The best pet camera 2019: watch, talk to and play with your pet while you're out

With our pick of the best pet cameras, it's now possible to discover exactly what your pet gets up to when no one's home. They're not just cameras, either: treat tossers, laser pointers, and two-way intercoms ensure peace of mind on both sides

grey and white cat looking into gold pet camera, an example of the best pet cameras

Our picks of the best pet cameras are the latest in smart home gadgets, and particularly useful additions to the homes of pet owners. But, you may be wondering, why bother?

If you've ever wondered what your furry friend gets up to while you’re out at work or on holiday, you can not only use this clever piece of smart home kit to find out – and with some, you can even communicate with your pets. Yup, all of the models below, with one exception, feature two-way audio so that you can let your pet hear your voice while you’re far from home. Some flashier models even pack in extra interaction like games and treats, so your pet (and you) can be reassured, relaxed and entertained. 

Check out our pick of smart pet cameras below – and then find more smart home advice and information over on our technology hub page. Not convinced by pet tech? Our comprehensive guide answers the question: do you really need smart pet tech?

What is the best pet camera?

In our opinion, the best pet camera is the Furbo, which, in addition to allowing you to keep an eye on what your pet's getting up to from your smartphone, comes complete with the option to dispense treats to your pets in a tasty game of catch. 

Plus, two way communication means you can interact with your pet from afar, whether to calm them down in moments of distress, or keep them alert.

If you're a proud pet owner looking to optimise your home with tech, you may find the following animal-orientated articles a handy read, too:

How to buy the best pet camera

When it comes to buying the best pet camera, there are a few factors worth bearing in mind. These include:

Two-way audio

If you can't tear yourself away from your pet for the length of a working day, or your pet has a nervous disposition that requires regular soothing while you're away from home, it may be worth looking into a pet camera that comes complete with two-way audio. 

Bark alerts

If you're using a pet camera because you're concerned about your pet's welfare (and perhaps your neighbour's sanity), as opposed to being fascinated by what your pet really gets up to when you're not at home, setting up a pet camera the alerts you when your dog barks will be worthwhile.

The best pet cameras you can buy right now 

Furbo pet camera, an example of the best pet cameras

1. Furbo

A good-looking, bark-detecting, treat-throwing wonder machine

Specifications
Best for: Bark alerts
Two-way audio?: Yes
Motion detector?: Yes
Pet: Dogs
Reasons to buy
+ Sends push notifications when your dog barks + Throws treats at your command 

Furbo looks fantastic before you even get to switching it on, with its tall hourglass shape and premium-looking white and wood palette, but it’s the functionality that earns it our top spot.

The best for busy pet parents, it sends real-time alerts to your smartphone if it picks up on barking, meaning you needn’t check in every five minutes to make sure nothing’s going down at home or spend the day worrying that you’re missing something serious.

The two-way communication allows you to calm them down with your voice, or, if they’re feeling playful, to remotely dispense their favourite treats in a tasty game of catch. 

Browse more pet cameras available from Amazon

Petcube Bites pet camera, an example of the bets pet cameras

2. Petcube Bites

Throw nibbles for pets on a whim or at set times with this high-tech treat dispenser

Specifications
Best for: Quality build
Two-way audio?: Yes
Motion detector?: Yes
Pet: All
Reasons to buy
+ Automatically records when activity is detected + Schedule times to dispense treats 

Even social media maestros might not have the time to play handler to their popular pets 24/7 (that Sheba doesn’t pay for itself, y’know) but as Petcube Bites is the only pet camera we know of that can beam video straight to Facebook Live, you can rest assured it’s taking care of business, while you’re taking care of business.

Ensuring you don’t always have to be on your guard, it takes short bursts of video whenever movement or sound is detected, and reviewers said the video quality was excellent.

Like Furbo, it’s also a treat dispenser, and one that lets you both schedule treat times and throw treats variable distances.

Pawbo Life pet camera, an example of the best pet cameras

3. Pawbo Life

Play with your pet from afar with this nifty laser pointer

Specifications
Best for: Play
Two-way audio?: Yes
Motion detector?: Yes
Pet: All
Reasons to buy
+ Lots of users can check in at once + Automated laser game 

For co-parents of fur babies, or housemates with a beloved shared pet, the sociable Pawbo Life is sure to come in handy. With the two-way speaker, up to eight users can chat to your pet, and while hearing 'roll over' and 'sit' at the same time might get confusing, it’s still sure to set those tails wagging.

Many of the Pawbo’s features seem aimed more towards cats, including optional ringtones such as birds chirping and other cats meowing, and a laser game that gets them exercising during the day, great if you can’t put in a smart cat flap or live near a busy road, although dogs are sure to love its treat-dispensing capabilities too.

Petkit Mate pet camera, an example of the best pet cameras

4. Petkit Mate

With all-round video and remote play, the Petkit Mate has got your back

Specifications
Best for: Full view
Two-way audio?: Yes
Motion detector?: No
Pet: All
Reasons to buy
+ Unbeatable wide-angle view + Share pictures and video using the app 

With a tall, home speaker-like design and elegant wooden casing, the Petkit Mate may be one of the best options to go for if you’re in search of a low-key option that’ll blend with the decor.

Like Furbo, it’s a looker, but quite unlike Furbo, it has the added bonus of a rotating base. This means that you get an unbeatable 340-degree vista of the room, so if your pet’s in there, you’re sure to see them

 There’s no motion detector, but that all-round view makes up for it for peace of mind, and the Petkit Mate also allows you to play with your pets remotely and share snaps of their antics with friends and family. 

Petcube pet camera, an example of the best pet cameras

5. Petcube

Laser-fuelled fun for cats and dogs (but let’s face it, mostly cats)

Specifications
Best for: Entertaining
Two-way audio?: Yes
Motion detector?: Yes
Pet: Cats
Reasons to buy
+ Play with them in real time or use Autoplay + Great video quality and night vision 

Lifewire named the Petcube Play their best pet camera overall for 2018, and we’d be hard-pressed to disagree that it’s a solid choice. Offering 1080p video capture and night-vision, it allows you to keep the clearest eye possible on your pet both day and night, but its real value lies in its capacity for fun.

The built-in laser toy provides hours of fun for curious pets, especially famously laser-loving cats, as they follow the elusive red dot in either random patterns set by the Autoplay mode, or in real-time as you play with them over the iPhone or Android app.

That same app also allows easy instant sharing of pictures and video clips, whether it’s to family and friends or your famous feline’s very own Instagram feed.

Shop the full range of pet cameras available from Argos

CleverDog Camera an example of the bets pet cameras

6. CleverDog Camera

Who’s a clever boy? This capable budget camera, we’d say

Specifications
Best for: Budgets
Two-way audio?: Yes
Motion detector?: Yes
Pet: All
Reasons to buy
+ Excellent value + Sends a picture when movement or sound is detected 

Cat owners needn’t skip this one just because of its admittedly adorable name, because it’s good for all four-legged friends, and all budgets to boot. At well under £50, it’s far and away the best budget pet camera on our list, and doesn’t seem skimp on anything much to make that saving.

Sure, it isn’t quite as pretty as Furbo or Petmate, but it does everything you’d want it to, including two-way audio, a decent-quality camera, and sending you a snap whenever it detects movement or noise.

Overall, if it doesn’t bother you too much that the CleverDog Camera looks like… well, a camera, then it’s well worth considering. 

See more pet cameras available from eBay

EYENIMAL Cat Videocam an example fo the bets pet cameras

7. EYENIMAL Cat Videocam

Keep up with your cat’s nocturnal antics with this collar-mounted camera

Specifications
Best for: Wearable
Two-way audio?: No
Motion detector?: No
Pet: Cats
Reasons to buy
+ Attaches comfortably to your pet’s collar + Night mode and audio recording functions 

They say cats are the curious ones, but programmes like the BBC’s The Secret Life of the Cat show that they’re not alone. We love knowing what our cats get up to, and a collar camera like the EYENIMAL is a great way to find out exactly what that is, with its splash-proof build, night mode and audio recording.

The only downfall is that there’s no option for live streaming, so you can’t tap in to watch in real time which neighbour’s bin puss is currently rummaging through, but it’s a fun little tool for watching back your cat’s adventures after they’ve been out and about. 

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