It’s no secret that we’re travel lovers, and for those of you that follow my Instagram, you’ll also know that I’m a huge pet lover too. What I actually mean when I say that is, I’m obsessed with my house rabbit, Petal. She’s a two year old pedigree (yep, that’s a thing) black otter mini lop that’s not much bigger than my hands. Okay, so where am I going with this? Read on…
In 2016 I was lucky enough to go go ski-ing in Norway, ride a camel across the Sahara in Morocco, surf and trek mountains in Tenerife and shop the Christmas markets in Germany. If that wasn’t enough, we still managed to make time for mountain trips in Lake District, Snowdonia and Scotland, and get a bit of TLC in London.
When we’re away on short breaks usually we can leave the rabbit to look after herself; she’s litter-trained, has plenty of room to run around the house and we always leave her heaps of food. Worst case scenario, my parents have a spare key to the house if there is an emergency. That said, we do worry about her when we leave her for longer than 24 hours because she’s so used to us being around all the time – especially since we work from home.
Petplan pet insurance joined forces with Panasonic to launch a Smart Home Monitoring Kit for pets, allowing owners to check on their pets via an app.We’ve recently been trialling the Panasonic Pet Monitoring Kit to keep an eye on Petal when we’re away on holiday. I hadn’t seen anything like this on the market before, but to be honest it wasn’t something I’d really thought about in the past. The more I read about the kit online, the more I was intrigued to how it could set my mind at ease when we’re traveling.
Unboxing and set up
When the package arrived I was eager to set it up before my boyfriend came home. I’m not one for reading instructions, and I just ripped it out of the box (Oops!). Luckily, it didn’t require any boring reading, and came with some super simple instructions to get started straight away.
The kit comes with an indoor camera that allows you to view your pet via an app on your smartphone or tablet, an SD card lets you record footage of your pet and share it with your friends and family. The kit also comes with a Smart Plug which allows you to turn on a radio, lamp, fan or portable heater to help keep your pet comfortable, and a door sensor so you can monitor when somebody enters your home to check on your pet.
Why we love it
The Hub sits at the heart of every Panasonic Smart Home system, connected wirelessly to all your other Smart Home devices. It’s compatible with both iOS and Android, which is perfect as I’m an Apple over and my partner is very much NOT. Once you’ve connected the Hub to your home WiFi network, you can pair each device with the hub using a simple one-push pairing system.
The camera feature two-way communication (more on that below!), a motion sensor and night vision to give you complete peace of mind. The quality is fair and it’s really useful that it begins recording based on motion if you want to check if somebody has visited to feed your pet etc. The night vision is especially useful, as we feared the product would be rendered useless in the evening.
We had a good giggle being able to speak to Petal using the app on our phone, and watching her little ears perk up when she heard our voice. Luckily, our bun is already littered trained and *touch wood* she doesn’t nibble on anything that she shouldn’t other than rubber shoes or cables.. however, this feature would be really useful if you’re training a dog to stop chewing furniture etc.
If that didn’t tickle us enough, we found the lullaby setting! This was adorable, playing tunes to our pet in the evening before we went to bed. This wasn’t really useful to us, but again I can imagine for lonely pets this might be useful. Sometimes I think even just hearing a voice or some music can offer benefit to your pet if they’re lonely when you’re on holiday.
That brings me to my favourite part of the Panasonic Pet Monitoring Kit – the Smart Plug. Having the ability to control a radio, light or heat remotely is so useful to keep your furry friends happy. The other benefit to Panasonic Smart Plug is, you can turn on the lights before your return home or switch them on while you’re on holiday to give the impression that somebody is home. Pretty neat, huh?
The bad news..
There was one thing that was a little frustrating for us.. Petal spends most her time in the kitchen when we are away (where her food and bed is, clever girl!), so obviously we set the camera up in there. That said, we didn’t really know where to put it because the cable to the plug is quite short with no option to extend and the camera needed to be placed near a plug on a flat surface.
The camera ended up sitting on the edge of our kitchen table bench, which isn’t very convenient having wires across the kitchen in ‘nibbling’ reach. If we had placed it on the other side of the kitchen, we probably wouldn’t be able to see her as she’d be too far away. Bit of a first world problem, I know; but it’s worth considering where you’d position your pet cam.
What’s the verdict?
The Panasonic Pet Monitoring Kit sells for £199.99. There are no monthly subscription fees to worry about, no cloud storage necessary and the Smart Home app is free to download. Additional Panasonic Smart Home products can be added to the system so it can adapt to your future requirements.
Overall, we had a lot of fun with our Panasonic Pet Monitoring Kit and we’ll be using it every time we go on holiday to ensure our fur baby is safe and happy. It puts us at ease knowing that she’s okay when we are traveling, so it’s a small price to pay for that piece of mind.