Some people have trouble keeping up with their pet’s feeding schedule, and some pets are just finicky when it comes to food. If you’re in the same boat as these pet parents, then this blog post is for you! Based on our experience, our top picks include the SureFeed microchip pet feeder, Wireless Whiskers AutoDiet pet feeders, and the Surefeed system with two bowls (for dry and wet food) controlled by a smart app.
These devices automatically dispenses food based on time of day so you don’t want to worry about forgetting to feed their furry friend!
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Table of Contents
- Top Pick
- Runner Up if Top Pick Not Available
- Double Bowl for Wet and Dry Food
- How Do Automatic Dog Feeders Work?
- What’s the Difference Between Microchip (RFID) and Collar Activated Feeders?
- Do They Work for Multiple Dogs?
- What Are the Pros of Collar Activated Dog Feeders?
- What Are the Cons?
- How Do I Train My Dog to Use an Automatic Feeder?
- Can You Put Wet Food in an Automatic Feeder?
- Can You Leave Wet Food in the Feeder Overnight?
The SureFeed microchip pet feeder makes it easy to serve stress-free meals to your dog whenever he or she wants to eat. Since it works with both wet and dry food, you shouldn’t have trouble using it with any sized dog.
- Key Benefits: Prevents food stealing and stress at mealtimes in multi-pet homes, keeps your pets healthier by controlling portions and helping to keep weight under control, saves money by not overfeeding expensive prescription foods and helping to avoid vet bills related to pet health conditions.
- Great for Pets on Prescription Diets: Holds 13.5 fl. oz, wet or dry pet food. The lid closes to form a seal with the neoprene lip, helping to retain moisture and to keep food fresher longer.
- Microchip Compatibility: Works with 9 (Avid Secure), 10 (FDXA) and 15 (FDXB) digit microchip numbers; if unsure of your pet’s microchip number, you can check with your veterinarian, pet shelter or animal rescue. Automatic Cat Feeder opens when the assigned pet microchip ID approaches, and closes when it moves away. Simple one button programming.
- Three Year Warranty. Veterinarian Recommended.
- Do you have a houseful of pets? Does one cat steal the other’s cat food? Does your dog steal the cat’s food? Stressful Feeding times? The Microchip Pet Feeder makes feeding times so much easier! It uses the pet’s Microchip ID or by wearing a lightweight RFID collar tag to communicate with the feeder to open for that specific pet. All feeders come standard with one tag (unit stores 32 ID’s); additional collar tags can be purchased separately if necessary. Ideally one feeder per pet.
- Stops food stealing
- Controls portion size automatically
- Works with prescription medication
- Opens whenever an assigned microchip approaches
- RFID tags for the feeder are light
- Sturdy & durable even with larger stronger dogs
- Takes 4 C-sized batteries
- Lacks side barriers
Runner Up if Top Pick Not Available
Wireless Whiskers AutoDiet pet feeders come with an AC adapter and includes separate allowances for up to eight different animals. The feeder will automatically let you know if any of your pets are being fed so you can track those who might be stealing food.
- Diet Access Control Feeder Includes 2 Wireless Tags and AC Adapter
- Can run off wall power
- Easy to use control panel
- Separates prescriptions from regular food
- Calculates the amount of food needed by each dog
- Spreads out allowances into small portions
- Shows name of pet feeding on the display
- Weighs around 5 lbs.
- Somewhat top heavy
Double Bowl for Wet and Dry Food
SureFeed microchip pet feeders are designed to work with the Sure Petcare app, which allows you to set the portion size and fill your dog’s bowl accordingly. An onboard LED system helps you measure out accurate portions to within 1g.
- Connects to the Sure Petcare app (REQUIRES HUB, HUB SOLD SEPARATELY)
- The Feeder connects to the Sure Petcare app via the hub (sold separately). you set the portion size within the app and then when you fill your pet's bowl, LEDs guide you to the correct portion weight within 1 g of accuracy.
- Accurately weigh your pet's food using the integrated scales. Notice changes in your pet's feeding which could indicate illness.
- GREAT FOR PETS ON PRESCRIPTION DIETS: Holds 13.5 fl. oz, wet or dry pet food. The lid closes to form a seal with the neoprene lip, helping to retain moisture and to keep food fresh.
- Microchip operated - stops pets stealing each others' food (Uses pet's ID microchip or RFID Collar tag available from Sure Petcare)
- Holds up to 13.5 fl. oz of food
- Works equally well with wet and dry food
- Records changes in feeding habits
- Relatively lightweight
- Long battery life
- Requires additional hub hardware to unlock all features
How Do Automatic Dog Feeders Work?
Dogs wear a radio frequency-sensitive tag around their necks, which work like a wireless key to unlock the bowl. It senses when they get close and unlocks, ensuring that they can eat while blocking other animals from stealing their food.
Some of these work with a scheduling tool, so you can be sure that your dog won’t be able to pilfer any surreptitious in-between meal snacks without your permission.
What’s the Difference Between Microchip (RFID) and Collar Activated Feeders?
Nearly all collar activated feeders are based on RFID tags, which your animal wears around their neck just like any other tag. Some companies have produced devices that open up when they sense an implanted microchip in a dog or cat, but these will usually also work with certain types of collar tags for those who are uncomfortable with chipping their pets.
Do They Work for Multiple Dogs?
Many modern types of dog feeders will support multiple dogs fed from different bays, but you need to have a separate collar tag for each of them in order to let each one open their own bay.
You’ll need to spend a little time configuring the device in order to make sure it works with the tags separately before you let your dogs use it.
What Are the Pros of Collar Activated Dog Feeders?
Some dogs eat too frequently. These pets might be weaned of this habit by using an automatic dog feeder.
Since these units lock in place, they can prevent animals from stealing each other’s food. On top of that, they can help to reduce the risk that dirt or other material will work its way into the food.
Those who have to feed their dog medication at certain times of the day can rely on a collar activated feeder to manage this as well.
What Are the Cons?
Probably the biggest problem is the fact that you have to put batteries into most of them and setting up the controls can be an issue too. Feeders might eventually jam, so you’ll want to periodically clean them as well.
That being said, you should be doing this with regular feeding bowls too.
How Do I Train My Dog to Use an Automatic Feeder?
Introduce your dog to the feeder slowly, especially if they don’t like the noise of moving objects. Show your dog that there’s food in the feeder, possibly by waving the collar tag over it several times before you let your dog wear it.
Encourage your dog to head to the feeder at the same times that he or she would normally eat, but don’t get them too excited about it. If you do, then they might start to think that this is some sort of game and might not transition very well to meal time.
Inquisitive dogs will usually figure it out in a short period of time.
Can You Put Wet Food in an Automatic Feeder?
While you can put wet food into an automatic feeder, you need to make sure that the kind you’re using is designed for it. Any feeder that can handle wet food will explicitly state that it’s able to, so make sure that it does before you start loading it up.
Wet dog food is usually better tolerated than wet cat food, which may spoil more quickly due to its richer nutrient mix.
Can You Leave Wet Food in the Feeder Overnight?
Manufacturers usually advise against leaving wet food in the feeder overnight, but some of them may be rated for this. It’s generally best to avoid this if you’re in a hot and humid climate.
Pet owners will often find that a hungry animal will have eaten all of their food by the end of the night anyway, which may render this whole question moot. Timing their meals right can reduce the chances of food staying left in the feeder for any extended period of time.