Best Automatic Pet Feeders Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Ease of Use
Pretty much the entire appeal of these food dispensers is the electronic part, so it makes sense that the most important aspect of this criteria list would be how well handled the electronic part actually was. Every container has a certain base set of required programs: it has a clock, either normal or military time, a means of setting a feeding schedule for the food inside, and a voice recorder that plays back whatever key phrase you say that your animal associates with food so that they’ll come and eat. Using this device to program in your preferred settings should not be very hard at all. You should know where every button is, instantly be able to discern what they do, and they know what you need to do to get done what you need to be done. How easy this was for the average consumer to perform was a big part of the judging process.
The tank is where you’re supposed to pour the food for it to be dispensed in smaller doses throughout the day. It’s easily the most important part of the entire device, because if it doesn’t work properly, then you really have wasted your money. For this list, we judged the tanks of each of the devices for how much they could handle, and how well they sealed up. Because, like we said, your darlings know that there is food in that tank, they can see it and smell it. So instead of going for the table scraps that the dispenser is giving them, they’re much more likely to go after the big tank filled to the brim with food. Which is why every single container worth its salt has some kind of countermeasure or locking mechanism designed to keep the darlings out. We judged each of the entries based on how effective these mechanisms were.
When you’re looking for how to power up these containers, you’re usually left with one of two options: you can either power them with batteries, usually D batteries, or you can just plug it into the wall. Besides the addition to the power bill, there isn’t much to say about the latter, so let’s focus on the former. D batteries are specifically meant to be longer lasting than their A series brethren, and these things don’t require a lot of power, to begin with. Don’t be surprised if you end up forgetting these things even need batteries at all for months on end.
As technology continues to make great strides, it creeps into every part of our lives. This is a good thing, especially when it aids us in caring for our pets. Today's automatic feeders do more than just release food at a certain time, it includes all kinds of neat features like portion control, voice recording, and even Wi-Fi control. With cool features like these you can go out for the day and feel confident that your furry friend will be taken care of. If features like these interest you, just remember, they also cost more. So decide which features are really important for your needs!
It’s safe to say that we’ve by now established just how expensive these things are. Yeah, we managed to find some cheap models near the bottom of the list, but if you want the best possible container for your beloved, then you’ll end up paying close to or over $100, at least. As such, we chose to judge these devices by how much they made the price worth our while. We judged how well they achieved the rest of the criteria on this list, and then asked ourselves if the price tag attached matched the value of the products in front of us. So, while the upper parts of the list are extremely expensive, if you want the best, those are it.
10 Best Automatic Pet Feeders
1. Westlink 6L
Starting off our list, we have our #1 pick, the Westlink 6L Auto Food Dispenser. This automatic model can hold up to 4 meals per day. And while it doesn’t work all that well with wet meals, if you have a grown dog or cat, this is the perfect model for when you simply don’t have the personal time to keep up with feedings.
Meal Setting LCD Panel
Looking at the pictures provided for this product, you’re likely wondering what that little screen on the front with all the buttons is. Well, that’s the meal setting panel: it’s an easy to use the computer for the model, which you can tell how much food it needs to dispense for your dog or cat. So, if you have a larger dog who eats more than a chihuahua, then you can adjust the settings accordingly.
We all love a trained animal, but when you’re not home, your dog can have trouble knowing when it’s time to eat because they’re trained to follow your commands. Fortunately, this food dispenser lets you record your voice, calling your darling for food and treats. So, whenever you’re out of the house for extended periods of time, your container will, following a timed command set by you, call your darling to let them know that food is ready.
Cost and Value
The problem with a lot of these automatic models is that they aren’t cheap, not by a long shot. This is particularly true if you want the really good ones like this, with LCD displays and voice recorders. But if you have the money, it’s more than worth it.
2. WOpet 7L
In 2nd place is the WOpet 7L model. This is essentially the #1 pick, except far more detailed in its functionality. It does almost everything the 1st entry did, except this one adds more details to each of those things. What does that entail? Let’s take a look.
Controlled Portion Size
Not only can you control when your dog’s meals are dispensed, but you can also control how much each meal dispenses. Instead of setting a prefixed amount at the start, this model lets you decide the amount of food it dispenses based on the hour of the day. Which is very nicely detailed, especially if you’re trying to get your dog to lose some weight.
Plenty Of Interior Space
This is one of the most spacious auto food dispensers on the market, able to hold up to 20 cups of food at once. And if your dog is small, and thus doesn’t eat as much as a larger breed, then that only extends how long the food you put in there will last, so you can potentially go without worrying for over a week.
Cost and Value
The main problem with this model is that it’s actually more expensive in general retailers than the previous entry, which is understandable. It’s expensive enough having that equipment in such a small space, but having it be improved, of course, makes it pricier.
3. PetSafe Simply Healthy
Finishing up our top 3 segment, we have the P.S. Automatic model. And safe is right, as after you fill it up and close the lid behind it, nothing is getting in or out without your say so. Meaning that no amount of midnight mischief from your cat will be able to crack open this food Fort Knox. But what else does this auto container have to offer?
Large portion size
The amount of food you can keep in here easily dwarfs the previous two entries, and quite a few of the ones we have coming up in a bit. Having a max capacity of up to 24 cups of food, this model is guaranteed to keep your darlings fed, no matter how much of the day you spend gone.
Slow feed option
Not all animals can just chow down as they see fit. A lot of the poor fluffballs have digestive problems that can lead to bloating and even vomiting. So, the best option here is to utilize this model’s slow feed mode, which dispenses food slowly over a 15 minute period when eating time rolls around. Allowing the animal to take their time with their meal and for their stomach to process the food naturally.
Cost and Value
In terms of the top 3, this is the most expensive of them all. But then, with its sheer size, and advanced technology, that’s to be expected. This model is definitely more than worth the price, though, especially if you have a larger dog since a lot of these entries are seemingly built with smaller animals in mind.
4. Arf Pets
Coming in at #4, we have the Auto Food Dispenser. Proving true what we theorized before, this dispenser actually is meant for much smaller dogs and cats than some people may own. But if that isn’t a problem for you, then this is an excellent choice for an auto food dispenser. Let’s look and see why.
Easy adjustable settings
If there is any machine in your house that you definitely don’t want to give you grief, difficulty, or any hassle of any kind, then it’s probably your container. Luckily, you won’t have to deal with that, as the LCD display and clock that this model comes with is one of the easiest to work with on this list. And mind you, being easy to work with was a requirement for even getting on this list.
Daily distribution alarm
If you don’t have time to feed your beloved yourself, then you definitely don’t have the time, and likely nowhere near the patience, to reset the auto container’s distribution alarm and when it needs to go off. Fortunately, this model makes all of that automatic, so you don’t have to worry.
Cost and Value
In terms of the expensive by default price range of an automatic model, this one is actually a very average price. So, if you know what you’re getting into and have accumulated the appropriate funds accordingly, then, by all means, this model will serve you well.
5. PetSafe Wi-Fi Enabled
In our #5 spot, we have another P.S. product, the WiFi Enabled model. Between this and the #3 pick, the non Wifi version of this model, if you have the money, then we highly recommend this version over the previous version. However, money is the sticking point, but we’ll get back to that. First, let’s look at the good points.
The most obvious point to start with is, obviously, the fact that this model connects directly to your phone via a dedicated app. This app is far more than just a gimmick, as it lets you essentially program the container no matter how far away you are, where you can then control portion size in real time, set up and schedule up to 12 meals, and even monitor your darlings' eating habits throughout the day.
However, none of this legitimately cool stuff would really matter if the model gets clogged by its own food in the middle of lunch. Fortunately, you’ll pretty much never have to deal with that, as containers utilize a reliable, unique conveyor design for its dispenser, allowing food to naturally ride out of the machine with little to no risk at all of clogging. And if it does, feeders have countermeasures in place to sort that out.
Cost and Value
There’s only so long you can avoid the elephant in the room before it steps on your foot. Yes, the big problem with this model is that it is one of the most expensive models on the market. The app alone ratchets up the price, but then you add in all the little design tweaks that would take too long to go into, and you have a recipe for a wallet drainer.
Coming in at #6, we have a HoneyGuardian model. Once more we return to smaller animal feeders, meant more to feed smaller dogs and cats that you keep around an apartment. Does it do its job well, in that regard? Would it be here if it didn’t?
Prevents food locking
Food locking is the biggest enemy of any container, automatic or otherwise, and so any automatic model worth considering for this list has to have some kind of fallback when that occurs. Which is why the HoneyGuardian model has built-in infrared detection technology that accurately tracks the food coming out and whether or not it can fit through the hole. As long as the food you put inside isn’t too big, then you shouldn’t have any problems with this model.
Ultra low power consumption
This model runs on D batteries, which are much more expensive than the more commonly used A series of batteries. So, it’s a good thing, then, that this model requires very little power at all to work. On 3 D batteries, this model will run at top speed for up to 6 months at a time.
Cost and Value
While still very expensive, this model is much more affordable than the average price range for containers we’ve seen thus far. As long as it’s cheaper than the prices we’ve showcased thus far, we consider it a mark in its favor.
7. Amzdeal 6L
In the 7th place spot is the Amzdeal Auto model. While the previous entry was more affordable, we actually recommend this model for when you need a good container on a tight budget. But does this affordability take away from the effectiveness of the product? Let’s take a look and see.
Lesser auto models will require you to constantly change and input your preferred settings over and over again every time you boot it up. However, this model only needs you to input your preferred settings once, wherein its internal memory will record those settings and have them as default from then on. And if you need to change, doing so is just as easy as putting it in the first time.
Longer sound recording
If your dog is outside, or in another room sleeping, there’s a chance they won’t hear the playback from the container when feeding time comes around. This is why most record playbacks on models keep going for up to 10 seconds. However, if you want to make absolutely sure that your darlings will hear it, this container adds an additional 2 seconds to that average, making for 12 seconds of playback.
Cost and Value
The best part about this model is the very generous price. It offers you pretty much everything a normal model offers, only at almost half the default price. Making this a very good deal for an owner on a budget.
8. JEMPET Petwant
Kicking off our final 3 entries, we have the JemPet model. Once more, we have a very affordable device, that nonetheless still manages to bring you exactly what the higher priced items are offering, at half the cost. All the while also providing some unique extras of their own.
Auto stand by mode
Like the other models on this list, you can use either power this device by batteries, or through a plug, you put in a nearby outlet. If you choose the latter, don’t worry about the electric bill, as the JemPet model comes with an electronic standby mode that activates after 25 seconds of non-use. This not only saves you money on batteries but also potentially save you hundreds in electric bill costs.
Set feeding time in advance
While, yes, we have another model which uses military time, and that can be an acquired taste, we also have another model that allows you to set feeding times for up to 5 times per day, for the next 5 days. Which is astoundingly convenient, since all you have to do now is remember to keep the thing stocked full of food every couple of days.
Cost and Value
While not as low a price as the previous entry, this is still miles more affordable than what we saw at the beginning of this list.
9. PetSafe 6 Meal
For our second to final entry, we look one last time at this model, for the ultimate model. Got a business trip that doesn’t allow animals? Is your darling always hungriest in the middle of the night? Do you have a demanding job that doesn’t leave you room to get your dog his favorite meal? Well, now you can do all of that with no more guilt, as this model, as always, has this covered.
One issue these food dispensers often run into is that animals know that there’s more food in there, and they want what they perceive as a larger bowl of food with a lid on top. But you can rest easy, as don't have 'Safe; in their name for nothing. Try as they might, the only food that your darlings are getting out of this container is that which the model decides to give out.
Easy to clean
You may think that these models are harder to clean since it’s more than just a single bowl that you just need to wash out every now and then. Instead, it’s both the bowl and the larger machine attached. However, this is untrue, as these models are remarkably easy to clean. While the electronics are not waterproof, the carousel for the food is removable and machine washable, as is the bowl.
Cost and Value
You’d be justified in thinking that you’re in for another wallet muncher with this model, but to be perfectly honest, this is likely the cheapest product on this list, and one of the cheapest in its entire lineup. It isn’t chump change, mind you, but relatively speaking this is much more agreeable.
10. Qpets AF 200
For our final entry for this list, we look at the electronic model for our #10 spot. This is a rather ordinary, one might even say at first glance, mediocre container. However, as with most things, you must look deeper to find the real value. And there are quite a few reasons why this obscure model made the list.
6 Separate Compartments
Unlike most of the other entries on this list, this model isn’t just one big bowl that you dump all your food in for it to be then dumped in a slightly smaller bowl. Instead, this device has 6 separate compartments in which you deposit the food that is to be distributed at set points throughout the day. And the compartments are spacious enough, that you can fill those compartments up enough to fulfill that schedule for up to 6 days.
With other entries, the lid is usually magnetic or a slot like contraption. Both of which are perfectly fine and effective, but there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of a good old-fashioned lock, which this model sports to keep the darlings away from the food until feeding time.
Cost and Value
This is, without question, the cheapest entry on the list. As a device, it’s perfectly serviceable, not the best, but there are definitely worse out there. So, the price makes it all the more enticing for the owner on a budget.
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