Top Rated Automatic Dog Feeder for 2020 – A Comprehensive Comparison
This article will provide a lot of details and will help you with finding the best automatic dog feeder, particularly if you don’t have a lot of time to read all the automatic dog feeder reviews. Our team has carefully examined the positives and the negatives of the most popular models and they have come to the conclusion that the WESTLINK 6L Automatic dog feeder is the one that you should try to get. It has some of the most advanced technological abilities, including the fact that it offers you the possibility to record yourself and then use the recording to call your dog to the feeder. You can use its automatic function that lets you set a certain time when the food is dispensed. It also has an infrared system that automatically detects when your pet’s bowl is empty and it fills it up. If you cannot find this model for sale, you should try to get the AmazonBasics Gravity Bundle.
Our Top Choice
This is a model that offers some excellent capabilities, amongst which the possibility to set a certain time when your dog receives the food. Furthermore, it has a function that allows you to record yourself and you can use that to automatically call the dog to eat. Using an infrared system, the feeder looks if there is no food in the bowl and actions accordingly.
Its complicated mechanism means that it’s also quite hard to set it up.
Very impressive from a technologic point of view, this feeder will ensure your dog eats on time.
Your big dog will be very pleased with this bundle that contains a feeder and a waterer with great volume capacities. They are both transparent so you’ll have an idea when the food runs low. Because big dogs may push them around, they come with non-skid surfaces. They’re very simple and reliable and will last a good while.
If they are really persistent, big dogs can chew on the plastic and break the containers.
This bundle is very useful for those with bigger dogs that require both a feeder and a waterer.
Offering a simple design, this dog feeder will be aesthetic enough to fit most kitchens. It is made of transparent plastic so you will be able to check up on the amount of food left. It’s easy to clean, the lid and the base are dishwasher safe. That will make your job a lot easier. It offers handles that can be used for carrying it around.
Being made of plastic, it’s quite fragile and if you have a bigger dog it may bite into the plastic.
It’s an affordable feeder that does its job well and it’s easy to install and maintain.
13 Best Automatic Dog Feeders (Reviews) in 2020
We all have days in which we can’t find enough time to take care of everything. But dogs do need to be taken care of every day, and this is why automatic feeders are essential. We have showcased some of the models that we consider to be great alternatives, as each of them has certain areas where it excels.
- 1. Westlink Automatic Pet Feeder Food Dispenser
- 2. AmazonBasics Food & Water Feeder
- 3. Petmate Pet Café Feeder
- 4. Van Ness Auto Feeder Medium
- 5. Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder by PetSafe Healthy Pet
- 6. Petmate Pet Café Feeder
- 7. AmazonBasics Food & Water Feeder
- 8. Bergan Travel
- 9. Van Ness Auto Feeder
- 10. Lixit Animal Care Dog Feeder Fountain Reversible Base
- Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
- Frequently asked questions about dog feeders
Offering some unique capabilities, this dog feeder will surely catch your attention. It’s a model that people love because it’s so easy to set up, clean, and program. The battery life will last for a good while and the design is very stylish.
It can hold up to 6 liters or 1.32 gallons of food and it keeps it safe from the reach of your animals because it uses an air-tight container to store it. The container has a recessed spring latch that doesn’t let the dogs get to the food. Technologically speaking, it’s very impressive. It has an infrared system that detects how much food is in the bowl. If the bowl isn’t empty, it doesn’t dispense more food.
The device has a built-in recorder and speaker. You can use this tool to record yourself for up to 10 seconds and you can use that to call your dog to eat. The dispenser is programmable to offer up to 4 meals per day.Buy from Amazon.com for ($64.99)
2. AmazonBasics Food & Water Feeder
This package features not only a feeder but also a waterer and they’re both pretty large, with a capacity of 2.5 gallons each. The hopper is able to hold dry food that comes in all shapes and sizes and it’s made of transparent plastic, thus you will know exactly how much food is left for your pet.
Most people love that it offers a simple and easy-to-clean design for both of the dispensers. You can just pop the bottles out, clean them with soap and water and put them back in.
To make it easier for the pet owner to move the dispenser around, the feeder comes with handles. Both devices have a non-skid surface on their base so that when enjoying the food, your dog doesn’t just push them around.
Due to the simplicity of the design, the dispensers are reliable for a long time and they don’t need replacement parts.Buy from Amazon.com for ($29.69)
3. Petmate Pet Café Feeder
This product is available in quite a good deal of capacities, so there shouldn’t be anything stopping you from getting several if you have a couple of dogs or a dog and a cat, for example. The largest capacity is twelve pounds, and it definitely speaks to the needs of a large breed.
The smallest can hold just three pounds of dry dog or cat food, so it is more suited to the requirements of a smaller breed. The process through which this model works is also based on gravity, and that probably explains why this good automatic feeder for large breeds costs so little.
You can’t clean this feeder in the dishwasher as it is recommended that you either wipe it with a moist cloth or hand wash it in the sink. Thanks to this alternative, your pets will have access to food at any time, whether you’re out of the house or sleeping.Buy from Amazon.com for ($34.03)
4. Van Ness Auto Feeder Medium
The medium-sized choice from Van Ness can hold around six pounds of kibble, which means that it is perfectly suitable for medium to large breeds. As with the other models from the same brand that we have presented here, this one comes with a lid that can be removed conveniently so as to add more kibble to the feeder.
We have to make the same mention as we’ve noted in the other reviews and it’s that this product is mostly made out of plastic, which means that you can’t put it in the dishwasher. The structure might be too thin and due to the high temperature, the plastic parts might end up melting.
Most of those who have purchased this alternative say that it is definitely recommended for dogs with weights above 15 lbs since apparently using them for cats can be counterproductive. The mouth is very big and the kibble might end up on the floor, though.Buy from Amazon.com for ($20.29)
5. Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder by PetSafe Healthy Pet
This large-capacity choice is definitely a good option for people who are outside their homes for at least several hours a day. It can hold as many as twenty-four cups of dry dog or cat food. One thing that sets it aside from some of the other models we’ve come across is the fact that it is fitted with a programming feature.
You can set the meals as per the schedule of your pet. You can opt for the Immediate Feed Mode, which means that the food will be released right away without taking into account the nutritional plan you might have organized already.
Another neat feature is the fact that you can adjust the portions. For example, if you have a pooch that tends to eat too much at once and then suffer from indigestion, you might want to consider feeding him smaller portions more times a day. And since many canine companions are affected by the problem, you ought to opt for quality high-fiber dog food for anal problems.Buy from Amazon.com for ($95.95)
6. Petmate Pet Café Feeder
Using a transparent pet container, this dispenser lets you see how much food your dog has left. The gravity system used keeps your dog fed at all times. The design of this product is simple yet aesthetic so you can keep it in your kitchen.
This affordable feeder is entirely made of plastic, PET to be more precise, which is a type of material that is entirely recyclable and safe. For making it easier to be carried around, this unit features handles. You will thus not risk dropping it when it’s a bit heavy.
You can choose to wash it by hand and it’s easy to disassemble. But what’s great is that the parts are dishwasher safe, so you don’t have to get your hands dirty. It comes in 3 colors: tan, blue, and white, all with a tan finishing. You can choose between 3 sizes: 3, 6 or 12 pounds.
It doesn’t come with complicated features or buttons, so it’s perfect for beginners.
The dispenser comes in various sizes so you can pick the right one for you. The 6-pound option allows you to provide up to four meals a day for a few days for a large dog, which is perfect if you have plans for the weekend and don’t want to bother your friends or neighbors to come over and babysit your pet.
The snap lid ensures easy refilling in just a few moments, so your pet never runs out of food.
We also like that this product is available in various pearlescent colors to easily match any decor and furniture in your house.
It is made of high-quality BPA-free plastic that is safe to use and won’t cause allergic reactions.
It relies on the gravity technology that isn’t too accurate. You can’t preset the amount of food requires for each meal, which could lead to overweight or obesity problems in time.
If your puppy or dog has bad chewing habits, you might have to avoid this item as it is made of plastic.
7. AmazonBasics Food & Water Feeder
Affordable and reliable, this item is suitable when you have a busy life but don’t want to neglect your pets. The 2-in-1 product comes with a waterer with a 1-gallon capacity and a feeder with a total capacity of 6 pounds. Both parts are made of PET and lightweight. In addition, thanks to the side cut-out handles, the device is easy to lift and transport wherever you want.
It even comes with rubber feet so you can place it on any type of surface, including marble, tiles or laminate floors, without slipping and causing a mess all over the place.
The extra-wide mouth allows you to easily refill the containers with food and water and clean them. For this operation, we suggest hand washing it only. Use warm soapy water and thoroughly cleanse and rinse. Allow it to thoroughly dry or wipe it with a soft cloth before using it again.
It doesn’t come with any sophisticated functions or buttons and works on the simple principle of gravitation. Therefore, you don’t have to plug it in or change its batteries to make sure your pet always has a reliable source of fresh water and food.
The non-skid rubber feet are suitable for placing the feeder anywhere you want in or outside the house. Therefore, it won’t slide or scooch across the floor, be it tile, marble or hardwood.
Both the feeder and the waterer are easy to refill in just a matter of seconds. All you have to do is unscrew the top lead and pour the amount of food or water you want.
It’s made of plastic and is easy to clean using warm water and mild soaps or detergents. Since the containers are large, we suggest hand washing it only.
The side cut-out handles make this machine easy to transport and carry, even when it’s full.
The product is not that sturdy and reliable, so it can still be moved or chewed by bigger and more powerful dogs.
It’s not the ideal feeder if you need to strictly watch over your pet’s diet as it doesn’t allow you to control the amount of food it receives per portion and meal.
8. Bergan Travel
Affordable and reliable, this item doesn’t require complicated setup instructions or the use of electricity or batteries to operate. Therefore, you can place it anywhere you want inside or outside your house and teach your pets to serve their own food whenever they need.
The handy storage solution is suitable for those who travel a lot and cannot always feed their pets themselves. It comes with a five-pound food container that can provide up to 24 cups of food, enough to last one-three days, depending on your pet’s size, age, weight, and dietary needs.
Thanks to the snap lid and rotating base, the item is easy to use, even by those who don’t have experience with dog feeders.
The product is made of high-quality plastic, FDA-approved, and BPA-free, meaning it is safe to be used by all pets. It doesn’t contain any chemicals or dangerous substances that can cause allergic reactions or health problems to your dog or cat.
Just like other similar food containers, this one is entitled to dry food only. For a complete and balanced diet, we suggest you combine dry kibbles with the most delicious dog treats for puppies and some organic and low-calorie dog foods with probiotics.
It is easy to use and hustle-free as it doesn’t require complicated functions or the use of energy or batteries. Therefore, you can place this item anywhere inside or outside the house to feed your pet at regular hours.
The large five-pound container can provide up to 24 cups of dry dog food, enough for a medium-sized dog to last the entire weekend.
It is made of BPA-free and FDA-approved plastic that doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals or dangerous substances that might cause allergic reactions.
It features a large snap-lid that allows you to refill the container whenever it’s empty easily.
Some customers claimed the product causes quite a mess as the kibbles spill and scatter across the floor.
It’s not the ideal solution for dogs that need to follow a strict dietary plan as it doesn’t allow you to measure and control the food portions.
9. Van Ness Auto Feeder
Designed to meet the needs of people with a house full of pets, the large 10-pound container provides enough food for all your dogs or puppies when you are away. It relies on the gravity technology that pushes the food from the container to the bowl as the bowl empties.
The transparent container is made of sturdy plastic and allows you to see when it requires a refill easily. Besides, refilling the feeder is easy and stress-free due to the large lid on top. It prevents spilling and food waste.
The removable lid ensures easy cleaning. For thorough cleaning, we suggest using warm water, and mild soaps and detergents. The product is large enough so it may not fit in your dishwasher, and this is why we suggest you wash it by hand.
As with many other similar feeders, the main drawback of this one is that you cannot preset the right amount of food that is dispensed for each meal. Therefore, there is a slight risk of your dog eating more food than it should, which could lead to further stomach problems and overweight or obesity.
In order to prevent that, we suggest switching to superior quality dog food for sensitive stomachs or replacing some of the dry food with wet food or home-cooked meals.
The large size of the container can hold up to 10 pounds of dry dog food, which makes the feeder perfect for households with multiple dogs or giant dog breeds.
It is made of sturdy and reliable plastic that your pet cannot easily chew, bend, move or destroy. Thus, when the item is full of food, it would be hard to be moved from one place to another by your dog, which would otherwise cause food waste and messy floors.
The large removable lid ensures easy cleaning and refilling in just a few minutes.
It doesn’t require the use of energy or batteries to function, which allows you to place the product anywhere in or outside the house and use it in all weather conditions.
If your dog is under a strict diet and should be fed limited amounts of food daily, this item may not be the best choice as it doesn’t help you preset exact portions of food. Therefore, there is a risk of overeating, as with most other products that simply rely on gravitation.
10. Lixit Animal Care Dog Feeder Fountain Reversible Base
If you’re looking for a compact and easy solution to feed your dog a delicious meal while you’re out of town or staying up late at work, this new item from Lixit could prove a reliable option.
The colorful paw-print design is cheerful and will bring joy to every house, no matter where you decide to place it. And, thanks to its reduced dimensions, it can be stored and placed in narrow places too as it won’t occupy too much space.
The 2-in-1 product features a reversible base that can be used both for water and food, based on your dog’s needs. The bowl is tall enough to provide enough fresh water or food for a couple of days, depending on the size, breed, age, and weight of your pet. The container can hold up to 64 fluid ounces of water and two pounds of food.
The wide mouth container ensures that the item is easy to refill and clean using warm water and mild detergents or soaps. The manufacturer suggests purchasing two products at the same time and using one for water and the other one for food.
The container is made of BPA-free plastic and is safe to be used by all animals, without causing health problems or allergic reactions.
The item is small, lightweight, and compact, which makes it easy to transport and store anywhere you want, including in narrow cabinets. You can even take it with you when traveling as it won’t occupy too much space in your luggage.
It is made of BPA-free and high-quality plastic, ensuring a long-lasting life.
It can be used both for water and food, offering enough provisions to last a couple of days.
It is convenient to use and doesn’t require batteries or plugging it in.
Some customers said the container must be empty before refilling it because, otherwise, it will spill the food everywhere.
Others said the kibbles must be really small to fit through the tube so you might have trouble if you plan on feeding a larger dog. We suggest you keep this one as a water tank and find a bigger dispenser for food.
Best outdoor automatic dog feeder
11. AmazonBasics Self-Dispensing Gravity
With this dispenser, you can keep your pets happy even when they’re outdoors. It’s a small feeder, ideal for smaller dogs or cats. It’s also suitable for puppies, so make sure to fill it with some puppy kibble for your little dog.
Because of the simple but durable design, you can leave it in your back garden and it won’t be affected by the weather. It holds up to six pounds and it’s easy to use – just unscrew the lid, put the food in and screw the lid back.
The transparent recipient will let you know when the food is low. To clean, use warm water and wash it by hand. The removable parts make cleaning an easy process. As you might know from previous experience, you will sometimes need some handles to carry the bowl around, and this model comes with handles for your convenience.
To prevent your pet from moving the feeder all around your house or yard, the dispenser comes with non-skid rubber feet. It’s best if you place it on a flat and hard surface.Buy from Amazon.com for ($11.99)
Best metal automatic dog feeder
12. Little Giant Galvanized Steel
When something resembles a bank safe in appearance, you know that it’s made to endure a lot and to last a long time. That is the case with this automatic food dispenser that is built of galvanized steel. Even the biggest and most mischievous dogs won’t have a chance of ripping it apart. Other models can be easily knocked down and the food can be spilled around, but not this feeder.
It has a magnetic door that is actioned only when needed in order to keep the food fresh and dry. The container can hold up to 25 pounds of food, but there is a bigger version able to contain 50 pounds of food. If you keep it away from rain, this model is even suitable for feeding pets outdoors. The food flow is assured by an angled shot that gradually lets food go down.Buy from Amazon.com for ($45.49)
Best automatic dog feeder for two dogs
13. Precision 3D Prints Two-Bowl
As the name suggests, this is a 3D printed piece of equipment that is meant to let you feed two pets at the same time. It is an attachment that needs to be used in combination with a feeder, thus, please be aware that the feeder is not included in the package.
That being said, if you have been looking for a way to split the food equally between your two pets, this is the way to do it. The attachment is compatible with most food dispensers. Because it’s a 3D printed model, it’s not safe for it to be cleaned in a dishwasher, instead, you should clean it with warm water and a sponge.
The build quality is good and the tray doesn’t have any rough edges. Additionally, it’s sturdy and quite heavy so it won’t get pushed around.Buy from Amazon.com for ($33.99)
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
A good automatic dog feeder should be easy to set up and maintain, it should be stylish enough so you don’t have to hide it in a corner and most importantly, it should keep your dog fed and happy. That’s why, when choosing one for your dog, you must think about a lot of aspects. Below we discuss what we think are the most important things to consider.
Types of automatic feeders
Most automatic feeders employ a basic principle in order to work – they rely on gravity to get the food down in the dog’s bowl. Using this simple mechanism, such feeders always keep the bowl full. Due to their simplicity, these are cheap automatic dog feeders, they are easy to maintain and also easy to wash.
They come with an array of advantages, amongst which a very simple setup process and no need for programming. But they do have some downsides as well. The pet will always have access to the food because it keeps coming down the dispenser. Thus, this may result in a very hazardous eating routine.
If you let your pet use a gravity feeder while you’re away, your dog might eat all the food that you have put inside the feeder within one day. And then there will be no food left for your beloved pet. An unchecked eating routine is dangerous for dogs with certain health issues. But if you have a dog that knows when to stop, these feeders are great.
When you are away for a little while and you don’t want your dog to destroy your home while you’re gone, you might want to consider getting a spacious dog kennel and placing a gravity feeder inside to ensure your beloved pet doesn’t stay hungry.
The alternative is represented by electric feeders. Of course, they are automatic but more expensive at the same time. However, they allow you to control the amount of food that your dog gets at each meal and the time interval between each feeding. This makes for a better eating schedule, a thing that your dog might need.
Because this feeder is programmed by the owner in order to work, it has the disadvantage of being harder to set up. Also, if you are unlucky and get a low-quality machine, you might have a lot of issues with it malfunctioning.
On the bright side, however, electric feeders will make it a lot easier to set a schedule for your dog. The ability to control the amount of food they get at each meal is the most important. This is great for dogs with bad eating habits or for those that have health issues. If you’re the kind of person that’s always on the go, these types of feeders will work best for you.
Choosing the feeder based on your lifestyle
Owners who work long hours
If you spend a lot of time at home and you enjoy sharing time with your pets, you probably don’t need a dog feeder. However, most people can’t stay with their pets all day long, so automatic feeders are needed. For those owners that work a lot of hours, automatic dog feeders offer a great option for making sure their dogs always get to eat.
Even when using a feeder based on gravity, you can ensure that your dog eats at around the same time, if you fill the feeder every morning and after you come from work. But if you can’t always do that, you should look for a programmable model.
Owners who travel a lot
There are people that like to travel all the time. And when traveling you can’t always take your pet with you, especially if it’s a large breed. For that kind of people, a feeder that can be placed outside is very useful, because bigger dogs need to have more space and play in the yard from time to time. And if your dog likes to spend more time outside, you might also want to consider looking at some dog coats for cold weather.
Simple models are most often preferred for outside use because they are more resistant to weather. There are very sturdy feeders made of galvanized steel that can be left outside for your dogs. If you’re leaving the house for more than one day though, make sure that you have a neighbor or a relative that constantly fills and checks on the feeder.
Having more than one dog
Choosing a feeder, however, doesn’t only depend on your lifestyle, but also on other factors in your home. For example, how many pets you have. There are certain pets that require special foods, or medication mixed in with their food. And surprisingly enough, there are electric feeders that have chip reading capabilities. They only dispense food to a certain pet.
But you might have a different, smaller issue – getting the same amount of food to two or more pets. Fortunately, there are feeders or attachments that let you split the food in the container into two or more portions when dispensed.
Owning more dogs may present you with a problem – too much hair on the carpet. Be sure to check our article on vacuums for dog hair, to solve that issue. And the hair is not the only thing that can make your house dirty, so have a look at some dog poop scoopers too.
General aspects to consider
Many food dispensers are only designed for small dogs and they can’t hold too much food at once. They offer small bowls, and bigger dogs can have some issues with those. Make sure to check the dimensions before getting a dog feeder.
There are models that are very suitable for large dogs, particularly the ones that use a large plastic container to hold the food. If you get a feeder that automatically dispenses food at certain intervals, set it up so it can give large portions to your dog.
Sturdiness and security
There are dogs that like to play a lot or are impatient and they will want to grab the food container and flip it over so all the food comes out. For those ones, using a plastic feeder might not be the best idea. They are usually feeble and the larger dogs will be able to spill the food out of them.
This is why if that’s the case with your dog, you should be looking for models that are made of galvanized steel. There are also models that feature secure locking systems that keep the food away from the pets.
Frequently asked questions about dog feeders
Q: Do slow feeder dog bowls work?
Because they are made to stop the dogs from gulping, slow feeder bowls have a design that won’t let the pet eat the whole food in one go. Ridges and barriers are used to prevent the dog from eating too fast. But the build quality needs to be exceptional. If the bowl is too hard, the dogs can chip their teeth when biting around the barriers.
Also, if the bowl breaks, ingested plastic can cause serious trouble. When the bowl is too light, the dog can simply flip it over and eat the food off the floor. Thus, slow feeder bowls work but only if they’re properly made – make sure yours sticks to the floor, it isn’t too hard for the teeth, and it doesn’t break apart.
You can also buy dog food for weight loss if you feel that your dog really needs a diet.
Q: Are elevated dog feeders good?
An elevated feeder can be great for some dogs but not a good fit for others. Of course, they are recommended for taller dogs like Great Danes or German Shepherds, or for those older ones that have certain medical conditions. Speaking about health issues, your dog may require dog food for sensitive stomachs, so check out our article on that.
Elevated feeders help the dog have a better posture when eating, and they do that by putting less strain on the dog’s neck, hips, and shoulders. Probably the biggest advantage of these bowls is that they don’t slip across the floor. One of these can stay firmly put, but if your dog is a bit naughty it may still flip it over.
Q: What is a smart dog feeder?
A smart dog feeder is a more advanced variant of the automatic feeder. It not only ensures your dog eats, but it also sets a schedule and a certain amount of food per portion. Smart feeders are connectable via WiFi and they can be paired up with a tablet or smartphone using an app that they have or through a certain website.
They each have certain capabilities, but most of them will allow you to set up a certain feeding schedule. Some feeders will let you communicate with your dog, or they will offer you the possibility to record yourself calling your pet.