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Cats, dogs, and other pets are part of the family. And pet lovers know just how much their non-human family members love their food. In fact, to our beloved pets, kibble is probably right up there with tummy rubs or outdoor walks.
However, if you are working or out of the house for most of the day, you are probably just filling their bowls with food, hoping that they would pace themselves eating throughout the day while you are gone.
This could be a problem because our pets eat differently. Some dogs and cats wolf down everything at once, while others eat a little of the food in front of them and decide to ignore it for the rest of the day. Besides, just putting out all that food is not really healthy for our pets, as they might get too fat. While fat cats and dogs might be cute, it is not good for their health.
Studies have found that around 52.7% of dogs in the United States are obese or overweight. That’s about 43.8 million unhealthily fat dogs!
The number is even higher with cats, where 55 million cats in the country are either overweight or obese. That number accounts to around 58% of all cats. And being obese, your pets are more at risk from osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, kidney disease, cancer, lower life expectancy, and a host of other diseases.
Some pet lovers have taken pains to go home every mealtime, while others hire pet sitters. However, pet sitters can be expensive and unreliable, and ditching lunch hour every day might be stressful for you.
Fortunately, Petnet has come up with the Smart Automated Pet Feeder, which allows you to feed your cats and dogs with the right amount of food at the right times.
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Petnet Smart Automated Pet Feeder: The basics
The Petnet Smart Automated Pet Feeder is very easy to use. First, an A/C adapter powers it, so you could just plug it in. But you do not have to worry in the event of a power outage; your pets will not go hungry as there is a backup lithium ion battery. And if you are worried about your pet chewing the cable, PetNet is one step ahead of you: the A/C cable is chew-resistant!
The unit itself has a beautiful black finish and connects to your Wi-Fi network. The things that you should find inside the box are the:
- Lid and Band
- Food Hopper
- 8 feet micro USB cable
- Stainless Steel Bowl Insert
- User’s Guide
The feeder measures 9.20 inches wide and stands 15.32 inches tall. The base, with the 2-inch food tray open, measures 15.32 inches. It is big enough for your pets to find it but you would probably not notice it too much.
The product comes with a two-year limited warranty, which means that you can have the feeder repaired, returned or replaced if it shows defects in workmanship or materials.
Using the Smart Automated Pet Feeder is easy. Download the mobile app on your phone and if it is your first time to run the app, it will guide you through the set up process such as entering your pet’s details and connecting to your Wi-Fi network.
The app asks for your pet’s details, which will be used to analyze some of the data it collects later on.
You can then program your pet’s feeding times and the amount of food you want to give it at each feeding. With the Petnet feeder, you have better control with portion sizes than you do with other automated feeders out there, because you can have portion sizes from 1/16th of a cup to 1 1/2 cups. In contrast, other feeders only have 1-cup portion sizes, which means that if you have a small dog, then you would probably overfeed it, and if you have a bigger dog, you would need to schedule multiple feedings.
On top of the portion sizes, you can also tell the Petnet Smart Feeder how fast it should dispense the food. This is very helpful if you have a cat or dog that likes to eat fast and then chokes on the food.
Pros of the Petnet Smart Automated Pet Feeder
You would love many other features about the Petnet Smart Feeder. Apart from getting the job done – and done well – here are some things that set it apart from its competition:
The notifications! Having the Petnet Smart Automated Pet Feeder is like having a responsible human pet feeder. It alerts you when your pet has finished eating and how much food it ate. It alerts you when the standby battery is low on charge. It even alerts you when to replenish the food inside it.
The app tells you when your pet has eaten, along with other important things.
The storage bin is made of rubber and it keeps the food very fresh, no need to buy another airtight container to keep the food in. You can also feed your pets manually. So if you think that they need another feeding, all you have to do is to press one button on the app: the One-off Feed.
The mobile app also gives you a lot of information about your pet’s feeding activities, including their eating history, their feeding times and how much food they ate at each meal. But rather than boring you with numbers, the app analyzes the data and tells you if you are feeding your pet just right, or if it is too low or too high. The app also takes your pet’s weight, activity level, breed and age to suggest a better nutrition plan! No more guesswork on your part and no more worrying about whether you are feeding your beloved Spot too much or too little.
The app has a database of food that you can give to your pets, allowing you to choose the healthiest ones. Plus, you can get the food delivered to your doorsteps through the app! Lastly, with all the high technology features it has, the app actually makes everything easy to understand and makes everything intuitive.
Then there are the little things, such as the hopper, which can hold as much as seven pounds of food. This means you will have enough food for more than 12 to 16 days without having to refill. The bowl is also easily detachable, making it very easy to clean. The bowl also has a lock that prevents your pets from eating beyond your specified feeding times. The portions dispensed are pretty precise, unlike with our experience with other automated feeders where food sometimes jams in the dispenser and therefore giving too little food!
So in sum, here is a list of things you would love about the Petnet Smart Automated Pet Feeder:
- Smart features are very useful and give you a greater degree of control!
- The mobile app is very well-made, making it very easy for you to manage feeding times.
- With the backup lithium-ion battery, the feeder will still work for eight hours and feed your pet on time even with power outage. It can also continue feeding even if it cannot connect to your Wi-Fi.
- The mobile app gives you a lot of useful information.
- The notifications are very useful, letting you know when your pet has eaten and when to refill the food.
- The feeder has a good design.
Things that could be better
While an overall great product, the Petnet Smart Automated Pet Feeder does have some downsides:
- It is only for Apple users. According to comScore, only 43.3% of Americans own an iOS device. That means more than half of smartphone users are not able to take full advantage of Petnet’s Smart Automated Pet Feeder. So much more, considering that you can only use the feeder if you have an iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6+, or any device that runs on iOS 8 or later.
- There is no way to program the feeder without the app.
- It can prove to be bulky. The Smart Automated Pet Feeder is not meant for small spaces. The base in itself needs more than one feet of floor area. So if you live in a small apartment or within tight quarters, this feeder is going to take up a lot of room.
- The mobile app can only handle one pet at a time.
Feed and Go vs Hoison vs Petnet Smart Automated Pet Feeder
The Petnet Smart Automated Pet Feeder, Feed and Go Pet Feeder, and the Hoison Smart Feeder are three of the top automatic pet feeders out there. So how does the Petnet feeder compare with its closest competiotn?
|Feed and Go Pet Feeder||Hoison Smart Feeder||Petnet Smart Automated Pet Feeder|
|Price||Check here for latest prices||Check here for latest prices||Check here for latest prices|
|Built-in Web cam||Yes||Yes, with microphone and speakers||No|
|Advantages||Can serve dry and wet food.||Offline feeding features||Can automatically allocate the right portions based on the factors enumerated above: no need to constantly program and re-program it.
Dispensing speed may be specified.
|Stored food||6 compartments holding up to 1 cup of food each||4.4lbs (70oz) of food||5 to 7lbs of food|
|Drawbacks||There is no mobile app available for the Feed and Go Pet Feeder, but you can schedule the feedings on their Web site.||mall tray is not ideal for larger dogs, so you have to feed them multiple times a day
App does not alert you when the battery runs low.
|For iOS only.
Not ideal for big dogs.
|Cat and Dog?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Final thoughts on the Petnet Smart Automated Pet Feeder
The Petnet Smart Automated Pet Feeder is one of the best automated pet feeders out in the market today. If you are serious about keeping your pets healthy and well-fed, then this should be able to do the trick.
Utmost care has been given in coming up with the feeder’s design, and you probably will not find a better designed feeder out there. The same level of care and thought has also been put into making the mobile app very easy to use, while also packing it with features and information you need.
It is very clear that the feeder and the app have been designed with today’s pet lovers in mind, helping them manage their pet’s feeding times easily, as well as helping them make meal times healthier!
Bottom Line: This is perfect for the busy pet lover who has an iPhone and only one pet at home. It offers you the chance to easily feed your pet with the best food according to its age, weight, breed and activeness, and you do not even have to get out of the house to get the kibble. Be sure to check this listing for the latest pricing and discounts.
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!