Best Pet Camera for 2016

Owner watching their dog on a pet cam

Do you ever wonder what your pets are doing when you leave the house? Sick of coming home to a destroyed house? Or maybe you’re just looking to interact with your dog or cat while you’re out. Pet cameras let you watch, and even interact, with your pet with features such as:

  • 24/7 live video streaming from your phone
  • Motion censored video and picture capture
  • Night vision cam to see in the dark
  • Voice compatibility so you can talk to your pets
  • And even pet cam treat dispensers!

Adding a pet cam to your home will give you added security and peace of mind that your pet is safe and sound. Read our list of best pet cams to find which camera works for you and your pet!

Choosing the Best Pet Cam

Best Treat Dispenser Pet Camera

Furbo camera

Furbo Dog Camera

Best pet treat dispenser, hands down! The Furbo dog camera launches treats by using the Furbo app. Sound and lights alert your dog before a treat is dispensed, allowing them to get into position for the catch! Even better, the Furbo dog camera has an excellent HD camera, high quality sound, and Apple Watch compatibility. Furbo also has barking alerts, which is completely unique to this pet camera only. While the Kittyo is better for cats, the Furbo is more suited for dogs.

Petzi is a truly unique pet cam that dispenses treats!

Petzi Treat Cam Treat Dispenser

Originally crowdfunded on Indiegogo, App controlled treat dispensers for pets are a new and innovative product on the market. Not only can you pop in and say hello to your pet with two-way voice communication, but you can actually give a treat to your pet! This pet cam serves its basic purpose in addition to new and exciting features.

PetChatz HD

PetChatz Greet and Treat Camera

New into the market, PetChatz takes pet cams to another level. While the price is a little higher than the others in the interactive pet cam lineup, it makes up for in unique features and an elegant design. Two way video and voice streaming allows you to see and talk with your pets from anywhere in the world. You can also give your pet a treat right from your phone. One of the most unique features for this pet cam is the calming scents. You can actually release scents that your pet may associate with you. Available scent pads can be placed in the camera and used with Essential Oils.

Pawbo pet cam

Pawbo Pet Camera

The Pawbo camera is an exceptionally well-built pet cam. The minimalist design looks great on a shelf and also makes the setup incredibly easy. In fact, we ranked Pawbo as one of the easiest installations. The treat dispenser works great with small treats or dog food. A laser pointer game really makes this camera unique – you can manually move the laser for your dog or cat to chase (or set it to automatic). All of this can be done from anywhere in the world on your smartphone.

Kittyo cat camera

Kittyo Pet Camera

Kittyo introduced the first ever cat specific pet camera after being successfully funded on Kickstarter. This interactive pet camera for cats has incredible features to keep your kitty entertained while away including a laser pointer game and treat dispenser. In addition, Kittyo also has a camera and audio speaker so you can talk to your pets from anywhere. If you are looking for a pet camera specifically for your cats, we absolutely recommend the Kittyo.

Best Interactive Pet Camera

PlayDate Ball Pet Camera

PlayDate Ball Camera

Without a doubt, PlayDate is the most unique pet camera to make our top list, and also the newest product. PlayDate is actually a toy and a pet camera! This app-controlled toy has a stabilized camera inside of a shatterproof polycarbonate ball to prevent your rough and tough dog or frisky cat from breaking it. If you’re more interested in playing with your pets while away from the house, we highly recommend this new and innovative pet camera ball. If you’re more interested in monitoring your pets, you may prefer a general pet camera.

PetCube pet cam

PetCube Pet Camera

While the Petcube does not include a treat dispenser, pet parents can actually play games with their pets from their mobile phone! The Petcube has a unique laser pointer toy so you can play with your pets while away from the house. While the game associates more with cats, there are dogs who can enjoy the game as well. In addition, the Petcube also sports a 138 degree wide angle HD video camera and voice compatibility.

Piper Pet Camera

Piper nv Smart Home Security System


Next up on our list of best interactive pet cameras is the Piper nv camera (nv is an upgraded model from the Piper classic, which includes night vision). Piper nv includes everything a pet owner can ask for, including: real-time HD video and recordings, two way voice, night vision, temperature and sound monitors, and much more. If this still isn’t enough, Piper nv even includes home automation capability so you can control your windows, doors, lights, and other appliances directly from your phone. Piper nv is one of our top pet camera picks for those not interested in treat dispensers.

Zmodo camera

Zmodo Pivot 1080p Wireless Security Camera

Zmodo Pivot introduced a whole new precedent to wireless security cameras by incorporating temperature and humidity sensors. Not only can you periodically check in on your pet by using Zmodo’s app to view live streaming video, but the Pivot will actually send you a notification if the temperature rises – obviously a potential life saver in the event of a fire. Zmodo Pivot also has home automation capabilities.

iFamCare camera for pet monitoring

iFamCare Helmet Smart Digital Home Video Monitor

The iFamCare Helmet, originally funded on IndieGoGo, includes an interactive laser pointer game to play with your cats and dogs. The design of the Helmet is really fun, adding a new take to home security and pet monitoring cameras. While Piper and Zmodo Pivot both have temperature sensors, iFamCare’s Helmet went a different route: air quality sensors. This pet camera can actually detect up to 20 chemicals including Carbon Monoxide.

Best Indoor Pet Camera

Dropcam is an excellent choice for pet cams

Dropcam Pro Wi-Fi Wireless Video Monitoring Security Camera

Without a doubt, our favorite indoor pet cam is the Dropcam Pro. With 4 stars and over 2,300 reviews on Amazon, the Dropcam Pro is one of the most versatile and reliable indoor security cameras on the market. Dropcam includes all of the necessary requirements to ensure your kids get home safe and your pet isn’t getting into trouble, including 2-way talk, scheduling, intelligent alerts, live streaming, night vision, and an easy “60-second” set up. The video quality is also impeccable, with a stunning 720p HD video, 130 degree field of view, and 8x zoom.


The Vimtag camera is an excellent and inexpensive pet cam

We have a runner up: The Vimtag HD

While the Dropcam is our personal favorite, the Vimtag HD had to be mentioned. Currently the #1 best seller in home security systems on Amazon, the Vimtag HD features just about everything the Dropcam has except for cloud storage. The Vimtag uses an internal SD card to capture film. The main drawback of only having internal storage is if a burglar were to steal the camera, it would render it useless. However if monitoring your pets is your primary objective, the Vimtag is outstanding, featuring a remote pan and tilt.


Best Outdoor Pet Cam

Arlo is our number one rated outdoor pet cam

Arlo Smart Home Security Camera

Arlo, made by Netgear, took the home security industry by storm when they released their new 100% wire free indoor/outdoor security camera. This little camera uses batteries, so you can literally open the package up, add batteries, download the app, and begin using it. Stacked with night vision, 720p HD live streams, free cloud storage, motion alerts, and weatherproof, the Arlo security camera can do it all. While Netgear markets this as an indoor/outdoor camera, we listed this under the outdoor best camera list simply because it does not have voice compatibility. We like our indoor cameras to have voice compatibility to talk with our pets. However, Arlo is currently listed as our #1 outdoor pet cam due to the simple installation, room for growth (you can purchase up to 5 cameras which can be viewed from your app), and weatherproof design. Be sure to read our full review on the Arlo Smart Home Security Camera!


Pet Cam Buying Guide

If you’re looking to buy a pet cam, there are a few options you will want to consider in order to make the best decision. There are many indoor surveillance cameras out there which can work for monitoring pets; however, not all cameras provide live streaming from your phone, notifications, or voice compatibility. These new features are essential for keeping an eye on your fury friends, and even keeping company by talking to your pets.

Live Stream Pet Cam

Live streaming is the most important feature for pet cams. There’s no sense using an old-school surveillance camera that only records video, because the purpose for pet cams is to ensure your cats and dogs are safe and sound while you’re away from the house. You should purchase a pet camera that comes with a mobile app download where you can simply open the app to view and even talk to your pets. All of our selected “best pet cams” in the table above include live streaming from any device.

Motion Activation

Some pet cameras include motion activation recording. This comes in handy if your pet is not allowed in a certain room, or if your pet escapes their designated room while you’re out. The motion activation will send an alert to your phone indicating that your pet running about. In addition, there is also sound activation. If your dog is one to bark when someone pulls in the driveway, your pet camera can give you a notification right to your phone letting you know that your dog spotted something.

Night Vision

Night vision can be important if you regularly are out of the house at night or end up working late. Your best bet is to look for a pet camera with night vision so that it can also act as a home security camera as well. You’ll see below in a video how well these cameras can work for catching criminals in the act.

Voice Compatibility

A more recent feature of pet cams is the ability to talk to your pets via two-way voice compatibility. Is your dog chewing up the couch? Or maybe you just want to say a quick hello. Simply open up the app and speak into the two-way voice recognition camera.

Treat Dispenser

Treat dispensers are certainly the most recent development in technology. Now we can give our dogs and cats treats directly from our phone. We personally use this on a daily basis as it’s a great way to connect with our animals while out of the house. To take it even further, automatic pet feeders can dispense full meals for pets instead of just treats. Take a look at the video below to see the Petzi Treat Cam in action:

There are currently three major pet camera manufacturers on the market with built-in treat dispensers. Petzi, PetChatz, and Pawbo all can dispense treats, however each have pros and cons. Take a look at our full reviews of each pet camera to see which treat dispenser camera works best for you and your pets.

Unique Features

So far we discussed most of the standard pet camera features – but what about the unique ones? Petcube, Pawbo, and iFamCare Helmet all have laser pointer games which can be controlled from your mobile phone or set to automatic. This is an outstanding method for playing with cats while you’re out of the house. We highly recommend not using this features with dogs, however, as laser pointers can increase dogs’ anxiety. iFamCare Helmet pet camera also has air quality sensors which will alert your phone if carbon monoxide or other chemicals are detected in the air. Zmodo’s Pivot even has temperature and humidity sensors in the camera!

Why Buy a Pet Camera?

Cameras give pet owners piece of mind when leaving them at home – we can see, listen, and speak to our pets from anywhere in the world. However there are many other reasons to invest in a pet cam. More studies are continuously released stating the importance of having residential video cameras. An indoor pet camera can record possible burglaries and even help during insurance claims. Outdoor pet cams can also do more than simply tell you when your dog is ready to come inside. Recent news reports found outdoor pet cameras catching attempted theft, robberies, and vandalism.

Take a look at this video capturing a burglary in Washington DC. They took off with the camera as well; however, the Dropcam camera records video to the cloud where you can access it from any device. While they got away with the camera and other belongings, the owner was able to give the recorded video to the police!

Setting up your Pet Camera

Setting up a security camera or pet camera could sound daunting – especially to those who are not tech savvy. In the past, security cameras required plenty of cords and storage and recording systems to view the footage. Today is much easier to install pet cams, some guaranteeing 60 second installations! With the advent of wireless pet cams, you can simply set the new camera on a shelf and download the app. All of the cameras we recommend here at Best Pet Cam are incredibly easy to install. If you have any questions just reach out to us!

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