Technology Done Right

by Houndstooth on

One of the cool things about being a blogger is that you hear about new products coming out.  Aside from being a dog lover, I am also a huge technology geek, and new technology is a thing that fascinates me and I try to keep track of.  When I find something that mixes my two loves, I have to share it, which is where today’s post comes from.

Last summer, when I was at the BlogPaws conference, I met a representative from Petcube, and I was intrigued.   At the time, I chalked it up as a cool webcam to watch your pets with and while I admired it, I didn’t have the money to buy one and I didn’t get a chance to ask all the questions I wanted to about it because the conference is a busy place.  When I was contacted by them last month and asked if I was interested in working with them, I agreed, because I remembered thinking it was a cool gadget.  I have to tell you that this is one product that I am over the moon happy that I agreed to find out more about.  I like this product so much that if I’d simply purchased one for myself for our personal use, I’d still have to tell you all about it.

Petcube Play -- Tales and Tails

Petcube Play

So, you’re sitting there reading this and wondering what exactly it is.  It is a camera that allows you to see what your dog or cat, or other pet for that matter, is up to while you are gone during the day.  You download an app on your smartphone or tablet, connect your Petcube to your internet and then you can see what your pet is up to during the day.  It streams in 1080p HD video with a 138 degree wide angle view, which means that I can see most of our living room from where our camera is set up.  You can even zoom the camera in if you want a closer view.

It’s not just a camera, though.  On top of being able to see your dog, you can hear what they hear and you can talk to them through the camera.  There’s also a laser pointer that you can control from your phone to play with your pets while you’re watching them.  If you want, you can give friends and family access to it so that they can check in and play with your pets, too.  Some people even make their cameras public so other people in the Petcube community can play with your pets, but most of the public cameras that I saw were in rescues and pet based businesses like doggy daycares.  There are a few kitten cameras in rescues that are like catnip because the kittens really play with that laser pointer.  You can share photos with the Petcube community if you want to, too, a bit like Instagram.  You can share photos from your phone or take pictures with the Petcube and share them.

Best of all, though, you can set up the camera to send you alerts when it detects motion or sound in your house.  If you are a person who has ever dealt with separation anxiety, this camera can be a life saver, allowing you to see how your new dog reacts when you leave the house, or to see what triggers certain behaviors.  If you are in a meeting or don’t want to be disturbed by notifications, you can set the app to “awake,” “quiet,” or “sleep” depending on what works for you.  You can even choose to have your phone bark or purr when you get a notification.  When the camera detects motion or sound, it also records.  You can go back and watch the video to see what caused the camera to turn on, whether it was your dog playing and being cute or the dog sitter checking in.  I know that my husband goes home at lunch time to let the dogs out, and it’s fun to have a little conversation with him through the camera, too.   It’s occurred to me that if someone broke into our house, we’d have that recorded as well, although I can’t imagine it ever happening.

Seeing our dogs reactions to the camera has been a lot of fun, and I feel like I know more about the secret lives of our pets.  I’ve learned that when we’re gone, Bunny spends most of her time sleeping in our bedroom.  Flattery naps in the living room and on sunny days, she will follow the path of the sun.  Morgan is incredibly quiet during the day unless someone rings the doorbell or walks up onto the porch with a delivery or a flyer.  When I talk into the camera, Flattery’s ears perk up and she actually looks for me, which I have to admit melts my heart a little.  Flattery and Morgan both like to watch the laser pointer, but so far, neither of them actually try to play with it.  I could see it happening, though, in a moment of inhibition.  I also learned that Flattery starts looking for me to come home around 3:00, actually standing on the arm of the couch and watching out the window.  We also learned that she and Küster get restless around 3:30-4:00 in the morning.

I know that some people, like my husband, worry about other people being able to spy on you without you knowing.  The camera has different privacy settings that you control, so other people can’t just watch without you knowing.  There is also a light on the front of the camera, and it turns solid blue when someone is watching on the camera, so you will know, because it’s pretty noticeable when it changes.  After a few days, even my hyper vigilant husband has started to enjoy the camera and checks in on the dogs with it, too.  We even get notifications on our watches when we have them turned on.

Love The Petcube -- Tales and Tails

Love The Petcube

I honestly have nothing but good things to say about this product and I could go on singing its praises for a few thousand more words, but I feel like this review has gotten long.  What I will say is that I can see why everyone from celebrities to rescues to everyday pet parents are crazy about the Petcube.  I can’t find anything to complain about.  It comes in three different colors, black, silver and rose gold to match any decor, and it’s a small 3 inch by 3 inch cube that isn’t very noticeable.  They even have a new version coming out soon that will allow you to give your pet treats while you’re away, which Flattery would completely adore.  If it’s something you’re interested in, they even have a special Spring Ahead sale this week where you can get $50 off the Petcube Play.  It normally sells for $199, and you can order it online as well as finding it at a few choice retailers.

Of all the pet gadgets I’ve come across as a blogger, this is hands down my favorite so far.  We are definitely fans and I can see it being a useful tool for pet parents for a lot of different reasons.  If you’re dealing with a barking pet in an apartment, wondering if your pet sitter is doing what they say they are, trying to cope with separation anxiety or you just miss your pet during the day, the Petcube is definitely for you.

We were given a Petcube Play camera to review, but we were not compensated for this review.  Tales and Tails only endorses products that we really believe in.  We give this product two dewclaws way up.

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  • Amy Boyer

    For working people it does sound like a great way to check on pets during the day.

  • SGilbert

    We have a webcam not the one you have but we love it. I love checking on them to see what they are doing.

  • Casey the Boxer

    Wow, that sounds pawesome! Momma is always wishing she could see what we were up to when she’s gone!

  • Sue Dyer

    Sounds like a great gadget. My problem is I don’t have a mobile that can download:(

    Hope you are having a good day. Sue, Polly & Honey

  • Vicky

    That sounds like a wonderful gadget. I’ll keep that in mind if I ever decide I need something like that. I love the things that you have learned about your dogs from using it.