It's hard to walk out of the house to go to work with those sad puppy dog eyes staring at you. We know our dogs are lonely at home alone during the day, but what can we do to help them? Thanks to new technology, now there are dog cameras, like the Furbo, that allow us to check on our pets when we're out of the house.
Cameras like the Furbo work with your home's WiFi connection. The camera unit connects to the WiFi, and you can use an app on your smartphone or tablet to connect to the camera whenever you leave the house. Of course, the downside is that you need to have access to WiFi at home and a smartphone or other compatible device.
Depending on the type of camera you buy, it may also be equipped with a microphone that can allow you to record a message or speak through your smartphone and play a message for your pet. This may be extremely helpful for dogs who suffer from separation anxiety.
The Furbo offers all of these features and more! That's why I wanted to test it out and share my review. It's one of the most popular dog cameras on the market, and I wanted to see if it lived up to the hype.
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As you'll see in my video review, Furbo is very easy to use. I was a little intimidated at first, because I am certainly not tech savvy. I'm the girl who has to ask my husband for help with the television remote, and my children can do on a laptop or smartphone than I can.
I was able to easily setup this dog camera in about 5 minutes, and the majority of that was just waiting for it to connect to my home's WiFi. Below you can watch my unboxing video to see just how easy the Furbo really is to setup.
All you have to do is take the pieces out of the box, fill the Furbo with treats (you even get a small bag of treats to start with included with your purchase), put the top on the treat dispenser, plug in your Furbo and wait. While you're waiting, you can download the FREE app that is available for iOS or Android devices.
Your Furbo will connect to your home's WiFi and you'll see the light on the bottom of the device turn green when it's ready to go. I point this out in my video review, but it's a bit hard to see because the lighting is so bright.
I walk you through the app in my video, but it's super easy to navigate – even for the most technologically challenged. Once you sign in to the app you just select your Furbo and it will upload the live feed from the device in your home.
There are three buttons on the bottom of the screen. One allows you to turn on the microphone and send a message to your pet. It will continue recording and sending messages until you turn the microphone off. Unlike other similar products, the Furbo doesn't just play the same prerecorded message time and time again. You can send a unique message every time.
Another button allows you to take still photos or short videos of your pet to save or share on social media. The third button looks like a little dog biscuit. When you press this, the Furbo device will launch a dog treat onto the floor for your pet to enjoy.
Not only is the Furbo great for treating and talking to your pet while you're away, it gives curious dog owners a way to see what their pet is up to all day. I worry about our Boxer, Chloe, when we're gone. No matter how long I am gone or what time I return home, she's always sitting in the same spot in front of the window waiting for me.
I always wondered if she just sat there all day worrying if I was coming home. Chloe's a rescue dog, so we don't know what her life was life before we adopted her. Was she abandoned by a family she once loved? Is she worried that I am leaving her too?
My mind was put to rest once we got the Furbo. Chloe doesn't sit by that window all day long. She spends most of the day relaxing on her dog bed, but she also plays and wrestles with our two dogs from time to time.
I have seen her eating and drinking when I'm not at home. I know that even though I'm not there, she's happy. She must know the distinct sound of my car and races to the window when I begin slowing down to turn into our driveway.
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I haven't even told you about my favorite Furbo feature yet. It has a bark indicator that will send a message to your smartphone or tablet whenever your dog is barking. You can sign into the app and check to see why your dog is making so much noise.
The bark indicator is a bit annoying sometimes, though. It alerts you about every 30 seconds, so if your dog barks for a long period of time you'll get multiple notifications back to back.
It also alerts you anytime your dog barks, even if you're home. However, if go into the settings menu, you can turn the privacy mode on. This allows the Furbo to be off automatically when you're home.
The Furbo works much better than some of the other dog cameras I've tested.
Many similar products have a long lag time and freeze quite often. While the feed from the Furbo isn't perfect, it's much better than any other camera that I've tried.
As with most products, better quality usually means more money, and that's true in this situation. The Furbo sells for $225 on Amazon. You can find other similar products for $100-$150, but they won't have as many features and the quality probably won't be as good.
The Furbo certainly isn't a necessity, and I know it won't fit into everyone's budget. It's a fine toy, though. It would also make a great gift for the dog or dog owner on your shopping list that seems to have everything.
Since publishing this review on the original model, Furbo has unveiled an updated model. They are calling it the “first AI-powered dog camera,” because it uses machine learning and computer vision to notify you when your dog is pacing, chewing or playing. This new device also automatically takes a picture of your Fido when he’s looking at the camera and lets you know when it detects a human in view.
This could be a great addition for anyone that wants to check in on a pet sitter or dog walker. And, it could also let you know if a puppy-napper is in your home! The upgraded Furbo camera is equipped with a 1080p HD camera with 4x zoom, night vision and a 160-degree wide-angle lens.
Summary of the Furbo Treat Dispensing Dog Camera Review
- Allows you to see what your dog is up to when you're not at home
- Dispenses treats with the push of a button
- Connects to a FREE app that is available for both iOS and Android devices
- Alerts you when your dog is barking
- Allows you to take still photos and record short videos to save or share on social media
- The bark alert sends you a message about every 30 seconds, which gets fairly annoying if your dog barks for a long period of time
- The bark alert does not shut off when you're in the house unless you unplug the Furbo device, so it will alert you to your dog's barking even when you're home
- More expensive than many other dog cameras
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Do you have a Furbo? Have you ever used one? Was the connection clear? Do you and your dog benefit from using it? Your opinion could help other pet owners who are shopping for a dog camera. Let us know your opinion in the comments below or share your own reviews on our Facebook page.