Whether you’re a first-time pet owner or just looking for new ways to keep your furry friend safe, a pet camera can be a great investment. Dog monitoring cameras come in all shapes and sizes, but they typically have one purpose: to keep an eye on your pooch when you’re not around.
But it’s not just a handy gadget for when you’re out and about – in this article we’ll look at six ways a pet camera can be handy for not only your peace of mind, but the welfare of your pooch.
What is a Pet Camera?
A pet camera, or dog monitoring camera, is a type of home security camera (like CCTV) that is designed specifically for monitoring dogs. These cameras are typically equipped with features that allow them to keep an eye on your dog while you are away, such as two-way audio, motion detection, and night vision.
Often they can be accessed on your phone using an app. Some dog monitoring cameras even come with treat dispensers that can be used to reward your dog for good behavior.
How does a dog monitoring camera work?
A dog monitoring camera works by connecting to your home Wi-Fi network and streaming live video footage to your smartphone or tablet. This allows you to check in on your dog from anywhere in the world.
Six Uses for a Dog Camera
So what are some of the uses for a dog camera? Here’s a list of six uses:
1 – Keeping an Eye on Your Dog When You’re Out
Yes, we’ll start with the obvious! Though not a dog-sitter, a pet camera is a good way to slip out for a while and still keep an eye on your pup. Because they’re often lightweight and don’t need to be fiddled with once setup, you can just pop it on the shelf, turn it on and away you go.
When I go out to the local cafe I often turn the camera on. This lets me watch my dogs now and again. However, I can also set phone notifications to tell me when my dogs move around. Often they’re just moving from the bedroom to the living room, but it’s good to know. You can also get systems where more than one camera can be setup for use in multiple rooms – see my Reolink camera review here to see how it works.
2 – Watching Your Dog’s Behavior
Many dog owners struggle with leaving their furry friend home alone, whether it’s for a few hours or an entire day. It can be tough to know if your pup is feeling anxious, stressed or just plain bored when you’re not around. This is where a dog camera comes in handy – by being able to see and hear your dog, you can get a much better idea of how they’re feeling and behaving.
This is also where different behaviours can present themselves. For example, your dog may pace often, chew furniture, scratch at the doors or (hopefully) just sleep.
When my Great Dane was a puppy, she used to whine when I went out. I discovered this because the audio on the camera app notified me. It helped me work on training her to better respond when I’m not around.
3 – Observing and Helping Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety is a condition that can affect dogs when they are separated from their owners or other familiar individuals (one of my Danes used to get upset if the other one was out). Dogs with separation anxiety may exhibit various behaviors including barking, whining, howling, pacing, destructiveness, and aggression.
Separation anxiety is an unpleasant condition that can cause distress for both the dog and the owner. If you think your dog may be suffering from separation anxiety, talk to your veterinarian about treatment options.
Not only can you help diagnose separation anxiety with a dog camera, it can help with training. I used my camera to work with my Dane in stages. Initially I would step outside onto the street and monitor her behaviour on the camera. Later I would extend this to be a few minutes away, and so on.
4 – Keeping Your Dog Entertained
With some dog cameras, there are different features which can keep your dog entertained while you’re away.
One common accessory is a treat dispenser. This can be either automated or a manual treat that you dispense using the remote phone app. Because they are dispensing treats, you may need to place your camera lower down. You can, however, find treat dispensing cameras that have pan-tilt which means you can rotate the camera up to 360 degrees.
Another feature that can be fun is two-way audio. If the camera comes with an inbuilt speaker, you can use your camera app to talk to your dog (this can work well with treat dispensers). Be warned, this isn’t great for every dog. Some dogs may get upset hearing their parents disembodied voice, so it’s something you should try at first when some distance away.
5 – Know Who’s Been In and Out Your Home
Hopefully it won’t be a burglar, but yes – many a dog camera has caught a would-be burglar breaking in – and high definition footage is always a bonus for the police. Whereas CCTV cameras are often permanently placed, the ease of just putting the dog camera on a shelf before heading out means that doubling as a security camera is a great addition to your home.
On a happier note, you’ll know when the mailman has been, or more practically if you have a dog walker. Often people who go to work get a family member or dog walker to check in on their dog and take them out for walkies. Getting a notification when they arrive can give you confidence your dog is getting their daily exercise.
6 – Be Alerted to Emergencies
Over the years the news often has stories about things that have happened and been caught on camera. Odd behaviour from dogs has helped find a gas leak, they may alert you to smoke alarms going off, you can spot choking or injuries. In fact, thousands of dogs have been saved from hazardous situations thanks to pet cameras.
That’s it! We hope you enjoyed our camera adventure. As you can see, there are many benefits of owning a dog monitoring camera (both obvious and not so common), from the unsettling spotting of burglars, the happier knowledge that the dog walker has arrived, checking in on your pet while at work, keeping an eye on your house, getting alerted if something happens, and having fun with your dog.
But overall, they’re great for your own peace of mind. If you have any stories about your dog cameras, let us know in the comment section below.
- Dog Camera
Editor and Head Writer | K9Gadget Magazine
Having worked in the technology sector for many years – he now immerses himself in all things dogs. Writes about subjects ranging from dog food to canine psychology with a little bit of pup technology thrown in. He’s been writing for nearly 15 years on the topics he loves. Lives in London.