For a lot of pet owners, there’s nothing more important than ensuring their furry friends are well fed and watered and generally enjoy the best of everything, such as sleeping on one of the best dog beds. However, even the best of intentions can be interrupted by a busy life filled with unexpected distractions, like travel or a recent return to the office. These disruptions can often results in an empty water bowl or a mealtime which is delayed or even missed entirely. If this situation sounds uncomfortably familiar, it may be time to turn to one of the best automatic pet feeders.
By switching to an automatic pet feeder, pet owners can rest easy that their fur babies will never go hungry. These person-independent devices can be set to deliver specific meals at specific times without the need of someone being there to physically dish out food or press a button. Having an automatic feeder for cats or dogs lets pet owners feed their pets on a set schedule without having to worry about potential everyday disruptions, such as:
- Unplanned Overtime
- Traffic Jams
- Lazy mornings
So having established why automatic pet feeders are a good idea, you may still be asking the question “are automatic pet feeders good?” The answer is not a simple yes or no. In fact, like the best dog food puzzles, these devices are generally not designed as a permanent replacement for a pet owner feeding their pet. But, as we mentioned above, they definitely have a time and a place when they are beneficial.
How Do Automatic Pet Feeders Work?
Automatic pet feeders come in a number of different styles. At their most basic level, an automatic pet feeder uses a large food container and a gravity-powered feeder to near-instantly refill a food bowl when food is consumed.
More complicated pet feeders use electronic dispensing mechanisms to release a meal at preset times throughout the day. In a lot of devices, pet owners can choose how often food is released and how much food is released. In addition, another commonly found feature allows owners to record a short, 10-second message which is played at every mealtime.
Below you’ll find our top 11 picks for the best auto pet feeders available online. If you’re looking for a way to ensure your pet never goes hungry during the holidays or unexpected events, these are a must-have in any pet-owning home.
1. VOLUAS Automatic Pet Feeder
The VOLUAS Automatic Pet Feeder really puts control of the size, the frequency and the overall scheduling of your pet’s meals in your hands. With the easy-to-use controls, pet owners can arrange up to four meals a day, choose between one and 12 portions per meal and record a 10-second audio clip to play to your pet at every mealtime. The design also incorporates a safety button lock cover, an anti-clog food chute and several removable parts for easier cleaning. Additionally, the feeder is available in either four or six-liter capacity models and comes with your choice of an opaque or transparent food container.
2. PetSafe 5 Meal Dog Food Dispenser
With its compact and easy-to-use design, the PetSafe Programmable Pet Food Dispenser is a reliable way to take care of up to five meals while you’re away from home. Whether you’re at work or visiting friends, you can trust this tried-and-tested dispenser to dish out a one-cup portion of dried food (or healthy dog treats) at the times chosen in the feeder’s control panel. As each time is reached, the dishwasher-safe tray rotates to reveal the next meal. Alternatively, the dispenser includes the ability to add an extra meal or suspend one, depending on your, or your pet’s needs. One thing to note is that this feeder requires four D-type batteries to run.
3. PetSafe Healthy Pet Food Station
At under $30, the PetSafe Healthy Pet Gravity Feeder is the best answer for pet owners looking for a budget-friendly way to feed their animals. This tried-and-tested feeder, which comes with the backing of more than 20,00 five-star ratings from Amazon users, uses a gravity-based mechanism to ensure your pet always has food when they want it. It’s also made from sturdy PVC, has a dishwasher-safe bowl and is available in three different sizes, ranging from small to large. Plus, it can be purchased with an accompanying water dispenser to take care of all your pet’s needs.
4. hipidog Automatic Pet Feeder
By using gravity fed mechanisms, the feeder and waterer in this hipidog Automatic Pet Set let your pets eat and drink until their heart’s content. Each piece is also made from BPA-free plastic and features anti-skid feet to help prevent unwanted movement when pets are particularly hungry or thirsty. Both devices also boast large capacities, meaning you’ll have to refill them less and won’t have to worry if you’re away for longer than expected. In addition, the set comes in several colors, including gray, blue and green.
5. Veken Multi-Tier Pet Fountain
If you have several pets of different sizes who need watering, give this Veken Multi-Tier Pet Fountain a try. The device offers a place to drink from at two different levels, allowing your pets to choose whichever source is most comfortable for them. It also features a large, 100-ounce capacity, meaning it’s capable of lasting for a long time or supplying multiple pets with a water supply. You’ll also find a triple filtration system and a water level indicator so you always know when it’s time to refill the tray. It’s also available in multiple colors and has the backing of more than 6,000 five-star ratings from Amazon customers.
6. PetSafe Drinkwell Pet Fountain
Ensuring your pet always has a way to drink water is just as, if not even more important than ensuring they have food. That’s why it’s a smart idea to install this popular PetSafe Drinkwell Pet Fountain in your home. As well as giving your pet a place to refresh, the fountain’s free falling water actually entices your pets to drink while also preventing bacteria growth. Furthermore, it’s possible to choose from a variety of flow rates and fountains with different water capacities.
7. Petory Timed Automatic Cat Feeder
The Petory Timed Automatic Cat Feeder is a dual-powered device which houses backup batteries in case of a power outage. It’s suitable for taking care of cats and small-to-medium sized dogs and features a four-liter food storage tub that can hold up to 50 portions of food. This food is released on the food schedule you choose, with options ranging from one to six meals per day with specified time intervals between each release. It’s also possible to remove the hopper and bowl for easy cleaning. In addition, you’ll find a recorder which allows you to record a 10-second message to help encourage your pets to chow down at mealtimes.
8. Petdiary Automatic Dog & Cat Feeder
With its dual power sources, large food storage capacity and intuitive user interface, you can’t go wrong with the Petdiary Automatic Dog & Cat Feeder. The four-liter capacity can supply an average cat with food for around 25 days and a small to medium-sized dog for 10. The feeder also allows pet owners to record an accompanying message which will be delivered to your pet at every mealtime. On the feeder’s display screen, users can see and adjust various settings, including times, portion sizes and battery life.
9. HoneyGuaridan Automatic Cat Feeder
Got two small pets to feed but don’t want to invest in two separate feeders? Then this VOLUAS Automatic Pet Feeder is your answer. The smart design splits the falling food and delivers equal meals to two separate bowls, making it easy to keep two pets well fed and happy at the same time. The feeder is also available in two different sizes and two different colors. Furthermore, the container is transparent so you can see when it’s time to refill it and the food bowls are removable and machine washable so cleaning is quick and convenient.
10. PETLIBRO Automatic Cat Feeder
This PETLIBRO Automatic Cat Feeder brings hassle-free mealtimes and a dose of style to your home. The futuristic looking device comes in black or white and sports an eye-catching design with an easy-to-read tilt LED panel for an impressive level of user friendliness. Pet owners can schedule one to six meals per day made up of up to 50 portions. It’s also possible to record a number of 10-second recordings to accompany mealtimes. Furthermore, the feeder comes in either a three or a five-liter model and has the backing of more than 3,500 five-star ratings from happy pet owners.
11. PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder
If you like being able to control every device in your home through your smartphone, including your pet feeder, add this PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Feeder to your setup. The Wi-Fi enabled device lets you schedule meals, control portion sizes and even deliver a meal instantly through the My PetSafe app on your smartphone or your voice using a virtual assistant, such as Amazon’s Alexa. The feeder also includes a space for backup power source.