Can you use security cameras to keep an eye on your pet?

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Today, pet cams are their own camera breed. Like designer dogs and specialty breeds, pet-specific cameras also cost more. The value is there, however, with pet-safe laser and treatment delivery functions. But the real question is: do you? demand one pet camera?

Or can you, as a pet parent, use an inexpensive security camera?

security-camera-screenshot-of-dog-in bed

Samoyed’s Wansview Q5 monitor in bed

Higher-end security cameras have encrypted cloud storage, increased resolution, and can even be battery-powered, allowing for more flexible placement. But if you want reliable detection, sharp images, and clear sound, most basic security cameras have your back (and eyes).

After looking at many camera reviews, I chose the Wansview Q5. This dome camera retails for under $40. It has over 27,000 reviews, averaging 4.5 stars. I tested the camera for two months with one specific goal in mind: to get Meda, my 4-month-old Samoyed, alone.

Ever since I brought Meda home, she started showing signs of separation anxiety. This caused extreme separation anxiety in me, I couldn’t shower, brush my teeth, or boil water without fear that I was making her miserable. So does this camera solve my problems and give me peace of mind? Read to find out.

Wansview Q5: For simple pet parents

The main benefits of having a pet camera are the same basic feature: trust and comfort when leaving your pet alone, whether in the whole house or in a single room. Overall, I would give Wansview Q5, 3 out of 5 stars for functionality, features and peace of mind.

security-camera-screenshot of the room

See Q5 screen of a Samoyed sleeping by the door and a Poodle in bed

What worked? Limit Defect
Low price
Quick Installation Short cord and plug
Easy to use app Use a lot of data when there is no Wi-Fi
Two-way audio 2 seconds audio delay
Rotate and tilt the camera Limited pan/tilt range Noisy when moving, triggering a response from the pet
Motion detection No sound detected
Good picture quality Blurry image quality when zooming Not always at 1080P, as advertised
Night vision Blurred image quality due to low contrast

There are other features to this camera that I can’t speak to, but there are mixed reviews on performance from other reviewers. Including:

  • Cloud storage: This is a subscription service, which increases the cost of this camera over time. I opted out of Cloud storage because I needed a camera for real-time viewing.
  • Shared view: You can allow others to access the camera so they can observe or receive alerts. Reviewers have mentioned the feature doesn’t always work smoothly and requires account sharing.
  • Security and privacy protection: This protection is for those who choose to use their cloud storage service.
security camera-photograph-screenshot-of-dog-in-room

Enlarge: Wansview Q5 screen of two dogs sleeping in the room

Wansview Q5: Setup

Technically, Camera Wansview Q5 easy to set up. It took me less than 20 minutes to secure the camera to the stand, download the app, and sync the device. Their support app only takes two clicks to view the footage, and when I access the app outside of my WiFi zone, it gives me a warning about data usage.

In terms of stability, however, the camera needs to be protected by the supplied clip attachment. Otherwise, it can be easily toppled. The clamp, while adjustable, limits where you can fix the camera.

Additionally, the manufacturer-supplied power cord is about 8 feet long — or short, depending on where your outlet is and where you place the camera. If you want to put this on the ceiling for birdwatching, limited access, or a messy living (like I do), you may need an extension cord. For those with micro-dogs, excess cords may not be an ideal situation.

I also had to place my camera fairly high on the stand to prevent pets from interfering. This affects the viewing quality and experience, as I only want to monitor my pet and not the rest of the room. Therefore, I frequently zoom in to “crop” the camera view. This has reduced the video quality in the app.

Wansview Q5: Camera experience

Here’s my experience of how all the advertised features stack up:

  • WiFi HD 1080 Camera: Video is definitely not 1080P for me, although other reviews have noted it is for them. However, the quality was good enough. I can clearly see Meda’s body language and recognize when she’s in trouble. This is not the camera to get if you want to save screenshots or have Instagram-friendly shots.
  • Two-way audio: The audio is crisp, but there’s a two to three second delay between reality and the app. But puppies are agile creatures! If I waited for the sound to signal my attention, I wouldn’t catch some of Meda’s chewing opportunities.
  • Camera tilt, pan and zoom: This is one of my favorite features on this camera, as it allows me to be flexible about where to position the camera — and track Meda as she moves. The biggest downside to this feature is the loud sound its movement makes, which can upset pets if they’re not used to it.
  • Night vision: With Wansview Q5, night vision is black and white. It has rather low contrast, making precise movements harder to see. However, this quality can also depend on your room.
  • Real-time motion detection: On the Wansview app, you can instruct the motion detector to focus on a specific area. This was extremely helpful when I had to pack Meda for a nap while out and about. If she wakes up, the Wansview app will alert me. This allows me to close the app and focus on whatever task I’m doing. The camera will also record a 10-second video so I can quickly replay what happened.

Wansview Q5 Night Sight: Enlarge screenshot of Samoyed in her crate

Wansview Q5 Conclusion: Choose the right budget

Having a pet cam isn’t the cure for all pet parent anxiety—but it’s a great management tool to have along with other training routines. Over the next two months, as I continued to practice isolation with Meda and understand her body language, I was able to read her more carefully and react less immediately to every sound or movement she made. that.

While I could have chosen someone more interested, higher tech camera, the simplicity of this camera also made me less nervous about leaving Meda alone. The step between looking at the camera before running to her check-in allowed me to exercise patience and learn that everything will be fine.

Before choosing a Wansview Q5 or another pet camera, it’s best to write down your goals for the camera. You may find that using a camera for training is very different from relying on a camera to entertain your pet while you are out of the house. Plus, there are room layouts to consider. Some cameras can be wall-mounted while others require a clutter-free view.

Ultimately, whether you want a security camera or a pet camera will depend on what your pet parent’s goals are.

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