Best Automatic Dog Feeders - Comparison and Reviews
Sometimes it is just hard to manage your busy schedule and keep your dog healthy and eating on time. Most of us work long hours and spend quite a bit time away from home, while our furry friends depend on us for food, exercise, and love to stay healthy. Most veterinarians recommend that dogs eat two meals a day, one in the morning and one in the evening.
Problems arise when our schedule doesn’t align with the dog’s eating habits. Automatic dog feeders are perfect for these kinds of situations. Your dog will get the food on time, while you can rest easy knowing that your dog is taken care of while you are away.
Most of the benefits of automatic dog feeders can be summed up in:
- Making sure that your dog eats on time
- Keeping your dog healthy by preventing overeating
- Minimizing stress while away from home
- Optimizing your spending on dog food
- Keeping the house clean and neat
We’ve researched the automatic dog feeder market and came back with ten feeders that are the cream of the crop. We have taken into account price, features, build quality, safety, and the types of materials used in the feeders to decide which feeders to include in this list. If you are looking for the best automatic dog feeder, you’ve come to the right place.
Best Automatic Dog Feeders 2020 - Reviews
1. PetSafe Automatic Dog Feeder with Stainless Steel Bowl
PetSafe has been one of the leading companies in the pet and lifestyle industry for years, and their innovative products are extremely popular among pet owners. Their automatic pet feeder, the PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed, offers tremendous value at an affordable price.
The feeder is fully automatic and programmable for up to 12 meals a day. You can set your own schedule, as well as control the portion size for your dog, and the portion size can be set from 1/8 of a cup to 8 cups. There is even a slow feed option, where food is dispensed incrementally over 15 minutes. A bonus is that the feeder can be used for both dogs and cats, making it one of the most versatile feeders on the market.
This feeder is safe for pets since the food bowl is made from stainless steel and securely locked to prevent dogs and cats from stealing food. The container is also dishwasher-safe, making it easy to clean.
- Flexible. It can be used for both dogs and cats
- Affordable price for a fully automatic feeder
- Programmable feeding schedule
- Slow feed and portion control options by scheduling smaller meals
- Pet-Proof Dispenser for keeping food fresh and safe from stealing
- Easy to clean. Dishwasher-safe
- Unsuitable for large dogs
- Battery operated
- It can be challenging to program
2. PortionProRx Automatic Pet Feeder for Multiple Dogs
PortionProRx is an innovative automatic pet feeder that solves the problem of multiple pets accessing food. Most automatic feeders indiscriminately dispense food at the set times, and if you have two or more pets in the household, you might have a food fight on your hands. PortionProRx has tackled this problem by including RFID tags with the feeder that can be assigned to each individual dog.
Besides offering access control for multiple dogs, PortionProRx also allows you to schedule up to six meals per day, provides portion control from ½ a cup to 6 cups and can hold up to 32 cups of food in total. The feeder is made from pet-friendly plastic, while the feeding cup has been coated with ceramics. The safety of toddlers and pets was also taken into account, with a gentle closing mechanism that will not injure them.
- Best for multiple dogs
- Fantastic scheduling system with RFID access control
- Portion control from ½ cup to 6 cups
- Pet-friendly materials and easy to clean
- Power-outage safe with battery backup
- Suitable for both cats and dogs
- Small capacity for multiple pets
- It only comes with one RFID tag (additional tags must be purchased separately)
- RFID tags are a bit bulky for small pets
- RFID tags are battery-operated, last about one year, and are costly to replace
3. Westlink Large Automatic Dog Feeder with Timer Programmable
Feeding time is an intimate occasion for most dog owners, allowing the dog and the owner to bond and create a connection. This feeling is tough to duplicate when it comes to using automatic pet feeders when we are away from home. Westlink 6L Automatic Pet Feeder might have a solution for that.
The feeder is equipped with a voice recorder where you can record a 10-second voice message, to call your dogs to come and get their food. This feature is a nice personal touch for your dogs, knowing that their owner cares even when they are away from home.
In addition to that, the Westlink 6L Automatic Pet Feeder also offers a timer programmable feeding schedule, portion control, and is constructed from pet-friendly materials. Finally, don’t forget the price. It is one of the most affordable fully-automatic feeders on the market today.
- Timer programmable feeding schedule.
- Voice recorder feature for 10-second personalized feeding calls
- Large capacity of 6 liters
- Portion control, from 1 to 39 servings per meal (1 serving is 10-12 grams)
- Pet-friendly materials
- A maximum of 4 meals a day can be programmed
- Unfit for kibble larger than 1cm in diameter
- Battery operated
4. PetNet Smart Automatic Pet Feeder – Smartphone Controlled
PetNet’s SmartFeeder is trying to bring automatic pet feeders into the 21st century. Smart devices are finding a place in our homes all the time, so why should dog feeders be any different. The level of control and customization that the PetNet SmartFeeder offers is unmatched, and you can track everything via an app on your smartphone.
Some of the features that PetNet SmartFeeder offers are portion control, feed time scheduling, feeding verification, and even food delivery service. These features can all be set and tracked from your mobile phone, making it one of the most user-friendly feeders we have reviewed.
The device did have a bit of shady history, as some earlier versions suffered from poor build quality and inadequate feeder mechanism. The new units have been upgraded and are now entirely safe and functional.
- Smart feeder compatible with your mobile phone and Alexa
- Unmatched customization and monitoring
- Feeding verification system, making sure that your pets have eaten
- Food delivery service for custom meal plans
- Pricey. Despite the features, the price is unjustified
- Food delivery service is limited to specific locations, and the meal offered varies
5. WOPET Automatic Pet Feeder with Timer
WOPET Automatic Pet Feeder blew us away during our review. It is one of the most fully-featured devices on the market, with excellent customer support, premium build quality, and an affordable price. It is a more traditional take on the automatic feeder compared to some other devices we have reviewed. Still, WOPET Automatic Pet Feeder is excellent at what it does.
The feeder comes with a sizeable 7-liter container food dispenser and can be ordered in two models, one for the small to medium dogs and one for the larger dogs. Both models can fit up to 39 portions of food, but the portion size varies.
WOPET has also included an intuitive meal scheduler, a voice recorder for personalized feeding calls, portion control, battery backup in case of a power outage, and many other features.
- Excellent build quality at an affordable price.
- Fully-featured meal scheduler, with voice recording and programmable timer
- Splash Proof Food Dispenser with Infrared sensor to prevent food jams and over-filled food trays
- Dual power supply, with battery backup in case of a power outage
- Easy to clean and dishwasher-safe feeding tray
- The food container is not the most secure and persistent pets can steal food
- The meal scheduler is not easy to set up (unclear instructions)
6. Iseebiz Timed Automatic Pet Food Dispenser
The Iseebiz Automatic Pet Feeder is one of the most budget-friendly devices that we have reviewed. Despite the lower capacity of the kibble container and affordable price, the device offers a lot of features and in many ways outperforms its pricier counterparts.
There is a meal scheduler programmable timer integrated into the feeder which can schedule up to four meals a day. An infrared sensor is included as well preventing the overflow of kibble if the food tray is full. Portion control is another great feature, as each meal can be set to serve anywhere from 1 to 39 portions at a time. There is also a voice recorder, allowing 10-second feeding calls to be recorded.
Due to the size of the feeder, some drawbacks were expected. The device might not be ideal for larger dogs, and larger pieces of the kibble might get stuck in the feeder. The biggest drawback of the device is the lack of modular design, as it is impossible to take apart the whole feeder for easy cleaning, and only the lid is dishwasher-safe.
- Great price for a fully-automatic dog feeder
- Portion control and meal scheduling are standard
- Excellent seal on the kibble container, keeping the food fresh and safe from stealing
- Voice recorder with 10-second personalized messages
- The size. It might not be suitable for larger dogs and chunkier pieces of kibble
- The design of the device makes it hard to clean and take apart
- Not fully dishwasher-safe
7. Arf Pets Timer Programmable Automatic Feeder for Large and Small Dogs
Arf Pets Automatic Food Dispenser is a product trying to hit a sweet spot between the larger feeders (6 liters and up) and smaller feeders (3 liters or less). The device has a 4-liter container for kibble that is connected to an automatic feeder mechanism.
The feeder has a meal scheduler that can be programmed to dispense up to four meals a day and adjust the portion sizes according to the dog size. One portion is 24ml, and the feeder can dispense meals containing anywhere from 1 to 10 portions.
The device is made from pet-friendly plastic, and it is easy to take apart and clean. The kibble container is dishwasher-safe. User reviews have shown that the device had some reliability issues in the past, but overall Arf Pets Automatic Dog Feeder is deemed a quality product.
- Lots of features, including distribution alarm, portion control, and automatic feeder mechanism
- Dual power supply (wall outlet and batteries)
- Made of high-quality pet-friendly plastic
- Easy to take apart and clean. Dishwasher-safe
- It doesn’t offer tremendous value at that price being caught between categories
- Reliability issues have been spotted in the past
- No infrared sensor to prevent the overflow of kibble
8. Sureflap Microchip Pet Feeder for Multiple Dogs
The Sureflap Surefeed is another feeder designed with multi-pet homes in the mind. Using regular automatic feeders in households with more than one pet might cause more harm than good. Managing access to the feeder and dispensing customized meals are necessary to keep all the furry friends happy.
The Sureflap Surefeed Microchip Pet Feeder excels at restricting access to prescription food for dogs who are on a special diet. The device can store up to 32 pet identities and can scan either microchip implanted into pets or RFID tags they wear. Sureflap has also included a phenomenal 3-year warranty with their product.
This is the most advanced access-control feeder on the market that comes at a reasonable price. Other solutions are too costly, or they are just not intended for home use.
- Best for the house with multiple dogs
- Fantastic access control using either microchips or RFID tags
- Meal scheduling and portion control are included
- Made of durable and pet-friendly plastic
- Excellent value at that price point
- Batteries need to be replaced every six months
- The lid and feeding mechanism can be intimidating to some pets
9. HoneyGuaridan Splash Proof Automatic Pet Feeder with Large Food Container
The HoneyGuaridan A36 Automatic Pet Feeder is another device in the mid-range segment that comes with a bunch of useful features and an impeccable track record. The device features a 3.9-liter kibble container that can dispense meals ranging from 1/27 cup to 3 cups. The large container can store up to 13 cups of kibble. It can even take chunkier pieces of kibble intended for larger dogs.
The number of features that this feeder offers is fantastic. You can schedule up to six meals a day, vary the portion size, and it even includes a low-food alarm once your container is close to being empty. On top of that, the device has an infrared sensor that controls the amount of food that will be added to the bowl. The bowl is made of stainless steel and is dishwasher friendly.
The device also has a 2-year warranty, which includes a 2-month no-questions-asked return policy. It is quite hard to find anything wrong with HoneyGuardian’s A36 Automatic Pet Feeder. Overall, it is a fantastic value for the price.
10. PetSafe 5-Meal Dog Food Dispenser with Timer
Last but not least, we have chosen this ultra-budget option. While it does lack many of the features we have seen in the previous devices, PetSafe’s 5-Meal Pet Feeder is a reliable device that comes at a fantastic price.
The feeder has five rotating food trays that can house up to 1 cup of dog food. There is no central container that can refill the trays, so the feeder is limited to those five meals per day. There is a meal scheduler that you can program to release each tray of food at a specific time. There is no portion control either, so you have to pre-measure the servings yourself.
Although it comes with basic features, Petsafe 5 Meal Pet Feeder is reliable and is well built. The food trays are made from pet-friendly plastic that is dishwasher-safe and easy to clean. The compromises that were made to achieve this price point are significant but do not diminish the quality of the product.
How to Choose the Best Automatic Feeder for Dogs
Choosing the right automatic dog feeder can be a difficult decision. The primary concern is leaving the well-being of your dog into the hands of a device, so reliability is of utmost importance. The assortment of features and options that automatic dog feeders come with can be overwhelming for some dog owners when deciding which device to purchase.
Check out our short guide on which features really matter when picking the right automatic dog feeder.
Features to Look for in Automatic Dog Feeder
Bigger is not necessarily always better when it comes to dog feeders. You should pick the dog feeder that is right for the size of your dog or dogs if you have more than one. If the dog feeder has a huge container for food, there is a chance that food will go stale if It stays in the feeder too long. If the capacity is small, you run the risk of running out of food and having to refill it all the time.
Find the sweet spot that suits your needs by checking out the capacity of each feeder in terms of portions.
Most automatic dog feeders have either simple or extremely complicated scheduling systems for feeding. If you own a single dog, that eats twice a day, selecting a feeder with a simple meal scheduler that is reliable is the best option. Complex distribution alarm systems should be used only in multi-dog households or in case of specialized diets that vary throughout the day.
Wet and Dry Food Compatibility
Many automatic dog feeders are made for dispensing dry food (kibble) exclusively. If you are feeding wet dog food to your pup then make sure that you choose the adequate feeder. When choosing an automatic feeder, make sure that the machine can handle the size of dry food your dog needs. The dimensions of the kibble are included in the technical specification of the feeder.
Number of Dogs a Feeder Can Support
The majority of automatic feeders are for single-dog or single-pet use. Owners that own several dogs are faced with the challenge of finding a customizable feeder solution that can handle the different needs of their dogs.
It is really up to you. You can either go with simple but separate feeders for each dog or dish out for a premium multi-dog solution. The advantage of separate feeders is in the simplicity of programming and portion control, but the downside is that other dogs might have access to food that is not theirs. Multi-dog solutions solve this problem through the use of microchips of RFID tags, but the scheduling is quite complicated, and they come at a premium price.
Secure for Dogs Usage
The first thing that comes to mind is the materials used in the manufacturing of the automatic dog feeder. Although this is a crucial point, it is not the sole concern. All the materials must be pet-friendly and non-toxic for dogs (BPA-free plastic is the material of choice). It is equally important that the device can’t be broken into by dogs or that parts of the device don’t injure the dog when using it.
Voice Recording to call at food time
A voice-recorded personal call is a nice touch for automatic feeders. Dogs that are used to having their owners around and serving them food will enjoy this feature. The voice message also signals the dogs that their meals are ready and that they should head to the feeder. Automatic feeders that have this feature, usually allow for a 10-second recorded message.
Sensors for Food Dispensing
Dogs are living beings just like us, and they have appetites that vary. Carefully planning out their meals and portions is useful and crucial in avoiding dog obesity, but dogs don’t always respond to food in the same way. That means that there may be leftovers in the food tray and it is vital that the automatic feeder has an infrared sensor to register this, so it doesn’t dispense a full portion of food and overfill the tray.
Battery Life and USB Support
The most common method of providing power to the automatic dog feeders is by use of batteries. These devices are low power consumers, and batteries can last up to a year on some devices. The best devices have a dual power supply, with a cable for a wall outlet and a backup battery in case of a power outage. That way, your dog will always get his food on time.
The evolution of smart devices has made USB support necessary for integrating the automatic dog feeders into house automatization systems and connecting them with devices such as Alexa.
Automatic dog feeders have several factors that can cause them to break down. From build quality to owner misuse, to aggressive dogs messing with them. A good warranty is essential to protect your investment.
Most dog feeders offer at least a 1-year warranty, but if you look carefully, the best brands and models provide multi-year warranties and at least a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Dogs like routine and once they get used to a feeder, it is difficult to switch them over to another one. So, make sure to pick a quality product that comes with the best support.
How do automatic dog feeders work?
Automatic dog feeders have a container for dog food that can dispense portions of food in increments. The feeder system is connected to a scheduler which coordinates the times and portion sizes of dog’s meals.
How do you set an automatic dog feeder?
Each automatic feeder has its own meal scheduling system. Either using the control panel on the device or a mobile app, you can decide how many times a day you would like to serve food to your dog, when, and how large the meal portions are. Once that is set, the feeder will signal your dog when it is time and automatically dispense the proper amount of feed at the scheduled time.
How do you clean an automatic dog feeder?
It really depends on the device you own. Some are quite easy to take apart and fully dishwasher-safe. Others might just have a removable food tray. The safest way to clean the automatic dog feeder is by manually washing it at regular intervals.
What is the optimal capacity for automatic dog feeder?
This point entirely depends on your dog, its size, and eating habits. If you own multiple dogs that you would like to feed, you will need a higher capacity feeder. If your dog eats twice a day, ideally you would like to have a feeder that can feed the dog for five days without the need for a refill. If you are gone for extended periods and travel often, a larger capacity might be more suited.
Stainless Steel or BPA-Free Plastic?
When it comes to food trays, most automatic dog feeders will either come in BPA-free plastic or stainless steel. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Stainless steel feeders are more durable and easier to clean but are more expensive to replace. BPA-free plastic ones come at a lower price but can be easily damaged by use or aggressive dogs.