Whether at work, on an errand, or away on vacation, a pet cam is a veritable solution to monitoring your animal’s behavior, and observing how visitors interact with your pet when you’re not able. Pet cams offer a rare glimpse into your pet’s life when you’re not there, thereby giving you a greater understanding of how your dog or cat responds to your absence.
Digital pet cams, which can be viewed online through your Smartphone, PC, or Mac, allow you to check in on your pet anytime of the day while on the go or at the office. Once your digital camera is installed, you simply type in the device’s IP address in any web browser to gain access to your live video feed, or use an app to view video on Smartphone devices such as the iPhone, Android, and iPad. You’ll find that viewing your camera online is incredibly easy and convenient.
Behavior problems such as separation anxiety often trigger the need for a pet cam as well as the unshakable desire to make sure your pet is safe and being treated properly by other individuals when you’re away. Furthermore, pet cams are helpful in assuaging any worries or concerns you have when leaving your pet.
VideoSurveillance.com recently spoke with All Things Dog Blog site author Carrie Boyko on the subject of pet cams and how they can be best leveraged in the home. Boyko’s blog offers up-to-date advice, reviews, pet problem solving, bonding exercises, and helpful information to conscientious dog owners. Her blog is considered one of the top pet blogs of today, and features guest blogs and columns written by well-respected trainers and vets. She often shares her own dog stories to her close-knit reader base, many of whom have followed her blog since it began in 2009. To date, her site’s Facebook and Twitter pages have generated thousands of fans.
VideoSurveillance.com: How can pet cams help dog owners?
Carrie Boyko: First and foremost, dog owners need to understand their pet's behavior during their absences. For instance, is my dog anxious, frightened, playful, sedentary, curious, noisy, or quiet? Many dogs behave very differently when their owners disappear out the door. Knowing what is going on with our pets is essential to understanding any problems and helping to fix them.
VideoSurveillance.com: What would you use a pet camera for if you were to ever own one?
Carrie Boyko: I believe the pet camera would serve a different purpose for each dog. My Papillon and my Golden Retriever have very different needs, and therefore I would need to install and use the pet cam differently for each dog I chose to "spy" on. I also believe a pet cam is a wonderful tool for keeping track of how my pet is treated by others who enter the home such as housekeepers, repairmen, employees, etc.
VideoSurveillance.com: What types of dogs do you think make the best candidates for pet cams and why?
Carrie Boyko: Households with multiple dogs would seem the most useful places for such an investment. Just knowing which pup is instigating trouble or causing damage would be useful in designing deterrents or training to stop the problem.
Puppies should be contained to a crate during training and exercised heartily when pet parents are home, to assist with getting the pup through the chewing stages. However some dogs chew eagerly throughout their lives and may require a watchful eye to figure out a solution.
Escape artists such as my Golden Retriever often learn new skills and it can be helpful to understand how they are able to unlock child-guard gates or open other pet's crates.
Dogs with separation anxiety or other phobias may need owner intervention to help them deal with their fears. Seeing the dog in action during an episode is important. Likewise, a sick or elderly dog would benefit from the pet parent seeing its behavior or recurrence of symptoms while they are away.
VideoSurveillance.com: What has prompted your interest in someday owning a pet cam, and why do you think it’s so important to some pet owners while others not?
Carrie Boyko: Every dog and every owner have different needs. There are probably dozens of different ways a pet cam can be used to assist a pet parent. For my part, I could find great usefulness in owning an outdoor pet cam to watch my Golden Retriever while he plays in the yard. He is trained to remain inside our lot line, but sometimes kids tease him to encourage him to come out, which I would want to know about and address. Likewise, other dogs that are off-leash sometimes wander into our yard and are unfriendly. For these and other reasons, I do not leave Tanner outdoors alone. His friendly greeting may be more than a 3-year-old walking on our sidewalk would want. Safety comes first.
VideoSurveillance.com: Where would you place your pet camera if you owned one?
Carrie Boyko: An excellent question, but I suppose for the purpose of this interview, I would choose a spot that can best view the area that I want to watch most closely. I would assume I can move the camera from time to time, in order to address different issues. I’d like to have a camera that rotates back and forth. (VideoSurveillance.com note: These are called Pan-Tilt-Zoom Cameras, and make excellent pet cameras).
VideoSurveillance.com: What features are important to you in a pet cam?
Carrie Boyko: A cell phone app would be most important of all, as this device is always with me and would allow me to check up on Fido frequently. A camera with motion detection may be useful for some pets for recording only when the dog is up and around the area he spends time in. Also, noise-detection cameras may be useful to families who have "barkers" and need to determine the cause.
VideoSurveillance.com thanks Carrie Boyko for taking the time to answer our questions. Visit her site All Things Dog Blog for dog tips, advice, and helpful strategies for pet parents.