If you work a full-time job or if you are away from home with unpredictable hours, it could have a negative impact on your dog.
Dogs thrive on routine and part of that routine should include a regular feeding schedule every day.
For busy professionals and those with obligations that take them outside of the home, there is an easy solution – an automatic dog feeder.
What is an Automatic Dog Feeder?
Automatic dog feeders come in a variety of different forms but they could be the solution to your problem, giving you an easy way to keep your dog’s feeding schedule regular even when you aren’t at home.
Some automatic dog feeders are very simple in design, consisting of a canister filled with food and a bowl that replenishes itself as your dog eats. There are also more complex options such as electric automatic feeders which can not only portion out your dog’s food, but can offer it at specific times according to a programmable timer.
Some feeders even come with Bluetooth connectivity, working with a special tag your pet wears on his collar to ensure that the feeder only opens for that pet. This is a great option if one of your pets needs a special diet.
Because automatic dog feeders come in so many different forms, it can be tricky to find the exact one to suit your needs. Before you start shopping, think about exactly what you want the feeder to do and use that to narrow down your options.
When you are ready to start shopping, then, you will have a better idea what you are looking for. To help you get started in looking for automatic dog feeders you will find reviews for some of the top-rated models for small, medium, large, and giant breeds below.
The Best Automatic Dog Feeders for Small Dogs
Smaller dogs have very fast metabolisms which means that they burn a lot of energy throughout the day.
This being the case, they need a steady influx of energy. This can be difficult to accomplish if you are away from home a lot – an automatic feeder might be just the solution you’ve been looking for.
For small-breed dogs and puppies such as Maltese, Pomeranians and Yorkshire Terriers, a simple automatic feeder that continuously refills the bowl as it empties is probably the best option, though electronic feeders might work as well.
To help you get started in shopping for your automatic feeder, consider the following three top-rated automatic dog feeders for small and medium dogs:
|Van Ness Auto Feeder
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|Petmate Pearl Replendish Feeder with Microban
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|PetSafe Healthy Pet Food Station
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Van Ness Auto Feeder Review
If you like the idea of an automatic feeder but you don’t want to spend a lot, the Van Ness Auto Feeder might be the right choice for you. This feeder features a simple design that consists of a plastic food storage unit with a hinged top that is placed over a plastic food dish. Simply assemble the feeder then fill the storage unit with your pet’s food. As you fill the feeder, the food will spill out into the bowl until it is full – then it will keep replenishing the food in the bowl as your dog eats until the storage unit is empty. What could be simpler than that?
In addition to being very easy to use, the Van Ness Auto Feeder is also extremely affordable. The x-small size has a 1.5-pound capacity and costs just $4 while the small size holds 3 pounds and costs just over $5. Not only is this feeder affordable and easy to use, but it is lightweight and surprisingly durable as well. The whole unit is made from USDA approved plastic with a clear smoke finish on the storage container so you can easily see how much food is left. This feeder is made from 20% recycled content and it is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
Petmate Pearl Replendish Feeder with Microban Review
For puppies and small-breed dogs that need to eat frequently throughout the day, the Petmate Pearl Replendish Feeder with Microban is a great option to consider. This feeder features a simple design consisting of a plastic food storage bin and a microban base. Not only does the microban base keep food from spilling out of the dish, but it also prevents bacteria from building up in the dish. To use this feeder, simply fill the storage container from the top and let the excess food spill out into the bowl. The bowl will replenish itself from the storage unit as your dog eats.
What many pet owners love about the Petmate Pearl Replendish Feeder with Microban is the fact that it is easy to use and easy to clean. You can remove the plastic lid from the storage container and separate it from the base, then clean the items individually or throw them into the dishwasher. There are multiple sizes to choose from including a 2-pound, 5-pound, 10-pound, and 18-pound capacity. You will also be glad to know that this unit is very affordable. The smallest size costs just $7.50 and the medium size is priced at $11.50. It does get a little pricier once you get into the larger sizes, but you pay for quality and what is what you get.
PetSafe Healthy Pet Food Station Review
If you want to enjoy the convenience of an automatic feeder but you don’t like the idea of large quantities of food sitting around, the PetSafe Healthy Pet Food Station might be a good compromise. This automatic feeder only holds 2 pounds of food for the small size and 4 pounds for the medium size, plus the hopper twists and locks in place to keep food fresh. As your dog eats from the stainless steel bowl, it will be replenished with food from the hopper and once the hopper is empty you can separate it and throw it in the dishwasher for easy cleaning!
The PetSafe Healthy Pet Food Station is a great option for small and medium dogs because it only holds up to 4 pounds of food – plus, it has a small footprint so it doesn’t take up a lot of space. The food storage hopper is made from durable BPA-free plastic while the feeding bowl is stainless steel. Even though stainless steel is very lightweight, it is bacteria resistant and highly durable as well. This automatic feeder costs about $17.50 for the smaller size and $20 for the medium size. It might be a little more expensive than other feeders of its kind, but it offers some unique benefits as well.
The Best Automatic Dog Feeders for Large Dogs
All dogs love to eat and many will scarf down whatever food is put in front of them.
For large and giant breeds such as German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers and Great Danes, obesity is a very real threat and it can contribute to the development of other serious diseases. To protect your dog, you should monitor his portions and avoiding feeding him too much or too often – that is where an automatic feeder can come in handy.
With a programmable automatic dog feeder you can keep your large or giant dog on a feeding schedule and limit his portions to only what is appropriate.
Best of all, you won’t have to actually be there to do it which gives you some added flexibility in your life.
To help you get started, consider the following three top-rated automatic dog feeders for large and giant breed dogs:
Aspen Pet LeBistro Portion Control Programmable Pet Feeder Review
If you want to know that your large or giant breed dog gets the food he needs and only the food he needs, this Aspen Pet LeBistro Portion Control Programmable Pet Feeder is a great option to consider. This programmable feeder consists of a storage hopper, the electronic base, and a plastic feeder bowl. To use this feeder, all you have to do is fill the hopper with your dog’s food and set the automatic timer for the proper portion and feeding time. When feeding time comes around, the correct portion of food spills out into the plastic feeder bowl where your dog can find it.
The Aspen Pet LeBistro Portion Control Programmable Pet Feeder comes in two sizes – a 5-pound capacity and a 10-pound capacity. The transparent hopper makes it easy for you to keep an eye on food levels so you can refill it when necessary. The plastic feeder bowl is lightweight but durable and you can throw it in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. This feeder can be programmed for up to three meals per day which means that your dog can follow a feeding schedule even if you aren’t at home. The smaller size for this device costs $40 while the larger is priced at $48.
PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Pet Feeder Review
Do you hate getting up early on the weekend to feed your dog or do you have trouble getting home at a consistent time during the work week? If you want your dog to benefit from a regular feeding schedule that you don’t have to maintain yourself, consider the PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Pet Feeder. This automatic feeder is completely programmable – you can customize it to dispense portions as small as 1/8 cup to as large as 4 cups up to 12 times per day. Not only does this feeder work on dry food, but it can be used for semi-moist foods also.
Another useful feature that comes with this PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Pet Feeder is the Slow Feed setting. This setting dispenses your pre-programmed portions over a 15-minute time period to keep your dog from eating too much at once – this is very important for large and giant breed dogs. Simply fill the hopper with your dog’s food and set the portion size and timer according to your preference. This feeder costs about $130 but the myriad options for customization makes it well worth the extra cost. This feeder can be used for everything from slow feeding to portion control for dogs that are overweight or obese.
Bergan K-9 Café Food Dispenser & Storage Review
If you are looking for an automatic feeder that is specially designed for large-breed dogs but you don’t want to spend a small fortune, consider this Bergan K-9 Café Food Dispenser & Storage. This automatic feeder can hold up to 25 pounds of dry dog food and it also features a snap-on base that can hold up to 5 gallons of water. Not only is this a simple-to-use automatic feeder and waterer for use at home, but it is also great for traveling with your dog! You can just bring the whole unit along instead of worrying about separate storage units for food and water.
The Bergan K-9 Café Food Dispenser & Storage is constructed from heavy-duty BPA-free plastic so you don’t have to worry about your dog’s safety. It also has several convenient features like a hinged lid that makes filling the storage hopper easy and a twist-off plug for the water storage unit for easy drainage. This unit cost just under $50 which might be more than other automatic feeders but the added convenience factors make it worth it.
Automatic dog feeders can solve a lot of problems for pet owners.
For one thing, they make it possible to ensure that your dog has constant access to food if he needs it, even when you are away from home.
For dogs whose intake needs to be monitored, automatic feeders make it possible to ratio your dog’s portion and to only offer it at certain times.
In some ways, having an automatic dog feeder is like having a pet sitter that you don’t have to pay!
No matter what you choose to use it for, an automatic dog feeder could be the best thing you buy this year.
When you are ready to shop for an automatic dog feeder, consider one of the top-rated models reviewed above for small, medium, large, and giant dogs.