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If you’re a pet parent, you know that monitoring what your fur baby eats is a full-time job. That responsibility only gets harder when you have two or more pets, especially if one is prone to eating things they shouldn’t, is on a special diet, or occasionally territorial over their dinner. Sure, you can install cameras or try separating your cats or dogs at mealtimes, but who has time for that?
Enter: The SureFeed Microchip Feeder.
A bit of background: I bought this on Black Friday last year in an attempt to get my cat to stop stealing my (extremely territorial) dog’s food, and break up the fights that often result from my pup’s guarding tendencies. Sure, it’s an expensive solution to what might seem like a small issue, but it absolutely changed the dynamic in my home.
At its roots, the SureFeed is a high-tech food bowl. The magic lies in the design: The transparent lid is designed to only open for a designated pet, and remain closed for others. The feeder is programmed to read your pet’s unique microchip or RFID tag. Don’t worry if Fluffy isn’t microchipped — the feeder comes with a unique tag, and you can buy extras if needed.
If your pet is on the SureFeed’s approved list, all it has to do is place their head under the arch. The feeder will then open, and close when the pet walks away. If Fido is the skittish type, not to worry: the bowl comes with a training mode and instructions on how to introduce the SureFeed to a nervous cat or dog. You can also adjust how long it takes the feeder to open or close, in case your furry pal is startled by sudden movements.
The only downside? The feeder is currently only available in a small size, which makes it the ideal height for cats and small dogs. If your pooch is on the larger side, they might not be able to safely use the bowl. For reference, my 12-pound chihuahua mix has no trouble getting in there, though I suspect a dog larger than 20 pounds might have a hard time.
The SureFeed has plenty of fans — of over 320 reviews, 88 percent rated the bowl four stars or higher.
“I got this because one cat barely eats and the other, our new cat, never stops,” one cat parent wrote. “In fact, she was called Cinder Block by her previous family and it fit! I followed the training steps, but it only took a day or two for each step. The set up was easy for the microchip, it's easy to open and clean and to put in the food. Bonus — the look on the new cat's face when she tries to steal food and the door closes is adorable! My older cat just walks away from the food when the new cat pushes in.”
“Love this feeder!” another shopper noted. “Only took a day for my newly adopted genius how to figure this feeder out! Now my 2 other cats and dog cannot eat all of his expensive specialty diet! Directions were easy to follow!”
Shoppers love how easy-to-use the feeder was, and how easy it was to train their pups and kitties:
“We have two small dogs. One is a senior on a special diet, the other is a 6-month-old puppy. We don't worry about who's eating who's food or how much anymore. Training took only 10 minutes with treats.”
As for my pets? It took my pup a few days to learn how to use the bowl, and helped cut down on food-related fights and territorial messes. Sure, it’s expensive, but it’s also way cheaper to invest in this than the constant trips to the vet about my cat’s weight, or endlessly worrying that my dog might lash out at my kitty for stealing one too many bits of kibble.
Now, if only they had a SmartFeed for people with snack-stealing roommates...
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