Here are the steps to set up a Petmate Programmable Auto Feeder:
- Assemble the hopper and the base
- Install batteries
- Assemble the base and the bowl
- Use the Enter, Up, and Down buttons to set the time of day
- Use the buttons to program meal time and portion sizes
- Test the feeder using the manual feed function
The rest of this article will explain the pet feeder set-up in more detail.
Table of Contents
- Benefits of an Automated Pet Feeder
- Assembling Your Automated Pet Feeder
- Programming Your Petmate Auto Feeder
- Testing Your Petmate Auto Feeder
Benefits of an Automated Pet Feeder
Consistent Feeding Times, Even When You’re Not at Home
Automated pet feeders give you increased flexibility and protect you against overfeeding your pet. You can rest assured that your pet will have the right amount of food dispensed at the proper time even if you go away for a day or even a weekend.
Pets love and even need routines and consistency, and a lack of either of those things can lead to anxiety, discomfort, and, in the case of meals, outright hunger pains. Having the ability to feed your pet on time even when you have an unexpectedly hectic day at work or an unforeseen difficulty can prevent both you and your pet from getting stressed out.
Happier Relations Between You and Your Pet
You may also feel more positively toward your pet if you don’t have to be at their beck and call for meals. Instead of pawing after you to get their kibble dispensed, your dog or cat can let the machine do the work at the same time every day, giving you more flexibility about when you interact with your animals.
It can be very easy to overfeed your pet, especially if it is a smaller breed that is prone to overeating and obesity (hello, Chihuahuas!). An automatic feeder keeps you and your pet accountable with consistent portions, day in and day out.
Assembling Your Automated Pet Feeder
Your programmable pet feeder will consist of three main parts, the “hopper,” the “base,” and the “bowl.” To start assembling, you will need to set the base down on an even surface such as a table or a hardwood floor, then line the hopper up with the base and screw it into place by hand.
Next, take the lid piece and line its provided alignment arrow up with the matching arrow mark on the hopper. Keeping the lid flush with the hopper, twist and lock it into place.
Flip the base upside down so that you can access the battery cover, which you will need to unscrew open. Install the number and type of batteries indicated in the pet feeder’s instruction manual, making sure that the positive and negative indicators on the batteries match up with the markings inside the base. Screw the battery cover back into place.
The bowl comes in two parts, the bowl itself and a riser piece that sits behind the bowl. Line these two pieces up so that the part of the bowl that curves upward into a ramp is resting on top of the riser. The two pieces should be able to sit flatly on the floor.
Finally, set the base onto the riser, with the base’s food chute fitting directly onto the bowl’s ramp so that the food will be dispensed downward.
Programming Your Petmate Auto Feeder
With all of the pieces assembled, flick the feeder on using the On/Off switch. For the programming stage, you will need to make sure the feeder’s LCD screen is visible to you at all times. The auto feeder has three main buttons: the “Enter” key, the “Up” arrow key, and the “Down” arrow key.
Setting the Time on Your Auto Feeder
Set the clock to the current time by pressing “Enter” to make the hour flash, then use the “Up” and “Down” buttons to set the time on the feeder to the current hour. Press “Enter” again to make the minutes flash, then use the “Up” and “Down” buttons again to set the minutes to the current time.
Make sure that the time you program matches the “AM” or “PM” that you are currently in. After you have set the time, press “Enter” once more to confirm the time that you have set.
Programming Individual Meals
Press and hold “Enter” for a couple of seconds until the word “Meals” flashes on the screen. Use the arrow keys to select the meal you want to program for, whether “Breakfast,” “Lunch,” or “Dinner.”
Select each desired meal with “Enter,” then press “Yes” to confirm that you want to set a time for that meal. If you selected a meal by mistake, press the “Down” arrow and select “No” to return to the meal selection screen.
If you press “Yes,” you can then use the arrow keys to program the time that you want the meal to be dispensed at. Set the hours and minutes just like you did when programming the time of day into the machine. After setting the mealtime, press “Enter” to confirm your time choice and move on to programming the meal size.
By pressing the arrow keys up or down, you increase or decrease the portion size of the programmed meal. Pressing the arrow keys makes a bar appear or disappear on the side of the screen. Each bar represents approximately one-quarter of a cup of food. The screen displays a whole number once you’ve reached a full one, two, or three cups. Press “Enter” to confirm your selected portion size.
Confirming a meal’s portion size will let you cycle to the next meal to program. Once you have determined times and portions for each meal, press “Enter” to confirm all of your choices, at which point the machine will be ready to dispense the food at your selected times.
Testing Your Petmate Auto Feeder
Before leaving the machine to dispense at the programmed times, it is a good idea to give it a test run and ensure that it is in good working order. Fill the hopper with your desired pet food, then press and hold the “Up” arrow for at least three seconds.
This will activate the manual feed function and dispense however much food you programmed for the first meal of the day. You can press and hold the arrow button again to dispense more food if you feel the need.