Tuesday 10 June 2014

iPad Controlled Pet Feeder - PetPal - Review

This is a cat or dog feeder which you can control using an app on your iPad or I presume an iPhone (or other mobile device) when you are out of the home.  The device also lets you talk to your cat or dog, watch them and photograph or video them when out of the home.  The device is called "PetPal", which connects wirelessly to your router in your home and then you connect up to the device, as mentioned, via your iPad or other mobile device.
PetPal feeder

To be honest, there is a plethora of automatic pet feeders on the market.  I've never seen so many. There is clearly a market for them as people are becoming busier and busier and therefore spend less and less time at home.

It does beg the question though whether a person should own a cat or dog if they are away so much that they have to feed him or her with a device like this. Fine for a short while but a cat caretaker went on holiday I wouldn't consider it safe to use this. You can't leave cats and dogs alone and control their lives remotely through a computer for a couple of weeks.

In addition, and this is an important point to make, this device can only dispense dry cat and dog food.  That has to be the case because the food is going to be in a container inside the device for a long time and as we know dry cat food is made up of hard pellets which can fall through openings into a bowl.

We know that dry cat food alone without more is not a wise choice as a diet for a domestic cat.  It can be used from time to time but as far as many cat experts go, it is not sensible to feed your cat 24/7 with this product.

And there is the problem - if a person relied on this device day in day out a cat would be feeding on dry cat food day in day out.  Therefore, I have identified 2 weaknesses with what is otherwise an excellent device as far as I can tell and these are:

  1. If a cat owner is out of the home and away from her cats so often that this device is used a lot then it is questionable whether the person should be a cat caretaker at all and;
  2. The PetPal only dispenses dry cat and dog food which is less than ideal.
Article by Michael Broad

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