The 9 Best Pet Cameras
This wiki has been updated 34 times since it was first published in September of 2015. What do your pets get up to when you aren't around? Do the cats plot your destruction with elaborate PowerPoint presentations? Does your cute puppy drag its butt on every surface? With a pet camera, you can answer all of these questions and more. We have models on our list that offer two-way audio, and can also feed dogs on a regular schedule or dole out treats if they've been good. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
May 05, 2021:
It was a fairly busy round of updates for this emerging category, one that saw several noteworthy comings and goings, and started off with us removing the PetChatz HDX Premium and Pawbo Life Dispenser, both due to availability issues.
We also replaced the Skymee Petalk AI with the Skymee Petalk AI II, even though the sequel costs more and we prefered the original’s sleek design. Price and aesthetics aside, though, we did feel that the AI II established its superiority in a number of significant ways, including the addition of auto-feeding options, onboard data storage and a 180-degree pan functionality. Even its clunkier housing can easily be forgiven when you consider that its smooth top doubles as a wireless charging station, which we thought was a pretty nice bonus.
We also added the Hongsa Smart Pet, in spite of its small dog food reservoir, because we liked that it was wall mountable and reasonably priced, and we figured that it might be just the right size for toy breeds, or cats.
The DogCool Interactive caught our eye with its 360-degree pan functionality and 90-degree tilt range, which – with the possible exception of robotic models like the Skymee Owl Robot – might make it one of the easiest models to “look around” with. It’s also a notably affordable choice, which also helped its cause.
For further remote pet parenting solutions, you might be interested in our list of automatic pet feeders, which includes models like the WoPet SmartFeeder Automatic, that can dispense entire meals. And, if the options on this list are too expensive for you, and you think you can get by without any treat dispensers or laser toys, then you might find better prices (and possibly picture quality) on our list of security cameras.
February 13, 2020:
A good pet camera ought to be able to do more than any old IP cam, and most of the options on our list offer things like two-way audio and treat dispensers. How exactly those dispensers work was taken into account in the organization of our ranking, as some merley drop the treats for your pets to pick up, while others launch them through the air for a bit of added fun. There's also a pretty big discrepancy among models in how loud a given dispenser is, and if you have a skittish dog or cat, a loud motor might scare them off.
We upgraded a few of the models from our previous ranking, and got rid of the Petzi Treat Cam for durability issues, as well as the option from Motorola, which is a bit outdated and doesn't seem in line for an upgrade from the company any time soon. A newcomer to the list is the Skymee Owl Robot, which can wander around your space and interact with curious dogs, and is equipped with dual cameras to maximize its daytime and night vision performance.
PetChatz With the addition of its optional PawCall accessory, this model lets your pet page you with the touch of a button, fostering two-way interactivity in a way that few options do. Its other standout features include an aromatherapy function and and integrated screen that makes video chatting possible. petchatz.com
Wyze Cam V3 If you can settle for an option without any pet-specific bells and whistles – like treat dispensers and laser pointers – then you might find that your best option is a model like this one, that offers high quality audio and video at a very affordable price. wyze.com
Pet Photos Through The Ages
Through photos, people could marvel at animals that were somehow frozen in time.
Photographs of pets have been taken since the invention of the camera, the first being an 1850 daguerrotype of a white poodle called Poodle with Bow on Table, taken by an unknown photographer. The process for this type of photograph was involved and extremely detailed, so one must wonder how patient that little furry guy must have been in order to pose for such a long period of time in the same position. A general fascination with exotic animals along with the recent 1830s inventions of both the camera and first zoological gardens, were catalysts for a cultural renaissance of sorts. This was embodied by a growing obsession for cataloging images of animals and creatures that were previously unknown and unfamiliar to the masses. What does this mean exactly? Through photos, people could marvel at animals that were somehow frozen in time. Stereographs, for example, were a popular form of animal photography depicting an illusion of a 3-dimensional image using two nearly identical prints that could be viewed side by side through a stereoscope.
The 20th century brought additional understanding to both people's perception of animals as soulful creatures, and to improved camera technology. This allowed photographers to capture precise movements and to display them in crystal clear quality, thanks to the advances in digital photography at the beginning of the 21st century.
Since we're not just talking about snapshot cameras only here, it's important to recognize the evolution of the internet and video monitoring technology, since many pet cameras today utilize both to keep track of your furry friend when you're not at home or in the same room. With the release of George Orwell's 1984, the concept of video monitoring became popularized. By 1966, NASA used analog signals to map the moon's surface and send digital images back to Earth, followed by the first patented video home security system using television surveillance in 1969. Fast forward to 1992 for the invention of the nanny cam, which inspired the production of small, hi-res cameras. By 2006, Chicago was outfitted with Operation Virtual Shield, one of the most extensive city surveillance systems in the United States. With the invention and development of the internet and wireless connectivity all over the globe, both camera and surveillance technology can be used virtually anywhere for a variety of purposes that include interacting with your pooch.
Smile: You're On Canid Camera
Pets are family members with rich souls to share. For that reason, staying connected to them is important. Fido is dependent on your unending care and devotion from the minute he comes into your home. Give him your love and he'll return it with an endearing form of innocence and purity without any strings attached. In the digital age of computers, maintaining and reinforcing this human-animal bond through the use of camera technology is both a popular and fulfilling activity.
With a smart pet camera that is motion-activated in the right place, there's a good chance you'll capture at least some of those moments.
Pet cameras come in all different shapes and sizes, most designed as hi-tech solutions for keeping a close eye on your pup or kitty from afar to ensure their safety. Some cameras include indoor and outdoor attachments, while allowing for two-way communication so you can talk to your pet from a different room.
There's something both amusing and informative about getting inside your pet's head to see the world from their point of view. With camera technology attached to your pet's collar, for example, you can do just that. Some cameras also have lenses designed to record motion-triggered video content when your pet walks by. How many times can you remember being with your pet when they've done something hilarious or adorable and you wish that you'd been there with a camera to capture the moment? With a smart pet camera that is motion-activated in the right place, there's a good chance you'll capture at least some of those moments. Depending on the type of camera and mobile device, a paired iPhone or Android app can be used to share this content over the internet, hence the use of this technology to catalog the amusing things kitty or puppy does when you aren't around to see it.
Even though our list primarily focuses on cameras designed for observation and monitoring of your pet's activities, be aware that imaging technology can also be used to discover potential medical problems when your dog can't always tell or show you what's wrong.
Ensure Their Safety
Pets can be unpredictable, so your pet camera should be capable of cataloging that unpredictability. For example, investing in a camera with a motion-activation system is perfect for capturing video of your hyper pooch who loves to be the center of attention or get into mischief. With motion sensing technology, the camera can capture the most noteworthy and hilarious moments of your pet's day, so if your kid wants to blame the dog for eating his homework, perhaps your pet camera will verify or discredit the claim.
One must be sure a pet camera includes some form of information transfer, whether it's with an internet connection, a USB cable, or an SD card.
If you're out for a while, definitely try to find a camera offering two-way communication for reassuring your furry friend and one that dispenses treats with a remote command from a mobile device. These attributes come in handy when keeping your pet safe and stimulated throughout the day.