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Published Sep. 20, 2021

Most owners can relate to the fact that our pets mean so much to us. Spending time together snuggled up on the couch or frolicking in the park is essential and is something both canines (or felines or reptiles… etc.) and humans look forward to. On the opposite side of the quality-time spectrum, it can be quite saddening and at times distressing when the time comes to leave your furry (or scaly) friend at home alone.

The next time you need to head out solo—whether it be for work, a grocery shop, or a quick trip—leave a pet camera on so you can watch and even interact with your pet from wherever you are. Nowadays, many pet cameras are capable of rewarding good behavior with treats and/or communicating via audio, which can be very helpful for dealing with separation anxiety and training your best pal to stay off the furniture.

How We Picked the Best Pet Cameras

Methodology: As an anxious dog owner myself, I know exactly how painful it can be to have to leave a crying dog at the door. I’m always curious to know what he does all day, and make sure the sobbing stops after I’m out of reach. That’s why I care deeply about choosing the right pet camera. When evaluating the above pet cameras, I kept in mind the following:

Image Resolution: In this day and age, no one should be dealing with blurry images. That’s why all of the cameras are HD resolution, bringing in sharp and clear images and videos.

Set-Up: If you’re on the run and need to make sure the camera is set-up correctly, it shouldn’t take you more than two minutes tops. These cameras are all super simple to set up, with many just requiring a one-time set-up that connects to your phone. 

Pet Interactions: I included cameras that were designed to facilitate pet interactions plus others that were made for general security. While some people love being able to reward or reprimand their pets through remote treats or games, others don’t want to mess around with this sort of technological interaction. I believe it’s the pet owner’s choice, which is why I made sure to include great options for both.
Connection: All of the cameras I picked can be connected to your phone over WiFi and/or Bluetooth, making it super simple for you to check-in using the camera’s accompanying mobile app.

Best Overall: Petcube Bites 2

Compact and Affordable

This camera has any feature you could want: Amazon Alexa assistant, motion and sound alerts, a treat dispenser, night vision, 2-way audio, and an ultra-wide angle lens.

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Why It Made The Cut: The winner of multiple design and innovation awards, the PetCube Bites 2 is the most tech-advanced and capability-loaded pet camera on the market.

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 5.7 x 3 x 10.6 inches
  • Image Resolution: 1080p HD
  • Lens: 160-degree
  • Treat Container Capacity: 1.5 lbs

Pros:

  • Built in Alexa Assistant & Vet Chat for all the help you need
  • Clear night vision 
  • Treat-flinging mechanism updated with better portion control
  • Sleek design fits on a table or mounted on wall

Cons:

  • Price is hefty (it’s an investment)

If you’re looking to keep tabs on your pet and also be able to interact with them from afar, the Petcube Bites 2 delivers. This pet camera received the Red Dot Award for Outstanding Design. 

The Petcube Bites 2 offers 1080p HD live streaming video on an ultra-wide angle lens allowing you to see all corners of the house. You can zoom-in up to four times and chat with your pet at night, thanks to the camera’s solid night-vision capability. Chat with your pet through two-way audio that uses a speaker bar for organic sound, and let your pet know they’re about to get a treat, which can be tossed at various distances. No need to worry about your pet getting into trouble as you’ll get instant notifications on your phone about any major sound or motion disturbances. 

The camera can be set up in minutes, is easily mounted to the wall or can rest on a table, and it supports both 2.4 and 5GHz wifi for a fast and reliable connection. Finally, you can opt-in to Petcube Care, a subscription service for pet owners that offers video history and pet care savings. 

Best Value: WYZE Cam v3 with Color Night Vision

Compact and Affordable

While this camera isn’t specifically made for pets, it records sharp images and videos day or night, has free cloud storage, and sends alerts to your phone.

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Why It Made The Cut: This camera offers impeccable video and image display in a tiny device that costs only about as much as your pet’s food. 

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 2.51 x 2.24 x 3.93 inches
  • Image Resolution: 1080p HD
  • Lens: 110 degree

Pros:

  • Simple set-up
  • Color night vision captures sharp images in indoor or outdoor nighttime environments
  • Free cloud storage included and recordings are saved automatically

Cons:

  • No treat dispenser 

Don’t be put off by the fact that this camera isn’t focused on pets. The fact of the matter is that any solid security camera will allow you to watch your pets while you’re away to ensure they’re at ease and safe at home alone. The WYZE Cam v3 is one of the best security cameras on the market. 

You can install the camera indoors or outdoors (or get two and do both… it will still cost less than most competitors) and not have to worry about the elements thanks to the IP65 weather resistance rating. This camera features two-way audio, so you can hear what your pup is getting up to and tell her to jump off the couch immediately! Plus, the Wyze app is super easy to operate and allows you to rewatch the last 14 days of recordings.

Best for Tossing Treats: Furbo Dog Camera

Best Seller

This sleek product is loaded with features like a barking sensor, two-way audio, and a treat tosser.

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Why It Made The Cut:  Furbo makes dogs and their owners happy with its treat tosser that holds up to 100 treats at a time and can be easily dispensed via the free Furbo phone app. 

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 5.91 x 4.72 x 8.86 inches
  • Image Resolution: 1080p HD
  • Lens: 160 degree
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, WiFi

Pros:

  • Barking sensor can be adjusted to accommodate for sensitivity and sound
  • Camera can be set up in 3 minutes
  • Wide-angle view allows you to find your pet wherever he’s hiding

Cons:

  • Must pay for subscription package offering tons of innovative features
  • Treat dispenser makes a fairly loud grinding sound

The Furbo Dog Camera is immensely popular with pet owners. The package comes with the camera, a 2m USB cable, a quick start guide, and a power adapter. Once you set up the Furbo, you’ll be able to see, talk, and play with your dog from wherever you are. The camera features 1080p HD live streaming, night vision, a barking alert, and two-way audio. 

Furbo also has a “Dog Nanny” subscription service with features like smart alerts, which send you notifications so you can know exactly what’s going on when you’re not home. In this service, you also gain access to event-triggered cloud recording and a doggie diary that compiles 60 seconds of the day’s activities. That said, this service is only available by paid subscription, which may be a turnoff for some people. 

Best Mobile: SKYMEE Owl Robot

Monitoring on Wheels

The hilariously-yet-ingeniously designed robot can be remotely driven around your house to keep an eye on and interact with your pet.

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Why It Made The Cut: We love how this pet camera is essentially a video game that lets you interact with your dog remotely. The camera itself is high quality, and you get to decide where it moves and what it does via your cell phone’s Skymee app.

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 9.21 x 5.91 x 5.47 inches
  • Image Resolution: 1080p HD
  • Lens: 130 degree

Pros: 

  • Can walk, run, and rotate for unique interactions
  • Automatically wakes up when it detects pet behavior
  • 8 infrared lights allow you to see movement clearly at night

Cons: 

  • Only works for short day trips out of the house
  • Lithium batteries need to be charged once or twice a week

The SKYMEE Owl Robot is a high-quality camera with night vision that’s fun for both pets and their owners. Perched on two wheels, the Owl Robot can be controlled through the Skymee app as if in a video game: control where it goes and how fast it walks or runs, and play around with other action modes like rollovers. Thanks to its sensor technology, it will automatically react when touched or when it detects any exciting pet behavior. 

The Owl Robot has a 1080p HD camera with 4x zoom so you can see your pet clearly and up close. The built-in 2-way audio allows you to talk to your pooch at all times of the day. 

Keep in mind that the Skymee Owl Robot will only last for up to 8 hours before you’ll need to recharge the batteries. If you’re looking to watch your pet over the course of a full day or several days, you’ll want to consider a different option.

Best for Multiple Rooms: Arlo Pro 3 Spotlight Camera

Whole Home Coverage

The Arlo Pro 3 is a full-home security camera that will allow you to check in on your pet in any crevice of the house with 2K HDR image clarity.

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Why It Made The Cut: While the Arlo Pro 3 is another camera not specifically made for pet security, the camera offers everything you need to make sure your pet and your home are completely protected.

Specs: 

  • Dimensions: 14.57 x 9.45 x 9.57 inches
  • Image Resolution: 2K HDR
  • Lens: 160 degree

Pros:

  • Easy, wire-free setup 
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and Samsung SmartThings
  • Images and videos are clear and undistorted, day or night
  • Battery life of up to six months

Cons: 

  • Arlo Smart is a paid subscription service (following a 3-month free trial)
  • Price increases drastically depending on how many cameras you need

The Arlo Pro 3 is a cutting-edge security camera that will offer you peace of mind as you leave your house for the day or week. If you want to check in on your pet, you’ll be able to zoom in up to 4x to see him or her closely and clearly night or day. Two-way audio allows you to easily communicate.

Most importantly, the Arlo Pro 3 comes in packs of 1 to 6 cameras, so you can choose how many rooms and outdoor spaces you’d like to cover. That said, this camera is certainly an investment. 

This camera also offers Arlo Smart, a paid subscription service that has some great features, including smart notifications that allow you to take actions like sound an alarm, call 911, or call a friend.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Pet Camera

Know that when you’re buying a pet camera, it can be designated as a “pet camera” or simply a “security camera” or even a nanny cam! 

That said, pet cameras should offer high-res images and videos so you never have to ask yourself if that’s your pet you’re looking at or just a blanket. The camera should have a decently wide angle so you can see all areas of a room, and not just see your pet when it crosses into the view of the camera. My recommendation is for 145 degrees, but anywhere from 110 degrees should work depending on the dimensions of your room. 

The price tag is something you’ll need to think about. Pet cameras offer more than just a simple check-in with your dog or cat. They also allow you to watch your house and even engage via two-way audio with people like the mailman or a delivery person. That’s why we believe it’s worth it to invest in a camera that will answer your pet worries and security needs all in one. Don’t be afraid of paying for this peace of mind, but know that more affordable options are out there. 

FAQs

Q: Are pet cameras worth the money?

In our opinion, the answer is a resounding yes, particularly if you’re someone who deals with an anxious pup. It’s a perfect way to observe your pets, paving the way for future training if need be. The cameras can also help you to take action and make sure your pet is safe in the case of a break-in or fire.

Q: Do pet cameras have sound?

Some pet cameras don’t have sound and just offer rolling images and videos, but the pet cameras chosen for this article all have two-way audio, so you can hear what’s going on and respond in real time.

Q: Do you need WiFi for a pet camera?

WiFi is not a requirement for pet cameras, but again, with the cameras chosen for this article, WiFi and/or Bluetooth connectivity allows you to check-in to watch live-streams or historical footage. This is super helpful if you want to interact with your pup or even take actions long-distance using the mobile app.

Final Thoughts

We know that leaving your cat or dog (or other pet) at home alone can be distressing. If you want to gain some peace of mind while also interacting with your pet, we recommend the Petcube Bites 2. If you’re looking for something more affordable, the WYZE Cam v3 with Color Night Vision will allow you to check up on your pet without all  the bells and whistles of pet-specific cameras

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