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Like millions of other people in the U.S., the biggest bright spot of the lockdown of 2020 was that it gave me the time I needed to adopt, train, and bond with a dog. Since we picked Dusty up at a shelter last year, this little cattle dog has become a combination of my best friend, my stress ball (cannot recommend enough channeling your anxiety into dog tummy rubs), and as I like to call him, my beautiful biological son. (What? He has my eyes!)
Did all the time spent with us in lockdown turn him into an absolute Velcro dog who can’t let me check the mail without his help? Well, yes. But setting a routine for every day really helped him get away from his clinginess. For the last year, he knows when he can expect his breakfast and dinner, and it’s always within minutes every day so he doesn’t have time to worry about where we might have gone and if we’re never coming back (which is what I assume went through his mind when he’d paw at the bathroom door while I was trying to shower.)
But now that things have started to open back up, our schedules are taking us out of the house more. Obviously, as my biological son, Dusty remains our priority. But if I hit traffic coming back from school, there’s a chance his calming routine might be thrown off-schedule. I don’t want him to revert to being a sad boy! I feel bad enough leaving him to go to school!
That’s why the Petlibro Granary (opens in new tab) (use code “XMarie” to get 15% off) automatic pet feeder is a game-changer. This futuristic-looking machine can be programmed to give him the exact amount of his fancy kibble at the exact times he expects it, whether we’re home or not. Most importantly, the Granary’s design is focused on making sure his food is fresh and airtight in its container, which means that no moisture gets out and no bacteria or creepy apartment critters can get in. And since the feeder components all come apart seamlessly, it’s also extremely easy to clean when you do need to give it a scrub. I didn’t get an automatic food dispenser earlier because I’d heard they were hard to clean and could make my pup sick if something got inside. But I love that Petlibro (opens in new tab) prioritizes dog safety and health with the Granary. I mean, its slogan is literally “As Fresh As It Gets.”
Plus it’s pretty! Look at it, like something from The Jetsons:
The Granary has a stainless steel bowl to avoid spoiled food and allergies, it runs on both a wall charger and a backup battery (in case the power goes out or it gets unplugged, so your pet can still get their dinner), and because it doesn’t let moisture out, Dusty’s food is as fresh and—I assume—tasty as the day we bought it, every time. You can program up to six meals a day (our dog’s dream, even though he only gets two) and set how much food you want to be dispensed at every meal, all on an LED display that keeps things easy to use and clean to look at. One of my besties has a routine-and-food-obsessed cat and I’m seriously going to get her one of these for her birthday.
And then—this part is my favorite—the Granary lets you record yourself so that your pup knows food is ready for them in their bowl. This is especially helpful if, like some dogs I know, your pet spends most of the day with their face directly in front of the air conditioner, where the sound of their kibble hitting the bowl might be drowned out. I like that he can hear me call him for breakfast and still have him associate the routine with me. Not only is my good boy’s schedule still intact, but my guilt about leaving the house for a couple of hours has been great—though, of course, never entirely—relieved.
Petlibro, Devoted love, hassle-free.
Cady Drell is a writer, editor, researcher and pet enthusiast from Brooklyn.
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