Always on the lookout for innovation, we regularly wander through the meanders of the canvas, rejecting with regret Morpheus’ arms, in order to find you objects connected to the hair, out of the ordinary, with added value or totally indispensable. And of course, working with our favorite A.I., Alexa not to name her.
What do we have in our hood? We thought of the dogs and pussies connected, by force of course, through their master geeks. Being sure that Medor or Mistigri does not consume too many calories is reassuring enough not to make them into balls on legs. Also making sure you don’t forget to feed them before our mops is also an alternative for us, kings of resourcefulness.
And it is the PETKIT brand, founded in 2013, one of the leaders in the pet equipment market, which is the subject of our devotion. It has the particularity of being the largest of the brand’s (5.9 L, or about 2 Kg of kibble, depending on the size), to prevent moisture from settling thanks to an ingenious system and to be connected! You can hear pussy licking his lips from here!
PETKIT Smart Feeder P512 : practical, well thought out and really designed
The PETKIT Smart Feeder P512 is delivered in a huge cardboard box (39x27x50 cm, more than 5 Kg) featuring superb cat and dog models, a visual of the product and the highlighting of its characteristics: connected, high capacity, manual or automatic operation, system to keep food dry. In other words, the first impression is quite “imposing” but very qualitative. The packaging already makes you want to open all this!
Once opened, we find three main elements: the base with a stainless steel bowl, the body of the kibble dispenser and the power supply unit. In addition, there is a user manual, a quick start guide and a silica-based dry salt sachet. The first thing that comes to mind and mouth is “Wa…ouh”! It is of exceptional quality.
The strength of the plastics and the various elements is amazing. This gives a real feeling of solidity. Moreover, the product has been designed to resist falls that may occur during its use (the animal that pushes the main block to the ground, the latter escaping from hands during handling…).
The details are very careful:
- The power cord is made of woven material,
- The stainless steel of the bowl is of food quality,
- The plastics are thick,
- There are siliconized material seals on the hatch and top cover,
- The distribution system is also robust and ingenious (an automatic “arm” stirs the kibbles so as not to make a block),
- There is a container for pouring the croquettes into the main block for easy cleaning,
- Installation and hygienic maintenance of anti-humidity salts….
The main element, the body of the P512, is available in two facade colours: pastel blue or white. The colour is really pretty and the distribution hatch is aesthetically integrated into the whole. It is impossible to open manually. When you open the top, you can see the thickness of the plastics and the quality of the systems. The kibble distribution will be done by a small wheel with silicone fins that will be filled and emptied by turning on its axis. A dose corresponds to a space between two fins.
Once assembled, our PETKIT Smart Feeder P512 is 50 cm high, 22 cm wide and 45 cm deep, for 5 kg empty. The aesthetics is really good, we have a very nice product, all in roundness, color and transparency. This is a huge strength. At the back of the vertical element, you will find a space for 4 R20 batteries (the largest round batteries on the market) to take over in the event of a power failure. The mains plug is located under the main block. We recommend that you insert the batteries and power cord before placing the unit on the horizontal bracket. Moreover, there is nothing simpler than to assemble the whole thing: the support has 4 studs that fit into 4 holes under the valve body. A click tells you that everything is fine, but you can still remove it by simply lifting it up. You can, while you are at it, open the protection and put the silica gel bag in place (theoretically change it every 30 days).
Technical specifications: the PETKIT SMART FEEDER P512 operates on 100-240V and requires a Wi-Fi connection (802.11b/g/n) in 2.4 GHz only.
Let’s now look together at how to connect it to the network and use it via the PETKIT application.
PETKIT Smart Feeder P512: daily use
We will see both the start-up of the dispenser via the application but also its daily use.
First of all, know that the product tested is the biggest of the brand, there are smaller ones if you have a cat or a small dog. However, the operation will remain fairly close.
To start, it is necessary to first connect the device. You will see that L.E.D.’s are lighting up on the facade. The top one lights up when the device is connected to the WI-FI and the other three show the level of food in the feeding bowl (the three lit ones represent a full tank and when there is none left, it is because the dog is eating the chairs or the cat follows you everywhere by meowing).
Then open the top cover by sliding the mechanism to the left (so no opening possible by our four-legged friends) and fill the container with kibbles. It is possible to put a 2 Kg pack in it without any problem, depending on the size of the kibbles. There is a manual power button on the right side of the front panel that you may want to press. You can do this but as long as the PetKit P512 is not connected to Wi-Fi, it will not work… Which is a bit of a shame in case of a Wi-Fi failure… But you will understand why later. To use it, you will need to hold down the button to start the power supply and release it to finish the distribution.
Keep cats or dogs away from the machine before you start connecting it to your network. To do this, download the PETKIT application on Android or iOS. Once you have done this, you will need to create an account by selecting “Register”. Choose your region, i. e. your country, from a drop-down list, then enter your e-mail address and password. Personal information is then requested from you. Like the main users: in our case are cats, we have put their information in their hands, not ours.
It is then necessary to create the profile of your animal (or animals, but it is necessary to make individual profiles). As an example, we recorded the information of a small 11-month-old cat, of the Siberian type. The breed of the animal is important because PETKIT will look at whether it has the ideal weight and whether the given quantities are sufficient. You must enter the type (dog or cat), name, picture if you want, breed, date of birth, sex and current weight.
You can always change the information later. Don’t forget to link your pet’s account to the device by doing the following. If you have several animals, there are two possibilities: create an account for each one as long as they do not eat together to keep track of the quantities, or skip this step and simply use the planning of the distribution of the croquettes.
Let’s now move on to the Wi-Fi configuration of the Petkit Feeder. To do this, connect your phone to the desired Wi-Fi network and activate your GPS. Then press for a few seconds on the red button in the right corner, on top of the main block when the cover is raised (reset button). The top LED will start flashing. Then enter your network key and let us guide you. It’s pretty fast. You may be offered an update of the software some time later.
Now, it’s up to you to choose which feeding plan you’re going to follow: a pre-determined feeding plan from PETKIT, or a plan made by yourself, based on the information you have on the kibble bags.
We will present you the second option, because it is the most complete with catch and time management. The application counts the ration distributed in a “cup” which is equivalent to about 100 g. But we invite you to confirm this by weighing the quantity dispensed, selecting a cup, to make sure. Indeed, depending on the kibbles, the density and size can vary greatly. Take kitten kibble, very small, in a cup, you have a lot of it. Compare this weight with a cup of much larger Labrador kibble… For the same volume, different weights.
Press edit to create a power plan. Then do “Add power plan” to add a distribution. You can choose the time of distribution, which gives these outlets a name (based on Quebec with Lunch for breakfast, and dinner for lunch). Also choose the amount of food to be distributed. This varies from 1/5 cup to 4 cups, i.e. from 20g to about 400g. You are free to create as many holds as you wish for your pet. If you want to change this plan, you can do so from the home page, by selecting “X’s Power” then the gearwheel at the top right and power plan or more directly by selecting the calendar, just next to the gearwheel. On the other hand, to change a plan already made, such as the time or dose of one of the meals, it is necessary to delete the meal you want to modify and repeat it. Different tests have been made to modify a dose or an hour without taking into account….
Let’s now take a closer look at some interesting elements of the application and what they are used for.
By going to healthy eating, from the home page, you will find a page dedicated to the health of your canine or feline friend and more particularly his ideal daily ration, his target weight and also an help to maintain, lose or gain weight. Another little something extra from the application, you will receive (if you have enabled the option in the settings) push notifications on your phone each time a dose is dispensed both in scheduled and manual mode.
This tour of the owner of the PETKIT application allowed us to see its many advantages (monitoring of daily consumption, ideal quantity of food according to your pet’s weight and what you are looking for (weight loss, gain or maintenance), planned distributions,…) as well as those of the smart feeder itself (aesthetic, solid, qualitative…). You can see on this video the system for opening the distribution door, among other things.
PETKIT Smart Feeder P512: use via Alexa
The PETKIT Skill is available on the Alexa awning in… UK. PETKIT has confirmed that we are working hard to provide a Skill in the near future, aware of the appeal of oversea consumers.
But what can a Skill do for this smart feeder?
It is true that as such, it is self-sufficient via programming, voice control being a plus for more basic functions.
It is thus possible to ask:
“Alexa, ask PETKIT to give out a half cup now”, to give an immediate snack,
“Alexa, ask PETKIT to distribute a quarter cup at 10 o’clock”, to give a snack at a specific time,
We are more on a punctual use, the Skill not allowing to create a feeding plan because it accepts daily requests only. It is therefore a great plus in case of forgetfulness, if you want to feed your pet a little more alone at home, to compensate for an additional animal at a given time or another. Far from being uninteresting, a Skill for this type of device is not essential.
What can we say at the end of this test? First of all, that this product is of excellent quality, solid, really design with excellent finishes. Its very functioning is aesthetic as you can see on the test video. The application is very good and complete, allowing you to follow the diet of your little four-legged darling. The dispenser itself is excellent but not being able to use the manual dispenser button if the device is not connected to Wi-Fi that is not well thought out.