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Should You Use A Monitor for Your Dog? 6 Reasons They Can be Helpful | Pupford

November 29th, 2023

Filed under Pet Parenting

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Gone are the days of wondering what your pup is doing all day when you’re away from them.

Thanks to modern technology, we can actually see what they’re up to. But is that a good thing? Is it beneficial to set up a monitor to watch your dog when you’re away?

The short answer: it can be!

Read on for the longer answer…

Dogs certainly do some weird things when home alone, huh?

Side note: we definitely want to hear all the silly, funny things your dog does when they *think* nobody is watching. Tell us in the comments!


Can you use a monitor or camera to see what your dog is up to when you’re not home? Sure.

Should you? Well, that’s a completely personal choice!

Some people like to know what’s going on with their pets in their homes. Others feel sad or stressed when they see their dogs but can’t be with them. And some like to use cameras sporadically or temporarily to help identify and improve behavior challenges.

At the end of the day, as long as your dog is safe and happy while home alone, whether or not you use a monitor or camera doesn’t determine your worth as a pup parent. So don’t stress if you haven’t been using one or don’t think you would benefit from it – that’s totally valid!

But this article is more for those of you who have been thinking about getting a dog monitor and are wondering how you could benefit from it.

Which is what we’re going to get into now!


Dog monitors can be a really useful tool for a lot of families. Here’s what we’ve heard from our community and our experts when it comes to the ways dog monitors can be helpful:

1. Identifying Separation Anxiety

using a dog monitor to find out if your dog has separation anxiety

If your dog is destroying things when you’re gone, or you’re getting reports from neighbors of excessive barking, you might be wondering if your dog is okay while you’re gone.

Sometimes it’s as simple as your dog being bored, while other times it’s something a little more serious like separation anxiety.

How do you tell the difference? Observe your dog for a period of time when you leave.

If they are barking and/or destroying things, but settle down after a period of time, they are likely just bored and need more enrichment in their day.

However, if your dog is having accidents, shaking, barking all day, and seems stressed for the whole duration you’re gone, you’re likely dealing with true separation anxiety.

See our Separation Anxiety in Dogs guide to learn more about identifying and addressing separation anxiety in dogs.

2. Seeing What Your Dog Does When They’re Bored

On a similar note, you might discover your dog gets bored when you’re gone. If that’s the case, it’s really helpful to see what they’re doing because then you can know how best to keep them busy.

For example, if your dog is chewing on your furniture or shoes, you can engage them with a dog chew to satisfy that instinct productively.

Or, if your dog is chasing their animal siblings around the house, maybe offer them a few minutes of fetch or flirt pole time before you leave to engage their prey drive.

By knowing what they do when you’re not home, you can better offer the right activities when you are home to keep them happy all day long!

3. Figure out your dog’s ideal routine

Seeing what your dog does when you’re not there can also help you know if there are any changes that need to be made in their routine. For example:

  • Do they scratch at the door (or have an accident) at around the same duration every time? You’ll now know that if you’re going to be gone more than X hours, you should have a dog walker or friend come to take your dog out.
  • Does your dog settle down after a certain amount of time? Does their stress increase after a certain amount of time? You can find music playlists or activities that align accordingly.
  • You’ll get a clearer picture of how long your dog can be left alone before any issues arise.

You might not be able to prevent issues in the moment, but you can definitely make observations about your dog, identify patterns, and learn more about how to make them happier when left home alone.

monitoring dog when you are out of the house

4. Peace of Mind

Sometimes being away from your dog can be really stressful if you have any concerns about their health or safety. Being able to check in on them from time to time can ease those concerns so you can be more present at work or on your outings.

While this can be really comforting when your pup is doing great at home, if there are serious concerns about health, safety, or behavior, it might be best to have a pet sitter or friend stay with your dog instead.

5. You Can Possibly Reinforce Behavior in Real Time

Some pet cameras have a treat dispenser which can be useful for reinforcing behaviors as they happen.

P.S. training treats make for the perfect treat in these dispensers.

If you are able to catch your dog being an extra good boy or girl, you can remotely release a treat so they know they are doing the right thing. AKA you can let them know that chewing on their favorite toy is, in fact, a much better choice than chewing on the dining room table leg.

Just be sure this isn’t your primary source of positive reinforcement. You’ll want to make sure you include consistent training sessions in your dog’s routine to really make an impact on their behavior.

6. Less Stress for You!

Cameras and monitors take the unknowns out of the equation, which can definitely ease your mind. You won’t be left wondering what kind of situation you’ll be walking into and what mood your dog will be in.

Plus you can watch their home-alone behavior improve over time, which is always rewarding to see!

Just as the decision whether or not to use a pet camera at all is up to you, so is the type of camera you use. Some great options:

  • A baby monitor (great for repurposing from a human baby)
  • A home camera
  • A pet-specific camera (ex: Furbo)

Just be sure to choose a wi-fi enabled option with a smartphone app so you can connect to the camera while you’re away.

Have any of these options worked for you? What’s been your experience with using a monitor for your dog? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments!


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