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Petcube Review: A Blessing For Anxious Pup Parents

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Gear By Meg Marrs 13 min read November 12, 2019

petcube-bites-review

The Petcube Bites 2 is the latest, recently-released Petcube camera made specifically to monitor your pooch. It dispenses treats, lets you speak to your pup, and keeps an eye on your home while you’re away.  

We got our hands on the Petcube 2 and will be sharing our in-depth review below!

Disclaimer: Petcube provided us with this product to review – regardless, as always, our reviews are fair and objective regardless of products provided to our review staff.


TLDR (Review in a Nutshell): Petcube Bites 2 offers clear, crisp, and reliable visual and audio communication that has reduced a lot of my pet parent anxiety – it’s become a device I use daily when I’m at work. The treat-flinging is tons of fun and is useful for preventing doggie boredom blues. It’s too bad some of the more desirable features like bark alerts require a subscription, but that’s true for competitors too.

Basically – if you’re the kind of fur parent who worries about your pup when you’re away, Petcube Bites 2 will make you feel a lot better about leaving your pooch home alone.

Petcube at a Glance

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the review, let’s cover some basics about what Petcube is and how it works.

Details

  • 🎥 Ultimate pet monitoring – With Petcube Bites Wi-Fi pet camera, watch your pet with 1080p full...
  • 🚀Quick 2-minute setup – Petcube Bites 2 is the only pet camera to support 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz Wi-Fi...
  • 🍖Treat your pet remotely – Toss treats short, medium, or long distance or schedule automatic...
  • 🔔 Smart sound & motion alerts – Real-time notifications tell you when your pet is active and...

Petcube is a dog-monitoring camera that allows you to monitor your dog through the companion smartphone app. From the app, you can talk to your dog, dispense treats, and even share your dog’s stream with friends and family.

Core features and benefits include:

  • High-quality video. Petcube offers 1080p HD video, night vision, 4x digital zoom, and a 160-degree wide-angle lens that provides full room coverage. 
  • Treat-dispensing awesome-ness. Swipe on the Petcube app to shoot your pup’s treats various distances, from close range to far. Or, set up the Petcube to dispense treats at certain times of the day to keep your canine busy.
  • Superior mic and sound quality. Full duplex sound, 4-microphone array, and a speaker bar make for crisp, clear audio between you and your pup that’s as good as a phone call. 
  • Alexa-compatible. Use the built-in Alexa assistant to play music for your dog, order dog treats, or do anything you’d otherwise use Alexa to do.
  • Smart alerts, bark alerts, and moment capturing. Petcube can notify you via text when your dog is barking, identify intruders (it can tell the difference between pets and people), and can use motion and sound detection to auto-capture your pet’s cutest moments. These features require a monthly Petcube Care subscription.

Petcube Design: Hey Good Lookin’

Design is definitely an area where Petcube really outshines the competition (in my opinion). The matted silver and black design looks sleek and sophisticated – it can fit in with the home decor of most modern kitchens without attracting any attention. 

Considering that you’ll usually want your camera to be centrally located, the design isn’t an aspect that should go overlooked.

petcube design

Connection: Reliable & Continuous

I’ve tried a number of pet cameras over the last year to keep an eye on various foster dogs I’ve had. Most of the cheaper cameras I’ve tried have proven very unreliable.

At one point I used both the Wyze Cam and Amiccom Security Camera. Both of these units worked OK initially, but after about a week or so they both became extremely unreliable. 

Despite resetting the camera as well as uninstalling and reinstalling the companion app multiple times, I was never able to get the Wyze Cam to function after the first couple weeks of use. I tried moving the camera closer to the router, tried different plugs, researched support documentation, and still wasn’t able to find any solution.

The Amiccom Camera fared a bit better – while it wasn’t always reliable, I was able to get a connection sometimes, so long as the camera was close to the router. Still, I couldn’t rely on it to always give me a live stream – nearly 50% of the time it failed to connect. When I moved from an apartment into a larger house, the Amiccom camera stopped working entirely.

After using Petcube for about a month, I can without a doubt say that the Petcube Bites 2 has the most reliable connection – I was always able to check-in and see Remy, and was never locked out or forced to reset the app to get it to work (which I had to do constantly with lesser cameras). 

It stands to reason that if you’re getting a pet camera set up, you really need (or want) to be able to monitor your dog. Most of the cheaper pet cameras I’ve used previously were just not reliable enough to provide any sense of comfort when I was out and about.

I couldn’t really rest easy because I couldn’t reliably know what my foster dogs were up to while I was away. That’s not true for the Petcube.

When you have a new dog, a dog with behavior issues, or a pup with anxiety, it can be tough sometimes to relax with no idea how your dog is faring without you.

I’ve gained a lot of peace of mind knowing that – if I need to check on Remy – Petcube will reliably function as intended.

Video Quality: Crisp HD Goodness

I was very impressed by Petcube’s video quality. Again, this is another area in which Petcube really blew away other pet cameras I’ve tried in the past. 

Where other pet cameras tended to be grainy with streams that would freeze frequently, Petcube’s streaming video is always clear and continuous, without interruption. 

The camera uses 1080p HD as well as a 160-degree wide-angle lens, which lets you really see the entire room so you can always see with your pup is up to. There’s even a 4x digital zoom that lets you get a closer look at your pooch if need be.

petcube view

Sound Quality: Clear As a Bell!

For the latest Petcube Bites 2, the device has been upgraded to a 4-microphone array to provide a clearer, more life-like sound. The upgrade in sound quality shows – the Petcube’s voice clarity is much better than the other cheaper pet cameras I’ve used (both of the more affordable pet cameras had my voice sounding like some kind of hell demon).

Honestly though, I do wonder how many owners are actually able to make much use of the microphone. Even with the superior sound quality, Remy seems at best unamused and at worst somewhat frightened of my voice coming out of a strange box.

I think this canine creep-out factor might have less to do with the sound quality and more about a disembodied voice, period. However, there have been some stories of owners telling their dogs to get off the couch via Petcube’s microphone and the dogs responding to the command.

If you plan on using the 2-way microphone frequently, I’d suggest spending some time getting your dog used to your voice coming from the camera so it’s not quite so startling to them.

Treat-Dispensing Power: Fling Away!

Believe me – tossing treats at your dog from your smartphone is 10x more amusing than you even imagine it will be! 

I absolutely love flinging treats at Remy (good thing he has a naturally slim build slim or he’d be packing on the pounds by now).

What’s really neat is that you actually have the ability to shoot treats across varying distances by how aggressively you swipe (think Angry Birds). You can choose how many treats you want to dispense in one go, whether dishing out just one goodie or several. 

I also love that you can set up the device to automatically shoot out treats at designated, scheduled times, allowing you to keep your dog engaged and active all throughout the day!

The Petcube treat container holds 1.5 lbs of kibble or treats, so you don’t need to worry about constantly refilling it! Once it’s loaded up it’s good for a while. The container is removable and dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

petcube treat container

It’s also worth noting that you don’t need any special kinds of treats for the Petcube – I filled it with my dog’s daily kibble and it works just fine. There’s nothing more annoying than buying a fancy tool and finding out that your dog’s normal treats or food don’t work, and that instead you need to buy some specially-sized treats.

I’m all about puzzle toys for Remy to keep his brain active and give him stuff to do, so the fact that I can toss out a bunch of treats onto his snuffle mat and make him do a little nose work in the middle of the day is really, really awesome.

Setup Process: Easiest I’ve Seen!

All pet cameras require some kind of setup process, but I can say with confidence Petcube’s is the easiest and quickest I’ve personally experienced. 

It’s just a matter of installing the app, connecting to your home WIFI, and pressing a button or two. With other pet cameras I have used in the past, I usually had to do at least one or two attempts to connect properly, but Petcube connected properly on the first go.

petcube set up

It’s also worth noting that Petcube can work with 5GHz or 2.4GHz connection. The cheaper pet cameras I previously used only connected to a 2.4GHz connection. 

While this isn’t terribly hard to set up with your internet provider, it is quite a pain if you’re not tech-savvy. Many wireless routers already have the dual-band setup, but if you currently don’t have this setup, you may want to consider if you’re up for fiddling with your router. 

The fact that Petcube can work with either connection is a big plus in my book and will make your installation setup a lot easier.

Bonus Stuff

  • Motion Detection (which effectively allows this to work as a security camera)
  • Sleep Mode for Security. Automatically turn off the camera during certain hours
  • Night Mode. The camera’s night mode will automatically switch on in the dark, letting you continue to keep an eye on your canine even in the evening.
  • Alexa Compatibility. The Petcube camera has a built-in Alexa voice assistant, so you can use voice commands to have the Petcube perform various tasks.

Shared Stream

With the PetCube Bites 2 you can share your pet’s live stream with friends and family from within the Petcube app dashboard! This is nice if you have pet caretakers, friends, or family members who want to help keep an eye on your pooch!

You can even make your stream public if you want, and share your pooch with the world.

petcube stream

I had a fun time scanning the community open feeds from within the Petcube app and spying on other people’s adorable pets.

Yes, it’s a little creepy, but of course you can just never turn off the public feed if you’d like. You can also program the Petcube to go into sleep mode and turn off at a certain time each day so that your friends can’t watch you binge Netflix all night.

You can choose to disable or enable the treat dispending function (as well as the audio) for public viewing. Not everyone disables it though, so I was able to check out other Petcube members’ public streams and toss their dog treats!

Don’t worry – you can set a limit on how many treats your dog gets so that they don’t get overweight.

Again, it may sound a little stalker-ish, but it’s so fun to go into the app and toss cute puppies treats from my phone on my lunch break!

Petcube Care: You Need it For Bark Alerts

While live streaming your pup is always an option, there are recording and alert features that are only available when you subscribe to Petcube’s subscription monitoring service (starting at $3.99 per month).

While I’m satisfied with the basic live streaming, if you need the bark alerts or just enjoy getting a video recap of your dog’s day, the Petcube Care may be worth paying for. Petcube care includes:

  • 3 Days of Video History. Unit will automatically record 30-second action clips of your dog’s activity throughout the previous 3 days, which you can watch at your leisure.
  • Bark Alerts. Get automatically alerted (via text or email) when your dog starts barking.
  • Video Downloads. Lets you download 10 videos a month so you can save your favorite canine-related moments.
  • Smart Alerts. Get notified when a human appears on the camera – yes, it really can tell the difference!

The video recordings and downloads take up significant space, so I see why Petcube would charge for that.

It is a bit frustrating that bark alerts – likely one of the most desirable features – can’t be used unless you pay the monthly fee. Especially since there are many testimonials talking about how the bark alert saved owners’ pets’ lives when their homes caught fire.

While not having access to this feature for free is annoying, be aware that Furbo has the same setup – you have to pay a monthly subscription for the smart and bark alerts!

Petcube vs Furbo: Which is Better?

When it comes to treat-dispensing pet cameras, Petcube Bites 2 and Furbo are the main competitors, so let’s break down how the two are similar and where they differentiate.

Both Petcube and Furbo:

  • Offer treat-dispensing abilities
  • Have a 1080p HD camera with a 160-degree wide-angle lens.
  • Include night vision
  • Offer a 2-way microphone
  • Are Alexa-enabled
  • Both charge a premium for barking alerts, motion-detecting alerts, and other smart alerts.

A few differences:

  • Petcube has the better design. This is purely subjective, but I personally prefer the sleek Petcube box design to Furbo’s more wacky look.
  • Petcube has options for varying treat distance. You probably don’t need to vary the distance of the treats you fling, but it definitely adds an element of fun for you and variety for your dog.
  • Furbo is cheaper. The Furbo is roughly $50 (at the time of writing this review) cheaper than Petcube. 

While I’ve never used the Furbo personally, after reading reviews for both devices I feel pretty confident saying that Petcube is the superior pet camera. But like I’ve said, I only have used the Petcube in-person.

It’s also worth noting that the Petcube Bites 2 is a new, redesigned and upgraded 2019 device, whereas the Furbo – to my knowledge – has not been updated or been outfitted with new hardware since 2017.

Dog Cameras Rock For Reliving Fur Parent Anxieties

I can understand why some people may think that having a camera in your home purely dedicated to monitoring your pet and shooting them treats is a bit overkill.

However, as a relatively new dog owner, I find myself constantly anxious about Remy’s happiness when I’m away at work. I often wonder if he’s bored, if he’s happy, and I feel guilty for being away.

I’ll fully admit that sometimes my level of concern about his wellbeing is not really healthy or normal (that’s anxiety for you). 

Logging onto Petcube and seeing that Remy is just relaxing sweetly and sleeping really helps put my mind at ease. I can check-in, see that he is – in fact – just fine, and continue doing work or running errands without that nagging fear in the back of my head.

Let’s face it, a lot of us fur-parents just can’t help but worry about our dogs.

The Petcube Bites 2 makes it easy to keep an eye on them, spoil them when they deserve it, and ease some of that guilt around leaving our doggos home alone. While it’s certainly not essential for being a good pet parent, I have found it very handy and believe many other owners will too!

Do you own a Petcube or a similar device? What has your experience been like? Has having a pet camera made it easier for you to take care of your pooch? Share your thoughts in the comments!

two-way dog camera
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Written by

Meg Marrs

Meg Marrs is the Founder and Director of Marketing at K9 of Mine. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! She loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

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