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The best automatic dog feeders to keep your BFF fed on time

These will keep your doggo on a regular feeding schedule — and make your life so much easier.
By Simone Scully and Jae Thomas  on 
All products featured here are independently selected by our editors and writers. If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

Our Top 8 Picks

Petlibro Automatic Feeder (opens in a new tab)

Best overall

Available in two sizes and two power sources, this simple feeder will keep your pet fed, even if there’s an outage at your house.

The Good

  • Available in two sizes
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to program
  • Double power sources
  • Comes with a desiccant bag to keep food fresh

The Bad

  • Some pets can figure out how to get extra food out of this feeder
  • Doesn’t come with clear instructions

The Bottom Line

Suitable for cat or dog homes, this automatic feeder is easy to use, easy-to-clean and keeps your pet’s kibble fresh for longer.
Pros & Cons

PetSafe EatWell 5-Meal Automatic Pet Feeder (opens in a new tab)

Best for small dogs

This feeder is a great choice for small-to-medium dogs, as long as you don’t mind refilling and programming it each day.

The Good

  • Dishwasher safe
  • Made of BPA-free plastic
  • User-friendly
  • Built-in digital clock
  • Holds one cup of food

The Bad

  • Keeps food fresh for only 24 hours
  • Must be refilled often
  • Only suitable for small or medium dogs
  • Not for multi-pet homes

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for something simple to keep your little pup fed while you’re at work or out late, this automatic dog feeder will give you that — and peace of mind.
Pros & Cons

PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder (opens in a new tab)

Best for dogs who eat too fast

With a slow feeder mode that dispenses meals over 15 minutes, this automatic dog feeder is perfect for dogs that love to snarf down their food too quickly.

The Good

  • Flexible meal portions
  • Holds 24 cups of kibble
  • Dispenses up to 12 meals per day
  • Has a slow-feeder mode
  • Bowl and plastic parts are top-rack dishwasher safe

The Bad

  • Have to hand-wash conveyor belt
  • Pricey

The Bottom Line

If your pooch has a bad habit of eating too quickly, this feeder will not only help them eat on time, but also more slowly thanks to its slow feeder mode.
Pros & Cons

Petcube Bites 2 WiFi Pet Camera with Treat Dispenser (opens in a new tab)

Best for treat dispensing

This treat feeder is Ideal for checking in on your pet and giving them a snack to tide them over until supper time.

The Good

  • Two-way audio
  • Compatible with Alexa
  • Dishwasher-safe treat container
  • HD camera
  • Wall-mounted, so dogs can't break into it
  • 24/7 video history for 90 days

The Bad

  • Pricey
  • Not really a feeder but a treat dispenser and camera
  • Works only with treats smaller than 1 inch wide
  • Requires connection to internet

The Bottom Line

If you’re an anxious pet parent gone at work for hours on end, Petcube Bites allows you to check in on your dog at any time, talk to them, and throw them a yummy treat if they look sad or anxious without you.
Pros & Cons

Cat Mate Automatic Digital Pet Feeder (opens in a new tab)

Best for wet food

This automatic pet feeder will keep your dog or cat’s wet food fresh all day long thanks to built-in ice packs and a tightly-sealed lid.

The Good

  • Design features ice packs for freshness
  • Tamper-proof design
  • Easy to program
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Removable bowls

The Bad

  • Portions likely too small for larger dogs
  • Only 5 compartments

The Bottom Line

This automatic pet feeder will keep your dog or cat’s wet food fresh all day long thanks to built-in ice packs.
Pros & Cons

PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Pet Feeder (opens in a new tab)

Best for large dogs

With flexible portion sizes, slow feeder compatibility, and the ability to split the bowl for feeding two pets at once, this smart automatic feeder is a great choice for a lot of pet owners.

The Good

  • Can dispense up to four cups of food at a time
  • Great for dogs or cats
  • Alexa-compatible
  • Flexible portions
  • Slow feed function
  • Top-rack dishwasher safe
  • Programmable with an app

The Bad

  • LED light is very bright
  • No sound feature
  • Only for dry food
  • Pricey

The Bottom Line

This smart automatic feeder is easy to program thanks to its app and it offers flexible portion sizes.
Pros & Cons

SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder Connect (opens in a new tab)

Best for multi-pet households

This smart, microchip-activated automatic pet feeder is ideal for multi-pet feeders with dogs, cats, or both.

The Good

  • Suitable for wet or dry food
  • Microchip- and smartphone-operated
  • Works for multi-pet households
  • Works for cats or dogs
  • Tracks pet feeding habits
  • Accurate portion sizes

The Bad

  • Can only hold one serving at a time
  • Pricey
  • Not for large dogs
  • Hub sold separately

The Bottom Line

Ideal for multi-pet households, this feeder will keep your pets from eating each other’s meals while you’re not there to supervise.
Pros & Cons

Wopet Sprite Automatic Pet Feeder For Cats and Dogs (opens in a new tab)

Best low-tech feeder

Non-smart gadgets are underrated. That's why Wopet's low-tech version is a breath of fresh air.

The Good

  • Sleek inconspicuous design
  • Voice recorder for leaving personalized messages
  • Holds more food than similar feeders
  • Customizable options for meals and portions

The Bad

  • Trial and error to determine portion size
  • Programming panel is not intuitive
  • Clunky buttons
  • No camera or WiFi

The Bottom Line

The Sprite doesn't come with the bells and whistles of the other higher-end feeders on the market, which might be a dealbreaker for some or a perk for others.
Pros & Cons

As much as we all love our dogs, there are times when we unfortunately have to leave them home alone. Whether you have to stay late at work one night, or your dog walker calls in sick, it can be tough on both you and your dog to be apart — especially when your pup’s dog bowl is empty and their tummy is rumbling. But there's one thing we can do to help make life a little bit better for them: get them on a regular feeding schedule with the help of an automatic feeder.

What to consider when choosing an auto dog feeder

Take stock of your current feeding schedule and routine. Are you usually rushing home to feed your pup? Do they prefer smaller meals throughout the day or 1-2 large meals? Are you a fan of digital systems vs. automatic timers that release food? Is having a manual option important? Do you have multiple dogs to feed? Is your dog a large breed? And does your dog prefer dry dog food or wet food (or both)? The answers to these questions will all impact which automatic dog feeder is best for you and your pup.

For example, if your dog won’t touch dry food, then you’re better off with a plate feeder because it can seal off and keep wet food fresh. But if your dog is all about the kibble, a programmable one might be better. Smart feeders that can be controlled through apps, meanwhile, are great if you tend to forget to do things (like program a feeder) in the morning or if your schedule is unpredictable.

Bonus features are good to take into account, too! Some dog feeders come with a whole host of other perks to make being apart easier for both of you — from video cameras to phone status updates, to fun food games that keep your dog entertained.

You should also consider your dog's diet before pulling the trigger on an automatic feeder. If your pooch needs to lose a few pounds, relying on an automatic pet feeder that portions food out by itself isn't the best option. Many feeders tend to release a bit more than the programmed amount, so it's easy for a dog to eat more than the recommended serving size. The solution to avoid overfeeding with an automatic feeder is to get one that allows you to pre-portion your dog's food, like the PetSafe Eatwell 5-Meal Automatic Pet Feeder.(opens in a new tab)

So, what is the best automatic dog feeder?

Whether you’re just looking for help to keep your dog fed every day or you want something special that delivers more, there are plenty of options out there. Check out our top picks for 2023 below.

Best overall
Credit: petlibro
  • Features: Voice recordings, FEED button, desiccant bag, removable tank and tray, two power sources
  • Capacity: 4-6 L capacity
  • Portion: 2.5 tsp - 12.5 ml
  • Max programmable meals per day: 1-4
  • Requires: 3 D-cell batteries or DC power

Though originally designed for cats, this automatic pet feeder(opens in a new tab) works just as well for dogs, especially since it is available in two size capacities: 4 liters and 6 liters. This means it can hold enough dry food to keep your pet fed for a couple of days if necessary without you needing to refill the food container. Plus, it comes with a desiccant bag to keep the food inside it fresh — a real perk for pets who get picky about their food going stale.

The feeder also has two power supplies: 5V DC adapter and 3 D-Cell batteries, which means that you don’t have to worry about power outages preventing your pup from getting to their meals either. The automatic feeder also has a setting memory too so it won’t forget what you programmed it to do.

The Petlibro automatic feeder allows you to program one to four meals a day for up to 9 portions and thanks to its LCD screen, it’s pretty easy to program. The feeder also has a "feed" button in case you want to give your pet an extra feeding. 

Both the food tank and the pet food tray are also removable, so you can easily clean them and keep your pet safe. Plus, the automatic pet feeder comes with a voice recorder capable of recording 10-second voice clips. This means you can easily record yourself calling your pet for dinner — like you would if you were home. 

Best for small dogs
Credit: PetSafe
  • Features: Digital clock, LCD screen, dishwasher safe
  • Capacity: 2.5 pounds of food (i.e. 5 cups)
  • Portion: 1 cup
  • Max programmable meals per day: 4
  • Requires: 4 D-cell batteries (not included)

Whether it’s because you work during the day, your pup is on a strict medical feeding schedule, or because you’re not so great at remembering feeding time, this easy-to-use automatic dog feeder might be exactly the pet feeder you’re looking for. 

With a built-in digital clock and timer, the PetSafe EatWell 5-Meal Automatic Pet Feeder(opens in a new tab) is BPA-free, reliable, and durable. All you have to do is fill it with food each morning, program it using its user-friendly interface, then voila — your feeder is set to feed your dog perfectly portioned meals up to four times a day. 

The automatic feeder has five triangular slots that hold up to one full cup of kibble — ideal if you have a small to medium-sized dog that you don’t want overeating throughout the day. However, this portion size is likely too small for a larger breed. It could, however, work for cats.

Since there are five slots, it can dispense food five times over a few days, but it's worth noting that it will only keep wet food fresh after 24 hours. As a result, this dog feeder works best if you fill and program it each day unless you plan to use it for dry food only. 

One of the biggest perks of this feeder, though, is that it has a feeding tray that comes out for easy washing in the dishwasher. The programmable feeder requires D-batteries (which are not included) but should run for 12 months without needing a battery replacement. 

Best for dogs who eat too fast
Credit: chewy
  • Features: LCD screen with 5-button navigation, digital timer, Pause function
  • Capacity: 24 cups
  • Portion: Programmable from ⅛ cup to 4 cups
  • Max programmable meals per day: 12
  • Requires: 4 D-cell alkaline batteries (not included) or power adapter (sold separately)

Some dogs love food so much that they gobble it up in barely the blink of an eye. While this might sound adorable — after all, most things dogs do are adorable — eating too quickly can actually be very dangerous for dogs. Not only can they choke on their food or get stomach pain, but it also increases the risk of a serious — sometimes deadly — medical condition called Bloat(opens in a new tab) (or gastric dilatation-volvulus, to be precise), which causes the stomach to expand and even twist in the abdomen due to excessive amounts of air. 

So as a pet owner, it’s really important to figure out how to slow down your dog down when they are eating too fast — and this automatic dog feeder makes that much easier to do. This automatic pet feeder(opens in a new tab) has a “slow feed” mode that dispenses meals through its conveyor belt feeding dispenser over 15 minutes, forcing dogs to slow down.

In addition, this feeder allows you to set portion sizes, set a consistent routine, and even pause that routine without losing everything you’ve programmed. This dog feeder also has a really big capacity, allowing you to store 24 cups of dog kibble inside the tank to feed over a series of days. You can schedule the feeder to dispense up to 12 meals per day too. 

The canister is also pet-proof, so you don’t have to worry about your dog (or cat, since this feeder could work for cats too) from sneaking a paw in to help themselves to extra kibble. Best of all, this BPA-free plastic feeder is easy to clean, thanks to the fact that its plastic parts and stainless steel bowl are both top-rack dishwasher safe. You will have to hand-wash the conveyor system, though.

Best for treat dispensing
Credit: petcube
  • Features: Treat dispenser, 2-way audio, night vision, 1080p HD Video with 160 degree angle view and 4x zoom, Alexa compatibility
  • Capacity: 1.5 pounds
  • Portion: Tosses 1-5 treats at a time, depending on treat size.
  • Max programmable meals per day: Unlimited
  • Requires: WiFi connection, smartphone app (iOS 11 and later or Android 7.1.2 and later)

Okay, so this isn’t really an automatic dog feeder, but it is a treat-feeder capable of holding up to 1.5 pounds of treats, and we think that counts. 

The PetCube Bites 2(opens in a new tab) is an easy-to-set-up treat-dispensing smart camera that lets you interact with your pooch while you're away from home — ideal for folks who are headed back to in-person work soon. (It's also one of our top picks for the best pet cameras.) The HD camera allows you to see your dog in 1080p video, day or night. It also has a super wide 160-degree wide view, so when placed strategically, you can see an entire room. The two-way audio allows you to hear your pet and talk to them, so you can give Fido a little verbal encouragement throughout the day.

This smart treat dispenser has a built-in Alexa assistant too, so it can play calming dog music, answer questions, control other smart home devices, and even order treats when the dispenser is running low. Toss treats at three different distances to get your dog moving throughout the day, and get a smartphone notification if there are any sound or motion disturbances in your home. You'll also be able to access 24/7 video history for the last 90 days of use, and — if something is up with your pup — use the live chat feature to talk to a vet.

Best for wet food
Credit: Cat Mate
  • Features: Two ice packs,
  • Portion: 1.45 cups
  • Capacity: 11.5 ounces of wet food
  • Max programmable meals per day: 5
  • Requires: 3 AA-batteries

If you’re looking for an automatic pet feeder that will truly keep wet food fresh, this is feeder(opens in a new tab) you’ll likely want. It’s got five food compartments that hold up to 11.5 ounces of wet food, plus two ice packs to keep that food actually cold and fresh so that your pet isn’t eating food that’s begun to spoil. 

The Cat Mate Automatic Digital Pet Feeder is easy to program the time, thanks to a built-in LCD screen so your pets can eat at precise times. It’s also got a close-fitting, tamper-proof lid to keep even the most determined cats and dogs from getting their paws on an early feeding time. 

The automatic feeder also takes 3 AA-batteries, which are easier to find than D batteries — the type of battery used by other feeders on this list — and generally those batteries will last up to 12 months with this feeder. The bowls in the feeder are also removable for easier cleaning in the dishwasher.

The only significant drawback to this feeder is that it works best for small dogs or cats — you’ll likely want something with bigger portions than 1.45 cups if you have a large breed dog.

Best for large dogs
Credit: Petsafe
  • Features: Alexa-compatibility, smartphone notification for when food is running low, slow-feed function, parts are dishwasher safe
  • Capacity: 24 cups
  • Portion: 1/8 cup to 4 cups
  • Max programmable meals per day: 12
  • Requires: WiFi connection and smartphone app (iOS 12.0 or later or Android 9.0 or later)

When your dog's preferred breakfast time and your preferred wake-up time are different, a smart, automatic feeder with a timer can keep your pup occupied until you're ready to get out of bed. The PetSafe Smart Feed(opens in a new tab) is great for this and for those days when you're out of the house at lunch or dinner. It connects to the Smart Feed app, which you can use to monitor food levels, customize timers and portion sizes, and even reorder food using Amazon Dash Replenishment. It's also Alexa-enabled so you can control it hands-free. 

Unlike most other auto-feeders, this one works for all sized dogs and cats, since it can dispense anywhere from 1/8 cup to four cups of food at a time. You also have the option to purchase a two-meal splitter (sold separately) to feed up to two pets simultaneously, making this automatic pet feeder ideal for multi-pet families. 

The lid, hopper, bowl, and bowl feeder of this automatic dog feeder are also top-rack dishwasher safe, so you can easily clean them when you need to. The automatic feeder allows you to easily schedule up to 12 meals daily in different portion sizes, ranging from ⅛ cup to 4 cups depending on your pet’s needs. If your dog has a tendency to eat too quickly, you can also slow them down by using the slow feed function, which dispenses food in small amounts over 15 minutes.

Best for multi-pet households
Credit: SureFeed
  • Features: Integrated scale, LED lights to help portion, microchip operated, smartphone operated, view when your pet was last fed
  • Portion: Up to 13.5 oz
  • Capacity: 13.5 oz wet or dry food
  • Max programmable meals per day: One
  • Requires: Internet connection, smartphone app, and four C cell batteries (not included)

When there are multiple pets in a household, it's almost guaranteed that they'll try to snatch each other's food. Keep your cat out of your dog's bowl (or vice-versa) with the SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder(opens in a new tab). It works using your pet's microchip and will only open to the designated pet — so food stealing is a no-go.

The automatic pet feeder has a built-in scale and LED lights that help you get exact portion sizes, within one gram of accuracy. It's great for pups on prescription diets, and holds up to 13.5 ounces of wet or dry food. The food can stay fresh for hours, too, since the lid forms a tight seal with the neoprene lip. It requires a hub (sold separately) to access the smartphone app, but once downloaded, you'll have tons of smart features at your fingertips. Check to see when your dog was last fed to avoid double feeding, get notifications on how much was eaten at each meal, and more. It's a great tool to monitor health and eating habits, since all the data is sent directly to your phone.

One of the downsides, though, is that due to the design, this bowl will only work for small dogs — medium and large dogs will likely have a hard time getting their head under the arch to eat.

Best low-tech feeder
Credit: WOpet
  • Features: Customizable food portions, voice recorder, holds lots of food
  • Portion: From 2 teaspoons to 4.5 cups dry food
  • Capacity: 4.5 cups
  • Max programmable meals per day: 4
  • Requires: 3 D-size batteries

Read our full review of the Wopet Sprite.

Editor's note: Product information has been synthesized from a previously published review on Mashable.

As automatic feeders go, the Wopet Sprite(opens in a new tab) has pretty bare-bones features: No WiFi or camera or even an app. The design is minimalist and unobtrusive. The feeder is about 10 inches tall, and it weighs about six pounds without food. Despite the sleek design, it holds seven pounds (about 30 cups) of food, which is more than similar feeders on the market. You can customize the portions based on the size of your pet. It also comes with an LCD programming panel to set timing and portions for up to four meals.

The Sprite boasts infrared detection that prevents clogging and spilling. And, there's a voice recording feature to "call" your pet at meal times. The feeder can also convert to battery power if your electricity cuts out, which gives you peace of mind if you're going to be away from home for a little while. It takes three D batteries, but they're not included.

More in Animals

Frequently Asked Questions

Eating at the same time every day is healthy for your dog. It allows them to feel taken care of and secure, making the separation from you a little easier. Regular schedules also help prevent pet obesity because it allows you to control their caloric and nutritional intake every day.

Most dogs need to eat at least twice a day, but some dogs have medical issues or special dietary needs — and if you’re late feeding them, it can affect their health.

Regular feeding schedules can also make your life easier as well. After all, a dog that eats on a schedule poops on a schedule — meaning you’re less likely to come home to an accident. Regular eating also helps you notice if something is wrong with your dog’s health because often the first sign that your pup is sick is a lack of appetite.

This is where automatic dog feeders come in handy. They will allow you to set up a routine that keeps your dog fed at the same time every day — regardless of whether you’re home or not to give them their favorite dry food.

Plus, some dog feeders allow for portion control, so you can decide exactly how much or how little pet food gets dispensed, whether you have a little dog or a large dog with a big appetite. If your dog tends to eat too quickly, you can also program a smart auto feeder to dispense food in small increments over a period of time to make sure they don’t gobble down their meal too quickly.

There are four main types of automatic dog feeders: gravity feeders, programmable models that release a set amount of food at a set time, plate feeders, and smart feeders that can be controlled from your phone.

We left gravity feeders out of this list because they don't really automatically feed your pet. This type of feeder is basically designed to keep the food bowl full at all times, refilling whenever your pup eats so their dog bowl is never empty. This is essentially a recipe for keeping your dog overfed, which isn't great for your pup's health because it can lead to obesity and other health issues.

The other three types are better options for automatic feeding. Programmable models with a timer allow you to select the amount of food and dispensing time. Plate feeders require you to portion out the food into multiple compartments (which gives you control over the exact amount) and then they rotate to reveal one section at a time. Smart feeders give you full remote control, allowing you to set feeding times, amounts, and more through a smartphone app. You can even dispense pet food if you’re running late and forgot to schedule the feeder before you left the house.

It depends on what kind of automatic dog feeder you’re using. Most pet feeders can dispense dry kibble and round or small-ish treats with no issue.

However, programmable plate feeders can also serve wet food to your pup because they have lids that seal the plate of food until feeding time. You’ll have to remember to fill these plate feeders each morning before you leave the house though.

Chances are, if your dog is food motivated, training them to use an automatic feeder shouldn’t be too difficult. In fact, the sound of the feeder dispensing food might be music to their ears, waking them from a dead sleep to run over for their dinner.

But if your pup is fearful of loud or unfamiliar noises, as some shelter dogs tend to be, you might need to desensitize them to the feeder over a period of time.

A good way to do this: feed them in their regular dog bowl, but put the automatic pet feeder right next to the bowl. This will get them used to seeing it.

Then, once the presence of the food dispenser no longer bothers them, program it to just dispense their favorite treat around the same time as mealtime while you’re around. This will help them get used to the meal while you’re home and realize that good things — aka treats — come from it.

Eventually, remove their old bowl and just feed them from the automatic feeder, even when you’re around.

Jae Thomas is the Deputy Shopping Editor for Mashable. They specialize in all things outdoor gear, kitchen goods, pet products, and fitness gadgets. Before Jae came to Mashable, they received a B.A. in Journalism and English Literature from New York University and wrote for publications like Bon Appétit, Epicurious, The Daily Beast, Apartment Therapy, and Marie Claire.

When they're not testing products or writing about online shopping, you'll find Jae whipping up an elaborate meal, hiking, camping, or hanging out with their dog, Miso. Reach out to them on Twitter at @jaetaurina(opens in a new tab) or by email at [email protected]

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