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Some people worry and stress about leaving beloved pets alone at home. Some “hoomans” can prove to be clingy and would want to sneak a peek of their pets at home just to see how they are and what they are doing. Others would even want to play with them.
If you are this kind of pet owner, there is good news for you. And this good news comes in the form of smart pet cameras and treat dispensers. These devices are sound investments if you want to raise happy and healthy pets.
It would seem that smart pet cameras peaked early on, not in terms of popularity, but in terms of features. As early as two or three years ago, the market has seen a range of smart pet cameras and treat dispensers that deliver top video quality, strong and attractive design, and the ability to dispense treats. There is a smart pet camera for every dog or cat parent’s needs and preferences.
To differentiate their products from that of their competition, more and more manufacturers are coming up with more features, services, and accessories to add to their camera offerings.
What are the best pet cameras and treat dispensers to buy in 2018?
Contents (Jump to)
- 1 For those who want value for their money: Pawbo+
- 2 For the budget conscious: Petzi Wi-Fi Cam and Treat Dispenser
- 3 For the serious pet lover: PetChatz HD
- 4 For Dogs Only: Furbo Dog Camera
- 5 For High Definition (but not a High price): Petcube Bites
- 6 For Treats + Camera: Petcube Play
- 7 On the other extreme: The Best (Purely) Smart Pet Feeders
For those who want value for their money: Pawbo+
Pawbo+ Wi-Fi Pet Treat Cam is for pet lovers who want to check in on their pets while they are away and play with them or give them a tasty reward for being good. At $199, the Pawbo+ gives you:
- A camera that delivers 720-pixels high-definition live streaming video and a 130-degree wide-angle lens.
- The ability to take pictures and instantly share it on social media.
- A two-way audio that allows your pets to hear you.
- A treats dispenser to reward your pets for good behavior.
- A laser pointer game that lets you play with your pets even when you are away. You can also set it to play with your pets automatically at times when you are busy.
If you have cats, you will want to get the Pawbo Catch. The Pawbo Catch is an optional accessory that lets you play with your cats.
Why Pawbo+ is in this list: As it is, the Pawbo+ gives you a good pet camera with HD streaming video and a wide-viewing angle that lets you see more of the room it is installed in. But what makes it even more attractive is the interactive laser game that can give your pets more exercise even when you are not around.
One emerging trend in the smart pet camera and treat dispenser space is the launch of accessories to add more functionality to the pet camera. It would be hard to improve on the camera features and the treat dispensers that we have right now. It already delivers HD videos and the dispensers work just fine. So accessories are the way to go. And Pawbo+ seems to be on that path with the introduction of the Pawbo Catch. The company also launched the theme park concept centering on their pet camera. The Pawbo Theme Park features several other accessories working together to make life a whole lot more fun for your pets – and a lot more convenient for you.
For the budget conscious: Petzi Wi-Fi Cam and Treat Dispenser
The Petzi Wi-Fi Cam and Treat Dispenser is a good treat dispensing pet camera. You can see what your pets are doing, snap a photo of them, and give them a treat, as well as talk to them using the smartphone app. You can do all of these even when you are not home.
You can check out my full Petzi Review for the full picture
The Petzi Wi-Fi Cam and Treat Dispenser can also be mounted on walls. This way, you do not have to worry about it falling over. The audio is also very clear that it would feel like you really are at home! And if you find your pet doing something cute, you can snap a photo or record a video and send it to your friends.
In our 2017 article, we have previously noted the selling points of the Petzi Cam:
- Durable and attractive case
- Good quality audio and video
- Excellent customer service
- Camera turns on only with app access
- Secure 128-bit encryption protects your privacy
What’s more, the video it records is HD quality with a frame rate of 30 frames per second. And it includes night vision for its camera, so if you are out of the house at night, you can still check on your pets.
If you are looking for something basic, then the Petzi Cam is for you. It does not have two-way audio and video, meaning you can see the feeds and hear your pets but there is no way for them to see or hear you.
For the serious pet lover: PetChatz HD
PetChatz HD is one of the best treat dispensing pet cameras out there. But it was very expensive, selling at $380 while all of its closest competitors such as the Petzi Wi-Fi Cam and Treat Dispenser and the Pawbo Wi-Fi Pet Treat Cam sold for less than $200. The company has since cut the prices down by $50 to $329.99, but it is still the most expensive pet treat dispenser and camera out there.
For my full take, check out the PetChatz Review I did
However, the PetChatz HD remains our number 1 choice because of the PawCall. This optional accessory allows your pets to call you. It also doubles as a game accessory, giving your pets the chance to play fun brain games. You would need to pay $90 for this accessory, but if you are serious about making sure that your dogs or cats do not feel neglected at home, then it should be a good investment.
There are other features that justify the PetChatz HD’s higher price tag. There’s the two-way audio and video capability, allowing you to not only talk to your pets but also let them see you. You can monitor your pets in silence, and spray a calming scent for them. Plus, this pet treat dispenser and camera comes from a company that is as serious as you are when it comes to making your pets feel loved, so they are constantly coming up with a variety of added services such as Digital Daycare and DOGTV streaming.
Our recommendations before: The PetChatz camera is incredible, to say the least. It is loaded with features that really set it apart from the competition. This unit has an HD camera that allows you to see your pet and for your pet to see you.
Scientists estimate that roughly half of call dogs and cats will look at a television screen, so if your pet seems to watch TV, this is a great way to improve interaction with them. Just like the camera, audio is dual as well.
Aside from having a treat dispenser, which is a common feature of pet cameras, this model also has a scent dispenser. All you need to do is add an essential oil (either PetChatz brand or another pet-safe brand) or any other scent to a special pad which you put into the device. When you call in to see your pet, this scent will be released while you talk. If your dog experiences separation anxiety, using a calming oil or even a little bit of the perfume/cologne you wear regularly can really help.
Finally, to really maximize the fun this device offers, you should also get the PetChatz PetCall. The PetCall device is literally a way for your pet to call you. You can train your dog to press the button when they would like to contact you.
You will get an alert and can turn on the camera so you and your pet can see each other. This additional PetCall device retails for $99.99 and also has little built-in light games for your pet.
The PetChatz camera comes with the cam unit, PetChatz treats, PetChatz Scentz pads, a sample of Petchatz essential oil in Calm scent, and instruction manual.
It may be more expensive than other pet cameras but it’s a lifesaver for those with pets who have separation anxiety issues or for owners that often go on trips but want to see what their pet is up to at home.
Why PetChatz HD is on this list.
ThePetChatz HD has high-definition camera and display, allowing you to fully interact with your pets even when you are not home. You can also check the streaming video on your desktop computer if you find your phone screen too small. PetChatz HD will also send you alerts when unusual motion is detected in the room, and it can deliver 100 treats if you want it. Plus, the scent dispenser is a great addition for those pets with separation anxiety as it helps them calm down.
For Dogs Only: Furbo Dog Camera
Furbo Dog Camera snubs cats and focuses on our canine friends. Dog parents can use Furbo in order to check in on their dogs, see if they are lonely or perhaps getting into some mischief. The company talked to dog trainers and veterinarians to come up with their dog camera’s design, and they guarantee that the Furbo Dog Camera can make it easier for you to comfort, reward, and even train your dogs.
You can check out the full Furbo Review that I originally did when it came out
Furbo Dog Camera offers a 1080p HD quality cam, with a field of view of 160 degrees. You can place it in a large room because of the 4x digital zoom. If Spot is far away when you check in, you can just zoom in to see what he is up to. And with the night vision, you can see things at home even at night. On top of being able to see a live stream of what’s happening at home, you can also record videos and capture photos and then share them with your friends.
Furbo also has two-way audio, so your dog can hear you. If you prefer it, you will also get notified when your dog barks. More importantly, the Furbo Dog Camera does not just dispense treats, it tosses it! It would be like you are tossing the treats yourself.
The Furbo Dog Camera uses a stable design because it is meant to be kept on the floor, instead of being mounted on the wall. You do not have to worry about it falling over because it comes with 3-M adhesives at the bottom. It also does not hurt that the Furbo Dog Camera looks very modern and sleek, especially with its bamboo wooden cover.
Furbo has also recently introduced the Smart Dog Alerts. This feature uses artificial intelligence to analyze your dog’s activities and notify you if there are important events at home. For instance, if your dog is sitting in front of the Furbo Dog Camera waiting for a treat to come out, the mobile app will tell you about it and you can decide whether to toss a treat or not. This new feature includes:
- Dog Selfie Alert: The Furbo Dog Camera can detect dog faces and instantly capture a selfie that it sends to you.
- Dog Activity Alert: The camera can also detect when your dog is playing or running around. It will then alert you so that you can check in to see what your dog is playing with.
- Person Alert: The Furbo Dog Camera will alert you if a person comes into view and sends you a notification. This will help you know when the dog trainer or walker arrives, or if there are burglars inside your home.
Furthermore, Furbo Dog Camera works with Amazon Alexa. If you are home, you can ask Alexa to toss Cupcakes a treat without having to fish out your smartphone.
You get all these dog-centric features, an outstanding camera, two-way audio and everything that the Furbo Dog Camera has to offer for only $249.
How does Furbo compare to other dog cameras?
For High Definition (but not a High price): Petcube Bites
Petcube Bites is something that you would want to show your friends. Petcube Bites looks more like a high-end audio speaker than a pet camera. It has a pretty solid build and it looks very pretty. There are four colors available for Petcube Bites: matte silver, rose gold, carbon black, and snow white.
You can see the full Petcube Bites Review that I did for more details
It also works well. It features a camera that gives you 1080p HD of resolution and a wide viewing angle of 138 degrees. It also comes with night vision, two-way audio, and 3x digital zoom. In other words, it has a camera that is almost comparable to Furbo’s. Almost. Petcube Bites also flings the treats for your dog to catch. You can dispense treats manually or on schedule, too.
The difference? For having a better camera, Furbo is priced $70 more than Petcube Bites, which sells at $179.
For Treats + Camera: Petcube Play
There are a lot of pet cameras that are available out there, but the Petcube Play is probably among the best-looking. The Petcube Play is shaped like a cube, with a black shiny plastic front. You can choose from carbon black, rose gold, and matte silver, allowing you to get the Petcube Play that blends well with your home’s interior.
The Petcube Play now has a more compact design that measures 3 inches on all sides. It offers 1080 pixels of video resolution and has a 138-degree viewing angle. It also features night vision, two-way audio, and 3x digital zoom. Petcube Play also allows you to play with your pets with the embedded laser game.
The best thing? All of these will set you back only $149.
On the other extreme: The Best (Purely) Smart Pet Feeders
For some dog and cat parents, feeding their pets might be a problem. It could be that they are constantly traveling, or they do not want their pets to overeat when they leave heaping amounts food on their bowl when they leave for work. Smart pet feeders will give your pets the food they need at a serving size that will be healthy for them. There are several smart pet feeders out there, and they work similarly. Depending on your needs, these are the best available in the market right now:
Feed and Go Smart Pet Feeder. This pet feeder is great if you give your pets wet food or if you need to sneak medication into their food. You can control portion sizes, but you will have to put in the food every day. With the onboard camera, you can watch from anywhere to make sure that your pets are eating. This Wi-Fi-connected device sells for $129.00.
Petamo SmartFeeder. If you have large pets that you would like to feed according to their own schedule, then the Petamo SmartFeeder is perfect for you because it can detect when your pet comes up to the bowl and start to dispense his food.
Petnet SmartFeeder. The Petnet SmartFeeder is perfect for smaller animals. This smart feeder proves that smart pet care devices can both be functional AND eye-catching.