Technology is rapidly becoming a large part of home safety and maintenance, from electronic doorbells with cameras and digital thermostats that can be controlled from your phone. For pet lovers, the most recent innovation gaining traction is pet cameras.
Pet cameras are exactly what they sound like, cameras in your house that function to provide video of your pet and even interact with them. Pet cameras provide live video streaming of your pets while you are away from your home. Depending on which brand of pet camera you buy, you may receive features like night vision, phone notifications when cameras sense activity, bark alerts, scent dispersing, two-way chat, wide angle lens, treat dispensing, and carbon monoxide detection.
Let’s take a detailed look at every major pet camera on the market to understand the features of each, price, and performance. After hands-on testing all of them, this is how we rank them:
#1 Petcube Bites
- TREAT YOUR PET REMOTELY: Fling treats at varying distances or schedule automatic treating from the...
- MONITOR 24/7 FROM YOUR PHONE: With Petcube Bites Wi-Fi pet cam, check on your pet day or night with clear...
- CHAT WITH YOUR PET: With two-way audio you can speak to your pets and hear them bark or meow back. Tell...
Petcube is one of the most popular and develop maker of pet cameras. Their Petcube Bites is a pet treat camera that allows you to monitor and play with your pet while you are away from home. Petcube bites offers an app that includes two way talk audio, night vision, and the ability to toss treats. The product has a container that holds up to two pounds of treats so you can have endless playtime with your pet without worries of filling up the treat container daily. The only specification on treats is that it must be a crunchy treat that is less than one inch in dimensions. You can toss treats automatically by scheduling through the app or toss up to six feet away from the Petcube Bites with the flick of a finger while watching your dog or cat live.
The Petcube Bites streams in 1080p HD with a 138° wide angle lens so you don’t miss a thing. The only requirements to have a functional Petcube camera is that you have wireless high-speed internet. This pet camera includes cloud-based video recording and timeline history. The cloud allows you to look back at your pets interactions and share them to social media or messaging for family and friends to enjoy as well.
To access the cloud features and watch previous videos, a subscription of Petcube Care is required starting at $2.99/month. Although a subscription on top of the product cost of $179.00 may seem pricey, Petcube Care offers many perks to save you money. After purchasing Petcube Care, you will receive discounts at companies like Wag!, Rover, Bissell, Tile, and more.
#2 Petcube Play
- MONITOR 24/7 FROM YOUR PHONE: With Petcube Play Wi-Fi pet cam, check on your pet day or night with clear...
- CHAT WITH YOUR PET: With two-way audio you can speak to your pets and hear them bark or meow back. Tell...
- PLAY FROM YOUR PHONE: Play with your fur baby with the built-in pet safe laser. You can control the laser...
Petcube Play is the revamped version of their original pet camera, and perhaps the most popular camera to revolutionize the market. This small cube-like camera uses an impressive 1080p wide angle lens for flawless live-streaming video. It comes equipped with 4 hours of free continuous cloud recording – this means you can look back the at all of the content during the last 4 hours (and choose to save it if you wish). An optional Petcube Care subscription can also be purchased to increase the cloud recording to 24/7. The item also has awake, sleep, and quiet mode to ensure your pet is only interacted with when you chose and has sound and motion detecting to know when your pet is active.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of the Petcube Play is the interactive laser pointer game. Through the Petcube app, you can control the laser pointer to move it across the room as your pet chases it! Since studies have shown that dog’s may witness increased levels of anxiety from laser pointers, we recommend this model more for cats.
- 1080p Full HD Camera & Night Vision: livestream video to monitor your pet on your phone with a 160-degree...
- 2-Way Audio & BARKING ALERT: Furbo's BARKING SENSOR detects when your dog is barking. It sends push...
- Fun TREAT TOSSING: TOSS a treat to your dogs via the free Furbo iOS/Android app. Fill it with your dogs'...
Furbo is currently the No.1 selling pet camera on Amazon and is popular among consumers. The 1080p HD camera throws treats and includes night vision, 4x zoom, and a 160° diagonal lens. The sleek design includes a wooden bamboo cover that makes the device spill proof and aesthetically pleasing. Furbo has the treat tossing capability and holds up to 100 treats that are .4 inch/1 cm in diameter. This pet camera requires a plug in, high speed internet, and phone capability of iOS 10 or newer or Android 6.0 or newer.
Furbo does offer “Furbo Dog Nanny” which includes cloud recording, smart alerts, and a daily dog diary. This is an optional feature and users still have access to two-way audio, treat tossing, and bark alerts without it. If you chose to purchase a Furbo, you automatically receive a free 90 day trial to the Furbo Dog Nanny.
- A fun and easy way to connect with and treat your pet from anywhere
- Watch the excitement on your pet's face when you pop in
- Dispense your pet's favorite treat with the Petzi treat launcher for a big smile, say hello to your pet...
Petzi is a smart camera treat dispenser that allows you to hear and see your pet. When using the Petzi app, users will be able to easily launch treats and take photos of their pet to easily share on social media. Petzi comes with a mounting kit that gives you many mounting options to ensure that the pet camera is placed in the most ideal spot for interacting. The Petzi has a simple design that is easy to use. One drawback of Petzi is that although you can hear your pet, there is no speaker that allows your pet to hear you. The Petzi’s simple design allows you to use any treats that are crunchy and less than 1 inch in diameter.
- Pawbo Life camera (PPC-21CL) w/ 720p HD live video, 130° wide-angle lens, and 4x digital room, capture...
- Dust to dawn cute ear design Pawbo Flash (PPC-AT01) provides colorful viewing video and image in the dark...
- Built-in microphone/speaker/laser/treat dispenser let you listen, talk and reward your pet's favorite...
Pawbo is a pet camera that allows you to play and interact with your pet while you are away. This product has a simple set up and only requires you to plug the device in, connect to Wi-Fi, and download the app. Once these three steps are completed, you are ready to connect with your pet. The Pawbo includes two-way talk, treat tossing, and laser capabilities. Users will be able to choose between scheduling play times with lasers and treat dispensing or manually initiating it to instantly reward good behavior.
The Pawbo has a lesser quality video streaming than the other options at 720p, but includes 4x zoom and 130° lens. This camera works manually by downloading the Pawbo Life app. This app can have up to eight people that can view your pet making it satisfying for family and friends as well. In addition to the app, other play accessories are available for purchase to provide your pet with a full play park to interact with while you are away.
- PetChatz Digital Daycare is a full day of interaction and entertainment for your home alone pet.
- An interactive experience with Two Way Video Chats, Treat Dispense, Calming Aromatherapy, Brain (treat)...
- Turn on the sound and motion triggered PetWatch video recording to capture your pet's activity while you...
PetChatz is a unique pet camera as it not only has two-way talk capability, but also two-way video. It is the only pet camera that currently offers a full-color LCD screen that allows your pet to see you. This high tech option includes sound and motion detecting that can be personalized to send you alerts. The PetChatz treat dispenser holds up to 150 treats that notifies you when treats are low and how many treats are being dispensed each day. PetChatz also includes a scent diffusion system to bring a calming effect at any time. PetChatz setup is simple like many of the other pet camera options. It only requires a plug in and high speed internet. The PetChatz Digital Daycare system can be can be accessed through an app on Android, iOS, or even a desktop computer. The PetChatz Digital Daycare System requires no monthly charge and includes cloud storage and unlimited chat. The device can stream DOGTV on the screen by purchasing a monthly subscription so your dog can watch its favorite television when home alone. PetChatz also includes the option to buy additional accessories like Paw Call so your pet can contact you to play when you are away from the house.
Complete Guide to Pet Cameras
These pet cameras work quite simply. For most products, you connect your pet camera to a power outlet, download the app that corresponds with the pet camera you purchased, and connect the pet camera to the internet. Once your pet camera is connected to the internet, you will be able to see your pet on your smart device. Be sure you have stable wifi connection to receive the best use of your pet camera. If your pet camera has two-way chat or treat dispensing capability, you can access this through the app as well. To dispense treats to pets while you are away from home, make sure you fill the treat holder with treats that will fit through the dispenser and simply click the option in your app to dispense at any time.
Pet cameras can benefit people differently depending on their needs. Whether you are looking for a pet camera to watch your pet for your satisfaction, to see if they are meddling while you are away, or to help solve your pets anxiety problems, you will likely find some of these benefits to correspond with your needs.
- Reward your dog for good behavior: When you check in on your pet and see they are acting how you hoped, many of the pet cameras offer ways to reward them for good behaviors. You can dispense treats or give words of affirmation through two-way chat to reward your pet for being good while you are away from home. This helps ensure that the training you have been working on with your pet is paying off or helps your pet remain happy while you are away.
- Bark alerts: Bark alerts will prove useful for many pet owners. For pet owners that live in apartments or homes with noise ordinances, you may be required to keep your pet quite. The bark alerts will notify you when your pets are being loud and barking and you will be able to check in on them. You may be able to find the cause of the barking or be able to calm your dog to stop the barking through two-way chat.
- Assistance for separation anxiety: Many of us are forced to leave our pets at home while we work typical 8 a.m.-5 p.m. jobs. A pet camera is an option that helps make these long hours more relaxing for both you and your pet. The pet camera can offer you reassurance that your pet is happy and calm while you are away. Your pet will also be calmed while you are away through two-way chat to calm any heightened nerves and treats to ensure they are happy during the time away.
Although pet cameras offer benefits that will likely please the consumers that purchase this product, there are potential drawbacks that buyers should be aware of when looking to buy.
- Lack of interaction: The pet cameras offer wide angle lens to give pet owners the maximum viewing capability, but it is limited to one area. Each camera can only cover so much space. If your pet is not active in the room in which your camera is in, you may not be able to interact with them at all. This may require you to strategically place your pet camera or continuously move it to your pets preferred area.
- Monthly fees: Many of the pet cameras require you to pay a monthly fee for using their service. Most of the monthly fees associated with pet cameras range from $7.99-$12.99 a month. This can be seen as too high of a cost for these products, but they offer a large range of features to compensate consumers for their purchase. Although most pet cameras come with an additional monthly fee, one’s like PetChatz and Petzi require no monthly fees after the one time purchase.
- High cost: Pet cameras are a newer technology and some of the models unique features make them quite expensive. Options like the popular Furbo cost around $199.99, but include a sleek design, automatic night vision, and a treat dispenser. The most popular product on the market currently is PetChatz and its many features come with a price tag of over $300. If you are looking for a cheaper option, you can try out pet cameras like Tooge and YI Dome Camera with similar features for under $100.
One notable thing about this product as it can serve a purpose for every pet owner. There are no specific sets of needs that make it better for certain consumers. If you have specific needs it may direct you to a specific type of pet camera, but it can be useful product for all pet parents. When purchasing the product for yourself, specific features that should be seen as essential are two-way chat and high resolution video streaming. Everything beyond this is based on personal preference and the needs of you and your pet.
Pet cameras are a new and developing product, so we can expect to see further innovations being made to the product in the future. With the continuously growing home technology industry, it is likely that these products are not going anywhere. If you are looking for a way to interact with your pet and check in while you are away from home pet cameras are worth your investment.