We Tested This Automatic Feeder And It Actually Made Our Lives Easier
Total game changer ✨
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Do you ever get so busy that you don’t even realize you should’ve fed your pet an hour ago? (No shame — it happens!)
Or does your cat ever get so excited for breakfast that he wakes you up at 4 a.m.?
An automatic feeder may be the perfect solution — not only will it dispense your pet’s food, but you can also schedule his meals (and the amount) well in advance.
But with so many on the market, it can be totally overwhelming to find the right one. Well, The Dodo decided to give it a shot so you don’t have to spend hours sorting through reviews.
We had some of our busiest Dodo pet parents test out the PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder to see if it was actually worth the price tag — and if it actually made mealtime easier.
And we loved it! Here’s why it earned our Paw of Approval.
What Is The PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Dog And Cat Feeder?
The PetSafe Smart Feed is a sleek automatic dog and cat feeder that allows you to use an app to take care of everything regarding your pet’s meals — including scheduling their timing, adjusting portion size and monitoring how much they eat.
The PetSafe Smart Feed holds 24 cups of dry food, and the sensors will send you a notification that your pet’s food is low or empty. It works with most shapes and sizes of dog and cat food, and the internal conveyor design helps prevent jams.
You can schedule up to 12 meals a day for your pet, and the sizes of the meals range from 1/8 of a cup to 4 cups, for pets of all sizes.
And if you ever need to stray from a scheduled feeding, there’s a Feed Now option — which you can trigger through the app or the button on top of the feeder — that’ll dispense a full meal instantly.
While this model is at a slightly higher price point than some others, it comes with some cool perks.
Like, if your dog or cat tends to eat too fast, the PetSafe Smart Feed also has a Slow Feed setting. It’ll serve your pet’s meal over the span of 15 minutes (provided the meal is larger than 1/8 of a cup) to prevent scarf-and-barf.
You also connect to the My PetSafe app through your WiFi, which lets you control the feeder remotely, and it’s even Amazon-compatible (so you can tell your Amazon Echo to feed your pet a snack, or set up Amazon Dash Replenishment, which will automatically reorder your pet’s food when it’s almost out so you never have to think about it).
You can connect multiple smartphones to the PetSafe Smart Feed so that everyone in your family can keep tabs on your pet’s meals (no more accidental double-feedings). And if you buy more than one feeder, you can control them both through the same app.
The PetSafe Smart Feed comes with a stainless steel food bowl and a holder — so even pets who love to tip their food over won’t be able to. Plus the bowl, bowl holder and feeder lid can all go in the top rack of the dishwasher for super easy cleaning.
We picked four Dodo pets who could use a little structure when it comes to mealtime to give the PetSafe Smart Feed a try.
So … Did It Make Mealtime Easier?
Yes! Our pet parents were thrilled that the PetSafe Smart Feed consolidated everything about their pet’s feeding process in such a convenient way.
“Really makes feedings much easier for me. It ensures you keep your feeding on-schedule, and makes it easy for me to know when Henrietta is fed or when I am running low on food. I can adjust the feeding schedule whenever, and it keeps my dog happy!” — Liz R.
“This definitely gives me peace of mind when it comes to feeding. Especially when I'm not home, I'm able to monitor whether they've eaten or not, and I feel better when I have friends house-sitting.” — Julia C.
What Pets Loved: It Made Meals (Even More) Exciting!
Once they realized their shiny new feeder was going to be serving their meals, our pets got really excited about it.
“Henrietta was very curious about it and still is. She gets excited when the machine starts running and dispensing food. Makes her more eager to eat.” — Liz R.
“Marcy and Lazlo took to it right away. As soon as they saw the metal food bowl, they knew it was for them and couldn't wait to eat.” — Julia C.
What Parents Loved: Quality And Convenience!
Our pet parents were thrilled that the PetSafe Smart Feed seemed to take care of literally everything for them — which gave them a little extra time to take care of themselves.
“I can not stress enough how much easier it has made feeding my dog! It gives me peace of mind that she will be fed and also gives me back some time to actually make breakfast or a snack myself instead of rushing to get her food together.” — Liz R.
They also felt the My PetSafe app was super simple to set up and navigate.
“I love that the app is easy to use and everything is easy to clean. It was pretty much ‘plug and play.’” — JessAnn S.
“It’s very easy to put together and use. Setup on the phone was pretty easy as well and I loved putting in Henrietta’s schedule and the amount she would eat.” — Liz R.
And they raved about how durable the automatic feeder is.
“This item is definitely high-quality. Very sturdy — the cats can easily sit on top of it without it breaking.” — Julia C.
“It's very sturdy and I was not afraid to break it moving it around and repositioning it.” — JessAnn S.
In fact, it’s even kitten-proof.
“The kittens like to try and get into the bags, but the feeder has a latch on it to keep them out, which is very nice.” — Julia C.
Plus, the design was beautiful and convenient.
“The feeder looks SO sleek and fancy, and right out of the box Oscar knew it was for him!” — JessAnn S.
“I love how much food it stores in it. I also like not having a bag of cat food laying around — I can just dump it in the feeder and recycle the bag.” — Julia C.
It turns out one of our judges figured out how to feed himself with the “feed now” button, which initially posed a problem for his mom.
“Oscar LOVED this feeder, especially since he figured out how to use it. He literally licked the bowl clean. Since Oscar figured out how to push the feed now button, I could see how it could be dangerous to leave an animal unattended with this product. I'm glad we caught him before he overfed.” — JessAnn S.
Fortunately there’s a way to disable the “feed now” button through the My PetSafe app, which ultimately made Oscar’s mom feel more comfortable leaving him unattended once she figured out how to use it.
However, she ultimately decided it wasn’t the best fit for her cat, mainly because she likes to feed him smaller meals than what the automatic feeder can handle.
“I think this is set up for bigger dogs, not as cat-friendly as I was hoping!” — JessAnn S.
While not a fault of the product, it’s also worth noting that this feeder is designed for animals who eat dry food, and it won’t work with wet food or any food that needs to be refrigerated once opened.
On top of that, all of our pet parents felt the $169.95 price tag was a bit steep. But in spite of that, most of them said they would continue using it, and all three parents said they would recommend it to other pet parents.
(While it wasn’t a fit for our third judge, his mom is still planning on using it with her new puppy.)
Our Takeaway: A Convenient Way To Stay On Top Of Mealtime
This could really be a saving grace for any busy pet parent. Since you can schedule the size and timing of all your pet’s meals, the PetSafe Smart Feed means that your pet won’t have to wait for his dinner even if you’re running late getting out of work (and you won’t have to stress about it).
For the price, it’s a good mix between a basic model and some extra features (like the app) that will make your life super easy.
With the food sensors, you’ll always know exactly when to restock your pet’s food without having to actually check the machine — and you can even have the Amazon Dash replenishment feature restock for you.
The “feed now” option is also great for last-minute switch-ups, and the “slow feed” feature helps keep fast eaters under control (and prevents that whole scarf-and-barf issue).
While it’s an investment, it’s totally worth it to make mealtime one less thing you have to stress about every day.
The Dodo may receive complimentary samples to test in our Paw of Approval program, but all our opinions are 100 percent our own. We only publish endorsements of products we (and our dogs and cats) absolutely love! You can find out more about our testing process here.
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