PetSafe 5-Meal Automatic Pet Feeder Review

Editor rating

4.0/5 on March 30, 2017

User's rating

2,918 reviews

PROS

  1. Easy to set up and get running.
  2. Appropriate for cats and small to medium-sized dogs.
  3. Strong locking mechanism.
  4. Analog timer allows you to set feeding times.
  5. Can schedule up-to 5 meals a day.
  6. The batteries last for up-to 6 months or more.
  7. Feeding tray is easily detachable for washing and is also dishwasher safe.
  8. Each feeding compartment carries 1 cup of food.
  9. It is cheap and very affordable for buyers on a tight budget.

CONS

  1. Analog timer is not very accurate.
  2. Tray doesn’t lock compartments into position hence easy for pet to steal food.
  3. Not appropriate for large dogs.
  4. It is designed to work with dry food.
  5. Lightweight and can easily be turned over by a pet.

VERDICT

This pet feeder is amazingly simple and yet it works without too much complexities. The timer is effective, the tray rotates without fail in the unit I have. The 5 compartments ensure you can feed your pet up-to 5 meals a day, and provide medication too if you need to. All this even while you go off on a trip with some peace of mind knowing your dog or cat won’t starve while you are away.

Large dogs won’t benefit from this feeder unless their feeding is really curbed. Determined cats will rotate the compartments and get food from the next food-filled one if they are clever enough without having to wait for the feeding time. From the manufacturer’s instructions it’s suitable for dry food but users have found a way around that measure. In general, the PetSafe 5-meal automatic pet feeder is an awesome device at its price point. It’s a cheap alternative to more efficient and option-filled pet feeders, a good option when you are on a tight budget.

Product Overview

The following are the things you get in the box after purchase:

  1. 1 x main unit PetSafe 5-meal automatic pet feeder with tray.
  2. 1 X user manual

Product Description

Mechanism

The PetSafe Automatic Pet Feeder can be programmed to feed your pet up-to 5 meals in a day.

Food type

The pet feeder is most suitable for dry food.

Portions

The feeder serves up-to 5 meals a day, each compartment in the tray can hold 1 cup of food.

Schedule

PetSafe 5-meal pet feeder allows you to schedule 5 meals in 1 hour increments.

About the tray

The feeder comes with a tray that is dishwasher safe and made from BPA-free plastic. It is an easily detachable tray to allow for washing.

Product Features

  • Dispenses meals up-to 5 times a day in one hour increments through a 24-hour repeat schedule.
  • Each of the 5 trays carries 1 cup of food.
  • The tray is dish-washer safe.
  • Tray can easily be removed for cleaning and attached back in place.
  • Made of BPA-free plastic.
  • 1 year manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Uses (4) D alkaline batteries to operate (not included, must be bought separately).
  • Batteries last up-to 6 months or more depending on frequency of use.
  • Suitable for small to medium-sized dogs, and cats.
  • Designed for dry food, not suitable for wet food.

How it works

The pet feeder has a tray that is divided into 5 compartments. The tray rotates to while dispensing food through one opening on the tray’s cover.

When first setting up the feeder, one of the compartments is open. Ideally you would only need to program 4 feedings since the open compartment means that the 5th meal is for immediate feeding as soon as you load the food.

The meals are programmed in one hour increments. Each compartment in the tray takes up one cup of food. You can program 5 meals a day or less by just leaving the other compartments empty. For example, if you wanted to feed you dog just 3 times a day, you would leave 3 compartments empty.

Once you program the Petsafe 5-meal pet feeder, you do not need to re-program again. It runs with the set program on a daily basis unless you reset and re-program a different feeding schedule.

The automatic pet feeder runs on 4 (D) alkaline batteries that can operate for more than 6 months depending on frequency of use.

The unit has an analog timer allowing you to set meal times and eating schedules.

Evaluation

Setting up the automatic pet feeder is a quick process complimented by the fact that is uses a simple analog timer that doesn’t require you to be anything close to tech-savvy to get it working. The feeder comes with an automatic setting in case you are in a hurry. The automatic setting will dispense food once every day for 4 days.

The PetSafe 5-meal automatic pet feeder is a lightweight unit that is easy to carry which somewhat disadvantages the unit because a strong pet can just turn it upside down or kick it around. However, it’s heavier when packed with food.

The design of the feeder is very simple with a detachable tray that is very easy to transport for washing.

The locking mechanism is full proof. It’s not easy to open even for really strong medium-sized dogs. With this strong locking mechanism, the feeder does not pour food out in case the pet overturns it.

For a pet owner who travels every so often, this is an ideal feeder for your cat or small to medium-sized dog as it allows programming of up-to 5 meals. Technically, since the first compartment is open allowing the pet to eat the food immediately, you only have 4 compartments left to program. You can therefore go away for 4 days and expect your cat or dog to have at least one cup of a meal per day.

Thanks to the 5 compartments, it’s very easy to use this pet feeder for medication purposes while interchanging with feedings. You can set 3 compartments to have food and 2 of those left to dispense medication at stipulated times. This feeder therefore works really well with diabetic pets who need daily medication.

In the initial days, the whirring noise produced every time the feeder dispenses food might scare away a cat or small dog, but once the pet knows that the noise is the sound of food, it will not have a problem rushing to the feeder. It is important therefore to monitor your pet in the early days of using the feeder to ensure your pet is actually feeding.

If the pet happens to turn the feeder over, it is unfortunate that the unit has an exposed battery at the back. The thought of the pet eating an AA battery is very scary and you should take caution against this.

Probably the biggest undoing of this 5-meal unit is that the fully enclosed tray doesn’t lock the compartments into position, hence the pet can easily push the side of an empty compartment and rotate the whole tray to the next food-filled compartment. Some users who have bought this unit experienced this problem. Others didn’t. The difference is that this error is highly dependent on learning your cat. If you have a very determined and clever pet when it comes to its food, this is not the right feeder for you.

What to watch out for:

  1. This feeder is suitable for small to medium-sized dogs, and cats of all sizes.
  2. Dry food is recommended for use with this feeder. However, some customers reported being able to use it for wet food after refrigerating the food beforehand. The wet food lasted on average between 12-24 hours.

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