Dogs need to eat twice a day – once in the morning and once at night – but if you’re at work or school during feeding times, an automatic dog feeder can come in handy to give your pooch his meals on time. Automatic dog feeders dispense your dog’s food automatically, either by electronic programming or by gravity.
We looked at dozens of automatic dog feeders in order to find the best, highest-quality, most reliable automatic dog feeder at any budget, based on factors such as quality of materials, Amazon ratings, price, and other considerations. We narrowed our search down to five of the top-rated automatic dog feeders that are on the market today.
Meet the PetSafe Simply Feed, the best automatic feeder you can buy for your dog
We’ve identified the PetSafe Simply Feed Automatic Feeder as the best automatic dog feeder overall. While it’s a little pricier than some of our other picks, it can dispense 12 meals per day, features three different feeding modes, and is made of BPA-free plastic and stainless steel. These features, coupled with the fact that it’s easy to set up and clean, make it an excellent choice for smart dog owners.
In This Article
- The 5 Top-Rated Automatic Dog Feeders for 2018
- Our Top Pick: PetSafe Simply Feed Automatic Feeder
- Our Runner-Up Pick: WESTLINK 6L Automatic Feeder with Voice Recorder
- Best Budget Pick: AmazonBasics Self-Dispensing Gravity Pet Feeder and Waterer
- Best Gravity Dog Feeder: Little Giant Galvanized Steel Chow Hound Dog Feeder
- Best Timed (Electronic) Automatic Dog Feeder: WOpet SmartFeeder Automatic Pet Feeder
- Who Should Buy an Automatic Feeder
- Important Features to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Other Automatic Dog Feeders We Reviewed
The 5 Top-Rated Automatic Dog Feeders for 2018
|Best Overall||PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder||4.3|
|Runner Up||WESTLINK 6L Automatic Pet Feeder Food Dispenser for Dog with Voice Recorder||4.5|
|Best Budget Buy||AmazonBasics Self-Dispensing Gravity Pet Feeder and Waterer||4.4|
|Best Gravity Dog Feeder||Little Giant Galvanized Steel Chow Hound Dog Feeder||4.3|
|Best Timed Dog Feeder||WOpet SmartFeeder Automatic Pet Feeder for Cats and Dogs||4.8|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: PetSafe Simply Feed Automatic Feeder
If you’re looking for a reliable automatic feeder that will stand the test of time, look no further than the PetSafe Simply Feed Automatic Feeder. This feeder features a digital timer that can program an unbeatable twelve meals each day. The large reservoir can hold up to 1.5 gallons of food. The unique feeding system features an anti-jam conveyor belt that dispenses all sizes of dry and moist kibble.
The PetSafe feeder features three feeding modes: slow feed mode, which dispenses meals over a 15-minute time span to prevent your pet from gobbling up food too quickly; immediate feed mode, which dispenses the next meal right away; and pause mode, which temporarily shuts off feeding while keeping your pre-programmed schedule intact.
Reviewers love how they can always depend on this reliable feeder. They don’t have to worry that their dog isn’t being fed when they’re not home because it works every time. The feeder includes a stainless steel feeding dish that’s dishwasher safe. It also boasts a one-year average battery life.
PetSafe Healthy Pet Automatic Key Features:
- A digital timer that can program 12 meals per day
- Large LCD screen that makes programming easy
- Anti-jam conveyor system
- Extra-large hopper that holds 1.5 gallons of kibble
- Three feeding modes
- Pet-proof dispenser to keep food fresh and secure
- Dishwasher-safe stainless steel bowl
- One-year battery life
Our Runner-Up Pick: WESTLINK 6L Automatic Feeder with Voice Recorder
A programmable voice recording will call your dog when it’s feeding time.
A bit more budget-friendly, WESTLINK Automatic Feeder with Voice Recorder still packs a punch. This dog feeder features a built-in voice recorder and speaker. You can record 10 seconds of your voice to call your pet to their meals – perfect for pets that tend to sleep through meal times. The feeder is pre-programmable up to 4 meals each day. Each meal dispenses one to 39 portions at each feeding, with each portion weighing about 10 to 12 grams. Food size for this feeder cannot exceed .39 inches, so it might not be appropriate for dogs that eat large kibble.
The hopper holds six liters of food in an air-tight container that has a recessed spring latch so pets cannot get inside. The system also features an infrared sensor that stops the device from dispensing when food is still left in the bowl. This keeps the system from jamming or overflowing.
Reviewers love how easy it is to program, set up, and clean. They also love the sleek design and the long-lasting battery life.
WESTLINK 6L Automatic Pet Feeder Key Features:
- 10-second voice recorder
- Programmable for up to 4 meals per day, one to 39 portions of 10-12 grams each
- 6-liter capacity
- Infrared sensor to stop the device from dispensing when there is food left in the bowl
Best Budget Pick: AmazonBasics Self-Dispensing Gravity Pet Feeder and Waterer
For pet owners who don’t want to sacrifice quality for price, the AmazonBasics Feeder comes highly recommended.
At just $29.99, the AmazonBasics Gravity Pet Feeder and Waterer is the best automatic dog feeder for budget-friendly pet owners who don’t want to sacrifice quality for price. It features both a gravity feeder and a waterer for double the value at half the price.
The hopper holds up to 12 pounds of dry food in all shapes and sizes. It’s made of transparent PET plastic so you can easily see when food needs to be refilled. The entire device can be hand washed easily with soap and water. The feeder features side handles that make it quick and easy to grab and lift the feeder when you need to move it. It also has non-skid feet to prevent the feeder from sliding across the floor as your pet eats. The design features no moving parts, so nothing will ever need to be replaced for the life of the feeder.
Reviewers love the simple and easy-to-clean design of both the feeder and waterer. They also can’t get over the value for the price.
AmazonBasics Self-Dispensing Gravity Pet Feeder and Waterer Key Features:
- 12-pound capacity
- Transparent pet food hopper to easily see when food needs to be refilled
- No moving parts that will need to be replaced
- Integrated side handles and non-skid feet
Best Gravity Dog Feeder: Little Giant Galvanized Steel Chow Hound Dog Feeder
For pet owners who want a gravity feeder, the Little Giant feeder is the perfect mix of function and reliability.
If you’re looking for a gravity dog feeder that will stand up to even the most determined pooches, look no further than the Little Giant Steel Chow Hound Dog Feeder. It’s made of 24-gauge galvanized steel for the ultimate in durability. It features a magnetic door that keeps the food in the hopper fresh and dry. Dogs just need to open the door with their snouts to access their food. The specifically angled shoot provides for easy flow of food. The extra-large food reservoir holds 25 pounds of food, but there is a larger model that can hold up to 50 pounds of food.
Reviewers love that this feeder stands up to their even their most mischievous pets. One reviewer complained that her dogs could easily knock down other models and spill out the food, while the Little Giant has withstood her pooches. Other reviewers like the sturdiness and durability of the feeder and say that it’s even suitable for feeding pets outdoors.
Little Giant Galvanized Steel Chow Hound Dog Feeder Key Features:
- Galvanized steel for durability
- Angled shoot to provides for easy food flow
- A magnetic door helps keep food fresh
- 25-pound capacity
Best Timed (Electronic) Automatic Dog Feeder: WOpet SmartFeeder Automatic Pet Feeder
For pet owners who want a timed feeder, the WOpet 7L Pet Feeder has all the bells and whistles to make your life easier.
If you’re looking for an automatic dog feeder with all the bells and whistles, look no further than the WOpet SmartFeeder Automatic Pet Feeder. It’s the next best thing to a pet sitter. It features smartphone compatibility, so you can either set times to feed your pet ahead of time or choose to do an instant feeding from your mobile device. It features an HD Camera for Voice and Video recording, where you can see, talk, and play with your pet in real time. You can even share your favorite moment with on social media with the free iOS/Android app.
The feeder is fully programmable for up to six meals each day. You can program each meal to dispense one to 39 portions of about 10-12 grams each. The device is suitable for dry food only, with kibble ranging in size from 0.2 to 0.6 inches. It is both AC and battery operated, which allows it to work through a power outage or low batteries. The reservoir holds up to 6.5 liters of food.
Reviewers love the camera feature that lets them keep an eye on their pet even when they are away from home.
WOpet SmartFeeder Automatic Pet Feeder Key Features:
- Compatible with your mobile device allowing you to see, talk, play, and feed your pet remotely
- Free iOS/Android app that connects the feeder with your smartphone
- Programmable for up to six meals daily
- 6.5 liter capacity
Who Should Buy an Automatic Feeder
Meet the PetSafe Simply Feed, the best automatic feeder you can buy for your dog
Dogs thrive best when they are fed twice a day on a regular, consistent schedule. This can sometimes be hard to achieve when you work long hours, go to school, or just plan to be out of the house during your dog’s regular feeding time. Instead of having to feed your dog before the sun rises or after the sun sets, you can pre-program the automatic feeder to feed your pooch at his typical breakfast and dinner times. Automatic feeders can also come in handy on the weekends. Instead of having your pooch wake you up early to get his morning meal, you can pre-set the feeder to allow for extra lounge time in the morning.
Automatic feeders can also provide a bit of stimulation for dogs left home alone. Many automatic feeders record and play back messages to your dogs. This can help soothe their nerves while they’re home alone and can also help break up their day during the long hours you’re gone. Automatic feeders can also help you manage feeding multiple dogs at one time. For example, you can feed your small pooch one-on-one while your ravenous German Shepard eats his own meal in another room.
Important Features to Consider
An automatic dog feeder should be secure, air-tight, and made with quality pet-safe materials. Here’s what to consider when selecting an automatic dog feeder:
- Security. Poorly constructed automatic feeders may allow your pooch to break through and access food before the designated feeding time. To avoid this, look for feeders that are constructed with quality materials – especially if your dog is a heavy chewer. Some automatic dog feeders have reservoirs made with galvanized steel and feature secure locking systems to keep out even the most determined pooches.
- A high-quality feeding dish. The reservoir isn’t the only part of automatic feeders that should be well-constructed. The feeding dish needs to high-quality, non-toxic, and sturdy enough to hold up to heavy chewing.
- Large-kibble capacity. Some feeders are not made to dispense large-size kibble, which can be a problem for some large-breed dogs that eat dog food with big pieces of kibble. If your dog likes large kibble, be sure to look for a feeder that can handle the large pieces.
- Air-tight food reservoirs. Look for an automatic feeder that keeps a tight seal and doesn’t allow air to enter the reservoir. This will keep your food fresh for longer and will keep it from going stale. This is especially important for large-capacity feeders.
- Long-lasting battery life. If your feeder operates by batteries, be sure that it has a long-lasting battery life. Some ultra-fancy feeders have a lot of cool features, but eat up battery life quickly. This can be a problem when you’re relying on the feeder to open on time. Instead, look for models that minimize battery expenditure.
- Easy to clean. Look for feeders that are easy to clean, since you’ll have to clean them often. Many models are easy to disassemble and fit right into the dishwasher for ultimate convenience.
- Pre-recorded messages for your pet. Some pets, especially older dogs who like to sleep a lot, need to be called in for breakfast or dinner. If this sounds like your pooch, you might want to opt for an automatic dog feeder that features a pre-recorded message for your pet. You can record a message that will play when it’s time for your pooch to eat.
- Dry and wet food compatible. If your pooch only eats wet food, you’ll need to be on the lookout for an automatic feeder that is compatible with wet food. Some models even include an ice pack to keep wet food fresh longer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an automatic dog feeder and how does it work?
An automatic dog-feeder is just like what it sounds like. It’s a pet food dispenser that gives your dog food automatically either by electronic programming or by gravity. There are several different types of automatic feeders, including gravity fed systems, mechanized feeders, clamshell dispensers, and circular dispensers.
How do gravity dog feeders work?
Gravity-fed dog feeders are the simplest type of dog feeders on the market. They have a vertical reservoir that holds the dog food, connected to a small dish that fills with food. As your dog eats the food in the dish, gravity brings down additional food from the reservoir. This type of feeder is great for dogs who like to eat whenever they please, but not ideal for dogs that tend to overeat and keep eating until their food is all gone.
How do you set an automatic dog feeder?
Setting your automatic dog feeder will depend on your individual model. In general, you will have a “clock” option that you will first need to set to the current time. Then, you will need to input each desired feeding time, one at a time. Some models will allow you to adjust the amount of food dispensed at each feeding, while others do not. Be sure to refer to the instructions of your particular model.
How many times a day should you feed your dog?
Most experts recommending feeding your pooch twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening. Puppies under five months of age should be fed more often, about three or four times a day. In order to set a feeding schedule that’s appropriate for your dog’s unique needs, be sure to check with your veterinarian.
Other Automatic Dog Feeders We Reviewed
Meet the PetSafe Healthy pet Simply Feed, the best automatic feeder you can buy for your dog
We looked at 20 other automatic dog feeders. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best automatic dog feeders list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your dog. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
Gravity Dog Feeders
The Petmate Pet Cafe feeder is a simple gravity-style feeder. It replenishes the food in the bowl when your pet finishes eating. It’s sturdy and strong to stand up to heavy-duty use.
- Removable lid for easy cleaning & refill
- Easy-grab cutouts to easily move the feeder
- Made of environmentally-friendly PET plastic
The Flexzion Pet Feeder Food Dispenser Station also features a gravity feed design that replenishes your pet’s food supply when it gets low. Made with environmentally-friendly PET plastic, it’s dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
- 4-6 pound capacity
- Recessed handle areas for easy lifting
- Non-skid feet to keep it in place
The Van Ness Auto Feeder is perfectly sized for large dogs. It holds up to 10 pounds of food and dispenses even the largest-size kibble.
- Large 10-pound capacity
- Ideally sized for large dogs
- Removable lid for easy cleaning
The Bergan Aut-O-Dine holds up to 25 pounds of food in an air-tight container until your dog decides to eat. It’s sturdy and meant to hold up to the biggest dogs.
- Holds 25 pounds
- Made with larger dogs in mind
- Heavy-duty plastic
Timed Dog Feeders
The PetSafe Automatic Pet Feeder is a circular feeder that dispenses up to six pre-portioned meals each day. Each tray slot holds up to one cup of dry or semi-moist dog food, which drops into the food bowl as the carousel turns at pre-programmed intervals.
- Pet-proof dispenser and lid
- Removable bowl and tray are dishwasher safe
- Built-in digital clock and LCD display
The Art Pets Pet Feeder dispenses up to four meals each day. You can also record a 10-second voice recording to alert your pets to their meal.
- Flexible portion control – choose 1 to 10 portions of 24 ml each
- Blue light-up LCD display that makes programming easy
- Magnetic-lock lid
The CEESC Electronic Automatic Pet Feeder provides great flexibility in feeding time, with each feeding ranging in size from one to ten cups. This model allows you to feed up to three meals each day and features a 10-second voice recording to play at mealtimes.
- Record a 10-second voice recording that auto-plays during meal times
- Three to six-month battery life
- 22.5 cup capacity
The Happypapa 5.5L Automatic Dog Feeder features a large LCD screen that’s easier to see for accurate programming. It also allows you to record your voice to remind your pet when it’s time to eat.
- Programmable to feed three times per day
- Made of environment-friendly, sunshine resistant, and shock resistant ABS plastic materials.
- 5.5 liter funnel capacity
The Home Intuition 6 Meal Automatic Pet Feeder allows you to pre-record a six-second voice recording to let your pet know it’s feeding time. It features six separate slots for food for daily time and portion control.
- Allows you to serve up to six meals, either daily or spread out over a few days
- Features a six-second voice recording
- Pet-safe locking lid
The WOPet Automatic Pet Feeder allows you to dispense anywhere from 2 teaspoons to 4.5 cups dry food per feeding up to four meals each day. It’s suitable for dry food only, with kibble size ranging from 0.2-0.6 inches in diameter.
- Programmable up to four feedings a day
- 20-cup capacity
- In case of a power outage, the feeder will switch to 3 D-size batteries to ensure your pet gets fed
With the Aspen Pet Lebistro Programmable food dispenser, you can program up to three different-sized meals per day. The removable food bowl is dishwasher safe to make cleaning a breeze.
- Reliably delivers three different portion-controlled meals
- Large LCD screen makes programming easy
- Twist-lock lid to keep food air tight and fresh, while a baffle added to the hopper prevents jams
The amzdel Automatic Dog Feeder provides four meals, with 1 to 39 portions of 5 grams each per meal. It features an advanced infrared detection technology to prevent food from spilling over.
- Constructed of food-grade environmentally-friendly materials
- Includes an 18-month warranty
- 4.4-pound capacity
The PetSafe Digital Two Meal Dog Feeder features a clamshell-style design. It provides two timed meals of preportioned food throughout the day.
- Each compartment holds 1.5 cups of dry pet food
- Programmable up to five days in advance
- Removable food trays are top-shelf dishwasher safe
The Honey Guaridan S25 Smart Automatic Pet Feeder connects with your smartphone so you can feed your pet remotely. It is made of BPA Free materials, is FDA certified and includes a 12-month. limited warranty.
- Free iOS/Andriod app to connect the feeder with your smartphone
- Dispenses flexible portions of 1/40 to 3/5 cups
- Holds up to 8 liters of food
Set up to ten meals per day with the PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Dog Feeder, featuring smartphone compatibility. The free Android and iPhone app allows you to monitor your pet’s feeding from anywhere during the day.
- Pre-programmable up to ten feedings per day with a feed now option that allows you to feed your pet on demand
- Meals can be dispensed between 1/8 cups to four cups
- The slow feed option allows the food to dispense slowly over a 15-minute period to prevent your pet from gobbling up the food too quickly
The LOME Smart Feeder features smartphone compatibility with a night vision camera for the ultimate interaction with your pet. The feeder also comes with a 17-ounce water dispenser that lets your dog drink throughout the day.
- Built-in night vision camera and microphone allowing you to interact with your pet throughout both the day and night
- Mini SD slot that supports up to a 64GB card for saving pictures and videos
- 1.05-gallon-capacity food storage
Dry & Wet Food Compatible Feeders
The Qpets Automatic Pet Feeder features a circular design that dispenses up to six pre-portioned meals each day consisting of any type of food – dry, moist or wet. It also allows you to record a six-second voice recording for your pet.
- 6 compartments for use with dry, moist, and wet food
- Lid lock to prevent pets from getting into the trays before the specified feeding time
- Built-in clock with LCD display
The TD Design Automatic Pet Feeder features five compartments for use with dry, moist, and wet food (or even treats and medication). The feeder features a removable cover and food tray that easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
- Five compartments, 240ml each
- Allows you to set up to four daily pre-recorded alarms
- Secure latching lid to keep the food in the tray until it’s feeding time
The Jempet Automatic Pet Feeder allows you to dispense five meals of dry or semi-wet food. This model features a “standby” mode that helps save your money on your electric bill and batteries.
- Five feeding compartments, each one holding 240 ml
- 10-second voice recording lets your pet know it’s time to eat
- Two options for power supply: DC-adapter or 4 C batteries
The WOpet Automatc Pet Feeder allows you to provide one meal of up to 1.5 cups of wet or dry food for your pet while you’re away. Setting the timer on the top of the feeder will lock the bowl until it reaches zero, then the lid will automatically pop open and allow your pet to eat.
- Ice pack to keep even wet food fresh all day
- Removable feeding tray that’s dishwasher safe for easy cleanup
- 1.5-cup capacity