Review written on September 5, 2016
- Allows you to see and monitor your pet from anywhere at anytime
- Feed your pet remotely with your smartphone or device
- Send video and audio to your pet
- Works with Android and Apple devices
- You need to have an extra tablet or smart phone to use the device
- More expensive than some similar devices which have their own camera built in
The story behind iCPooch
Napoleon Hill said one of the secrets to success is to clearly define your dream and get a burning desire for its achievement. When Brooke Martin was 12 years old, she had an idea for a device that would allow dog and cat owners to video chat with their pets from a mobile device. She was concerned about her dog suffering from separation anxiety. In the fall of 2012, she went to “Startup Weekend” in Spokane, Washington. She competed against 39 adults pitching their ideas. iCPooch ended up with the greatest number of votes.
Her and her dad build prototypes in their garage. They then worked with several professionals to refine their product. Martin then did a Kickstarter campaign in an effort to raise $70,000. Unfortunately they only raised $23,000. Kickstarter has an all or nothing clause, so the money was returned. Undeterred, Martin launched a new campaign, in 2014, with bigger rewards and only sought $20,000. This time they raised nearly $30,000.
Now at the age of 14, she appeared on Shark Tank. The sharks seemed to be interested until they found out she had only sold 115 units at the time of taping. None of the sharks were interested. O’Leary said, “I hate this very much as an idea. Very much. I hate everything about this! Count. Me. Out.”
Brooke Martin didn’t let that stop her. Today, iCPooch is alive and well. It’s available here on Dave’s Top Guide. For her “never give up” attitude, we give Brooke Martin 5 stars out of 5!
More about the device
iCPooch is a treat dispenser that uses Wi-Fi connectivity and works with a tablet or smart phone. When you’re away, you can video chat with your pet and give them their favorite treat, using the iCPooch app. iCPooch doesn’t come with a tablet, so you’ll have to take that into consideration and add the cost to the device. There is an advantage to this. You can either place the tablet in the adjustable mount of the unit or you it can be placed facing the iCPooch and out of slobber range.
If you have a nervous or skittish dog, it might take some time for them to get used to the sound of the treat being dispensed. However, most dogs will overcome this fairly quickly. They will associate the sound with the fact that they are receiving a treat every time they hear that sound.
Since you don’t have to have a video call started to dispense treats, another option is if you only want to dispense treats, you can just not have a device in front of your pet. You can install the app on the phone or tablet, that you use and carry with you, and dispense treats when you decide.
The company has listened to their customers. Most recently, in addition to using your tablet or smartphone, you can use your desktop or laptop to video chat and deliver treats. Not sure how your co-workers would feel about you yelling for your dog using a mic, at work. At least you can watch and deliver treats.
When the device is in “Home Mode” (the one that your dog sees), it will drain the battery. You should be aware that for this reason, your tablet or smart phone may need to be plugged in for the entire duration that you are away.
Do I have to use iCPooch Cookies?
The treat dispenser is like a gravity fed Pez dispenser. You stack the treats in the chute. It swipes the bottom treat out into the tray, where it just falls down. So you don’t need to use the iCPooch cookies. It is recommended that you use similar size treats, which would be flat treats which are round or square and approximately 1” to 2” wide and approximately half an inch thick. For getting started a 6 ounce package of pet cookies is included in the box.
If you have a picky dog or cat that only enjoys smaller treats, you can use the included plastic dishes to dispense these small kibble type treats.
We love the idea of easing separation anxiety for pets and their owners! The sound of their owner’s voice can calm a bored or restless pet. For the owner it’s nice to be able to check on their pet while they are away. However, there are similarly priced devices that have a microphone and video camera built into the device. Like iCPooch, they also dispense treats. For example, the Petzi Treat Cam. This is why we’re only giving iCPooch 3 stars out of 5.