Looking for a way to keep an eye on your dog while you’re not there - the Furbo Dog Camera could be just the thing you need.
Probably the most popular name in the dog-camera market, the Furbo is a high-end device which is well-suited to those who have to regularly leave their canine companion at home by themselves - especially those who are particularly needy.
You may be wondering what exactly a pet camera is? It essentially works as any security camera would, but it comes with pet-friendly features that allow you to keep in contact with your pet while you’re out of the house.
A pet camera is a popular gadget amongst pet owners, with many pups (and parents) having separation anxiety. Furbo’s Dog cam is designed to give you peace of mind when leaving your pet alone for the day, and can help train them to behave when they have the house to themselves.
If you’re obsessed with your dog (who wouldn’t be?) or you’re worried they’re going to destroy your lovely cream sofa (quite possible), then Furbo is like a nanny-cam for dogs, here to let you discipline or reward your pup even when you’re not there.
Headline features include Full HD video recording, 2-way audio, alerts which ping to your phone and perhaps the most appealing - for your pet anyway - the ability to toss out a treat remotely.
Furbo doubles up as both a dog camera and a general home watcher for any time that you can’t be there - but it comes at a high premium compared to other devices designed for a similar purpose.
Let’s see if it’s worth it… and check out some other dog camera options in our guide to the best dog camera.
Furbo Dog Camera review: Features
It’s fair to say that the Furbo Dog Camera falls into the “premium” end of the pet-gadget range. There’s a whole host of pet cameras which you can use to keep your eye on Fido without splashing big cash, but there are very few that offer you the range of features that the Furbo Dog Camera does.
First and foremost, you get excellent video quality thanks to its best-in-class camera with Full HD video recording, a 160-degree field of view camera which comes with both 4x zoom and night vision. That should mean that you can find your dog, no matter where they are in the room - and no matter the light levels.
2-way audio gives you the opportunity to both listen to and talk to your dog. That’s great for giving them remote commands, calming them down if they’re barking, or just checking in to say hello.
You’ll get real-time barking alerts sent to your phone if the Furbo detects sound. If you find that it’s sending you too many alerts, you can adjust the sensitivity (or turn it off altogether).
You can also subscribe to the Furbo Dog Nanny service, which gives you cloud recording, a dog activity alert, a person alert (making it helpful for detecting intruders), a home emergency alert, a continuous barking alert, a howling alert, a crying alert and a dog emergency alert. You can try this service on a trial-basis to see if it’s for you - but it should certainly give you extra peace of mind compared to the basic option.
Finally, there’s the feature that Furbo has built its reputation on - the ability to toss a treat remotely. Up to 100 treats can fit inside the device - round shaped treats with a diameter around 1cm work best. The Furbo also emits a clicking sound with each release, so if you’ve been using clicker training with your pooch, it’ll help to reinforce that.
Furbo Dog Camera review: Video Quality
The first thing you’re going to want to know about a camera is its quality. While Furbo has a lot of other great features, if the camera isn’t great then what’s the point? Well, the Furbo Dog Camera is surprisingly good, featuring a High Definition 1080 camera with a 160-degree wide-angle which makes it great for larger rooms.
This works particularly well for those with hyperactive dogs who may accidently knock this camera over, so you can place it high up on a shelf or tucked away and it will still easily capture the whole room, although you can’t remotely tilt the camera down so you’ll need to position it manually before you leave the house if it’s high up.
It has a four-times digital zoom and the ability to capture stills and video, so not only can you keep an eye on your furry friend, but you can take some of the best action shots with this pet camera.
The camera also features a night vision mode which uses infrared to detect movement in the dark, allowing you to easily keep an eye on what your pet gets up to during the night.
The camera streams to the Furbo App which you can access on your phone or tablet device. Now of course, the quality will ultimately depend on your internet connection on both ends. Furbo connects to 2G WiFi and Bluetooth Low Energy, and it is recommended that you have broadband with a minimum of 1Mbps upload speed, but you can reduce the quality of the frames down if its having trouble keeping up.
Furbo Dog Camera review: Connectivity and App
As previously mentioned, the Furbo Dog Camera connects to your WiFi Network and also needs to be plugged in at a power outlet. In the box you’ll get a two metre USB cable and a Furbo power adapter, and the quick start guide will help you to get set up.
Now, while most people have no issue getting connected, for some it’s been a trickier process. It is worth noting that the Furbo Dog Camera will only work with a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi band. Similarly to most other pet cameras out there, it is not compatible with 5G networks. Most likely anyone who was having trouble with connectivity has placed their Furbo too far away from the router.
Once the Furbo is plugged in, all you have to do is download the app and go through the pairing process, which is done via Bluetooth. The app will walk you through a tutorial of how to use its features, and then you’re good to go! You can also connect your pet camera to Alexa, who can then become you dog nanny, as you can ask her to dispense treats at certain intervals if you’re not able to check your phone for a while.
Furbo Dog Camera User Reviews
Lots of users reference the great “peace of mind” that the Furbo Dog Camera gives them. The ability to check in on their pet while they’re not home - whether for several hours or just while popping out - tends to lead to a more relaxed owner, and therefore a more relaxed pooch.
The high quality of the video feed is also something which a lot of people praise - especially in comparison to other - cheaper - devices. The quick and easy initial set up of the Furbo is also something which is praised a number of times.
Being able to throw treats remotely is something which is also highly praised - though it’s worth noting that only certain types of treat work, while some work better than others. It’s best if you can find small, non-oily treats that won’t get stuck or leave a mess behind.
Most people agree that the Furbo is a great bit of kit, but something that comes up several times is the fact that the camera can’t be tilted. You might want to place the Furbo fairly high up and out of reach of little doggy paws, since they might either knock it over, or try and get the treats out. If you could point the camera downwards, it would make a lot of sense - some users say they have wedged the Furbo into place so it looks down on the room it’s in.
Some have also complained that the barking alerts are too sensitive, leading to alerts popping up too frequently. Some say that the alerts pop up even when the dog isn’t barking - merely making some other kind of noise. It’s probably better that the device is overly sensitive, than not sensitive enough though - especially if you have neighbours who might complain about noise.
The biggest negative criticism that the Furbo receives is generally regarding the high price of the unit. It’s expensive compared to some (more basic) options, but with its range of features - and attractive looks - you could argue that offers better value for money than something cheap which doesn’t offer so much.
Should you buy the Furbo Dog Camera?
There are lots of dog cameras on the market, but the Furbo has made a name for itself by offering a huge range of features - especially now there is the Furbo Dog Nanny option which you can also subscribe to.
If you’re somebody that regularly has to leave your pet alone for extended periods, and wants the best of the best, then this is an ideal product for you.
However, if you’re somebody that doesn’t leave their pet alone all that often, it’s probably a safer bet to go for one of the cheaper - and more basic options - currently on the market. Considering you can pick some cameras up for as little as £20 / US$50, it’s certainly worth experimenting elsewhere if you’re not sure.
Overall, the Furbo Dog Camera is pretty cool and offers peace of mind for any new pet owners who have to leave their pets on a regular basis. Compared to other pet cameras on the market, the camera quality is either on par or better.
Its treat-dispensing abilities are what makes this device stand out from the crowd, but this could potentially have the opposite of the desired effect to placate your pet, and instead hype them up further, but this really depends on your dog’s disposition.
Overall it seems a little bit extra when it comes to monitoring your dog, with notifications at every sign of movement or sound, which can quickly become annoying, but if nothing else, it will leave you with some great candid photos that will provide great memories.
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