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Every pet owner is curious about what our pals are up to while we’re away. Could he really laze around on the couch for eight straight hours? Is she secretly doing that one thing she knows she’s not supposed to? But pet cameras aren’t just for the curious—there are many other uses for these handy gadgets inside our homes. For example, a hidden camera can be an important tool for diagnosing and working through separation anxiety. Or perhaps your pet suffers from an acute case of boredom—an interactive camera could be just the cure for the “my person is at work” blues.

Fortunately, there are a variety of camera options available on the market. Almost too many. We’ve sifted through them and picked out the best options to fit a variety of household needs. Read on for our favorite pet cameras.

Our Favorite Pet Cameras

Interactive Pet Cameras

These days, pet cameras don’t just record while you’re away, many models can offer a variety of interactions from communication to games.

Furbo treat-tossing camera

Keep an eye on your dog with this top-rated HD livestream camera that has night vision and a wide-angle lens, for optimum visibility. Connect via the Furbo app to say hello to your furry friend at home. The best part is the treat-tossing feature that lets you praise and reward your dog from afar. It also works with Alexa.

Verified Review: The Furbo is the ultimate “Didn’t know I needed it until I got it” pet tech. This treat-shooting pet spy-gear has easy set-up and a user-friendly app. You can shoot treats to your pet, talk to them through the microphone, and sneak a peek at them while you’re away via the built-in camera. I love it because (1) I now have confirmation that my dog seems pretty content when I’m not around. (2) It sends me a push notification whenever he’s barking so I can turn on the camera and see what’s up. (Spoiler alert: It’s always the mailman.) and (3) I can remind him any time, from anywhere, that I love him. That’s definitely the best part.

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PetChatz camera and PawCall

This camera not only offers two-way communication between you and your paw pal, but it also offers a slew of features that help it act as a virtual pet daycare for your dog, such as aromatherapy and streaming DogTV. The PawCall (included in this bundle) is a button your pet can push whenever they’re in the mood for a little interaction with you.

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Petcube Play 2 Play Wi-Fi pet camera

This wide-angle HD camera doesn’t offer a treat dispenser like many other interactive pet cameras, but its smaller size, app-controlled laser toy, and easy mobility more than make up for it. This gadget comes complete with two-way audio; the cube design makes it easy to place on furniture or move to wherever you’ll need your monitor.

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Pawbo+ Wi-Fi Interactive pet camera with orange cat

Pawbo’s camera offers many of the most popular features for an interactive camera, such as two-way audio, laser game, and treat dispenser; it also has an intuitive app that makes it simple and easy to operate. You can easily move it around to have the monitor in your pet’s favorite room or elsewhere. Bonus? Social sharing from the app allows you to share photos and videos of your pet with your human friends and family.

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Wearable Pet Cameras

Want to experience your pet’s life from her own perspective? These wearable dog cameras let you do just that!

Note: Some wearable cameras require a harness to keep the camera stable. We’ve noted those that might need more accessories.

GoPro Hero7

The GoPro was among the first affordable wearable cameras and it’s still among the best. This waterproof, seventh-generation Hero is a versatile option that offers long battery life, plenty of accessory options for getting a good harness fit for your pet (harness not included), and stability control to keep the footage from being wobbly no matter how much your pet is on the go. Bonus? It also features hands-free voice commands for recording on-demand.

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Glow Track light up cat collar

This reflective collar for cats is meant primarily for tracking and glows or blinks with an LED built-in light. However, additional options layer on more great features: Add a tiny, lightweight camera with a 150-degree view, night vision, and stabilizer clip to get a cat’s-eye view of their activities; take the security up one more notch and attach a radiofrequency tracker tag insert.

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Multipurpose Pet Cameras

Sometimes it feels like modern life is mostly about learning how to juggle three million things all at once. Some camera makers have combined pet-watching needs with other functions.

Google Nest security camera

This compact and fully-integrated camera works beautifully inside a smart home and is easy to move around. With movement and activity alerts, plus two-way audio, use this as a pet camera as well as a baby cam, security camera, and more. Nest is known for making reliable products that help put your mind at ease when you’re away from home.

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Arlo Pro 3 set

This indoor/outdoor wireless camera system works with all major smart systems and with multiple cameras (up to six). It’s a great bet for anyone looking to monitor more than one room at a time; it also has night vision for evening check-ins. Since they can be used inside or out, it’s ideal for anyone who wants to monitor pets in the yard or even barns and other outdoor spaces for domestic animals or wildlife. It comes with seven days of rolling cloud storage footage.

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Besdersec Panoramic Bulb WiFi Camera

This panoramic camera simply screws into a light socket for a 360-degree, fish-eye view of the entire room. With HD and clear night vision, this camera is a unique choice for pet owners who don’t necessarily need interaction but do want to get a clear view of their pet’s activities. The bulb can light up when it senses motion if you plan to be out for the evening and its out-of-the-way setup means there’s no need to worry about your pet knocking around the camera itself.

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Budget-Friendly Pet Cameras

It’s more than possible to find high-quality cameras that won’t break the bank. These pet cameras will get the job done without too much of an investment.

Tenvis security and pet camera

This wireless, dome-shaped camera isn’t just easy on your bank account, it’s also easy to use and set up. Its compact design allows you to position it wherever your pet is most likely to spend their day. It has 355-degree horizontal and 120-degree vertical rotation for complete room coverage; it also has night vision. Compatible with iOS and Android, get movement notifications and utilize two-way audio via the app. Note: SD card is not included.

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Tooge pet camera

For its small price tag, this stylish little camera offers a lot of the features—such as two-way audio and night vision—that a pet parent could want. As an added bonus, its zoom and tilt functions offer clear panoramic views of the entire room, so even the wiliest of creatures can’t hide from it for long. Local storage is included on a looping hard drive and it’s compatible with iOS and Android.

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Wyze V2

This extremely affordable smart home camera is a great choice for anyone hoping for full home integration of their pet camera without paying high tech prices (it’s compatible with Alexa and Google Home). In addition to standard features such as HD, night vision, and motion alerts, it can also tell the difference between a dog and a person so you have the added security of knowing when someone—perhaps the dog walker—is inside your house.

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Further Reading

Featured image by Lum3n/Pexels

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