The Furbo Dog Camera has key features (like a pet treat launcher and night vision) that get our tails wagging. It’s the only pet camera we encountered with sound detection that senses barking. If your pup has a bad barking habit, the Furbo will alert you so you can check in, talk to them, and even give them a yummy treat.
Another perk: this camera livestreams in sharp 1080p, night or day. And while it’s on the pricey side, it’s not the most expensive camera on our list.
We checked out what popular pet sites were saying about different cameras and researched which key features matter most to pet parents. We dug deeper to learn about the top cameras and their pros and cons so we could bring you the best of the best. Read our full methodology to find out more about how we research and review products.
The Furbo Dog Camera was designed specifically for dogs and their owners. It boasts two-way audio, night vision, and a pet treat dispenser. So as long as you have the app on your mobile device, you can monitor and play with your pup from work, while you’re on vacation, or from down the hall.
Our favorite feature in this pet cam is the bark alert, which sends a notification to your smartphone when the Furbo detects barking. This feature is especially helpful for those with more vocal canines. You can customize the sound detection sensitivity to your dog’s bark. Furbo also has two-way audio, so you can talk to your dog from the app. The audio through the speaker is clear enough to catch your dog’s attention, too. So whether they’re barking up a storm or just lonely, you can talk to them through your mobile device.
Our only complaint is that Furbo requires a subscription to use its cloud storage service if you want to keep records of your dog’s activities.
You’ll get a 90-day free trial, but after that, you’ll have to pay $6.99 per month or $69 for the whole year. With a price tag around $200, this might be out of reach for many.
The Skymee Owl Robot is like a pet for your pet. It’s part robot, part treat dispenser, part HD camera, but all fun for pets and their owners.
Like all the pet cams we’ve picked, it comes with a companion app that lets you talk to your furry friends and control the camera.The big difference is the Owl Robot can move around the house and interact with your pet.
This cylindrical robot is built for speed with its two tough plastic wheels on each side. The app has pre-programmed actions, so you can make the robot wiggle, spin, and flip to catch your pet’s attention. Once your pet catches the Owl Robot (or whenever you press the treat button), it dispenses treats.
We love how interactive this Skymee pet camera is. You can play with your dogs and cats from anywhere with Wi-Fi and even take the Owl Robot out for walks with your dogs. But it may scare off some more skittish critters. With all the features and controls in the app, you and your pup are bound to have lots of fun, even when you aren’t home.
The Wyze Cam Pan security camera wasn’t designed for pet monitoring. It lacks pet-focused features in the other cameras, but its key features (like two way audio and wide angle viewing) show that you don’t need a pedigree to make the top of our list.
This Wyze model has camera features, including night vision, motion tracking, video streaming, and two-way audio. It can swivel a full 360 degrees in under three seconds, and it has pan-and-tilt capabilities to give you an additional 93 degrees of vertical viewing.
Its motion detection feature that moves the camera as it tracks your dog or cat around the room.
The motion tracking is both noisy and a little delayed, and the sound quality for the two-way talk feature isn’t crystal clear. But the Wyze Pan Cam’s 1080p high-definition live video is clearer than many other pet cameras we saw.
The Pawbo Pet Camera is a good all-around camera for any pet, but it has a few features that make it a better fit for felines. This cat camera comes with a built-in laser pointer and a treat dispenser your kitty will love. It also has ringtones that meow, squeak, or crinkle like a plastic bag to catch cats’ attention.
You can control the Pawbo’s laser pointer from your mobile device, making it easy to play with your cat while they’re home alone. The app has an automatic feature that points the laser in random directions to get your kitty’s attention. You can also move it manually through a virtual roller ball control.
The app also lets you share images and videos from your Pawbo cam on social media, and you can store additional recordings on your iOS and Android device.
Plus, the pet treat dispenser is a fun way to reward your kitty. It holds only a handful of treats, so you’ll have to make sure it stays full.
There are a few places where the Pawbo Pet Camera falls short. It has a wide 130-degree viewing angle and a 4x digital zoom, but at 720p, it doesn’t produce the high-definition video of its pet camera counterparts. It also lacks night vision, and motion tracking can lag. So while its live video quality isn’t the best, this camera will at least help you see if your kitty is snoozing or sneaking around.
The Petcube Play 2is the newest incarnation of this camera and it’s powerful enough to keep up with your pets. It still has the same built-in laser toy, two-way audio, and night vision. But new software updates boosted its field of view from 138 to 180 degrees, plus a 4x zoom. So you can count the whiskers on your best friend’s face from anywhere in the room.
We also like the Petcube app called Petcube Care. While adding another subscription service to your list might be a turn-off, the benefits are worth it. For under $10 per month, you get filters, 30-second video clips, three days of video history, smart alerts, and more.
And while the Petcube Play 2 doesn’t have a treat dispenser, its sister pet cams do. The Bites and Bites 2 can both bring the goods to your pets.
Controllable laser pointer
No treat dispenser
Best features require subscription
More pet cams worth a look
Whether you want a pet cam to watch your puppy during his first week home alone or to keep an eye on your mischievous cats, there are tons of options out there. Here are a few other nominees you should check out.
At almost $400, the PetChatz pet cam costs as much as a month of doggy daycare.1 But it’s full of fancy features: you can video chat with your pet, feed them treats, calm them with soothing scents, and entertain them with DOGTV. It even has a button they can press to call you!
Aside from the steep price, the only other drawback of the PetChatz is the camera’s narrow viewing angle. At just 65 degrees, it’s significantly smaller than the other cameras.
The Yi Dome Camera is subtle and understated, but its swiveling head allows you to see everything in the room. This pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) camera makes it easier to see more from anywhere you put it. So whether your dog’s wandering just out of frame or the cat’s hiding out of view again, you can follow them from the Yi app.
It has motion detection, night vision, and shoots footage in clear 1080p HD. But while the Yi is a great camera, it lacks pet-focused features like treats or laser toys for kitties.
While this Conico camera is designed with pet owners in mind, its motion trackers mean can double as a security camera or nanny cam for humans as well. Similar to the Yi Dome Camera, the Conico Pet Camera swivels, tilts, and zooms to catch the action from any angle. It also connects with your Amazon Echo, so you can integrate it with the rest of your smart devices.
However, it costs under $50 and comes with optional paid cloud storage. That said, it’s an affordable investment if you want to keep footage of Fido even with a subscription.
What to consider before buying a pet cam
Pick pet-friendly features
Pet sitters and doggy daycare are good options when you need to leave your pet home alone. Pet cams require only one up-front payment unless you opt for cloud storage or subscription-based extras. When shopping for a dog or cat camera, think about how much time you spend away from home and what your biggest concerns are when it comes to your pet.
If you’re worried about your pet’s safety, you’ll want a pet monitor camera with a wider field of view and two-way audio. If your pet has anxiety, a camera with treats and games might help them relax.
Provide pet-friendly toys and entertainment
If you leave your pet at home for long periods of time, they’re going to need food, water, and plenty of entertainment. Some pet cams come with safe toys like laser pointers, but you’ll want to make sure their other toys are safe, too.
Create a pet-friendly environment
While pet cams can help you keep an eye on your furry friends, they don’t guarantee complete safety. Cats and dogs may eat dangerous household items and plants. So before you leave them alone, be sure your home is poison-proofed and any hazards are out of the way.
There are plenty of reasons to get a pet cam, but a security system can also help keep your pets safe. If you get a system with professional monitoring, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors will alert a monitoring center that can send help right away.
Pet Cameras FAQ
Why do I need a dedicated pet cam?
A dedicated pet camera can be helpful to keep an eye on your pet’s health, moderate their behavior, and engage with them while you’re away.
Catching your dog chewing on furniture could not only save your couch, but it could also alert you that your dog is hungry, anxious, or stressed. When you’re gone, your pet can get bored, lonely, and anxious.
Taking time out of your day to visit your pet, even virtually, can help keep both you and your pet content and happy.
What’s the difference between a dog camera and a cat camera?
It’s all in the features. While most pet cameras work for all kinds of pets, we recommend getting a camera with features that fit your pet’s needs and interests. Pet cameras with laser pointers work best for cats, while those with treat launchers and bark sensors are better for dogs.
Where should I put my pet camera?
Putting your pet camera at (or slightly above) your pet’s eye level will give you the best viewing angle.
If your camera comes with extra features, experiment with placement to find the right spot. Keep in mind that laser pointers usually work better when the device is closer to the ground, and bright lights from windows or lamps can interfere with the video quality.
How do I train my pet to come to the pet camera when I’m not home?
Positive reinforcement works best. Several of the cameras on this list have tones and calls you can use to condition your pet to come to the camera.
Start by showing the camera to your pet, and dispense a treat. This shows them where the camera is and that it’s safe. Then, use the ringtones or two-way audio to call them to the device, and dispense a treat.
Do this several times—then get a friend or family member to encourage your pet to respond to the camera while you’re out of the house or in another room. Like any learned behavior, it just takes practice (and lots of treats).
*Amazon.com list price as of 06/29/20 02:43 MST. Product prices and availability are accurate as of this date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any prices and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.
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Written by Katie McEntire
Katie McEntire has tested home security systems in her own apartment, installed GPS trackers in her own car, and watched her cat, Toki, nap all day through a live nanny cam feed. As an expert reviewer, she believes that firsthand experience is the best way to learn about new products (even if it requires being the guinea pig). She specializes in pet safety and DIY security and has contributed to publications like DigitalCare.org and TechGuySmartBuy. Learn more