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Posted on Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : noon

New product allows you to feed your pet from a distance - with your smartphone

By Lorrie Shaw

In the past, I've talked about how useful technology — especially smartphones — can be in sharing life with our pets.

Video camera features can help us more clearly illustrate to a veterinarian what is happening with a pet if they have some indescribable symptoms or puzzling behavior, and there are even smartphone apps that can help keep your pet safe and healthy.

But a new application for iOS and Android is bound to have dog and cat owners jumping for joy, especially in today's hectic world.

Automated pet food dispensers are nothing new, really, and for many pet owners they are a boon. The concept is simple: It consists of a receptacle filled with food which dispenses kibble, a little at a time, in timed increments automatically.

But one new product, the Pintofeed, takes the original concept to a whole new level by adding a WiFi feature and uses your smartphone and social media. This offers pet owners more control and flexibility with feeding and may even help in managing weight in chubby pets.

With features like a second motor that engages in case the first one fails, and a battery backup in they events of a power outage, it has promise for those folks who have long commutes or work hours.

The unit has the capacity to send notifications of feeding start times, portions, feeding end times, and errors via text or email, or social media if you like.

Snagging one is easy: Pintofeed is raising funds in Indiegogo, and for a $130 pledge, one can be yours.

I do see a couple of drawbacks, however. For those households with multiple pets, it can be hard to gauge just how much each pet is eating, and in cases where you have a food bully someone will undoubtedly get shortchanged. And it will certainly never take the place of a mindful caregiver, especially during long weekends and vacations.

Catch Pintofeed in action below.

Lorrie Shaw leads the pets section for and owner of Professional Pet Sitting. Shoot her an email, contact her at 734-904-7279 or follow her adventures on Twitter.



Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 5:25 p.m.

Nifty idea for responsible pet owners, however if your reason to get this thing is because you don't have time to care for your pet or are too lazy to... I can see this being a HUGE draw for us tech geeks though.