How to make a simple automatic dog feeder

Written by ilene black
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How to make a simple automatic dog feeder
A healthy dog is a well-fed dog. (Chris Amaral/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Dogs need to eat at least twice daily to maintain health, strength, and life. Automatic dog feeders are a convenient way to feed your dog. Several types of automatic dog feeders are on the market, ranging in price from £13 to £65 ($20 to $100). These feeders ensure that your dog has access to dry food if you need to leave him or her alone for an extended period of time. You can make your own, using household items and gravity.

Things you need

  • 5 litre or one gallon jug of plastic milk bottle, with cap
  • Scissors or utility knife
  • Large tray with raised sides
  • Tape or cord (optional)
  • Dry dog food

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  1. 1

    Wash the plastic milk bottle thoroughly. Remove any labels that may be on the bottle. Do not use bleach or a harsh chemical cleaner. Squeeze a dab of dish soap into the bottle and fill with hot water. Shake the bottle well. The suds will scrub any vestiges of milk from the bottle. Make sure you rinse the bottle well, leaving no soap residue. Let hot water run into the bottle until it is completely clean and soap-free.

    How to make a simple automatic dog feeder
    A standard milk bottle is an excellent choice for your feeder (Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)
  2. 2

    Make a rectangular cut in the bottom of the milk bottle with a utility knife or a pair of sharp scissors. The rectangle should extend at least 100 mm (4 inches) across the width of the bottle on one side. The height of your rectangle should be at least one inch high. The cut should be as close to the bottom of the bottle as possible, at least an inch from the bottom. The dry food should fit easily through the cut.

    How to make a simple automatic dog feeder
    Scissors or a utility knife are necessary for a clean cut. (Jupiterimages/ Images)
  3. 3

    Fill the bottle with dry dog food. Replace the cap on the bottle. Test the feeder to ensure that the dry dog food flows easily out of the rectangular cut. If it doesn't, make adjustments to the cut. The food should flow slowly and not all at once. As your dog eats from the tray, more food will fall out of the cut to replace what your dog has eaten.

    How to make a simple automatic dog feeder
    Only dry dog food may be used in your feeder. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)
  4. 4

    Place the bottle on the tray. The sides of the tray should not be higher than 50 mm (2 inches). Make sure the bottle is far enough back on the tray so that the food will drop in a spot that your pet can reach without tipping over the feeder. Use tape to attach the bottle to the tray, if it does not feel secure. You may also use a cord to attach the bottle to a wall surface behind the dog feeder.

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