Providing for your pets definitely feels fulfilling, but it’s no secret that pet accessories can cost a pretty penny, especially pet feeders. But why pay $180 for one when you can make it at home from recycling plastics?
The materials needed would depend on the pet you need the gravity feeder for. Make sure the plastic bottles, buckets you choose are safe for your pet. That can include eliminating sharp edges as well as carefully choosing the type of plastic you want to use.
Table of Contents
- So then, why do you need a pet feeder?
- What are the advantages of a pet feeder?
- Do feeders vary for different types of pets?
- How much should you be feeding pets?
- Making the perfect pet feeder for cats, dogs and birds
- Materials you will need:
- Making pet feeder for fish – Method 1
- Fish Feeder – Method 2
- Safety first
- Which plastic should you choose?
- Time to smooth things out
So then, why do you need a pet feeder?
For this, the reason is quite obvious. To feed our pets on time! If you’re a celebrated workaholic working jobs with uncertain hours then it’s not only risky to leave your pet for extended periods of time.
It’s also useful if you’re going on a trip and can’t take your pet. And especially needed if you have fish that die easily if not fed three time a day on time.
What are the advantages of a pet feeder?
Following your pet’s nutritional intake by regulating their intake as per need helps you keep track of their colorific and nutritional intake, preventing them from being overfed or underfed.
Hence, feeding your pets on time and monitoring their intake prevent obesity and also ensures the emotional wellbeing on your pet. It’s also useful in gauging if your pet is sick or has a loss of appetite which is not possible when free-feeding.
Do feeders vary for different types of pets?
Of course they do! Feeders vary for different breeds as well. It all comes down to the size of your pet and their required nutritional intake.
The size of the containers as well as bowls have to be large enough so that your pet can easily eat from them, whereas the size of your hopper has to be large enough to contain the appropriate amount of food needed for a specific period of time.
How much should you be feeding pets?
The size of your hopper depends on the amount of food your pets will eat in a certain period of time. An adult dog should eat approximately 2-2.67 cups of dry dog food per day. While cats should have a little over 2/3 cup of dry food.
For fishes a few flakes three times a day is enough.
Making the perfect pet feeder for cats, dogs and birds
Materials you will need:
- Two plastic containers. A 5 liter bottle would be sufficiently big for dogs, 2 liter containers for cats but go for smaller bottles if the feeder is for birds. The container used should have a flat surface.
- Scissors/ Cutter
- Pet food
- Cut a hole in the first container. The distance between the hole and the mouth of the container should be a quarter of its length.
Make sure the hole is a little larger than the mouth of the container you’ll be using as a silo.
- Then on the same container, cut the container horizontally across it length, midway.
- Then use a marker to mark halfway through its width and then mark two inches above the bottom corner of the container. Draw a line between the points and cut it out.
- Take the second container and cut it in half. You can vary the length of the second container based on how much food you wish to store in your makeshift hopper, as long as the distance between the mouth of the bottle and cut is more than that with cut and the end of the container.
- Place the mouth of the second container into the hole you made in the first container, and fill it with pet food.
- You can mark equal intervals on your hopper to keep track of how much food was consumed.
Making pet feeder for fish – Method 1
Materials you will need:
- A timer
- Rings of 1 ½ inch PVC pipe.
- A small cylindrical plastic container with lid. Container should be 4-5 inches long.
- A drill, with a drill bit slightly bigger than the diameter of your pellets.
- Glue gun
- Velcro strips, clip
- Fish Food
- Use the glue gun to attach the PVC ring to the circular part of the timer that rotates.
- Take your cylindrical container and drill equidistant holes on one side along its length.
- Take your glue gun and then attach the cylinder to the PVC ring.
- Fill the cylinder with fish food, secure the lid and set the timer. As the cylinder rotates the food will fall through the holes into the tank when it reaches the bottom every time.
- Attach the timer to the tank using a clip or Velcro strips.
Things to take care of:
- Use a lightweight container or the weight of the container might cause the timer to fall into the tank.
- Use appropriate size of drill bit, as large holes allow more food to pass through easily.
Fish Feeder – Method 2
Materials you will need:
- A spare phone
- Double sided tape
- A small cylinder with a lid
- Drill, with a drill bit the size of or slightly larger than the pellets of fish food.
- Fish Food
- As described previously drill equidistant holes along one side of the cylinder and fill it with fish food.
- Secure the lid of the cylinder and use double sided tape to attach it to your phone’s screen protector.
- Secure the phone using the tap on the wall your fish tank is against.
- Call the phone whenever you want to feed your fish, the vibrations will cause the pellets to fall through the holes.
Which plastic should you choose?
High density Polyethylene, Low density Polyethylene as well as Propylene are all considered good plastics because they pose no health concerns to pets eating out of them.
However you should avoid Poly vinyl Chloride (PVC) and Polyethylene terephthalate as they both are toxic plastics that have proven injurious to pet’s health.
Time to smooth things out
While cutting plastic things can get messy. You can end up with uneven surfaces and sharp edge that might hurt your pet while eating.
The simple solution is using a 180-220 grit sand-paper that will allow you to smoothen your surfaces and make the feeder safe to use.