Skip to main content

Guide to Choosing the Best Pet Camera

Sep 14, 2022|

It can be hard to leave your pets at home when you have to go to work, on vacation, or anywhere else. Even if you have a trusted friend taking care of them, you can’t help but worry about your furry companions.

Are they safe? Are they hungry? Are they happy?

A pet camera can help pet owners keep tabs on their animals even when they’re not at home. The right device can give you peace of mind that your animals are OK so you can focus on working, running errands, or just having fun.

There are a lot of cameras out there that can help you record video footage of your pets. While you want to get a high-quality camera, you don’t necessarily want to pay for features you don’t need.

This guide provides some helpful information you can use to pick the best pet camera for your needs.

Vivint Indoor Camera.

What to look for when choosing the best indoor camera for pets

What should you look for when shopping for a pet camera? It depends on your needs. There are many different camera models with an array of features.

The next few sections explain some factors that can make your decision easier.

Let’s be neighbors.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more smart tips.

Ease of installation

Some home security cameras can be more difficult than others to install. For example, wired security cameras need to be connected to your home’s electrical system. This means you may need to drill into your drywall to access your home’s wiring structure.

It’s usually a good idea to have a professional install wired cameras if you don’t have professional experience working with electrical systems.

Wireless cameras are easier to DIY install. However, you’ll still have to connect wireless pet cameras to your phone using a Wi-Fi connection if you want to view a live stream of your pet from your Apple or Android smartphone or another mobile device.

Even if you have wireless cameras, a professional installer can help you get the most out of them. An installation expert, like those working with Vivint, can install your cameras in the right locations to give you the best security coverage possible. They’ll also make sure your indoor camera works flawlessly with your internet devices and smart devices.

Pet-friendly features

The key difference between dedicated pet cameras and home security cameras is that pet cameras usually have functions that help you interact with your animals.

Depending on your camera model, you might be able to talk to, play with, or even feed your pet while you’re on the go. Here are some of the best interactive features some pet cameras possess.

  • Two-way audio: Two-way audio (or two-way talk) lets you see and talk to your pet when you’re away. If your pet gets lonely or restless while you’re at work, use two-way audio to soothe them with your voice.
  • Treat tossing: Some cameras have treat dispensers that you can operate remotely. This can come in handy if you’re in the process of training your pet. For example, you could give your dog a chewy treat when they follow a command.
  • Toys: Some pet cams have built-in toys so you can play with your furry friends when you’re away. For instance, a camera might have a laser pointer or a feather for your cat to chase around the living room.
  • Virtual checkups: A few pet cameras have services that let you automatically speak to professional veterinarians if your cameras catch any troubling behavior from your pet. Depending on the system, you may even be able to share a video recording with your vet automatically.
  • Wide-angle view: A wide-angle lens can help you get a wide field of view of your home so you can see your pet move across the room.
English Bulldog in the living room.


A quality app

If you want to check up on your animals remotely, you’ll need a reliable mobile app that connects with your smartphone. A great mobile app, like the Vivint smart security app, lets you watch live footage or video recordings of your pets from your smartphone so you can see what they’re up to during the day.

An app will also use your Wi-Fi connection to send notifications whenever anything unusual happens in your home. A camera from a reputable security company will usually have a very reliable app. A great app may even let your camera integrate with other smart devices, like your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector, to tell you when your pets are in danger.

If you’re buying a pet camera or security camera as part of a larger smart home system, a trustworthy mobile app lets you control all your smart devices remotely from a single point. When your devices work together, you can program them to perform actions together.

For example, you might program your smart locks to lock, your garage door to close, and your camera to automatically activate when you leave for work in the morning.

Reliable detection features

Many indoor cameras have motion tracking, which sends motion alerts when people or objects move in or around your home. You may also get alerts when your pets are overly restless.

Many security cameras have functionality to differentiate humans from animals. This feature can help you avoid false alarms if you have a professionally monitored system. Professional monitoring services will automatically call emergency services if they can’t reach you when your alarm goes off, and some locales issue fines for security systems that make unnecessary emergency calls.

In addition to motion detection, pet cameras can also have sound detection features like barking alerts. If your camera has barking alerts, it will send you notifications when your pet has been barking or howling longer than a specific amount of time (usually around a minute).

This type of alert can help you tell if your dog is barking at the mail person or if they’re barking at an intruder who won’t go away. Barking alerts can also help you recognize howls or shrieks that could mean your dog is in pain.

Data security

One of the downsides to using Wi-Fi cameras is that they can be vulnerable to hackers. While you can do things to lower the likelihood that your system will be hacked, like having a strong password, you should also ensure that your security camera has data security functions to protect your personal information and video footage.

For example, Vivint security cameras let you control when your cameras record. Simply put your Vivint security camera in privacy mode when you don’t want it to take video. When your camera is in private mode, anyone who hacks it will only see a blank screen.

Before buying a security camera (which can double as a pet camera), do some research to see if the security company has a good track record with data security. You might want to think twice before buying a camera from a company with a long history of data breaches.

Pet cameras vs. home security cameras: key differences

While pet cameras have a lot of features that can help you interact with your pets, many of those features come with a hefty price tag. While all the interactive features that dedicated pet cameras have can be fun, general indoor security cameras are effective tools for pet monitoring.

A security camera can have features like night vision, full HD video recording (1080p HD), cloud storage, and real-time streaming. The only thing you can’t do with normal security cameras is feed or play with your pet (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing).

For some animals, interacting with a pet camera can be stressful. But what could be bad about getting fed a treat or chasing a laser toy from a camera with your voice?

Animals use a variety of senses to identify you. For example, your dog may recognize you by your face, odor, or voice.

Imagine that your dog sees, hears, and smells you every day. All of a sudden, they get a treat and hear your voice coming out of a robot that doesn’t smell or look like you. This confusion can be nerve-wracking for some animals.

Are home security cameras good for watching your pets?

Pet cameras can cost as much as a few hundred dollars more than security cameras. And a Wi-Fi pet camera may not even have many of the benefits as some smart security cameras, like multiple video storage options (such as a microSD card or cloud storage), full HD video quality, and the ability to integrate with programs like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

If you don’t want to spend the money on a dedicated pet camera, a home security HD camera can be a great option for keeping track of your pet. Cameras from reliable security companies, like Vivint, can also integrate with your greater security system and smart setup.

Dog sitting in front of a Vivint Indoor Camera.

Discover Vivint indoor security cameras to watch your pet

It’s easy for pet parents to get separation anxiety when they have to leave their furry friends behind for an extended period. If you’re the type of person who spends your day worrying about your animal, a pet camera can help you watch live video of and entertain your animal from anywhere.

However, not all pets enjoy playing with a machine. And pet cameras can be really expensive. Sometimes, a home security camera can monitor your furry friends just as well as a dedicated pet cam but at a more affordable price. Cameras from security companies can also have the benefit of working with other security devices and programs like Amazon Alexa.

Reach out to Vivint, and we’ll set you up with one of our professionals. They’ll help you find all the smart tools you need to protect your home and loved ones (both furry and not furry).

Our helpful experts will also guide you through the process of designing your ideal smart home setup to make your home more comfortable, efficient, and convenient. Call us at at 855.822.1220 for a free consultation today.

Get a free quote today.

A Vivint Smart Home Pro will contact you within 24 hours. Or skip the form and call now: 844.481.8630.

Clicking the button below constitutes your electronic signature and consent for Vivint and its parent company NRG to use automated technology, including calls, texts and prerecorded messages, to contact you at the number provided about Vivint and NRG offers. Consent not required to make a purchase. Up to 10msg/month. Reply 'STOP' to opt-out. See Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

*Offer Details

Qualifying system purchase requires minimum $599.99 expenditure on equipment after all discounts have been applied, professional installation, and execution of Vivint monitoring services agreement. Click here for monthly service plan prices. DIY system purchases and reactivations of previously-installed systems not eligible for offer. Offer not available in all states or provinces. Equipment purchase may be financed separately subject to an agreement with one of Vivint's third-party financing partners. Monthly $1.48 cellular network maintenance fee applies. Taxes and local permit fees may apply.

Third-Party Financing Options Available

Financing eligibility and terms subject to credit approval by one of Vivint's third-party financing partners. Qualified customers may finance equipment purchase at 0% APR for up to 60 months. Month-to-month service agreement available when equipment is purchased upfront.

Vivint Systems & Services

System supports up to six cameras subject to sufficient WiFi speeds. Without a Vivint services plan, product and system functionality is limited (including loss of remote connectivity). Speak to a Vivint representative at the phone number in this offer for complete equipment, services, and package details, including pricing and financing details. Products and services in Louisiana provided by Vivint Louisiana Commercial Certificate #58280. See Vivint license numbers here.