Leaving your pet pooch home alone can be traumatic for them and worrying for you. If only you could check up on them from work or while out with the family. With a dog camera you can do just that, and much more. But, with so many different cameras on the market, how do you know which is best for you and your dog. Our panel of pet experts and dog lovers have put together a list of the best dog cameras to help you make the right decision for your needs.
Best Dog Camera Buying Guide & FAQ
Knowing the range of best dog cameras that are available to help you keep a watchful eye on your dog is only part of the answer to finding the right one for you. It also helps to know more about dog cameras in general, what they are used for, and what to look for when choosing a pet surveillance camera. In this part of the buying guide we explore these areas and cover key questions related to buying a dog monitor camera.
What Is A Dog Camera?
A dog camera allows you to see what your pet pooch gets up to when you are out of the house. Such cameras stream live video in real time to an app that you have on your Smart device, computer, or tablet. This means that you can see everything your dog does within the range of the camera lens. Most dog cameras also allow you to communicate with your dog through a two-way audio link. This means that you can calm an anxious dog, monitor their barking, and speak to them when you are missing them. Top of the range cameras often have a range of other features to help you feel closer to your dog when you are not there, and which help to keep them safe. These including sound and motion sensors and treat dispensers.
What to Look For in a Dog Camera
When choosing a camera to watch your dog it is important to purchase one that provides good value for money and meets your individual needs. While a dog camera treat dispenser may not be a valued requirement for you, there are some key features that you should always look for. These include:
- High-quality resolution
You want a camera that provides clear video of your dog. This requires a high-quality lens and high resolution on the feedback. Most of the best camera have 1080 mega pixels and high definition playback. You certainly do not want to go lower than 720 pixels, otherwise you will lose picture clarity.
- Zoom function
This allows you to get a closer look at specific areas that the camera covers. This is ideal for checking whether your dog has eaten, what a specific mess might be, or checking on them when they are sleeping.
- Pan and tilt
Being able to move the camera angle gives you a much clear picture of the whole space where your dog is and ensures that there are less spots that are not covered by the camera. Pan and tilt modes allow you to move to specific areas of the room, for example checking doors or windows, especially if you notice your dog has become agitated. If the camera you are considering does not have pan and tilt functions, then ensure it has a wide-angle lens to take in as much of its surroundings as possible.
- Two-way audio
To be fully beneficial cameras with two-way audio need to include noise cancelling microphones and high-quality speakers. If your voice is not clear, your dog may not realize it is you and become more agitated, rather than less so.
- Night vision
This allows you to see your dog clearly, regardless of light conditions within your home. It is ideal if you work nights, or are enjoying an evening out, but also means you can check on your dog without disturbing when you are home at night.
- Motion detection
With motion detection cameras, you receive push notifications to your smart device when your dog is within the cameras visual range. This means you can watch them when they are near the camera, rather than waiting by your phone for ages watching an empty space. Motion detection also allows you to watch for other people entering your home, from dog walkers to intruders, giving you extra peace of mind. An additional benefit that some of the top cameras have is sound detection, so you are alerted to increased levels of sound within the house. It is important to look for a camera where the sound detection levels are adjustable.
- Remote viewing
The main purpose of a dog camera is to be able to see your four-legged friend, even when you are not there. Given this it is essential that the camera package includes remote viewing. Check the compatibility of the app that is part of the package, as well as the Wi-Fi requirements and what security is in place to ensure a safe and private connection between your device and the camera.
Benefits of Using a Dog Camera
As much as you might like to be with your dog all the time, it is not always possible. One of the main benefits of a dog camera app is that it allows you to see and speak to your pet when you are not there. As well as giving you peace of mind a pet camera can:
- Provide comfort for your dog.
- Allow you to immediately correct inappropriate behavior.
- Reward good behavior.
- Create lasting memories of your pet – especially if the camera takes still photos or records video.
- Provide stimulation through a dog camera treat dispenser.
- Reduce separation anxiety.
Using a Dog Camera to Help with Separation Issues
An interactive pet camera can help greatly reduce separation issues in dogs. Separation issues occur in dogs for many reasons, but most center around the fear that you, as their pack leader, won’t come back. Symptoms of separation anxiety vary, but can include:
- Destructive behaviors
- Escape attempts
- Howling and excessive barking
- Excessive salivation
- Impulsive excretion
- Fear reactions including difficulty breathing
Being able to watch your dog when you leave the house helps you to recognize the signs and symptoms of separation issues and to identify how long after you leave these symptoms occur. This can help you determine how long you can safely leave your pet, and to begin a program of desensitization to be able to increase this time.
A camera that has interactive capabilities also enables your dog to feel less alone in the home when you are not there. Being able to hear your voice, and in some cases see you, can have a calming effect on dogs who experience separation issues.
If the camera also has a treat function, then when you see your dog reacting positively to being alone you can provide immediate reward for the behavior. Dog camera treat dispensers also provide a way of keeping your dog occupied, so they focus less on the fact that you are not present. If you sent the dispenser to provide treats at random times during the day, then your dog will focus on when the next treats are coming, rather than on waiting for you to return.
Q: Why Should I Buy a Dog Camera?
A: To give you peace of mind that your dog is safe and well while you are out of the house. It also has the added benefit of providing a way to communicate with your dog and reinforce positive behaviors when you are not present.
Q: How do I set up the camera to watch my dog?
A: Firstly, place the camera in a part of the room that provides the best coverage of that room. Follow the specific instructions provided by the manufacturer if the camera needs to be attached to the wall or ceiling of your home. If the camera provides visual feedback for your pet, then ensure it is set at their eye level when they are either stood or sat in front of it.
Next, connect the camera to your home Wi-Fi and download the appropriate app on to your Smart device, tablet, or laptop. Connect the app to your camera following the specific instructions that are provided with your specific camera. Do not forget to change any pre-set passwords to ensure that your connection and any Cloud storage are private and secure.
Adjust your motion and sound alerts so that they send alerts when your dog is in range or is barking, but they are not so sensitive that flies or the wind set them off.
Q: Where in my house should I set up my dog camera?
A: To get the most from your pet surveillance camera it needs to be set up in the main room that your dog is in when you are out of the house. For example, if you limit them to the kitchen, then this is where the camera needs to be placed. If your dog has the run of the house, then pick a room at has their favorite spot. If the camera provides treats, then they will soon favor this spot even more when you are away from home.
Q: Can I use the camera outdoors?
A: Some cameras are suitable for outdoor use, but you should always check the individual manufacturers guidelines before setting up a camera outdoors. It is also a good idea to ensure that if the camera is outside it is not overlooking your neighbors or capturing images from public places, this is even more important if your camera records video or captures images.