Do Automatic Dog Feeders Work? (Solved!)

Yes, automatic dog feeder technology has been around for many years and it does exactly what it is designed to do. Your automatic feeder allows you to define a feeding schedule, so that pre-set amounts of food will be deposited at exactly the times that you specify.

It saves you time and your dog will feel less inclined to ‘remind’ you that it’s feeding time because they know that their food will ALWAYS be on time!

For the remainder of this article, we’ll be answering questions that are trending the most on the subject of dog feeders. Which feeders on the market are best? What is a gravity feeder and is it good for my dog? Find out the answers to these important questions and more in the sections below!

What is the purpose of an automatic pet feeder?

An automatic pet feeder is designed to dispense pre-set amounts of food at the desired schedule. For instance, if you usually feed your dog or cat on a ‘morning, noon, and night’ schedule then you might set the feeder to dispense at 7:00am, 12:00pm, and 7:00pm and it will feed your pet on this schedule.

These are great for owners who occasionally are late in feedings or don’t have a lot of time off from work,  or even those who simply want to enforce a strict diet, delivered on a clockwork schedule.

Are automatic dog feeders worth it?

People who own automatic feeders tend to love them. They save a lot of time and they ensure that a dog is getting their daily calories in exact measures on an ironclad schedule. Dogs also learn this schedule, so there are less instances of ‘begging’ – the dog knows that they simply have to wait and they’ll get their food soon.

How long does an automatic feeder last?

In general, you can expect an automatic feeder that is being used daily to last anywhere from 8 months up to a year. That said, there are some models that offer an extended warranty to ensure that your investment goes quite a bit further.

For example, the Cat Mate C3000 feeder boasts a robust 3-year warranty, while the Litter Robot Feeder gives you an 18-month warranty on the device (which is also wifi enabled!). SureFeed offers microchip feeder models that often come with a 3-year warranty as well.

So, be sure to check warranty offerings in advance to get the most out of your investment in an automatic feeder!

Can you put wet food in an automatic feeder?

If you wish to put wet food in an automatic cat feeder, then you need to select a model that will be compatible with this. Putting wet food into a ‘dry-food only’ feeder will likely make it unusable, so it’s important to look for one that specifically states that it works with wet food.

These models included added refrigeration to keep the wet food fresh, in the form of reusable ice packs that are good for around 6 hours or internal refrigeration in the higher-end models.

How does gravity pet feeder work?

A gravity feeder is another automatic feeding option that employs the simple mechanism of dropping food whenever it is lowered, by utilizing the law of gravity. Visualize an overturned plastic container attached to a bowl, where the food inside is trapped in place because the bowl is full.

As your pet eats, the food lowers in volume, creating space between the container opening and the bowl, so that the food naturally falls down to replace it. This is the basic concept of how a gravity feeder works.

Are gravity feeders good for dogs?

A gravity feeder might be a wonderful thing for your dog… or it might be a surefire ticket to obesity. It all depends on your dog and their attitude towards food.

The problem is that some dogs are basically furry and friendly gluttons, gobbling up as much food as they can see and as fast as possible – even to the point of getting sick. If your dog is like this, a gravity feeder will not be a good fit.

That said, if your dog only eats until they are full, then a gravity feeder is a great way to ensure that there is always a full bowl waiting for them.

Can you put water in a gravity feeder?

There are gravity feeders designed specifically for water. The most basic ones amount to an overturned water receptacle where the volume of the water keeps the container-water from flowing until it is reduced below the fill line. At this point, the water flows until it’s back up to that line.

The more modern versions will incorporate a plumbing concept similar to a toilet. The models allow you to attach a hose to a faucet, so that gravity and water pressure are employed to keep your dog’s bowl filled with consistently fresh water being replenished as-needed!

How do I train my dog to use an automatic feeder?

Dogs (especially small ones, but there are some big, shy dogs too!) can sometimes be a little startled by the sounds from an automatic feeder, at least until they get used to them. The easiest way to teach your dog to use the feeder is to set a schedule and arrive at the feeder before it’s set to dispense.

Call your dog to you and the feeder and tell them to ‘sit’. When the food dispenser deposits the food, tell your dog ‘go get it’ if they haven’t advanced already, and if you repeat this a few times then your dog will quickly learn that the dispenser sounds are not only harmless, but they also herald a delicious meal!

Which automatic dog feeder is best?

You’ve got a lot of great models to choose from out there, but we can certainly help you to get started in your selection process with a few models that have gotten rave reviews for dependability, durability, and ease of use.

The PetSafe Two-meal feeder is a highly rated automatic feeder, and if you want a good gravity feeder, look for the Petmate Replendish model. Finally, for microchip feeders,  SureFeed in one of the best and most of their models come with a generous 3 year warranty to protect your investment.

How long can you leave a dog alone with automatic feeder?

While the feeder will certainly feed your dog automatically, it is still not recommended that you leave your dog alone for more than 24 hours, and even that ONLY in an emergency.

Most adult dogs can be left alone for 8 hours at the most, so a 24-hour time away is still pushing it and you are likely to come home to a despondent dog and a huge mess in the house. Go with a pet sitter instead or enlist the help of a friend to avoid this!