The best smart pet bowls are joining a growing number of gadgets designed to make your life as a pet parent a whole lot easier. Given how much our furkids love mealtimes (and who can blame them?!) a smart pet bowl can come in handy for both weighing the food and granting access to it.
Whether you’re dishing up the best dry dog food or the best dry cat food, a smart pet bowl can help you measure out each serving, ensuring the perfect portion every time. It’s a great option for pets who are carrying a few extra pounds and with some coming with additional slow feeder attachments, you can also control how quickly your furkid can eat.
Smart pet bowls don’t come with lots of fancy features, their main draw is that they can help to keep your pet’s health in check. In addition to weighing food, several also offer a smart unlocking feature that works in conjunction with your furkids microchip or RFID collar tag.
If you’re out of the house a lot and are looking for something that will both weigh and control portions and release food on a schedule, we recommend checking out some of the best automatic pet feeders. But if all you’re needing is something a little more advanced than a regular food bowl, a smart pet bowl should suit you perfectly.
Smart food bowls tend to be more robust than standard bowls and they’re also less likely to cause lots of spillages, so they’re a great choice if you’re looking for something a little more durable or have a messy eater on your hands. Now that you know what they have to offer, let’s take a closer look at the best smart pet bowls lining the shelves in 2021...
PetsRadar's pick of the best smart pet bowls
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Despite its unassuming looks, there are a lot of nice touches in the PetKit Smart Bowl, from the way you can remove the metal bowl to wash it (under the tap, not in the dishwasher), to the angled, sunken design that means spillages aren't a problem. On top of that, you, of course, also have the digital scales embedded in the unit.
Being able to weigh your pooch's food while you're pouring it means you're not guessing about how much you're giving your canine companion, so you shouldn't have any problems with feeding them too much or too little. The bowl is also accompanied by an app – it's a little rough around the edges, but it will make helpful suggestions about the size of the servings that you're measuring out.
At 1.7 liters of capacity, there's plenty of snack space here for even the most greedy of pups, and you can adjust the scales to show kilograms or pounds, so there's no confusion about how much you're measuring out. You know how much your dog has eaten, and you know how much you need to buy too.
That large capacity means this is quite a chunky bowl – it measures 305 mm x 285 mm x 115 mm (that's 12-inches x 11.2-inches x 4.5-inches), so make sure you've got room to accommodate it wherever you want it in your home. The rubberized grips underneath the bowl help to stop it from moving around.
Low maintenance, easy to operate, and key for keeping your pooch healthy and well-fed, there's a lot to like about the PetKit Smart Bowl and the mobile app that comes along with it, even if it doesn't have any features that are particularly advanced or flashy.
SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder
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If you're prepared to spend a little bit more money for something that's truly smart, then then the SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder is definitely one of the best microchip food bowls we've seen to date. As the name suggests, it'll open up based on the proximity of a cat with a particular implanted microchip or RFID collar tag, so it's a great way of giving different pets different diets (or keeping out the neighbor's cat).
Even if you've just got one kitty, you can use the pet feeder to monitor how much they're eating and how often. If you attach the Sure Petcare app and hub (sold separately), then you've got a really comprehensive way of monitoring your cat's diet and nutrition while you're out of the house.
You get a single bowl and two half bowls included in the kit, and these can be replaced and even color-coded using the accessories that are available (you could have different colored pet feeders for different cats, for example). The bowls are sealed, which means the food is kept fresh until your cat is ready for a snack.
One set of batteries should be enough to keep the SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder going for around six months, and the whole unit is easy to clean, so you won't have many worries in terms of maintenance. There have been reports of some aggressive cats outsmarting the tech (and getting in the way of more placid cats once the bowls are unlocked), but for most felines it seems to work well.
If you want to know as much about your cat's eating habits as your Fitbit tells you about your exercise regime, then this is the smart pet bowl that you need. Yes it's on the expensive side compared with other options, but it's a worthy investment.
How to choose the best smart pet bowl
When it comes to choosing the best smart pet bowls or the best microchip food bowl, you do of course need to start with your pet – these bowls are designed for either cats or dogs or both, so bear that in mind to begin with. Some will also make recommendations about what size of pet they're suitable for, so pay attention to this too.
Two of the key features you need to look out for are digital scales and microchip access. The former enables you to weigh out food for your pets: it means less goes to waste, while making sure that they're eating as much (or as little) as they should be. Some bowls even have apps to recommend serving amounts.
As for microchip access, this isn't on many smart pet bowls, but if your cat has been chipped or wears an RFID tag on its collar, these devices let you set up a sort of sentry system – only the right cat will be able to gain access to the food contained within, which can be really useful in busy households.
Look out for the sizes and the weights of the smart pet bowls that you're weighing up, as well as how easy they are to clean. Lastly, consider the price – though remember sometimes it's worth paying a little more for a little more quality.
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