Definitive Dog Feeding with Arduino

Some dogs have no sense of self-preservation. Given the opportunity, they will eat until they’re sick. It’s up to us humans to both feed them and remember doing it so they aren’t accidentally overfed. In a busy household with young children, the tricky part is the remembering.

[Bryan]’s family feeds their dog Chloe once a day, in the mornings. She was a rescue who spent a few years scrounging for meals on the street, so some part of her is always interested in finding food, even if she just ate. Each morning, the flurry of activity throughout the house is compounded by Chloe’s repeated requests for food, so [Bryan] got his kids involved and built a simple circuit that lets everyone know—at a glance—whether Chloe was fed.

Chloe’s kibble is kept in a touch-top wastebasket that flips open at the press of a button. [Bryan]’s dog-fed detector uses a reed switch and an Arduino clone to detect when the lid is opened. When the reed switch goes, low, the Arduino lights up an LED. The light stays on for two hours and then shuts off automatically to get ready for the next day. You don’t have to beg for a demo video, because it’s waiting for you after the break.

Since Chloe devours a bowl of food in about two minutes flat, maybe the next project for [Bryan]’s family could teach her to slow down a bit.

3 thoughts on “Definitive Dog Feeding with Arduino

  1. The tendency of animals (including humans!) to eat as much as they could every time the opportunity comes is a survival strategy, to keep a reserve of energy for when supplies run short. That does more harm than good when there’s an endless surplus, a situation rarely encountered in the natural world.

  2. One of our two dogs is this way, she was one of seven and all the dogs were fed out of a big bowl, I have to spread her food out on the floor so she doesn’t choke on it. I’ve even tried the bowl with the baffles in it to slow her down, she just figures out how to eat around the baffles. Other dog eats like two kibbies at a time so I have to keep them separate or when Luna finishes she will kick Ruby off her bowl and devour it before I can stop her. Our cats are similar too lol, one cat will devour all the food he can find, the other will just graze if I leave food out… (If I put it somewhere that the dogs can’t get to it)

  3. A friend of mine, breeds pedigree Labradors, and a few years ago his competition winning top breeding dog, found the badly closed door of the food shed. Needles to say that that very valuable dog managed to eat itself into a misshapen mess, ending his competition career in one single meal.

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