might be compromised.
When fed in an irregular pattern, your dog might develop problems in his stomach which can, in turn, be more severe. Getting an automatic feeder for him will help prevent this problem to a greater extent.
Regular eating habits are also a good way to detect whether your lovely dog is falling sick. You will notice that he has not eaten his day’s portion due to a lack of appetite which is a common sign of a sick dog.
In this buying guide, we will look at the 10 best automatic dog feeders in 2021.
6 Things to Look for When Buying an Automatic Dog Feeder
You have already determined your dog’s feeding habit and schedule and now you want to incorporate an automatic feeder to help you out. There are several features that you need to consider when buying these items.
1. The portion sizes released by the automatic feeder
If you have a small dog, the meal portioning should be different from that of a large dog. If your dog is on a vet’s restricted diet, you will need an automatic dog feeder with timer that releases portions according to the set time.
2. The capacity of the feeder
How much food can the feeder hold? If you have a large dog, you need more food than for a small dog. The amount of food also depends on the dog breed, some breeds eat more than others.
Also, some dogs prefer small meals in intervals while others prefer 2 or 3 large meals a day.
Get a feeder with a large holding capacity, this way you will be sure that your dog gets a full day meal without running dry.
3. Eating frequency
How many times do you intend to feed your dog per day? Mostly, an automatic timed pet feeder will release meals several times a day while others have specific times when they dispense food to your pup.
Choose the one that suits you best according to your dog feeding pattern. Getting the best automatic dog feeder for large dogs can equally serve multiple small dogs effectively.
4. Easiness in cleaning
Your dog deserves clean food every time and for this reason, you need a feeder that can easily be cleaned thoroughly. Check if your automatic dog feeder of choice can be cleaned in a dishwasher.
Choose a feeder that can be disassembled and assembled easily since it is much easier to clean every part.
5. Design of the feeder
Automatic dog feeders come in two main types; cordless and corded. The corded one needs to be charged quite regularly to perform its tasks in time. You run the risk of leaving your dog hungry if the corded feeder runs out of power.
6. Added features
You will find dog feeder brands with many added features that make it even better when feeding your dog. Such features include voice recording, collar tag, etc.
Where to Keep an Automatic Dog Feeder
The placement of an automatic dog feeder in your house should be good for both you and your lovely dog.
Ensure that you keep your automatic dog feeder in a place that your dog can access even when you are not in the house. He should reach the place with ease where he will not spend much energy considering that he comes there when hungry.
Dogs can do a lot of mess while eating, so you need to keep his feeder in a place where he cannot destroy the things around him. The place should be easy to clean and preferably, it should be on a plain uncarpeted floor.
Always put his feeder near a water bowl where he can drink with ease. If the floor is wooden, consider putting a waterproof mat below the water bowl. This way, you will prevent water spills from damaging your floor.
Don’t put the feeder in a very constricted area. There should be enough space where your dog can stretch after taking his meal.
How To Feed Multiple Dogs
If you have multiple dogs in your house, you will need to devise a way of feeding all of them adequately ensuring that none remains hungry.
Get an automatic programmable pet feeder for multiple dogs which essentially should have a bigger capacity and a bigger bowl where your dogs can eat from. In the case your dogs are sharing the feeder, always ensure that they are very good friends and have never scrambled for each other’s food.
If you use a different dog feeder for each dog, you will need to make sure that they all dispense food at the same time. This will ensure that all your dogs have the same time to eat their food and that no dog would eat his and later eat what was meant for the other dog.
How Often Should Dogs Eat?
Dog’s will generally eat whenever you place food before them if they are hungry. For the most part, dogs would eat at least 3 meals a day but some can do good with 2 meals a day. 1 meal a day is too little for your dog even if you give him snacks intermittently.
A dog will learn good feeding habits if you train him from his young days. You can start training him by giving him meals during specific times of the day.
Also, before introducing an automatic timed pet feeder, you need to give him a specific time to eat and finish his food. You can place a food bowl on the floor, invite him to eat and after 10 minutes, remove the bowl whether he finishes or not. If your dog is a slow eater, give him 15 to 20 minutes.
This way, your dog will learn that eating is something that should be done on schedule and quickly he will form the habit of eating in and within the required time.
Types of Food to Put in an Automatic Dog Feeder
When it comes to the question of what food to keep in an automatic dog feeder, pet parents should be careful.
It is recommended to put dry solid food in an automatic dog feeder. Due to the working nature of the feeder, water in wet food can alter the mechanism that dispenses food to your dog.
If you need to give your dog wet food in an automatic feeder, ensure that you purchase the one that has been certified to accommodate wet food.
10 best automatic dog feeders in 2021
Having all the considerations in mind, you will need to get an automatic dog feeder that serves you well and saves your time in the long run. While maintaining your budget in the lines of your expectation, the following reviewed products will get the work done.
This automatic dog feeder from SKYMEE comes with 8 and 12 liters capacity options and it can connect to 2.4G Wi-Fi. Choose the right size according to the amount of food your dog can consume in a day. You can use this automatic feeder for your cat also.
This feeder has a camera at the front just above the feeding bowl, that can record your dog’s movement in 1080P resolution. The camera gives a good way of monitoring your dog whenever you are not in the house.
The video can be viewed from your phone which has the linked SKYMEE App, and you can share it to your favorite social media sites on the go.
This product has two high-quality microphones that can capture crisp audio of your pet during video recording. This will give you more insight into whether your dog is safe at home or not.
Whenever the dog food in this feeder runs low, SKYMEE App will alert you before it gets depleted. This gives you adequate time to buy or refill the feeder before your dog starves.
The hopper and feeding bowl can easily be disassembled for easy cleaning. It’s good to maintain a clean feeder for your dog’s appetite and health.
This product can be powered to a wall socket using a USB cable, it also has a battery back up to keep it running whenever there is a power outage.
Good control of food portion sizes.
The smartphone App works well and is easy to use.
Warn you when the hopper is low or empty.
2.4GHz Wi-Fi is not reliable.
This automatic feeder from pet safe can be used to feed both cats and small to medium-sized dogs. It comes in blue color and it is made with a stainless-steel material that keeps it rust-free.
You can connect this feeder to your smartphone via the PetSafe Smart Feed App, it is compatible with both Android and iOS users.
After connecting it to your smartphone, you can monitor your dog’s feeding habits and day’s trends from anywhere. You can use Alexa voice assistance to ask your device to dispense food to your pet from anywhere in hands-free mode.
There are both Slow and flexible feed portions in this feeder. You can dispense up to 12 meals a day at a maximum rate of 4 cups. You can turn off the schedules remotely from your App if you need to stop the feeder from dispensing food.
When the food runs low or becomes empty in the feeder, you will receive a timely notification on your linked device alerting you on the same.
The components of this automatic dog feeder are easy to disassemble and are also dishwasher friendly. Always maintain a clean feeder for your dog’s health.
Notifies you when food is low in the hopper.
The smartphone App works seamlessly.
Has a small portion feed to give your dog snacks.
Has a short Wi-Fi range.
This automatic pet feeder from WOPET comes in white color only and has a body dimension of 13.7 x 9.8 x 15.3 inches. It can be used to feed both dogs and cats and can be operated manually despite being automatic.
You can connect this feeder with your smartphone via the WOPET App which is available for both Android and iOS users, and it operates with a Wi-Fi of 2.4GHz frequency.
This feeder has an HD camera that is used to record your dog’s movements when feeding. It also captures his audio using microphones and you can also talk back to your dog via your connected phone.
You can share the recorded video directly to your social media platforms with ease.
This product is best used to dispense dry foods only and it can accommodate pellet sizes of diameter between 0.2-0.6 inches. This feeder has 2 food dispense trays which differ in the size of food pellets they dispense to your dog.
With each meal, the feeder dispenses 1-39 portions of between 10-12 grams. You will have to select your portion sizes before the feeder dispenses.
Multiple feeding schedules for your dog.
Large capacity hopper.
You can record a voice to call out your dog during feeding time.
The App can be inconsistent.
This automatic timed pet feeder from PETKIT comes with white and blue color variants and it has a body dimension of 9.84 x 9.84 x 17.72 inches. You can use this feeder to dispense food to both dogs and cats.
You can connect the feeder with a smartphone App and be able to feed your dog remotely by controlling it from your pet. With Amazon echo-friendly devices, you can use the Alexa voice assistant to give this dog feed
er commands through the phone.
The smartphone App not only controls the feeding schedule of the feeder but also provides a platform where users can engage with other people using the App.
You will find like-minded pet parents and be able to share your experiences on raising your dog.
This automatic dog feeder supports up to 10 feeding schedules and it can dispense food portions of between 20 – 400 grams. Choose the best feeding schedule and portion size that fits your dog’s feeding habit.
You can use the feed now option to dispense food immediately, outside the feeding schedule.
Once you key in your preferred feeding schedule and portion sizes, this feeder will work well even when the Wi-Fi is not working or when you are offline.
The storage bucket in this feeder is spacious enough and can keep up to 6 pounds of dry food. The weight sensor in this feeder works to alert you whenever the food level gets low or empty.
This automatic feeder has a power backup that ensures your pet receives the next scheduled meal even when the mains is disconnected.
Can hold various sizes of food pellets.
The App gives timely notifications and other updates on your dog.
Can dispense inaccurate food portions.
Long procedure in setting up the App.
This automatic dog feeder comes in 6 color options and has a body dimension of 7.87 x 16.14 x 16.54 inches. Weighing at 6.6 pounds with a capacity of 6.5 pounds of dry food, this feeder can be used to feed both dogs and cats.
The feeder can be connected to the DOGNESS App which is available for both Android and iOS devices. The App can be used to send real-time notifications on your dog’s feeding trends and videos.
This product can record voices which can be played at different meal times to encourage your dog to come and eat. There is also a camera that records and sends videos to your phone for real-time monitoring.
You can engage and talk with your pet while away hence giving you a chance to know if he’s okay.
This feeder has a battery backup power supply which is helpful when the mains is disconnected during an emergency.
There are 2 food dispensing trays that give your dog both small and large pellets. This feeder can accommodate food pellets of between 0.2 – 0.6 inches in diameter and can be scheduled for up to 6 meals a day.
You can dispense between 1 – 39 portions of dry food each portion being between 10 – 12 grams. Choose the best feeding schedule and meal portion that works well with your dog.
It can be cleaned easily.
The camera and microphones work perfectly.
The App is not compatible with Alexa.
This automatic dog feeder from HONGSA comes in the white color variant only and you can set it to automatic or manual feeding. This feeder can be used to dispense dry food to both dogs and cats.
If you have a small dog or a pet with decreased appetite then this product is good because it has a capacity of 50 ml. It has a full HD camera that can take videos and pictures of your dog up to 26 feet.
The videos and pictures of your dog captured by this feeder’s camera can be shared on any social media App with your friends.
The feeder can be connected to Smart Pets App which can be used remotely to control your dog’s feeding schedule. The App is available for both Android and iOS devices.
The feeder has built-in ultraviolet light that can be controlled from the App and be used to play with your dog or cat. You can move the UV light in different directions.
You can share a QR code with your friends which they can use to play with your dog remotely.
This feeder has 2 microphones and a built-in speaker which are used to talk to your pet while feeding.
The set-up process is easy since you will only need a Wi-Fi connection, a smartphone, and the Smart Pets App.
Easy to set up and use.
It has a good design.
Short WI-Fi range
This automatic pet feeder from PUPSAND has a transparent hooper with a 7 liters capacity. A transparent tank is good because you can easily check the food remaining before it gets depleted. The lid has a locking mechanism that makes it more firm and secure.
Instead of Wi-Fi, this automatic feeder uses Bluetooth connectivity to link up with your phone via the App which is available for Android, iOS, and Windows users.
Once you have downloaded and installed the App, you can connect your phone and the feeder to set up the feeding schedule and portion sizes. For effective Bluetooth connectivity with your phone, make sure you are within 10 meters.
This feeder can dispense food to your dog up to 8 times a day of pellet sizes of between 0.2 – 0.6 inches and 20 servings per meal. Choose the right schedule and portion size that fits your dog’s needs.
You can record custom messages to remind your pet about mealtime. The messages can be up to 10 seconds long and you can use different custom messages for each feeding schedule you have selected or you can use the same message for all schedules.
The feeder has 2 power modes; the mains connection and battery backup. When electric power is off, you can install the batteries and your dog will continue to receive his food during the period.
Easy to assemble and setup.
Offers good value for money.
It has a transparent hopper.
It has no in-built Wi-Fi hence limits the distance from which you can control it.
This automatic multi-pet feeder from WellToBe can be used to dispense food to multiple dogs and cats because it has two food bowls. It comes with two options for capacity; you can get the 3.8 liters or 7 liters variant.
The latter has a transparent hopper which is good for manually observing the amount of food left for your dog.
This product can dispense food to your dog up to 6 times a day with every meal having between 1 – 48 portions of 12 grams. The dry food pellet size should be between 0.5 – 2cm, larger pellets might cause clogging.
Choose the feeding schedule and portion size that will help your dog develop a good feeding character while making sure he remains in optimum health.
With an in-built voice recorder and speaker, you can record a custom message of up to 10 seconds which will be played to call out your pet during feeding time.
You also get the option to disable the voice playback if you are at home especially on weekends.
This product has an in-build LCD screen which makes it easier to set up your preferred feeding schedule and other settings. The buttons are anti touch meaning that your pet cannot accidentally press them to request food.
There are 2 power sources for this feeder, the battery power will be used when the mains supply is not available. This ensures that your dog receives his food in time whether or not the feeder is connected to the mains power supply.
The design also features an anti-clog mechanism that utilizes infrared technology to prevent lumps of food portions from accumulating in the splitter. This technology also prevents food from overflowing hence keeping up with the set meal portions.
The transparent hopper allows for easy monitoring of food levels.
Can be used to feed multiple dogs / or a dog and a cat.
Easy to set up and use.
No Wi-Fi connectivity.
Can have issues with portion control.
This automatic pet feeder from Faroro is used to dispense food to both dogs and cats. It has a body dimension of 7.68 x 14.08 x 14.25 inches and it can dispense up to 15 meals in a single day. The food can come out in portions of between 5 – 250 grams.
You can connect this feeder to your phone via Wi-Fi which will allow you to control it from anywhere using the App. You can use the App to change the feeding schedule, meal portion, and other configuration settings of this feeder.
Every time your dog eats from the feeder, there is a record which is made and it can be useful for monitoring your dog’s feeding pattern and allow you to detect anytime he becomes unwell.
This automatic pet feeder for dogs and cats has a transparent hopper which allows you to monitor the amount of food remaining in the hopper.
You will also receive timely notifications on your phone via the App whenever the food in the hopper gets to low levels or is completely depleted.
There’s a backup power supply from batteries that ensures your dog receives his food on time even when the mains power connection is not working.
The transparent hopper allows for food monitoring.
Consistent in portion sizing.
Easily clogged by unusual food shapes.
Wi-Fi connection has issues when changed.
This automatic pet feeder from TTPet comes with black and white color variants and is used to dispense food to both dogs and cats.
With a body dimension of 12.6 x 7.5 x 11 inches, this automatic feeder has a capacity of 4 liters and can dispense food up to 8 times. You can select up to 20 portions of 5 grams per meal.
This product has Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to connect it to a smartphone via the DuDu PET App. After establishing the connections, you can perform various configuration settings including setting the feeding schedule and portion sizes.
The App is available for both Android and iOS users. To use Bluetooth connections effectively, make sure you are within a distance of 10 meters from the feeder.
With an in-built voice recorder and speaker, you can customize your voice messages to be played to your dog whenever it’s time to eat.
This helps to maintain the personal touch you have with your lovely dog even if you are far away at the moment.
This product has a battery power backup supply. When the electricity is disconnected, the feeder will operate on battery power to ensure your dog receives timely food.
Easy to assemble and use.
Easy to disassemble and clean.
It has a braided AC cable which is strong.
The capacity might not be enough for a large dog.
It has no Wi-Fi connections.
Some of the best automatic dog feeders can also be used to dispense food to your cat. One thing to always keep in mind is the type of food you put in the hopper to feed your dog.
Most automatic feeders are easily clogged with wet food. Ensure the food kept in the storage tank is dry and of the right portion size and shape.
Have a look at the video below by Just Vlad that shows you how to set up and program an automatic dog feeder.
If you have multiple dogs, I encourage you to buy an automatic multi-pet feeder that can serve all dogs within your house.
Always remember to regularly clean your dog’s feeder. Unclean feeders can bring health and appetite problems to your dog.