Puppy Tweets is the essential pet gadget for any geeky pet owner who wants to share the wonderful world of Twitter with their favorite furry pal. In particular my dog is very tech savvy – she has her own computer, briefly took over the site back in April, and can be found modeling for some of our more extensive reviews. She is quite the trooper. As a matter of fact, even before Puppy Tweets launched she had her own Twitter account – @littlebuttons. So I was super excited to get my hands on Puppy Tweets – not only would it let me and our readers engage with my little white puff on a more human level, but it would also free up her time to do other more important things like finding her ball under the TV console cabinet.
Puppy Tweets is super adorable and the fact that Mattel thought out of the box and even made a product like this deserves major props. The device is the first of its kind to sends tweets via a Twitter account from your pet! Puppy Tweets comes in a simple package and is available in the colors blue and pink for your boy or girl dog. Included in the package is a color coordinated USB dongle, the Puppy Tweets tag, and battery for the tag.
The first thing you will need to do is unscrew the back of the Puppy Tweets tag and put the battery in. Then you just insert the USB dongle into your computer. The dongle is a bit big in size and because of its size, it killed two USB ports on my laptop – which is a shame since you are supposed to keep this plugged in all the time for the tweets to work. Fortunately, the Puppy Tweets does work with either a PC or Mac – nice! Once you insert the Puppy Tweets you will have to install software which can only be downloaded from the Puppy Tweets website. You would think that it would come pre-loaded on the USB Dongle, but nope. So once it has been downloaded you follow the onscreen prompts and then proceed to install the Puppy Tweets on your computer. At first I ran into a hiccup with my Puppy Tweets tag – the USB Dongle didn’t locate it. However after hitting the reset button inside the tag after removing the battery and then re-inserting it – it found it right away.
The software will ask you if you would like to make a Twitter account for your pet, or you can link one you already have. I chose to link to the one my dog already had @littlebuttons. Once that was done, I awaited for the tweeting to begin. Which would be activated by movement or barking from my dog via the tag.
The actual Puppy Tweets tag – although cute, is more appropriate for a bigger dog. My dog is a Westie and even though she is big in attitude, she is small in size and she didn’t take to kindly to this big tag swinging around on her neck. It also became to accessible for her to chew on when she laid down. Annoyed she was.
As I chased her around and encouraged her to make noise, the tweets starting to come in – slowly. However you can change the configuration for them to come in at different volumes of low, medium, or high. The funny thing was that I expected that the minute that she moved or barked for her to start tweeting, and the tweets did come in and the dongle blinked, but the tweets weren’t specifically coming in in-tune with when she was moving around. Also, your pup must be within 100ft of the dongle for it to tweet at all. That means sitting in a room with both your computer and your dog in order for the Puppy Tweets to work. So if you expected a tweeting session with your pup while you are at work, that is pretty much out of the question, unless you plan on locking your dog in a room within 100ft of your computer while you are out.
Overall, Puppy Tweets is an extremely ingenious gadget that brings your dog into the whole Social Media scene. The system itself manages to pump out adorable tweets! I wish I was sitting in that meeting at Mattel/Radica’s office when they came up with these cute 140 character phrases that they planned on having dogs tweet out. However as much as Puppy Tweets is adorable, there are a few shortcomings. Sadly little dogs will be left without a voice on Twitter because the tag is just too big for them to wear. You will also have to lock yourself and your dog in a room in order for your dog to be within range for the Puppy Tweets to work. Still, hopefully the Puppy Tweets will take off and we’ll be seeing Puppy Tweets for different sizes dogs and maybe even for different animals. After all – aren’t you curious to see what your cat has to Tweet, or maybe even your Iguana? For $24.99 Puppy Tweets certainly won’t break the bank, and who knows – your dog may just end up getting more followers than you.
The Good: Ingenious concept. Made well and works for both PC and Mac. Adorable tweets that could make any pet owners heart melt. Saves you time for tweeting for your pet (maybe that’s just me). Easy software installation.
The Bad: Tag is too big for small dogs. Your pet has to to be within 100ft of the dongle for the Puppy Tweets to work. The dongle is too big and kills two USB ports, if they happen to be near each other.