Have you ever wondered what your dog gets up to when you are out? Does it worry you that he is alone and you cannot watch him?
If you have a dog that suffers from separation anxiety, would you like to know what he does when you leave, and when you are away, so that you can take steps to help him to overcome his fears when you are not there with him?
A pet camera is ideal for the times you may be out of the house for longer than usual. If you have to leave your dog alone for more than four hours, it is a positive idea to arrange for someone to check on your dog and let them out to toilet if he needs to. In times of stress, some dogs are prone to ‘accidents’.
The addition of a dog camera can be a great aid in helping you to feel connected to your dog even if you are out. It gives you peace of mind and with no doubts of what your dog is doing when you are not there.
A dog camera is also a useful aid for monitoring anyone who has to come into your home, perhaps to feed, walk or sit with your dog. Most cameras are discreet enough to tuck away on a shelf. You may also purchase a covert monitoring camera and we will feature one of these within this article.
Top Dog Cameras - full reviews down the page
PetChatz HD & PawCall Bundle
Two-Way Audio/Video Pet Treat Camera w/ DOGTV, Brain Games, Recording, Scents, Motion/Sound Detection, and Call Mode
Furbo Dog Camera
Treat Tossing, Full HD Wifi Pet Camera and 2-Way Audio, Designed for Dogs, Works with Amazon Alexa (As Seen On Ellen)
Pawbo Life Wi-Fi Pet Camera
720p HD Video, 2-Way Audio, Video Recording, Treat Dispenser, and Laser Game
Sotion Super HD Wireless Security IP Camera
Internet Network Home Indoor Surveillance Camera Monitoring System, Pet Video Monitor with Pan & Tilt, Two Way Audio & Night Vision
The Smart Indoor Home Security Camera System
Surveillance Camera System with Motion Detection, Night Vision, 2 Way Audio
Lareinae Wireless IP Camera
720P HD Wifi IP Video Security Surveillance Camera with Night Vision, Pan / Tilt, Two - Way Audio for Pet Monitor,
KJB SG1510WF SG Home Wall Clock
What is a pet camera monitoring system?
A pet camera allows you to watch your dog whilst you are out, via real-time video. Generally small and discreet, you can place the camera on a shelf, where it will provide a wide-angle view of the room where your dog is. A pet camera is sensitive to movement, which will alert you to activity. It works via a free camera specific app installed on your mobile phone, which you connect the dog camera to your Wifi connection.
Most dog cameras have two-way sound facility, so you can talk to your dog through the in-built speakers inside the camera. This is great, though can create some comedy moments if you are sitting in a restaurant calling to your pooch via your mobile phone!
Many dog cameras have a swivel action, so that you can check out the room your dog is in, to monitor what he is doing. You are in full control of this action from the app on your mobile phone.
Pet cameras can also act as a training aid for your dog by dispensing treats. We have featured one dog camera that has a paw button for your dog to press and activate two way audio and visual via the unit on the wall, set to the eye level of your dog.
Check out the PetChatz HD system in our review below.
We advise that you position the camera in a place where your dog cannot access it or damage it.
What should I look for when buying a dog camera?
Making the choice to purchase a dog camera is one you will be glad of. There are a number of pet camera monitoring systems on the market to choose from, so it can be tough to decide which one is going to be best for you and your dog.
Below are the functions that, from experience, we believe to be important when making the choice to purchase a pet camera monitoring system.
Your first decision is about how much you are prepared, or able, to spend. Pet camera systems range from under $40.00 and up to $500.00. You don’t have to spend a fortune but it really does depend on what you want, need, or expect from the camera.
Ease of set up
Some of the pet cameras we looked at were hugely complicated, so we opted for a selection of cameras that were quick and simple to install and set up, kind of plug and go if you like.
If you decide to buy a pet camera not listed on our reviews, always check the simplicity of set up because it can be a time consuming nightmare otherwise.
Good HD picture quality
It will drive you mad if you find yourself looking at fuzzy video or blurred photographs. We believe that having good quality HD is paramount to being happy with your purchase.
Your new dog camera should come with full instructions to download a free app in order to set up and work your new camera. All of the cameras we featured have free apps.
We would advise against paying for an app when there are so many dog cameras with a free app.
When your dog moves, you want to know about it. All pet cameras should come with motion alert. Check that the sensitivity is adjustable or you may find that the tiniest thing will set the alert off and your phone will be pinging relentlessly all day.
An ideal situation is for a pet camera to send you push notifications of movement alerts via your phone or the app. We advise against a camera that sends email notifications because this can quickly become annoying.
Wide angle lens
Unless your dog is crated, he is likely to move about during the day. So, you want the camera to be able to see him wherever he is. Some of the lower priced cameras do not have a wide-angle lens big enough to be able to scan the entire room. If your dog is sitting in a corner where the camera cannot see, perhaps tearing up cushions, it sort of defeats the object of having a dog monitor.
Many of the pet cameras come with a swivel action and some move vertically as well as horizontally. This is useful for being able to scan the corners to see where your dog is.
If it is dark or the light is poor, you want the camera to be able to adjust to the light so you aren’t looking at a black screen instead of your dog.
Microphone and Speaker
The bare minimum acceptable is two-way audio with a built in speaker. You want to be able to hear your dog and you want your dog to be able to hear you. If your dog is displaying stressful behaviour, you can call out to him and help him to relax.
The lower priced dog cameras do not come with treat dispensers.
The top two in our reviews are the Furbo and PetChatz, both of which have a treat dispensing facility.
Whilst having this functionality isn't crucial, it can be a fantastic way to help your dog to learn that being alone can be almost as rewarding as you being with him.
For dogs with high levels of separation anxiety, a dog camera with a treat dispensing function will go a long way to helping him to manage, improve and, in the long-term, overcome the behaviour.
Having the ability to dispense treats does add value to a pet camera but, if you can stretch your budget just a little, it is a decision that you will be sure to appreciate when you see the results.
The higher-level pet camera monitoring systems provide a system that will actively teach your dog to use his intelligence and problem solving skills.
With a little basic training, your dog will learn how to activate functionality on a pet camera that has training options. The PetChatz has two-way audio and visual with Pawcall bundle.
Your dog will soon understand that if he presses the paw button on the floor, his reward will be to see you on the two-way visual monitor and receive a treat from the unit. In his mind, you are rewarding him.
For a dog that suffers from separation anxiety, this technology may transcend his behaviour and significantly improve his stress levels.
Connect with Alexa
Very few pet monitors come with this functionality but, if this is what you would like, we recommend the Furbo dog camera.
How to choose the best dog camera?
There is a wide range of pet cameras available to purchase, from a low cost basic model to a high tech more costly option. In this review of pet camera monitoring systems, we are going to look at a range of cameras to suit your requirements and budget. We will weigh up the features and benefits of each camera in order that you can make an informed decision for your purchase.
We love the PetChatz!
Petchatz HD takes the idea of a pet camera to the next level and beyond, as it offers a positive, interactive pet experience that is truly unique.
Image a system where you can train your dog to contact you whenever he needs to see you and hear the comfort of your voice. Can you imagine how awesome that would be? Surely, you would think this is technology for the future, there is nothing like that for the average dog owner is there?
Well, here it is and you can have it now.
Leaving most doggy pet cameras lying in the dust, the Petchatz HD is a revolutionary product that can significantly improve the experience of being alone for your dog.
How does it work?
The system is a fully contained unit that is chew proof. You mount it on a wall, at a height that enables your dog to see the little TV unit where your face will appear when you connect to the unit.
The two-way audio-visual technology provides unrivalled communication with you and your dog.
The true impact of the PetChatz system is the Pawcall, which is a floor-based unit that your dog presses when he wants to connect to you.
With a little training, your dog will understand how easy it is to connect to you via the Pawcall and you can reward his cleverness and good behaviour when you make contact and dispense a treat.
Understandably, the enhanced technology of this pet camera comes at a price. However, the sheer brilliance of setting up true two-way communication with your dog is priceless.
For a premium price, you can have peace of mind and a great aspect of fun, knowing your dog is learning something valuable when he is alone.
From the app on your phone, you can activate any of the following options:
Like all other pet cameras, the PetChatz provides sound and motion detection. Another unique function is that you can load the unit with aromatherapy oils to calm your pet in cases of a storm occurring when you are not at home.
The only prerequisite is that your dog is food motivated. If he is, then training him to use the Pawcall will be a simple exercise that he will master surprisingly quickly. The more food motivated he is, the easier it will be to train him.
How would I teach my dog to press the Pawcall?
Have some delicious treats nearby, or load up the Petchatz with treats. Have your partner in another room (so he or she cannot be heard) Make sure you have the attention of your dog.
Stand with your back to the PetChatz on the wall.
Have your partner call through the app on his or her phone. As your dog becomes alert to the voice, place a treat on the Pawcall. As your dog touches the unit with his nose, toss a treat towards him. Your partner then says ‘good boy’ and dispenses a treat from the unit.
Do this for five minutes at a time 2- 4 times a day.
If your dog seems more focused on the unit, be patient and wait. Put a treat on the Pawcall and repeat until your dog gets it. When he does, make a big fuss of him.
The only potential downside of the Pawcall is that your dog is SO food orientated that he presses it all day long to get his treats!
Try not to overdo it and only treat your dog maybe once an hour or every couple of hours, once he understands the Pawcall.
You don’t have to use the Pawcall of course. The PetChatz is still a fabulous product on its own, with the full visual and two-way audio technology.
The PetChatz is a fabulous pet camera and beyond. If your budget can stretch a little to buy this system, we are sure that you will enjoy it and your dog will love it.
The Furbo is a great camera with the unique design of being able to toss treats to your dog and it works with Amazon Alexa (as featured on Ellen).
It holds over 100 treats, so is a perfect training aid to help your dog to manage – and learn - when you are not at home. You are able to stop unwanted behaviour and reinforce good behaviour. Your dog will soon seek out the camera to get his treat for being good.
The Furbo has night vision and a 160º wide-angle lens, giving you a great view of the room.
You can talk to your dog and you can hear if he makes a noise, giving you excellent two-way communication. You set the app to notify you, via a push notification to your phone, telling you if your dog is barking.
The Furbo has dog recognition technology that can send you a dog alert or person alert and selfie. For all those times, you wondered if the dog walker was actually turning up to see your dog, you could now know for sure!
Activity alerts are real time, alerting you of continuous activity. For instance, Joanne said the Furbo was a brilliant aid to training her 14-month old rescue collie dog Jessie to stop chewing.
Jessie was tearing up the furniture, pulling the seat cushions off the chairs and ripping them up. Joanne hated the idea of putting Jessie in a crate to control the behaviour so, on the advisement of a dog trainer, purchased a Furbo dog camera.
Joanne told us that as soon as she got the alerts, she shouted ‘STOP’ into the app and Jesse would stop chewing, wondering where the voice had come from. Then Joanne would press to send a treat out and say ‘Good girl’.
Within a week, Jessie became more interested in interacting with the camera than pulling off the seat cushions and Joanne could at last think about buying some new chairs!
The Furbo is easy to set up. You decide where to position the camera, plug in to a power outlet using a USB cord, download the app and connect to your Wifi.
Boom! You are ready to go.
According to Furbo, over 5000 vets and dog professionals have generated input on the design of the camera.
As well as the alerts, the camera keeps all of the photos of the activities captured during the day. You can store these on your phone album and export them to you your laptop or PC if you wish, or you can delete.
You can tailor the alerts to suit your needs and the Furbo actually learns from your dog’s patterns of behaviour and adapts the notifications as it learns
The Furbo is a great purchase at a surprisingly reasonable price.
The Pawbo Life Camera is a fun and interactive pet camera with 720HD HD live video. It has a 130° wide-angle lens and a 4x digital zoom.
As standard, the camera has a built in microphone and speaker. It also has a laser and treat dispenser so that you can play with and treat your dog at any time.
Interestingly, the Pawbo camera connects up to eight users at a time, so the whole family can spend time checking on your dog to see what he is up to and reassure him that you are not that far away.
Like all pet cameras, it connects wireless and you download a free app to your phone to enable you to connect to the camera and to your dog.
The Pawbo comes with social sharing facilities so you can post photos to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. You can record videos and store them on your mobile.
The Pawbo has a ringtone notification facility, so you can get your dog’s attention when you need to.
The unit is free standing and drops treats out of the bottom when you activate that option on your phone. The potential downside of a freestanding pet camera is if you have a large, rambunctious dog that may knock over the unit in his eagerness to reach the treat. In our opinion, the Pawbo may be better suited to small sized dogs, or cats.
Word of caution: We are not great fans of laser games for pets. Some dogs can become totally obsessed with that little red light and it can become a real problem over time. If you decide to purchase a Pawbo pet camera, we advise limiting the number of games played with the laser.
For a mid-range budget, the Pawbo is a great option as a pet camera for toy breeds or quieter dogs that are unlikely to knock it over or off the shelf.
The Sotion is a baby or pet monitor and we are delighted to add it to our pet monitor article. It has received such excellent feedback as a pet monitor and it would have been remiss to fail to tell you about it.
The price is incredibly reasonable considering the quality and functionality available.
First off, like most pet monitor cameras, it has HD remote live video streaming and a panning facility of 355º with a tilt of 110º and 5 X digital zoom.
You can listen and talk to your dog via the two-way audio as you watch what your dog is doing in your absence.
The Sotion has night vision up to 30 feet, so if you suddenly find yourself away from home, as it gets dark, you can still watch your dog easily.
The camera has an intelligent motion detector alert and records video on a SD card. You can playback your video on the app or on your laptop or PC.
The camera is easy to set up and the smart phone app gives you real time access. With all of the pet monitor cameras we selected, ease of set up was one of our priorities. To our thinking, there is nothing worse than fiddling around with technical set ups for hours before you get a pet monitor camera working.
Some of the pet cameras feel like you need a degree in micro engineering! Not so the Sotion. It comes with clear instructions on one page! You plug in the cable, scan the QR code with your phone so you get the camera ID, choose your network and enter your network password and that is it!
The app also comes with a user manual, through you probably won’t need to use that much as the Sotion is simple to work out.
This pet camera monitor also has high security camera ID and you will be required to change your password from time to time. The app politely reminds you until you do it. This ensures that no one else can hack into your camera.
Once you have set up motion detection, alerts go directly to the app. You can adjust the sensitivity of the motion detection.
We once had a fly in the room which kept setting it off whilst we were out! A small adjustment and it no longer picked up random insects. The camera alarm sound can be muted, useful if you are in a business meeting perhaps.
Overall, we think the Sotion is a fabulous pet camera monitor. If you are on a low budget, this packs a lot of good stuff in for a great price.
Whilst the camera doesn’t have the little extras like treat dispensing, for the price we recommend it as a great entry level pet camera.
The Smart Indoor Home Security Camera System is a compact monitoring camera, which can be used for whatever purpose you have in mind and is ideal as a low cost pet camera.
It has 1080 HD video and night vision (Infrared light up to 8 meters) with 8 X digital zoom. It has pan and tilt digital zoom with a 350° viewing angle which rotates horizontally and vertically which means that you can scan the entire room from the app on your phone.
The camera has smart motion detection and you will receive notifications on your phone.
It has two-way audio with a built in speaker and microphone, so you can talk to your dog and you can hear if he makes a noise.
As a lower priced camera, there is a small sacrifice on the functionality. There are no treat facilities but for the cost, it is a great entry-level pet camera.
The Smart Indoor pet camera has great customer feedback, so we are happy to include it in our reviews for if you are working to a smaller budget.
The Lareinae camera has a pan and tilt function with two-way audio. It has a high definition advanced glass lens with a 350° horizontal & 100° vertical rotation thus providing overall 360° coverage.
The camera has motion detection, which sends snapshot alerts. Like all the other pet camera monitoring systems, it comes with two-way audio.
The camera has advanced night vision with infrared for a viewing distance of up to 10 meters. It is easy and quick to set up and can accept a 64GB SD card (not included), a 1-year warranty and lifetime support. It also has an in-built FPC antenna, which helps to make strengthen and stabilize the WiFi signal.
The Lareinae is a lower priced camera with a good reputation. Users report the HD quality is good and that set up is super simple.
The picture is very good and the audio is clear. For an entry-level camera, it is of good quality and design and we are confident that you will be pleased with this camera.
Covert Monitoring Systems
Not everyone wants a pet camera monitoring system to be visual.
For security reasons, it can be an interesting idea to have a covert video camera. You still want similar functionality as a ‘normal’ pet camera monitor of course.
A covert system is effective in that it can better blend into your home without the obvious knowledge that you have video capture running.
The KGB SG1510WF SG Home Wall Clock is a fantastic alternative to a standard pet monitor. It comes with a free app for live WiFi providing playback recorded video from the free app installed on your phone.
The clock has internal SD storage and motion detection alerts sent directly to your phone.
It has high resolution of 1280 x 720 and it has a 125° wide angle view and you have remote view to your dog from anywhere in the world.
The camera ID has HIDDEN SSID, which means that your camera is 100% undetectable on your network.
The clock camera is simple to install and set up by scanning the QR code provided with the free app on your phone. Then you have instant streaming.
Should you have any technical issues, there is a USA tech support line with English speakers.
Should you want to have more than one clock camera, you can put more than one through the app without any issues.
On the app, you can adjust the recording quality to suit your needs. It comes with a 32GB SD card and it can support up to 64GB (sold separately) and a one-year warranty.
This is a fantastic monitoring system if you prefer to have a covert camera in your home. It means that visitors are unaware of its presence. If you have a nanny, or a pet sitter, you want to know that your dog is treated as well as you treat him.
The KGB SG1510WF SG Home Wall Clock comes at a premium price but we do feel it is a premium product if a covert camera is your preferred option.
Take your time finding the right pet camera monitoring system for your home and dog. Personally, we feel that a pet camera with training and treat functionality is the preferred option, but we appreciate that cost is a consideration. However, if you can opt for a training monitor, we are sure you will be glad that you have the extra functionalities to further train your dog to be happier left alone.