After a few months of obsessing over the Furbo Dog Camera, we finally decided to get one. We don’t spend a lot of time away, since we both work from home and we only go out without Sami once or twice a week, but it was for our peace of mind, to know that he is okay whenever he is home alone.
We got it in the mail last week, set it up and this weekend we left Sami alone with Furbo for the first time! And here is how it went…
If you decide to get your own Furbo Dog Camera, use our code miruna2 to get a discount!
Setting Up Furbo
It wasn’t difficult to set up the camera, since you just need to plug it in, connect it to a WiFi network and download the Furbo app on your phone. We did have some hiccups because our internet wasn’t working well (our router was having some issues), so every time we unplugged it to move it to another place, it got disconnected from the WiFi again. But it was a router issue, so not the camera’s fault. They do however advise that you place it nearby your router and make sure your internet connection is good.
So once we solved that, the camera connected and suddenly we could see our living room in real time on the app! So it was time to introduce Sami to Furbo!
We didn’t do much for the introduction, since Sami is pretty low maintenance. He is the dog who, when first faced with our new Roomba-type robot vacuum, took one look at it and moved on. He’s curious, but it takes him 2 seconds to figure out whatever the new object it and goes about his business, no fuss.
So we tested the treat tosser function of the camera. We broke his favorite treats in smaller pieces and put them inside the camera and whenever we tossed one through the app, it would make a sound then woohoo, toss the treat! No issues there, it works wonderfully. It did take Sami several tries to finally make the connection and realize the new object in the room is suddenly tossing food at him, but well, there is always a learning curve :)) However, once he got it it was easy. Now whenever we swipe the little treat icon in the app to toss the treat, he hears it and comes running to the camera, sits down like a good boy and waits for it! It’s adorable.
If you do decide to get your own Furbo Dog Camera, use our code miruna2 to get a discount!
Trying out the Furbo
So on Saturday morning, after our walk and meal, we decided to leave Sami alone with Furbo and see what happens. We went out for brunch to our favorite café and watched Sami on the Furbo app. As expected, he mostly napped. He would every now and then get up and walk, changing spots and maybe perk up his ears if he heard something outside. Pretty boring stuff, really, but it’s what we expected, since this is his sleepy time of day.
So we decided to talk to him 😀 The camera has a speaker but also a built in microphone, so you can hear your pup, as well as talk to them. We called his name and he perked up, started moving his head from one side to the other, trying to figure out what the heck? Just the cutest thing. Then we started talking to him in a high pitched voice and he was loving it. Please, take a moment to imagine two grown humans sitting in a café, surrounded by people, baby talking into their phone and saying things like “sit! good booooy!” that make it obvious they’re talking to their dog :)) It must have made somebody’s day.
Then we tossed him treats! He didn’t seem very impressed, since we disturbed his sleep, but was kinda curious and happy to get the treats. Hey, whenever there’s free food, right?
The Furbo also has a barking alert, which we didn’t get to test since Sami doesn’t bark (well, not in the house, but when he goes outside he sometimes certain dogs go by and he goes insane).
What we liked about the Furbo
Overall we thought the Furbo camera is a fun experience, made better by the fact that we were assured that he is fine, that nothing bad is happening at home and so we could stay longer and enjoy our brunch and coffee in peace. And maybe even stop by the supermarket afterwards to do some grocery shopping, which wouldn’t have happened before, because I was stressing out that Sami must be getting restless being alone for such a long time. In truth, my dog was sleeping without a care in the world, lol.
So the fact that we could see our dog in real time whenever we wanted was the most important thing for us and probably the only thing that was truly a necessity.
The fact that the camera is so easy to install and use was a big plus. Having such easy access to see your dog from wherever you are, just with a few taps on your phone, is amazing. If the WiFi is good, everything else works flawless and it’s a pleasure to use it.
The design is beautiful, simple and discreet. It goes so well with everything in our living room that you’d think it was always there. It doesn’t look “gadgety” at all, it looks mostly like a decorative object or an aroma diffuser.
The treat tossing is fun too, but not necessary for us. Not unless Sami was an anxious dog, which he is not. Tossing him a treat every now and then is nice, but we could surely do without it.
It’s a conversation starter. The fact that we can take a photo or a short video to post on Instagram and show people what Sami was doing home alone is fun. As is the fact that, as we were sitting in the café watching Sami, our waiter saw and we started a conversation about the camera and his mind was blown because he had no idea something like this even existed 🙂 And then he got excited and started telling us about his dogs, and so the Furbo started a conversation, which was really cool.
The Dog Nanny feature is also pretty cool. Aside from the basic features which are free (once you buy the camera, that is), the Furbo also comes with an optional Dog Nanny service (that requires a subscription but is free for the first three months when you buy the camera). The Dog Nanny has a selfie mode (meaning whenever the dog comes to the camera it takes a selfie, haha), doggie diary (a time lapse of the best moments of the day), full 24h recording in Cloud (as opposed to the basic plan where you can’t record the entire day) , dog activity alert (notifies you when your pup moves around), person alert (notifies you if someone is inside your home) and also some alerts for home emergency like smoke alarm, which can be very useful. So it’s pretty smart and they keep improving and coming up with new ones (like a dog emergency feature, which alerts you if your dog is in danger).
For me, receiving notifications whenever my dog moves was fun the first few times, but it gets tiring after a while (I think you can deactivate it if need be). But I can see how it could be useful say, in a post-op situation or when your dog is in some sort of recovery and you need to monitor his moves.
Would we recommend Furbo?
We think a basic dog camera is useful to have, because you can keep an eye on your dog when you are not home. We work from home and rarely leave without Sami, maybe it happens once or twice a week and for short periods of time. So it wasn’t a necessity for us, but it does give us peace of mind. I used to always be stressed when he was alone and wonder what he is doing. Now I can relax and maybe stay out with friends for one more hour, instead of hurrying back home just to find him sleeping, you know? 🙂
But is Furbo worth the hype (and the money)?
Honestly, it depends on your lifestyle and financial possibilities. I think if you work from an office and your dog is home alone all day every day, then you can definitely get a lot of use out of a camera like Furbo. But keep in mind that many of the extra features are mostly just fun. It’s a smart gadget and you can get a lot of value out of it, no arguing there. But it’s still a “nice to have” gadget and not a “must have” one, in our opinion. So don’t go spending all your savings on it when you can get a more basic camera, that isn’t “smart”, but does the main job of helping you keep an eye on your dog when you are away.
If your dog has severe anxiety and is uncomfortable being alone, then by all means, the Furbo cam is brilliant. You can talk to your pup, calm him down and give him treats. But if your dog is chill, like Sami, and just naps around the living room all day long, then you’re probably fine with a basic dog camera that is way cheaper than the Furbo.
What I do think can make Furbo worth the money even if used just as a basic camera (with none of the smart features) is how smooth everything works, the hardware itself seems sturdy and good quality, the app connects pretty fast and works well, so the frustration level is very low compared to a cheaper camera, probably. And I expect it will last a long time, too.
In conclusion, we are enjoying the Furbo Camera very much and will probably use it every time we go out without Sami. We will probably take it on our travels and use it when we leave Sami alone in the hotel room. It makes us feel more safe and relaxed. It’s also fun, easy to use and makes for an entertaining conversation topic with friends and family. It’s a quality product and, if you can afford it and you are thinking about purchasing it, we say go for it, you will love it!