As regular readers will know, Several months ago we brought home our spotty dog Lux, and what an adventure that has been! People told me so many times how much harder puppies were than babies, and I shrugged it off thinking that these people were crazy. I quickly realised in the weeks and months that followed though... That they were absolutely, 100%, completely and utterly right, and boy how it pained me to agree with them.
Lux is a whirlwind, he strikes like lightning (but not in the sense that lighting doesn't strike twice.. Because it does...In fact he strikes at every given opportunity.), and he always, always, always keeps us on our toes. The kitchen work surfaces are bare, and there is nothing left within paws reach, and as he has grown the parameters for this have also grown. If it can be pawed then it's fair game. We have lost letters, tea bags, dinner and even money to that puppy of ours.
If it can be reached, it can be shredded and destroyed beyond recognition. Not long after we moved into the house I waked into the kitchen and found Lux curled up with Luke's phone and around £300 of cach casually draped around him. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, and very quickly picked it all up before the cash became the latest shred victim. Then there was that time he ran off with an entire box of eggs into the garden and smashed them all up just for fun... I was impressed that he managed to get the box down with all of the eggs all in one piece though...
I very quickly felt like I needed an extra pair of hands, not to mention another set of eyes. You can't be around your dog 24/7, and although I am at home with Lux the majority of the time, I do have to work and there are times I need to leave the house without a cheeky dog in tow, and even when I am working in the next room, I can hear mischief unfolding in the kitchen as I try to knuckle down with my to do list... It means stopping, wandering through to the kitchen to see exactly what he is up to.
Then I heard about pet cams, devices that you can use to remotely check in on your pets. This got me really excited because it meant that I could keep an eye on Lux even if I had to pop out for a little while. Our general rule of thumb is that we walk Lux first thing in the morning, especially if we are having to go anywhere that day.
A happy dog is a tired dog after all.
We have been testing the Panasonic Pet Monitoring Kit over the last couple of months, and I have to say what a blessing it is.
The home monitoring kit comes with everything that you need to be able to oversee your entire home, and that means keeping a check on your pets.
It comes with:
- Smart Hub
- Indoor Camera
- Door Sensor
- Smart Plug
- Micro SD Card
It was just a case of downloading the Panasonic Home Network app to my iPhone, plugging in the hub and going through the app screen instructions to connect the device.
I found it very easy to get everything set up and it didn't take very long at all, and when I did this I was actually feeling a little bit stressed due to discovering we had received a complaint from our local council about Lux. The complaint was a noise issue and speculated that Lux was barking too much. I found this very hard to believe as I work from home, he get's the walks he needs and he is pretty quiet. So while I was busy setting up our Panasonic Pet Monitoring System, I was hoping this might help me relaxed more about it all.
How we have got on with the Panasonic Pet Monitoring Kit
For the first few weeks we didn't leave Lux at all, because although I was sure that he slept while we were out, I was just too worried to leave him in case another complaint was lodged against him. I was terrified that the complaints would keep being made and the situation would escalate. In true Laura style, I over compensated. I stopped working from home and started working from the parents house instead, that way if any complaints were made... We would have removed ourselves from the scenario and it wouldn't be Lux taking the blame.
It took me a while to feel like I could leave Lux home alone again, especially since I didn't know the nature of the complaint. Was the issue inside the house? Outside? Day? Night? I just didn't know because the details that had been provided to me by the council were very thin on details, and this just made me worry more. I felt very disappointed that whoever had made the complaint had gone straight over my head. I like to think I am an approachable person, and more importantly an approachable neighbor, but instead of talking to me directly about whatever their issue was, so that I could address it head on and know exactly what I was dealing with, they went straight over my head.
We started using the pet cam right away, it was brilliant to be able to keep an eye on Lux while we were in other areas of the house. If I was putting Leo to be and I heard a noise, I could quickly see what Lux was up to and if he did start making a noise, I could intervene and get him to stop as quickly as he started. This is what I mean by over compensating, any noise Lux made, put me on edge. I felt like I was walking on eggshells in my own home all of the time.
When I finally plucked up the courage to leave Lux at home for an hour, I pretty much kept the video feed open the entire time. As I expected, Lux slept while we were out and was so well behaved. I was really thankful to have the video and sound to put my mind at rest while I wasn't at home. I was even keeping a dog diary so that if there was an issue, I could know where we were during that specified time. I took some screen shot of Lux sleeping to back this up on my phone, the amazing thing is that you can use the included SD Card within the home hub to take pictures and videos. At this point I hadn't got it all set up the way I needed it to be to do so.
I have since spoken the council in regards to Lux, and they confirmed that issue was apparently outside, and this to me still seems odd, as Lux is never left outside alone.. But still that was a much more attractive answer than the issue being Lux within the home.
Using the Panasonic Pet Monitor
Having the monitoring system has been such a help to me over the last couple of months, it has helped me find the confidence to be able to leave Lux home alone again. Last week Luke and I went to the Harry Potter Studio Tour, which is almost 2 hours from us here in Worcestershire. I walked Lux in the morning to make him suitably sleepy, and then we hopped in the car and away we went.
We were gone from 1:30 that afternoon until 9pm that evening, and I really don't like leaving Lux home alone, so being able to check in on him even though we were a long way from home was really reassuring. Every time I checked Lux was still asleep, and he stayed that way until we arrived home.
Not only can you see your pet on the monitor (even if it is dark!) you can also use the microphone to talk to your pet! I am constantly using this feature to tell Lux to 'Get down' 'Stop' and 'No'. The first time he looked baffled and was searching the room for my voice, now he's just like ' Great... They are watching me again! Busted!'.
What we think of the Panasonic Pet Monitor
I absolutely love this piece of tech, being able to check in even when you are away from home is just the most amazing thing, I cannot put a price on the re-assurance that has been provided through the use of the cam and app, and it has definitely made me feel more confident about leaving him in the circumstances that he cannot come with us.
So many friends and family have seen me checking in and seeing what Lux is up to, they have been amazed that I can see what he is up to even when we are not home, and it is something that is really special.
The video footage provided is brilliant, it stays up to date and doesn't lag which really helps make the experience.
Would I recommend the Panasonic Pet Monitor? YES, yes I would definitely recommend this fabulous piece of equipment and I would not be without it now.
The Panasonic Pet Monitor retails at £199.99.
Disclaimer: I was provided with the Panasonic Pet Monitor in exchange for my honest thoughts and opinions.