The Puppod is one of the latest additions to the gamut of smart dog toys on the market. You know your dog is smart, but just maybe you don’t know just how smart he or she really can be. The Puppod engages your dog in an interactive way, where your dog is rewarded for specific behaviors. As your dog’s skill and learning increases, so does the complexity of the challenges, making sure your dog is always entertained and always challenged.
PupPod calls itself “the smart toy for smart dogs.” The game challenges start out easy, and the device even comes with a motion sensor, so that the dog can initially be rewarded for just coming close to the PupPod. An accelerometer is included, which can sense when the toy is touched or poked. As the dog graduates to more advanced challenges, there are lights and sounds to pique and maintain the dog’s interest in the toy. The challenges can be incrementally tougher automatically, or you can set their difficulty level from a mobile app.
The PupPod works in conjunction with the mobile app (on both iOS and Android), with which it communicates via BlueTooth. When your dog completes a game successfully, the app provides you with a notification, so that you can give your dog a reward. If you are not around, or are busy, then the PupPod can work with an automated treat dispenser (the PetTutor Blu, which needs to be bought separately), which will reward the dog when he or she completes a challenge.
The brains of the PupPod are protected by a strong Kong Wobbler. This is made of ABS plastic with a thickness of 3/8″. The PupPod website claims that this “is very difficult (but not impossible) to chew through.”
There are no other products exactly like the PupPod. However, there are definitely some competitors in the general “smart dog toy that is kind of like a gaming console and which will exercise your dog mentally” category. Most notably, there is the CleverPet. The CleverPet actually integrates the treat dispensing mechanism, so you don’t have to purchase a separate automated treat dispenser. It is also a more tried and tested product, while the PupPod is relatively brand new on the market, and it remains to be seen how it measures up. Also, the CleverPet has more of a “gaming console” form factor, with its three buttons and all. The PupPod, on the other hand, has the form factor of a Kong – a form factor that many dogs are already familiar with. We have not yet been able to do a head-to-head comparison of PupPod vs CleverPet on the same dogs, to see which one the dogs prefer. But take the form factor point into consideration, along with your knowledge of how your individual dog behaves.
Since the PupPod is relatively very new on the market, we will update this section once at least a certain number of reviews can be found.
The Bottom Line
The PupPod has promise, and seems like something dogs may love. However, it’s brand new on the market, and with really no customer reviews available, it is difficult to assess how much of this is hype and how much is really there. If you have ordered the PupPod, we’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.