Super Sale Alert: Get 15% off the Petlibro Granary Camera Monitoring Feeder featured in this story with promo code CAMERAFEEDER.
Like many city dwellers during the pandemic, I reevaluated a lot of my life choices after spending most of 2020 in quarantine. One thing I realized was that I couldn't make any more excuses for not adopting a dog after wanting one my entire life. (Luckily, my rescue pup Miso felt the same way when we met at a shelter in Queens.)
With any luck, the most uncertain of uncertain times is behind us; many folks have returned back to offices in some form or another, which means that pet parents are no longer spending 24/7 (literally) with their fur babies. While I still WFH most days, my schedule is slowly but surely getting busier than ever before. Whether it's a late kibble breakfast (let's just call it brunch) or leaving an event early to make sure he gets his dinner on time, staying on schedule is becoming more of a challenge as calendars fill up again. Enter Petlibro's Camera Monitoring Feeder, which combines the convenience (and peace of mind) of a Furbo with the Jetsons-like ability to dispense a portioned amount of food from your phone.
For the pawpose of this unbiased review, Petlibro gifted Miso the Granary Camera Monitoring Feeder. After unboxing it, I was surprised at how chic it was; it was about the same size and shape as my Molekule Air Mini+ purifier and featured a sleek panel of indicator lights representing low food amount, locking mechanism, Wi-Fi connection, and more.
To set up your Petlibro, you first need to download its free app and make an account. From there, you can find a spot for your Petlibro, fill it up with dry food (it won't work with wet food, so avoid the mess and stick to kibble), and pair it to your phone. Petlibro's app offers a couple of ways to connect your device, but I found the QR code method the easiest and quickest; basically, you hold up a QR code from the app to the Petlibro feeder's built-in camera, and voilà: Paired!
Miso isn't a picky pup, but he definitely was skeptical of being fed by a machine versus his mama. The first time I used it, I was still at home since I wanted to make sure it didn't spook him too much. You can use the app to schedule food time or manually dispense food as needed. Once he decided the scene was safe, he walked right up to the bowl and started chowing down. Later in the week, I got dinner with my boyfriend and fed Miso as we were enjoying cocktails. Using the camera function, I creeped on him as he approached the feeder. (See adorable screenshots.) As far as cleanup goes, the metal bowl easily slips out of the feeder tray, and the chamber that holds the food can easily be wiped down with a clean cloth and water.
While this high-tech feeder isn't going to replace me anytime soon, having it as an option has already come in handy for when errands or traffic get in the way of meal time. (For the busiest pet parents, it's a true game-changer.) At $140, it's an investment — but one that is definitely justifiable.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy or click on something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.