The 7 Best Pet Cameras of 2020

Know what your furry friends are up to when you're not around

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The Rundown
"A fantastic design with an included ‘treat tossing’ function."
"Keep an eye on your furry friends without shelling out for a fancy pet camera with lots of bells and whistles."
"Widely regarded as the best overall pet camera on the market."
"Toss a treat to your pet, play a game of catch, or reward your dog for good behavior."
Best Indoor/Outdoor:
Netgear Arlo at Amazon
"Receive real-time e-mail or app notifications for an added layer of peace of mind."
"Offering an outstanding HD video experience while you’re away from home."
Best Features:
PetCube Play 2 at Amazon
"The Petcube Play 2 comes loaded with play features to engage your furry friend, supports 2-way audio, and sound and motion alerts."

The best pet cameras should have good video quality and audio so you can engage with your pet, solid security and safety features, and have cloud backup in case you want to save clips and videos. Pet cameras are useful to owners who can't always be at home during the day and want to keep an eye on their furry friend. The best pet camera in the category is the Furbo Dog Camera at Amazon. It has an innovative design that lets you toss treats to your pets and play games, all while watching them on the 720p camera. It can also intelligently push alerts to your phone based on barking and other noises.

If your needs are more general home security, you might be interested in taking a look at our list of the best home security cameras. Curious whether a pet cam can be hacked? Find out if that's really an issue in our explainer.

Without further ado, read on to see the best pet cameras to buy.

Best Overall: Furbo Dog Camera

If you really want to have some fun with your pet, the Furbo dog camera offers a fantastic design with an included “treat tossing" function. Capable of holding around 30 pieces of your dog’s favorite treat, you can quickly play a game of fetch when you’re away by shooting the treat out of the Furbo and watching with amusement on the 720p video camera. It has a 120-degree wide-angle view and comes with night vision.

Additionally, the two-way microphone allows communication from both parent and pet, so you can talk and listen to hear what your pet is up to and how it responds to the sound of your voice. The Furbo does require an Internet connection via Wi-Fi and allows for “bark alerts” by sending a push notification to your smartphone when it detects a pet making noise. The treat toss itself is easy to set up and works with just about any treat of your choosing. Furbo does recommend non-crushable treats between a half-inch to one-inch in length.

Best Budget: TOOGE Pet Camera

Having a pet is already a big investment. If you want to keep an eye on your furry friends without shelling out for a fancy pet camera with lots of bells and whistles, this pet camera from TOOGE is your best bet.

The TOOGE Pet Camera doesn’t have the ability to release treats while you’re away or send you notifications every time your dog barks, but it does let you watch your pet while you’re away, communicate with them via the two-way audio feature, and get motion detection alerts. It also offers night vision, 360-degree swivel and the ability for multiple people to watch the stream at the same time.

If you’re just looking for a way to check in with your pet while you’re away (or make sure they aren’t getting into any trouble), the TOOGE Pet Camera is a good option. Note that while the TOOGE app does work with iPhones, it is not compatible with Mac computers. 

Best Value: Petcube Play Interactive

Widely regarded as the best overall pet camera on the market, the Petcube Camera offers a 1080p video experience, two-way audio, night vision and a built-in laser for some away-from-home pet fun. Featuring a brushed aluminum design with curved corners, the Petcube looks both modern and capable before you even turn it on. Beyond its beautiful design, the Petcube focuses on its Android and iPhone-ready smartphone app (Apple Watch, too) that allows for real-time interaction with your pets with the included laser toy. Available in both autoplay and manual mode, the laser toy can keep your pets occupied for hours.

Additionally, the smartphone app allows for instant sharing of pictures and video clips to friends and family or social networks. Petcube even offers a subscription (cloud-based) service that allows for rewinding and playback of either 10 or 30 days of video history. The two-way audio allows pet parents to conveniently and, if necessary, secretly talk to their pets and let them know you're on the way home. The secure Petcube network is encrypted and secured through 128-bit encryption and other security protocols adding to your piece of mind. While it lacks a treat dispenser, the Petcube is attractive, functional and sets the bar for pet cameras.

Best Features: Pawbo Life Pet Wi-Fi Camera

The Pawbo Life Wi-Fi Camera has plenty of neat features that will make sure you never leave your dog’s side, even if you’re away from home. This camera, like others on this list, has a basic 720p stream and two-way audio. But the extra features are what really make the Pawbo camera stand out. Through the Pawbo app, you can toss a treat to your pet, letting you play a game of catch or rewarding your dog for good behavior. The camera is also equipped with a laser point you can toggle on and off, a unique feature that should be especially appealing to cat owners. The camera is great for a family or multiple roommates because it allows up to eight people to view the same stream simultaneously. You can also snap photos and record video.

There is one big downside: the camera doesn’t have night vision. That might be a dealbreaker if you need the ability to monitor your pet 24/7, but won't matter if you only plan to use the camera when you’re away during the day.

Best Indoor/Outdoor: Netgear Arlo

The Netgear Arlo security system is a fantastic HD camera system that doesn’t bill itself solely as a pet monitoring service, but what it lacks in features, it more than makes up for in outstanding performance. With a patented 100 percent wire-free design and magnetic mount that allows for discreet camera placement, monitoring every angle of your home is easy and trouble-free. The included night-vision capability is perfect for when you are away from home in the evening, but you want to make sure your pet isn't misbehaving. As a motion-activated system, owners can receive real-time e-mail or app notifications for an added layer of peace of mind.

Since it's both an indoor and outdoor camera, you can even add an additional waterproof camera to the system (sold separately) to monitor your yard to see if your pet is playing nicely outdoors while you’re away. With optimal placement around seven feet above floor level and an ideal range of motion detection from around five to 20 feet, there’s more than enough room to place the camera in a large area and see absolutely everything your pet is doing.

Best Motion Sensor: Blink Indoor Home Security Camera System

As a dedicated home security camera system, the Blink product offers an outstanding HD video experience while you’re away from home. It's powered by two AA batteries and connected online via built-in Wi-Fi. Once you’re online, connect to the Blink system through the downloaded iOS and Android smartphone apps or via voice control through the available Amazon Alexa “skill.” At just 3.2 x 4.5 x 9.3 inches and weighing just under one pound, the Blink system can be placed just about anywhere you want to monitor a pet including over a doorway, in front of a sofa or covering a large room.

With both motion and temperature sensors, the Blink introduces peace of mind that goes well beyond pet monitoring since it can double as a home-protective service as well. As soon as the Blink system detects your pet’s movement in front of the camera, the video starts recording and an alert is sent to any connected devices, so you can instantly discover what your pet is doing. Blink owners can quickly expand the camera system with the purchase of additional camera units (sold separately) and cover every aspect of their home as needed. Without any monthly fees, the Blink offers free cloud storage for up to two hours of video clips.

Best Features: PetCube Play 2

The Petcube Play 2 is the successor to the first generation Petcube Play. It expands on the features and functionality of the previous one, offering more features to help engage your pet and keep them safe while you're away at work. The Play 2 connects to Wi-Fi and comes with 24/7 pet monitoring. You can watch your pet play on the 1080p camera which has a 160-degree wide angle, 4x zoom, and night vision. It'll even put sound and motion alerts to your phone.

Other features include 2-way audio so you can talk to your pet. Sound quality is improved with the 4 microphone array, and you even get Amazon Alexa's voice assistant built in so you can add this device to your smart home network. Last, but not least, if your cat or dog is the playful sort, you can control the Play 2 from your phone to keep your pet entertained with the built-in laser (don't worry, it's pet safe). It can even do it automatically if you want.

Final Verdict

The best pet camera to buy is the Furbo Dog Camera. It has everything a dog owner could want, from a treat tossing function, to solid video, and even alerts pushed to your phone when your dog barks. We also like the budget TOOGE camera (view at Amazon), It can't release treats, but it can push notifications, and it supports night-vision, motion detection, and two-way audio.

How We Tested

We bought four top-rated pet cameras and had our reviewers (and their pets) test them daily for weeks on end. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these pet cameras, from their interactive abilities to their data security. We've outlined the major points here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a Pet Camera

Interaction - It’s important to think about what you hope to get out of a pet camera before you buy it. Many people simply like observing their dog or cat while they’re away from home, while others are concerned about safety or want to make sure their furniture isn’t being destroyed. If your issue is the latter, is having voice chat or the ability to remotely play with your pet important? Do you want to be able to hear your pet respond to your assurances? These are all things to be on the lookout for.

Security - It may seem ridiculous, but there are actually people out there who hack home cameras. That’s why it’s important to make sure that the camera you have is secure. Does the manufacturer offer regular firmware updates? Is it easy to change the default login information for the camera? Keeping an eye out for security features will give you some peace of mind.

Cloud services - Most home security cameras offer cloud services, but do you need cloud storage services for your pet camera? Of course, that’s up to you, but it’s worth deciding whether you need it — and if so, how much extra you’re willing to shell out for it.