There are millions and millions of cats and dogs in the world, us humans have as pets, our companions, our life long friends. It’s important to keep them in good health and that starts with a quality diet. It’s important to keep them active, feed them a healthy balanced diet and that includes the right amount of food. That’s where the SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder comes in. It’s an automatic feeding device, which activates via microchip, includes built-in scales for accurate portions and all eating habits are recorded within one simple app.
The feeder comes boxed with two bowl options, either one large bowl or two smaller ones, with associated scales, plus a rubber mat for crumbs. No power supply provided, the feeder is powered via four C type batteries and these need to purchased separately. You also require the associated network hub that is a separate device, sold separately or via a bundle from Sure Petcare. The feeder on its own retails at £119.99, a combo with the hub is £169.99 and once you have the hub, you can add additional feeders to your network if you have more than one pet.
The feeder itself looks very sleek, modern and somewhat futuristic. It’s very simply in design, it has a bar over the top, with a microchip reader within it and then the bowl area below it. The bowl is covered via a clear plastic cover, which folds away when opening. Under the lid is the bowl and below that the weighing scales. You have the option of having one large or two small bowls and you need to use the associated scale below the bowl for the scale feature to work. Below the bowl and the scale, is a small area for excess food, which has access from the bottom of the feeder, for easy removal and cleaning. Just in front of the bowl is a crumb area, any mess created from your pet should land here, on top of a removable plastic cover, making it very easy to clean.
There are a number of buttons to the rear of the feeder, including open/close, zero the scales, add pet and training function. To the front of the feeder are a number of green led lights, that illuminate as part of the weighing process. So if you set the weight to say 50grams, as you pour the food into the bowl, the lights will increase and once full, that means you’ve put the correct weight in. If you put too much in, a red light will show, meaning you’ve put too much in and need to take some out.
Set up appeared daunting but was in fact very straight forward and didn’t take very long at all. It’s a matter of downloading the app, creating an account, plugging in the hub and setting up, then turning on the feeder and setting up. You need to plug the hub into your router and also provide power to it. It’s suggested that the feeder is within 10m of the hub, to ensure the connection is good enough. All in all, it took me about 10 minutes to connect and set up.
Once you’ve created an account, you can set up your pets within it. It’s very straight forward, you just input name, a photo, gender etc and once thats done, you’re ready to pair your pet to the feeder. To do this, you need to press the pairing button to the rear of the feeder and get your pet to put their head near the bowl. It was very quick in picking up my dogs chip and saved it under his profile. You are then able to set how much food you’d like to feed your pet. I feed my dog about 130grams of dry food a day, split in the morning and evening, so I inputted just that. You can then press the open/close button on the feeder and put some food in. You will notice as you put food in, the weighing lights will light up and once enough food is in, you will see all the lights illuminated. The weighing feature seems fairly accurate, although, with just lights, it’s hard to get complete accuracy. I would set the weighing to say 70grams, but then only put in 68grams but all the lights up lit.
The feeder works really well, it quickly identifies the chip on your pet and the lid folds up, allowing your pet to chow down on their grub. Once your pet is done eating, there is a short delay and then the lid will close. One thing I love is that the app will notify you when food is added and when it’s been eaten. I’ll get a notification saying there has been XXgrams of food added to the bowl and then during the day ill get, “your dog has eaten XXgrams of food”. These eating habits are all recorded within the app, days, timings, weights of food, it’s all available to monitor if you wish.
Now your pet may be scared at first, unsure what to do and thats fine. I would pick my dog up and as long as the food smelt good, he was intrigued enough to put his head close enough for the lid to open. After several meals, he started to get the hang of it. However, there is also a training mode which eases your pet into their new food bowl. Essentially, the lid remains open at first and then gradually closes over a number of steps.
The lid comes off, the bottom cover comes off, so it’s very easy to clean and maintain. The bowls and scales can be removed and washed in the sink, the feeder itself and only be wiped clean. Within the app, you can monitor the battery level of the device but with four batteries, I expect them to last a fair while.
The only issue I had and you’ll see it in the video, is that my dog would eat his food so fast and aggressively, the bowls would move, thus stopping the lid from closing. This would occur less often when I swapped to the single bowl option.
My Wife & I have loved using the SureFeed feeder with our dog. It’s very easy to use, easy to clean, allows us to monitor how much he ate and it stopped the cats from eating his food. It’s a must-have if your vet has told you to monitor what and when your pet eats, or if you have multiple pets that continually eat each other’s food. It’s perfect for all cats, suitable for small and some medium-sized dogs. For reference, my dog is classed as medium (9kg).
For more information, head over to the official Sure Petcare webpage.