Whether you’re traveling for vacation or simply working long hours, you must ensure that your dog is well-cared for during your absence. If you’re in this position, you know how difficult it can be to find someone to feed your pet while you’re gone.
Start by asking your friends and relatives if they can assist you. If not, there are numerous expert dog-sitting services to choose. Just make sure to do your homework before hiring anyone; read reviews and meet with the sitter in person to see whether they’d be a suitable fit for your pet.
Once you’ve located someone you can rely on, give them detailed instructions on how to care for your dog. This includes meal plans, exercise routines, and any medications that must be administered.
Top Reasons for Buying an Automatic Dog Feeder
Having Your Dog Stay at a Daycare When You’re Gone Can Be Expensive
Taking care of your pet while you are away may include hiring a dog sitter or enrolling your pup in a daycare facility. However, this can be costly. Daycare services cost anywhere from $20 and $50 per day, not including transportation. The expenses can quickly accumulate if you’re gone for long periods of time. However, there are methods to save money on a dog daycare. Look for a home-based daycare instead of a commercial one.
Finding Someone Reliable to Feed Your Dog Can Be Challenging
It can be challenging to locate someone trustworthy to feed your dog while you are away. You want to be sure that your dog is well-fed and cared for, but you also don’t want to entrust them to just anyone.
Ask your friends and family if they can help or if they know of someone who can assist you. Chances are, someone you know has a reliable individual in mind who can help you with your dog’s care.
Additionally, you can check with your local veterinarian to see if they provide feeding services. Some vet offices have employees that will come to your home and feed your dog while you are away. Look for pet-sitting services in your neighborhood online.
Using Dog-Sitting Apps Isn’t Always the Best Option
When looking for a dog sitter, some pet parents turn to apps. These can be convenient. However, there are better choices than utilizing a dog-sitting app. For one thing, you might need help finding the ideal sitter. The most popular dog-sitting applications work on a first-come, first-served basis. If you need a sitter immediately, you might be unable to find one.
Another disadvantage of utilizing a dog-sitting app is that you may miss the opportunity to meet the sitter beforehand. Most of these applications only allow for brief discussion between pet parents and sitters before the job is accepted. As a result, if you need a dog sitter, an app should only be used as a last choice.
Questions to Consider Before Buying an Automatic Dog Feeder
How Do Automatic Dog Feeders Work?
An automatic dog feeder is a device that automatically feeds food to a dog at predetermined intervals. Many automatic dog feeders are available, but they all function by putting food into a bowl or tray for the dog to consume. Automatic dog feeders can benefit any pet owner who must spend long hours outside of the home. They can also be used to portion food for overweight dogs who need to shed weight.
Will Automatic Dog Feeders Overfeed Your Dog?
As lives get more hectic, many dog owners opt to use automatic feeders to ensure their canine companion is never hungry. Are these devices the best alternative for your pet? Automatic feeders might potentially overfeed your dog, leading to obesity and other health issues. It’s easy to overdo it with an automatic feeder if you’re not paying attention to how much food your dog consumes.
Another problem is that these gadgets sometimes fail, leaving your dog hungry for hours or even days. If you’re considering getting a gravity feeder for your pet, research and select a high-quality device.
How Often Should You Feed Your Dog?
The amount you feed your dog is determined by age, activity level, and breed. Dogs should typically be fed twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening. Puppies under five months should be fed three times per day. Overfeeding your dog might result in obesity, reducing their happiness and life expectancy. To determine how much food is acceptable for your dog, speak with your veterinarian.
Dog Lab veterinarian, Dr. Sara Ochoa, talks about when and how often you should feed your dogs:
“While there is no best time, with most dogs that eat twice a day, it is best to feed them in the morning as soon as you get up and then again when you get home from work in the afternoon. This gives them time to digest their food and go outside to potty before you have to leave for the day or go to bed.”
What Kind of Dog Food Can You Use in an Automatic Feeder?
There are many options available for feeding your dog. So what foods can be used in an automatic feeder? Some automatic feeders only work with dry food, while others work with dry and wet food. Pick the one that will best meet the needs of your pup.
The 6 Best Automatic Dog Feeders
The type of dog feeder you need depends on how frequently you’ll use it, the size of your dog, and the kind of food they eat. Follow along for the best automatic dog feeders and an in-depth look into their features, abilities, and functions.
1. PETLIBRO: A Sophisticated Automatic Feeder
Automatic pet feeder PETLIBRO is suitable for both dogs and cats. The product is small, technologically advanced, and offers a minimalist design that seamlessly blends with any kitchen aesthetic. The automatic pet feeder is available in four sizes to accommodate your dog’s size, breed, and eating habits. The three color options are white, black, and transparent.
This feeder’s ability to record your voice and play it at the time of your dog’s feeding is one of its most advantageous features. Personalize your message to put your dog’s mind at ease while you are away.
The LED screen on the front of the PETLIBRO feeder makes it simple to set up and program the device’s commands. The device’s mouth is angled so that when food is dispensed, it will not block the opening. The food tray can be easily removed between meals for cleaning and sanitation.
Regardless of your dog’s eating habits, this device can be programmed to dispense between one to four meals per day. You have the option to divide each meal into nine separate portions. This can benefit dogs that eat too quickly, allowing them to digest their food more efficiently and prevent stomach upset.
The automatic pet feeder from PETLIBRO is recommended for small dogs and uses only dry pet food. The device includes a 5V DC adapter and a battery slot in case of power outages. This can aid in feeding your dog regardless of external circumstances.
Photo source: Amazon.com
2. PetSafe: 5 Meal Food Dispenser
The design of the PetSafe 5-meal dog food dispenser is among the most inventive on this list. The device includes a five-slot food dish that is simultaneously filled. Then, you close the lid with a cutout proportional to one of the five slots below. This enables you to pre-fill your dog’s dish while limiting their access to only one meal at a time.
If you only plan to be away for one or two days, the additional slots can help you add treat times to your dog’s daily meal time, giving them a special reward while you’re away. Each compartment on the tray can hold up to one cup of food, so this device is recommended for small and medium-sized dogs. This option is inadequate if you have a large dog, such as a German shepherd or Great Dane.
If your dog has difficulty eating slowly, you can use this device to divide a single meal into five portions. This can help slow your dog’s eating habits by requiring them to wait until each slot is available. You are not required to fill each space to its maximum capacity; you may add as much or as little as you want.
The automatic feeder includes a “feed now” feature that allows you to feed your pet outside the programmed response times. This only affects the frequency of that single meal; the rest of the feeding schedule remains unchanged.
Maintain your dog’s weight with this automatic feeder by helping them consume their daily ration much slower. This can be especially effective if you divide a meal into smaller portions and serve it in five separate dishes.
After multiple uses, dog dishes can become quite filthy. The feeder tray from PetSafe is dishwasher safe, making it simple and easy to clean. The device’s dimensions of 15.5″ x 12.3″ and its low profile make it easy to store in your kitchen without taking up excessive space.
Photo source: Amazon.com
3. Cat Mate C500: Maintain Your Dog’s Food’s Freshness
Despite the name, the Cat Mate C500 is capable of serving up to five meals to your feline OR canine family members. The circular food tray has five initial fillable compartments. The lid covers four meals, leaving one for your pet to eat. Because the food does not need to fall into the dish, you can fill the tray with your dog’s favorite foods — dry or wet food.
Wet dog food should always be kept fresh or refrigerated after opening. There are two twin ice packs under the tray of the Cat Mate C500 that can help keep your dog’s food cold, preventing it from spoiling or going bad.
On the rear of the feeder is an LCD screen for programming each meal. The product features a locking mechanism that prevents your dog from gaining access to its stash.
The dog bowl is made of BPA-free material and is dishwasher safe, so you do not have to hand wash it to keep it clean.
The Cat Mate C500 is not equipped with a charging source; instead, it utilizes three AAA batteries. The LCD screen displays the battery level to prevent power loss. A brand-new set of batteries should last up to one year. The compartments can hold up to 11.5 oz of moist dog food, making it suitable for cats and small dogs.
Photo source: Amazon.com
4. PETLIBRO 6L: Adapt Your Automatic Feeder to Your Dog’s Specific Requirements
The PETLIBRO 6L is one of the most advanced automatic pet feeders on this list. The device is more accessible to load with food than other pre-portioned options. Simply pour dry dog food onto the top lid, and you are ready to go. The device can hold up to 25.4 cups of dog food and feed for up to 12 days.
The programmable functions allow you to feed your dog up to six times daily. Each meal is not required to contain a whole serving. If your dog struggles to finish their meals or has health issues requiring them to eat smaller meals, then this device is ideal because it allows you to choose the portion size.
You can program between 1 and 50 portions for each meal to keep your dog eating longer without causing stomach strain.
The front of the automatic feeder features a color-coded LCD screen that is easy to read and alerts you when food is running low. The storage compartment keeps your dog’s food fresh and delectable, preventing kibble from drying out even after long storage periods. You can select from black, grey, and white color options. All options include a transparent food cover that allows you to see how much food remains in your machine, preventing you from running out of food.
The PETLIBRO 6L feeder is equipped with a 5V DC adapter and a battery slot for backup power in case of a power outage or electrical problem.
Photo source: Amazon.com
5. PetSafe Healthy Automatic Dog Food Dispenser: Feed Your Dog Both Dry and Semi-moist Food
Does your dog prefer dry or semi-moist dog food? Whereas most dog feeders can only distribute dry food, the PetSafe Healthy Automatic Dog Food Dispenser allows you to feed your dog semi-moist food. The device has a compact design that allows it to easily fit in a kitchen corner or against a wall. It is made from BPA-free plastic with a metallic black finish.
This gravity feeder can schedule up to 12 meals daily and is ideal for small to medium-sized dogs. The device can be powered by a battery and an external power supply. It requires four D-alkaline batteries if you opt to use batteries. Alternatively, a power adapter, sold separately, may be used. The power adapter adds only $14 to your total, making it a simple purchase. Using both power sources will ensure that your dog feeder continues to function regardless of any electrical issues that may arise in your absence.
You can schedule meals larger than 18 cups to be fed slower to prolong your dog’s mealtimes. The slower option aids in food distribution over 15 minutes.
Many dogs will attempt to access their food before their scheduled meal time, so it is essential to have an automatic dish that stores food safely. The PetSafe Healthy Automatic is pet-proof, preventing your dog from eating a single kibble before dinner.
The stainless steel dog bowl is dishwasher-safe, and the plastic smart feeder is easy to maintain between meals. If you’re looking for a feeder that can hold more than a day’s worth of dry dog food, this device can hold up to 24 cups.
Photo source: Petsafe.net
6. WOPET: Maintain Contact With Your Dog Companion
Hearing your voice is one of the best ways to comfort your dog while you’re away. The automatic pet feeder from WOPET allows you to record a special message to encourage your pet to eat while you’re away. Simply hold the record button and recite your message to record it. The dog will hear your voice when the device dispenses food and come to the dish to eat.
Using the programmable LCD on the device’s top, you can schedule up to four meals daily for your dog. This device can be used for small, medium, and large dogs because the portions can be programmed between two teaspoons and 4.5 cups. You can store up to 20 cups of food to ensure that your dog has enough food while you are away.
The WOPET automatic dog dish is equipped with a power source and battery pack to keep your device operational during power outages. The infrared induction helps prevent your dog’s dish from becoming clogged or overflowing with food. This device is ideal for traveling, but it can also be helpful if you want to oversleep or have to stay late at the office and cannot feed your dog at their regular feeding time.
The removable dishwasher-safe hygienic feeding tray lets you keep your dog’s food clean and fresh. Overall, the device’s sleek and white design makes it suitable for placement in your kitchen or room without drawing attention to itself.
Photo source: Amazon.com
Final Thoughts: Include an Automatic Feeder in Your Dog’s Daily Routine
Automatic dog feeders are great for ensuring that your dog is fed on a schedule when you are unavailable. These devices are helpful for more than just when you’re traveling. If you have an unpredictable work schedule or other obligations that prevent you from maintaining a regular feeding schedule for your dog, a smart feeder can help. Your dog should eat around the same time every day; otherwise, it may develop digestive problems or have accidents in the house.
There are numerous dry and wet dog food options on the list above to accommodate your preference. Utilize technology to keep your dog content, fed, and healthy.