As much as you’d love to spend 24-hours a day with your dogs, for most, it’s simply not possible. Luckily, several pet camera manufacturers understand the attachment to our dogs and have created some great ways to stay in touch while you’re away from home!
More than a standard home surveillance camera, pet cameras offer added features and benefits tailored specifically for pets, while still offering the sense of security that comes with around-the-clock monitoring and recording.
So, whether you just want to peek in on your adorable dog, check to make sure he’s not getting into trouble, or even want to toss a treat and say “hello!” we’ve scoured the market to bring you the Best Pet Cameras for Dogs!
Factors we considered in choosing the Best Pet Cameras:
Ease of Use: A pet camera should be easy to install, easy to set up, and easy to use, without requiring a degree in engineering or an electrician’s license. Beyond setup, it should be simple to access remotely with an app or login available across a broad range of devices and operating systems. In selecting our top picks, we considered how easily the device could be installed and used by the average pet parent.
Features: Naturally, a pet camera will allow the user to remotely view their pet from anywhere. But, added features, tailored specifically for pet parents, such as noise or activity alerts, two-way audio, panning, nighttime vision, or high-definition video recording are also important. Additional perks might include the ability to dispense treats, remotely “play” with your pet, play music, or snap photos to share over social media.
Quality: There are dozens of surveillance cameras marketed to pet parents that offer a broad range of features and functions, but not all cameras are created equal. We considered both the quality of the video recording and the quality of the device in determining the best pet cameras.
Subscription Requirements: Many home surveillance and pet cameras offer video recording and storage, but requirements and costs for cloud storage vary greatly from camera to camera. Our top picks offer free or low-cost cloud storage for saving videos and snapshots of your furriest family.
Appearance: While this isn’t the most important factor, the camera’s appearance may play a role in the purchase decision. We considered whether our top picks would be an attractive addition to your home.
And the top picks are…
BEST OVERALL PET CAMERA FOR DOG OWNERS:
Pros: For our top pick, the Best Overall pet camera for dog owners, we wanted a device that, first and foremost, had great video quality, easy set-up and user-friendliness. Next, the camera needed to have some cool dog-centric features that made it more than just a camera. And third, it needed to be reliable and an attractive addition to the home. The PetCube Bites Camera with Treat Dispenser checks all the boxes.
With crisp, clear 1080p high-definition video and night-vision, it’s easy to check-in on your dog day or night from anywhere in the world on your smartphone. Taking it a step further, the PetCube offers two-way audio, allowing you to not only listen in, but to talk to your dog, too. And, with sound and motion alerts to your phone, you’ll never miss any of the excitement at home while you’re away. As an added bonus, this pet camera dispenses treats – and it holds a whopping 2-pounds worth, meaning you won’t run out of snacks to toss during the day. (Best of all, you can use your dog’s favorite treats – no need to buy special treats just for this dispenser!) But, this camera doesn’t just dish out treats, you actually get to toss them to your dog “Angry Birds” style and make it a fun game for you both. And, with the added ability to keep tabs on both your dog and your home, you’ll enjoy the sense of security that comes with home surveillance. Plus, it comes in black, silver, and rose gold so you’ll have no trouble finding one that seamlessly matches your home’s decor.
Cons: While the PetCube Bites does offer access to recorded video footage for the last four hours, extended video recording requires a subscription to their cloud service for a reasonable fee.
“Petcube Bites is exactly what I was looking for. We have to leave our dog in a bedroom of the house for around 3-4 hours a day due to work. We make sure to keep the room full of toys and things to play with, but we wanted a way to monitor the dogs activity in the room. I found PetCube Bites and now have the ability to monitor the dog…but ALSO throw treats out when ever I want! The setup was easy, the instructions were simple and my wife and I can now check on the dog whenever we want. You can also talk to your animal through the speaker and hear any response they may have for you. This is all done through their free app. It really is a simple process that anyone can figure out.” –Mikey
BEST ON-A-BUDGET PET CAMERA FOR DOG OWNERS
Pros: While the Yi Home Camera and Pet Monitor isn’t loaded with tons of bells and whistles, you simply won’t find a better wifi-enabled pet monitoring camera at such a low price point. Period.
That doesn’t mean the Yi isn’t without it’s important features, though! In addition to crisp, clear 1080p high definition, wide angle video recording that streams seamlessly to your smartphone, the Yi offers infrared night-vision, allowing you to see clearly even in near pitch-black conditions. Add two-way audio, allowing you to both hear and speak to your dog, motion/noise alerts sent instantly to your smart device, and the ability to link multiple cameras to a single account and you’ve got an inexpensive, yet totally reliable and solid home and pet monitoring system. Plus, the Yi automatically records and stores several seconds of video (with sound) when motion or noise is detected free of charge. Insert a microSD memory card into the device to store hours of video without the need for a cloud subscription.
Cons: The Yi camera isn’t packed with features and functions that many other pet cameras offer, like treat dispensing, but is a simple, no-frills camera for peace of mind and a sense of security.
“Love this camera! I actually bought it so I can keep my eye on my dog while I’m away at lunch for work & its awesome. It’s super easy to set up & has really neat features on it like motion detection & sound detection so if for some reason the dog (or baby) cries it’ll alert you directly on your phone so you can pull up the video. This also allows you to speak to whoever is on the opposite side of the camera through your phone so I can calm my dog down should I ever need to. For the price of this it’s definitely all it’s cracked up to be. Thinking about ordering another!“ -Mikell
BEST PREMIUM PET CAMERA FOR DOG OWNERS
Pros: There are so many amazing features in the PetChatz HD, it’s hard to list them all! PetChatz did not skimp on quality, features, and functions when they designed what they call the PetChatz Digital Daycare system. Providing your pet with a level of interaction and entertainment second only to you actually being home with them.
The PetChatz HD is the ONLY pet camera that offers two-way video, allowing your dog to see you, too! In addition to high definition video, crisp, clear audio, and the ability to dispense treats on demand to your dog, PetChatz even has games and entertainment for your dog to enjoy while you’re away. When you’re not video chatting with your best furry friend, he can lounge in his favorite bed and watch DogTV from his own personal TV screen, mounted right at nose level. And, the PetChatz releases calming aromatherapy scents each time you “call” your dog, easing anxious dogs that don’t like being left alone.
PetChatz records video, allows you to share over social media, and stores videos and images without the need for any subscription service (So, while you may be paying more up-front for this device, you could save in the long run). Plus, they have one of the most top-notch, on-the-ball customer service departments we’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.
As an added bonus, PetChatz offers several add-on accessories, including our favorite the PetChatz PawCall, a small paw-print shaped device that allows your dog to call you with the press of a paw!
Cons: Initial setup can be tricky and does require a screwdriver and ability to mount the device to a wall (or to purchase the optional separate stand). You’ll need a strong wifi signal or the device will need to be mounted near your wireless router, which can be somewhat limiting when determining where to place the unit. But, if you encounter any problems during setup, PetChatz customer service is absolutely outstanding and will assist until setup is complete.
“I am a first time dog owner and I am always worried about my pup! PetChatz has been a lifesaver for my husband and I! We both work long crazy hours and the fact that via any device that we are able to be in touch with our puppy is such a huge help! It provides such a piece of mind being able to check in or call (“greet and treat”) our pup to ensure that she is safe! I really love that we can talk to them and we can both see one another. It really makes a difference! When the PetChatz device rings our puppy comes running and she is getting better at positioning herself in front of the camera so I can actually see her little face! The PetScentz and the PetTreatz add to the overall experience and give the product so much more depth than if it were just a camera! You can also add a device called a PawClaw which allows your pup a level of additional interation. They can call you with it or also play games – which I love! An additional bonus is that you can subscribe to DOGTV and stream it via the PetChatz device AND you can control when it plays and the volume – such a great feature! Thank you Perchatz!!!!” -LREC
Because there are as many varieties and styles of pet cameras as their are of dogs, no single camera will be perfect for every situation. With that in mind, we couldn’t ignore these notable mentions!
Best Pet Camera That’s Actually a Toy:
The EasyPlay Robotic Treat Ball is more of a toy than a monitoring or surveillance camera, but we couldn’t leave this off the list. Basically, it’s a treat dispenser puzzle toy that you can control remotely. And, it’s got live video feed, so you can watch (up close and personal from the ball’s eye view) as your dog knocks the ball around to release treats. The EasyPlay is a great way to encourage play while you’re away. And, while your dog must interact with the ball to release the treats, you can “drive” the ball around the room (from anywhere in the world) using the EasyPlay app on your smartphone. Three separate treat compartments you set to a timer mean your dog won’t empty to toy in the morning and be done for the day, but will be encouraged to play several more times.
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