Petnet SmartFeeder Review

We live in a connected world. You can use a TV to turn on the lights and you can use a speaker to turn on the TV. Everything is connected to the internet and talking to the other gadgets in your home. Pets live in this connected world, too. There are a plethora of strange and useful smart devices for your pet. One of the most practical is a smart feeder.

The Petnet SmartFeeder is an automated feeder that connects to an app on your phone. There are plenty of “dumb” automatic pet feeders on the market, but the SmartFeeder adds a bunch of extra features. For around $120, it better be pretty dang smart. Let’s take a look at this device and help you decide if you need a SmartFeeder for your pet.

I’ve been testing out the Petnet SmartFeeder for a little over a month now. We have been using it for our cat, Grimm. He’s a spoiled cat that needs to be fed three times a day or he’ll get cranky. One of those times happens to be around 5:00 AM every morning. We’ve used a couple of different automatic feeders in the past, which has worked out pretty well.

At its core, the SmartFeeder performs the same function as an automatic feeder. It dispenses a desired amount of food at specific times. Where the SmartFeeder sets itself apart is the free smartphone app that gives you remote control and a bunch of handy information. But before any of that works, you have to set up the SmartFeeder.

Set Up

The SmartFeeder consists of a hopper for food, a bowl, and the dispenser. You can also get a “ramp” that helps the food fall out of the dispenser. All of these part interlock and connect easily. Once assembled, you’ll need to install the Petnet app. The app will guide you through the process of connecting to the feeder. After a few attempts, we were able to get the app connected successfully.

In the app, you can create a profile for your pet. The profile consists of age, weight, and activity level. You will also need to enter some information about your pet’s food. Pretty much all pet food brands are included in the app. Our cat has a special food for urinary health and we were able to find it in the app. The app will give you a recommendation for feeding, but it’s basically the same info you’d find on the food’s packaging.

Pros

The main feature of the SmartFeeder is the ability to set up a custom feeding schedule. Setting up a feeding schedule on the app is so much easier than on the “dumb” feeders. All you do is select the feeding times and portion size. The great thing about a smart feeder is you can make the schedule as unique as your pet. You could feed your pet at five different times with five different portion sizes if you wanted. Oh, and if you want to feed your pet the old fashioned way, there’s a button on the front for manual feeding. You can choose the default amount in the app.

If you’re not home to hear the food trickle into the metal bowl, you can get notifications for every feeding. It doesn’t tell you if your pet has visited the bowl or eaten the food, but the notification is a nice reassurance that the feeder is working. The feeder can also warn you about things like if it missed a feeding or the hopper is getting low on food. All of this connectivity is what makes the SmartFeeder smarter than your average feeder.

The schedule features have worked perfectly in our testing. We have taken a couple of weekend trips away from home since using the SmartFeeder. It’s super convenient to know that your pet is getting fed. We never had issues with the “dumb” feeders, but they could stop working and you’d have no idea. The SmartFeeder gives you peace of mind.

Cons

There are a couple of downsides to the SmartFeeder. The bowl is really only big enough for one pet and buying multiple SmartFeeders would be pretty pricey. The SmartFeeder does have a battery that can be recharged via micro USB, but it doesn’t last very long. You will definitely need to put this near an outlet, though the included cable is 6.5-feet long. One issue we noticed is the portion sizes aren’t entirely accurate. It seemed to be giving more food than it should, but that was easy to fix by adjusting the portion size. Also, the manual feed button has a light that can’t be turned off. Kinda annoying if you have the feeder in your bedroom.

Conclusion

An automatic feeder is an awesome thing to have, especially for cats. Even a simple “dumb” feeder can make your life easier. The SmartFeeder has a lot of great features that put it above a “dumb” feeder. It’s amazing how a simple notification that your pet was fed can make you feel more at ease.

The big question is whether the SmartFeeder is worth the hefty price tag. You’re looking at $120. I think if you’re someone that leaves their pet home alone a lot, the SmartFeeder can add peace of mind. You’ll have to decide how much that peace of mind is worth to you.

There’s also the convenience factor. Setting up the schedules is infinitely easier to do on the app. Getting a reminder to refill the food is also a big help. You probably already spoil your pet. The SmartFeeder is a way to spoil yourself. You probably don’t need it, but it will surely make your life a lot easier. Oh, and your pet will love the new magical box that gives out food.

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