You may think of the best pet cameras as just a good way to keep an eye on your dog or cat from afar. In fact, the most sophisticated options do much more than that, providing features like two-way communication that allows you to give commands, laser pointers for play, and even treat dispensers that can be used to provide a little reward for good behaviour.
This can be hugely useful if you're in the middle of training your pet, but aren't able to be at home every hour of every day. The question is, however, which of the many great pet cameras on the market do you choose?
There are a number of features to consider. As with any type of camera, resolution is key – you probably don't need 4K 60p, but Full HD 1080p will make a tangible difference, especially if you want to share some of the cute moments your camera captures on social media. If money is tight, 720p HD will do the job, though we'd advise trying to make this as low as you go.
Do you want a camera that can move? Do you want it to be able to record high-quality audio? Do you need cloud storage for all your images and videos? Some cameras will even have smart features that will give you push notifications if your pet starts barking, which can be a boon if you're in the process of training.
With all this in mind, we've whittled it down to what we recon are the absolute best pet cameras on the market right now. We've factored in video resolution, features, build quality and price when making our selections, so you can be sure you'll be getting a quality product at a reasonable price.
The best pet cameras in 2021
Arguably the most popular pet camera on the market, the Furbo has earned its reputation for being packed full of features. It has a 1080p Full HD camera with night vision and two-way audio (so you and your pet and both hear each other), plus a system which alerts you via your smartphone when it hears barking.
You can also use the smartphone app (available for iOS and Android) to throw treats at your pet, and the Furbo has space to store up to 100, so long as they approximately one square centimetre in size.
The camera doesn't move, but is positioned facing down slightly to get a good view of your pet as they walk around the room, and you can snap photos or record video of them remotely whenever you like. The Furbo is larger than some alternatives, but is nicely designed and has an attractive bamboo top to help it blend into the decor of your home and the size can be helpful if you’re positioning directly on the floor..
This aluminum pet camera by Petcube is one of the largest on sale, but its big size means it can store a lot of treats. It sports a 4-microphone array and speaker bar improving audio quality making for more reliable bark and meow detection as well as 2-way “chats” with pets. It can be set up to do the same with your vet.
The system even brings choice (via the app) in terms of the distance treats are thrown. This and other features can be used to train your pet.
The camera has a 1080p Full HD resolution, a wide 160-degree lens, and there is night vision too, so you can still see your pet once it gets dark.
Wall-mounted or sat on a low table, the Petcube Bites records video to the cloud, can be controlled by speaking to Alexa, and there is a scheduling feature to throw treats at set times during the day. It can even re-order treats with Amazon Dash Replenishment service, when they run low.
The Skymee Dog Camera is a good one for covering all your bases: with night vision, two-way audio, a treat dispenser and Alexa control on offer, it has pretty much everything a pet owner could want. Mobile control works well on both iPhone and Android devices, and you can have up to eight devices logged in, meaning the whole family can get in on the action. It also makes it easy to share images and videos to social media.
The camera provides 1080p video and a useful 4x digital zoom. It connects via Wi-Fi, though bear in mind it only works with a 2.4G Wi-Fi connection, not 5G. Still, being able to toss treats to your pet with wild abandon is a great way to keep them entertained, all the while offering encouragement via the two-way audio connection.
A little more compact than some of its rivals, the Pawbo Life is a pet camera and treat dispenser with a wide-angle HD camera, two-way audio, a laser to play with your pet, and a smartphone app for iOS and Android to control everything. Up to eight people can be logged into the app at once.
You can also snap photos and save video recordings, but with a resolution of just 720p, image quality isn’t going to be as good as some of the Pawbo’s rivals, or your smartphone. In the Pawbo’s favor is a range of accessories sold under the company’s Theme Park brand, to help your pet learn and play.
The Pawbo is smaller than many other pet cameras with treat dispensers, and is able to hold any small pellet-sized treats, not just ones sold by the company itself.
While the 130-degree lens is nice and wide, it doesn’t point down, so you’ll need to position the Pawbo so that it is either on the floor (where a pet might knock it over and chew at it), or on a very low shelf/table.
Reminding us of the Netatmo Welcome home security camera, the Petkit Mate Pro is an attractive product that is fairly compact and should look at home on most shelves, tables or window sills.
What makes this camera stand out from the crowd is how it can rotate 340 degrees, for a full view of the room. That way, it’s easy to pan the camera around to keep a closer eye on your pet. There’s also night vision and the lens is 110 degrees, however the image sensor has a fairly low resolution of 720p; ideally, we’d like to have seen this increased to 1080p. There’s also no treat dispenser.
In better news, there is a microphone and speaker for two-way audio through the companion smartphone app, and the camera has a built-in laser for playing with your pet.
Now for something a little bit different. Instead of spending over £100 on a dedicated pet camera with treat dispenser and laser games, you can spend much less on a simple indoor security camera. This Neos comes from the same factory as the popular Wyze cameras (see below), and costs just £25.
Despite the low price, the Neos has a 1080p Full HD image sensor with 110-degree lens, night vision, two-way audio, and it works with Amazon Alexa. Videos can be recorded continuously and are stored online for free for 14 days, so you can log on and see that your pet has been up to in the past, or watch a live video feed on your phone.
The base is magnetic and the camera also comes with adhesive pads, so it can be fixed to any wall and at any height. It can’t dispense treats or play with your pet, but the Neos has a very low price and offers much of the same functionality as purpose-built pet cameras.
Finally, and similar to the Neos above, the Wyze Cam Pan is a low-priced home security wifi camera that you could use to keep an eye on your pet. The camera records in 1080p Full HD, can be controlled by speaking to Alexa or Google Assistant, and the camera can be panned, tilted and zoomed using the smartphone app.
The camera can spin through a full 360 degrees, so you should be able to see your pet no matter where they have gone, and there’s also night vision for watching them after dark, and two-way audio for interacting with them too. The camera pans quickly, spinning through a full 360 degrees in just under three seconds, and the lens captures 93 degrees of vertical range, too. Six infrared LEDs provide a clear image at night from up to 30 feet away.
As well as being controlled manually, the camera can be set to follow movement, so it’ll pan from one side to the other to keep your pet in frame as they walk past.
A person detection system (powered by on-camera artificial intelligence) alerts you via the phone app and records video for 12 seconds, which is then stored to an SD card in the camera (up to 32GB). Video is also stored online, where it can be accessed for free for up to 14 days.
Pet cameras are useful. Pet cameras that can dispense treats offer that little bit more. But what if the camera could navigate around your home and then dispense treats? The AJK Smart Pet Camera does exactly that, ideal for playing with cats or small dogs and following instructions over 2.4GHz wifi. The camera can be tilted up and down with an impressive 110-degrees of tilt available, while the 4 wheels can contra-rotate to turn the little rover 360 degrees on-the-spot. All the features seen on less mobile devices are found too, like 2-way talk, night vision cameras and an interactive laser toy. If we had to find an issue, it is only that 2.5 hours is less than we’d like.
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