10 Best Pet Cameras: Your Easy Buyer’s Guide

best pet cams

With the advent of pet cameras, as long as you have wi-fi in your home, you can keep an eye on your pet with the help of your smartphone. With additional features like treat tossing, laser pointers, and the ability to pan across the room, these cameras can curb destructive behaviors and reduce boredom. Here we’ve profiled the best pet cameras on the market to improve the life of your pet and vastly reduce the stress of pet ownership.

What is the best pet camera?

petcube play 2 pet cam Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Two-way audio
  • Ability to share with friends and family
  • Small and easy to place
Price: $179.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
petcube bites 2 pet cam Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Tosses treats
  • Easy installation
  • High-end look
Price: $249.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Two-way audio and video
  • DogTV capable
  • Treat dispensing
Price: $329.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Bark sensing alerts
  • Two-way audio
  • AI-enabled dog facial recognition
Price: $199.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Lovoom Pet Monitoring Camera Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 180 degree panning
  • Dedicated remote
  • Adjustable treat flinging distance
Price: $210.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Treat dispensing
  • HD video
  • Allows you to speak to your pet
Price: $143.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
WOpet Smart Pet Camera Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Cheaper than rivals
  • 4x digital zoom and night vision
  • Generous treat hopper
Price: $137.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Wyze Cam Pan Indoor Smart Home Camera Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 360 degree panning
  • Integration with Alexa and Google
  • Inexpensive
Price: $37.98 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Full HD camera
  • Air quality monitor
  • Alerts authorities in emergencies
Price: $59.90 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Two-way audio
  • Motion and sound alerts
  • Inexpensive
Price: $59.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Kamtron 1080P Home Wireless Pet Camera Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 360 degree panning
  • Wi-fi or ethernet connection
  • Local video storage up to 128GB
Price: $39.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Petcube Play 2 Wi-Fi Pet Camera

    Pros:
    • Petcube Care automatically detects movement and records video to the cloud, with four hours of storage free for life and other storage levels available with subscription
    • Two-way audio
    • Laser pointer
    • Sleek design
    Cons:
    • Laggy camera feed
    • Can be difficult to connect to wifi
    • Laser location somewhat inaccurate
    • Will chew on your over-the-air data if you’re not careful

    If you’re looking for a cat camera, this is the first pet cam to consider.

    Certainly the sleekest of the made-for-pets cameras, the Petcube began its life on Kickstarter before becoming an Amazon Launchpad product. Aside from the high-end look, this unit is designed with interactivity in mind. Using a full 1080p HD camera with a wide angle lens, you can easily capture photos and videos with an iOS or Android device. It also features two-way audio, so you can talk to and listen to your pet.

    The icing for this one is the laser toy, though. By dragging your finger across the image, you can direct a laser that will engage your pet even across many miles. Reviews note that the laser pointer isn’t super accurate to inputs and the camera may present some delay, but on the whole, this is a good option if slick product design is key.

    The Play 2 is the third generation Petcube, which improves upon the previous version with the addition of Alexa, making it a fully-fledged assitant device as well as a pet cam. The microphone array has been upgraded, which enhances the detail of the two-way audio, as well as a human and pet detection mode, which triggers video recording based on which event occurs. The look of the device has been updated, as well, and is still one of the nicest looking cat cameras on the market.

    I received a review unit for use with my three dogs. After I downloaded the Petcube app, it walked me through the rest of the setup. I had to try connecting it to the internet a few times before it finally succeeded. Once setup, my experience with it was quite good.

    The picture is excellent on my iPhone XS, though the complaints about lag are accurate. I attribute this more to network speeds than anything else — the delay in audio using the two-way radio is about a second. The laser toy is fun but a bit fussy to use — almost certainly better with cats than my dogs. For that reason, we think this is the best choice as a gift for cat lovers.

    A trial of the Petcube Care service is included, which gives you a ten day history of automatically-recorded video triggered by movement. It’s on by default, so when you first set it up and move about your house, it immediately records your movements. Happily, the app lets you disable this with a Sleep mode. There’s also a Quiet mode, which records, but suppresses the push updates.

    This is handy if you have a house like mine where the natural light changes a lot due to moving clouds, triggering the motion detection and sending you notifications about every 15 minutes. The updated app shows the Care status right on the home page, which is a very recent and welcome improvement. After the trial, you get four hours of cloud video storage for free, but you can upgrade up to 90 days of video history covering multiple cameras for $99 per year.

    The friends and family feature is really great. If you have your friend download the app, you can share access to your camera so they can peek at your pets, too. My wife tested it and really enjoyed the feature.

  2. 2. Petcube Bites 2 Wi-Fi Pet Camera with Treat Dispenser

    Pros:
    • Treat tossing camera with large, easy to fill hopper that allows for use of your choice of treats
    • Sleek, high quality look in your choice of three colors
    • Easy to install
    • Full 1080p camera with sound and motion detection and night vision
    Cons:
    • Light balance isn’t quite as good as some other options
    • Background audio noise leaves something to be desired
    • Will require a firmware update upon first use — plug it in and leave it alone for at least 30 minutes if the light turns orange
    • Easy to tip over if you don’t mount it to a wall

    If it’s a dog camera you’re looking to buy, the Bites is one of, if not the top contender. It’s a very high-quality piece of hardware that swaps the laser pointer for a treat-tossing mechanism to help train your dog actually enjoy the times you aren’t home.

    In fact, the entire top half of the Bites is the treat hopper, which allows both for high capacity and excellent flexibility in treat selection. The user manual offers a visual guide to the types of treats you can use, which is handy for those whose dogs have allergies.

    Like the Play 2, upgrades to the Bites 2 includes the addition of Alexa, improved sound quality, and an upgraded treat-flinging mechanism. The exterior look has been revised slightly, making it a somewhat smaller unit than the previous version.

    Installation is extremely easy with the provided cardboard template. I do recommend mounting it to the wall, as it’s a tall, narrow unit that could tip over otherwise. Additionally, if the indicator LED turns orange upon first use and connection to your wifi, leave it alone for 30 minutes. The first unit I had was bricked because the power was lost during this time, which the unit uses to make a firmware update. Petcube’s customer assistance was very prompt and helpful and determined the cause and sent a new one within two emails. After that, it was smooth sailing.

    The treat tosser is excellent and allows you to vary the distance the treats are flung. I have never experienced a jam with it and definitely prefer it to the laser pointer in the Play above. The large hopper makes for high capacity, so it rarely needs filling, though this is easily accomplished with the simple latch lid on the top of the unit.

    All the information on the Petcube app that applies to the Play above applies here, as well. It’s easy to manage both cams from the app and I recommend having both the Play and the Bites to cover multiple angles of your home. The Bites excels at training and calming, while the Play is smaller for placing in less-obvious locations.

    If you want to read more about the Bites, see our head-to-head comparison of the original version with the PetChatz HD, which also appears below on this list.

  3. 3. PetChatz HDX Pet Camera

    Pros:
    • Two-way audio and video
    • Treat dispenser and DogTV capability
    • Soothing scent release
    • Responsive customer service
    Cons:
    • Expensive
    • Laggy video at times
    • Fussy installation that takes up two outlets
    • Placement on a traditional-height outlet means the camera can’t see the whole room

    This is the newly-updated PetChatz, which offers a few improvements over the last generation. First, the camera is better, offering a wider viewing angle and full 1080p resolution. Second, the wi-fi experience has been upgraded and can now connect to both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks as needed.

    While the Petcube options are both very good, the PetChatz offers three additional features that may help it stand out for your needs.

    1. The ability to trigger the release of a calming scent that can help condition your dog and relax them while you’re away. With time, the dog will associate the scent with a video chat from you and a treat, helping to reduce separation anxiety.

    2. The other feature is an optional PawCall button. When activated, it will send a message to your device alerting you that your pet wants to video chat with you. With training, this can be an effective way to interact with your dog or cat when you’re away.

    3. Rather than just streaming a video feed to your phone, this unit features a screen on the front that enables two-way video. For some, this alone will merit the price increase over other pet cams, since your dog can associate the unit with you. Additionally, you can stream DogTV to the screen for entertaining your pups during long days alone.

    The price is much higher, but these unique features aimed at diffusing anxiety might be key for your particular animal. Recording is available on this unit, as well as apps for both iOS and Android.

    The manufacturer sent me a first generation unit to review. Particularly in comparison to the Petcube, the major drawback to the PetChatz is that it must be installed over an outlet. There’s no pass through slot so you can plug in something else such as a lamp, so to use this, you’ll be giving up two outlets to power one unit. To read more about the installation challenges, read our head-to head comparison between the first generation versions of both this and the Petcube Bites.

    Once you have this camera installed, it works very well. The connection to wifi and then to the app is extremely easy, using a code-based system that syncs almost automatically. When using the two-way radio, the feedback reduction is far superior to the Petcube, on which you mostly hear the noise from your side of the call. With the PetChatz, it’s dead quiet except for the audio from either end.

    The app is intuitive and simple to use. Despite the smaller viewing angle compared to the Petcube, I found that the light balance and overall picture was better on my iPhone 6s. The treat dispenser is excellent and only misfires every fifth time or so. I’ve yet to experience a jam in a week of regular use.

    My dogs figured out the system and learned the tone that plays when you turn on two-way audio very quickly, prompting them to come over to the camera in expectation of a treat. This was handy for verifying that they weren’t in areas of the house where I didn’t want them. (My tester didn’t include the PawCall, so I was unable to test that.) Ultimately, I’m pleased with this and I think it makes an excellent choice if the installation limitations don’t bother you.

  4. 4. Furbo Dog Camera

    Pros:
    • Relatively attractive, modern-looking unit
    • Two-way audio with bark sensing alerts
    • 1080p video with AI-enabled dog facial recognition offering
    • Ability to use a wide variety of treats in a generous, easy-to-fill hopper
    Cons:
    • Spartan packaging and instructions necessitate a visit to the website during setup
    • Occasionally laggy video feed with frequent quality downgrading
    • Two-way audio isn’t as good as the PetChatz or Petcube options
    • Some amount of patience is required upon setup; you will almost certainly need to reset the unit and perform a firmware update

    The differentiator of the Furbo is their new Smart Dog Alerts, which is an AI-powered facial recognition service. It’s a monthly subscription service which, over time, adapts to and learns your dog’s features and behaviors so it can send you better, tailored alerts. 

    It can even alert you when a person comes into view of the camera, such as your dog walker. Each of the three alert types — Person, Dog Selfie, and Dog Activity — are independently selectable within the app. On the home screen, a count of detected activities highlights what it has tracked.

    This feature compares with the PawCall optional add-on with the PetChatz and the automatic motion detection of Petcube’s Care, but takes it in a more advanced direction.

    Taking after the Petcube Bites (which we discussed at length in a prior review on Heavy), this model offers another treat-tossing option for the pet cam landscape. It’s a fairly sleek unit, taking design cues from the still-trendy bamboo-trimmed small home appliances. It looks quite a bit like an essential oil diffuser or something along those lines.

    The manufacturer sent me a unit to review with my dogs. Like the Bites, it’s meant to sit on a shelf and plugs into the wall using a USB adapter and a two-meter-long cord. Setup is perhaps even easier than on the cameras above, with the app opening to a login or sign up screen, which quickly guides you through the process.

    You’ll use Bluetooth to connect to the camera and get it signed onto your wifi network. Like the others, it will almost certainly require a reset to work correctly the first time, and shortly after your first video session will prompt a firmware update, which takes some time. You might have to prompt it back to life after the firmware update, but otherwise, this was uneventful.

    A multicolored light at the bottom of the unit illustrates the status clearly, though it should be noted that the setup instructions are limited to only a best-case scenario, so you’ll probably need to visit their support page during this process. Still, nothing too onerous.

    One interesting feature is that once you get beyond the account sign up, if Furbo detects that you’re having trouble making a connection, it automatically sends an email to initiate support or help you troubleshoot, which is both somewhat eerie and admittedly convenient.

    The treat hopper is similar to that of the Bites, with the entire bamboo piece serving as the lid for a large and generous filling area. Again, the materials included in the box don’t indicate what treats you should use and none are included. Their site has a page dedicated to helping you choose your treats, which contains all the usual suspects for semi-soft, usually cylindrical training treats.

    I used the regular Pet Botanics Training Reward treats in my testing, but you may want to go with the mini size to be on the safe side. When you fling a treat, a squeaky toy sound plays, which will pretty quickly condition your dogs to come running.

    The app experience is extremely similar to the Petcube, with options for recording video and taking photos, two-way audio activation, and treat tossing. It’s very easy to use, though I do notice quite a lot of pixelation on the video feed from time to time. That said, it’s very usable and the light balance is pretty good.

    One thing to note: The default picture quality is set to 720p when you first get it, but this can be adjusted in the app. Like the others, there’s an option to setup a profile for your dog.

  5. 5. Lovoom Pet Monitoring Camera

    Pros:
    • 180 degree panning
    • Dedicated remote for training exercises
    • Adjustable treat flinging distance
    • Auto play mode
    Cons:
    • Very limited treat compatibility
    • Customer support may be lacking compared to rivals; sparse documentation
    • No motion or sound sensor capability
    • No cloud video storage option

    This relatively basic camera combines treat tossing with the ability to pan the camera 180 degrees, the only such model that does. Typically, pet-focused cameras offer the treat tossing capability, while security-focused camers offer panning. If both are important to you, this is the one to choose.

    Though a bit boxy, the design is relatively modern and should fit into most homes, with your choice of black or rose gold trim. It measures 5.5 inches wide by 5.7 inches deep by 6.3 inches tall, so finding a spot for it shouldn’t be a hassle. The panning ability is achieved as the box section rotates over a stationary base, so keep this in mind when placing it.

    The top-loading treat hopper can apparently hold 250 “medium-sized dog treats”, which the support team defines as .2-.4 inches or 5-11 mm, which will accommodate many smaller kibbles and smaller training morsels like Crazy Dog Train Me! treats.

    Another differentiating feature of this pet camera is the inclusion of a remote. This isn’t very useful if you’re away from home, but it can be used to do remote training or to help your dog adjust to new spaces. There is also an auto play mode with three settings so you can set the camera to routinely play with your dog.

    In addition to the panning, you can set the treat tossing distance between three and 10 feet so tossing can be randomized or customized to your exact room, depending on your needs. Two-way audio and an HD camera (probably 720p, but not clarified anywhere) round out this offering.

    Compared to the absolute leaders of the pet cam category, the lack of automatic recording or noise detection and subscription cloud services means this is certainly a less robust solution. Lacking these, the app is also not quite as refined, but is clear enough and makes use relatively easy.

    Still, it’s a novel approach which might solve a specific problem for you compare to others.

  6. 6. Petzi Treat Cam

    Pros:
    • Treat dispsening
    • 720p HD video
    • Speaker to transmit your voice
    • Hanging strap
    Cons:
    • No two-way audio
    • Can’t record video
    • Not full HD
    • Camera and treat dispenser delays relative to app inputs

    Another crowdfunded product, the Petzi swaps the laser for a treat dispenser like the Bites above. With a simpler interface, the app lets you see, speak to, snap a photo of, or dispense a treat to your pet.

    At 720p, this is less than full HD, but should be more than sufficient for seeing your pet and interacting with them from afar. When the treat option is activated, it will dispense several small treats at once.

    It also comes with straps so it can be attached to a pole, though you’ll need something like Command Strips to attach it to the wall. At the moment, this model won’t let you hear your pet or record videos.

  7. 7. WOpet Smart Pet Camera

    Pros:
    • Cheaper than rivals
    • 4x digital zoom and night vision
    • Generous treat hopper
    • Bottom-mounted suction cup
    Cons:
    • Requires 2.4 GHz wi-fi
    • Only 720p HD video
    • No cloud storage options
    • Videos recorded to your phone have no sound

    If you just want a basic, no-nonsense dog camera treat dispenser, this option from Wopet might be the one for you. It’s available at a significant discount to the Furbo and certainly to the Petcube Bites, but still has the basic functions in place.

    In terms of construction, this pet camera is a basic cylindar, largely formed around the treat hopper, which is top loading. The cover is tight-fitting, which will keep treats fresh and could dissuade some dogs from getting into it. To that end, there is also a suction cup on the bottom of the unit to keep it in place wherever you put it.

    As with the others, you’ll want to use a small training treat, though the company doesn’t specify which size is best. Most training treats will work, though some may dispense multiple treats at once and some may jam. You may have to live with the multiple treats dispensing to avoid the jams, but choosing hard treats may prevent them, as well.

    Two-way audio is included, of course, as is a 720p HD camera, which has a 123 degree viewing angle and 4x digital zoom. Neither are as nice as the more expensive units, but they are fully functional. The camera has night vision, but it’s also not a particular strength.

    The app offers a relatively novel control mechanism and is intuitive enough. Like the Lovoom option, there is no automatic alerts, no automatic recording, and no cloud storage option. The app allows you to access each function and that’s about it.

    Sales and discounts are common on this unit, so you can usually save even more compared to the other pet-focused options on this list. Relatiely low price is the aim of this option.

     

  8. 8. Wyze Cam Pan Indoor Smart Home Camera

    Pros:
    • 360 degree panning, tilt, and zoom
    • Integration with Alexa and Google Assistant
    • Inexpensive
    • Automatically record in response to sound or motion or continously record to on-board media
    Cons:
    • No pet-focused functions
    • Requires 2.4 GHz wi-fi
    • May not re-connect to wi-fi after power outages automatically
    • No human or pet recognition capabilities

    If your primary concern is the ability to see the entire space your pet inhabits, this security-focused option is almost certainly the one to try. In addition to the superior camera operation options, it’s also dirt cheap. For under $50, you can add remote pet monitoring to you home.

    The real highlight of this particular option is the panning, tilting, and zooming. If you have a larger area to be monitored and the wide angle approach of the pet-focused options isn’t doing the job for you, switching to this will address that problem.

    This camera can pan a full 360 degrees at a rate of about 110 degrees per second and a vertical angle range of 93 degrees. Using the Pan Scan feature, you can set four waypoints that the camera will automatically switch between to monitor spots where your pet is likely to be.

    Automatic motion and sound detection is included, which triggers a 12-second clip to be uploaded to the complimentary 14-day cloud storage. In addition, you can use up to a 32GB MicroSD card in the device itself for continuous recording. This is a full 1080p camera, and the night vision exceeds most, if not all, of the pet-focused options with an array of infrared LEDs that allows for viewing up to 30 feet.

    The app is quite a lot more advanced than all but the best pet-focused options and allows for family sharing, if you like. That said, because it lacks the treat tossing or laser pointer options of the others, much of the functionality is focused on the camera motion and motion/sound detection alerts, though two-way audio is available, as well.

    This is compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant and apps are available for Apple and Android devices. If you don’t necessarily need to interact with your pet beyond using your voice, the value proposition of this one is undeniable.

    You can get many of these features for even less if you don’t need the panning/tilting/zooming features with their standard Wyze Cam.

  9. 9. Canary All-in-One Home Security Device

    Pros:
    • 147-degree, 1080p HD camera
    • Air quality, temperature, humidity monitors
    • Video alerts
    • Free video cloud storage (paid plans also available)
    Cons:
    • Not pet-focused
    • No two-way audio
    • May be prone to false alarms
    • Reviews complain about customer service (note: the company seems especially responsive to reviews left on Amazon)

    If you have needs beyond just your pets, this might be the one for you.

    In terms of total house monitoring, this Canary device might have all the others beat. While focused more squarely on security monitoring, including the ability to alert local authorities in the event of an emergency, some of the features make it perfect for pet monitoring.

    The Canary comes with air quality, temperature, and humidity monitors that will give you a much more in-depth idea of what’s going on in your home when you’re not there. Of course, there is also automatic video alerts for iOS and Android devices.

  10. 10. Oco Wireless Security Camera

    Pros:
    • Motion and sound detection alerts
    • App works both on mobile devices and computers
    • Two-way audio
    • One year of free video archive included
    Cons:
    • Not pet-focused
    • Not full HD
    • Lacks additional features
    • Some reviewers note dropped connections

    If simplicity is what you’re going for, a simple home security camera should do the job. This certainly meets that criterion, being a small unit dedicated to streaming video to an app.

    This 720p HD camera offers motion and sound alerts as well as live streaming. It needs to be plugged in, but once that’s done, all you need to do is download the app and follow the steps to finish setup.

    It’s a straightforward offering for watching your pets roam around an empty house.

  11. 11. Kamtron 1080P Home Wireless Pet Camera

    Pros:
    • 360 degree horzontal and 100 degree vertical panning
    • Wi-fi or ethernet connection
    • Local video storage up to 128GB
    • Automatic app alerts and recording
    Cons:
    • No pet-focused functions
    • Requires 2.4 GHz wi-fi
    • No automatic sound detection
    • Frequent reports of camera crashes and disconnections

    This offering from Kamtron is the most popular of a crowded field of very similar offerings from the likes of Conico and Panamalar, among very many others. We’ve chosen this one because it’s a hot seller and a good value, but for the most part, many of these cameras in this form factor are virtually interchangeable.

    Like the Wyze, this is a security-focused camera that excels at full-room coverage. It, too, can rotate 360 degrees horizontally and 100 degrees vertically, with a viewing angle of about 60 degrees. The night vision on this 1080p full HD offering is slightly worse, with a sight distance of about 20 feet, but still likely to be better than pet-focused options.

    While it has motion detection with alerts and automatic recording, sound detection is not available. Compared to the Wyze, it compensates for this by allowing you to use a larger MicroSD card for onboard recording, up to 128GB. Cloud storage is available, as well, as is manually-activated two-way audio.

    Interestingly, this can be connected via 2.4 GHz wi-fi or an ethernet cable – an option not available on most of these devices. This could come in handy to prevent network drops as the firmware on these is not on the level of the rest of the options on this list, so some units suffer from frequent crashes.

    The app is spartan but functional. Certainly a no-frills approach, but it shouldn’t give you much trouble in day-to-day operation, as long as the camera hasn’t crashed.

    Ultimately, the ubiquity of this design means that it’s an obvious cheap imitation device. In fact, if you opt for the 720p version, you can get it for even less. The Wyze is usually cheaper on any given day, but the ethernet and larger MicroSD capacity might make this the option for you. If this is your first foray into remote monitoring, it could be a worthwhile first device before considering making the leap to the much more expensive pet-focused options.

Being an owner of both dogs and chinchillas, I know how stressful it can be to leave your pets at home for any amount of time. Logically, you know they'll be fine. You gave them plenty of food and water and you're only gone at work for the day. Or maybe you've gone on vacation, but your friend or neighbor definitely knows to check on them. They'll probably be fine.

If you're like me, though, you always worry, at least a little. Getting some peace of mind about how your pets are faring when you're not at home used to require calling someone and having them go to your home to check on them.

That would mean leaving a key, finding someone who was available, and then relying on their report of your pet. Maybe they don't know them the way you do, so that report might only be so useful.

The rise of the pet camera category means that pet owners can more closely monitor the health and happiness of their pets, even if you do have someone looking on them.

For example, I recently hired a pet sitter from Rover to interact with my dogs while I was out of town for a wedding. We used the automatic motion detection of one of these cameras to verify the report the service was giving us about their check-ins. It reduced our travel anxiety considerably, and we were able to reward our dogs for being well-behaved when the sitter checked in on them.

Dog Camera Treat Dispenser

When considering your pet camera as a dog owner, you'll almost certainly want to opt for one of the combination dog camera treat dispenser options. In line with positive reinforcement dog training, treat tossing cameras allow you to reward your dog when you leave the house, which can eventually curb separation anxiety.

Paired with the two-way audio featured on the leading models, you can also continue to incentivize listening to commands, even when you aren't home. For example, if you don't want your dog on the couch but you still have to be gone for most of the day, using a dog camera that dispenses treats will help you maintain the habit even when you're not there to kick them off.

From our list, the Petcube Bites, PetChatz HDX, Furbo Dog Camera, and Petzi Cam all dispense treats. Among these, the Petcube and the Furbo both have the largest treat hoppers and allow you to choose which treats you want to use, so you can opt for something you know your dog really loves.

Furbo vs Petcube

Probably the two most popular options among pet cameras are the Furbo and the Petcube. If the animal you want to keep an eye on is a cat, you'll probably want to go with the Petcube Play 2, which features a laser pointer in place of the treat dispenser in both the Furbo and the Petcube Bites.

We previously compared the first generation Bites to the PetChatz, but those trying to decide between the Furbo and the Petcube Bites will want to know which to choose.

Off the bat, both feature full HD, 1080p cameras with a 160-degree viewing angle and night vision. Both offers large, top-mounted hoppers that allow you to choose your own treats without fear of hurting the tossing mechanism. Both are relatively modern-looking units that wouldn't look out of place among other smart devices in your home, and on that note, both are compatible with Alexa.

In addition, both of them have monthly mointoring subscription services that allow them to automatically record clips to the cloud in response to barking or movement detection. Both units use AI to detect human and dog movement separately and send you the appropriate alerts.

Where they differ comes down to three main points:

First, presentation and packaging. The Furbo comes in a pretty standard gadget box with scant instructions or other materials inside. It's easy to setup, but if you run into trouble, you will have to visit the support page, and the same is true for accessing their guide to which treats will work.

By contrast, the Petcube Bites comes in very nice packaging, with good, clear instructions, a guide to choosing your treats, and a template for hanging it on the wall. It seems like a much higher-quality experience, on the whole, if such things matter to you.

Second is installation. Both can simply be set on a flat surface within reach of an outlet and used that way. The Furbo is round and therefore more stable, though I've only seen the Petcube fall when I accidentally bumped it. That said, you can mount the Petcube to the wall instead, using the provided template to mark where to put the screws.

Third is price. The Petcube Bites is significantly more expensive than the Furbo. The Furbo is made with plastic with a bamboo hopper lid. The Petcube is an aluminum unit with a plastic hopper, which, in my opinion, looks far better. The Petcube is slightly more flexible in terms of where you can put it, but ultimately, these are relatively minor differences.

I opted to stick with the Petcube because on the whole, I preferred the app and thought the device performance was a shade better. I also much prefer the look of the Petcube. Still, both are excellent cameras and if looks aren't important, you can get nearly all of the same features from the Furbo at the lower price.

Are Pet Cameras Worth it?

Ultimately, this question depends on a few factors. If you have a nervous dog suffering from separation anxiety or are often out of the house at unpredictable times, the answer is almost certainly yes. The ability to check in any time and offer reassurance both to yourself and your dog makes it worth it.

If you have a very regular schedule and your dog is well-adjusted to the routine, the price may seem a bit high for the return. As an owner of several pets, I appreciate the piece of mind, but my eldest dog really doesn't benefit from our cameras as much as my younger two.

These are robust units and are made to last quite awhile. In our testing, the treat dispensing options very rarely suffered jams, customer care was excellent for solving any software problems, and connection problems were minimal.

The bark-sensing feature of the best cameras can alert you to problems you may never have found out about otherwise. Your dog may be distressed regularly by, say, the letter carrier or another routine service and training them not to bark at them could be one reason to use a pet camera.

It would be helpful to have either an unlimited or generous cellular data plan or ready access to wi-fi if you use these regularly as they do tend to chew on data. A good wi-fi network at home is also key, as placing these too far away from routers can lead to lower quality video feeds. Still, even in my large home, I usually get a full HD feed.

One word of warning: During our testing, we discovered some dogs learn pretty quickly that you aren't in the room when using the two-way radio feature available on some of these units. In at least one case, we found that it may actually trigger separation anxiety rather than quell it, as the dog may start looking for you when they can't figure out where your voice is coming from.

If you have this experience, we strongly recommend opting for a pet treat camera to offset this nervousness. I have successfully used treat-tossing cameras to quell my dogs' nervousness, even when strangers were in my house during renovations.  For help choosing the treats to use, see our best dog training treats post.

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