If you have a pet that is often alone because you work long hours, a pet camera is something to consider. It is really no different than a nanny camera, but for your pets rather than your kids.
These come with a video feed so you can see what your pet is doing. Some models may even come with two-way video, and most models have two-way audio. This allows you to hear and also talk to your pet. This begs the question, ”should I talk to my pet through the camera?”
Most people rightfully assume that this will provide the pet with some comfort level. However, the issue is slightly more complex than this, so let’s take a look.
Can Your Dog Recognize Your Voice?
The first thing to ask is whether your dog can recognize your voice in the first place.
The fact of the matter is that whether or not your dog can even recognize your voice over the camera is questionable. However, some studies show that dogs can recognize voices over the phone and through cameras; your dog might realize that it is you talking.
However, this research is inconclusive. There is always a chance your dog won’t tell that it is you talking. This does depend partly on the dog itself because some dogs are more intelligent than others.
Moreover, it also depends on the audio quality. Audio is compressed when it goes through the camera. This means that it might slightly change the tone of your voice.
Even if your dog can realize that somebody is talking, they still might not recognize that it’s you. That said, let’s assume that your dog does recognize your voice.
Can Your Dog Recognize Your Face?
Most pet cameras do not come with two-way video. However, a select few do. Moreover, some people also use nanny cameras and two-way baby cameras for this purpose.
So, can your dog recognize your face through a camera? Unfortunately, the answer here is a resounding no. Your dog will not be able to identify your face on a screen. That said, there is a good chance they can recognize your voice.
Why Talk to Your Pet Through the Camera?
Now that we have established that your dog can probably recognize your voice through the camera, why would you talk to your dog in the first place?
One reason would be to keep them company. Your dog might feel lonely, and hearing your voice could help them feel a little less lonely.
To take this further, hearing your voice might help calm them down if they suffer from separation anxiety. However, separation anxiety is more complicated, so we will address that below.
Assuming your dog can recognize your voice, another reason to talk to them through the camera is to give various commands. For example, you might notice that your dog barks all day, annoying your neighbors. In this case, you can tell them to stop barking.
Of course, many pets get destructive when they are lonely. If you catch your dog in the act of ripping apart your furniture, you can tell them to stop through the pet camera.
Will Talking to Your Pet Through the Camera Help With Separation Anxiety?
The issue of separation anxiety is a somewhat difficult one. Most people rightfully assume that talking to your pet through the camera can help relieve separation anxiety.
It might make your dog feel like you are closer than you actually are. But, of course, separation anxiety is all about that distance between you two.
Dogs are smart enough to hear your voice, but they might not be smart enough to realize that you aren’t actually there. In this sense, a pet camera could help with separation anxiety.
However, be aware that there are some cases where this might backfire. This is especially the case if you have a reasonably intelligent dog. For example, if your dog recognizes your voice and hears you, they might want to actually find you.
If your dog then goes looking for you throughout the house but doesn’t find you, it might actually make things worse. Generally speaking, it really all comes down to the dog. Talking to your dog through the camera should work in most cases. Although, this is not 100% set in stone.
There are other methods to help get a dog through a bout of separation anxiety. For example, you can create a safe space with a crate. You can also engage in actual separation anxiety training. Leaving them with challenging toys and treats might help as well.
Generally speaking, talking to your dog through a camera can make them feel less lonely.
At the very least, you might be able to give them commands when they are misbehaving. That said, you do need to be careful, especially when separation anxiety is concerned.