The Best Pet Cameras You Can Buy Right Now

published Jul 7, 2023
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Photo of black and tan dachshund dog sitting in a room on a red patterned throw pillow. Seal in upper left with text: "Apartment Therapy The Best List: 2023 Pet Cameras"
Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Over the past decade, the prevalence of security cameras has grown exponentially. While people enjoy being able to check in on their homes while they’re away, and easily scan their rooms from their phone if an unfamiliar noise appears while they’re home, there’s also the benefit of being able to always keep an eye on pets. This is why the pet camera market, specifically, has skyrocketed. According to Emergence Research, the global pet camera market is expected to reach $525.8 million in 2028. For comparison’s sake, it rang in at just over $95 million in 2020. All this to say, pet cameras aren’t just some frivolous purchase made by a select few helicopter pet parents — they’ve become a mainstay in homes all across the world. 

Because of their ever-growing popularity, though, dozens of pet cameras are being released onto the market, and they’re not all well-suited for the job. With that in mind, we spent months researching and testing the best-selling pet cameras currently being sold. At the end of the day, it boiled down to five stellar pet cameras that boast crystal-clear picture quality and top-notch special features, all of which are easy to not only install but operate as well.


The Best Pet Cameras

What to Consider Before Buying a Pet Camera

There are a few things you’ll want to think about before jumping the gun and buying a pet camera. They are as follows:

Wireless or Wired

Pet cameras are sold in wireless and wired options. With this in mind, it’s important to think about where you plan to put your camera. If you’re hoping to angle it toward your dog’s bed or crate, you’ll want to take note of the wall outlets nearby. If there isn’t one, opting for a wireless pet camera will be more convenient. Though, keep in mind, wireless cameras typically require being charged, so you’ll have to keep an eye on battery levels.

Indoor or Outdoor

Like traditional home security cameras, pet cameras are sold in indoor, outdoor, and indoor/outdoor varieties. Since most pet cameras are designed for in-home use, you’ll want to pay close attention to labeling if you’re looking for a device that can be used outside. 

Special Features

Pet cameras are sold with a variety of special features but not all cameras tout the same ones. As such, it’s a good idea to think about when you’ll get the most use out of your camera. If it’s at night, you’ll want to ensure the camera has night vision; if it’s during the day while you’re out of the house, opting for a pet camera with two-way audio will be helpful, as you’ll be able to hear what’s happening in your home, as well as have the ability to talk to your pet through the device. Other special features that come in handy are motion detection — which will allow the camera to track movement — and voice control (so you can operate your camera by spoken word with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant). 

What We Look For in a Pet Camera

We tested a range of pet cameras with the below in mind:

  • Ease of use: How easy was it to set up your pet camera? How easy was it to use your pet camera? 
  • Feedback: How crisp is the picture quality? How clear is the sound quality? Does the video playback lag?
  • Size: How much space does the camera take up? What is the treat dispenser capacity (if it has one)?

The Best Pet Cameras

The Google Nest Wired Security Camera is one of the most popular home security cameras on the market — and we found it to be the best option for keeping an eye on dogs and cats. The compact camera can be perched on a table or shelf or mounted to the wall and features motion traction, so it will be able to follow movement anywhere within the frame, from wherever it is.  “This little machine gave me so much peace of mind while I’m at work or on vacation so I can quickly check in on my two kittens,” says commerce managing editor Tamara. 

“The picture is so crisp and when my pet enters the room the app sends me an alert telling me that there was ‘an animal seen,’ which is so helpful when I’m not at home and trying to keep an eye on them,” adds AT’s executive lifestyle director, Charli, who owns two dogs. “The zoom and camera quality is unmatched. I don’t just see them, I can see how they’re doing and feeling.” Best of all, she says, the frame of the camera is expansive. “One camera covers a very wide space — I’m able to see our living room, den, and entryway just by having one sitting on the fireplace mantle,” she shares.

Read our full review of the Google Nest Security Camera.

Specifications:

  • 2.24″ x 2.52″ x 3.88″; 14.1 oz.
  • 1080p
  • Tabletop and wall-mountable
  • Wired
  • Indoor only
  • Includes camera, mount, and hardware
  • Night vision, motion sensor, voice control, and 2-way audio
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled; compatible with Google Assistant
  • Available in 3 colors
  • 1-year limited warranty

Who It’s Best For: People who want to buy a single camera to cover an expansive section of their home.

Good to Know: You have to buy a Nest Aware subscription if you want to save more than three hours of event video history.

The Kasa Indoor Pan/Tilt Smart Security Camera is beloved by more than 15,000 Amazon shoppers for its picture-perfect video feedback and the ability to pan and tilt it from afar, which allows the user to see every angle of the space that it’s within. That’s because this camera doesn’t solely shift from side to side: It spins a full 360 degrees horizontally and 113 degrees vertically.

“The clear 1080p full HD provides you with high-quality video,” says AT’s cleaning & organizing editor, Stephanie. “I love the pan and tilt function, allowing you a wide range of motion to monitor your pet. I feel at ease knowing I can check in on my dog when I’m away from home, and I like that I can get alerts right to my phone when something is going on.” And for less than $40, it’s hard to beat. 

Specifications:

  • 3.23″ x 3.23″ x 4.43″; 15.2 oz.
  • 1080p
  • Tabletop and wall-mountable
  • Wired
  • Indoor only
  • Includes tilt camera, power adapter, 10′ USB cable, mounting hardware, and Quick Start Guide
  • Night vision, motion sensor, voice control, and 2-way audio
  • Wi-Fi enabled; compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
  • 2-year warranty

Who It’s Best For: Those looking for an affordable pet camera that sees everything.

Good to Know: You can record and store footage on a MicroSD card of up to 64 GB. For more storage, you’ll have to subscribe to a Kasa Care Plan.

The Geeni FREEBIRD HD 1080p pet camera has a lot of perks. For starters, it’s battery-operated, so you don’t have to worry about any wires or placing it near an outlet. Additionally, it’s waterproof, so you can use it just as easily outside as you can within your home, whether you choose to set it on a shelf or mount it to a wall.

“I really enjoyed the Geeni pet camera for my cat back at home,” says assistant news & culture editor Noella. “My mom leaves her to roam at work, so we were both curious about what she was up to while we weren’t there. The app made it really easy to navigate the audio and video, and my cat didn’t attempt to knock it down, so A+!”

Specifications:

  • 3.93″ x 3.14″ x 7.08″; 0.68 lbs.
  • 1080p
  • Wall-mounted
  • Wireless
  • Indoor/outdoor
  • Includes camera, mounting kit, power adapter, and guidebook
  • Night vision, motion sensor, waterproof, voice control, and 2-way audio
  • Wi-Fi enabled; compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
  • 1-year limited warranty

Who It’s Best For: Anyone looking for a camera that can be used in every situation — inside, outside, on a shelf, or mounted on the wall. 

Good to Know: The camera will record footage onto a local memory card, but it doesn’t come with the device. Instead, users get one month of free Geeni cloud storage before having to purchase a subscription.

If you’re in the market for a pet camera so small that it’s practically undetectable, look no further than the Amazon Blink Mini. Measuring under two inches, this teeny camera is unobtrusive while still able to capture a wide angle.

“I love this camera — it’s simple, cheap, and effective,” says AT marketing and brand partnerships coordinator Emma. “I like the recording feature, and the motion notifications are very reliable. It allows you to hear and talk to your pet if you want! The peace of mind I’ve gotten from this camera is priceless — and it’s so cheap.” Amazon reviewers also can’t get enough of the Blink Mini. It has a whopping 177,000 5-star reviews, making it the most popular pet camera on Amazon.

Specifications:

  • 2″ x 1.9″ x 1.4″; 1.7 oz.
  • 1080p
  • Tabletop and wall-mountable
  • Wired
  • Indoor only
  • Includes camera, stand, mounting kit, USB cable, and power adapter
  • Night vision, motion sensor, voice control, and 2-way audio
  • Wi-Fi enabled; compatible with Alexa
  • 1-year limited warranty

Who It’s Best For: Those looking for a small, affordable pet camera that lets users witness, hear, and speak to their pets.

Good to Know: Anytime you unplug this camera, you have to reconnect it to Wi-Fi, which can be a pain. 

Best Pet Camera with Treats: Owlet Home Pet Camera with Treat Dispenser

As wonderful as it is to be able to see, hear, and talk to your pets, it’s even better when you can give them treats from afar. If that’s your goal, we found the Owlet Home Pet Camera with Treat Dispenser to be the best option. “I’m really pleased with this pet cam; it has a really clear picture with a wide field of vision, and the treat dispenser is surprisingly strong — the treats aren’t just plopping straight in front of the camera as I worried they would,” says home projects director Megan. 

Another perk? It doesn’t take long to reboot after being unplugged. “I love how quick it is to get on and offline,” Megan says. “When we are home, I unplug the USB from the camera (to save energy and so that we don’t just have a camera pointed in our living room for no reason), and when we leave, I plug it back in. It’s back online within a minute. Very pleased with this camera!”

Specifications:

  • 5.2″ x 5.1″ x 10.1″; 2.4 lbs.
  • 1080p
  • Tabletop and wall-mountable
  • Wired
  • Indoor only
  • Available in 2 colors
  • Includes camera, USB cable, power adapter, and smart guide
  • Treat-dispensing, night vision, motion sensor, voice control, and 2-way audio
  • Wi-Fi enabled; compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
  • 1-year warranty

Who It’s Best For: People who want to be able to speak to and treat their pets from afar.

Good to Know: Because this camera has a treat dispenser, it’s important to clean it out every now and again to prevent bacteria from building up.