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The Petnet SmartFeeder is true to its name – its a really smart, hi-tech pet feeder. Not only does can it be controlled from a mobile app, but it also works with Amazon Alexa. So instead of arguing endlessly about which member of your family is going to get up and feed your dog, you can simply say something like “Alexa, feed Molly”! Is that cool or is that cool?
You can control the Petnet SmartFeeder from your mobile app, and use it to set up an automated feeding schedule for your dog, complete with portion sizing and timings. The app will also alert you when food levels are running low.
The SmartFeeder can also suggest/control portion size based on your pet’s breed, weight, age, and activity level. That’s an interesting feature, which can help you make sure that you are not overfeeding or underfeeding your pet.
The company is also trying out pet food delivery in conjunction with this product, but many food brands are not yet available on that. Plus, personally, I think that’s a bit of a gimmick, but whatever – do it if you want, don’t do it if you don’t.
There are several automated pet feeders on the market, of course, such as the PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder. However, while it has a digital timer that will allow a certain amount of food to be dispensed at a certain time, it is not a “smart” feeder.
Others, such as the SmartFeeder,WOpet Automatic Pet Feeder or the Safevant Wireless Automatic Smart Pet Feeder are more similar, in that they also work with mobile apps and have some smart technology. These two products also have an additional feature that the Petnet lacks, which is a camera to be able to see your pet eating. However, the Safevant does not appear to be as widely used as the Petnet, and there are several complaints about issues in connecting it to Wifi and/or setting up the app.
If you want to take it up a notch and really have your dog be intellectually stimulated rather than just eating his or her food, then check out the CleverPet.
Several customers are very upset about rubber from the inside mechanism tearing up and sometimes being available for pets to eat, since it is mixed in with their food in the bowl! That is a pretty serious issue. Another one has to do with the angle of the feed tray – it is too shallow and doesn’t allow for non-round food to fall into the bowl properly.
It seems that the manufacturers have tried to address some of these issues. Their Amazon listing states: “2017 New and improved SmartFeeder features include a stronger feeding wheel, better bowl connection and relocated charging port so the SmartFeeder sits flush with the wall” and “All purchases include a free SmartFeeder Ramp designed for kibbles that need help sliding into the bowl. (claim yours at Petnet.io)”.
There are also a lot of complaints about customer service.
The Bottom Line
The Petnet seems to be the only product currently out there that works with Amazon Alexa, so if you are designing a smart home based on Alexa, or are otherwise an avid user of Alexa, then the Petnet may be the best smart feeder for you. But if not, the SmartFeeder,WOpet Automatic Pet Feeder may be a better bet with additional features, especially given some of the negative reviews the Petnet has garnered.