Do you hate leaving your dog at home alone? Does your dog give you those sad, watery, puppy dog eyes when you reach for the front door? Do they look like their world is coming to an end because you have to go to work?
Thanks to technology, leaving your dog at home doesn’t have to mean actually saying goodbye. There are tons of gadgets for caring for a pooch when you’re away including electric water fountains, automatic feeders, even automatic ball launchers.
But for pet parents who hate saying goodbye, one of the greatest inventions is the dog monitoring camera. These cameras allow us dog parents to see, talk, treat and play with our dogs from outside the home. And of course, keep an eye of them.
Here are some of the best dog surveillance systems on the market today.
1. Furbo Dog Camera
The Furbo Dog Camera goes way beyond just giving you a peek at your dog at home. It features a chic, modern look with a white glossy finish and a wooden top. The system is designed to send alerts to your cell phone when your dog is barking so you can see what’s going on. It allows you to talk to your dog to calm him down (and ask him to be quiet).
The Furbo can take a dog selfie when your dog is facing the camera. It will let you know when a human comes into view (so you can check on your dog walker). It even works with Amazon’s Alexa to call your dog, so you can not only give him a treat but actually toss it in the air for a telecommuting game of catch.
Furbo has a high-quality HD camera with infrared night vision and 160° wide angle. It even automatically turns on once your phone is out of Bluetooth range when you leave the house.
Get it here at $194.
2. PetChatz Digital Daycare
The PetChaz system is not a mere dog camera. Rather, it provides a complete menu of all-day dog activities in an interactive environment. Of course, it allows you to see your dog while you’re out of the home, but you can also have and record a two-way video chat. You can even train your dog to call you when she’s lonely by tapping the dog-to-parent messaging button with PawCall, or set up scheduled chat sessions so the call button blinks to let your dog know you’re available.
Petchaz can pick up unusual noises and alert you. It can toss your dog a PetChatz Treat, or you can use the treats with the PawCall Game Mode option. It even has an aromatherapy function that releases soothing scents to calm your pup down, and (wait for it) DOGTV, a 24/7 live stream channel of “dog-friendly” programs. (If it could teach your dog to type, they could go to work and you could stay home!)
For the base PetChaz HD, $339.99; the PawCall, $89.99 (treats and aromatherapy scents are extra).
3. Petcube Play Pet Camera
The Petcube Play is an interactive system in a compact glossy box with a shiny black face and a metal body available in matte silver, rose gold, and carbon black. It has a rubber piece on the bottom to keep it from sliding around on a table, or you can mount it on the wall.
The Petcube Play allows you to see, record, monitor and play with your dog when you’re not at home. It has a wide-angle, sharp 1080p camera with night vision for low or no-light conditions; a built-in laser toy so you can entertain your baby; and sound and motion alerts.
Petcube Bites is another model that allows you to see, talk to, play, and most importantly, reward your dog remotely with treats. It can toss treats at varying distances up to six feet, so if you have an active dog, this is the one for you. It can also toss treats at scheduled times, and you can reorder treats with the Petcube app. With two-way audio you can talk to your dog, and the camera has night vision so you can still see your pup in the dark.
4. Petzi Treat Cam
The Petzi Treat Cam lets you see, talk to, photograph (and post on their social media site, Petzi, or any other site you choose), and treat your dogs using their favorite snacks when you’re away from home by using the app on your cell phone. It will play a chime to alert your dogs that it’s time to check in. You can speak to them (and try to get them to stop chewing on the couch cushions). One of the best features of the Petzi is the Treat Launcher, which shoots a treat across the room, so you can play an energetic game of fetch and give your pup some exercise.
The wide-angle camera has night vision mode, so you can spy on your dog after dark.
Get it here for $169.99
5. Pawbo Wi-Fi Pet Camera
Pawbo is a small, elegantly designed camera with a bullet-shaped glossy black and white appearance that can be mounted on the wall for extra safety, or sit on an end table near the couch where your dog hangs. The wide-angle lens allows you to video stream your dog at home, and it uploads automatically to cloud storage.
But it’s more than just a camera. You can speak to your pup through a two-way microphone, and he can tell you about his day; the system has different ringtones, so you can train your dog to come to the camera for a specific sound using the treat dispensing feature. This system just drops (rather than throws) the treats onto the floor, so make sure to place it where the treats will be accessible. It also has a laser pointer game to keep your dog entertained when you’re not home. As many as eight people can access the camera with one Pawbo password, so friends and family can also check on your dog when you’re busy in a meeting at work or traveling.
Buy here, $149.99
Related: How to Deal With an Anxious Dog