One of the saddest parts of a pet's day is being home alone. It's when many of them experience separation anxiety, causing them to display aggravated behavior. They might chew on your couch, sing songs to your neighbor (a.k.a. bark), or leave a fun present for you to find later. If your furry friend does any of these things, you probably need a device like PetChatz HD. The question is, are you willing to spend $380 for it?
What Is PetChatz?
PetChatz is an intercom that connects you with your four-legged friend. It has a built-in camera, microphone, speaker, a small screen, and a companion app. But it's more than just an intercom; it can also dispense treats and release therapeutic scents.
Hardware & Installation
PetChatz is designed with your pet's safety in mind. It is 100% cordless, it has no corners nor edges, and a chew-resistant case protects the entire device. You can also purchase a see-through guard if your pet has an aggressive temperament.
To install, PetChatz is placed on a power outlet.
Simply mount your PetChatz unit over any electrical outlet in your home and screw securely into a wall stud.
A plug placed on the back of the device allows it to use the outlet as a power source. You can then screw PetChatz into a wall stud to keep it firmly in place. Typically, power outlets are placed near a stud, but you will want to use a stud finder to avoid drilling into a live wire.
Alternatively, you can screw PetChatz into a PetChatz Stand (sold separately). This is a good option if you plan to move the device to different locations or if there is no outlet nearby. However, using the stand makes PetChatz easier to knock over and will require the use of a wire for power.
The last thing you need to do to install PetChatz is to connect it to Wi-Fi. To do so, you need to login to your PetChatz account using the app or the web. After doing so, simply enter your Wi-Fi credentials and your camera will connect automatically.
Video Chatting Using PetChatz
Using PetChatz is like Skype-ing on your smartphone or computer, except only you can initiate a call. To call using your smartphone, launch the PetChatz app and tap on the "Call" button. Doing so will trigger PetChatz to play a ringtone to catch your pet's attention. If you're using a computer, you can access features by logging into the web app.
The PetChatz camera has a 720p resolution with a 65.5 degrees wide-angle view. Though they use the word "wide", 65.5 isn't wide at all. In fact, it's minuscule. Many home security cameras, like Piper, offer a 180 degree view, which is enough to see a large room. For PetChatz to work effectively, your pet will need to be very close to the device. And in addition to an inadequate field of view, the camera also lacks night vision.
Aside from streaming, you can record and store up to 3 videos in PetChatz' cloud. The camera doesn't automatically record, but it can help you capture interesting moments. For example, PetChatz has a motion and sound sensor. When either is triggered, it will send you a notification so that you can watch in Silent Mode. Using Silent Mode, you can see and hear your pet using your smartphone, but your pet won't be able to see or hear you.
If you want your pet to be able to initiate a call, you can purchase another accessory called PawCall. PawCall is a 3" x 4" durable button with built-in lights. It can be used in two ways:
First, you can set up different times of the day that you are available for a quick call. During those times, PawCall will flash lights to attract your pet. If your pet presses the button, PetChatz will reward him by tossing a treat. At the same time, it will also let you know that your pet is ready to connect.
Second, you can set up Game Mode. During Game Mode, PawCall randomly flashes. Every time your pet presses the button while the light is on, he will be rewarded. It's a good way to keep him engaged and entertained. You can also watch your pet play in Silent Mode.
Pet Chatz Treatz & PetChatz Scentz
There are several things that make dogs happy, PetChatz can deliver on three of them:
- Seeing their human.
- Sniffing out different scents.
The first one is, of course, is covered by the video call ability. The other two are covered by Treatz and Scentz.
PetChatz Treatz is a feature that allows you to reward your pets by tossing them treats. It works similarly to the treat-tossing pet cam, Furbo. PetChatz specially formulated the treats that are to be used with their device. The treats are all-natural, healthy, and they come in chicken or salmon flavor. There is no fat, grain, wheat, corn, soy, or artificial flavor added to the treats. And yes, cats can have them too.
The Treatz are stored in a reusable cup placed inside PetChatz. The cup can hold a hundred Treatz at a time and they can be stored for a year after purchase. You can purchase 6 pouches (approximately 900 treats) for $33.99.
On the other hand, PetChatz Scentz is a feature that makes PetChatz release a calming aroma every time you chat. They recommend using CALM, their own essential oil creation. A 10ml bottle of CALM sells for $19.99. Simply add a few drops to the Scentz Pad ($7.99 for a pack of 10) and the device's fan will diffuse the scent.
PetChatz is unique compared to other pet cams we've seen. It has a screen display that allows your dog to not just hear you, but see you. It also tosses treats and can stimulate your pet's olfactory sensor by releasing scents. However, it's expensive. First, you need to purchase the device for $379.99. You'll also need to spend around $50 every 6 months to maintain Treatz and Scentz. If you're okay spending that much to keep your dog happy, go for it. All PetChatz devices and accessories can be purchased from petchatz.com.
If you think this is all too much, you can find workarounds. For example, why not use an old smartphone and turn it into an intercom? And then maybe use Furbo, which only costs $139 to toss treats to your pet?
Keeping your pet happy while you're away was once a challenge, but there are now lots of options supported by technology. You can check out all of the pet cams we've reviewed here.