7 Best Automatic Dog Feeders of 2023

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Whether you work late nights or your dog is an early (& hungry!) riser, automatic dog feeders are useful for fur parents who want to ensure their dogs are fed on time. Many of these feeders also have additional features such as measured feedings, a recording of your voice or control via phone apps!

We scoured the internet for all the best automatic dog feeders: comparing features, prices, ratings, and design. Below we present to you our picks, some features to look out for, and answers to a few common questions.

Our picks at a glance

Best automatic dog feeders

Common features in automatic dog feeders

An automatic dog feeder should be able to dispense meals based on a schedule set by the user — basically the definition of “automatic.” This, and the ability to set the amount of food dispensed are the minimum requirements you’ll have going in.

But there are some other features to look out for. How important each of these features are will depend on how you plan to use the feeders and the needs of your dog. We detail each of the common features below, to help you get a better grasp of what you may be looking for.

Power source

All automatic feeders will require a power source to dispense food. Most feeders connect to a power outlet, while some offer a dual power option — usually the power outlet as a main energy source, plus batteries as a back-up source in case of a blackout.

Just a couple of things to keep in mind here: making sure you have space for your feeder nearby a power outlet nearby, and the duration of the battery’s life. If you plan to rely on your feeder for days at a time, while you’re traveling for example, the battery life may become an important factor. Some batteries can keep their feeders running for up to 6 months, while others last only 24 hours.

Capacity & portions

Most, but not all, of these automatic feeders will come with a food tank attached to them, often at or near 5 liters in capacity. That’s enough food to last small dogs about 6 weeks (computed at half a cup total of kibble per day). Most food tanks will also be airtight for this reason — 6 weeks is a long time, and you wouldn’t want your dog’s food to go stale.

Other things to look out for are the portion size, meals per day, what type of food the feeder can accommodate (dry food/wet food, kibble size). Most feeders will accommodate only dry food and have a tiny portion size of around 10gm, so it’ll take a few portions to feed even small dogs a single meal. Portion size is important if you’re looking to feed a large dog; we’ve found that there are few feeders able to dispense amounts sufficient for an adequate meal for large dogs.

For kibble size, 2-15mm will work for most dogs — 15mm is more than half an inch in diameter and that’s a pretty large piece of kibble.


Some automatic feeders will have indicators to notify you of certain events — when it’s time to refill the food tank, if there’s an obstruction in the dispensing mechanism, or when battery life is running low. Sometimes that’s via changing lights on the feeder itself; more often it’s via notifications on an app. Whichever the case, these indicators are a huge help if you’re the forgetful type.

If you aren’t able or willing to pay for this feature, we recommend a feeder with a clear food tank so you can easily keep an eye on the food level.

Locking mechanism

The locking mechanism in automatic dog feeders is important to keep your dog from breaking into the food tanks and eating everything he can get his paws on. Fortunately, most manufacturers have caught on and have improved their locking mechanisms significantly. The food tanks remain shut even if knocked over!

Extra features

A lot of automatic dog feeders come with extra features packed in. These features may be helpful for some fur parents, depending on their specific needs, but are by no means necessary for everyone. We list some of them below for informational purposes.

Pre-recorded voice messages. Some automatic feeders can store a voice message, typically 10 seconds long, to be played each time food is dispensed. You can record a message informing your fur baby that it’s time to eat! Realistically, however, we’ve found that the sound of food hitting the bowl is more effective at alerting them to mealtime than a voice message is. Still, it’s a nice feature to have and has become rather common with automatic feeders.

Control via an app. Rather than fiddling with the small control panel on the feeder itself, controlling mealtimes, portion sizes and more via an app on your phone is much more intuitive. Some of these apps also offer feeding statistics, which will be useful if you’re keeping a close eye on your dog’s diet. These so-called “smart” feeders are also becoming quite common, but they usually command a higher price.

Cameras. Watch your dog eating his food in real time. Get a close up of his snout with food & water all over it. An especially fun & useful feature to have, but expect to pay a premium for it.

Best overall

What we like

  • Excellent value for price
  • Option to purchase with Wi-Fi control or without
  • Large, airtight tank
  • In-built LCD display

What we don’t like

  • For small dogs only
  • For dry food only

The PetLibro 4-L automatic feeder is our pick for best overall automatic dog feeder. It’s made of stainless steel & comes with a large, airtight tank with a secure lock. The feeding schedule is easy to program, and you can record a voice message to replay for your dog at mealtimes. You get dual-power mode (power outlet and battery), plus a couple of additional customization options like a larger tank size and the Wi-Fi enabled version. Control feeding times & snacks remotely via the phone app.

The standard version has plenty of bells & whistles, and upgrading to get the larger tank and Wi-Fi controls is not too much more expensive. All in all, we can understand why it’s such a popular choice!


The WOPET Automatic Dog Feeder, 7L is another excellent option, this one made for medium- & large-sized dogs in mind. It has a larger-than-usual tank and can accommodate kibble up to 3/4 inch in size. It’s also a “smart” feeder that can be controlled via a phone app, with a sleek, minimal design to boot.

Best full-feature

What we like

  • Camera to see & hear your dog
  • With 2-way audio to talk to your dog
  • With indicator light for multiple situations

What we don’t like

  • Not for large dogs
  • For dry food only
  • Set up may take some time
  • Memory card not included

We had to provide an option with a camera so you can watch your dog chow down. The PetLibro automatic dog feeder with HD camera is our pick for full-featured feeder. The camera is HD so you can watch your dog to your heart’s content, the videos are even saved on a memory card!

Additional features include nifty night vision, and 2-way audio so you can talk to your dog. All that plus indicator lights to let you know when food is low, if there’s a blockage in the dispenser, and a few other things. Considering all these extra features, it’s pretty good value for the listed price!

Best budget

What we like

  • Excellent value for price
  • Dual power, with a long battery life
  • Light indicator for low food

What we don’t like

  • For small dogs only
  • Food tank size is smaller than usual
  • Not a “smart” feeder
  • Batteries not included!

It’s hard to find an automatic feeder at this price point, but here we have one that gets the job done pretty well. There were some design compromises made, like most of the unit being crafted from plastic, but the bowl is still stainless steel.

Add to that an indicator light to remind you when the food is low, and it’s really hard to complain about it!

Best low-tech

What we like

  • Very simple function
  • Easy to program
  • No need to plug into power outlet (battery-powered)

What we don’t like

  • Has to be refilled frequently (no food tank)
  • For small & medium sized dogs only
  • Somewhat expensive for its simple function

The PetSafe food dispenser is easy to understand and it’s easy to program. It has 5 compartments for food, and a timer that will expose each compartment based on a set schedule. That’s all it does. Very simple, made for non-techies, it gets the job done.

Because there are only 5 compartments (1-cup capacity each), you’ll have to refill this feeder once daily, or once every other day at least.

Best for large dogs

What we like

  • Slow feeding, anti-jam mechanism
  • Low food notifications
  • Many “smart” functions
  • Optional feed splitter insert (not included)

What we don’t like

  • For dry food only
  • Feeding bowl isn’t firmly lodged in its place

Finding an automatic feeder for large dogs is surprisingly difficult, so we’ve added our pick specifically for large dogs. This feeder can dispense enough food to feed a large dog and then some (up to 4 cups!), and it comes with some cool features like slow feeding and an anti-jam mechanism. But the real treat here is receiving low food notifications via the accompanying app and then being able to order more dog food directly from there. The design of this feeder is pretty sleek too.

You can purchase an additional feed splitter insert to turn this into a multi-dog feeder, which is another nice plus.

Best for wet food

What we like

  • Has cooling ice packs to keep the food from spoiling too quickly
  • Tight lid that’s hard to break into
  • Battery-operated
  • Works for wet or dry food

What we don’t like

  • Made mostly of plastic
  • Need for frequent refilling and frequent cleaning
  • Not ideal for multi-day use

It isn’t easy to find automatic dog feeders designed for wet food, which is why we’ve dedicated this space to recommending one. The Cat Mate C500 has 5 compartments for food, and it comes with ice packs to keep the wet food from spoiling too quickly. The ice packs do a good job — they keep the food cool for about 6 hours, which is a realistic expectation in our opinion. For this reason, we can recommend this product for daily feeding, up to 2 feedings a day, 6 hours apart. 8 hours will work in a pinch.

If for some reason you need to feed your dog more than twice a day, we suggest getting an extra set of ice packs so you can replace them and keep the food cool for longer. The compartments should ideally be cleaned daily — wet food does leave a stronger odor behind than dry food.

This feeder is made mostly of plastic, but that is a logical design choice as plastic is a better insulator than metal would be.

Best for multi-dog homes

What we like

  • Good value for price
  • Able to design large portions
  • Airtight tank
  • Attractive design

What we don’t like

  • Not for large dogs
  • Not a “smart” feeder

The PetLibro automatic feeder for 2 has a large LED display with touch functions. It’s quite an attractive design. It doesn’t have a lot of extra functions that other feeders may have, but it does its job well and it’s priced moderately.

Is getting an automatic dog feeder a good idea for you?

Having a reliable time of feeding is important for a dog’s mental health. If you travel frequently, work late hours, or are otherwise just a forgetful person, then perhaps an automatic feeder can provide this stability for your dog.

Some dogs wake up quite early and get very hungry while you’re still in a deep sleep. Other dogs have unhealthy eating habits — whining & begging when it’s close to meal time. For these dogs & their fur parents, automatic feeders can be used as a tool to achieve their goals.

Who should avoid using automatic dog feeders

For dogs that are obese or on a weight loss journey, we recommend manual feeding instead of using an automatic feeder. Our recommendation is in line with that of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, who claim that automatic feeders are often inaccurate in the amount of food dispensed. We add that automatic feeders are also inconsistent — sometimes dispensing just a portion or 2 more than programmed, and at other times dispensing almost twice the amount. This can become a problem for dogs that have urgent weight loss needs.

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