Connect to your Pet with Petcube Bites
Here at AppMyHome we are always intrigued with novel ways to monitor our home and solve problems with technology. Plus, like most people, we think dogs and cats are cute. So we were really intrigued when we saw an advertisement and video for the Petcube, a smart monitor that lets you interact with (and reward) your pets when you aren’t home.
We had only one problem – we don’t have any pets. So we enlisted our brother and sister-in-law to test the Petcube Bites with their Havanese dog, Teddy, and share their experience with us and with our readers.
Packaging and Set up
The Petcube Bites arrived via the postal service in very secure and well-designed packaging. The cube arrives with a USB cord, comprehensive setup instructions and as a surprise, an initial package of low-calorie and grain-free Wellness treats to get started. The instructions include suggestions where to place the Petcube, cleaning and troubleshooting tips, and mounting hardware in case you want to install the system on your wall.
Connecting the Petcube to WiFi was simple and took only a minute or two. Once it was connected, it took about 15 minutes for the device to update firmware, then it was ready to use.
Petcube in action
The camera with the Petcube features really high quality 1080p video including night vision. After a 7-day free trial, you can opt for a subscription to 24-hour recording with either 10 or 30 days of cloud storage, making the PetCube a great security camera as well as a way to keep an eye on your pet.
When you set up the PetCube, you can choose to share your camera with others through the Petcube Care app, something our family was not too interested in due to privacy concerns. By default, the camera settings are private to the owner, however, we can see the attraction of being able to share the video with various family and friends who may be interested in seeing and interacting with their pet when they are away. For instance, it would be great for students away at college or family members traveling on business to be able to open their phone and talk to their dog and reward her with a treat.
If you download the Petcube Care app yourself, you can see live broadcasts from many other pet lovers who are sharing their cameras with the community. For some reason, we saw mostly cats. Obviously cat videos still remain popular on the Internet.
Watching your pet on the camera is one thing, but the real benefit of the PetCube Bites is the ability to interact with your pet from afar. You can speak to the pet, just to say hello, or give it commands or reprimands, wherever you are with your smartphone. And to reward your pet for good behavior, you can send him a treat right from the Petcube.
After it was set up, our family tested it with Teddy. At first he was scared by the clicking noise and ran out of the room. After the treats started coming out, he began to get more interested and would run back in to get them. He adapted to it really quickly and pretty soon was waiting near it for more treats to come out.
Unfortunately (well not for Teddy!) sometimes the Petcube would throw out multiple treats – two or three at a time. Petcube has detailed recommendations on the size and shape of the treats to use, so we were surprised that the provided treats came out in multiples. You can refill the dispenser with up to two pounds of treats and even set up an Amazon Dash button to make sure you never run out.
We contacted the Petcube customer support to ask a few questions about the privacy and the multiple treats. The support agent via chat was really responsive and knowledgeable and answered all our questions thoroughly, and even offered to diagnose the treat dispenser remotely.
For our brother and sister-in-law, while it is certainly fun to use, they are not sure the Petcube will be that valuable to use every day since one of them is usually home and they crate Teddy when they go out. The camera would still be nice so they could see and talk to him, but it would be hard to dispense the treats and reach him in his cage and would probably make him more agitated rather than happy and secure. However, they do see the value of Petcube bites for pet parents who work all day and let their pets roam the house or stay uncrated in a room.