Wondering what your pets do when you aren’t around is something most people with animals have in common. The question is so intriguing that it’s spawned countless memes, children’s books, and even a movie series.
You don’t have to guess at what your pets are up to, though. All you need is a pet monitoring camera and you’ll be able to keep an eye on their daily lives from an app on your phone or computer.
Want to know what to look for in a quality pet cam? Read on for our guide to the best pet cameras on the market today.
Best Pet Cameras on the Market
Now that we’ve gone over some of the basics of what to look for in a pet monitoring camera, let’s highlight the pros and cons of some specific models. We’ve made sure that they’re available on Chewy.com for your convenience. In no particular order, here are ten of the best pet cameras of 2020.
1. Wyze Cam HD Pet Camera w/ Live Stream
If you’re looking for a quality pet monitoring cam on a budget, check out the Wyze Cam HD Pet Camera. It shoots video in 1080 pixel HD and you can tune into a current live-stream via your smartphone. It also auto-records videos when it senses motion or sound, so you can skip the time your pet spends sleeping and focus on the highlights.
This camera comes in two versions. The first comes with a 32-gigabyte microSD card, enough to save 7-10 full days of nonstop video recordings at a time. The second version doesn’t include in-camera recording storage but does upload the auto-recordings to the Wyze cloud app where they’re stored free for two weeks.
Another fun aspect of the Wyze camera is two-way audio. You can talk to your pet throughout the day to say hi, or remind them not to chew on the furniture.
2. PetChatz HDX Dog Camera & PawCall Accessory
Anyone who’s looking for a high-end pet camera that does it all will love the PetChatz HDX. This camera has a built-in screen to allow for high-def, two-way video so your pet can see you as clearly as you can see them.
This is the best indoor camera for pets that get bored easily. It also doubles as a DogTV entertainment hub, an aromatherapy diffuser, an innovative light game, and a treat dispenser. You can even get the PawCall accessory so your pet can contact you at the touch of a button.
Concerned about your dog tearing the camera off your wall or otherwise damaging it? PetChatz offers both a protective camera guard and a stand with a USB power supply. These items are all sold separately, so while you can’t get them in a convenient low-priced bundle, you can pick and choose the accessories you want.
3. Insta360 Digital Pet Video Camera
Want to take videos of your dogs and cats to share with friends online? The Insta360 ONE has clearer video and more streaming capabilities than any other camera on this list.
It films a 360º panoramic view while using a stabilizer to ensure smooth video. You can live-stream the feed to any social media site and even add special effect filters if you’d like. If you connect to the mobile app, you can even take snapshots via your smartphone.
The Insta306 ONE is a great gift for animal-loving videographers.
4. DOGNESS WiFi Smart Camera Pet Treat Dispenser
The DOGNESS pet treat camera lets you check in with your pet and toss them a snack when you’re out of the house. Use the smartphone app to keep a wide-angle, 165º eye on them as they go about their day. While the app doesn’t alert you when your pet makes noise, you can check in with them any time via a two-way audio feed.
5. Eyenimal Vision Live HD Pet Monitor
The Eyenimal Vision pet monitor is another good option for pet owners on a budget. It captures a 270º HD video feed, has two-way audio, and automatic infrared night-vision.
What makes this camera unique is its motion detection capability. When the camera notices movement in an area, it will send a push notification to your phone for you to check the live-stream.
6. Canary Flex WiFi Pet Camera
The Canary Flex makes our list as the only one capable of withstanding outdoor conditions. The HD camera uses a wide-angle lens to capture an entire yard’s worth of space at a time, and its magnetic swivel base means you’ll be able to see 360º. It also captures a view up to 25 feet away when night-vision is active.
The biggest downsides of Canary pet cameras are their WiFi requirements and subscription fees. You’ll need a high-speed internet connection for clear video, and you won’t be able to record video or use two-way audio without a Canary membership.
7. DOGNESS Automatic WiFi Dog & Cat Smart Feeder With HD Camera
With night vision and a 165º view, this camera is similar to the Dogness model listed above. However, instead of only dispensing small treats, it can feed your pet a full meal.
The Dogness Automatic Wifi Smart Feeder is the best in-home pet camera for people who are gone over mealtimes. It dispenses a pre-programmed amount and prevents food from jamming. You can even record an audio sample to play when it’s time for your pet to eat.
This pet feeder isn’t waterproof, so keep it away from the water bowl and only use it to dispense dry food.
8. Petcube Play 2 Play WiFi Pet Camera
The Petcube Play 2 Play is a fairly standard WiFi pet camera, with a couple of exceptions.
First, it has four microphones and a separate speaker bar so you and your pet are sure to hear each other via the two-way audio. Second, it has an automated laser toy that you can control remotely via Petcube’s free app. This makes the Play 2 Play the best pet camera on the list for cat owners.
9. Kami Pet Monitor Camera & Cloud Service
If you’re getting a camera because your pet keeps going in the bedroom when they aren’t allowed to, there’s no reason to buy one with a million bells and whistles. Get a simple, budget-friendly pet monitor with motion alerts and two-way audio to remind them when they push the boundaries.
The Kami Pet Monitor fits this bill perfectly.
It comes in a ready-to-go kit with everything you need to mount, install, and set up the camera. This camera is unique for two reasons, the first being its ability to auto-follow your pet’s movements around the house with video tracking. Second, it uses a sound filter to block out background noise for clear audio.
10. Vimtag P1 Smart Cloud IP Pet Camera
Last but not least, the Vimtag P1 is one of the best pet cameras for security-minded animal lovers.
This camera has a password-protected video feed and encrypts stored footage for your privacy. It’s also easy to set up in under five minutes and has remote pan, tilt, and zoom functions. It also has the added benefit of 360º sound capturing for crystal clear audio and an advanced night-vision mode.
The Benefits of Pet Monitoring Cameras
Baby monitors and nanny cams have been the norm in households with children for years, but some people still question the value of a pet camera.
For many dog and cat owners, the peace of mind you get from being able to check in on your pet is well worth the investment. It also solves the problem of inconsistent training when you’re out of the house. If your pet jumps on the furniture or chews shoes, you can let them know that not being able to see you isn’t an excuse for bad behavior.
Pet cams are also excellent for animals with separation anxiety. Being able to interact with you when you’re away via audio, video, games, and treats can calm their nerves and help them live a happier life.
What to Know Before You Shop
Before you start looking at pet cameras online, here are a few of the most popular features to keep an eye out for:
- high-definition video: improves video clarity, but isn’t always necessary
- wide-angle lens: captures a larger field of view
- rotating stand: captures up to 270º-360º video
- infrared camera: lets you see what’s going on even in the dark
- recording capabilities: store videos locally on an SD card or in the cloud
- motion and sound-activated recording: save videos or get notifications when your pet is acting up
- two-way audio: lets you hear your pet and reply back to them via a speaker on the camera
- treat dispenser: gives your pet a treat when you tell it to via your mobile device
Along with looking for these features, pay attention to the fine print.
Does the camera work via BlueTooth or WiFi? If it’s WiFi-dependent, does it require a specific connection speed or specialized hookup? Are there any subscription fees you’ll need to pay on top of buying the camera itself?
Answering these questions before you buy can save you a lot of hassle later on.