Most pet owners have wondered what their furry friends are up to the second they leave the house. As a cat owner, I imagine my little babies cuddled up on the couch or meowing endlessly at the door because they miss me so much.
My curiosity was so strong that for Christmas a few years ago, my husband bought me a home security camera to watch my kitties while we were away. At the time there weren’t many camera options that were specific to pets, so we made do with a simple home monitoring camera. Since we’ve had our “kitty cam” we’ve gotten a lot of flak for being too involved in my cat’s home life….but with all the new hi-tech pet products out there, I feel vindicated!
There are now tons of pet camera options on the market, with varying levels of interactivity. The most simple is a Wi-Fi camera, much like the one I currently use to spy on my kitties. The Belkin NetCam has a daytime and nightvision mode, and captures sound as well. You can stream live HD video from your home right to your smartphone or tablet. It’s perfect for a very basic method of checking in, though I frequently wish I could speak through the camera.
The next level up would be something with a few more bells and whistles, like the Petzi treat cam. This camera offers the same video features but also has a photo feature to capture moments. The big benefit of this camera is that you can speak directly to your pet through the camera, something I often feel is lacking when I use my simpler wi-fi camera. Another fun feature is the treat dispenser, so you can reward your pup even while you’re away.
The Feed & Go Smart PetFeeder goes one step further than the other cameras. It features an integrated webcam and is Wi-Fi enabled, but it also has the capability to record your voice and set up feeding in advance. This is a great option for anyone who travels frequently or needs to give their pets scheduled medications. The 6 cup sized feeding trays can be filled with wet or dry food, treats, and medications. It’s a bigger investment than the rest, but it also ensures that your pet stays on a scheduled feeding, even when you can’t make it home in time.
Whichever option you choose, keeping an eye on your pet while you’re away offers a great sense of security and happiness. Give them each a look and see which is right for you!