The 10 Best Automatic Pet Feeders

Updated May 26, 2018 by Gregg Parker

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We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. While you always remember to feed your dog or cat, sometimes you end up stuck at work and can't get home as planned, and you don't want them to go hungry. With one of these automatic pet feeders, your furry friend will be well provided for in your absence. Some of our picks even offer Wi-Fi capabilities and programming functionality for dispensing food at predetermined times. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best automatic pet feeder on Amazon.

10. Petsafe Six Meal

The Petsafe Six Meal allows you to portion out dry food yourself so you'll know exactly how much your dog or cat is getting. The carousel spins to distribute the kibble each time, so clever kitties can't reach their paws up the chute to get more.
  • bowl is dishwasher-safe
  • easy-to-read lcd screen
  • 4 d batteries not included
Brand PetSafe
Model PFD00-15956
Weight 3.8 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. Outad 5.5 Liter

Crafted from impact-resistant ABS plastic, the Outad 5.5 Liter features a large LCD control panel that shows you the current time as well as the size of meals programmed for distribution, so you don't have to worry if you've set it correctly.
  • hopper is transparent
  • tightly-fitting lid keeps food fresh
  • voice recorder lacks clarity
Model pending
Weight 3.7 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. GemPet 105

The GemPet 105 is equipped with 5 dedicated compartments that can be set to dispense food, treats, and even medicine at a particular time using its convenient control panel and backlit LCD. It can also record a 10-second voice message for your pet.
  • construction is very sturdy
  • low-battery indicator
  • setup instructions are confusing
Brand GemPet
Model 105
Weight 4.2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. HoneyGuaridan A26

The HoneyGuaridan A26 has a translucent hopper capable of storing 12 cups of food. The integrated infrared sensor helps to prevent overfilling of its feeding bowl by automatically stopping the distribution of dry kibble until the bowl level drops below its dispensing hole.
  • low power consumption
  • built-in voice recorder
  • not as durable as its competition
Brand HoneyGuaridan
Model pending
Weight 4.1 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

6. Pet Feedster Plus PF-10

The Pet Feedster Plus PF-10 boasts intuitive controls that allow it to manage a range of portion sizes, anywhere from as little as 1 tablespoon to as much as 6 cups of kibble at a single meal. Its flexible food hopper can accommodate a variety of food shapes and sizes.
  • comes with a water tray
  • insect-proof and jam-proof
  • buttons can be finicky
Brand Pet Feedster
Model pending
Weight 8.8 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

5. Petsafe Smart Feed

For those who want to go a bit more high tech, the Petsafe Smart Feed has apps for iPhone and Android devices so you can monitor feeding from anywhere. The pet-proof dispenser keeps animals from dislodging kibble with their paws, which is great for portion control.
  • bpa-free plastic
  • schedule up to 12 daily meals
  • easy for big dogs to knock over
Brand PetSafe
Model PFD00-15788
Weight 8.3 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

4. WOpet Automatic

With its built-in voice recorder and speaker, the WOpet Automatic allows you to create a ten-second message that will signal to your pet that it's time to eat. You can choose from 39 different portion sizes and select one to four feeding times per day.
  • seven-liter capacity
  • can be plugged in or use batteries
  • usb adapter for travel use
Brand WOpet
Model pending
Weight 6 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. GemPet PetWant

The GemPet PetWant utilizes a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connection and apps for Android devices and iPhones to control it remotely. You can customize portion sizes, feeding times, and even keep an eye on your hungry pooch from afar using its integrated camera.
  • disassembles easily for cleaning
  • offline feeding mode
  • good option for weight management
Brand GemTune
Model 5060180391324
Weight 6.7 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

2. Feed and Go FG1001W

Capable of dispensing both wet and dry food, the Feed and Go FG1001W is one of the most high-tech options available. It easily connects to your home's Wi-Fi system in under 1 minute, while its built-in Webcam lets you to keep an eye on your pet from your mobile device.
  • each compartment holds 8 ounces
  • control many units using 1 profile
  • real-time alerts when pets are fed
Brand Feed and Go
Model FG1001W
Weight 7.3 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

1. Petsafe Simply Feed

The Petsafe Simply Feed allows you to program up to 12 meals in advance, so you can schedule almost a week's worth of breakfasts and dinners when you're away from home. Its Slow Feed mode delivers large portions over a 15-minute period to prevent wolfing or indigestion.
  • 24-cup capacity hopper
  • dispenses dry and semi-moist food
  • stainless steel bowl is removable
Brand PetSafe
Model PFD00-14574
Weight 6.9 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Why Do I Need an Automatic Pet Feeder?

An automatic pet feeder used to be a simple contraption that cat owners would set out when they went away for a short business trip or weekend getaway. Since then, they have evolved into powerful tools that all pet owners can use to manage and improve their pets' health despite increasingly long work days and busy schedules.

The most basic way an automatic pet feeder can keep your pet healthy is a simple unit that dispenses a continual portion of fresh water. It's a well-known fact that a hydrated pet is a healthy one. Look for feeders that come with a removable water bottle that is easy to refill.

The newest feeders can be programmed to dispense dried pet foods days in advance. This is not only helpful for travelers, but also especially useful in controlling portion size and feeding times for animals who may have special dietary needs. Rather than leaving out a day's worth of food, scheduled portions can, instead, play an important role in an overweight pet's weight-loss management.

The most advanced units even come with Wi-Fi connection, allowing you to keep track of how much your pet has eaten, order new food and schedule feedings directly from your smartphone.

Tips For Leaving Your Pet Home Alone

Automatic feeders can be of great help to cat and dog owners if they can't always make it home at the usual time, but they are no replacement for regular interaction and care. Cat owners are able to rely on them to keep their furry offspring fed and watered for short trips, even if no pet sitters are available. For dog owners, an automatic feeder is more of a convenient time saver because dogs will still need to be walked or at least taken outside to relieve themselves a few times per day.

Even though they use a litter box and pretend not to notice when you arrive home late, experts agree that you shouldn't leave a kitty for longer than an overnight without having someone check in on them at least once a day. Active cats can get themselves into trouble by tipping over furniture or getting a toenail caught in a scratching post. While they often seem to be indifferent, kitties also need socialization and entertainment. To help prevent separation anxiety, make sure they have access to a window for observing nature and passers-by. You can also try leaving a radio on or hiding treats around the house to give them something to do.

Leaving your dog at home for an extended period of time requires considerably more planning and care. First, it's important to remember that young puppies should not be left home alone without supervision or confinement until they are properly trained. Older dogs who have been trained may be able to stay home as long as eight to ten hours, depending on how long they can hold it, but never longer. You can load up an automatic pet feeder to help speed up your daily routine, but nothing can replace the need for human interaction and regular bathroom breaks.

A Brief History of Pet Food

The first food made specifically for dogs was concocted by an American electrician named James Spratt in the 1850's. While visiting London, he noticed his ship's crew members throwing leftover biscuits to hoards of waiting dogs. This enthusiasm and a growing number of urban dog owners gave him the idea that he could make cheap and easy-to-serve biscuits for pets. In 1860, Spratt's Patent Meal Fibrine Dog Cakes hit the market and were a big hit. He eventually began production in the United States, launching the American pet food industry.

The early twentieth century saw an explosion of competing dog biscuits as well as the introduction of Ken-L-Ration canned dog foods immediately after World War I. The popularity of wet dog foods, which were actually canned horse meat, became a way to dispose of excess horses at the end of World War I. By the mid-1930's, Ken-L-Ration was such a success that they began breeding horses just for dog food and slaughtering up to fifty thousand per year. In the same decade, the pet food industry expanded to include canned cat food as well as dry meat-meal cat and dog foods.

Canned dog food cornered 90% of the market until the the government started rationing tin and meat during World War II, paving the way for the modern-day popularity of dry dog food. By 1964, a lobbying group called the Pet Food Institute started an aggressive marketing campaign to educate consumers about the dangers of table scraps and the benefits of prepackaged pet foods. These convenience foods, especially the dry versions, made it easier for working families to keep their furry friends fed and nourished without having to worry about spoilage and extra food preparation time.

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Last updated on May 26, 2018 by Gregg Parker

Gregg Parker is an author, screenwriter, and comedian who divides his time between Los Angeles, California, and Osaka, Japan. When he’s not watching sports, he spends most of his free time on his artistic pursuits or collecting miles for his next international journey.

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