Just as you might buy them anything and everything they ask for, it is impossible not to spoil your pet in exactly the same way. My needs are now second to Jax, who has a tailored food subscription, a bed almost as big as mine, and now more smart gadgets than even I own.

My verdict – Having heard a few horror stories about the first generation Petnet SmartFeeder, I was pleasantly surprised that this device worked (for the most part) as it should.

It’s worth noting at this point that the feeder is currently only on sale in the United States, and while it is possible to pick one up in the UK via Amazon, the product is very much set up for American users. You will have to enter your dog’s weight in pounds, with no option to change to a different measurement. Likewise, you will have to figure out how many ‘cups’ of food your dog usually eats, as entering portion sizes in grams isn’t an option. I also noticed a few popular British dog food brands missing from the options list. With plans for a wider UK launch, I would hope that this is a problem that Petnet will eventually address.

Teething problems aside, the Petnet SmartFeeder does exactly what you would expect it to do. The user loads up the hopper, schedules their pet’s meal times and portions, and waits. While there was the odd (unexplained) missed meal, this wasn’t all that frequent and seemed to correct itself after a few days. Pressing the manual feed button on the front of the unit usually does the job. However, when feeds are missed, the app does send a push notification to let you know, so at least you can dash home and do it the old-fashioned way.

The feeder is well designed, with a removable metal bowl and container that makes it easy to clean or discard food that goes uneaten. It feels sturdy and, combined with the locking lid, should be able to keep even the most determined of pets out.

It’s a relatively inexpensive way to make sure that your pet is well and frequently fed when they’re left at home on their own. It isn’t perfect, but it does what it says on the tin.

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