7 Ways to Spy on the Secret Life of (Your) Pets

Here are seven pet-friendly ways to check in on your four-legged friends when you're away.

By Rachel Cericola

While you'd never even consider leaving a human baby home alone, four-legged ones can be a little more flexible. Of course, some pets do need extra care. That's probably why so many people put dogs, cats, rabbits, and pigs into purses, shopping carts, and even little sweaters.

My dog is 17 years-young and we really can’t leave her alone as much as we used to. Naturally, we need to live our lives, but it can be nice to check in to make sure she’s doing okay. A Wi-Fi security camera can provide that kind of peek from any mobile device.

Some pets spend their alone time sleeping on the couch, while others maul your favorite shoes. To make sure it’s not the latter, consider installing a Wi-Fi camera. Even better, there’s a new fleet of camera specifically designed for Fido, Fluffy, and the rest of your furry crew. Want a high-tech way to check in on pets while you’re away? Here are seven pet-friendly favorites.

Petcube

Claiming to be one of the first pet-specific Wi-Fi cameras, the Petcube ($149) provides 720p HD video of your pet that can be viewed on iOS and Android devices.

The Petcube has an interactive laser you can control with your phone. Photo: Petcube, Inc.

In addition, it adds in a level of play thanks to a built-in laser pointer. It also has two-way audio so you can praise your pet or bark at them to get off the furniture. It can even deliver motion and sound alerts to mobile devices, as well as take video and photos. To save some of that footage, opt for the Petcube Care service, which can store a video history starting at $10 per month.

Petzi Treat Cam

This Wi-Fi camera can give the pets what they really want—food. The Petzi Treat Cam ($169.95) also provides peeks at pets via iOS and Android devices, as well as the option to speak to them.

The Petzi is a Wi-Fi camera with a built-in treat dispenser. Photo: Petzila, Inc.

Of course, it’s not the sound of your voice that will excite them, but the fact that the Petzi Treat Cam can “launch” little morsels at your very hungry little buddy. Other features include 720p daytime images, night vision for dark viewing, and a wide-angle lens so your pet always stays in the picture.

Feed and Go Smart Pet Feeder

If your pet has special needs or just gets downright hangry, this may be the pet-cam for you. The Feed and Go Smart Pet Feeder ($249) packs a Wi-Fi-enabled webcam into a feeder that has six cup-sized compartments.

The Feed and Go combines six cup-sized feeding trays with a Wi-Fi camera. Photo Feed and Go.

That allows you to store food, medicine, water, or treats, which can be revealed based on scheduled times. It doesn’t have two-way audio, but does feature the capability to store audio so you can make a recording that will alert your pet when it's time to come get the goods.

iFamCare Helmet

Despite the low price, this is the only pet camera on our list that promises a full 1080p HD peek at your pets. There are no treat options, but the iFamCare Helmet ($99.95) has a built-in laser, 2-way audio, and an air quality sensor so you can be alerted to any hazardous situations.

The Helmet has a laser, 1080p video, and an air sensor. Photo: iFamCare.

It also has the option to pan a full 360 degrees and tilt another 70, as well as record 48 hours' worth of fun to a microSD card.

Kittyo Pet Camera

Some kitties don’t like to share. That’s why the Kittyo Pet Camera ($249) was specifically designed with your feline friends in mind. It features sounds and a laser pointer to engage your cat, as well as a treat carousel and dispenser.

The Kittyo has sounds and sights to entertain and exercise your cat. Photo: Kittyo.

Of course, you can also watch and talk to the cats from any iOS and Android device. It even allows you to record those crazy kitty antics and directly share them with others.

Motorola Pet Scout66 Wi-Fi HD Pet Monitoring Camera

This looks like your typical Wi-Fi security camera. That’s because in some ways it is. The Pet Scout66 ($99.99) can stream 720p video and 2-way audio to iOS and Android devices and even has sound and motion alerts.

The SCOUT66 can deliver sound, motion, and room temperature alerts. Photo: Motorola.

However, this inexpensive camera option adds in temperature notifications as well. Set up the system to alert you to extreme conditions or just look in live. That temperature perk may be key to your pet’s safety and comfort.

PetChatz Bundle

This bundle gets the Best in Show award. At $480, it’s not cheap. However, it features the PetChatz HD camera, which has 2-way audio, sound and motion alerts, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, and the ability to dispense both treats and calming scents.

The PetChatz HD camera and PawCall accessory can be purchased separately or in a bundle. Photo: PetChatz.

It’s nice to be able to do all of that, but what if your pet wants to get in touch with you? The bundle also has the PetChatz PawCall, an accessory that allows your pet to “call” you as well as play games with you while you’re away.

Main image: Petcube, Inc.