Is A Fully Automated Pet Food Dispenser Actually A Good Idea?

I'm a bit torn about this particular hack. On the one hand it's a good example of pretty ingenious engineering. On the other hand, I'm worried about the potential for people to forget their pets.


Perhaps I worry too much. Hack A Day features a fully automated pet feeder that's been hacked together from, variously, an existing pet feeder, a sprinkler system and a web camera.

Ggiven that he's specified it's for if you want to leave your cat or dog "at home when you go on vacation", I'm a little unsettled by it. Pet ownership, to my way of thinking, is something you shouldn't take that casually, or rely on a system that could still break down to supply something as elementary as water and food to your animals. Lifehacker has covered projects like this before, which leaves me wondering: Am I over-thinking this?

Dog & Cat automation for food and water all monitored via Internet [ via Hack A Day]


    Considering it's being monitored by the internet, you would presume that they'd have a backup person they can contact and ask to attend their pet if any issues arrive.

    Would depend entirely on the pet, residence and as such.

      It'd be okay for short trips away as long as you had a contact person to call if you needed to. For longer trips though you'd still need someone to come and exercise / socialise the dog.

    jeff attwood extolled the virtues here

    "I can't emphasize enough how much of a daily lifestyle improvement it really is to have your pets stop associating you with ritualized, timed feedings."

    here's a thought experiment: would an automated pooper scooper cause you the same consternation?

      That might be convenient to you, but is it ok for the dog? Part of establishing dominance and respect for a dog is control of their food. Also, if you're the food bringer, not only do you have all the power but you get all the love. If it's soooooo inconvenient in the first place, perhaps you're the sort of person who shouldn't have a dog.

    Very, very cool. A dog will still get lonely and restless if it's in an enclosure without its family around, so there's that. But if you want to keep it fed and watered, and keep an eye on it from time to time this is cool!

    Lots of ways to refine this system, but I don't want to take anything away from the guy. A really cool, inventive way of providing for your pet when you're away.

      If you haven't got time to feed a pet, you don't have time for a pet. Let alone a social breed like a German Shepherd shown in the article. Only exception is if a pet has another one to keep it company.

        So if you own a pet - no holidays for 7 - 20 years?

          So if you own a pet - drop it off at a mate's house / kennel. Or, if you can, take it with you. Really not that hard.

    Personally I would be wary- overfeeding of dogs, especially large breed dogs, is associated with a condition called 'bloat' which leads to Gastric Dilation-Volvulus, a life-threatening emergency.

    Plus obviously contributing to obesity, diabetes etc.

      I would only want to have one of these if it self-regulated the amount / timing of the food, rather than just dispensing food on request. However, there is also the issue of the dog being alone for so long, potentially causing anxiety.

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