10 Common Automatic Pet Feeder Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

10 Common Mistakes Pet Owners Make When Using Automatic Feeders – and How to Avoid Them!

Introduction

5 Common Mistakes Pet Owners Make When Using Automatic Feeders

As the world slowly has slowely emerged from the pandemic, many people are heading back to work outside the home. This means that pets are being left alone for longer periods of time, and pet owners are looking for ways to ensure that their furry friends are well-fed and cared for while they’re away. As a result, there has been a surge in demand for automatic pet feeders, which are becoming increasingly common in households with pets. These feeders provide a convenient and reliable way to ensure that pets receive regular meals, even when their owners are not at home.

In this blog post, we’ll be discussing some of the most common mistakes that pet owners make when buying a new pet feeder. By identifying and avoiding these mistakes, you can ensure that your pet stays healthy and well-fed. So, let’s take a closer look at these mistakes and how to prevent them.

10 Common Automatic Pet Feeder Mistakes 

 

1. Choosing the Wrong Feeder for Your Pet’s Needs

With so many pet feeders available on the market today, it can be challenging for pet owners to determine which one is best suited for their pet’s needs. While budget-friendly automatic feeders may have fewer features, premium automatic feeders often offer advanced capabilities for monitoring pets’ feeding behaviour and intake while owners are away from home. It’s essential to choose a feeder based on your specific requirements and avoid overspending on features that may not be necessary or useful to you. By selecting the right feeder, you can ensure that your pet receives the appropriate amount of food and stays healthy and happy. I recommend investigating the different features available and selecting a feeder most appropriate your own personal needs.

2. Not Monitoring Your Pets Feeding Habit’s & Behaviour

Automatic pet feeders can be a convenient way to ensure that your pet is fed on a regular schedule, even when you’re away from home. However, one of the downsides of using an automatic feeder is that it can be challenging to monitor your pet’s feeding behaviour closely. Changes in your pet’s feeding habits, such as a lack of appetite or overeating, can be an indication of underlying health issues. If you rely solely on an automatic feeder to feed your pet, you may miss these changes in behaviour and not realize that your pet is unwell until it’s too late.


Furthermore, automatic feeders can’t provide the same level of interaction and attention that you would when feeding your pet manually. Feeding time is an important bonding experience for pets and their owners, and it’s an opportunity to observe your pet’s behaviour and health. By relying solely on an automatic feeder, you may miss out on these important interactions and observations.

3. Not Regularly Cleaning Your Feeder

5 Common Mistakes Pet Owners Make When Using Automatic Feeders Not Regularly Cleaning Your Feeder

Neglecting to clean your pet feeder regularly can have serious consequences for your pet’s health and well-being. Over time, pet feeders can accumulate harmful pathogens such as bacteria and fungi, which can cause illness or infection if ingested by your pet. Additionally, dirty feeders are more likely to attract pests such as ants, mice, and other insects, which can further contaminate the food and make it unsafe for your pet to eat.


In addition to the health risks, a dirty feeder can also cause your pet to become stressed and refuse to eat from it. Over time, this can lead to weight loss and other health issues. Therefore, it’s essential to clean your pet feeder regularly to ensure that it remains safe and hygienic for your pet to use.


When selecting a pet feeder, look for one with a detachable bowl that is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. This will make it simple to clean the feeder on a regular basis and reduce the risk of contamination. Additionally, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance to ensure that the feeder remains in good condition and continues to function properly.

For a more practical and in-depth guide on how to clean your pet feeder, I have written an article that provides step-by-step instructions.

4. Leaving Dish Soap Residue on the Feeder After Cleaning

When cleaning your pet feeder, it’s important to be cautious when using dish soap. While dish soap can be an effective way to remove dirt and bacteria from your pet feeder, it can also leave a residue that alters the taste of your pet’s food. This can cause your pet to become hesitant to eat from the feeder, which can lead to stress and weight loss over time.

To avoid this issue, it’s essential to rinse your pet feeder thoroughly after cleaning it with dish soap. Make sure to use plenty of water to remove any soap residue and consider soaking the feeder in clean water for a few minutes to ensure that all soap is removed.

5. Overfilling the Feeder

Overfilling your pet feeder can have serious consequences for your pet’s health and well-being. Different feeders have different capacities, and overfilling can cause the food to go stale or mouldy, which can lead to a loss of nutritional value and even make your pet sick.

To avoid overfilling your pet feeder, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for how much food to put in the feeder. Most pet feeders have markings or measurements that indicate the appropriate amount of food to add, and it’s important to stick to these guidelines to ensure that your pet is receiving the appropriate amount of food.

6. Using the Wrong Type of Food

10 Common Mistakes Pet Owners Make When Using Automatic Feeders Using the Wrong Type of Food

Some pet feeders are designed to dispense dry kibble feed only, while others can accommodate wet food or a combination of both. It’s essential to read the manufacturer’s instructions and choose a feeder that is compatible with the type of food your pet eats to ensure that it dispenses properly.

It is not recommended to solely change your pets based in order to accommodate the feeder; therefore, it is essential to research and choose a feeder that is specifically designed for the type of food your pet eats.

Abruptly changing your pet’s food from dry to wet, or vice versa, can have serious consequences for their health and well-being. This sudden change can lead to digestive issues, weight gain, vomiting, diarrhoea, and other health problems. Therefore, if you need to change your pet’s food, it’s important to do so gradually over a slow time period.

To make the transition easier for your pet, gradually introduce the new food into their diet by mixing it with their old food. Start by mixing a small amount of the new food with their old food and gradually increase the amount over several days or weeks until they are eating only the new food.

By making the change gradually, you can help prevent digestive issues and other health problems that can arise from a sudden change in diet.

7. Buying a Feeder Right Before a Trip Away

One of the main issues with buying a feeder right before your trip is that your pet may not have enough time to 

10 Common Mistakes Pet Owners Make When Using Automatic Feeders Using the Wrong Type of Food

adapt and get used to the new device. This can lead to a range of problems, with the most significant being that your pet may not eat from the feeder at all. While this may be less of a concern for short trips, it can become a significant issue for longer periods of time.

To avoid this problem, it’s always recommended to install the pet feeder well in advance of your trip, especially if you’re traveling abroad. This will give your pet enough time to adapt to the new device and become comfortable with it. Additionally, it will give you enough time to test and familiarize yourself with the feeder, ensuring that it meets your needs and functions properly.

Taking this step can provide pet owners with peace of mind, knowing that their pet feeder is functioning properly and that their pet is receiving enough food. For added security, pet owners can opt for a feeder with app integration and automatic notifications, which alert them when their pet is feeding and how much they are eating. This allows for remote monitoring of their pet’s feeding habits and help owners identify any malfunctions with the feeder early on.

An excellent example of a feeder with app integration and automatic notifications is the HoneyGuaridan Automatic Cat Feeder. For a more detailed review of this product, please refer to my in-depth analysis.

8. Forgetting the Importance of Water

In addition to food, providing your pet with a constant supply of fresh, clean drinking water is essential for their health and well-being. However, with the addition of new feeders, it can be easy for pet owners to forget about the importance of water, especially if they are leaving their pets alone for long periods of time.
To ensure that your pet always has access to fresh water, it’s recommended to change their water at least once a day, or ideally, twice a day. This may require enlisting the help of a family member, friend, or neighbour if you are away from home for an extended period of time.

Alternatively, you can invest in a wireless water fountain, such as the PETKIT Water Fountain. This device can provide water for up to 5-7 days and is a great solution for pet owners who travel frequently or are unable to change their pet’s water regularly.

Personally, I recommend the PETKIT Water Fountain, a high-quality pet water fountain that provides fresh water for up to 5-7 days, making it ideal for pet owners who are often away from home for extended time periods.

PETKIT Cat Water Fountain for Drinking, EVERSWEET 3 PRO, APP Control Wireless Pump, 1.8L Pet Water Fountain for Cats and Dogs, 25dB Ultra Quiet, 3 Working Mode, Smart LED Light, Filter Included
  • 【App Control, Easy to Use】Once you connect this cat drinking fountain with Bluetooth, you can monitor the fountain status and set the device via the app at any time. the app reminds you when the water level is low and when to replace the filter
  • 【Wireless Water Pump】It avoids the wire from being immersed in water and makes it easier to disassemble the pump for the sort of thorough scrubbing. Safes for pets and users ( Please note that the product base is wired and the water pump is wireless)
  • 【Triple Filtration System】Our cat water fountain for drinking adopt a triple filtration system, including activated carbon, high-density cotton layer and sponge filter. This can effectively filter impurities, remove odors, soften the water, extend the life of the pump and provide your pet with cleaner, fresher, oxygen-rich water
  • 【Ultra-Quiet Water Pump】PETKIT smart pump 3.0 is ultra-quiet (measured below 25dB) and has low energy consumption, which gives you and your pets 100% sweet sleep. The pump will stop working, when it reminds water shortage in the water fountain bowl. It is safe for the pet fountain and save your hardware from premature burnout
  • 【Stainless Steel & High Capacity】This pet water fountain is made of food grade 304 stainless steel, high temperature resistant, non-toxic and odorless. The capacity of the water fountain is 61oz/1.8L, which can provide your pet with 5-7 days of drinking water, making your trip worry-free (5V power plug is needed, not included in the box)

Last update on 2024-02-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

9. Skipping Research Before Buying a Pet Feeder

10 Common Mistakes Pet Owners Make When Using Automatic Feeders Skipping Research Before Buying a Pet FeederNot researching before purchasing a pet feeder can result in owners choosing a device that does not meet their needs or is not compatible with their pet’s food. This can lead to feeding inaccuracies, malfunctioning, and overall lead to owners purchasing a feeder with does not meet their expectations.

To avoid these problems, it’s important to research different models and read reviews from other pet owners. This will help you make an informed decision and choose the right feeder for your pet’s needs.

To provide you with more information, you can refer to my individual in-depth reviews of the most popular pet feeders on the market. These reviews provide valuable insights into the main features, benefits, and drawbacks of different models, helping you avoid common mistakes and choose the best feeder for your pet.

10. Not Programming the Feeder Correctly

When you receive your new pet feeder, it’s crucial to read the user manual and set it up correctly to ensure it dispenses the appropriate amount of food per meal. Different feeders may dispense varying amounts of food, so it’s especially important to ensure that the amount dispensed is sufficient to meet your pet’s nutritional needs, particularly if you have a large pet.

Conversely, it’s equally important to ensure that the feeder is not dispensing too much food in one go, which can cause overfeeding and lead to obesity and other health issues in the long term.

By taking the time to set up your pet feeder correctly, you can maximize the benefits of using an automatic pet feeder. This will help ensure that the feeder operates smoothly and provides your pet with the appropriate nutrition they need to stay healthy and happy.

5 Bests Selling Automatic Pet Feeders

Last update on 2024-02-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 


At a Glance – Features to Lookout for When Purchasing an Automatic Pet Feeder

Feature Description
Feeding Schedule Look for a feeder that allows you to set a feeding schedule that suits your cat’s needs. Some feeders allow you to dispense up to four meals per day, while others can dispense more or less.
Portion Control Make sure the feeder has adjustable portion control so that you can dispense the right amount of food for your cat’s needs.
Food Type Check the manufacturer’s instructions to see what types of food are compatible with the feeder. Some feeders are designed for dry food only, while others can dispense wet food as well.
Capacity Consider the size of the feeder’s food container and how much food it can hold. This is particularly important if you have multiple cats or will be away from home for an extended period.
Power Source Choose a feeder with a reliable power source, such as batteries or an AC adapter. Some feeders also have a backup battery in case of a power outage.
Ease of Use Look for a feeder that is easy to program and use, with clear instructions and a user-friendly interface.
Durability Choose a feeder that is made from high-quality materials and is built to last.
Cleaning and Maintenance Look for a feeder that is easy to clean and maintain, with removable parts that can be washed in the dishwasher or by hand.
Safety Features Make sure the feeder has safety features to prevent your cat from getting stuck or injured, such as a locking lid or anti-jamming mechanism.
Price Consider your budget when choosing a feeder, but don’t sacrifice quality for price. Look for a feeder that offers good value for money and meets your cat’s needs.

Automatic Pet Feeders FAQ’s

What is an automatic cat feeder, and how does it work?

An automatic cat feeder is an electronic device that dispenses food to your cat at pre-set times. It can be programmed to dispense a specific portion of food, and some models even allow you to record a voice message to call your cat to eat.

How many meals can an automatic cat feeder dispense per day?

Most automatic cat feeders can dispense up to four meals per day, but some models can dispense more or less depending on your cat’s feeding schedule.

Can I customize the portion size and feeding schedule of an automatic cat feeder?

Yes, most automatic cat feeders allow you to customize the portion size and feeding schedule to suit your cat’s needs. You can program the feeder to dispense a specific amount of food at specific times of the day.

What type of food can I use in an automatic cat feeder?

Most automatic cat feeders are designed to dispense dry cat food, but some models can also dispense wet food. Make sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions to see what types of food are compatible with your feeder.

How do I clean and maintain an automatic cat feeder?

To clean an automatic cat feeder, you should first unplug it and remove any remaining food. Wash the feeder’s bowl and other removable parts with warm, soapy water, and then rinse and dry them thoroughly. Make sure to clean the feeder regularly to prevent bacterial growth.

Can I use an automatic cat feeder for wet food, or is it only suitable for dry food?

Some automatic cat feeders are designed to dispense wet food, but you should check the manufacturer’s instructions to see if your feeder is compatible with wet food. Wet food can spoil more quickly than dry food, so make sure to clean the feeder thoroughly after each use.

How long does the battery or power source last in an automatic cat feeder?

The battery or power source in an automatic cat feeder can last for several months, depending on how often the feeder is used. Some models also have a low-battery indicator to let you know when it’s time to replace the batteries. Models that connect to the wifi will use more power and therefore the batteries will not last as long. Many of these smart feeders are mains powered with battery backup.

Can an automatic cat feeder help with weight management for my cat?

Yes, an automatic cat feeder can help with weight management for your cat by controlling the portion size and feeding schedule. You can program the feeder to dispense smaller portions of food more frequently, which can help prevent overeating and weight gain.

Are there any safety concerns I should be aware of when using an automatic cat feeder?

Make sure to choose an automatic cat feeder that is made from non-toxic materials and has no sharp edges that could harm your cat. Also, make sure to supervise your cat while using the feeder to ensure that they are not getting stuck or injured.

How do I choose the best automatic cat feeder for my cat’s needs and my lifestyle?

When choosing an automatic cat feeder, consider your cat’s feeding schedule and portion size needs, as well as your own lifestyle and schedule. Look for a feeder that is easy to use and clean, and has features that are compatible with your cat’s food type and feeding preferences. Use the table above to help you to make an informed buying decision.

 


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Veterinary Author at AblePaws.co.uk | Website | + posts

Being a 5th year Vet student and having a passion for improving the health and welfare of all animals, I am providing AblePaws.co.uk with a veterinary perspective / insight into the real word applications, including strengths and limitations of the products it reviews. This will allow you to make an informed decision as to the suitability of the pet products reviewed on the site to keep your pet mobile, comfortable and full of life!

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