Ever wonder what adventures your pets get up to while you are away from home? You can now get a glimpse into their secret world with the help of pet cameras. These smart home gadgets are great for checking up on your fluffy friends during long office days and making sure they aren’t up to no good. However, picking the right pet camera can be a daunting task. There is a great variety of pet cams on the market – basic security ones, cameras with night vision, and even cameras that can dispense treats. To help you, we have compiled a list of the best pet cameras you can buy. Let’s get into it!
Why you should get a pet camera
First things first! If you have been considering getting a pet camera but you are not sure how beneficial or useful it would be, here are five reasons you should purchase one:
- Pet cameras are great for putting your mind at ease, especially when your cat or dog is young and you both might feel a bit of separation anxiety.
- If you often have to work overtime or you spend long days at the office and simply miss your pet.
- For interacting with your pets and keeping them engaged during the day.
- For keeping your pet safe – many pet cams offer bark and/or smart alerts.
- Last but not least – for funny and cute videos of your four-legged friends’ shenanigans.
If you are convinced, it’s time to go through the options for the best pet cameras. We’ll have a look both basic budget options, as well as feature-packed interactive pet cameras.
Best pet cameras:
Editor’s note: We will update this list regularly as new and innovative pet cameras launch.
1. Petcube Play 2
- Price: $199.00
- Pros: night vision, two-way audio, built-in Alexa
- Cons: smart alerts require additional subscription, does not rotate
The Petcube Play was one of the best pet cameras on the market and the same goes for its successor — the Petcube Play 2. Small and discreet, this interactive Wi-Fi camera can easily be placed anywhere in your living room.
It’s packed full of features and improvements. It offers 1080p video and night vision, but now the camera has a much wider 180-degree view, as well as 4x digital zoom compared to the 3x of its predecessor. Two-way audio is also on board with major improvements. The Petcube Play 2 has full duplex sound with a 4-microphone array. However, the best feature is undoubtedly the toy laser. It comes with automatic and manual mode, the latter enabling you to control the laser from the companion smartphone app. All you need to do is move your finger on the screen and make sure not to aim the laser at potted plants or precious vases.
With two-way audio you can talk and listen to your pets.
You are also able to keep tabs on your pets without being glued to your smartphone 24/7 thanks to smart alerts. The Petcube Play 2 recognizes meowing and barking, so you won’t receive notifications if your upstairs neighbors are being loud. However, to have access to smart alerts, as well as video history storage, you need to purchase an annual or monthly Petcube Care Plan. The annual plan will increase the price of your pet cam by around $50, but if you’ve got the spare cash, it’s worth it.
The best recent addition to the Petcube, however, is Alexa. The pet camera pretty much doubles as a smart speaker. You can ask the Petcube Play 2 to read stories to your dog, play soothing music for your cat and more. It’s a robo pet nanny! Its only downside is that it doesn’t rotate, so you have to be strategic with your placement. However, the Petcube Play 2 is still one of the best allrounder pet cameras you can buy.
2. Petzi Treat Cam
- Price: $67.50
- Pros: cheap, dispenses treats, great for dogs, night vision
- Cons: one-way audio, does not rotate, treats may get stuck depending on their shape
If you’ve recently adopted your new furry buddy from a shelter, they might be restless or suffer from separation anxiety. You can help them get used to their new home with the Petzi Treat Cam.
As its name suggests, it’s not only useful for monitoring your pet, but also for dispensing treats. This is done via the downloadable app and works with any treats smaller than one inch. It’s great for dogs in particular, since you can keep their training up even when you are away from home. There’s even a replenishment option which can monitor treat levels and order new ones when the supply gets low.
The Petzi Camera can order treats by itself!
Just like the Petcube Play, the Petzi Treat Cam offers night vision, but the resolution is slightly lower at 720p. However, the video quality is more than decent enough to keep tabs on your pet. If they are misbehaving, you can also speak to them. Unfortunately, there is no two-way audio, so you won’t be able to hear your pet’s reactions. If that is vital for you, you might want to opt for another camera on our list.
The good news, however, is that the Petzi Treat Cam is very easy to set up and mount. You can put it high up on your wall so it’s out of the reach of greedy pets that might want to snack on all the treats at once. Nevertheless, this camera doesn’t rotate either, so make sure its placement is optimal. It might not offer the huge array of features that other pet cams on the list do, but it’s a cheaper option that gets the job done and keeps your four-legged family members happy.
3. Furbo Dog Camera
- Price: $199
- Pros: night vision, two-way audio, barking alerts
- Cons: not great for cats, pricey, cloud recording and smart alerts require subscription, does not rotate
If you want a pet cam that has it all, you can’t go wrong with the Furbo Dog Camera. This sleek looking gadget combines all the best features you’d commonly find on pet cameras.
It offers crisp 1080p video with 160-degree wide-angle view and 4X digital zoom. There’s night vision and two-way audio on board too, so you can talk to your pet at any time. It’s great for soothing dogs with separation anxiety, especially when combined with its fun treat tossing feature. Just like the other pet cameras on the list this is done through the companion app, but Furbo also works with Alexa. You can set up tossing routines and feed your pet delicious treats every hour.
Of course, as the name of the Furbo Dog Camera implies, it is not the best choice for cats. They might get startled by the tossing and if you leave the Furbo on a table or shelf, it probably won’t stay there for long. But the dog-focused features are great! The Furbo camera offers bark alerts which will send a push notification to your phone when your furry friend is noisy. The Smart Alerts and Doggie Diary features, as well as cloud recording, require a subscription to the Furbo Dog Nanny service. There is a 90-day free trial, but this can be a major downside for some dog owners, since the Furbo Dog Camera is already on the pricier end. Nevertheless, for some pet parents the extra cost will be worth the peace of mind.
4. Pawbo Life Pet Camera
- Price: $149.00
- Pros: great for both cats and dogs, 2-way audio, night vision
- Cons: pricey, 720p video, does not rotate
Is there a pet camera that’s ideal for big pet families with both cats and dogs? That would be the Pawbo Life Pet Camera. One of the best devices to monitor your pet, this compact Wi-Fi camera goes above and beyond with its features.
It offers 720p streaming with a 130-degree wide-angle lens and 4x digital zoom. Two-way audio is also present, as can be expected. What makes it stand out is that it combines the best of both worlds — a laser toy and a treat dispenser. Similar to the Petcube Play, you can set the laser to automatic. So, whether you have a cat or a dog, you can keep them engaged and entertained throughout the day. If your cat’s gymnastics are very impressive, you’d be happy to know that you can take photos and video directly from the livestream.
For those worried that their pet might get startled or confused when their voice suddenly comes through the camera, there is a special ringtone you can setup. You can then train your furry friends to recognize it and pay attention when you’re about to call. Finally, if you have the extra cash and don’t mind spoiling your pets, Pawbo offers a ton of extra accessories. You can build a whole home theme park for them with a cat teaser and more.
5. Yi Dome camera
- Price: $39.99
- Pros: microSD slot, rotates and pans, night vision, two-way audio, cheap
- Cons: no special pet features like dispensing treats
Although not designed as a pet cam, the Yi Dome camera offers some great features that will help you keep both your home and your beloved pets safe.
This Wi-Fi security camera has a 112-degree wide-angle lens that captures 1080p videos with night vision as an added bonus. But unlike most pet cams, it has a full 360-degree coverage thanks to 345-degree horizontal and 115-degree vertical rotation. It also has a microSD slot for storing videos locally. The Yi Dome camera is incredibly easy to set up and it also controlled via a dedicated app that gives you plenty of options. You can set it to auto-cruise so it scans the whole room on the regular, you can make it record when motion is detected and even set it to follow motions.
You don't have to spend a fortune for a good pet camera.
What makes it a good replacement for a more expensive dedicated pet cam? It has two-way audio, so you can still talk to your pets and keep them calm if needed. It’s also small and light and can be mounted. Thanks to its rotation, this means you can put it high up out of the reach of even the tallest dogs and most curious cats without losing visibility. It might not have fancy bells and whistles, but it gets the job done, while being very affordable.
6. DIY pet camera
If you can’t afford to spend much but you have an old phone or tablet lying around, you can “make” your own pet camera thanks to the Dog Monitor app. Available for both iOS and Android, this app lets one device act as a camera (or pet station) and one as a monitor (or person station). All you need to do is download the app on both devices, pair them and find a good spot for your pet station. The app is pretty self-explanatory – you just need to follow on the onscreen instructions.
Just like a regular pet cam, Dog Monitor allows you to watch your pet from your smartphone wherever you are, talk to them or issue pre-recorded commands like “Sit!”, “Quiet!”, etc. The app even offers cross-platform compatibility, but if you are using an iPad and an Android smartphone for example, you will need to purchase it on both platforms. The good news is that there are no subscription fees – just a one-time payment of $5.99. It’s a great budget option, especially for dog owners.
Note: your pet station device will have to stay on most of the time, so make sure to turn down its brightness to prevent screen burn and make sure it’s plugged in.
These are our picks for the best pet cameras. Did we miss some great cams? Let us know in the comments below.
Read next: 10 best pet apps for Android