Petzi Treat Cam review

The Petzi Treat Cam may replace you in your pet’s heart

The Petzi Treat Cam makes it fun and easy to check up on your pet when you’re away, and your pet will love it, too.
The Petzi Treat Cam makes it fun and easy to check up on your pet when you’re away, and your pet will love it, too.
The Petzi Treat Cam makes it fun and easy to check up on your pet when you’re away, and your pet will love it, too.

Highs

  • Easy to use
  • Fun way to interact with your pet
  • Pets love it
  • A jingle brings your pet to the camera

Lows

  • Low-quality video
  • Treats get jammed
  • Bulky design

DT Editors' Rating

Cats are pretty independent creatures. When I’m away, I get the impression I miss mine more than he misses me. This is especially true now that I’ve introduced him to the Petzi Treat Cam. It’s a Wi-Fi-connected camera that also shoots out treats to your waiting canine or feline friend. My cat loves this thing. He’d love it even more if he could break into it.

I’ve reviewed a number of security cameras in my day, so I have no shortage of videos of my cat. He tends to trip the motion sensor… constantly. The Petzi doesn’t record video, but you can check on your pet remotely thanks to its live-streaming capabilities. You can also snap a photo, and sharing is heavily encouraged by the iOS and Android app’s social features. It’s not perfect (purr-fect?), but it does allow for some quality interaction between you and your pet when you’re not home.

Out of the treat bag

The Petzi isn’t exactly pretty. It’s plastic, white, and rectangular. There are screws for mounting it to the wall and Velcro for affixing it to a piece of furniture. Go rogue and leave it standing by itself, and your pet will knock it down. Whether he was trying to stick his face in the dispenser part of the contraption or batting at it, my cat managed to knock it over a couple times before I wised-up. You’re not supposed to just let it hang out on the floor, though. It shoots the treats, spewing nibblets in several directions, so your pet gets some exercise while going from bit to bit.

Setting up the Petzi was relatively straightforward and involved downloading the app, selecting the camera from the list of Wi-Fi networks under my phone’s settings, and going back to the app to connect the camera. It worked perfectly well the first time, but I had some issues reconnecting after I accidentally unplugged it a few days later.

There are some aspects of the treat cam that are well designed. My cat may have stuck his face in the dispenser, but he never managed to crack it open. While it’s a little annoying that you have to wrench the cover off every time you want to fill it with treats, it does seem to manage to prevent break-ins. The back of the Petzi has channels where you can feed in the cord. This is pretty smart, because the only thing my cat loves more than treats is wires.

There goes your social life

To set up the app, the Petzi wants to know all the deets about your pet. It’s kind of like setting up a dating profile for your cat. I was supposed to add a description (just here for the treats), his age (a kitty never tells), species (so species-ist!), breed (well bred), size (he’s comfortable with his girth), gender (let’s just say he’s neutered), website (maybe the spiderweb on the porch?), and favorite treat (all of them). Of course, most of these had drop-down answers, so my cat’s personality couldn’t really shine through. Then I added his cutest picture (it sort of looks like he’s breakdancing) and was ready to roll.

When you open the app, you’re greeted with an array of pet pics, broken down into sections like “most popular,” “just dogs,” “just cats,” and so on. From the menu button, you can check out your pet’s profile, browse your notifications (when I posted a cat photo, five people “awwed” it), and access the camera feed (no pun intended).

The Petzi doesn’t record video, but you can check on your pet remotely thanks to its live-streaming capabilities.

The 720p camera is pretty grainy, but it gets the job done. The camera doesn’t pan or tilt, so what you see on screen is what you get, and you can’t capture video. From the camera screen, you can take a (grainy) picture, talk to your pet (the audio only goes one way, though), and shoot the treats. The little jingle that plays every time you pull up the camera on the app had a Pavlovian effect on my cat, who would lazily make his way to the camera on his own sweet time. But the feeder jammed when I was out of town once, and he was not happy. I checked on him via the app a few minutes later, and his face was right in front of the device, looking, if not disgruntled, far from gruntled, to quote P.G. Wodehouse.

Conclusion

As a camera, the Petzi isn’t that great. It’s picture and the pictures you can take with it aren’t crisp, and if your pet is doing something adorable, you can’t capture the video. But it’s main function, as a dispenser of treats, will certainly make your pet happy. While you could possibly set an automatic feeder to deliver treats while you’re out of town or at work, the Petzi makes it more interactive. Plus, my cat was more likely to come over to this camera than any other I’ve tested, thanks to the promise of treats.

While the social aspect wasn’t something I ever got into, it’s nice that people have a place that’s solely pet-centric. For $170, it’d be nice if it looked a little prettier and didn’t jam. Overall, I wish I loved it as much as my cat does.

Highs

  • Easy to use
  • Fun way to interact with your pet
  • Pets love it
  • A jingle brings your pet to the camera

Lows

  • Low-quality video
  • Treats get jammed
  • Bulky design
Smart Home

Picture this: The Aura packs thousands of photos in a single frame (for a price)

Are you one of those people who miss the good old days of flipping through photo albums to see each and every favorite photo? If so, you might love the Aura digital photo frame. We tested the device and came away impressed.
Home Theater

What is MHL, exactly, and how does it work with your TV?

There are more ways to mirror your smartphone or tablet to your TV than you might think. Check out our rundown of MHL for everything you need to know about the wired protocol and its myriad uses.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Buster Scruggs,’ ‘Missing Link,’ ‘Mowgli’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's new trailers for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and Mortal Engines, and the first trailer for Missing…
Mobile

Which smartphone has the best camera? We found the sharpest shooters

They say that the best camera is always the one you have with you and that makes your smartphone camera very important indeed. Join us for a closer look at the best camera phones available right now.
Emerging Tech

Stronger than steel, thinner than paper, graphene could be the future of tech

Since its discovery, graphene has set the research world on fire. What exactly is it, though, and what could it mean for the future of tech? Here's everything you need to know about what could be the next supermaterial to take center stage.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX makes rocketry look easy, sticks yet another Falcon 9 landing

SpaceX is due to perform its latest Falcon 9 rocket launch and landing on November 15 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Here's how you can watch the proceedings live.
Emerging Tech

In a weighty decision, scientists prepare to redefine the kilogram

Metrologists are meeting at the General Conference on Weights and Measures in Versailles to vote on whether to redefine the kilogram as a constant that can be observed in the natural world.
Photography

See the National Forests like never before in these awe-inspiring drone videos

What's the difference between a National Park and a National Forest? Drones. With no ban on drones in National Forests -- at least, not yet -- filmmakers have a way to capture the immensity of these locations with stunning results.
Emerging Tech

Google’s balloon internet is coming to Kenya in 2019

In order to bring the internet to those who lack it, a company called Loon is launching balloons into the stratosphere. From more than 12 miles up, these balloons beam connectivity over a large area on the ground.
Emerging Tech

Hikers missing on Mount Fuji could soon find a drone buzzing above their heads

Hikers who go missing while climbing Japan's highest mountain could soon find a drone buzzing above their head. A new system using the flying machines has been set up on Mount Fuji for future search-and-rescue missions.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk receives FCC approval to launch over 7,500 satellites into space

Not surprisingly, SpaceX is thinking big with Starlink, its space-based global broadband network. This week, the company received FCC approval to launch 7,518 satellites into a low-Earth orbit for its satellite internet service.
Cars

The world’s first 3D-printed titanium wheels are so intricate they look fake

HRE Performance Wheels and GE Additive have teamed up to create the world's first 3D-printed titanium wheels. They are not only impressively durable, but extremely lightweight as well.
Emerging Tech

Of all the vape pens in the world, these 5 are the best

Vaping concentrates has become significantly more popular, especially among those that use cannabis for medicinal purposes. But don’t use just any vape pen: we found these five devices to be our favorites in 2018.