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The best pet cameras you can buy this Amazon Pet Day

A pet camera makes it easy to check in on your fur baby while you work or run errands. ZDNET rounded up the best pet cameras to check out this Amazon Pet Day.
Written by Allison Murray, Staff Writer and  Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
Furbo 360° Dog Camera | Best pet camera overall
A white pet camera tossing treats into a corgi next to it
Furbo 360° Dog Camera
Best pet camera overall
View now View at Amazon
SwitchBot Pan/tilt camera 2K | Best budget pet camera
SwitchBot cam with hidden lens
SwitchBot Pan/tilt camera 2K
Best budget pet camera
View now View at Amazon
Rocki Robot | Best interactive pet camera
Rocki pet companion next to a cat
Rocki Robot
Best interactive pet camera
View now View at Rockirobot
Petcube Play 2 | Best pet camera for cats
A cube pet camera with a white cat reaching out towards it
Petcube Play 2
Best pet camera for cats
View now View at Amazon
Google Nest Cam (2nd Generation) | Best smart home pet camera
Four Google Nest cameras in a row
Google Nest Cam (2nd Generation)
Best smart home pet camera
View now View at Amazon

In a perfect world, we'd be able to bring our pets everywhere we go. However, that's not always possible -- sometimes our pets have to stay home without us. 

Today, Amazon celebrates our fur babies by introducing Amazon Pet Day from May 2 at 12 a.m. PT through May 3 at 12 p.m. PT -- which should help you save money on your pet's needs. Think of the event as an Amazon Prime Day but for pet products (and the sale is open to all Amazon shoppers, not just Prime subscribers).

If you wish you could check on your dog or cat while you're at work, the store, or out with friends, then you can't go wrong with a pet camera. Being able to watch your pup or kitty while you're out can help you make sure they don't cause any trouble. 

Plus, you can talk to them with two-way audio so they can rest assured you didn't disappear forever. Some models even feed them their favorite treats. 

Also: The best automatic pet feeders

I've rounded up the best pet cameras with all these features (and more) to help you keep tabs on your pups and felines this Amazon Pet Day.

Pros & Cons
  • Great camera quality and night vision
  • Treat-tossing feature
  • Barking sensor
  • Best for dogs rather than cats
  • App connectivity could be better
More Details

Furbo 360° Dog Camera features: 1080p video quality | 360-degree viewing angle | Two-way audio | Treat dispenser

The latest Furbo 360° Dog Camera is a rotating camera capable of capturing all your fur baby's best angles. With 360-degree dog tracking capability, this Furbo camera means you won't have any blind spots when you're looking for your pet on the app. 

This is our pick for the best pet camera, thanks to its wide variety of features at a decent price point. Aside from its treat-tossing feature, which every pet will love, it also has night vision, two-way audio, and 1080p full HD video so you can see what your pet is up to and talk to them at any time. It even has a barking sensor to detect when your dog is barking, so you can tune in to see if something is wrong or talk to them to calm them down. 

Plus, it works with an Echo Show device, so you can ask Alexa to show you what your dog is up to in the other room (and that he isn't eating your shoe again).

Pros & Cons
  • 360-degree movement
  • Privacy mode
  • 2K resolution
  • Motion tracking can be slow
  • No treat dispensing
More Details

SwitchBot Pan/tilt camera 2K features: 1440p video quality | Two-way audio | 360-degree field of view

The SwitchBot Pan/Tilt 2K is also a 360-degree rotating camera, but rather than a dedicated pet cam, this is actually a security camera that can double as a pet cam or baby monitor. 

Most pet cameras can be on the expensive side, but this SwitchBot cam is an affordable (but reliable) option for those that don't mind not having a treat dispenser built-in, as this one doesn't have one. It's the camera I use with my dog because he doesn't notice it most of the time. So I can watch him in silence as much as I want.

Review: This $50 camera proves you're probably overspending for your smart home

As soon as your pet comes into view, this camera will detect movement and track them, so you don't miss a thing. You have the option to sign up for cloud storage via Bluetooth or use an SD card for local storage.

Pros & Cons
  • Move it around to find your pet
  • Treat-tossing feature
  • Laser-pointer & cat toy
  • Needs charging every couple days
More Details

Rocki Robot features: 1080p video quality | Treat-tossing & laser pointer | Two-way audio | Mobile robot

The Rocki is an interactive pet camera that features a laser pointer, feather toy, camera, and treat dispenser. You can virtually control it via the free app to move it around your home and follow your pet, keeping them interested and entertained. It moves easily over different surfaces, handling rug-to-tile transitions and tile-to-cat-scratching-pole like an off-road vehicle.

Review: Meet Rocki, the robot pet companion

Other features include two-way audio so your pet can follow your voice, night vision, and eight hours of continuous battery life on a single charge.

Pros & Cons
  • The laser will keep cats occupied and active
  • Amazon Alexa capabilities
  • Built-in vet chat
  • Most expensive option on our list
  • Additional special features are only available with a monthly subscription
More Details

Petcube Play 2 features: 1080p video quality | 160-degree field of view | 4x digital zoom | Two-way audio

This pet camera is perfect for your feline friend. It has a built-in laser toy you can control no matter where you are -- cats will love it while you are away for the day. While on the expensive side, this pet camera has premium features like real-time sound and motion alerts, premium two-way audio with four microphones, and a built-in Alexa assistant so you can order your pet's favorite treats with your voice.

There's also a built-in vet chat option that lets you chat with a licensed vet if you have any questions about your pet's behavior. In addition, the nonstick rubber bottom makes it harder for your mischievous cat to knock it over.

Pros & Cons
  • Two-way audio with noise cancellation
  • Activity zones
  • Can control the other smart home devices in your home
  • No pet-specific features
More Details

Google Nest Cam (2nd Generation) features: 1080p video quality | 135-degree field of view | 6x digital zoom | 4 color options

If you're one of the many pet owners looking for a smart home device and security camera that can double as a pet camera, the Google Nest Cam is a great option to keep a watchful eye on your dog or cat that works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa devices. 

This can be one of the best pet cameras with smart home integrations, especially if your home runs on Google Home's automation system. 

With a Google Nest Cam, you can set activity zones that only cover the areas you want to be notified about, like a specific room or hallway you'd like to know when your pet goes to it. It also has night vision up to 15 feet, making it easy to see what your furry friends are getting up to late at night. It also has 6x zoom and two-way audio with noise cancellation.

What is the best pet camera?

The best pet camera is the Furbo 360 Dog Camera due to its camera quality, unique features like a treat dispenser and a barking sensor, and its price. But it's not the only pet camera to boast these features. 

Other pet cameras have features that are more or less important to different pet owners. We break it down to help you choose the best pet camera for you:

Best pet camerasZDNET's takePriceViewing angleTreat-tossingBark detectionExtra features
Furbo 360° Dog CameraBest overall$210360 degreesDog tracking, two-way audio, night vision
SwitchBot Pan Tilt 2KBest budget-friendly$50360 degrees--Motion tracking, two-way audio, privacy mode
RockiBest interactive option$209Full-range motion-Toy mount, Laser pointer, two-way audio, night vision
Petcube Play 2Best for cats$199160 degrees-Laser pointer, Alexa built-in, two-day audio, bark and meow sensor
Google Nest CamBest smart home integrations$100135 degrees--Smart home integrations, two-way talk, night vision

Which pet camera is right for you?

Any of these pet cameras are great options, so it ultimately comes down to what video qualities are important to you, what (if any) special features you want, and what price you're willing to spend.

Choose this pet camera...If you want...
Furbo 360° Dog CameraThe best option with 360-degree coverage, a treat dispenser, and bark detection
SwitchBot Pan Tilt 2KAn inexpensive camera that covers 360 degrees and tracks motion
RockiA robot that can help you find your pets remotely when they play hide and seek
Petcube Play 2The best cat camera, complete with a laser pointer and meow/bark detection
Google Nest CamA smart home camera that, though limited in pet features, has integrations with Google Home and Alexa

How did we choose these pet cameras?

To choose the best pet cameras, we expertly combined extensive research into the product category with personal experience with them and our own fur babies. 

We also compared factors like pricing, reviews (both good and bad), different features that make each pet camera stand out, and the video quality of each camera.

Do I need a pet camera?

While a camera made specifically for pets can have fun features like treat dispensers or barking detection, you can still check in on your pet with an indoor security camera. If you opt for a regular indoor camera, be sure to still look for features like motion detection, 1080p video quality, and different viewing angles.

In addition, you can always turn on your computer's webcam while you are away and use Skype or FaceTime to see what your cat or dog is getting up and record the session. 

Can pet cameras help with separation anxiety?

Each pet is different and has different emotions/triggers when it comes to separation anxiety. While a pet camera with two-way audio that allows your pet to hear your voice might help some animals, others might find it stressful that you aren't physically there or get triggered by the look/sounds of the pet camera itself. You know your pet best -- so you'll know what works for them!

Are there alternative pet cameras to consider?

Here are a few other options worth looking into:

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