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Dog owners would do anything for their furry family members. That’s why we spoil them by buying them fun toys, comfy beds, fashionable collars and only the tastiest food. If you own a bigger dog, you know that they can eat huge amounts of food. Sometimes, it can be difficult dealing with their feeding needs. Dog feeders can help you keep your dog fed and happy.
A dog feeder, also called a dog food dispenser, is a device that provides food to your dog when you aren’t able to do it yourself. Maybe you work long hours and aren’t home during the day. Maybe you travel a lot and you can’t take your dog along. Maybe your dog keeps waking you up by barking for food. Or maybe you just want help in regulating your dog’s eating schedule. Whatever the case may be, any dog owner can benefit from buying a dog feeder.
Gravity and electronic feeders are the two main types, but there are a lot of variations on the market. Each brand tries to put its own unique spin on pet feeders, and that means there are a lot of options to choose from. When choosing a feeder for your dog, you should consider things such as what kind of food your dog eats (dry or wet), how many dogs you have and their size, if your pet needs to lose weight, etc.
Dog Feeder Reviews
With all of these questions in mind and so many options on the market, it can be difficult to choose a feeder that’s perfect for your dog’s needs. That’s why we’ve rounded up this top list of best dog feeders.
PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed 12-Meal Automatic Pet Feeder
The first feeder on this list is a timed dog feeder made and sold by PetSafe, which should pique your interest right away, as they are a big and trustworthy name in the pet product industry. The first thing you should know is that this feeder is best suited for small to medium dogs. Another important thing is that it isn’t made for wet food, but it works with most dry and semi-moist foods.
The biggest selling point of this auto dog feeder is the Slow Feed Mode. This setting releases food slowly over a 15 minutes period, to prevent bloating and vomiting in dogs that are voracious eaters.
You can also control the size of the portion by choosing one from 1/8 cups to 4 cups, and that will do wonders for controlling your pet’s weight. The feeder is also great if your pet has special feeding needs due to some medical problems. Another useful option is the Immediate Feed Mode. That mode allows you to feed your pet instantly, no matter the time.
The feeder is made of BPA-free plastic, and the bowl is made of stainless steel. Both materials are good for your pet’s health. The good thing is that the removable bowl is dishwasher-safe. The product uses batteries or the power adapter, but none of them are included in the package.
- You can adjust the number of meals and the size of the portions too.
- MSlow Feed Mode
- The batteries and the power adapter are sold separately.
Neater Feeder Deluxe Elevated Dog Feeder
This is a feeder for larger dogs (great for goldens, huskies, and boxers for example) which helps your dog with the tension in the neck during eating. The large-breed dogs can experience pain while eating from the floor and that is why this raised dog feeder is a great choice for big dogs. This feeder comes in 3 different sizes and six different colors so you can easily adjust the size of the bowl to your dog and the color of the feeder to your home design. But, this is not the only thing this large dog food dispenser has up its sleeve.
This is actually a dog food and water dispenser since it comes with two stainless steel bowls. Although it looks like one, this is not an elevated dog feeder with storage. The compartment below the bowls is made for spilled water so this dog feeder is a great choice for messy pets. Every water drop that falls on the plastic around the bowls will go in that container, through the filter and you can use that water again.
Due to the materials used in this feeder, plastic and stainless steel, you can use it as an outdoor dog feeder too. When it gets dirty, simply separate the parts and put them in the dishwasher.
- It is dishwasher safe
- Made for messy eaters, collects spilled food
- Not an automated pet feeder
Arf Pets Automatic Pet Feeder Food Dispenser
This is another dog food dispenser that can only be used with dry food. But the good thing is, it’s suitable for dogs of all sizes. It enables you to select up to 4 daily food distribution times and also to customize the meal size from 1 to 10 24 mL portions per meal, so you can customize them according to how many dogs you have, or what size they are. Unfortunately, after only 4 meals, you will need to set it up again. Thankfully, the feeder is really simple to program and it doesn’t require you to be any sort of technical genius.
One feature that I really like is that this pet feeder allows you to record audio for up to 10 seconds. This means that you can record your voice or any other sound that your pet likes, and it will play when your pet comes to eat. It’s a thoughtful feature that will make any dog happily wag its tail.
I also really like that it comes with a power cord, unlike many other automatic feeders where the power cord is either not available at all, or it’s sold separately. It can also be used with 3 D batteries, (also not included). This is great because you might have a playful dog that pulls on the cord and unplugs it, so you can just use batteries. But when the batteries run out, you can just plug the feeder into a wall socket if you don’t have spare batteries at the ready.
The lid of the smart feeder locks and it’s airtight. That means that the food will stay fresh and that your pet won’t be able to get to the food before its feeding time. When the food runs out, the feeder will let you know. The food dish can be removed, but it needs to be cleaned by hand.
- It comes with a power cord.
- It allows you to record a customized feeding call.
- It needs to be set up often.
- It can’t be used with wet food.
Petmate Pet Café Feeder
This feeder is different from others on my list because it’s not an electronic feeder, but a gravity feeder. Even though they don’t use modern technology, and therefore don’t have as many features and options as electronic feeders, gravity feeders also offer a number of features. Firstly, they’re really easy to use because they don’t require any kind of programming or setup. You just fill the hopper and the laws of physics will do the rest. This makes it a perfect purchase for those dog owners who don’t want to be bothered by complicated technology.
Secondly, there’s no electricity needed to power it, so you don’t have to fear power outages, batteries running out, or your dog unplugging the cord. The downside of this type of feeder is that you can’t control your dogs’ portions. So, if you have a dog that eats greedily, or has medical or weight issues, you might be better off with a different product.
This model comes in three sizes: 3 lb., 6 lb. and 12 lb. This means it’s suitable for pets of all sizes, as well as multiple pets. If you want to fill the feeder with food, just remove the lid on top, and snap it back on once you’ve finished. As I said, it’s really simple to use. The feeder is made of pet-friendly plastic. The hopper has a wide mouth for easier cleanup because you have to do it by hand. The only downside is that some bigger kibble might not flow down as well as it should because it clogs the feeder.
- It’s great for dogs of all sizes
- Great for multiple dogs
- Some kibble can clog the feeder
Best Timed Dog Feeder
PetSafe 5-Meal Pet Feeder
The last on my list is another feeder by PetSafe. This one is a bit different because it doesn’t have a hopper. Instead, it has five one-cup portion sections. You fill these sections with dog food and use the digital timer to set the meals, and the feeder automatically rotates to the next tray at scheduled times.
When it’s not feeding time, the lid will automatically close. You can set up to five feeding times. What’s really great is that this feeder can also be used with wet food. But keep in mind that you should change the wet food and wash the feeding tray regularly.
This enables many different combinations. For example, you can put ice in some slots, and wet food in the rest, to make wet food last longer. If your dog eats too quickly, you can feed it multiple smaller meals spread out throughout the day. Or, if you’re going to be out of town, you can set a single time for four consecutive days.
When you come back, you can use the Suspend Feeding option to stop the feeder from dispensing food, without losing your scheduled meals. Or, if you want to immediately dispense a meal, just push the Manual Advance button. All in all, this dog food dispenser is really flexible. The only downside is that it isn’t a good choice for bigger dogs, because they might be able to break it trying to get to the food inside.
Both the lid and the tray are made of pet-friendly BPA-free plastic. The tray can be removed, and it’s dishwasher safe, making the cleanup super quick and easy. The feeder uses 4 D-cell batteries that are not included. It doesn’t have a power adapter option. The feeder comes with programming instructions, but even with instructions, it can be a bit complicated to program. If you don’t want to take the time to figure it out, there are more user-friendly dog feeders on this list that will be more suited for you.
- It’s the only dog food dispenser on the list that can be used with wet food.
- It’s easy to clean.
- It’s not a good choice for bigger dogs.
- It doesn’t have a power adapter option.
DIY Dog Food Dispenser
If you want to make a homemade dog feeder, there are many different projects on the internet. Most of the time the automatic dog feeder DIY project is actually a gravity feeder because it is much easier to make than electric feeders. Here I have found a few pretty interesting projects you can make if you want to start and finish a DIY dog feeder project for your fluffy friend.
Conclusion: Best Automatic Dog Feeder Design
Since dogs are often pretty greedy when it comes to food, I would recommend the PetSafe Healthy Pet Automatic Pet Feeder because it has the slow mode which prevents your dog from eating too fast. It is also a time release dog feeder so you don’t have to worry whether your dog ate or not when you weren’t home. If you have a large dog, read my post about food dispensers for large dogs.