Best Dog Cameras
Wouldn’t it be nice if your dog would listen to you all the time and never destroy precious furniture, electronic devices, and other such items when you leave them home alone? Well, snap out of this fantasy world as all canine owners understand that it does not work that way. The reality is, your furry friend only lashes out because they miss you. And, while it is not always feasible to take them with you wherever you go, why not settle for a camera that monitors them? Oh, and what about this same camera being able to provide two-way audio so you can physically talk to your dog from hundreds of miles away? It just happens that such a device exists on the market but narrowing down the selection may be tougher than you think. With the help of this guide, you will learn how to whittle them down.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research
It is small and sleek
There are no electrical cords or edges to be chewed
Provides two-way video on the LCD screen
OUR TOP PICKS FOR THE BEST DOG CAMERAS
1. PETCHATZ HD CAMERA
It is small and sleek
There are no electrical cords or edges to be chewed
Provides two-way video on the LCD screen
Connectivity issues have been documented by past users
The treat dispenser is not very versatile
It seems fitting to begin this guide with arguably the most premium choice on the market currently. Though the price is incredibly steep, PetChatz really does provide you with the pinnacle of this technology.Read more
Probably the most noteworthy feature here is the two-way video. Most models have two-way audio but this is one of the rare models that actually support two-way video. Also, your canine’s movements are captured in increments of 30 seconds.
This can work with both Android and iOS devices but it is optimized for smartphones running Android 4.1 or later and those running iOS 9 or later.
Though this can disperse treats, it can only do so with certain ones. Also, you can schedule interactive brain games to play with your pooch with the optional PawCall accessory. Additionally, a special ringtone will alert your pet that you are calling.
Really, the speed of your internet is going to dictate the video quality. With broadband internet access, you will be able to enjoy a crystal-clear high-definition video, though.
Ease of Use
Overall, this is not incredibly complicated but random connectivity issues can persist. Dealing with these issues is annoying but the overall experience is fairly easy.
Ask yourself this; is the two-way video worth it? Truth be told, it is one of the standout features and it could warrant the steeper price tag. If it is meaningless to you, you may think otherwise, though.
2. PETCUBE BITES PET CAMERA
It is compatible with Alexa
It can fling out treats
Convenient for being Amazon Dash Replenishment enabled
Many have claimed the customer support is lacking
The app has been criticized
Remember the name Petcube as they are one of the leaders of this technology. With the 1080p Full HD video, wide-angle view, and two-way audio system, there are many reasons to love this model.Read more
In addition to the two-way audio system, this is also going to be triggered by sound and motion notifications and then alert you of such via the app.
For this device, you need to have a 2.4 gigahertz Wi-Fi network and also either a smartphone that is running iOS 9.3 or later or Android 5.1 or later.
First off, you do have access to free cloud storage but there is a catch. Any video older than four hours will no longer be available on the server. Also, you can schedule automatic treat dispensing and hold up to two pounds of treats in this.
Whether in the middle of the day or at night, you can monitor your pooch in Full HD (1080p). Also, this is designed with 3x zoom and also a wide angle view of 138 degrees.
Ease of Use
There have been quite a few users who have complained that the customer support team at Petcube is not helpful. Plus, the app has received some criticism for being “buggy”.
This combination camera and treat dispenser is really well-designed. Not too many users will say otherwise and though you may have to deal with some bugs from time to time, the app is nice to have.
3. FURBO DOG CAMERA
Designed with two-way audio
The video quality is really good
Optimized for canines
The lack of troubleshooting makes fixing issues much more complicated
To say this device is specially optimized for canines is an understatement as it is not going to record or notify you of any events not related to your pooch. It is also compatible with Alexa, so that is a bonus.Read more
In addition to the two-way audio, this also is designed with a barking sensor. As such, it will send you a notification on your synced smartphone when it detects any barking in the home.
A bonus is this is actually compatible with Alexa. Of course, for the app, it is available for both iOS and Android users.
As with many of the other options on this list, this can dispense treats with the use of the accompanying app. Oh, and a free sample pack of treats is included with your purchase.
With its 4x zoom, 160-degree wide-angle view, and Full HD video, you will easily be able to see your pooch and what they are up to.
Ease of Use
As one reviewer noted, there is a lack of troubleshooting when you run into issues. When you get them resolved everything is fine but doing so can be more difficult due to this.
Furbo provides you with another top-end dog camera that can dip into your savings account a little bit. Then again, it is a one-time investment that will be worth it for several of you.
4. NEST CAM
Sports a built-in speaker and microphone
It is fairly easy to set up
Comes with a built-in magnet for mounting
You pretty much need to buy a monthly subscription
It has a limited night vision range
What is interesting to note about this option is it can be used for more advanced reasons than just monitoring your canine when you are not home. It secures a spot on this list due to its versatility, for certain.Read more
This can actually tell the difference when a person or pet is actually moving as opposed to basic movements. Also, with the built-in speaker and microphone, you can talk to your canine and hear what is going on in your house.
As with all models, you will need high-speed internet in order for this to function. Ideally, you will want a broadband internet connection with at least two megabits per second of upload speed.
Because this is a Nest device, it can communicate with other smart devices around your home. However, many of the features that you can utilize require the monthly subscription plan that you can sign up for.
For the price and the device, did you expect anything less than Full HD capabilities?
Ease of Use
First off, this is pretty simple to set up. What is even better is that you can physically install and mount the Nest Cam virtually anywhere (and it even has a built-in magnet).
Is this more than you bargained for? Sure, the Nest Cam is much more than just a dog camera but at its core, it works fantastically for this purpose.
5. PETCUBE PLAY SMART CAMERA
The setup process is pretty easy
Sports a built-in pet safe laser
Free cloud video storage is included
The same free storage is limited to videos that are no longer than four hours old
Many users complained about the delay time with the laser
Outside of its Full HD video and two-way audio system, this next model is noteworthy for integrating a built-in pet safe laser. With the use of the app, you can drive your dogs (and cats) mad chasing it.Read more
The most prominent feature here is the two-way audio system that allows your dog to hear you and for you to hear them.
Granted you are using a smartphone that is running iOS 9.3 or higher or Android 5.1 or higher, you can sync with this. Additionally, you need to have a 2.4 gigahertz Wi-Fi network.
Even though the laser pointer is delayed in its movement (you can control it via the app), it is nice to have at least. Additionally, any videos no longer than four hours old can be accessed on the cloud free of charge.
Not too many people will complain about the specifications here as this sports 1080p video with a 138-degree wide-angle view and 3x zoom.
Ease of Use
Petcube made the setup for their model pretty straightforward and simple enough to achieve for the average user out there.
Look, this is another model where you pretty much need to buy a subscription for full functionality. While this may not be feasible for all of you, it makes this all the better to use.
6. ZMODO EZCAM
The position can be adjusted with the included base
The setup has been praised for being incredibly simple
Features an enhanced night vision sensor
The motion detection can suffer due to latency issues
Here is proof that you do not have to break your bank to find a great dog camera. Sure, the specifications are not quite as good as top-end units but the functionality makes up for it (and the video quality is still good).Read more
So, as for the motion detection, it seems to have a decent bit of delay which is to be expected. Thanks to the anti-noise filter that is built-in, though, the two-way audio system is improved.
This will accept older versions of Android and iOS smartphones (at least Android 4.0 and iOS 7.0) and is also not compatible with 5.0 gigahertz Wi-Fi networks.
For up to 12 hours, the motion clip alerts are saved on the Zmodo Cloud Service free of charge. Also, the positioning of this camera can be adjusted with its 180-degree rotatable base.
While the specifications are not out of this world (720p video and a 115-degree wide-angle view), they are pretty good.
Ease of Use
The general consensus amongst user feedback is that the setup process is very easy here and that the app is also simple to use.
The price drop makes for a few limitations when it comes to the technology end of things. If you are not anal about high-end technology, however, this will serve you well.
7. PAWBO PET CAMERA
It can connect with up to eight users at the same time
A subscription is not necessary
It supports both iOS and Android operating systems
It can’t angle down toward the ground
For compact and well-lit spaces, this is going to work tremendously. Of course, one of the features that would have helped here is the ability to actually tilt the camera downward toward the floor.Read more
Looking past the fact that this can’t angle downward, it is built with a microphone and a speaker to allow for two-way audio with your canine.
As with most models, this is designed to work with both Androids (version 4.0.3 or later) and iOS smartphones (version 8 or later) and also requires a 2.4 gigahertz Wi-Fi network.
First off, a subscription plan is not going to be required so that is a plus. Also, this has the ability to dispense treats to your pooch and to also play with them with an integrated laser.
For small, well-lit spaces the 720p video and 130-degree wide-angle view will work great. Oh, and this is also equipped with 4x digital zoom.
Ease of Use
Pawbo did their consumers a solace and designed their model to be as easy as possible (for the most part) to set up and operate.
Admittedly, for the price, the technology could stand to be improved. With this in mind, when looking at this from unbiased lenses, it is convenient, well-designed, and user-friendly.
8. YI DOME
Can achieve 360 degrees of coverage
Sports advanced night vision
The setup is pretty simple
It can’t be used without the app
You can’t set the area for the motion activation
The YI Dome is arguably the most popular option on the market and one of the reasons why is due to the 360 degrees of coverage it can achieve thanks to its rotational ball.Read more
While the ability to actually set the motion activation area would have been nice, at least this is designed with two-way audio and advanced night vision.
For this device, you will need a 2.4 gigahertz Wi-Fi connection as 5.0 gigahertz is not supported. Also, the app is available for both iOS and Android users. What is disappointing, though, is that the YI Dome requires the use of this app at virtually all times.
In addition to the fact that the YI Dome supports the YI Cloud, you can also bookmark your favorite positions, receive real-time activity alerts, and also scan 360 degrees (horizontally) of any room.
The 360-degree coverage is really nice (115-degree vertical rotation and 345-degree horizontal) but the camera itself (720p resolution and 112-degree wide-angle lens) is not that advanced.
Ease of Use
For the most part, the user interface of the app is pretty intuitive. It is also not too tricky to customize your settings to optimize the experience.
There is a reason (or reasons) why the YI Dome is so popular and well-received. It manages to be an affordable model that is super easy to use with above-average technology.
9. PETZI TREAT CAM
Works with both Apple and Android devices
The setup is not complicated
It dispenses treats
Is only a one-way audio system
The video quality is solid yet not fantastic
Right from the get-go, understand that this is a one-way audio system and that means you will not be able to hear your dog. It is well-designed otherwise but this could be a deal breaker for you.Read more
For whatever reason, this has only been designed with one-way audio. What this means is your canine will be able to hear you but you will not be able to hear them.
This is only optimized to work on smartphones and tablets but it will do so with both iOS and Android operating systems.
For the most part, this is worth it for the treat dispenser. In addition to this, this is Dash Replenishment enabled which means it can monitor the treat levels in real-time and reorder when it gets low.
Petzi did not implement a top-end camera into this model, let’s just say that. It is not bad and is still classified as high-definition (720p) but it only runs at 30 frames per second.
Ease of Use
If nothing else, take comfort in knowing that this is optimized for convenience. Truth be told, the most difficult aspect is downloading the app (which is saying something).
It is fair if the limitations (decent video quality and only one-way audio) are too much for you to forgive. Just know, however, that this is a well-received option for a reason.
10. TOOGE PET CAMERA
Sports two-way audio
It has ideal night vision capabilities
Designed on a swivel
The performance simply needs to be more consistent
If the performance-end of things was a little better here, this would have landed even higher. But, when it is working, it is really good.Read more
Thanks to the 10 infrared LEDs, this can record up to 16 feet in pitch darkness. Also, two-way audio is supported to actually be able to hear your pooch.
Though many users have had issues getting this to stay connected on their Wi-Fi network, it is worth noting that it only works with 2.4 gigahertz Wi-Fi.
This supports micro SD cards up to 64 gigabytes in size and also supports loop recording. To eliminate the issue of photos and recordings being leaked, this feature is nice.
Overall, the video has latency issues when you turn the camera from the app. As for the video quality, it is a respectable 720p.
Ease of Use
Without question, the performance needs to be improved here. Too many users have complained about connectivity issues for it to be ignored.
In spite of the performance flaws, this is a nice option that can be rotated to view virtually any part of any room with fairly good quality.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The model you get needs to sport the features you want, right?
There can be several reasons to why you want to buy a dog camera but no matter what they are, the model you ultimately end up choosing needs to sports the features you need. As obvious as it sounds, there are quite a few features to discuss so you need to analyze quite a bit of them. For starters, almost all models will, at the very least, sport two-way audio (though not all of them will). With a built-in speaker and microphone, these models will allow you to talk to your pooch and will allow you to hear them, as well. This comes in handy if you need to yell at them, comfort them or just want them to hear your voice. Now, some engineers will take this a step further and allow for two-way video (to allow the dog to actually see you).
Moving on, look for models with built-in sound and motion alerts. Clearly, you will not have the time to watch your pooch all day so systems that alert you when there are noises or motion occurring are ideal. Oh, and you also may want to monitor them at night and to do this, you must buy a model that sports night vision capabilities.
This can change everything as compatibility is a must and it can't be overlooked.
When it comes down to it, your number one priority needs to be finding an option that is compatible with your needs. Do not simply assume that the model you buy will be compatible with your smartphone or home network as they may not be the case. For the latter, these devices will be using the power of Wi-Fi as Bluetooth just is not going to cut it in this case. But, if your home network uses 5.0 gigahertz of frequency then it will not be compatible with dog cameras that only support 2.4 gigahertz networks.
Of course, you also need to make sure that the smartphone you are using will work correctly. In order to guarantee this, the operating system of your smartphone must be the requirements set out by the manufacturer. For the record, most options on the market will support both iOS and Android devices but they will only support certain versions of the operating systems from Apple and Google.
Past the normal features, there are also some advanced ones to keep your eye on.
The basic features were just covered but that was only a half of it, quite frankly. After all, there are several other “advanced” features that you should keep in mind. And, this all starts with the memory storage. Given the fact that you will not be spying on your canine 24/7, dog cameras can store recorded videos and images for you to access and view later. But, the manner in which they are stored is going to differ from design to design. Of course, some models will come equipped with internal flash memory and possibly even an SD card slot. While the internal memory can’t be expanded, with the use of an SD memory card, you can store as much data as the card can hold. Oh, and sometimes you will have access to cloud-based services which allow you to store your data on a remote server. Without a subscription, though, typically these services can be limited in what you can do.
Looking past this, it is also nice when the camera itself can be zoomed, tilted, rotated, and panned. With this functionality, you will be able to move the captured image around to view more of the surroundings. Oh, and do not forget about toys and treats. There are designs on the market that will allow you to control a digital laser via the accompanying app and also those that will dispense treats for your pooch.
This right here is all about the specifications (two of them, specifically).
For this section, let’s just focus on some important technical specifications. Some of you may fear the specifications of any given technology product the most as these can be the most confusing to understand. However, that is not so much the case here as there really are just two important ones to keep in mind (and both are straightforward). The first is the resolution that the camera can record in. Though 4K video is a popular technology, it is not really necessary in this case and the maximum video resolution you will typically see is 1080p (which is classified as Full HD). However, even if you buy a dog camera that can only shoot in 720p, this is still classified as high-definition. The difference is the pixels as 1080p has more of them and will, therefore, look crisper and better (for the record, the “p” does not stand for pixels).
The second specification is the viewing angle (measured in degrees). Most models on the market will range anywhere from 115 to 140 degrees and the wider the angle, the more of the room you will be able to see in one shot.
Ease of Use
For both the app and the system, the operation should be user-friendly.
First off, any technology device can be hampered severely if its accompanying app is poorly designed. Many of you are aware of this so it means that you may want to opt for a dog camera that uses an app that is both user-friendly and convenient to use. Do you want to know what the good news is? Because most of the apps that are required to use are both free and accessible at any time, you can actually test them out before you make a decision. This way, you can navigate through the app to see if it meets your standards.
Also, it may be ideal to look for options that are easy to set up and those that do not fail from connectivity and performance issues regularly. Of course, even the best designs out there will act up from time to time so expect that going in.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
It can be argued that any technology device is mostly dependent on its functionality and features. You will not get too many naysayers to claim against this and dog cameras are certainly no exception. When it comes to the features that they integrate, they can change the entire design. After all, if the model you pick does not function in the manner you desire, why buy it?
It sure would be a bummer to find out that your dog camera is not compatible with your home network or smartphone wouldn’t it? Clearly, this is something that you need to avoid because connections are mandatory for everything to work properly. As such, be sure to assess the operational requirements of any given model. Again, what you are looking for are your home network and smartphone compatibility.
While you may be a minimalist and have the mindset that you do not need extra or advanced features, you may want to change your way of thinking. There are actually numerous extra features that can enhance the overall experience here. For example, some models will dispense treats for your canine and others will integrate a laser for you to play with them (and some both).
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Why are only black and white images showing up?
No, this is not because your model is only designed with black and white coloring. Probably what is happening is your camera is switching to black and white mode because there is not enough light in the area for it to present a quality color image. Some models will have this functionality and it is typically known as a low-light feature.
q: Are these safe for your dogs?
Really, the concern here is your canine chewing up your model and totally ruining it. As you know, dogs sometimes have a tendency to be destroyers. In this case, what you want to look for are models that have been designed with safety in mind (with no wires, cords or edges to be chewed). You can also play a role in this by mounting or placing your model in an area that your pooch can’t access (which is advised anyway).
q: How secure are they?
If you are not aware yet then understand that internet security is vital. Wait, what does that have to do with the product at hand, you may be wondering? Well, with your Wi-Fi network being used, you always need to ensure that the connected devices are secure. Past the fact that your wireless router should be using WPA2 security, the dog camera you end up buying should have secure password protection as well as an encrypted SSL connection.
q: Why is the movement delayed when you move the camera from the app?
For the record, if you move your camera via the app and you find that the movement is delayed, this time is known as latency. Latency issues can persist if you have a low-speed internet connection. As many manufacturers will recommend, you should be using this type of technology with high-speed internet. This will only make the experience that much better.
q: How much bandwidth will you need?
This question plays off the last one as the term “bandwidth” is merely used in computing to reference the maximum rate at which data can transfer across a given path. While this goes back to having a high-speed internet connection (ideally with upload and download speeds of at least 4 and 10 megabits per second, respectively), you can control how much bandwidth your network is using. Remember, the more devices that are connected to your network accessing online content, the more bandwidth that will be used.
q: When can you use them?
While this seems like a device that you would only buy if you were leaving for a few days or even a week, you can actually use it daily if you like. Every day you go to work and you have to leave your pooch home, you can keep an eye on them. Of course, if you do intend to use this device for use on vacations, ensure you have someone check up on your dog or dogs (as they will still need to be fed and let outdoors).