Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose an Automatic Dog Feeder

automatic dog feeder

automatic dog feederThe happiness of your dog lies in a few key parts of his day. One of those is your dog’s meal time. The minute the kibble hits the dish, most of our dogs come running to fill their tummies.

Make your dog’s meal time easy for you and reliable for them with a dog feeder.

You may be considering an automatic dog feeder for many reasons. Maybe your schedule doesn’t always allow you to feed your dog at the same time every day. Maybe you want to make sure your dog has the exact same meal portions for each meal to avoid pet obesity.

There are many options on the market today when it comes to an automatic feeder. Some are plug in, others are battery operated. Some serve wet food only, and others only operate with dry food. But which is the best for you?

Before choosing an automatic dog feeder, there are several things to consider to ensure it’s the best fit for you and your furry family member.

1. How Much?

When it comes to the monetary amount and serving amount capabilities of an automatic dog feeder, how much is an important thing to consider. Certain dog feeders have individual bowls that open up on schedule, while others serve an exact amount of food into one bowl at a programmed time.

Consider how many feeding bowls you need and what portion sizes they need to be able to hold. If this is going to be a method used for a long period of time, perhaps you need an automatic feeder with a large food storage bin that doesn’t need to be consistently refilled.

When it comes to your wallet, the cheaper option here will rarely be the best. Low-quality feeders can potentially underfeed or overfeed your pet. Great feeders with good reviews like those on Amazon.com can range anywhere from $25 to $160.

2. Food Type

Most of the automatic dog feeders on the market are geared for dry food. However, there are some designed to serve wet foods as well.

The wet food method often includes a necessity for ice packs to keep the wet food fresh. This will limit the amount of time the feeder will be able to service your pet.

If your dog is on wet food but you really want to incorporate a feeder into their lives, consider switching to dry food. Dry food can hold a much higher quantity of food, and it will stay fresh longer. Fresh food is always optimal for your dog’s health.

3. Come and Get It

Some dogs only come to mealtime if they hear their owners voice command, encouraging them to do so (good doggy). Others come when they hear the sound of food being placed in a dish.

If you will be gone during meal time and have a dog who responds to your voice command in order for the dog to eat, then purchase a feeder that has a recording system. The system will record your voice saying your favorite call to dinner phrase. The feeder will play your voice every time it opens its bowels for food filling at the programmed hour.

That way your pet can always hear you call him for meal times, even when you aren’t around.

4. Puppy Size

If you have a big dog, the chances are good he could potentially destroy an automatic pet feeder to get in the storage bin whenever he feels like a snack. In your search for an automatic dog feeder, find one that is appropriate for the size and strength of your canine.

Smaller dogs will be fine with most feeders because they don’t have the strength or height to pull the storage bin apart. Bigger dogs will need feeders with a lock down container that will stop them from reaching their food before you want them to.

5. Levels

Many veterinarians recommend having an elevated automatic dog feeder. Having an elevated feeder can help with your pup’s hygiene, cleanliness, and comfort.

Elevated dishes keep the food in the bowls instead of on the floor. When dogs eat they like to repeatedly lift their head between mouthfuls to swallow. When the dogs raise their heads, often the food or water that isn’t going down their throat can end up on your floor.

With time this can create major wear and tear on your floors. When a non-elevated water dish is involved, water spills from the dog’s mouth and ends up under the water bowl. Moisture trapped under your dog’s feeding bowls can lead to mold and bacteria growth which can ultimately make your dog sick.

An elevated feeder eliminates the head raise tactics for swallowing. By keeping their heads and necks elevated the food and water will flow smoothly down their throats as they eat and drink.

6. Assembly Challenges of an Automatic Dog Feeder

Some pet feeders can be tricky to assemble. Some run on batteries and will require a screw driver every time they need to be replaced. Many automatic dog feeders do not come with detachable bowls, making them difficult to clean.

When choosing an automatic dog feeder, look at all aspects of the maintenance, assembly, and care. Weigh the pros and cons of each and determine what will be doable for you and your pet for an effortless feeding experience.

While gravity pet feeders are the easiest of assembly options, they are not recommended. Gravity pet feeders constantly leave food in your dog’s bowl. Allowing your dog to eat how much and when he wants can lead to dog obesity and even cardiovascular issues.

For Your Pet’s Consideration

There are a lot of factors in choosing an efficient, reliable and cleanly feeder. Aside from cost and capabilities of the feeder, you’ll also be considering its scheduling abilities.

Besides considering the power source the feeder will require, evaluate all of the challenges in its assembly process. The ultimate goal is to make your life, and your dog’s life an easy, happy, healthy one.

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