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As a new pet parent, you might feel worried about leaving your dog or cat behind while you leave to go to work, run errands, and go about your normal routines. This might lead you to browse pet cameras to keep an eye on your furry friend while you’re out and about. However, pet cameras for dogs and cats can be pretty pricey, depending on which model and style you choose.
So, are pet cameras worth the investment? Here’s an overview of the types of pet monitoring cameras available on the market today and how to decide which one is right for your household.
Wi-Fi-Based Pet Cameras
One option that you might consider to monitor your pet’s activity is a Wi-Fi-based camera that doubles as an in-home security camera. Basic Wi-Fi cameras can detect noise and motion. They offer surveillance features that go beyond just watching your pet and can help you keep your house safe from burglars and vandalism.
As long as your home is set up for Wi-Fi and you have a reliable internet connection, these cameras can be useful for seeing, hearing, and communicating with your pets during the day. Depending on the model, you may be able to use a wide variety of features on the camera, such as two-way audio, local recording, motion sensors, night visions, and HD resolution for a clear picture.
Many pet parents enjoy using treat-dispensing cameras because they allow them to interact with their pets throughout the day. Treat-dispensing cameras are definitely fun but not necessary. They may make you feel good about being gone all day and distract your pet from getting into things that are off-limits.
However, long-term use of a treat-dispensing camera can also make pets over-aroused and reinforce certain behaviors by offering rewards for not doing anything inherently positive or productive. If you overuse the treat-dispensing camera, you also run the risk of ruining your dog’s appetite with foods that are less nutritious than regular dog food meals. Excessive treat intake can also lead to obesity in dogs and cats, which increases your pet’s risk for joint issues and heart problems.
For safety and peace of mind, you might consider installing a bark-detection camera in your home to keep tabs on your dog. These cameras alert you when your dog starts barking. These cameras can be a useful tool to keep you informed of suspicious activity around your house. You can find dog-specific cameras that offer this feature or buy a general home camera setup with noise detection that is not specific to pets.
Some pet parents use bark-detection cameras to deter their dogs from barking unnecessarily. Upon receiving a smartphone notification, they can talk to their dog to provide soothing words of reassurance that everything is okay and that there is no need to bark. If you live in an apartment and within close proximity of neighbors, this can be a useful feature so that noise complaints aren’t filed against you due to your dog’s excessive barking.
Automatic Dog-Tracking Cameras
Another option if you want to keep track of your dog throughout the day is to buy a wearable dog camera or GPS tracking device for pets. Some cameras are attached to digital pet collars that record a dog’s movements and activities. There are also cat collar cameras available with night vision if you’d like to keep up with what your cat is doing at any time.
Online and in stores, you can find GPS dog collars that are linked to wireless dog fences to provide an all-in-one solution for keeping a dog safe in a backyard or wherever you go. Auto dog tracking is a feature available on certain dog cameras that automatically rotate to follow your dog around the house. Live-view tracking is available through a smartphone app so that you don’t have to scroll around to see where your pet went.
Two-Way Audio Cameras
One of the most popular types of cameras among pet parents is the two-way audio camera that enables communication between pets and humans. Most modern devices have this feature. When you check in with your pet remotely, you can tell them to stop getting into mischief or just say hi to reassure them that you’ll be home soon. You might even get a bark or meow back from your pet in response!
Features to Look for in a Pet Camera
With all of the modern technology features available today, there are a lot of considerations to keep in mind while researching pet monitoring cameras. Here are some examples of features to look for based on your needs and your specific concerns about leaving your pet home alone:
- Connectivity to Alexa or Google Assist
- 360-degree rotation capabilities
- Audio quality
- Night vision options
- 24/7 live streaming
- Laser toy game to play with your pet
- Plays music while you are away
- Resolution quality for a clear picture and video
- Ability to save photos and videos
- Cost of the device
- Ease of installation and maintenance
Pros and Cons of Pet Cameras
For many pet parents, cameras are worth the investment because they provide a sense of security and peace of mind. This is especially important for people who work full-time and aren’t about to get home during the day to visit their pets. If you hire a dog sitter to stop by your home during the day, a camera can help you keep tabs on your employee and ensure that they are doing their job properly.
There have been numerous stories shared about how dog cameras have saved pets’ lives by hearing a carbon monoxide detector going off in the background, monitoring temperatures, and noticing extreme lethargy that is out of the ordinary. Some people love using pet cameras because they record photo and video footage that’s oh-so-cute and can be replayed over and over again. In this way, you can save favorite moments of your pet’s day and feel more connected on a personal level.
However, pet cameras for cats and dogs can be expensive and aren’t necessary for every household, especially homes where someone can be available to check in on the pets regularly. Dogs prone to separation anxiety may have more issues after using pet cameras because they agitate their anxiety. Dogs may be confused by the cameras, particularly the two-way chat feature. It can become easy to get obsessed with your pet if you are checking on the camera all throughout the day and being distracted from work and other obligations. There is also the risk of the camera being hacked into and your data being vulnerable and compromised. Some pet sitters have actually filed lawsuits about their privacy being violated if they are unknowingly filmed while inside your home and did not give their consent.
Pet cameras are often marketed as specialty devices and can cost up to five times more than standard home-monitoring cameras. They may have fun features that appeal to you because they are pet-focused. But pet-specific models may not be necessary if you are trying to take care of your pet on a budget.
Typical Cost of Pet Cameras
For a basic model, many pet cameras will cost you somewhere in the $150 to $250 range. The cameras with high-end features may be $300 or more, however. PC Magazine ranked the best pet cameras for the year and recommended the Furbo 360 Dog Camera as the best overall pet camera for approximately $157. A more affordable pet camera that dispenses treats is the Petcube Bites 2 Lite for approximately $99.95, while some budget-friendly pet cameras, such as the Wyze Cam V3 and Eufy Solo IndoorCam c24, cost as low as $35 to $50.
More Ways to Take the Best Care of Your Pet
Installing a pet camera is just one of the many ways to be a committed pet parent and take the best care of your dog or cat. Pet cameras are no substitute for spending plenty of quality, one-on-one time with your little furball. Yet they can be useful for many people and effective in keeping pets healthy and safe.
Another way to be proactive about your pet’s health and safety is to enroll your dog or cat in a Healthy Paws pet insurance plan. We offer a top-rated pet insurance plan with no maximum annual or lifetime payouts and can process most claims within two days. For dogs and cats, the plan covers new accidents and illnesses, emergency care, breed-specific conditions, genetic conditions, and alternative care. Pet cameras can’t prevent accidents, just observe them and potentially notify you that your pet needs help. If you receive an alert that something doesn’t seem right with your pet, you can take your pup or kitty to any licensed veterinarian and submit the vet bill to us using our easy mobile app. Many pet parents receive up to 90 percent reimbursement for vet bills they have paid for covered treatment.
To learn more about how pet insurance works and why it is worth getting, please contact us at 855-898-8991 or request an online quote today.