Furbo Dog Camera Review - Check on and feed your dog remotely

This smart camera brings a unique treat-tossing experience for your dog and a 2-way audio to keep in touch anytime you want.
Furbo Dog Camera Review
Updated: 23rd Dec 2020
Published: 9th Dec 2020
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By SHN Team

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TABLE CONTENT

1. A Quick Overview

2. First Look

3. Setting Up the Camera

4. Filling the Camera with Treats

5. Video Camera Quality

6. Audio Features

7. Notifications and Alerts

a) LED Color Status

b) Alerts

8. The App and Subscription Service

9. Conclusion

10. FAQ

a) Can another family member use the app beside me?

b) Can I use the Furbo Dog Camera with batteries?

c) Does Furbo provide any kind of warranty for their camera?

d) Can I make Furbo record video non-stop?

e) Can I rotate the Furbo camera from the mobile app?

f) Can I use multiple Furbo cameras with one app?

g) I have privacy concerns. Can I turn Furbo camera off?

Leaving your dog (or dogs) alone when you’re at work or shopping for groceries is never an easy thing to do. But what if you could talk to your dog while away or see what they’re doing when they’re alone?

Enter indoor smart surveillance cameras. Allowing you to use your smartphone to see what’s going on at home and even have a quick exchange with your dog is something many pet owners find priceless. And if you’re looking for some extra features to make your dog’s alone time more fun, the Furbo Dog Camera might be exactly what you need.

A Quick Overview

The most recognizable feature of the Furbo Dog Camera is its ability to feed your dog. That’s right, it can literally do that. Although it’s not capable of serving a full meal, of course, the Furbo can toss snacks to your dog while you’re not at home. In fact, thanks to a user-friendly app, you can throw the snacks by yourself while talking to your dog. Amazing!

Pros:

  • Tosses snack to your dog
  • Simple setup and use
  • 1080p camera with a 160 degrees viewing angle
  • IR night vision
  • Two-way audio
  • Many useful types of alerts
  • Supports Amazon Alexa voice commands

Cons:

  • Higher price tag for an indoor camera
  • Advanced features require Furbo subscription service
  • Doesn’t support Google Home or Apple HomeKit

First Look

Opening the Furbo box feels pretty similar to unpacking an Apple device. The sleek and sturdy packaging the camera comes in is so nice, you might want to keep it for storing various trinkets. And if you’re planning a trip with your dog, you can use the box to safely pack the camera and bring it along with you.

Right out of the box, the camera looks great. The milk-white color, minimalistic design, and smooth curves make it look more like a piece of art than a surveillance camera. Add to that the bamboo lid that goes on top and it’s guaranteed to fit in your living room perfectly, regardless of the style.

The Furbo camera is 8.86 inches (22.5 cm) tall, its oval base takes 4.72 by 5.91 inches (12 x 15 cm) of space, and weighs 2.1 pounds (950 g). At the bottom of the camera there’s a threaded tripod mount, as well as three self-adhesive 3M strips allowing you to secure the camera to the surface. This will help it remain in place should your dog try to play with it.

First Look

Setting Up the Camera

After you unbox the camera, it’s time to set it up. The first thing to do is to pick a spot where you want to place it. Furbo recommends keeping is some 12 to 20 inches (30.48 x 50.80 cm) above the floor. This will ensure your dog doesn’t kick it over accidentally while playing. This will also ensure a decent trajectory for the treat projectile the camera will toss to your dog.

Finally, make sure to place the camera in such a way the treats land in the middle of the room or somewhere where your dog can easily see them and pick them up. If not, a treat may end up underneath a couch, for example, where your dog won’t be able to reach it.

The camera comes with a power adapter which uses a USB cable to connect to the camera. When you plug the adapter to a power outlet and the cable to the camera, wait couple of seconds until the camera powers up. You’ll know it’s ready when the LED at the bottom of the camera turns green.

Setting Up the Camera

The next step is to install the Furbo app to your smartphone or tablet. The app is available for both Android and Apple mobile devices. When you install the app and start it, you’ll have to create your Furbo account. To do so, follow the steps below:

  • Start the Furbo app on your phone.
  • Tap “SETUP NEW FURBO.”
  • The “Create Your Account” screen appears where you have to enter your e-mail and create your Furbo password.
  • When you’re done, tap “Create Account.”
  • To proceed with the setup, please make sure that your Furbo camera is within the reach of your home Wi-Fi network.
  • Tap “Get Started.”
  • If you’re using a Samsung device, the app will notify you that you should disable an advanced Wi-Fi setting called “Smart Network Switch.” Once you complete the setup, you can turn this setting on again. Tap “OK” to proceed.
  • Tap “Next” and wait until the app scans for the available Wi-Fi networks.
  • Tap the network you’d like to use from the list.
  • Enter the Wi-Fi password for the chosen network and tap “Setup Wi-Fi.”
  • Now the Furbo camera will proceed to connect to your Wi-Fi which can take a minute or two. You’ll know it’s trying to connect when the LED light on the bottom of the camera turns pink. During this process, the app will give you a three-step guide on how to introduce the treat-tossing feature to your dog.
  • When the camera successfully connects to your Wi-Fi, the LED light will turn yellow and the app will confirm this. Tap “Start Playing.”

With that final step, the Furbo app will now show you the live feed from the camera – and that’s it, you can start using it.

Filling the Camera with Treats

Now that your Furbo camera is up and running, it’s time to fill the camera’s dispenser with treats for your dog. Please keep in mind that the opening which tosses the treats out of the camera is not that big. For the best performance, Furbo recommends using round shaped treats, measuring around 0.4 inches (1 cm) in diameter. That way, you can cram almost one hundred treats inside the camera.

To make sure you get the right treats for your Furbo camera, here’s a list of the products that should fit well:

  • Zukes Mini Naturals
  • Rylee's Regular Kibble
  • Doggie Paws
  • Blue wilderness blue bits
  • Natural balance L.I.T.
  • Pet Botanic mini reward
  • Wellness petite treat
  • Oliver Bentley's biscuit bites

If your dog doesn’t like any of the above or has as special diet to follow, you can make your own treats as well. To make sure they work with Furbo, there are a few things to keep in mind. The treats should be around 0.4 inches (1 cm) in diameter, preferably round-shaped, and dry to the touch. Wet or sticky treats tend to stick together or stick to the walls of the dispenser. This will make them hard or almost impossible to eject.

Filling the Camera with Treats

Finally, you should test the integrity of your treats to find out if they easily crumble. If they crumble inside the dispenser, they can make a mess and block the opening. If they’re sturdy enough to make it out of the dispenser in one piece, also make sure that they don’t easily break up when they hit the floor. This will make it easier for your dog to pick them up and won’t make a lot of mess in the process.

Video Camera Quality

Although tossing treats to your dog remotely is great fun, the main purpose of Furbo’s device is to keep an eye on what’s going on around your home. To help you with that, Furbo supplied a pretty decent video camera.

With a maximum 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution, the camera can pick up many details. For example, you can see where the treat went after you tossed it to your dog. The camera also supports 640 x 360 and 1280 x 720 resolutions as well. That being said, it’s worth pointing out that the camera’s default video quality setting is 720p. If you want to use the best video quality, you’ll have to open the Furbo app and set it to 1080p.

The camera also has a wide viewing angle of 160 degrees, allowing you to see almost everything that’s in front of it. Should you need to check out a detail in the distance, there’s a 4x zoom to enable that. If you want to check up on your dog in the evening with the lights out, you can use the infra-red LED night vision mode to see in dark.

Audio Features

Just like many other smart cameras, Furbo’s device also has an integrated two-way speaker. This allows you to hear everything that’s happening in your home, as well as talk to your dog using the Furbo app.

Thanks to the integrated microphone, the Furbo camera is able to detect the barking of your dog and send you a notification about the event. It’s a great feature, allowing you to know when to check on your pet to see if they’re misbehaving or if there’s a potential threat. The app also allows you to set how loud the barking should become before it sends you a notification. This is a pretty neat option, since not all dogs bark the same.

Supporting Amazon’s Alexa assistant, Furbo allows you to use simple voice commands to control their dog camera. For example, you can say: “Alexa, tell Furbo to toss a treat,” and a fresh treat will pop out from the dispenser. Thanks to the voice announcement feature, you can record your own message and have it play each time the camera tosses a treat. This way, your dog will know it’s snack time and come over to the camera to sniff for the treat. Using this feature, you can remotely make your dog settle down if it gets riled up over something.

Notifications and Alerts

Furbo has many different ways to notify about various events and alert you when needed.

LED Color Status

First thing you notice on the Furbo Dog Camera is the LED status light at the base. Using various colors, the device can notify you about its current status. Starting with the white light, this is to let you know that the device is starting up. When setting up the camera, you’ll see a green light. The purple (or pink) light notifies you that the camera lost Wi-Fi connection or is currently in the process of connecting to it. When everything is normal and the camera works without a problem, the LED will turn blue. Finally, yellow is the sign Furbo switched to sleep mode.

What’s great about the LED status light is that enables your dog to know when “you’re there.” Because dogs can clearly distinguish between the blue and yellow light, Furbo uses these for the sleep mode (yellow) and active mode (blue). When you’re not physically around and the camera is on, the blue light will tell your dog they can reach you using the camera. Of course, please allow some time to pass before your dog learns this trick.

LED Color Status

Alerts

Furbo Dog Camera has five different real-time alerts it can send you. Please note that only the Dog Barking Alert is available with the free Furbo account. To be able to use the rest of the alerts, you’ll have to subscribe to Furbo Dog Nanny service.

  • Dog Barking Alert – Know when your dog starts barking louder than usual. This can be a sign there’s something wrong or that they’re restless waiting for you to come home. The app allows you to adjust the loudness sensitivity so it doesn’t overwhelm you with tons of notifications when your dog’s only playing around.
  • Dog Activity Alert – When your dog becomes active, Furbo will see that and send you a notification about the event. You can then open the Furbo app and see the live video feed to check on your dog.
  • Dog Selfie Alert – Using AI technology, the camera can detect when your dog walks right up to it. It will then immediately take a photo of your dog and send you a notification. This way your dog can be the one to initiate the conversation, not only you.
  • Person Alert – The AI Furbo deploys in their camera is also great at detecting if a person appears in the room. If another family member arrives home, it’s nice to know your dog is not alone anymore. Also, if you have a dog walker, you’ll know when they come to take your dog for a walk. And when you’re not expecting anyone, this becomes essential for the wellbeing of your dog and security of your home.
  • Home Emergency Alert – Furbo has announced they’re planning to release some improved emergency alerts such as carbon monoxide buildup and fire alerts. At the time of writing, these features are in the “soon to come” status as stated on the Furbo website.

Using these smart alerts, Furbo claims they’ve already saved almost 600 dogs from dangerous situations, intruders, and fires.

Alerts

The App and Subscription Service

As mentioned above, the Furbo mobile app provides access to various features and settings. The feature you’ll probably use the most is the live camera view. It provides a real-time feed from the camera and three basic options.

First of all, it allows you to record a video clip or take a photo of what the camera is currently looking at. Next, there’s the two-way talk button so you can speak to your dog from wherever you are. Finally, at the bottom middle of the screen, there’s the treat tossing button. Just be careful not to get carried away, since it’s so satisfying.

If you want to expand the range of features on your Furbo camera, you can subscribe to the Furbo Dog Nanny service. It brings you three major improvements:

  • Advanced alerts – You can read more about these in the section above.
  • Video recording to the cloud – This 24/7 service automatically records the video events to the cloud.
  • Doggie Diary feature – A super-cute way to keep memorable moments of your dog playing and fooling around. This feature summarizes your dog’s day in a short 60-second video, which you can download and save to your phone.

To better understand what you’re getting with the free Furbo account and Furbo Dog Nanny, check the comparison table below:

Features Comparison

Free Account

Furbo Dog Nanny

1080p Full HD Video

Yes

Yes

Two-Way Audio

Yes

Yes

Treat Tossing

Yes

Yes

Barking Alert

Yes

Yes

Take Photos

Yes

Yes

Record Videos

Yes

Yes

Cloud Recording

No

Yes

Doggie Diary

No

Yes

Dog Activity Alert

No

Yes

Dog Selfie Alert

No

Yes

Person Alert      

No

Yes

Home Emergency Alert

No

Yes

Continuous Barking Alert

No

Yes

Dog Crying Alert

No

Yes

Dog Howling Alert

No

Yes

It’s worth noting that each Furbo Dog Camera comes with a 90-day free Furbo Dog Nanny trial subscription. If you don’t feel like paying for the service after the trial expires, you can cancel it anytime.

The App and Subscription Service

Conclusion

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For anyone who has a dog but leaves home for prolonged periods of time, the Furbo Dog Camera is a super-convenient smart home device. Not only does it provide a 1080p Full HD video surveillance for your home, but it also enables you to check up on your dog to see if they’re okay or if they need something.

With the integrated two-way communication and the treat-tossing feature, your dog won’t feel alone when you’re not around. Moreover, they’ll be able to call you up using the Dog Selfie feature. Add to that a ton of different smart alerts and the heavy price becomes an investment well made.

 

FAQ

Can another family member use the app beside me?

Yes, they can. To do so, you’ll have to make a family group account, separate from the main account you’ve used to register your camera. Another great thing is that two people can access the camera at the same time.

Can I use the Furbo Dog Camera with batteries?

Unfortunately, no. To be able to provide all the features it comes with and remain connected to the Wi-Fi, you’ll need to connect the camera to a power outlet using the adapter that came in the box.

Does Furbo provide any kind of warranty for their camera?

Yes, of course. Each Furbo Dog Camera comes with a one-year warranty. It’s worth noting that the warranty starts on the day of shipping, not the day you received it.

Can I make Furbo record video non-stop?

No, you can’t. The main issue with the non-stop recording is that it generates a lot of data, especially if you set the video quality to 1080p. To be able to store that amount of data, you’ll need a lot of data storage which can get quite expensive. To sort that issue, Furbo starts recording only when triggered by an event and automatically sends the recorded video to a cloud storage. If you find this feature essential, you can subscribe to the Furbo Dog Nanny service.

Can I rotate the Furbo camera from the mobile app?

No, that’s not possible since the Furbo Dog Camera doesn’t have the rotation mechanism in it. That’s why it’s essential that you find a perfect spot for the camera in your home, so you’re able to cover as much of the room as possible. Thanks to its 160-degree viewing angle, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the right position.

Can I use multiple Furbo cameras with one app?

Yes, you can. Furbo allows you to add as many cameras to the app as you need. Simply plug in the camera to the power outlet and tap the plus button on the home screen. The app will then guide you through the rest of the setup process for your new Furbo Dog Camera.

I have privacy concerns. Can I turn Furbo camera off?

Yes, you can. To turn your Furbo camera off, simply open the Furbo app and on the home screen, tap the toggle switch in the bottom left corner of the camera feed preview. To turn the camera back on, simply repeat the action.

If you have more than one Furbo camera in your home, you can control each from the app. This also means you’ll be able to turn them on or off selectively. Please note that this feature is not available on Furbo Dog Camera models purchased before August 2017.

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