Separation anxiety is something both Woody and I struggle with. In fact, it was one of the contributing factors that found him needing to be rehomed. A lot of Woody’s past remains a mystery to me, however his separation anxiety is very real. He’ll howl if I leave him, even if my boyfriend is still in the house. In his previous home he even destroyed his bed after being left by himself for too long. When Furbo asked if we’d like to work with them and test out their new dog camera, I leaped at the opportunity. We’ve been putting our Furbo through its paces these past few days and thought we’d share with you our experience so far!
DOGSCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by Furbo and Karkalis Communications. However all opinions are independent and honest. We only recommend products we enjoy and find useful ourselves.
Now Woody is a very lucky boy and I’m not too sure he fully appreciates it sometimes. I’ve worked hard over the past year to build a lifestyle that he’s wholly included in. He comes with me literally everywhere; to work, to see friends, on holidays and of course on walks! Nevertheless there have been a few times, particularly during this year’s heatwave, where it would have been far easier to leave Woody at home. One area in particular being during supermarket shops.
The first thing that struck me about the Furbo dog camera was it’s contemporary design. The main body is white with a pine wood effect lid. At first glance it looks like anything but a camera and fits in beautifully with our living room/home office. It sits proudly on one of our ikea storage units and boasts a 160 degree view of the room. I can just about see the front door right round to the staircase and entrance to our kitchen. This is perfect as it records all the areas I associate with potential hazards. The Furbo’s microphone cleverly detects if your dog is barking and quickly sends you a notification via your phone, advising you to check on your pup. If anything happens while I’m out, I’ll be the first to know!
Another nifty feature and arguably Furbo’s flagship, is that the camera stores and dispenses your dog’s favourite treats! Simply lift the lid and pour them into the base to use while you’re out. Via the Furbo app, which is compatible with Apple and Android phones, you’re able to ‘throw’ treats to your dog while you’re away. The treats have to be round in order to work and with a maximum diameter of 1cm.
Woody can be a sensitive soul and he’s still a little uncertain about the treat flinging function. He understands that the Furbo throws his favourite treats and happily hoovers them up once they’ve been chucked on the floor. However he’s not a fan of the noise the mechanisms make before the treats are tossed. With time, I’m sure he’ll get used to it (though to be fair he’s still not a fan of the hoover!) and the noise isn’t actually that loud. It’s possible to record your own sound, however Woody still wasn’t keen. I’ve eased off using this feature for the time being!
Woody has been an absolute nightmare in the past when he’s been left at home. He’s managed to destroy his own bed, howled his little heart out, pee indoors – something he NEVER does – and even destroy important documents. Oh Woody! Understandably this has left me feeling very anxious about leaving him at home. I truly believe my separation anxiety is just as bad as his! Solving it will take patience and plenty of time, we’re definitely working in baby steps here.
The first step was leaving Woody alone in the house with me sat outside the front door. I got a few funny looks from neighbours, as I sat alone on the step! It was really reassuring being able to see what Woody was doing in real time – I didn’t have to rely on listening through the letterbox or any other strange tactics. I was really surprised by what happened next. Woody sat on the sofa and gazed through the window. He continued to do this for a good 10 minutes, something I never thought we’d achieve in the first go. Admittedly he was very anxious, you could tell by his body language, but at least he wasn’t being destructive!
A few days later I was brave enough to leave Woody while I popped to the supermarket. It was such a surreal feeling wandering down the aisles while watching Woody at home. The photo you see above is part of a video from that trip. You’re able to record and save videos from the Furbo straight to your phone. This is a great tool to monitor and track their progress, especially if you’re seeking professional help. You can bring along snippets of your week on your phone to show your vet or local behaviourist.
It’d also be a great investment for hotels, campsites and holiday home businesses across Cornwall. Quite often you’re unable to leave dogs in accommodation while visiting the Duchy in summer. This can be quite annoying, particularly if you’re eating in a restaurant that isn’t dog friendly. Having a Furbo in your room would enable guests to leave their well behaved dogs, while owners and staff monitor them. The camera itself is very lightweight and easy to set up. It uses mains electricity and connects via wifi and your phone’s bluetooth. I’d definitely consider bringing it along on our next trip!
I’m really impressed with the Furbo dog camera so far and am excited to continue using it to help with our separation anxiety. You can purchase one via Amazon or Furbo’s online shop.
Have you tried the Furbo dog camera with your dog? If so, what do you think?
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