Best Automatic Dog Feeder: Complete Guide & Reviews

Many dog owners work long or unpredictable hours, and others find themselves traveling out of town on business trips. Perhaps you hesitate to plan family vacations because there is no one you trust to feed your dog and you don’t want to board your dog. Then consider purchasing an automatic dog feeder! You’ll no longer need to worry about finding a dog sitter or asking the neighbors to make sure your dog is fed when you get the right feeder. Some of the best automatic dog feeders on the market include:

How to Choose an Automatic Dog Feeder

When thinking about choosing an automatic dog feeder, keep three things in mind:

    • How many days ahead you want to program the feeder
    • How many portion options are available on the programmer
    • Whether or not you’d like the option to use wet food in your feeder

Automatic dog feeders all come equipped with a timer. Some only have the capability to schedule one feeding a day, while others are programmable for up to thirty days (multiple meals per day).

Automatic feeders come in three basic styles:

    1. ​Single Serving: A single serve bowl that opens up at a set time
    2. Preset Serving: Serve a predetermined amount of food at the time of day you choose
    3. Multiple Preset:  Have between one and six bowls (perfect for multiple pets) with varying portion sizes

All the feeders reviewed here are dry food feeders; however, some can be outfitted with an ice pack to keep wet food fresh for longer periods of time.

Consider the size of the feeder and the materials making up the feeder. Many feeders are capable of holding up to twelve pounds of dry food; however, you may want a smaller feeder depending on the size of your dog.​

​Dog feeder materials should be sturdy in case your dog is tempted to try to turn over the feeder or paw at it. Be sure that the feeder is made specifically for dogs – feeders for cats are made differently than dog feeders.

What are the Benefits of Having an Automatic Dog Feeder?

  • Consistent Feedings: People who work long hours or are away often on business can leave their dog, assured that he will be fed regularly. If you want to make sure your dog is fed at a certain time, a programmable automatic feeder is perfect for you. You will be able to set the feeder to release a predetermined amount of food at a specific time.
  • Portion Control: People who are concerned about their dog’s weight will benefit from using a programmable dog feeder. That way you can control the amount of calories your dog takes in every day.
  • Health: You can also prevent digestive issues if you feed your dog at the same time every day. You will notice that after getting on a schedule, your dog will both feel and act better.
  • Correct Behavior: You can stop bad behavior such as begging for food. Over time, the dog will associate the feeder with food, not his owner.
  • Early Risers: If your dog has a bad habit of waking you up early in order to feed him, an automatic feeder can help you sleep in on your day off. Why should your dog bother you for food when the automatic feeder provides breakfast?

Features of the Best Automatic Dog Feeders

  • Most are programmable. Stay away from gravity-fed if your dog has weight issues.
  • Many feature voice recorders which will help you condition your pet to go to the feeder.
  • Programmable feeders allow you to set the portion size you want dispensed.
  • Some feeders allow for up to twelve feedings a day.
  • Most are battery-operated, but a few have a power cord option.
  • Easy programming and set-up

What's the Best Way to Use an Automatic Dog Feeder

Using an automatic feeder is exceptionally easy! Once programmed, fill the storage tank with the appropriate amount of food, be sure the lid is locked, and let your dog enjoy! Many automatic feeders are simple to disassemble for easy clean-up. Pair with an automatic waterer, and you can leave your dog at home worry-free!​

Best Automatic Dog Feeder

PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder

This automatic feeder is programmable for up to twelve flexible meal portions a day. It boasts of an anti-jam conveyor system, and three “modes” so that you can control portion size: slow-feed, immediate feed, and pause feed. A locking lid and “pet proof dispenser” prevents your pup from getting into the stored food. The feeder disassembles for easy cleaning.

PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder

Overall Rating

Pros

  • Numerous meal and portion settings
  • Easy to clean
  • Dogs can’t get into the locking lid

Cons

  • Kibble release isn’t always consistent
  • Battery operated (not included), Optional power adapter sold separately

GemPet Petwant 5 meal Trays Automatic Pet Feeder

This feeder is capable of dispensing both wet and dry food. The feeder is totally customizable so you can adjust it to your furbaby’s feeding schedule or choose to do a manual feeding on your mobile device instantly. There are five individual trays in this feeder, and each tray is removable for easy cleaning. This automatic feeder has both a battery-powered and a DC 5V/1A power cord. There is even a “low battery” warning light! Part of the “customization” of this feeder is your ability to record your voice calling Fido to eat. The GemPet also has a “standby” mode to save electricity.

best automatic dog feeder

Overall Rating

Pros

  • Wet or dry food option
  • Removable trays for easy cleaning
  • Battery or electric powered
  • Voice recorder

Cons

  • Can be difficult to program
  • Lid does not always lock securely

Bergan Gourmet

The Bergan Gourmet has a thirteen pound capacity and a wide, convenient opening. The lid is designed to release the appropriate amount of food without spilling. If you choose to store food in the feeder, its sturdy base keeps it from tipping over.

Bergan Gourmet

Overall Rating

Pros

  • Great for storing food
  • Won't tip over

Cons

  • Food does not always dispense as it should
  • Made of thin plastic
  • Food lid doesn’t always stay on

eTTgear Electric Pet Dry Food Dispenser

This automatic feeder holds approximately eleven pounds of dry dog food. This is a great feature as it provides plenty of room for food storage. The ABS plastic is resistant to heat and impact. An LCD display screen makes programming easy as pie! It comes with voice recording, to make your pet feel like you're home. Feed your dog on time everyday and never have to worry.

eTTgear Electric Pet Dry Food Dispenser

Overall Rating

Pros

  • Great for food storage
  • Sturdy, impact-resistant
  • Voice recorder

Cons

  • Battery-operated

Arf Pets Automatic Pet Feeder

The Arf Pets Automatic feeder has all the bells and whistles possible of an automatic feeder! Distribution alarms let you know when food is low in the storage compartment. It is programmable for up to four meals a day. Arf Pets feeder helps you maintain portion control – you can choose up to ten portions per meal, and each portion is 24 mL, The feeder can run on batteries or electric power. It boasts of a voice recorder and a magnetic locking lid as well.

Arf Pets Automatic Pet Feeder

Overall Rating

Pros

  • Airtight lid
  • Power cord included
  • Distribution alarms
  • Voice recorder
  • LCD screen

Cons

  • Needs to stay full to function properly
  • Setting the feed times can be tedious
  • Distribution alarms can be sensitive

GemPet SmartFeeder

The feeder allows for up to 4 meals a day and portions from 24ml to 240ml. Adjust feeding to your furbaby’s feeding schedule or choose to do a manual feeding on your mobile device instantly. Easily control portion sizes from 10 grams to 100 grams per serving. A detachable tray allows for easy cleanup. This automatic feeder uses a power adapter. Voice recording allow you to call your pet to eat when away. Another great feature is the ability to watch your pet anytime, with the front facing camera. 

GemPet Petwant 5 meal Trays Automatic Pet Feeder

Overall Rating

Pros

  • Removable tray for easy cleaning
  • Electric powered
  • Smart Phone connected
  • Voice Recording
  • Large storage capacity 4.3L

Cons

  • Best for small kibble
  • No battery option

Conclusion

Keeping in mind all the information above, the best automatic dog feeder is the GemPet 5-meal Trays Automatic Pet Feeder. The top reason why this feeder is the best of the best is because it offers the option for wet or dry food. While other feeders on the list share many of the same attributes of the GemPet (the voice recorder, battery or electric option, an LCD screen), the option to feed your dog the food he is accustomed to puts this feeder head and shoulders above the other feeders.​

About the author

Melanie Fox

Hi there, I'm Melanie Fox, editor at Beloved Bark. We look to provide people with the knowledge and tools to make smarter, more educated choices for their dogs. We have made it our mission to inform our followers with expert advice and recommendations, that will make a difference in your dog's life.

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