Have you ever wondered what your pets are doing while you’re not home? Based on the torn-up furniture of weeks past, the evidence is stockpiling against that new puppy of yours — or should you blame the cat for the destruction?
Whether you want to keep tabs on your closest companions while you’re at work, out running errands, or away on vacation, there are plenty of pet cameras you can purchase that will allow you to monitor and communicate with your animals. Heck, many models even allow you to disburse treats.
As experts on all things smart home, and as lovers of cats and dogs, we’re here to help manage your household and the needs of your pet. For your consideration, here’s our roundup of the best pet cameras you can buy right now.
Petcube Bites 2
When it comes to impressive camera quality and interactive features, the Petcube Bites 2 is one of our top choices. Designed for both dogs and cats, the cam is compatible with both 2.4GHz and 5GHz network bands and can be set up in as little as two minutes (compatible with iOS 11 and Android 7.1.2 or higher).
Once connected to Wi-Fi, the Petcube app is your go-to resource. Want to see what the dog is up to? Call him over using the cam’s two-way chat function and view a live feed of the hound with the Bites’ 1080p HD lens with 160-degrees of rotation. Sun setting? The Bites’ automatic night vision should clear things up for you. If your pets tend to be mischievous while you’re away, your Bites 2 will send you both motion and sound notifications when trouble is detected.
There’s even a 1.5-pound treat dispenser for the good boys and girls of the animal kingdom. Choose between short, medium, or long-distance flings depending on what pet you’re trying to reward. If that’s enough, onboard Alexa integration means your Bites 2 can be used as a smart speaker, letting you play music for your pets, chat live with veterinarians, and order treats on the fly.
While some have argued that treat dispensing can be a bit delayed now and then, we can’t recommend the Petcube Bites 2 enough.
YI Dome Camera Pro 2K
Detail performance is one of the areas most people are concerned about when it comes to looking at security cameras. With its ability to record video at 2K resolution (2,304 x 1,296 pixels), the YI Dome Camera Pro 2K has enough detail and clarity for pet owners to see their furry friends. It can also better distinguish your pets from people, so you receive informed alerts instead of redundant ones.
Beyond the incredible 2K resolution of the camera, it’s designed to pan and tilt to offer extended coverage over other pet cameras. Instead of remaining static and focused on a single area, the YI Dome Camera Pro 2K can be articulated so that you get the best view of your pets while you’re away. Its design also takes into consideration your privacy, with the ability to move its lens downward so that it’s hidden and tucked away. That way, you won’t have to worry about big brother when you’re at home.
Considering its affordable cost, it’s convenient to find support for Alexa and Google Assistant here, two-way audio chat, and enhanced night vision that allows it to show color in the footage when there’s some ambient light around.
Furbo Dog Camera
While many cameras on our list feature bark detection, the Furbo goes a step further by allowing you to adjust barking sensitivity. The company claims that this function has saved the lives of hundreds of dogs that are stuck at home during an emergency.
The 160-degree lens delivers 1080p footage with the option of 4x digital zooming for zeroing in on your pooch from afar. If it’s dark out, night vision will kick on to ensure you can still see your pets come sunset. Two-way chatting and Alexa commands keep you connected to your animal, letting you do things like programming the Furbo to shoot out a treat every two hours.
Additionally, you can enroll in a Furbo subscription for cloud recording, smart alerts that ping you when your dog is being unruly, and a feature called Dog Diary that compiles your dog’s entire day into 60 seconds of footage.
The Alexa-ready Furbo Dog Camera is packed with plenty of dog-monitoring features, but you can also use it to check in on your cats, too.
Petcube Play 2
Like the Bites 2, Petcube’s Play 2 delivers all the best performance features we expect from a solid pet cam, but with a few bonuses thrown in. The Play 2 may be our favorite design of any pet cam we’ve spotlighted in this roundup. Tall cameras with rounded bases for treat dispensers are a common sight when shopping for pet cams, which is why the Play 2’s cubed design truly stands out amongst the competition. That being said, if you want treat dispensing, we suggest the Bites 2 instead.
In terms of visuals, you’re getting full 1080p HD, both day and night, and a 160-degree lens with 4x digital zoom. The two-way chatting and motion/sound notifications of the Bites 2 are built into the Play 2 as well, along with a laser pointer that you can set for automatic or manual controls.
For those that want more out of their Petcube Play 2, you can sign up for Petcube Care, a membership that will grant you 90 days of cloud-based event storage, automatic video recording, and bark/meow notifications.
Our pets roam around the home, often losing interest in one spot after a while — so keeping track of them can be a job of its own. That’s why a camera on wheels can be so useful.
Say hello to the Rocki Robot, a pet camera like no other because it can be remotely controlled through a mobile app. Best of all, it can go just about anywhere because this robot has wheels that can even tackle the rigors of traversing thick carpet. At the center of it is a camera with night vision, which allows pet owners to see their pets no matter what time in the day.
The Rocki Robot’s arsenal doesn’t end there, as it also features a handy laser light tool perched right on top of it that can articulate to play with your pets. It’s as if you’re actually there playing with them. Finally, you can also store pet treats inside of the Rocki Robot, which can be launched in the mobile app to reward your fuzzy friends.