PetSafe Automatic Dog Feeder The Good & The Ugly

automatic dog feeder

Introdogs love me

Well hello there fellow dog lovers, thanks for stopping by. The name is Will and I have been a K9 Behavioral Psychologist for over 10 years now, and I’m always looking for that latest and greatest technique, service, or product that can help my clients and their packs.


The PetSafe | Smart Feed | Automatic Dog Feeder

Is my #1 top pick, as it’s well designed, durable, and worry-free. It’s the only automatic pet feeder I have found reliable enough to go on vacation or be out of town for more than 3 days without having to worry about my dogs being fed. Which says a lot for the PetSafe company who designed it. You’ll read more about that deeper into the article.

What really sets the Smart Feed apart, is:automatic pet feeder

  1.  It comes with a removable, dishwasher safe, stainless steel bowl. To me this is a huge advantage, as a Professional Pet Service Provider, I know the importance of using stainless Steel for your pets food and water stations.
  2. It has a very reliable conveyor food delivery system which does not automatic cat feederjam like the mechanisms most of the other guys are using. In fact, it’s the same part # for that used in the well known and loved Healthy Pet Simply Feed, which is incidentally also made by PetSafe.
  3. It’s the only one I have found that Simply works and does so reliably.

The PetSafe automatic dog feeder offers:

  • Smart Phone Controlled Scheduled feedings between 1/8th of a cup and 4 cups
  • Slow feed option, for dogs that wolf down their food too fast (dispenses meals slowly over a 15-minute period)
  • A Feed Now option, you can give an extra meal or snack anytime anywhere via the app
  • Auto-notifications to your smartphone when your pet is fed
  • Viewing of the last two weeks of feeding activity via the app
  • Comparability with iPhone devices iOS 9 or later and most Android smartphones 5.0 or later
  • A conveyor food delivery system which does not jam like the other choices on the market
  • Wi-Fi enabled (works with your wireless router to communicate with your smartphone)

automatic dog feeder

  • Locking Lid (covers the food storage bin to keep it fresh and secure)
  • 24 cup capacity translucent hopper (holds dry or semi-moist food and allows you to easily see food level)
  • A removable hopper (for easy cleaning yet stay securely in place while attached)
  • Pet-Proof Dispenser (keeps pudgy paws from stealing food from the feeder)
  • Removable Stainless Steel Bowl (keeps your pets food bowl easy to clean and hygienic)
  • Dishwasher safe components
  • Automatically changes with Daylight Savings Time
  • An additional purchase option: (Two-Way Splitter Adapter for homes with multiple dogs)


No Integrated Web📹Cam…? | Whaaaaaaat!

Though the current model does not come with a video camera, to visibly check in on your pet/s, like a lot of its competitors do, most of those competitors hopper mechanisms, cause frequent jamming. Which is a huge concern if you’re away from home for days at a time. So you have to decide whats more important. A pet feeder that actually feeds your pets while you’re away, or a cheap Chinese product that will often fail you…

…but, at least I can watch my starving dogs live on video, if I could just get it to connect…

I would like to see the PetSafe offer 2-way wireless audio and video technology in the future. Though, as I have found with all of the other automatic pet feeders on the market, the technology hasn’t been mastered yet, but when it is, I’m sure PetSafe will jump on the wagon, and they are probably working on it as we speak.

automatic dog feederWhy The Other Guys | Just Don’t Stack Up

Originally this was going to be a comparison article, with at least 3 different models, but all the pet feeders I’ve tried, have had so many issues, and as the only one left to compare it to (The PetNet Smart Feeder), has scene become unavailable, the only recommendation I can give in good conscious is The PetSafe Smart Feed. And just like that, this long informative comparison review turned into a very short affair.

Here is a list of issues | found with the other options on the market.

  • The dispensing mechanisms get jammed often (leaving your dog hungry or starving)
  • The rubber paddles break off and end up in your dog’s food(and digestive system)
  • They have connection problems with your home Wi-Fi and smartphones
  • They don’t dispense the same amount of food each time
  • They have plastic bowls which allow chemicals to leach into your dog’s food
  • They don’t always feed when they’re supposed to, and with no notification of failed feeding
  • The motors burn out quickly (probably due to the jamming over stressing the motor)
  • They do not dispense properly with irregularly shaped kibble (only works with small round kibble)automatic pet feeder
  • Some don’t even have a low food warning beep or text message
  • Error codes and bad programming (oh so frustrating)
  • The dispensed food does not make it to the accessible part of the bowl
  • The bowls are not standard and are very oddly shaped
  • The downloadable apps are not user-friendly or don’t work at all in some cases
  • You sometimes receive used, broken, or refurbished items (when you paid for a new one)
  • Bad or nonexistent customer support (tons of issues and no one to yell at or make it right)


Wet Food Option

The common issue with all the other models I have tried, is they are all meant to be used with dry food only. Though PetSafe says their Smart Feed will work with semi-wet food. So if you want the convenience of auto feeding your pet, but also want to feed your pet with wet food, wet and dry mix, or pre-prepared home cooked meals, the FEED AND GO Smart Feeder may be a better option for you.

It can only hold up to 6 feedings though, so it’s not ideal for frequent vacationers or those who are often away from home for more than 3 days at a time. The PetSafe Smart Feeder will serve you better in that regard.


That’s Great, But My Dog Also Eats All The Cats Food

If you have cat’s as well as dogs, you may also want to consider a SureFeed Microchip Feeder. Especially if your dogs have the tendency to eat your cats food. In some cases, dogs will partake to the point where the cat’s food is completely gone before they can even get to it.

Leaving your dogs gorged and your cats always hungry. The SureFeed works by attaching the included microchip to your cat’s collar so that the SureFeed will only open its lid for your cat, and stay closed and safe when rover comes over and starts a sniffing.



The bottom line is, The PetSafe Smart Feed may not be the prettiest duck on the pond, but it is definitely the most reliable automatic dog feeder on the market. It’s the only one I can in good conscience recommend to you as well as my own clients. Please, don’t wast your time and hard earned money on the cheap Chinese options, go with the PetSafe Smart Feed, you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches and frustrations.


PetSafe Smart Feed F.A.Q

Q: What are the System Requirements:

A: iPhone or iPod with iOS 9 or later or compatible Android smartphone 5.0 or later

  • Wireless router 2.4GHz (802.11b/g/n)
  • High-speed internet connection


Q: How Do I Setup and Assemble My Feeder

A: Remove the components located inside…

  1. the food hopper.
  2. If you want, wash and rinse the bowl, bowl holder, food hopper, lid, and conveyor. Once parts are dry, replace the conveyor and food hopper ensuring conveyor is aligned and installed correctly.
  3. Plug in the power adapter. If you want, install (4) D-Cell alkaline batteries in case of a power outage. Turn on the power switch on the bottom of the feeder. The LED will blink white indicating the feeder is on but not yet connected to Wi-Fi.
  4. Place the bowl into the bowl holder. Lift feeder and slide the holder notch into the groove on the bottom of the feeder.
  5. Search for “Smart Feed” in your phone’s app store and download the app. Locate and open the app on your smartphone, and follow the onscreen instructions. Complete all instructions and app setup before filling with food.
  6. Fill the hopper with your pet’s favorite dry or semi-moist food. Level the food, and replace the lid.
  7. Prime the feeder by pressing and holding the manual feed button until food starts to dispense. It must be primed anytime the food gets low to ensure correct meal sizes are dispensed. Your Smart Feed is now ready for use! Use the Smart Feed app to schedule meals and set up notifications.


Q: How do I interpret the blinking lights?

A:                                  LED Indicator | Light Color and Function | What It Means

Solid White:                         | Connected to Wi-Fi and fully operational.

Blinking White:                    | Disconnected from Wi-Fi, but the feeder is functioning.

Solid Red:                             | A mechanical error such as a jam, but connected to Wi-Fi.

Blinking Red:                        | A mechanical error such as a jam, Wi-Fi is disconnected.



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