The best dog camera
Dog owners often feel a pang of guilt when they have to leave their pet at home alone, accompanied by a pang of apprehension. A dog left home alone may become lonely, bored, or destructive. Technology has a potential solution. A dog camera gives you the ability to remotely see your dog when you're not home. Some models even allow you to speak through the camera, giving your pet reassurance that you're nearby (or a swift scolding if necessary). The best dog cameras are easy to set up and reliable. They also give you a clear view of the scene on your smartphone through an app. The Pawbo+ WiFi dog camera ticks all the boxes, delivering a wide-angle view at 720p HD resolution and featuring a treat dispenser for positive reinforcement.
Considerations when choosing dog cameras
When shopping for a dog camera, narrow down your options by considering these key factors.
To receive the clearest picture, you'll want a high level of resolution. A 1080p HD resolution is a great choice, but some people may find 720p HD or 480p SD resolutions perfectly adequate.
Some dog cameras run from a battery, while others must be plugged into an outlet. A battery-powered unit provides flexibility in where you can place it. However, the battery could die at an inopportune time, leaving you unable to use the camera.
The app is an important part of a dog camera system as you'll use it to view your dog remotely. The app should be easy to use and allow you to personalize the types of alerts you want to receive.
There are several other features that make some dog cameras stand out from the pack.
Adjustable camera angle
Through the dog camera's app, you may be able to move the camera remotely. This is a feature usually found in high-end dog cameras.
Two-way audio is a handy feature for a dog camera. For a dog who has separation anxiety, two-way audio allows you to speak into the app and broadcast your voice through the camera.
Some devices save still images and video clips. You can access them later to review what happened if you didn't notice it in real time on the app.
If you'd like an alert anytime your dog activates the camera's motion detection, some models provide this option. However, if you have an active dog, this feature can become overwhelming.
Some dog cameras have a section that dispenses a treat when you press a button in the app. With this nifty feature, you can reward good behavior even when you're not at home.
Dog cameras range widely in price. Simple cameras usually broadcast in 480p SD or 720p HD, and they will not have two-way audio or night vision. These cameras cost $30 to $100. The priciest dog cameras run anywhere from $100 to $400. The higher you go in price, the more features you'll find.
Q. Can a dog camera help me discipline my dog?
A. It certainly may help. With a camera that has two-way audio, you can speak commands to your dog through the camera. However, whether the dog will obey the command without you being present is dependent on the dog. And you'll need to have given your dog some obedience training in the past to make the commands effective.
Q. How do I choose where to place the camera?
A. Your dog probably has a favorite location for relaxing and napping. Start by placing the dog camera in a spot that allows you to view that favorite area clearly. After using the camera a few times, the best spot to place the camera should become obvious.
Dog cameras we recommend
Best of the best: Pawbo+ WiFi Interactive Pet Camera and Treat Dispenser
Our take: Uses a wide-angle lens, so you can capture the full scene beautifully without missing anything.
What we like: The app works with both Apple and Android smartphones. Has a large treat dispenser that doesn't clog.
What we dislike: Unit is a little top-heavy, and an eager dog may tip it over.
Best bang for your buck: YI Dome Indoor Camera
Our take: Comes at a low price, yet this camera includes nice features for using with pets, including two-way communication.
What we like: Allows remote control of the camera angle. Picture quality is better than you'd expect for the price.
What we dislike: Not specifically made for dogs, so it has no treat dispenser.
Choice 3: PetChatz HD Camera and PawCall
Our take: A high-end "digital dog daycare" for the most pampered of pooches.
What we like: Has two-way audio and video features. Owners can remotely release treats or a calming aromatherapy scent.
What we dislike: Extremely expensive. Must use special PetChatz treats inside the device.
Kyle Schurman is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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