A pet camera is a really useful tool to monitor your pet's behaviour when you are away, even if you have a pet sitter watching your pet at your place. They often include a microphone so you can listen in if your dog or cat makes any noise, and you can capture footage that might be useful to have on hand if your pet has any behavioural issues. Here are three good reasons to use a pet cam + one catch you should be aware of.
1. Your dog's behaviour
What does your dog do when no one is home? You may have your suspicions (perhaps that they sleep all day, or, alternatively, bark the house down). But without being there, it's hard to say for sure. By monitoring your dog you can gain insight into their behaviour and any underlying issues that might be present. Perhaps your dog is stressed, or is prone to whining? How long does it take for your dog to relax? What about their body language? By using a pet camera, you can know about and understand your dog's behaviour better, which is very useful in addressing your dog's needs.
Does your dog have an issue with separation anxiety? By saving the footage, you have great material to supply to a dog behaviour therapist or veterinarian.
2. Interaction with your dog or cat
Some pet cameras also offer the possibility of communicating with your pet via a speaker. If you see that your dog or cat is restless or stressed you can speak to them and calm them down. Or if you see that the cat is scratching on your furniture, you can distract them. Instead of leaping in and using the pet camera for a few hours, we suggest practising first for a few minutes at a time and build it up gradually.
There are also cameras that can throw treats to your dog or cat like the Furbo, or cameras that let your cat play with a laser pointer, such as the Pet Cube. These allow you to keep your pet busy or reward them for good behaviour. Read more about pet cameras here
3. Nice content for videos
You might find that your pet camera captures some of the funniest and most adorable footage from when your pet thinks no one is watching, which can be perfect for your Facebook or your pet's Instagram. Did you post cute videos or photos of your pet? Tag Pawshake on Instagram (@pawshakeUK). We might share your pet camera images, and who knows, your pet might become insta-famous!
Keeping an eye on things
Filming interactions between your pet sitter and pet can be a great addition to the photo updates you get from your pet sitter. It's important that there is a relationship of trust between a pet sitter and pet owner, and nice footage via a pet camera app can only increase that confidence and reassurance. But please take note: if you don't completely trust your pet sitter in the first place, then using a camera might not be a good starting point for a reservation. Distrust can lead to misunderstandings, complications or problems at a later stage. If you don't feel totally confident in your pet sitter, we advise you to contact another pet sitter in your neighborhood.
And be aware: though you might be allowed to place cameras in your own home, secret filming is not advisable because of privacy laws. Additionally, the unauthorized publication (on the internet or elsewhere) of visual material of the pet sitter is not allowed.
Would you like to use pet camera during the reservation? Then always inform the pet sitter about this beforehand and show them where the camera is located. It goes without saying that you are not permitted to film your pet sitter in private places such as the bathroom or bedroom (if the pet sitter stays at your home): so be sure to keep the camera really focused on the place where your pet is mainly located.
A pet camera is not a pet sitter
Thanks to technology, more handy tools are available to help care for our pets. And these tools are only getting smarter, more sophisticated and more useful. But please remember: a camera is just a fun addition to your home, and never a replacement for time, attention, play and walks. Do you have to leave the house and leave your dog or cat for an uncomfortably long period? Then book a loving pet sitter near you.