It’s funny how I actually came across auto pet feeders by running a simple Google search, only to have my idea shot down as it turned out not to be such an original idea after all. I should have known that someone in this big wide world has perhaps already come up with the invention of an automated pet feeder, specifically an auto dog feeder since dogs are indeed man’s best friend!
Anyway, instead of going with one of those very expensive dog hotels or leaving our furry friends with the neighbours, since we were only set to go away for about two nights on a short holiday I went and invested in an auto dog feeder. They’re quite expensive, probably because the manufacturers and retailers know that you don’t have much by way of choice when you’re looking for something as specific as an auto dog feeder. Consequently, there would be no compromise in the quality on offer because you want your furry friends to be taken care of while you’re away if you really can’t take them along with you.
Before I even get into what makes for a good auto pet feeder I should highlight the importance of resisting the urge to have your auto pet feeder replacing you when you are indeed around and you’re available to feed your pets yourself. Feeding your pets, particularly your dogs, is a very important bonding ritual which establishes trust, authority and companionship. This is how you become your dogs’ “human” so as soon as you return you should take over all feeding responsibilities. Pack the auto pet feeder away and immediately show your pet that you’re back now and you’re the one who is going to feed them. A nice treat would be good, like a bowl of yoghurt for your dog…
Now as far as the auto pet feeders themselves go, the most important thing is the build – it has to be built strong so that even your largest dog in particular cannot break it open or even knock it over.
It should also be “discreet” – in other words the housing compartment which stores the food shouldn’t be transparent. Your pet shouldn’t be able to see the food until it is dispensed.
The auto pet feeder needs to be fail-proof, which means that when you’ve set the timer for a specific interval there shouldn’t be anything which would hinder it dispensing the food. Otherwise you’ll have a hungry pet to come back to.
It should be task-specific; those combination ones are no good (the ones which dispense both solid food and water). If you have to get two separate ones for water and solid food then so be it.
The best auto pet feeders these days make for somewhat of smart devices which form part of the Internet of Things (IOT) network, so you can perhaps connect yours to an app and monitor it remotely with regards to how it performs.
Remember though that an auto pet feeder is just a temporary solution for when you’re away for a very short time.