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The Best Automatic Feeders for Your Furry Friends

Automatic pet feeders can be a huge asset to pet owners, especially anyone who owns a dog or a cat. These handy devices are food containers programmed to dispense meals (or, in some cases, medicine) at the same times every day. The great thing about these pet feeders is that they not only automatically distribute food at the same times every day, but almost all models can be set to dispense the same portion for every meal. If your furry friend is on a strict diet or needs to lose weight, an automatic pet feeder can be a great tool to prevent them from overeating. Many models can be programmed to distribute food more than twice a day as well, so if your pet is accustomed to three or four smaller meals a day instead of just breakfast and dinner, your feeder should be able to accommodate their schedule. Automatic feeders also ensure that they get fed on time if you get caught working late or if you lose track of time. And since they’re able to hold several liters of food at a time, you don’t have to worry about refilling them every day. If you want to invest in an automatic pet feeder, here are a few we recommend.

What to Consider in Automatic Pet Feeders

Here are a few things to think about before buying an automatic pet feeder:

  • Capacity: The capacity of automatic pet feeders will vary depending on the model, usually measured in liters or cups. Most models have a capacity somewhere between 1.5 to 7 liters. In general, the higher the capacity, the less often you’ll need to refill the feeder. Some feeders with larger capacities may also be designed to feed two or more pets at once instead of one. You may also find that an automatic feeder’s capacity affects how many meals it can dispense a day. Larger capacity models can be scheduled for up to six meals a day, while smaller ones may offer only three or four. Also keep in mind that lesser capacity feeders are generally better for cats, small dog breeds, kittens, and puppies and may also be designed to work for smaller animals like rabbits. Consider your pet’s needs, habits, and schedule, and pick an automatic feeder accordingly.
  • Wet vs. Dry Food: You’ll want to buy a different type of automatic pet feeder depending on the type of food you serve your pet. Most models are geared to dispense dry kibble, but some work for wet food. Automatic pet feeders for wet food will have some sort of cooling pack and a tight-fitting cover to keep the food fresh. They also tend to be smaller and rounder in shape, which means they will usually have lower capacities, so they’ll need refilling more often. Some automatic food pet feeders work for both dry and wet food, but there are far fewer of these.
  • Features: Automatic pet feeders have quite a few different fixtures and features that you might find useful or convenient. Some are battery-powered, some require being plugged into an outlet, and some plug-in models have a battery backup if the power ever goes out. Battery-powered feeders will usually come equipped with a battery status indicator, so you always know when the batteries need replacing. Many have built-in bowls or trays, some of which are removable for easier cleaning. Some have two dispenser shoots in case you have two pets to feed. Others will make a beep or other noise or let you record a voice message calling your pet to come and get their food. Most have some sort of lock or anti-tamper seal to keep food fresh and prevent your pet from breaking in. Other feeders have LED or LCD screens to easily set up feeding times and portion amounts, and some may even connect to your phone so that you can directly control when they dispense. Consider which of these features you might find most helpful, and look for an automatic pet feeder with the ones you want.

Best LED Model: PETLIBRO Automatic Pet Feeder with Low Food LED Indication

This automatic pet feeder has all the features you might want, made easier to use by the LCD panel and LED screen. The LED screen tells you the status of the feeder, the LCD panel has detailed instructions for programming the machine, and the infrared sensor indicates when food is low or stuck. Great for dogs and cats, the large food container has a capacity of 6 liters and can be set to serve up to six meals a day in 1 to 50 portions of 15 milliliters each. The container is partially see-through, so you can tell from a quick glance if food is running low. The twist-lock lid storage is secure, keeping dry food crunchy and flavorful while also preventing your pet from poaching extra food in between meals. The food tray is built-in so that you don’t have to worry about supplying your own bowl. This food dispenser also has a timer to ensure consistent feeding times, and you even have the option to record a 10-second personalized message calling your dog or cat to come and eat their food; your furry friend will especially appreciate this feature when you’re away on a work trip or vacation. It plugs into an outlet as the main power source, and you have the option to install three alkaline D-cell batteries (sold separately) as a backup. This way, if there’s ever a power outage, you don’t have to worry about your pet missing a meal. It is available in a black or white color, so you can pick whichever better matches your home’s aesthetic.

Best Double Bowl: WellToBe Automatic Pet Feeder for Two Animals

Most automatic feeders seem to be geared towards people who only own one dog or cat, as they tend to be equipped with a singular bowl or tray. But if you have two animals, don’t feel like you can’t invest in an automatic feeder. This double model is perfect for anyone who owns two dogs or two cats. It comes equipped with a two-way splitter and two stainless steel bowls, so you can divide each meal equally between your pets. The food container has a massive 7-liter (29 cups) capacity to hold days’ worth of kibble or dry food for your animal, and it’s transparent with a sealed lid to keep the food fresh. If you want a smaller pet feeder, you can also buy this model with a 3.8-liter capacity. The food container and stainless steel bowls can easily be installed and removed to make them easier to clean. The feeder can serve up to six meals every day, and each meal can be made up of 1 to 48 portions of half an ounce each (one-tenth of a cup). The infrared detection technology helps prevent food from spilling, while the built-in voice recorder lets you record a personalized, 10-second message for your pets. The recorder can be disabled at any time if desired. The screen lets you easily set up your preferred settings, and the anti-touch buttons prevent your dogs or cats from accidentally dispensing food ahead of schedule. While the main power source is a plug-in outlet, you can also insert four D batteries (sold separately) to keep the feeder running in the case of a power outage.

Best Portion Control: WOPET Automatic Food Dispenser

Most automatic pet feeders have only one portion setting. If you’re looking for one that offers greater variation in portion sizes, this is the feeder for you. You can program the portions of each meal anywhere between 2 teaspoons to 4.5 cups per meal. And it can dispense up to four meals per day, thanks to the built-in timer. The big main storage compartment stores up to 20 cups of food at once and can be removed to refill and clean it more easily. Thanks to the button and screen, you can easily program and customize meals to best suit your pet’s needs. Unlike some pet feeders, this one can serve smaller animals like rabbits instead of just dogs or cats. Press and hold the microphone button for 3 seconds to record a feeding time message for your little furry friend, and install three D batteries (sold separately) to back up the plug-in wall power outlet in case of an unexpected power failure. The feeding tray is removable and dishwasher safe to make cleaning it more convenient for you.

Best Portion Control

Best for Wet Food: Cat Mate Automatic Pet Feeder with Digital Timer

Most automatic pet feeders are designed to store and dispense dry food or kibble, which is a problem if your pet only eats wet food. That’s where this plastic feeder comes in handy. Unlike other models, it can be used on wet and dry food alike. It has five compartments to hold five different meals, allowing you to serve five meals in one day or over a few days. Each compartment holds 11.5 ounces of wet food, an ideal size for two cats at a time or smaller dog breeds. The two ice packs and tight-fitting cover work together to keep any wet food fresh. The digital timer is simple to operate, so you can program the meal times you want, which will then be displayed, along with the battery status, on the small digital screen. The cover and bowl and are both removable and dishwasher safe. This automatic pet feeder requires three AA batteries (sold separately) to function, though they should last you up to a year at once. It’s designed to be tamper-resistant so that your pets can’t get into their food ahead of schedule. If you want extra stability, you can easily attach the feeder to a wooden board.

Best for Wet Food

Cat Mate C500 Automatic Pet Feeder with Digital Timer for Cats and Small Dogs White, 13.4 x 11.4 x 2.8

A small automatic feeder that can dispense wet and dry pet food alike.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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