The Pawbo+ pet treat cam arrived in the UK earlier this year and we have been scrutinising it with the help of our three review dogs: Mia, Christopher and Danny.
Mia has owned a Petzi pet treat cam for a year, it's actually her favourite thing in the whole world. Mia's very greedy, she LOVES food and I'm certain she believes that she can control the pet treat cam through mind control. She does in a way I suppose because when we see her staring hard at it, willing the little light to come on signalling the treat dispensing jingle will soon sound out, we often get the app up on our phones to send some treats her way rather than disappointing her.
The problem with Mia's pet treat cam obsession is that she rarely lets anyone else in. She has been known - on more than one occasion - to use her head, shoulders, chin and smaller stature to bump the tallest of our three dogs, Danny out of the way. And he lets her. It's a risk reward situation for him. So last Christmas Danny got his own Furbo pet treat cam. It's placed higher up than Mia can reach and has a two-way mic so we can ease his anxiety when left alone, it's a win win for him.
So that just left Chris without one but he's really not food motivated (he'd much rather play) so we always assumed he didn't really know how the pet treat cams worked because he just didn't really get involved whenever treats were dispensed from either unit.
But then one day we saw him on the camera. He knew how they worked all along. And that was a little sad, to be honest. Our big puppy knew all along he could be getting treats but didn't get involved because he knew the others would always get there before him.
So would the Pawbo+ be his? We hoped so.
Chris is three years old. He's a big, strong Rottweiler boy with the personality, if not weight, of a teddy bear.
He's the cat's favourite of our dogs' too, so since the Pawbo+ (RRP £149) is designed for both dogs and cats, it seemed like we were off to a good start.
The Pawbo+ is made by electronics company, Acer. It has been available in the US for some time, but only recently landed here.
Here are some of the main features of the pet treat cam:
- 720P HD live video and 130° Wide-Angle Lens, supported by high-quality sound - up to 15 minutes worth of videos can also be stored on Dropbox to save space on your phone's memory.
- Allows up to eight users to chat with pets through Pawbo+ at one time, with all users able to operate the interactive functions simultaneously - so you can share your account details swapping your QRcode with friends and family so they can keep in touch with the family's dogs while away from home - we've done this before and it's always a big hit.
- Six built-in ringtones to attract pets’ attention. This includes birds tweeting, carrier bag rustling and a door bell which chimes when first active - we went through the options and found that the birds tweeting was the best option for us since other sounds could easily spook our cat, who could be fine with one one day, then not the next.
- Built-in games, such as the laser function. Ideal for cats or dogs who can't help themselves - I'm not sure dogs should play with this regularly but Chris got involved in the cat's games from time to time. On this Pawbo say, "Pawbo⁺’s laser source follows strict safety standards. Our laser pointer will not remain on the same spot for more than 3 seconds. It will be deactivated automatically if the laser pointer doesn’t receive any commands over 3 seconds."
- Push-to-Talk function allows pets to hear their owner’s voice at the touch of a button - this is a great little feature and one we've used a lot. Really useful if your dog has anxiety when left alone.
- The Pawbo Life app also gives you the chance to operate multiple Pawbo devices and accessories - we've just begun a separate 'no dogs allowed' cat only review of the Pawbo Catch so we will be testing this function soon.
Summary of the Pawbo+ Review
All in all, it's a good little device and smaller than my other two treat cams, but good things come in small packages.
It has a decent camera spec (higher than others on the market). The set up was painless and it connected to the wifi without any trouble.
We have the unit placed on top of a small cabinet but it could easily sit on the floor if your other pets allow! I can only imagine Mia acting as if she was King Kong if it was on the floor so it's safer for it to be off the floor in our home. But it does sit towards the edge so the treats can reach the floor.
The app is faster and looks more modern than others on the market and it has a lot more functions, features and options to personalise. It is a little overwhelming at first, trying to work out what everything does but if you take it step by step you'll get there. This is how I approached it, discovering new things each time I used it with the help of their online FAQ guide.
The treat filling area isn't massive, but it's big enough for short bursts of small treats to fit the compartments, which makes it ideal for cats and smaller dogs, or dogs who love the interaction and food is secondary, like Chris. We used dry then moved onto similar sized but slightly softer treats when we knew the dogs would mostly be able to eat them and both worked fine.
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How does it compare on price to other pet treat cams?
Retailing at £149, it's very well priced in the market and the lowest of the Petzi (£182+) and Furbo (£179-249).
If you're considering getting a pet treat cam, for everything you get with the well presented, stylish Pawbo+ package, it's well worth investing in - just give it a little time to work everything out. There's a lot of functions and benefits to be had, so make sure you (and your dog, or cat) enjoy all it has to offer!
Thanks to Pawbo+ for sharing their interactive treat cam with us for review. Find out more about it here www.pawbo.com