Each of the dog owners at least once in their lives found themselves in a situation where they had to urgently leave for a few days and leave their domestic dog, as they say, “alone on the farm”. The main problem in this situation is the question of feeding the pet.
If there are no acquaintances or friends who can feed the animal in the absence of the owner, the last chance to provide the dog with food remains the automatic feeder for dogs. Some models of car feeders are able to give a sufficiently large supply of food in even portions.
Of course, the automatic feeder for dogs is not able to solve all the problems of the animal, arising from the lack of owners, especially its use is designed for certain conditions:
- As the main element of the food with the help of an automatic feeder, only dry food is used, therefore, the animal should at least be accustomed to eat similar food;
- The use of the feeder was originally focused on animals kept in an open-air cage, as the developers have not yet invented an automatic toilet for an autofold. An exception may be dogs of small breeds living in the house, which have the opportunity to leave the room through an automatic vestibule.
- Eating dry food for several days can negatively affect the health of the dog, even if there is enough food and water in the aviary, therefore, automatic feeders for dogs of large breeds can only be considered as a temporary measure.
If the dog is accustomed to overeat or cannot control the amount of food eaten, then only those models of feeders that are equipped with a built-in dispenser will be suitable for automatic feeding, and these are usually the most expensive and complex devices.
In addition, the appearance and smell of plastic automatic feeder dog in the aviary must be taught within a few days to develop a certain culture of use. Often the dog, irritated by the sounds or the type of food in the bunker, manages to permanently break the electronic apparatus. Therefore, some owners prefer not to risk and equip in the aviary a separate compartment-case in which the automatic feeder is installed.
Catering dogs with automatic feeder has its own characteristics. If feeding cats, hamsters, fish, parrots does not have a psychological focus, then everything is much more difficult for dogs. The bowl and the identity of the person who gives the food are very important for the dog, from the point of view of psychology, who feeds, he is the owner in the house.
How does the automatic feeder
The basic idea inherent in the design of the feeder is to ensure that the weekly or three-day supply of food does not give the dog a single mass, but within a certain period, preferably after equal periods of time. Most models for automatic feeding according to the scheme of work can be divided into three categories:
- The simplest bulk structures;
- Dosing systems;
- Self-opening feeders.
Some of the models are complemented by an automatic drinker, in the form of a container with a teat valve mounted on a tripod. Such an addition will not be the most superfluous, especially if there is no possibility for the dog in the aviary to make water for several days.
Automatic feeders – dispensers
A truly automatic system can be called the system shown in the photo below.
A feature of this device is the presence of a special elevator, through which a portion of feed is fed from the bunker to the bowl. The portion, once issued by the automatic feeder, can vary from 60 to 500 g, which is quite enough for organizing the feeding of a large dog. The weight of the delivered portion is adjusted by the digital indicator on the side panel. In the bottom part of the device there are special clamps that allow you to fix the device on the flooring or on the floor.
The automatic feeder can operate in software mode, from an internal timer or at the command of an external computer. Before issuing food, the machine issues a buzzer and opens the elevator only after the dog approaches the bowl. In the upper part of the apparatus is a tank for stock of feed. On average, the bunker is designed for 3-4 kg, but there are models with a capacity of up to 10 kg of dry food.
Feeders for small and dwarf dog breeds
For small breeds of dogs, the automatic feeding of the rotary type is more often used. Structurally, the device is a ring tray, divided into 5-6 sectors. In each sector there is a portion of food for one meal. The top of the tray closes the cover with the cut out central sector. In the process of rotating the lid, the sector window opens alternately cells with feed in the tray. One or two sectors can be opened per day.
More perfect are designs of automatic feeders with a timer. In fact, it is a tray with a portion of feed loaded inside. The tray is closed with a hinged lid held by a magnetic or mechanical lock. As soon as the timer is triggered, the lock is unlocked, and the lid folds back, giving the dog access to the feed. If desired, you can set the required number of automatic feeders, equal to the number of feedings dog. According to the manufacturers, thanks to a tight-fitting lid, not only dry food, but also canned meat or fish can be loaded into the feeder. Of course, this method is not suitable for large breed dogs; the dog will open the tray earlier than the timer will work.
The simplest type of dog feeder on a stand is a tank or a vertical type hopper mounted on a special tray. At the bottom of the bunker automatic feeder there is an annular gap. Part of the feed wakes up in a small amount through the gap and locks the main mass, preventing it from getting enough sleep in the tray.
As the dog eats a portion of the food in the tray, a new batch is poured out of the bunker in its place. From the design of the automatic feeder, it is clear that the food will get enough sleep until the dog carefully picks it up from the tray. Under normal humidity and temperature, dry food retains bulk properties for a long time, so once filled with an automatic dog feeder can work for 7-10 days.
Using the principle described above, you can make an automatic dog feeder for yourself. Best of all, a piece of plastic sewer pipe with a diameter of 100 mm and a length of 80-90 cm is suitable for these purposes.
The pipe must be mounted on a vertical steel rack, which is screwed to a plate-support cut out of plywood. In the lower part of the resulting vertical bunker, you must wear a tapered adapter with 100 mm per pipe of 50 mm. For a more presentable look, the structure can be painted with spray paint in any color you like.
So that the feed does not erode, the container is closed with a lid – a cap. Given the considerable height, it is desirable to fasten the structure to the floor or to the wall with additional metal strips and self-tapping screws. It remains to adjust the position of the bunker with the food in height, put the bowl for the dog and fill the container with dry food.
In order for the food not to be caked and not stuck in the bunker, many home-builders rigidly fix a small electric motor of 5-10 W with an eccentric on the pipe. The engine is connected to a timer. The sound of a vibrating engine dogs are able to hear for several tens of meters.
According to the manufacturers, the demand for automatic feeders turned out to be quite high, so it is planned to release automatic feeding devices, controlled via the Internet and even equipped with a video camera. In addition to dry food, there will be three or four types of food, freezing and warming up.