Ooma Home Security Blog

Top 9 things to look for in a pet camera

By |Friday July 26, 2019

If you’re anything like us, you love your pets dearly, but there are times when you have to leave your pets alone at home. You either have to go to work or take a trip where bringing your pet along isn’t possible.

It used to be difficult to make sure that your beloved pet was doing well. You’d have to either hire a pet sitter or get a friend or family member to head over to your home to feed them, walk them and play with them. And even then, they may not do it with the same love and care that you do.

Thanks to modern technology, there’s a better way. Wireless smart cameras let you check in on your furry friends while you’re away. There are also smart cams that bring some kind of interactivity, like feeding or playing with your pets. If you’re looking for a pet cam, it can be difficult to know what to look out for and what to keep in mind before purchasing. That’s why we’ve designed this guide.

Pet Cams and Interactivity

Pet cameras are a unique beast in the camera world. That’s because there are a growing number of pet cameras that include interactivity. These cameras include built-in lasers and food dispensers that can allow you to take care of your pet while away.

For example, you could use an interactive pet camera to shine a laser on the ground so that you could play with your cat. Or you could use another camera to pop out some kibble after you use its built-in two-way audio to tell your dog to roll over.

While using an interactive pet cam to play with your furry friend can be convenient, some pet owners would rather play with their pets in person rather than through a plastic object. You’ll want to think hard about whether you want to interact with your dog through a camera or whether you’re more than happy to save those moments for when you’re home.

What to look for in a pet cam.

Video Quality

Your pet likely darts around your home, hides underneath chairs and sits in corners. It can be difficult to spot them, which is why it’s so important to find a pet camera with good to great video quality.

Ideally, you’re going to want something with 1080p HDR. You’re also going to want something that’s crystal-clear. If your picture is muddy, you’re going to have a difficult time spotting your pet.

Two-Way Talk

It’s unfortunate but it happens. Eventually, you’re probably going to spot that your furry friend making a mess of your home. You’d usually feel helpless to do anything, other than leaving work early to deal with it, but that’s not the case if your cam has two-way talk.

You can use your pet camera’s two-way talk feature try to talk your dog or cat into behaving. They’ll likely get a little confused at first, but at least they’ll stop making a mess in your home. Alternatively, you can use it to talk to a pet sitter, or to walk a friend or family member through feeding and caring for your pet.

Remote Viewing

If you want to just check in on your pet and make sure things are going okay, you’re going to need a pet camera with a companion smartphone app. This app just has to do one thing: Remote viewing.

It should have the ability for you to pop open the app and take a live look at what’s going on. You’re going to want to make sure that the app is of high quality, because you don’t want something that’ll buffer and freeze while you’re trying to find out if Mr. Buttersworth knocked over the cookie jar.

Motion Detection

Many smart cameras offer motion detection as a security measure, but they can also be used to keep track of your pets. That’s right, you can use motion detection to determine if your pet is someplace they aren’t supposed to be.

You can then use features like two-way talk to tell them they’re being a bad dog or cat. At the same time, you can also use motion detection to figure out when your pet is moving around or even beginning their day. It’s nice to know they’re keeping active.

Pan, Tilt and Zoom

Pets aren’t stationary, so they’re not exactly great at sticking to a camera’s field of view. They’re going to jump and hop and move around your home, and you’re going to need a camera that can keep up with them.

That’s why you should make sure your pet cam has the ability to pan, tilt and zoom. That way, you can remotely use the camera to follow your pet around your home. Additionally, some cameras do this automatically, keeping your pet in the frame at all time. Those cameras, however, tend to be much more expensive.

Wireless

Wired cameras offer many benefits, but keeping track of pets isn’t one of them. Because wired cameras are stationary, you’ll have to make sure your pet visits certain parts of your home. With a wireless camera, you can place it where you need to.

So if you want your pet to stay outdoors, you can put the camera outdoors. If you want them to stay in the den, you can put it in the den. You can also adjust where you put it as your pet goes. So when your German Shepherd is a puppy, keep it low, and when it grows up, you can start putting it higher for a better viewing angle.

Outdoor

If you have a dog, you know how important it is for them to be able to go outside and run around a bit. Sometimes keeping them in your back yard so they have space is best for you and the dog when you’re away for the day.

You’ll need a camera that can be outdoors for these times. Ideally, you’ll want something that’s weatherproof. So if a surprise rain storm happens, your dog can head to their doghouse and your camera will keep on recording.

Facial Recognition for Pets

Facial recognition can be used by smart cameras to tell you when a certain person arrives home or enters a certain area. Yes, facial recognition can be set up for your pets despite being built for humans.

This way, you can know when Fluffy enters the kitchen, rather than simply be alerted that there was movement detected in the kitchen. You won’t have to boot up the app since a simple notification can give you peace of mind.

Built-In Storage

Speaking of video, there are going to be times when you are too busy to check in on every incident and detection your pet triggers. Sometimes, you’re going to have to wait until you get home to review things.

Built-in storage can be invaluable here, as you won’t have to rely on cloud storage and subscription plans. Your footage is stored on your camera and easily important to your PC. Who knows, you might have the next viral pet clip on your hands.

Choosing a pet cam.

Finding a camera that meets all the needs of a pet cam can be difficult, but it is possible.

Look for a camera that has crystal-clear 1080p HD video with night vision, so you can clearly see what Spot is doing and where he’s doing it. Built-in storage is great to have too in case your internet or power goes down. All of these features allow you to keep track of your furry friend when away from home.

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