It’s no fun having to trudge off to work or school and spend the day wondering what your furry friend is up to back home. Are they lonely? Are they bored? Are they destroying the inside of your closet? You'll find answers to all these questions when you invest in one of the
best pet cameras, which can keep an eye on any rambunctious puppies, or let you check in on your elderly cat.
The pet camera you select will depend largely on how much money you want to spend. There’s everything from basic security cameras that simply let you watch your pet to high-end technology that can keep your pet entertained.
At a minimum, most pet cameras will offer two-way audio, which allows you to speak to your pet remotely. The audio is typically accessed through a mobile app so you can do everything from your phone. Other standard features you'll find in most models include motion alerts, HD video, 360-degree viewing, and night vision.
But, when you start to move into a more expensive tier of cameras, you get even more impressive technology, including models that dispense treats or play games with your pet.
To help you sort through the many features and functions out there, I’ve put together a list of the
best pet cameras at every price point.
The Best Overall, All Things Considered
Built with 1080p HD video and high-tech night vision, this multi-functional
pet-camera offers tons of features at a fairly reasonable price. You can livestream video of your pet directly to your phone and, if you get a subscription, you can even save the videos for later. It has standard functions like two-way audio and motion-detection alerts, along with a standout treat-dispensing function that flings pet snacks across the room. Just sync it to the companion app and control it right from your phone. You can also create automatic schedules to give the treats out at pre-selected times. Unlike similar cameras that require special treats you buy from the company, this one is compatible with lots of different options. Although there are some models with more features, this one offers a fantastic combination of features — for a slightly less intimidating price tag.
The Best Splurge: A High-Tech Camera With Tons Of Features
Designed essentially be a virtual daycare center, this
top-of-the-line camera offers all of the regular functions of a pet camera plus bonus features like aromatherapy, video chats, pet-to-parent messaging (a feature called "PawCall"), and entertainment via streaming DOGTV. Some of the fancier functions require a subscription — namely PawCall and DOGTV — whereas the basic features like two-way audio and motion alerts are included. It's built with a special pet-safe design that's 100 percent free of corners and edges, as well as hazardous items like cords or ropes. The high-end pet camera has been pressure-tested to more than 100 pounds, as well, so you can mount it to the wall or attach it to kennels.
The Most Affordable: A No-Frills Security Camera That Gets The Job Done
If you're on a budget and some of the pet-specific cameras are out of your price range, this basic
security camera offers everything you need at a fraction of the cost. Essentially a nanny cam, you can view your pet, receive motion alerts, and communicate via two-way audio. The 1080p HD imaging delivers accurate color reproduction with an advanced image sensor and 360-degree viewing angle. It has wide-ranging night vision with high-powered infrared LED lights that allow you to see up to 33 feet away in dark, making it a great security camera, too. You can stream the live video to your phone or, if you want to save the footage, it has a slot for a micro SD card (to purchase separately). This feature is distinct from other cameras which typically require a subscription to save videos. There's an option to pay extra to have someone install the camera, although judging from the reviews, it's not necessary. Customers say the setup is pretty straightforward — just mount it, program it, and sync it up with your phone.
Also, Great: An Interactive Camera With A Laser To Entertain Your Pet
With two-way audio and high-grade night vision, this interactive
pet camera is a great way to save a little money if you want a way to entertain your pet without all of the extras. It features a unique built-in laser toy you can control from your phone to interact with your pet remotely. If you're busy, you can set it to automatic mode which will run the laser on its own, giving your pet some exercise while keeping them from getting bored. Another unique thing about this camera is that it comes with free cloud-based video storage for clips recorded in the last four hours. This differs from most options which typically require a subscription for any saved footage. If you want longer, multi-day recordings it still offers you the option of a subscription. Like the others, it features 1080p HD video and a 138-degree wide angle view. Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.