Automatic Dog Feeders

Written by Sarah Provost
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Automatic dog feeders allow owners to feed their pets when they are away from home, or to automate regularly scheduled feedings under ordinary circumstances. There are basically three types of automatic dog feeders, those that dispense by gravity, those that rotate, and those that open lids. They're a great convenience for busy owners, and also make it easier to keep your dog on a healthful diet.

Gravity-Dispensed Automatic Dog Feeders

These are the most common type of feeders. A storage section, which can hold up to 20 pounds of dry food, stands above a feeding dish. At preset intervals, the seal at the bottom of the storage container opens and drops a set amount of food into your dog's dish. These feeders can be run by battery or house current, with a battery backup.

Some of these feeders allow fairly complex programming. You might, for instance, want to serve your dog two full meals and one smaller snack. These amounts can be programmed in along with the time they should each be dispensed. Some automatic dog feeders sound a bell to call your dog to eat, and some allow you to record your own voice. Other features to look for are and override, in case you want to give your dog a little extra, and a shut-off switch with memory, so you can stop the dispensing while you are away with your dog, then turn it back on when you return without having to reprogram.

One drawback to these is that they only use dry food. If you want to feed your dog canned food as well, you'll need a rotating dish, where the food rotates into view under a circular lid, or a feeder with a hinged lid that pops open as scheduled. Ice packs keep the wet food fresh. These can dispense one to six meals, but the more meals, the smaller the portions.

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