As a new father to 3-month-old french bulldog Rosie, I can tell you that separation anxiety is a real thing. My heart breaks a little when I close that door behind me and leave her alone while I'm off to the office. Will she be lonely? What will she do in my absence? Chew through a new pair of shoes, bark her lungs out, or a few other messy scenarios? Furbo to the rescue.
BUY: Furbo, $199; Amazon.com
Furbo is a new addition in the growing market of home pet cameras that give you a glimpse into your animal's daily routine. With a sturdy, sleek design, it looks more like a modern vase than a pet camera. Unlike the competitors, Furbo’s compact design with fits well into any home aesthetic and doesn’t require installation.
The setup is easy and straightforward—you only need to download the app and have an active home wifi connection. The 120° camera gives you an HD view of your room with 4X digital zoom and built-in night vision in case you find yourself working late.
Its interface is easy to use and has clear privacy settings to let you know when your camera is live. A few of the other cameras I tried made you create profiles for your pet and allowed the camera to be shared with other users unless you adjusted the privacy settings, which were often confusing. I randomly received a text alert one evening saying “Victor likes your dog.” That camera went back into the box.
Furbo lets you save photos and video for sharing and allows you to set privacy hours where the camera automatically turns off—in case you’ve shared with friends and family.
The beauty of the Furbo is the ability to interact with your pet remotely. The app alerts you when your animal is barking and has the ability to record video and take photos. A built-in microphone, speaker, and treat dispensing mechanism, let your furry companion know you're thinking about them. With the swipe of your finger on the app, your pre-recorded alert lets your pet know it's treat time, then flings a treat of your choosing to the pet while you can praise them via the microphone.
Part of me wonders if my dog might start to think she has a third parent in this treat dispensing wonder, but the ability to keep tabs on her while I'm away is worth it.
VIDEO: Watch the Furbo Camera in Action
Wins for: Appearance, Functionality, and Ease of Setup
- High-quality camera with night vision capability
- Auto barking detection and push notification
- 30-piece capacity treat dispenser
- Social sharing capability within the app
See the rest of InStyle's 2017 Best of Tech picks here.