Home Technology Celebrate Pet Month With Clever Pet Cams for Your Furry Friends

Celebrate Pet Month With Clever Pet Cams for Your Furry Friends

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Leaving your pet behind at home is never easy — so it’s not surprising to see a whole line of home security cameras specifically designed to keep an eye on your four-legged friends.

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These cams come with motion and bark/meow detection, two-way audio and even options for playing with pets while you’re away. They’re also a great way to capture cute pet videos for sharing or see exactly when Fluffles thinks it’s safe to eat the new pillow (and yell at her through the speaker).

If you’re interested in pet tech like this, we’ll go over a few important points to know before you purchase anything, then cover several of our favorite models.

Are pet cams safe for pets?

Usually, yes. But every pet is different, and some run into trouble with smart pet tech. We’ve seen instances of pets attacking or chewing on automated food dispensers, for instance. Smart pet cams, on the other hand, can cause anxiety in some pets. They may not recognize the voice coming through the speaker, or they may see a moving camera as a threat while their owner is away.

Because of this uncertainty, we suggest setting up a few scenarios with your pet. Try leaving a smartphone (on speaker settings) or smart display near your pet, then walk out your home and make a video call so that you can talk to and view your pet through the device. See if this agitates your pet or causes problems.

Likewise, consider how your pet responds to the toaster, timed air purifier or (if you have one) robot vacuum. That’s a good indication of how happy they’ll be with a pet cam. When in doubt, ask a trusted vet for advice.

Why would I connect a vet to my pet cam?

Some pet cams do offer subscriptions to 24/7 vet communication services, vet consultations or similar offerings. Overall, we don’t think any of these vet services are necessary. You’re far better off downloading a concerning video to your phone and showing it to your own vet who knows your pet and can give in-person advice (or local emergency vet services, if necessary).

An online vet consultation is unlikely to make much of a difference, and we’re concerned it could increase owner paranoia rather than helping out.

Can a pet cam save recordings for me?

It should. Saving videos is an important part of a pet cam, whether you want to post a cute clip on Instagram, prove the dog really did eat your homework or send your vet a video of a pet acting strangely. We’ll discuss more options below in our recommendations, but pet cams usually allow you to save footage through cloud video storage — which can require a subscription — or with local storage via a microSD card, etc.

A yellow lab stares in front of a Petcub cam on a wood shelf, while a pair of hands below looks at the dog through a smartphone app view. A yellow lab stares in front of a Petcub cam on a wood shelf, while a pair of hands below looks at the dog through a smartphone app view.

Pet cams can help some pets, but make others anxious: Understand your pet’s needs before you buy!

Petcube

Do pet cameras need to connect to Wi-Fi?

Yes. Today’s pet cams need to be connected to your Wi-Fi for remote viewing and control through their apps. Always put the cam in an area where you have a strong signal with your current Wi-Fi router.

Is tossing treats from a device healthy for pets?

On the positive side, tossing treats can help pets feel better if they suffer from separation anxiety and may even be used in distance training efforts. However, some pets will happily dig into a cam looking for the source of the treats, which can quickly lead to damage. Also, if your pet is on a diet plan or in danger of gaining too much weight, having their treats at your fingertips isn’t a good idea for either of you.

Where do I put a pet cam in my home?

Most pet cams are designed to be placed on the floor or on low shelves. Some can be mounted to lower positions on the wall. Placement is about interactivity and treat launching: The closer to your pet, the higher the risk that pets may damage the cam, but proximity is also important for interactivity.

Are pet cams secure?

Pet cam security isn’t always equal to the security practices of larger home security brands (which can occasionally run into problems of their own). To keep your personal data private, we suggest sticking with companies that encrypt their data and using strong passwords on all your pet cam accounts.

Top recommendations for an effective home pet cam

Furbo 360-Degree Cam with Subscription

A fluffy dog looks at a Furbcam cam on a table, while on the right a woman in white cloths looks at her smartphone. A fluffy dog looks at a Furbcam cam on a table, while on the right a woman in white cloths looks at her smartphone.

Furbo’s cam requires a subscription, but you get a lot in return.

Furbo

Furbo offers a number of pet camera, but we’re recommending this version which requires a subscription for around $70 per year. While we’re not always fans of cameras that need subscriptions, this subscription offers important benefits like smart alerts for barking, cloud recording of motion-detected events and daily pet summaries. You also get security-related benefits like fire alarm detection and person recognition, so it can take the place of an indoor security camera too.

The cam itself is no slouch, with 360-degree panning and intelligent tracking features plus an HD resolution with 4x zoom and night vision. It also has two-way audio and a small treat-tosser to pop out a treat on command.

Furbo offers models for dogs and cats, but there’s not much difference except for an added cat lure on top. There’s also a mini version of the cam available.

Eufy D605 Security Pet Camera

A small dog sits happily becaise a Eufy pet cam on a light wood floor. A small dog sits happily becaise a Eufy pet cam on a light wood floor.

Eufy’s pet cam has local storage if you want to dodge any extra fees.

Eufy

We like Eufy’s object detection qualities and suggest taking a look at this $200 HD pet cam as a choice if you don’t want to pay any subscriptions. It offers important capabilities like 360-degree panning and tracking, motion alerts, and two-way audio. Like may pet cams, it also includes a treat dispenser.

You can pay for a Eufy subscription to get pet identification or sound-based smart alerts and cloud storage. But you don’t need this if you want to avoid fees, especially since the cam comes with a slot for a microSD card for local storage.

For a jack-of-all-trades Eufy cam, consider the Eufy S350 indoor camera instead, which offers excellent 4K/2K resolution with pan/tilt tracking, fairly accurate pet detection, two-way audio and high-quality zooming to see exactly what Speckle has in his mouth this time.

Petcube Bites 2 Lite

A Petcube Bites 2 Lite sits on top of books amid cozy decor. A Petcube Bites 2 Lite sits on top of books amid cozy decor.

Petcube’s latest cam is flexible in terms of placement. 

Petcube

Petcube’s Bites 2 Lite doesn’t pan, but the HD cam is more affordable than many alternatives and has similar benefits like two-way audio and 30-foot night vision. It also includes a treat dispenser, but its design also means you can mount it directly to a lower wall, which some pet ownders may prefer.

For free you get basic motion alerts, but the Petcube Care subscription starting at $4 per month adds a ton of vital features including live viewing through the app, video storage or downloads, and smart alerts to recognize pets, humans or barking/meowing. That makes the monthly fee more or less a requirement for this cam.

Skymee Owl Robot

The Skymee Owl bot on a wood table next to a yellow dog. The Skymee Owl bot on a wood table next to a yellow dog.

The Owl Robot may not be on the same level as other pet cams, but it’s very fun to play with.

Skymee

If your pet has no problem with a robot vacuum, they may love this cute Skymee roller bot, which is a bit like a robovac but pops out treat instead of cleaning them up. You can control it manually or set several different actions based on its infrared sensor. It can record video via the HD cam with night vision and store it on a local storage card. Two-way audio is also supported.

The bot does rely on a battery, which is designed to last around 8 hours per day. Also, there’s always the chance large pets will simply pick up the bot and carry it over to their bed for cuddles. It’s not the same level of quality as some of our other picks, but we’re including it for sheer fun.

If you’d like to watch your rambunctious pet in an outdoor setting then swing by our list of the best outdoor home security cams too, as well as our picks for the best wireless cams. And if pet cam prices are making you wince, take a look at the best cheap security cams





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