Choose an automatic dog feeder. If we talk about the advantages of automatic dog feeders, then we should name the following:
- the ability to control portions and regulate the diet of the animal every day;
- the owner may be absent for some time without worrying about the condition of the animal;
- you can organize fractional meals on the recommendation of a veterinarian;
- if necessary, you can organize a dosed intake of drugs through the feeder;
- the possibility of feeding both dry and canned food;
- the ability to attract an animal by the sound of food or the voice of the owner in models equipped with a voice recording function.
But such devices also have certain disadvantages. For example, a “smart” feeder is not suitable for placing canned food more than a day in advance. Even if there is built-in refrigerant in the unit, it will not prevent food from spoiling. And dry food should also be changed at least once every 24 hours, otherwise it can lie stale, which will cause an unpleasant odor. In addition, it is unhygienic and can cause illness in the animal.
Another important drawback is the need for constant monitoring. Such constructions can hardly be called a solution “for the lazy”, because they need to be serviced, washed containers, and also to add new feed.
In general, an auto-feeder for a dog is an excellent solution for people who work a lot, but it cannot completely replace the owner for a dog.
It should be said that in pet stores you can find various models of automatic feeders, each of which will satisfy the interests of the pet and its owner as much as possible. When choosing, one should take into account the size of the animal, the volume of the portion of food and the amount of time that the dog will spend alone. If we talk about the main categories of such products, then the following should be named:
- with built-in timer and segments;
- with a hinged type lid;
- special mission with a capacity.
Now we will tell you more about each category.
A programmable solution is a design consisting of the following parts:
- container with feed;
- control mechanism.
This solution will be the most functional and easiest for the owner of the animal. But it will also have a high price tag. Such an electrical installation will allow you to program the time of feed dispensing, the volume of one portion, and also calculate the food supply for a couple of days. Setting up such a solution is as easy as possible thanks to the presence of instructions. Comes with a food container that can hold up to 2-3 kilograms of food. A number of models are also equipped with a display.
It will also be an excellent outdoor feeder for large and medium-sized dog breeds.
The second option is a design with segments and a built-in timer. Such a timer device looks like a large bowl with a lid, but it is small in size. The interior is divided into several compartments, where each of them is a place for one portion of food. The cover has a cutout that is equal to the segment. After a certain time interval set by the owner, the lid rotates and makes a new compartment with food available to the dog.
Most often, models are equipped with 4-6 compartments, although there may be more. Here, moist food is stored better, but only in cases where the owner of the dog is absent for no more than 24 hours.
The compartments do not hold very much food, which is suitable for small animals, but will be an excellent solution for larger dogs.
Another version is with a lid that folds back. In fact, this is a container with food, equipped with a lid, where there is a built-in timer. When the timer goes off, the lid simply opens, allowing the dog to feast on the contents of the container. Note that this solution is suitable for both wet and dry food.
This automatic feeder will be an excellent solution for large breeds, for which the automatic feeder with sections is not very suitable due to the small volume of the compartments. There is a fairly capacious container – about 500 grams. It allows you to keep food fresh, protect it from winding, but is designed for only 1 feeding. If you want to provide the dog with several portions of food at once, then it is better to purchase several similar feeders and set their timers at different times.
The next type of auto feeder is a bowl with a capacity. Basically, it is a continuous type electronic food delivery system. This design looks like a food container located above a bowl. When the pet has eaten a little, more food is poured from the container. The process continues until the supply of food in the reservoir above the bowl is exhausted. The size of such a container may not be very large, which is suitable for a small dog or cat. And maybe much more, which will be relevant for large dogs.
This solution can be safely called the most economical, because it is not equipped with any automatic mechanisms. This makes it safe to use it outdoors. This automatic feeder is intended exclusively for dry food.
But if your pet does not know the measure of food, then such a feeder will not work for him due to the fact that there is a risk of overeating.
In addition, the types of feeders are still determined by such an important criterion as the breed of dogs for which they will be intended. Based on this, they are:
- for small dogs;
- for medium and large breeds.
For small breeds, a sectional feeder with a timer is the best . This will be a good option for puppies too. You can choose a solution with 4 large containers or 6 smaller ones. Everything here will depend on the size of the ward. This feeder is like the simplest bowl and doesn’t take up much space. Thanks to this option, you can feed your pet with canned food and solve the issue of portioned feeding for the day.
A trough with a folding lid would also be a good solution . But there is a portion limit of 500 grams. But such a bowl is only suitable for pets that are not inclined to overeat.
When it comes to options for large dogs, large capacity feeders are the best . Usually we are talking about numbers 2-10 kilograms. But the feeders, which look like bowls with a reservoir, are equipped with smaller containers and are designed for short-term use.
When choosing the product in question, the following aspects must be taken into account:
- the size of the dog – an auto feeder for large breeds should have a large capacity and high strength;
- the amount of food, which depends on the health of the dog;
- frequency of feeding;
- the time when the dog will be at home alone;
- features of the character of the pet (it is better for too active large dogs not to buy models that break easily).
If the owner of the animal needs to leave for a few days, then it is better to purchase a larger feeder so that an appropriate amount of food can fit there . For animals that are not inclined to overeat, you can get an inexpensive option when the bowl is filled from a container under its own weight. No matter how much the dog eats, the bowl will be full until the food supply runs out.
But for animals that do not know the measure of food, it would be better to buy an installation with electronic dosing. Such solutions are expensive, but well worth it.
And for small dogs, when they are not alone for long, you can buy sectional feeders with a timer, designed for 2-3 meals.
How to train a dog to use an auto feeder?
If we talk about whether there are any difficulties in dogs using an auto-feeder, then the owners of such devices and pets say a confident “no”. On the contrary, the animal very quickly gets used to a new thing, where there is often food.
But this is not always the case. For example, if we are talking about automatic feeders with various kinds of sound effects, then the process of training a pet can still take a certain amount of time. But in the end, the animal will understand that a certain sound signal is a call to go to the dishes and take food. Here the famous conditioned reflex comes into play and the pet quickly gets used to using the auto feeder. This reflex manifests itself especially quickly in puppies and young animals.