Please note that this article is a review of my own experience, but also advertising on behalf of Furbo Dog Camera who placed the product with me for review.
I regularly recommend that clients use cameras of some sort to see how their dogs cope when left. They are particularly useful when working with Separation Anxiety and checking how new puppies are coping with separation.
So I was thrilled when, last week I was approached and asked if I’d write a review for the Furbo Interactive Dog Camera. This was one I hadn’t yet tried.
The camera arrived quickly and safely on Monday, just a few days after the initial contact from Furbo. It was packaged beautifully, in a box shaped to protect it, and with easy to follow instructions.
The Furbo feels high quality when you hold it and it’s attractive design really doesn’t look out of place in most homes. I was surprised by how easy it was to set up, having used other cameras before. The instructions were easy to follow and the Furbo did all the work for me. You simply download the app and it pretty much takes it from there.
It’s a very simple interface without too many complicated options – you can change the settings to lower or higher resolution video streaming, so that if your internet connection, like mine, is slow, you can use a lower resolution to help improve the performance of the Furbo despite the poor bandwidth. Other than that, there’s really not too many settings to worry about.
Whilst watching your dogs via the Furbo, you can take a photograph, record video, talk to them through the microphone located in the Furbo camera and even shoot treats from the Furbo to the dogs.
The Furbo will send you notifications to let you know that your dog is barking while you’re out. Whilst I can’t find a setting in the app to turn these off, you can turn off the app notifications in your phone’s settings if you’d rather not have this.
Despite my poor bandwidth, I haven’t yet experienced being unable to connect to the Furbo, as has been the case with other cameras I’ve used. If my internet connection is particularly slow, the app can be a little slow to respond, but it has so far always connected and I’ve been able to check on my dogs in real time.
It wasn’t long before I found the treat dispensing function coming in handy! It worked really well, along with the microphone, to reward one of my dogs for desired behaviour (waiting for me without barking) when I was getting things ready in another room. This could really help in your dog’s education – rewarding the behaviour you like, or the absence of behaviour you don’t like, even when you’re not there.
The Furbo makes a distinctive noise when you select to give your dog a treat (using a swipe action on your phone) which grabs your dog’s attention, before shooting the treat, gently but away from the machine. The motion of the treat also necessitates your dog sniff around for the treat (or at least, that’s the case with my dog!), an action which helps to relieve stress and keep your dog busy for a short while.
I can see it working really well for dogs with separation anxiety, speeding up the long process of building up their tolerance of being alone, and for dogs that get into mischief when left, having the ability to reward the absence of ‘mischief’ when not present, as well as generally being able to keep an eye on your dogs while you’re out and being notified of barking and able to talk to them to settle them down again would be useful for many people. I should note here, I would not recommend distracting a barking dog by shooting out a treat. This would reward barking and worsen the problem! Using the microphone, you can talk to your dog, and then shoot a treat when the dog is quiet!
I would certainly recommend the Furbo and I will be updating again when I use it to work with my boy who doesn’t like being left alone while the other dogs are taken out.
Unfortunately, I know that the usual price can be out of some budgets so upcoming sales should definitely be taken advantage of! I would also note that whilst the usual £249 price tag seems high, it is an investment that, particularly for those with a need for the Furbo’s help, will pay off.
The Furbo will be available on a Black Friday deal on 23rd November for just £139 euros (translating to approximately £123.90).
This is a great deal and makes the Furbo more of a realistic option for many people. Certainly, for those experiencing problems that it can help with, as detailed above, this is a great investment that would be well worth grabbing while you can!