Automatic vs Microchip Feeders: Which One is Right for Your Pet?

Automatic vs Microchip Feeders: Which One is Right for Your Pet?

Automatic vs Microchip Feeders: Which One is Right for Your Pet?

Feeding your pets is an essential part of their daily routine, and as a pet owner, you want to ensure that they are receiving the right type and amount of food. While hand feeding is a common practice, it may not always be practical or feasible, especially if you have a busy schedule or multiple pets. This is where automatic and microchip-enabled feeders come in, increasing in popularity in recent years as an alternative option to manual feeding. These feeders can help you manage your pet’s feeding schedule without the need for manual intervention. In this article, we will explore the differences between automatic and microchip feeders, and help you determine which one is the best fit for your pet’s specific needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Microchip feeders are compatible with Microchip & RFID Collar Tag’s
  • Automatic feeders generally have a lower price point so are a more affordable option than microchip enabled feeders
  • There is a much wider range of automatic per feeders to choose from, with a very limited range of microchip enabled feeders
  • Multi-pet households can benefit from microchip-enabled feeders, which provide assurance that each animal is receiving the right type and amount of food.
  • Pets on veterinary prescription diets that require a specific type of food can benefit from microchip feeders, which ensure that they receive only the prescribed feed.

Understanding Automatic Pet Feeders

Automatic feeders are devices which work by dispensing food for your pet at pre-determined time intervals throughout the day. This makes them a great option ideal for pet owners who are away from home for extended periods of time or have busy schedules, as they ensure that your pet is fed on time without the need for manual intervention.
There are a wide range of automatic feeders on the market not only varying in price but also in terms of their features function and abilities. Entry level feeders have basic features such as a timer and a food dispenser and can be programmed to dispense food at set intervals throughout the day although lack some of the more advanced features seen in more complex feeders.
Some additional features seen in premium feeders include smartphone app integration, voice control and Wi-Fi connectivity. These additional features allow owners to track their pets feed intake more closely and monitor daily feeding behaviour and activity remotely when away from home.
When deciding between an entry-level and a complex automatic feeder, the choice ultimately depends on your specific needs and the needs of your pet.

Best Budget Friendly Automatic Pet Feeder – 

Sale
Automatic Pet Feeder Small&Medium Pets Automatic Food Feeder and Waterer Set 3.8L, Travel Supply Feeder and Water Dispenser for Dogs Cats Pets Animals (light gray)
  • Automatic cat feeder and cat water dispenser set:buy 1 get 2 packs automatic cat feeders,1* cat food feeder,1*cat water bowl feeder,enough your cats dogs both water and food required
  • Automatic refills food and water with gravity cat feeders:gravity cat dog feeder with self-gravity feeding design for this cats feeder and water dispenser,no electricity required, Eco-friendly automatic cat feeder and can be used anywhere.best choice if you need to go to work or travel, do not need to worry about your pets being hungry
  • One gallon big capacity dog water bowl dispenser and automatic dog feeder:both cat food dispenser and cat water dispenser with large capacity 1 gallon,can last about 7 days for small kitten, 3 days for big pets,You can rest assured to go on vacation, work, party, do not have to worry about pets will be hungry
  • Big mouth design prevent food getting struck:to effectively prevent the food from getting stuck for this cat food dispenser when it falling down,we make the cat food dispenser or dog food bowls mouth wider and bigger, so pets food can fall down smoothly
  • Siphon device design prevent water leakage:when the water in the water tank of the cat dog water dispenser reaches a certain height, the spring device will automatically close, the water will stop flowing, so it can effectively prevent water leakage

Last update on 2024-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Premium Automatic Pet Feeders – 

PETKIT Automatic Cat Feeder - 2.4G Auto Cat Feeder for Dry Food with Stainless Steel Bowl, Work with Alexa, App Control, Low Food & Blockage Sensor, Battery Backup, Portion Control, 2.8L
  • 👉[WIFI Enabled & App Controlled] PETKIT brings you a FRESH ELEMENT MINI Pro automatic feeder for cats and dogs which can controls your pet feeding time and amount from anywhere anytime by Phone. You can also look at the feeding records and get notification when the food level is low. It is very helpful during days when you are working late or are away from home. Please note this WiFi feeder only supports 2.4Ghz Network
  • 👉[Work with Alexa] You can control this smart auto feeder via Alexa by giving order such as snack feeding immediately or at specific time. Please notice that you should have a PETKIT account that link to Alexa
  • 👉[Easy to Set Up & Program] This programmed pet food dispenser can customize your cats feeding plan setting for everyday, which means you can set different amount for each meal and each day(5-50g per meal, up to 30 meals a day) It can dispense food with three ways by Manual Feed Button, Setting Feeding Plan and Extra Feeding on the APP. Our smart feeder helps you to keep a check on your pets weight and keep them healthy
  • 👉[Dual Power Supply] This electronic cat food dispensers uses 5 AAA batteries. Once the batteries are installed, it will always dispense food even at times of power outage or device being offline. Please note that the batteries are not included in the pack
  • 👉[Dual Fresh Lock System] Our feeder keeps up to 3.3 lbs food dry and fresh. Please replace the desiccant pack every 30 days to ensure the food's maximum freshness

Last update on 2024-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros of Automatic Pet Feeders

Low Cost: Automatic feeders generally are much more affordable when compared to microchip enabled pet feeders, making them a great choice for pet owners on a budget. One important thing to keep in mind is that, as mentioned earlier in this article, there is a vast selection of automatic pet feeders available on the market, ranging from budget-friendly options to premium feeders with advanced features. When considering an automatic pet feeder, it’s important to carefully evaluate your pet’s specific needs and your own budget to determine which type of feeder is the best fit.

Wide Availability & Choice: There are many more automatic pet feeders available on the market than microchip-enabled feeders. This is because automatic feeders are a more traditional and widely used solution for pet feeding needs, whereas microchip feeders are a newer and more specialized product with a smaller range of availability.

Microchip or RFID Collar Not Required: Unlike microchip feeders, automatic feeders do not require your pet to be either microchipped or to wear an RFID tag. This makes automatic feeders a more convenient option for owners who do not want their pet microchipped or for pets who do not tolerate wearing RFID tag.

Pros of Automatic Pet Feeders

Cons of Automatic Pet Feeders

Multiple Pets: Automatic feeders may not be suitable for households with multiple pets, as they may not be able to differentiate between pets and their specific dietary needs. This can lead to the wrong pet receiving the wrong food or one pet in the household consuming all the food, leaving the others to go without. This lack of monitoring can lead to some pets in a multi-pet household becoming obese, whilst the others becoming underweight, both having negative health impacts we want to avoid occurring.

Specific Veterinary Diets: One significant disadvantage of automatic feeders compared to microchip feeders is their inability to identify which pet is approaching the feeder in a multi-pet household. This means that automatic feeders cannot dispense a specific type and amount of food to each pet, which can be problematic for pets with dietary restrictions or allergies. In contrast, microchip feeders are designed to recognize each pet’s unique microchip and dispense the appropriate amount and type of food, making them a more suitable option for multi-pet households with pets that have specific dietary requirements.

Food Type: A major drawback of many automatic pet feeders is that they are only compatible with dry kibble feed and cannot be used with wet or semi-wet diets. This limits their usability when compared to microchip-enabled feeders such as the SureFeed Microchip Feeder, which is compatible with both dry and wet feed diets. This feature of the SureFeed Microchip Feeder makes it a more versatile option for pet owners with pets who require a wet or semi-wet diet.

What are the Best Automatic Pet Feeders?

To discover the optimal automatic pet feeder, please refer to the convenient table below, which comprises detailed evaluations for each item. I have personally reviewed each product to provide you with an honest assessment of its features, pros, and cons.

Automatic Cat Feeder, Faroro 7L Cat Feeder with Timer up to 5 Meals Per Day, Portion Control, 10s Voice Recording, Suitable for Small and Medium Pets
PETKIT Automatic Cat Feeder - 2.4G Auto Cat Feeder for Dry Food with Stainless Steel Bowl, Work with Alexa, App Control, Low Food & Blockage Sensor, Battery Backup, Portion Control, 2.8L
HoneyGuaridan 6L Automatic Cat Feeder for 2 Pets, Pet Food Dispenser for Cat and Dog with Desiccant Box, 0-24 Portion Control, 10s Voice Recorder, up to 6 Meals a Day - Battery and Plug-in Power
PETLIBRO Automatic Cat Feeder with Camera, 1080P HD Video with Night Vision, 5G WiFi Pet Feeder, APP Control, Real-Time Voice, Low Food and Blockage Sensor, Motion & Sound Alerts via Remote APP, 5L
Automatic Cat Feeder, Smart Pet Food Dispenser with APP Control, WiFi Enabled Automatic Feeder for Dogs, Cats & Small Pets, Double Stainless Steel Bowls,6 Meals Portion Control and Voice Recording
Automatic Cat Feeder, Faroro 7L Cat Feeder with Timer up to 5 Meals Per Day, Portion Control, 10s Voice Recording, Suitable for Small and Medium Pets
PETKIT Automatic Cat Feeder - 2.4G Auto Cat Feeder for Dry Food with Stainless Steel Bowl, Work with Alexa, App Control, Low Food & Blockage Sensor, Battery Backup, Portion Control, 2.8L
HoneyGuaridan 6L Automatic Cat Feeder for 2 Pets, Pet Food Dispenser for Cat and Dog with Desiccant Box, 0-24 Portion Control, 10s Voice Recorder, up to 6 Meals a Day - Battery and Plug-in Power
PETLIBRO Automatic Cat Feeder with Camera, 1080P HD Video with Night Vision, 5G WiFi Pet Feeder, APP Control, Real-Time Voice, Low Food and Blockage Sensor, Motion & Sound Alerts via Remote APP, 5L
Automatic Cat Feeder, Smart Pet Food Dispenser with APP Control, WiFi Enabled Automatic Feeder for Dogs, Cats & Small Pets, Double Stainless Steel Bowls,6 Meals Portion Control and Voice Recording
£42.49
£99.99
Price not available
£127.49
£79.99
Automatic Cat Feeder, Faroro 7L Cat Feeder with Timer up to 5 Meals Per Day, Portion Control, 10s Voice Recording, Suitable for Small and Medium Pets
Automatic Cat Feeder, Faroro 7L Cat Feeder with Timer up to 5 Meals Per Day, Portion Control, 10s Voice Recording, Suitable for Small and Medium Pets
£42.49
PETKIT Automatic Cat Feeder - 2.4G Auto Cat Feeder for Dry Food with Stainless Steel Bowl, Work with Alexa, App Control, Low Food & Blockage Sensor, Battery Backup, Portion Control, 2.8L
PETKIT Automatic Cat Feeder - 2.4G Auto Cat Feeder for Dry Food with Stainless Steel Bowl, Work with Alexa, App Control, Low Food & Blockage Sensor, Battery Backup, Portion Control, 2.8L
£99.99
HoneyGuaridan 6L Automatic Cat Feeder for 2 Pets, Pet Food Dispenser for Cat and Dog with Desiccant Box, 0-24 Portion Control, 10s Voice Recorder, up to 6 Meals a Day - Battery and Plug-in Power
HoneyGuaridan 6L Automatic Cat Feeder for 2 Pets, Pet Food Dispenser for Cat and Dog with Desiccant Box, 0-24 Portion Control, 10s Voice Recorder, up to 6 Meals a Day - Battery and Plug-in Power
Price not available
PETLIBRO Automatic Cat Feeder with Camera, 1080P HD Video with Night Vision, 5G WiFi Pet Feeder, APP Control, Real-Time Voice, Low Food and Blockage Sensor, Motion & Sound Alerts via Remote APP, 5L
PETLIBRO Automatic Cat Feeder with Camera, 1080P HD Video with Night Vision, 5G WiFi Pet Feeder, APP Control, Real-Time Voice, Low Food and Blockage Sensor, Motion & Sound Alerts via Remote APP, 5L
£127.49
Automatic Cat Feeder, Smart Pet Food Dispenser with APP Control, WiFi Enabled Automatic Feeder for Dogs, Cats & Small Pets, Double Stainless Steel Bowls,6 Meals Portion Control and Voice Recording
Automatic Cat Feeder, Smart Pet Food Dispenser with APP Control, WiFi Enabled Automatic Feeder for Dogs, Cats & Small Pets, Double Stainless Steel Bowls,6 Meals Portion Control and Voice Recording
£79.99

Last update on 2024-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Understanding Microchip Pet Feeders

A microchip feeder is a specialized type of pet feeder that uses either your pet’s microchip or RFID tag to dispense the appropriate amount and type of food, specific to that individual animal. These feeders are designed to recognize each pet’s unique microchip and dispense food, accordingly, making them a useful tool for pet owners with multiple pets or pets with specific dietary needs.
Microchip feeders also can help to prevent food theft, as the feeder only opens when a registered pet approaches, preventing any other pets of animals in the household from accessing the food.
In order to determine if a microchip-enabled feeder is the best option for your pet, it’s important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of this type of feeder when compared to traditional automatic feeders. Lets take a look at some!

Pros of Automatic Pet Feeders

Pros of Microchip Pet Feeders

Specific Dietary Needs: Microchip-enabled feeders are ideal for pets with specific dietary needs or allergies, as they can dispense a specific type of food to each pet. This is great for pets which have allergies to various grains or protein sources such as chicken or beef as it ensures they do not ingest these feeds to prevent digestion issues such as vomiting and diarrhoea.

Anti-Theft Technology: Anti-theft is an important feature of microchip-enabled feeders that helps prevent theft or access to the food by other pets or animals. This feature can be achieved by the feeder’s ability to scan each pets individual microchip or RFID tag in order to identify the specific animal.

SmartPhone App Integration: Many microchip enabled feeders such as the SureFeed also have the ability to upgrade to a premium version with Smartphone Connect + Hub. This provides owners a more in-depth analysis of their pets feeding behaviour as they can monitor how much, how often and also be notified when food becomes low. The ability to monitor trends in feeding behaviour will enable owners to detect any changes in this behaviour, which may be a early sign of poor health.

Cons of Microchip Pet Feeders

Cost: Generally, microchip-enabled feeders are more expensive than traditional automatic feeders due to their increased complexity and functions. This means that perhaps they are not the best option for pet owners on a budget, who may want to consider a more budget friendly automatic feeder.

Limited Availability: Microchip-enabled feeders are a relatively new technology, which means that there are currently limited options available on the market. While there are a few brands that offer microchip-enabled feeders, the selection may be limited compared to traditional automatic feeders. Currently, the SureFeed microchip-enabled feeder is currently one of the most popular and highly rated options on the market. I have written a full review on this feeder, which can provide some in-depth useful information.

Microchip or RFID Tag Required: In order for this feeder to function pets require either a microchip or RFID tag. This can be an additional expense for pet owners who have not yet had their pet microchipped or who have pets which do not tolerate wearing the RFID tag, which can lead to discomfort and become a nuisance for your pet.

Best Microchip Pet Feeder – 

Sale
Sure Petcare SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder with Sealed Lid, RFID Collar Tags Compatible, Works for Wet and Dry Food, White, 4 x C Cell Batteries Required, Not Included
  • SELECTIVE ACCESS FEEDER: The lid only opens for authorised pets, preventing cross-feeding, ideal for pets on prescription diets
  • PERFECT FOR WET AND DRY FOOD: Sealed lid and bowl helps keep food fresher for longer, keep flies out, whilst locking odours in
  • MICROCHIP AND RFID COLLAR TAG COMPATIBLE: Works with all common identification microchips and the Sure Petcare RFID Collar Tag (1 included)
  • SIMPLE ONE BUTTON PROGRAMMING: Easy and hassle-free set-up with the touch of a button, and the capability to store up to 32 pet IDs
  • BATTERY POWERED: Up to 6 months battery life. Use with 4 x C Cell batteries (not included)

Last update on 2024-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

For a more in-depth review of the SureFeed Microchip Feeder I personally recommend, please see the following review.

Conclusion

Automatic vs Microchip Feeders:

In summary, automatic feeders and microchip-enabled feeders both have their pros and cons. Automatic feeders are generally less expensive and easier to find but may not be suitable for pets with specific dietary needs or medication requirements. Microchip-enabled feeders, on the other hand, offer greater suitability for pets with specific dietary needs or medication requirements, but may come with a higher cost, complexity, and limited availability. Additionally, microchip-enabled feeders require pets to have a microchip or RFID tag to work properly, which can be an additional expense and inconvenience for pet owners. Ultimately, the choice between an automatic feeder and a microchip-enabled feeder depends on the specific needs of the pet and the owner’s budget and preferences.

FAQ’s 

How to microchip feeders work?

Microchip feeders work by recognising either your pet’s individual microchip or RFID tag.

Do I need to use an RFID tag if my pet is microchipped to use the feeder?

No, RFID tags are only needed if your pet does not have a microchip.

What are the main issues for microchip feeders?

The main issue reported by owners is the upfront cost when compared to automatic feeders which generally tend to be more budget friendly.

How do automatic pet feeders work?

Automatic pet feeders work by using timers to automatically dispense feed at set time periods throughout the day.

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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