Smart Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder Reviews

Pet ownership is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have in life. However, responsible pet owners know what a burden it can be to properly care and look out for their four-legged friends. When we want to go on holiday or are going to be away from home later than usual, we often have to pull in the help of a neighbor or one of the horde of local teenagers in order to make sure that little fluffy is adequately fed.

Thanks to the power of the internet, smartphones, and very lazy engineers, you no longer have to pay a friend to house sit in order to either keep an eye on your pets or to feed them. Smart pet feeders can free you up to be away without putting the health of your pets at risk.

Here I have reviewed some of the most promising feeders you can buy online today. I’ve put my favorites at the top and the rest are unranked and listed below.

Best Overall: Feed and Go Smart Pet Feeder for Dogs and Cats

The Feed and Go immediately stands out from the pack with a unique design. There is no hopper and tray mechanism here. Instead there is a rotating tray with six cups that hold a single meal each.

The nice thing about this is that you can store six different meals. Varying between treats, dry food, and wet food. Obviously you can’t leave the wet food in there for more than a day, but it means you have more control over your pet’s daily diet. The actual tray is removable and dishwasher safe, which means you are unlikely to be stuck with tough cleaning duties.

There’s a tiny built-in camera that lets you see if your pet is in fact eating when they should. You can access it from Android, iOS, and Windows. So no one has to feel left out, except people who use Blackberrys, but I have only so much sympathy.

If you have multiple pets, I like that you can control multiple Feed and Go units from the same app at the same time. Once you’ve set a schedule it’s stored in the onboard memory; even if the internet goes down, feeding will still happen.

There’s no battery backup, but in a pinch you could hook something up yourself. However, this only really holds one day’s food, so you aren’t going on vacation while leaving the Feed and Go to take over. This is better suited to saving you the hassle of keeping track of feedings during the day. Pack and schedule the day’s food once and don’t worry about it for another 24 hours.

My main issue is therefore the low capacity, but for what the Feed and Go is meant to do it does brilliantly. I’ve hardly ever seen such glowing customer responses. This one is highly recommended.

The Fun Pick: Petzi Treat Cam

So as you can probably tell from the name, this is not a full-on feeder, but just a treat dispenser attached to a webcam. OK, that may be oversimplifying it, but the Petzi is meant for a different purpose than the big hopper feeders we usually see.

Rather than a source of food, the Petzi is a way to interact with your pet when you are away from home, so I would recommend using it in addition to a more traditional feeder device. It would be an especially good companion to an automatic feeder that does not have its own camera or two-way communication.

Using the Petzi you can talk to your pet and launch treats at them. The device is wall-mounted and can be put quite high up so you can get a good view, since the treats aren’t eaten straight from the machine.

One thing I notice is that there is apparently no microphone, which is something I assumed would be there. I guess it doesn’t really matter since your dog or cat can’t actually talk back, but I would have liked to hear what’s going on.

As a solution to a pet that tends to be lonely I think this is a great idea. It can do with a few slight improvements, such as the microphone, but overall people have found it to make a real difference to their pet’s mood. I like it, but the price is a sticking point. If the money doesn’t sway you, however, there’s no reason not to go for it.

Hoison Wi-Fi Programmable SmartFeeder for Dogs & Cats

The SmartFeeder from Hoison looks almost ominous, like some sort of all-seeing robot just waiting for something to happen and trigger it. I guess in some ways that’s actually true. Either way, I actually like the design of the Hoison.

It stands nearly nineteen inches tall with a modern white finish. That’s great out of the box, but I worry about any light-colored device that’s meant to primarily come into contact with our pets. Still, nothing some vigorous rubbing shouldn’t sort out.

The SmartFeeder lets you interact with your pets in real time using two-way communication via the app and camera. You can set portions and meal times via the app. Very importantly, the times and amounts you set will stay that way and still happen even if your internet connection at home goes down.

This all sounds great, but this product is so unpolished when it comes to the software and language translations that I have a hard time thinking anyone would want to struggle with it. The machine itself seems fine, but it has so many bugs that you can’t really entrust your pet’s well-being to it – HD camera and WeChat integration notwithstanding.

Petnet Smart Automatic Pet Feeder

I have to admit to having a soft spot for black gadgets. Despite their infernal tendency to attract fingerprints and dust, I just think that they look classy and expensive. Just compare devices that are identical, but come in both colors. It’s a big difference. So I really like the black and slightly darker black two-tone mix the Petnet feeder has going on.

Right out of the gate there is a big problem with this feeder – iOS support only. Honestly, how can anyone release a product that doesn’t support both major mobile operating systems? If you are going to choose only one, doesn’t it make sense to pick the one with the most users? When does it ever make sense to voluntarily confine yourself to Apple’s relatively tiny, walled garden?

To be fair, they do seem to indicate that Android support is coming in the future, but there is no telling when that will be.

The total capacity of the machine is between five and seven pounds, which I suppose depends on the density of the kibble. It has a stainless steel interior which is of course washable, and a backup battery so that a blackout won’t lead to starvation for Fido. Based on the supported portion sizes and total capacity this feeder is not recommended for a dog that weighs more than fifty pounds.

The apps seems dead simple to operate. You simply pick the amount and frequency of the feedings and the machine does the rest. There’s no two-way communication of camera here, though, this is purely a feeding machine.

There are also a few complaints about the hopper lid being easy to get open for really enthusiastic pets. In the end though, I can’t really tell people they should buy this until there is Android and desktop web browser support. iOS exclusivity is just plain dumb.

Abdtech Automatic Pet Feeder Review

Inexplicably, the promo shot for the Abdtech SmartFeeder shows a dog inside the hopper. Which is sort of creepy and weird when you think about it. This is another all-white design, which is a bad combo with pets who most decidedly are not compatible with sparkly white things.

You can control the feeder with iOS or Android devices, ensuring that 99% of the smartphone users in the world can make use of this feeder. If the WiFi goes down it will fall into an offline backup mode which provides 10 grams of food every four hours. This feeder has a camera which you can use to monitor your pet in real time, but there is no two-way communication, so you’ll have to settle for stalking Mittens.

The machine will hold about 11 pounds, or 5 kilograms, of food, so dogs over 50 pounds are not recommended. There is also no battery backup, which means if the power goes out Fido is out of luck.

The bad news is that I’m seeing quite a few reports that the Android app is buggy and lacking in features and polish compared to the iOS version. I don’t know why companies feel they can get away with poor quality Android apps, maybe it’s because Apple has a more stringent review process for their app store, but that’s no excuse on the manufacturer’s side.

I also see some complaints about the apps not sending notifications and the unit missing feedings, but then reporting that they have been delivered.

It’s not a cheap feeder either, so personally I’d skip this for something that costs the same but is significantly better.

upHere Intelligent Automatic Dog And Cat Feeder

There’s something to be said for building something in a way that’s both functional and cost effective. The upHere is definitely not an oil painting. Clearly someone just took an off-the shelf IP camera and sort of made a plastic housing that would fit that and some hopper and feeder components together. It’s not pretty, but it is pretty cheap.

This is another feeder that really isn’t suitable for anything larger than a medium dog, having capacity for 5 to 7 pounds of food, depending on the density.

You get iOS and Android support, two way communication, 8GB of SD storage, and even night vision. Feedings can be manual or automatic.

It all looks ideal, but if you don’t read Chinese I’m afraid the app appears to be all but useless. It’s a pity, since clearly the idea and hardware execution is good, but if you can’t actually work the machine because of a shoddy app, then what’s the point? Skip it and buy something better.

Reviews Conclusion

I really like the idea of a smart, internet-connected pet feeder. I’m a big pet lover and anything that cuts down on the work and leaves only the fun part of pet ownership is a bonus in my book. These products mostly seem to be from Asia, China specifically, with lots of translation issues. I guess the local market in the West just isn’t big enough yet to create better exports for us.