Your pets need to be fed, especially when you are not around to feed them. You can purchase an automatic pet feeder, pay to have someone feed your pets or board your pets while you are away. One alternative to all this is to create a do-it-yourself auto pet feeder, which will keep your pets fed and allow them to be independent.
Create an automatic feeder for animals that live in cages such as hamsters, guinea pigs and birds. Build a feeder from items you can find at home. You will first need a tray the animal can eat from inside of his cage. The tray can be a regular pet food dish, a flat dish from your own dining ware or an animal feeder tray purchased at a store like Petco. Attach the feeding dish to the interior of the cage. If the dish comes with wire or plastic pieces to attach it to the cage, use those. Otherwise, set the dish on the bottom of the inside of the cage.
Clean out a 591ml plastic bottle. Cut a slit in the bottom of the bottle, as if you were opening it up. Do not cut all the way around. Remove the lid of the bottle. Hang the bottle on the outside of the cage, so that the lid of the bottle sits on top of the food dish on the inside of the cage. Attach the bottle to the cage with wire or string so that it is secure. Fold back the bottom of the bottle, and fill it with the animal's food. Food will slid through the bottle, and into the bowl. The remainder of the food will fill up the bottle. As the animal eats food from the bowl, food will slide into the bowl to replace it.
Free Roam Feeders
Create a free roam feeder for your cats and dogs in the same manner. Use a dog or cat bowl and an empty 2.0-litre bottle. Instead of attaching the feeder to the side of the cage, attach it to a wall with wire or a Bungee cord and suspend it over the dog or cat's bowl with the empty lid almost touching the bowl. When you fill it with food, the bowl will fill and stop up the bottle. As the animal eats from the bowl, gravity will cause food to fall to replace it.
Build a Livestock feeder in the same manner. Cut a hole in one corner of a feed bag, and suspend the bag over the animal's feeding trough. The grain or feed will fall from the hole in the bag to fill the bowl, and as the bowl gets full, it will block any more feed from falling. When the animal eats the feed, it will be replaced by gravity.