How Does a Gravity Pet Feeder Work? (Explained!)

A gravity pet feeder works through a free fall or gravity-based mechanism. The feeder is a dispenser stored with food for the pet. There is a plate below the dispenser, containing food dropped by the dispenser, and it gets refilled with food through free fall motion as a pet ‘makes room’ in the plate by eating it.

Read below to know more about the functionality of gravity feeders, the various types of pet feeders you can find in the market, some guidelines to help you decide whether you should invest in a gravity pet feeder or not, and other related information on this topic.

What are the working components of gravity pet feeders?

Gravity pet feeders are mechanical devices which have two basic parts – a dispenser, usually made out of transparent plastic material with a removable lid at the top and a base positioned directly below the dispenser so it functions as a plate containing food.

A simple gravity mechanism makes all these components come together, as treats in the dispenser keep refilling the base as a cat or dog eats the existing treats.

How is Using a Gravity Pet Feeder Different From Feeding Your Pet Manually?

A gravity pet feeder is a way of feeding your pet even when you’re not around. You can fill the dispenser with a good amount of food and be able to provide your pet food without having to be physically present.

Are Gravity Pet Feeders the Same as Electronic Pet Feeders?

No, they are different. While a gravity pet feeders works mechanically on the principle of gravity, electronic pet feeders are programmable and can be set to dispense treats in controlled quantities and at controlled times of the day. Electronic pet feeders basically help prevent the pet from overeating as only the amount of treats set by the user come out from the dispenser.

Are Gravity Pet Feeders Easy to Clean and Maintain?

It depends on the design, but usually yes, since most gravity pet feeders have a detachable dispenser which can be removed from the base and cleaned whenever the need arises. The amount of cleaning required also depends on what kind of food is being stored in the dispenser. Wet, stickier foods might make the dispenser more unclean as compared to something dry like biscuits.

Who Should Buy a Gravity Pet Feeder?

A gravity pet feeder is most suitable for pet owners who might find it difficult to look after their pet and feed it during certain times of the day. They can invest in a pet feeder to be able to provide their dog or cat food without having to be around.

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Even if an owner is physically available for their pet 24/7, a gravity pet feeder is a worthwhile investment as it saves them from the hassle of having to constantly refill their pet’s bowls throughout the day. It’s timesaving and gets the job done.

Can a Gravity Pet Feeder Be a Substitute for Physically Feeding Your Pet?

If by substitute, we mean not ever being physically around your dog or cat to feed it and just relying on the gravity pet feeder, then no. Manually feeding your pet is more than just about filling its belly – it’s something that bonds the pet with the owner and enables a healthy relationship with them.

A pet has emotional needs besides physical ones and can go through mental stress and aggravation if it has a poor relationship with its owner.

Basically, a gravity pet feeder should be used in moderation.  Use it when you’re not able to stick around and manually feed your pet, but at times you’re available, bond with your pet by giving it food yourself.

What’s Better: A Gravity Pet Feeder or An Electronic Pet Feeder?

While an electronic pet feeder costs more than a gravity pet feeder, it is a better investment because it prevents the problem of overeating that might arise with using the latter.

Gravity pet feeders usually have no control over how much food is being refilled in the base, which can be dangerous for pets who should be on a diet. Electronic pet feeders solve this problem by being able to be set to dispense a fixed quantity of food, so it gives the user more control.

Does Food Stay Fresh in a Gravity Pet Feeder?

It doesn’t stay as fresh as it can in an electronic pet feeder. Gravity pet feeders store food in a plastic dispenser with an opening at the bottom to dispense food in the base.

Electronic pet feeders, on the other hand, have a refrigerator system to keep the food fresh and also, they’re not ‘open’ all the time unlike gravity pet feeders so you can expect food to stay fresh for longer in them.

Is the Plastic Material in Gravity Pet Feeders Safe for Pets?

Plastic comes in a lot of categories, so it depends on what kind of plastic is used in your gravity pet feeder. PET plastic is sustainable as it does not contain BPA so it should be safe for most cats and dogs. Avoid using feeders made of PVC as they’re not environmentally friendly and can leach toxic substances which may be harmful for your pet.

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Are Gravity Pet Feeders Portable?

Yes! You can take your gravity pet feeder with you while you’re travelling with your pet. Different feeders come in different sizes and weights, but most should be portable enough to carry along while you’re travelling in a vehicle.

What Should You Consider While Buying a Gravity Pet Feeder?

One of the things to consider is the quantity of food that can be stored in the dispenser. This can vary depending on whether you own just a single pet or multiple pets in the house.

The size and depth of the base is also important – if you have pets that are very young and small, you should buy a feeder with a base that isn’t too big in height.

Finally, consider the durability, ease of assembly/disassembly of the materials and the maintenance requirements.