For many pet owners, returning to the office after such a long period of working from home will no doubt be tough. Having a good dog bed, cat litter tray or selection of your pet’s favourite toys will go some way to help your pet feel more relaxed, but if you’re still worried about leaving them at home, then investing in a pet camera could make the process a little easier.
Having a pet camera installed at home is also recommended by the RSPCA. According to the animal welfare charity, it’s worth videoing your pet (particularly dogs) when they are left alone to make sure they aren’t showing what they describe as “hidden signs of distress” that you’d otherwise miss, such as barking, trembling, pacing and whining.
There are hundreds of pet cameras available to buy online that will help you to do this. The best pet cameras record what’s going on in your home 24/7 and even have night vision modes that allow you to still see what’s going on even when it’s dark. Many also have two-way audio functions that allow you to speak to your pet and even toss treats via built-in treat dispensers.
To help you sift through the noise and find the pet camera that’s best suited to your home, The Recommended searched the internet to find a selection of the best to buy online. We’ve also included some more expert advice from the RSPCA and other organisations for making your animal feel comfortable when you’re away from home.
The best pet cameras at a glance:
- Best overall pet camera: Furbo Dog Camera
- Best hi-res pet camera: Wansview WiFi IP Pet Camera
- Best 360-degree pet camera: Nooie WiFi Pet Camera
- Best value pet camera: Imou Ranger 2c Pet Camera
- Best treat dispenser: Petcube Bites 2 Lite
- Best compact pet camera: Blink Mini
- Best mobile pet camera: Enabot Ebo SE Moving Home Security Camera
- Best pet camera with vet chat: Petcube Cam
The best pet cameras
Best overall pet camera: Furbo Dog Camera
With an integrated treat dispenser
Our best pick overall, we love the range of features this pet camera has for interacting with your animal when you’re out of the house, such as the treat dispenser and two-way chat function.
It’s nice to know why your dog is barking, particularly if it’s out of character, which is why this camera’s barking alert is such a good idea. A real-time alert notification gets sent to your phone via an app when the device senses barking. You can then view what’s going on through the camera’s 1080p full-HD, 160-degree angle, and 4x zoom display. The infrared night vision is also handy for when you’re away from home overnight or during dark mornings and afternoons in winter. It’s also compatible with Alexa, so you can operate it via voice control through your Amazon Echo or similar device.
Best hi-res pet camera: Wansview WiFi IP Pet Camera
Remote-controlled via an app
Wi-Fi operated via an app on your phone, this camera’s remote-controlled pan, tilt and zoom functions are great for viewing all corners of the room where you have the camera set up.
The 1080p display on this camera is designed to provide clear images of your home, eliminating the guesswork when it comes to seeing what your pet’s up to. It also has a two-way audio function which lets you talk and listen to your pet and is compatible with Amazon Alexa. It also sends real-time safety alerts in the form of 10-second videos to your phone when motion is detected, which you can then store those videos via an SD card or cloud storage.
Best 360-degree pet camera: Nooie WiFi Pet Camera
No view out of reach
With 360-degree motion detection and 24/7 live streaming, this pet camera is able to track the movement of your pet around your house at all times of the day.
If you know you’re going to be home late and have no choice but to leave your pet unattended, this camera has a night vision mode powered by two 940nm infrared LEDs, which are said to have a range of up to 12 metres for keeping an eye on your animal. It also has a two-way audio function which allows you to listen and talk to your pet and is compatible with Amazon Alexa. This camera also comes with a wall mount and screws in the box.
Best value pet camera: Imou Ranger 2c Pet Camera
Despite being the cheapest camera on our list, the Imou Ranger has impressive specs, including a 360-degree, wide angle lens, night vision up to 10 metres and a 1080p, high-definition display.
Designed to identify human motion, this pet camera also doubles as a security camera and is able to send alert notifications to your phone, as well as automatically record and save videos where it detects abnormal sounds and movement. It also has a built-in speaker and mic for talking to your pet and is operated via Wi-Fi.
Best treat dispenser: Petcube Bites 2 Lite
Wall mounting kit included
Featuring a sleek and stylish design for installing on your wall at home, this pet monitoring camera has a built-in treat dispenser for remotely tossing or scheduling a treat for your pet.
This pet camera streams full HD 1080p video to your phone through a 160-degree, wide-angle lens with an 8x digital zoom, which you can toggle to follow your animal. It also has a night vision mode, which is said to have a range of up to 10 metres and automatically turns on when it’s dark. You can also speak and listen to your animal via the device’s two-way audio function, as well as get 24/7 access to a vet through the ‘Vet Chat’ function in the associated Petcube app.
Best compact pet camera: Blink Mini
Measuring just 50 x 49 x 36mm and weighing just 48g, this super compact pet camera is great for subtly installing in your home without compromising on specs.
This camera records 1080p, high-definition video and infrared HD night vision when dark and sends motion detection alerts to your phone, which you can customise depending on your pet’s behaviour. The camera has a 110-degree field of view, as well as a built-in speaker and mic for speaking and listening to your animal. It is compatible with Alexa divides and available to buy in black or white to suit the style of your home.
Best mobile pet camera: Enabot Ebo SE Moving Home Security Camera
Patrols your home
If your animal likes to roam about, this pet camera is a great option as you can schedule it to patrol around your home and notify you of any movement via an app.
This pet camera automatically returns itself to its dock when it’s low on charge and has collision sensors which are designed to help avoid the device from getting stuck. It also has a 1080p camera, a 2-way-audio function for speaking to and listening to your animal, and a night vision mode for keeping an eye on your pet when it’s dark.
Best pet camera with vet chat: Petcube Cam
Come with a handy magnet for mounting to surfaces
This pet camera has a built-in vet chat that allows you to consult a vet if you notice any concerning behaviour from your animal, which we think is a thoughtful additional safety feature.
Another practical feature of this pet camera is that it comes with a magnet for mounting to surfaces without needing to drill holes, which is also useful for people who rent. Other features include a 1080p HD camera, 10 metres of night vision range, a 110-degree wide-angle view and up to 8x zoom.
How to leave a dog home alone
Whether you’re a dog or cat owner, leaving your pet at home for long periods of time requires some careful consideration to ensure that you leave them a comfortable space to inhabit until you return.
According to the RSPCA, there are a few steps you can take to help your dog feel comfortable. The charity says that dogs will be more inclined to relax when you leave them home alone if they have had a sufficient amount of exercise before you leave, as well as feeding them a small meal. If your dog misbehaves while you’re away, then it is “vital” that you do not punish them as they will associate the punishment with your return as opposed to the misbehaving. Boredom can also be an issue, which is why it’s a good idea to leave your dog a toy or bone, which you only give to them when you go out – a treat ball will also keep them occupied.
How long can you leave a dog home alone?
The RSPCA recommends that dogs are not left alone for more than four hours so they are able to exercise, go to the toilet and spend time with people. The charity adds that the length of time a dog can be left alone will depend on the behaviour of the individual dog.
How to leave a cat at home alone
For cat owners, pet food brand Purina recommends laying out a bowl of fresh water and some food to eat, as well as a comfortable bed and a clean litter tray. A warm house and plenty of space are also important so they can roam freely around the house. Purina also recommends leaving a cat toy, such as a cat tree or brain game, to keep them occupied. Anxious cats may also benefit from background noises such as pheromone plug-ins.
How long can you leave a cat home alone?
Pet food brand Purina says that most cats can be left alone for up to eight hours a day while you’re at work and up to 24 hours if left with fresh water, food, cat litter and a comfortable bed. The RSPCA recommends that young kittens are not left at home for more than three hours as they are naturally less self-sufficient than older cats.
Want to read more expert-recommended pet product round-ups? Check out our Pets page for a full list of recommendations, including our list of the best dog beds and best dog crates as recommended by dog experts, as well as the best dog food recommended by an animal nutritionist.