If you've got a pet on a strict diet, the LeBistro feeder from Aspen Pet can help with the portioning and timing of their meals. When you take it out of the box, you'll get a clear bowl where the food is stored, chute that dispenses the food, base to keep it steady, tray where the food comes out, and lid. It was pretty clear how all the pieces fit together, but there are instructions included to help you along. After switching on the feeder with the switch on the bottom, use the buttons and screen to set the time on the feeder. With these controls, you can program it to automatically release food at times of your choosing, up to three times a day. You can also adjust the portion of food dispensed per feeding, ranging from one-quarter cup to three cups. Alternatively, you can just dispense the food manually with the push of a button. To fill it up, lift the top off and pour in your pet's dry food. The clear bowls allow you to see the food levels and know when you need to refill. A light on the feeder will also flash red when the battery is running low.
There are lots of ways to customize your experience with the Automatic Pet Feeder from PetLibro. You get the bin that stores the food, which attaches to the tray where the food comes out. There's also the lid, with a desiccant that you can place inside of it to keep the food fresh. This offers a dual power supply, meaning you can power it either by plugging the included power cord into an outlet, or by installing three D batteries. Then to fill up the bin, just lift the lid off and pour your pet's dry food inside. The size we tested holds four liters, or 16.9 cups of food. It's also available in a six-liter version. You'll want to have the included instructions on-hand as you're programming the feeder, as the buttons are not self-explanatory. You'll use them to set the time, and indicate when your pet gets fed. You can schedule the feeder to disperse food up to four times per day. You can also customize how many portions of food get released per feeding. One portion equals 2.5 tablespoons of food, and the feeder can release up to nine portions at once. With the voice recording feature, you can record a 10 second message that will play when the food comes out.
Out of all the feeders in this review, the PetSafe Five Meal Automatic Feeder gives you the option to schedule the most meals per day. As you can probably guess from the name, you can use it to feed your dog or cat up to five times in a day. This feeder also probably offers the easiest assembly. When you take it out of the box, it's pretty much ready to go; just flip the lid open and install four D batteries. Once you've set the time and adjusted when and how many feedings will take place, fill each of the five compartments in the tray with up to one cup of kibble. The feeder does not portion food for you, so you will have to measure out the food yourself. When you close the lid, your dog's first meal is ready to go. Then when it comes time for their next meal, the tray rotates to the next compartment full of food.
Overall, we found Aspen Pet's LeBistro to be a reliable feeder with no major issues. This is best-suited to any pets that eat their meals according to a specific schedule, especially if you're a busy pet parent who works for the day or just needs to be away from home during their feeding times for any reason.
Aside from how practical it is, we also found the PetLibro feeder very aesthetically pleasing. The design is really simple but modern, and the feeder won't take up a ton of space on the floor. We love the voice record option that you can use to call your pet over when it's time to eat; plus, if a mealtime rolls around when you're not at home, hearing the sound of your voice can help your pup feel a little less lonely.
We found PetSafe's Five Meal feeder really easy to operate; it's ideal if you tend to find electronics challenging. We also liked how much control it gives you over measuring out the food. It saves you the hassle of figuring out how to use the controls to customize the portion size. You can even use it to divide a single meal between several compartments and program it to rotate a couple of minutes apart so that your dog doesn't gobble it down all at once.
Busy pet owners who can't always be around to feed their dogs on time; pets who are on a strict diet or eating schedule; and/or dog owners who want to encourage their dogs to eat more slowly.
If your dog gets really excited when they eat, their movement can slide the Aspen Pet LeBistro around on hard flooring. Also, when we removed and replaced the top part of the feeder, the motion would release food. The three D batteries that are required to power it are not included.
The PetLibro feeder is probably best suited to small breeds. We tried this with Piper, and the servings are so small that it needed to be turned to the highest number of servings to amount to what she typically eats in a meal. For larger dogs that eat more, this probably won't be enough food. If you plan to use batteries with it, the required three D batteries are not included.
The PetSafe Five Meal Feeder will need four D batteries, which are not included. We needed to remove the batteries each time we wanted to turn it off. It also does not have a longterm storage compartment, so depending on your pet's diet, you may need to refill it every day or every other day.
3 D batteries required
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