What should I consider when choosing an automated pet feeder?

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An automatic dog feeder can be a wonderful convenience and will remove a lot of worry, especially if you work long hours or travel a lot or leave your dog your dog with family, friends or pet sitters. You don’t need to be concerned that your dog is getting fed too much or too little, or is getting fed too early or too late, because the automatic feeder will take care of it for you.
However, there are many models on the market and you will need to consider several factors before shopping, so you can choose the right model for you.
• Material: Feeders are constructed in every material from plastic to stainless steel. Do you need something sturdy? Is your dog allergic to anything?
• Décor: There are a wide variety of colors, styles, shapes and materials that give each feeder its own individual look and style and will fit right into your home.
• Size: Some feeders allow for a week’s worth of small-portioned meals for someone with a smaller dog who might just be away for a few days. Others allow for constant feeding, so you only have to maintain the feeder when it is empty. Your dog’s size and appetite will help you make this decision.

• Electric or manual? Will your dog only eat when she’s hungry, or will she eat constantly? Some models are not electric, but simply dispense the food, so it can be an all-you-can-eat-buffet. Some models are electric and only dispense the amount of food needed for a meal. Your dog’s feeding habits will help you make that decision.

• Budget. The price can vary a lot; so sticking to a firm budget can help keep you from overspending. Remember, the more features the higher the price; decide what you can live with—and what you can’t live without.

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