Petnet SmartFeeder Smartphone Controlled Feeder iOS Review
When it comes to a more modern and efficient way of feeding your cats, only a few feeding units can compete with the Petnet SmartFeeder. By using this device, you can finally control the programming and feeding time through your iOS-powered devices and other smart phones. This unit is designed to work with smart phones remotely, making the programming an easy activity to undertake.
When you use this unit you can program the feeding times, amount of kibbles to be dispensed at specified times and the time in between meal time. You are on top of things when managing the mealtimes of your pet cat since you can program the specific food portions, from a minimum of 1/16 cup of kibbles to 1 1/2 cup of kibbles. And compared to other dispensers, you can program the unit to feed your cats multiple times a day.
This SmartFeeder by Petnet is also an intelligent unit inside the household since this can be used to calculate the food portions that you can give your pet. The unit has access to a pet food database, thus allowing the unit to approximate the amount of food your cats need based on their nutritional requirements. As an intelligent investment in your home, the Petnet will also notify you in case the hopper is running low on kibbles.
Petnet SmartFeeder Features
- Tracking the eating habits of your pets anywhere, any time
- Easy-to-program unit; allows pet owners to customize feeding time and speed, and even food portion
- Get updates and notifications about the unit and feeding programs through your smart phone
- Petnet application allows you to estimate the right amount of food for the pet
- Works on different types and sizes of kibbles, and can accommodate kibbles up to 5/8′ in diameter
- Hopper can accommodate up 5 to 7 lbs of dry kibbles
- Customize portion sizes, in 1/16 cup increments
- Uses AC adapter, also comes with rechargeable back-up battery
- Works with iOS 8 or later versions
- Connects using Wi-Fi, 2.4 GHz
- Comes with a 2-year limited manufacturer warranty
- Unit weighs 7 lbs
- Unit measures L: 15.3′ x W 8.70′ x D 15.32′
What to Expect from the Box?
- Main unit
- Stainless steel bowl insert
- Food hopper
- Lid and band
- Micro USB cable, 8 feet
- User’s Manual
How the SmartFeeder Works
This cat feeder needs to be configured for it to work with smartphones that run on iOS system. Simply follow the steps listed below to use the unit remotely, using a Wi-Fi connection.
To make this unit work, it taps into a sensor to check if indeed the cats are eating the right amount of food, and to check the level of kibbles in the hopper. This is an intelligent unit, thanks to the presence of a learning software that tracks the eating habits of your cats.
The information is stored and accessed online, and can be used as the source of information regarding the best diet for your cats. The Petnet application can be used to program the cats’ meal times. When programming the unit for the first time, keep in mind that the operations of the Petnet SmartFeeder are based on a one-day set-up.
This means that you need to set up first the schedule for the first day before this can be repeated for a number of days. Also, this cat feeder is cat-proof, and you can rest assured that your cats’ playfulness are managed creatively.
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How to Use and Take Advantage of the Petnet Application
A. Use the application to program your cats’ meal times. Creating a schedule for your cats require three critical steps.
- Select the cats’ feeding times. The feeder will not limit you to just three meal times- use the unit to program up to 4, 5 or even 6 meal times in a day.
- Select the food portion for every specified meal time. Meals for your cats can start at 1/16 cup of kibbles, and you can go high up to 1 1/2 cup of kibbles. Thus unit allows you to customize the size of breakfast and dinner, to meet the dietary requirements of your cat. If you are clueless as to the amount of food that the cats can eat, you can count on the unit to calculate the average food portion that you can give to your cats.
- Identify the dispensing speed of the unit. You can also identify the dispensing speed during the specified meal time. For example, you can select ‘Slow’, or choose ‘Fast’ if you want your pets to instantly get and enjoy the kibbles.
B. Simply choose ‘One-off Feed’ using your phone at any time.
C. Watch out for notifications and alerts on your phone. The alerts and notifications are helpful pieces of information for pet owners. The notifications can focus on the inventory, amount of food and battery life.
D. Understand the feeding insights. This will help you understand the feeding process, and how the kibbles are dispensed. For example, you will discover if the feeding is ‘Just Right’, ‘Too Little’ or even ‘Too Much’.
The Petnet SmartFeeder has access to a food database that includes the nutritional values, and the best combinations for your cats’ dietary needs. If you want the system to estimate the food portion for your cats, you need to specify certain information like breed, age, weight and the level of activity. If you need to check out the cat food using the application, you can scan the UPC bar code so that the application and mobile phone can recognize the food bag. If this step fails, you can manually browse through the database, and search for the brand and recipe.
F. Order cat food using the app. The app will allow you to order cat food online, through the application.
Compared to other automatic feeders, the Petnet unit is backed by two power sources, the AC adapter and battery. The battery works as a back-up source of power, and can be helpful in case there are sudden fluctuations in electricity, or if the unit has been accidentally unplugged. If the unit will depend on the battery, keep in mind that this will provide power for 7 to 8 hours. The unit will send you a notification if the battery in the unit is running low. If the battery is already running low, you can charge the battery in one of two ways. You can plug the bowl into the charging outlet, and plug the micro USB directly into your charging outlet.
Petnet SmartFeeder Pros and Cons
After listing the pros and cons about the Petnet Automatic food dispenser, here are some recommendations:
Who I recommend the Petnet for
I recommended for:
- Busy pet owners who want to control the meal schedules suing the iPhone
- Pet owners who have one cat
- Individuals who want the flexibility to adjust the feeding schedules any time
- Modern individuals who want to take advantage of applications on the phone to control the feeding times and other information
- Individuals who want regular updates and information about the eating behavior of the cats, including the food level
- Pet owners who want a unit that can run on a back-up power
Not recommended for:
- Pet owners who don’t own iOS-powered smart phones
- Individuals without access to the internet
- Pet owners who need to feed two or more cats
- Individuals who will need to use this unit in areas that will be subjected to long power interruptions, especially if the power interruption will lasts more than 7 hours
- Individuals who will need to feed their cats with irregular-shaped kibbles, and kibbles that are larger than 1/4′ in diameter
- Pet owners who want to give their cats small snacks and meals, usually less than 5 oz
Many pet owners reported a malfunctioning unit due to kibbles that remained inside the unit, or kibbles that jammed the internal components of the unit. To avoid this problem, you need to regularly clean the unit, at least once a week.
My Petnet Feeder Conclusion
If you are looking for a smart way to feed your cats, then the Petnet cat food dispenser can help you stay on top of things. The great thing about this cat feeder is that it allows you to program eating schedules remotely, and will help you decide what are the best portions for your cats. The unit will also tell you if the unit is running low on food, and all these are possible thanks to the Petnet application.
Initially, this product was released in its Beta version for some customers, and now, the full version is made available to the general public. The official version of the unit comes with improved charging functions, improved protection and improved plastic material around the bowl. While there have been some marked improvements to the unit, still there are some issues that have been reported, including the bowl that easily gets disconnected. This can be addressed by contacting Customer Support. The team can guide on how to install the unit perfectly.
Also, the application that can be used to control the feeding times can also serve as an ‘adviser’ for the pet owner. Even if you are clueless on how to properly feed your cats based on their nutritional requirements and needs, then the application can provide portion recommendations based on certain factors to identify the right portions and schedule.