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Gadgets for Pets: Electronic Pet Feeders

Updated on May 9, 2011

Pet Feeders

The electronic pet feeders can be good and bad. Some people prefer the multiple day feeders, whereas others prefer the barrel- type feeders that consist of a barrel of dog food flipped over onto a bowl that constantly provides food until the barrel is empty. I prefer to do it myself, no matter how tedious and monotonous it can get.

The barrel- type pet feeders are a big no- no in the pet industry. They can cause obesity, as the dog or cat may just sit and eat until they can't move. They can, also, cause behavioral concerns. You may not believe it, but you handing your dog his food bowl at a scheduled time each day, furthers the perception that you are in charge.

In packs, the pack leader always brings the food to the others, he (or she) eats and then the others eat. So, by deciding when your dog will be given his food, you are creating the same, or similar perception. The electronic pet feeders do not necessarily create the same perception.

But, they can be great for feeding cats when you go on vacation.

Dog Feeders

The electronic dog feeders can be good in the sense that you don't have to fill the bowl daily. I mean even the smallest feeder has two day meal slots, and you can purchase them up to eight days. Think about it you don't have to feed your dog for eight days!

This is all well and good, but think about it... You're not feeding your dog, so he's not getting the same, 'I'm over you. I choose when you eat and when you don't' mental picture.

When considering an electronic automatic pet feeder, you have to consider so many things, that I don't think they're really worth it; at least in my house, they're not worth it.

I have four big dogs and one little dog. These little pet feeders just don't hold enough food for my big dogs, who get 2 to 3 cups of food a day. Looking at the Lentek 6- day feeder, it hold 2/3 cups of dry food or 5- 1/2 ounces (about 0.6 cups) of wet food. So, if I were to purchase the six- day feeder, my dogs would have to eat say 3 of the compartments a day, which means the six- day feeder only lasts for 2 days. And, I'm not even sure if you can set the feeder for 3 different times a day.

But, in regards to small and medium size dogs, these pet feeders can be great, in terms of volume capacity.

I'm not sure how much the two- day feeder or the four- day feeder holds, but the six- day feeder by Lentek hold 2/3 cups of dry food or 0.6 cups of wet food per compartment. And, the eight- day feeder holds about 1.44 cups (or 12 ounces) of food per compartment.

Waiting for dinner.
Waiting for dinner.

Going on Vacation

When going on vacation, you really can't leave a toy poodle to fend for himself, feed himself, and walk himself for two days, but a cat... That would work.

Since you don't have to worry about walking the cat outside to use the bathroom, you can leave you kitty home alone for the weekend. I mean, I've done it. My aunt does it. I don't know anyone who takes their cat to the boarding kennel for the weekend, or even week for that matter.

But, it can be hard to find someone to come over and feed the cat every day. I mean, you don't want to leave a huge helping of food in the cat bowl, as the cat will more than likely eat it all up the first day.

Quick story. My aunt and uncle when on vacation, leaving the cat a huge bowl of cat food. My grandparents were to check on the cat a few times if they were in the neighborhood, just to make sure he was okay because it was an older cat. Well, on the second or third day, when my grandparents dropped by, the week- long helping of cat food was gone. No crumbs left.

This could have been prevented with an automatic pet feeder. Because there are two day automatic pet feeders all the way up toe eight- day automatic pet feeders, they work great for cats when you go on vacation.

Personally, I think I would only use the electronic pet feeders for cats. They're more independent and less pack social than dogs are, so it really doesn't matter as much if you set a scheduled feeding time and manually feed the cat, versus the impact that it really does take on your dog.

Electronic Pet Feeder

If you're thinking about purchasing an electronic automatic pet feeder, make sure that it will last your home. For feeding cats and small dogs, the feeders work well, but in regards to big dog and puppies, you may be wasting your money.

I've already discussed how the electronic pet feeders would not work in my house in regards to big dogs, but one of those big dogs is a 9 month old American Pit Bull Terrier. She's a puppy; she's clumsy, and she's scared of everything. I think that if the electron feeder didn't scare her, it would be quickly picked up and tossed around until it gave her all the food and was permanently broken.

This just isn't the right gadget for me. Before you spend the money, decide if it's the right gadget for you and your pet.

Remember that if you're going to buy an automatic feeder, get the electronic ones versus the barrel ones, as they just release food as food is eaten.

Now, there are electronic barrel feeders, so don't get confused. Usually the electronic automatic feeders are in boxes, whereas the barrel feeders are not.

See below for the difference between an electronic barrel feeder versus a regular barrel pet feeder.


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      check out some of the Work 4 Food pet products.The pet guru Marc Marrone encourages their use. A good one should challenge the pet and make him/her work. The Rock n Roller mentioned above is a bit noisy and odd looking but makes cats work to get a meal. You can easily adjust the intensity of the challenge.

    • profile image

      george kubala 

      7 years ago

      A product who's time has come.Controlled feedings and portion size should find a huge market in the pet world. A less expensive way to get started with cats is the Rock n Roll cat feeder.

    • johnngd profile image


      10 years ago from Sydney

      Interesting post - I dont' think you can underestimate the detrimental behavioral patterns that using an automatic feeder can cause, well done for describing this point... It's so important to reinforce the perception that you are in charge.

    • darkside profile image


      10 years ago from Australia

      That is so cool!

    • Whitney05 profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Georgia

      Ha. It's the Georgian thing. We must have something going for us. I debated on doing a hub about the feeders, but broke down and went for it.

    • Angela Harris profile image

      Angela Harris 

      10 years ago from Around the USA

      Man, Whitney, we were on the same wavelength. We must live too close to one another.


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