Dog toys have been around since….well since dogs, but this is no bone from the butchers. What we are seeing now is an interactive technology with applications originating in high level business, home and commercial security and even military institutions. Bundle it all up and what do you get? That’s right……a great dog toy. The Petcube Play has it all and it’s so easy to operate that that even a dog can use it (no offense Theo). Following are two Petcube Play reviews One from a high strung and handsome little Miniature Pinscher named Theo and one from his owner, Brad.
While I cherish my privacy and I don’t particularly like the idea of being watched when I’m scouring the kitchen table for breakfast scraps or eating my moms shoe, it is nice to know that my mom or dad is keeping an eye out for me. I do get a little nervous about being alone sometimes and I even worry about whether someone will be home by dinner time. It’s nice to hear a familiar voice through the day. It helps me relax.
Then there’s playtime. I hear mom or dad’s voice and then I get to chase around this red dot for a while. They laugh like hyenas at me, but I don’t care. It’s great fun. It helps reduce my anxiety and it gets me to exercise, which is especially rare during the work week.
The next part is just crazy. Mom and Dad bought another device called Petcube Bites to watch me in another room and give me a treat when I’m good…. and it does….seriously. It hasn’t taken me for a walk yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it tries to soon! All in all I give it a 5 paws up!
Theo’s Rating: 5 Paws Up (out of five)
- Product: Petcube Play
- Price: $254.45 cnd (price may change)
- Warranty: 45 day satisfaction guaranteed refund and 2 year limited warranty
- Size: 3″ X 3″ X 3″ (Cube) Colors: carbon black, matte silver, rose gold
- Rating: 9 / 10
As Theo mentioned in his review the Petcube Play features a camera, which happens to be a 1080p HD video camera with a 138° angle view. The camera is accessed and controlled by a user-friendly app that can be easily downloaded to your phone (Android or iOS) The advantages of this camera are:
- A clear picture of your dog and his or her activity because of the high resolution
- A large coverage area by the camera because of the extremely wide angle (i.e. coverage of 90% plus of an unobstructed room if the camera is placed against one wall.)
- A night vision feature so that you don’t have to leave the lights on in order to see your dog at night.
- A 3X digital zoom so that I can see if Theo has my shoe or my wife’s purse in his mouth.
The Petcube Play features a laser for playing with your dog from where ever you happen to be, also controlled from your phone. You can move a red laser dot around the room for your dog to play with by dragging your finger around the screen of your phone. There’s also an automatic setting that will cause the dot to move around on it’s own for some fun, frolic and physical activity. (The laser is safe for dogs and humans).
There’s another Petcube product that can be added to the mix called a Petcube Bites. This bow wow baby sitter has the same camera as it’s brother, the Petcube Play, but instead of laser play, it can dispense a treat. With both cubes you cover voice, video, playtime and treats. Video recording can be activated by motion or barking and with a plan called Petcube Care you can review up to 30 days of activity.
The Petcube Play and the Petcube Bites are good value for price. These devices do provide a limited method of interaction and security for your dog if you can’t be around. A lot of thought has gone into the design and high quality technology has been implemented. I believe that the 45 day refund policy is a real value added if this device turns out not to be for you. The devices can also be set up so that more than one family member can access them providing some additional support.
I think that the Petcube Play and Bites offer a valuable service to dogs who are home alone for some period of time and their owners. I also think that some caution should be taken not to rely too heavily on this developing technology. That is, there may a temptation, for example, to stay out later because of the additional security provided. I would hope that Mr. Dog won’t have his dinner delayed in lieu of a couple of extra treats dispensed from our robot like babysitters (I say that affectionately). Dogs, like people, like to have some routine in their lives. They need human contact and knowing that they are safe and fed is only the beginning of being a good pet owner. What they really need is our time. Talking to your dog through the Petcube Play is not a substitute for being home, it is a bonus in what otherwise may have been a lonely day.