An automatic dog feeder can make your life easier. Of course it is convenient to have a device that feeds your dog for you while you are home, but think of how much easier it would be to go away for the weekend without having to worry about finding someone to feed your pet for you.
Do you feel bad that your dog has to wait for you to get home from work before he can have his dinner? That's not a problem if you have an automatic feeder.
Let me tell you, these things have come a long way. There are fully programmable models that can dispense from one to 12 meals per day. There is even one that allows you to have a live HD video chat with your dog, from anywhere in the world, while he eats as you broadcast the event on Facebook Live. This is not a joke.
We have reviewed several automatic dog feeders here, from the most basic to the most wondrously advanced. One of them is the right feeder for you.
3 D Batteries OR 110V
Small, Medium, Large
4 D batteries OR 110V
1 AA battery
2 D batteries OR 110V
Small, Medium, Large
4 D batteries OR 110V
Small, Medium, Large
How We Reviewed These Automatic Dog Feeders
There are many automatic dog feeders on the market. We found many that were poorly made. The biggest problem we found was flawed design. Some models seem to dispense random amounts of food rather than what they are programmed to deliver. So we made sure to rule out poor and overly complicated designs when compiling this list.
We picked out a couple simple designs that will appeal to you if you allow your dog to eat freely whenever he wants to. These simple automatic feeders are durable and hold a lot of food, so they are great for when you take a weekend trip. One of them holds 25 pounds of dry food.
There are a couple smart feeders on this list that can be programmed from your phone or other device. We found several great smart auto feeders, but we only included the two best here. Our biggest concern with these models were simplicity. Anything that would have made feeding your dog a complicated process didn't get a second look.
We really wanted to recommend an automatic feeder that is capable of dispensing canned food, but we can't. We'll go into more detail about this in the FAQs.
The Best Automatic Dog Feeders Reviewed And Compared
Arf Pets Automatic Dog Feeder
- Automatic Food Dispenser Makes Feeding Hassle Free for Pets’ Dietary Health & Wellbeing
- Dispense from 1-10 Portions Per Meal, Each Portion is 24ml, Set Up to 4 Daily Distribution Alarms; Simply Pick Your...
- Blue Lightup LCD Clock & Display Provides Easily Adjustable Settings; Magnetic Lock Lid
This feeder is programmable to deliver up to four meals per day, and dispenses from one to 10 25ml portions per meal. This makes it great for very small dogs like chihuahuas. The upper end of 250ml will work well for medium sized dogs like boxers and larger terriers. The total capacity of the hopper is 1.1 gallons. That's a few days worth of food for most smaller dogs.
The keypad is easy to use. You just set the meal times and portion sizes. You can even record a special meal-time calling in your own voice.
You refill the hopper by simply lifting the lid and pouring more food in. The lid has a magnetic lock to keep your dog from helping himself to an extra meal. Trust me, you must have a dog-proof lid on an automatic dog feeder.
PetSafe Eatwell 5-Meal Automatic Pet Feeder
- PERSONALIZE MEALS: Set feeding times in 1-hour increments automatically serving up to 5 meals a day
- GREAT FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED FUR BABIES: Each bowl holds up to 1 cup of dry dog or cat food
- WEIGHT MANAGEMENT: Schedule smaller meals to help keep your pet healthy
This automatic dog feeder has a pretty cool design. The bowl is divided into five sections. You fill each section with one meal portion. When it is time for a meal, the bowl rotates to allow your dog access to that portion. You can set it to serve as many meals per day as you need to.
You can make every meal automatic. Or you can use this feeder just for one or two feedings per day, like when you are at work.
PetSafe claims that this feeder is suitable for all size dogs, but we disagree. If you have a large dog, like a German shepherd or a golden retriever, you would have to program the feeder to dispense all five portions in one day in order for the dog to get all the food it needs. The sections of the bowl are just too small for bigger portions. It is perfect for small to medium size dogs though.
Petmate Replendish Gravity Feeder
- AUTOMATIC FOOD DISPENSER: Cat and dog gravity feeder dispenses dry food as pets eat, prolonging refill time & perfect...
- MULTI-PET HOUSEHOLDS: Pet food dispenser has an 18 lbs. capacity to accommodate multi-pet households & larger breeds....
- FOOD & WATER: Keep pets fed with fresh food & water with a variety of our products. Check out our airtight dry food...
Here is a basic and affordable automatic dog feeder that uses a simple design to keep food available at all times. It is not programmable at all. You keep the hopper full and it keeps the bowl full.
This is a great choice if you allow your dog to eat however much he wants to when he wants to. It will also come in handy if you have multiple dogs.
The entire feeder is easy to clean with mild detergent. And it is made of antimicrobial plastic.
The model that we reviewed here is the medium-sized feeder, but Petmate makes four other sizes of this design, from extra-small to extra-large. Smaller sizes are cheaper while larger ones are a bit more expensive.
Let's take a look at another simple automatic dog feeder.
This one operates on the same gravity-feed principal as Petmate's Replendish. The biggest differences are the design and the capacity.
Think of this as a big steel box that holds up to 25 pounds of food. When your dog is ready to eat, he pushes the magnetic door out of the way with his head to get to the food. When he's done eating, the door swings shut and locks to keep pests out. Don't think you will have to train your dog to use this feeder. He'll figure it out.
We like that this feeder can be set on the floor or hung from a wall. Hanging it on a wall keeps it out of the way and makes it tip-proof. Its galvanized steel construction makes it ideal for outdoor use.
PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder
- PROGRAMMABLE FEEDING: Conveniently schedule up to 12 meals for your pet; best for cats and small to medium dogs
- FLEXIBLE MEAL PORTIONS: Schedule 1/8 cup to 4 cups depending on your pet’s unique needs
- SLOW FEED OPTION: Schedule smaller meals to help prevent stomach upset for pets who eat too fast
This design is a little different from most of the others on this list. It has a conveyor inside that brings the food up to the chute above your dog's bowl and drops it in. We think that's pretty cool. This design will even dispense moist food, but <strong>not</strong> canned or "wet" food. Please, never try to use canned food in an automatic dog feeder.
The hopper holds up to 24 cups of food and can be programmed to dispense up to 12 meals per day, each ranging from 1/8 to 4 cups. Yes, we said <i>12</i> meals per day.
Does your dog eat too fast? This model has a "slow feeding" mode that slowly dispenses a meal over a period of a couple minutes.
PetSafe 2-Meal Automatic Dog Feeder
- SCHEDULE MEALS: Set timer to feed your pet two meals up to 48 hours in advance
- GREAT FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED FUR BABIES: Each food container holds up to 1.5 cups of dry kibble
- TREAT YOUR PET: Set one or both trays to deliver snacks or a rewarding treat while you are away
The award for simplest design has to go to this feeder. The unit consists of two side-by-side trays, each with its own lid. You fill each tray with a portion of food and set the timer on each tray. When it's time for a meal, the lid opens. That's it.
This would work great for a small or medium dog that eats twice per day. It can also be set to provide one meal per day. That's good if you can't be home for one of your dog's daily meals.
The trays are easy to remove and clean. Actually, the entire feeder is easy to clean. Once the trays are taken out, you just wipe the feeder down with a damp cloth.
PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Dog Feeder
- FEED FROM YOUR PHONE: Feed your pet anytime from your smartphone with the smart feed app; app requires an iPhone or iPod...
- PERSONALIZE YOUR PET'S MEALS: Schedule up to 12 meals for your dog or cat; the Feed Now option allows you to feed your...
- FLEXIBLE PORTIONS: Meals can be dispensed in portions of 1/8 cup to 4 cups to fit your pet's needs; Slow Feed option...
It's official: Smart home technology now extends to automatic dog feeders. We knew it would only be a matter of time.
This feeder can be programmed to dispense from 1/8 to 4 cups of food up to 12 times per day. Of course, you program it from your phone or tablet. You must have at least an iOS9 or Android 5.0.
The instant feed option is pretty useful. You can now give your dog an extra feeding with the push of a button from almost anywhere in the world.
You can elect to receive alerts when food is dispensed in case you just want to be sure that the feeder is working. And there's no need to worry about WiFi failure. If your internet goes down, the feeder will still dispense meals at the set time.
This model shares the same conveyor-based design as the PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder, so it can be used for moist food. The bowl, bowl holder, lid and food hopper are all top-rack dishwasher safe. The base can be wiped with a damp cloth.
WOpet SmartFeeder Automatic Dog Feeder
We expected this one to be capable of bathing and brushing dogs. But it isn't, not yet anyway.
It is a smart feeder, operated by the Pet-U app for iOS7.5 and above or Android 4.0 and up. As with the other smart feeder on this list, it can also give an extra meal at your command from anywhere on this planet.
Now let's look at some of the other things it can do.
There is a HD camera above the bowl so you can watch your pet eat. There is also a speaker so you can talk to him while he dines and a microphone in case he wants to talk back. The app allows you to record it all so you can relive these precious moments again and again. Or you can post the footage on social media.
It dispenses from about 10 to 40 grams of food per meal, and it can be programmed to feed several meals per day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use Canned Food In An Automatic Dog Feeder?
For one thing, you don't want to leave canned food sitting in a hopper for any length of time. The food will spoil and possibly make your dog sick. It can also attract pests like mice and roaches.
Here is another reason not to try to use "wet" dog food in an automatic feeder: It will work its way into the feeder's moving parts. Then it will congeal and spoil. This is a serious health hazard, and it can damage the feeder.
Can Automatic Feeders Be Used Outdoors?
Don't try to use any electronic auto feeders outside. Moisture can enter even the best-made models and cause a malfunction. Gravity-operated feeders are fine for outdoor use, but they may attract your neighbor's pets or wildlife.
The Final Verdict
One of the gravity-feed models on our list may be your best bet if you are looking for a simple automatic dog feeder at a good price. But keep in mind that these are not programmable. They just keep the bowl full.
The others dispense portions of the size you set at the time you set. All of these feeders that made our list are easy to program and are dependable. Be sure to keep your dog's size in mind when choosing which one you want.
Check out our smart automatic feeders for the ultimate in control and convenience. They are truly advanced auto feeders that can make your life easier while making your home smarter!