Many pet owners have to leave home for a few days on vacation or a business trip. During this time, you can give the pet to acquaintances in a shelter, but it is not always easy to find willing help, and the animals can be difficult to adapt to the new place.
A much better option is to ask neighbors or friends to visit your four-legged friend and keep an eye on him or her with home video surveillance. You can even watch your pet sleep or play with a favorite toy on another continent – link.
Using an IP camera
A network camera connected to the Internet is sufficient for pet surveillance. All modern cameras have applications for your computer and cell phone, with which you can view the image from anywhere in the world.
Some cameras can be rotated through a smartphone or PC app, and the picture can be magnified. There are cameras with two-way communication so you can not only hear but also talk to your pet. Before you leave, you should experiment a couple of times with the sound level of the camera and put it at a distance where the pet can hear the owner’s voice.
Many cameras are equipped with infrared illumination and can capture animals that live at night. Cameras with a good resolution allow you to monitor small animals like reptiles or fish in an aquarium.
The camera can be placed on a table, window sill or shelf and taped or the base of it covered with tape or a heavy object so that the animal does not move the construction. Wires should be hidden as much as possible: the pet might get caught on them.
To watch the fish and turtles the camera can be placed directly in front of the aquarium. To monitor an active cat, the camera should be placed higher to provide a view of the entire room.
More than one camera can be used for surveillance. One can film the whole room and another can look at the place where the cat or dog likes to rest. A camera with a wide viewing angle can also be used for security purposes.
IP-cameras are connected to the Internet via cable or Wi-Fi, for stable signal reception such devices have antennas
Using a laptop or smartphone
You can set up video surveillance on your smartphone, tablet or laptop. This option can be used if you go on vacation or just at work. The laptop should be placed so that the camera is in range of what you want to shoot. For your tablet or smartphone, you will need to buy a holder. It is better to get a version with a flexible leg, so you can adjust the frame.
Then you need to install the video surveillance software and connect remotely through a mobile app or website. It is necessary not to forget to put the device on charge: it should work continuously.
Modern surveillance apps like Xeoma can send event notifications by SMS, mail or messenger. So you can track when your favorite cat came to the kitchen to eat or hid under the couch. This feature is especially useful when you have several cameras installed in your apartment. Xeoma also has a sound detector – the owner can get a notification when the pet is sad or whines.
You can use a regular webcam to watch your pets, but the picture quality will not be as good as a network camera
With professional equipment
Professional equipment set consists of several cameras and recorders to which they are connected. Such a set is several times more expensive than a usual IP-camera, and its adjustment is better to trust a professional. Additionally, you need to buy hard drives for storing video and wiring around the apartment.
For monitoring a domestic cat or dog, the capabilities of a professional kit are excessive, and it is not always convenient to work with it. It is better to buy a quality IP-camera, such as Dahua or Hikvision, or use a tablet, smartphone or laptop. With their help, you can without extra cost assemble a powerful video surveillance system not worse than a professional one.