If you’re a helicopter parent to your dog or cat, you’ve probably thought about getting a pet camera so you can keep an eye on your fuzzy kids when you’re away from home. Pet cams are expensive, though; some cost as much as $200, which is too much to spend to watch your beagle nap on the couch all afternoon. Here’s a different angle: the brand-new Petcube is a $40 pet cam, and right now I’ve got an exclusive CNET deal for an additional 10% off. You can get the Petcube for just $36 when you use promo code 10CNETCAM at checkout.
I’ve been using the Petcube for a few weeks and it’s unlike most other indoor surveillance cameras — especially ones intended for keeping an eye on pets. For starters, it’s crazy small and lightweight, and super-easy to mount without drilling holes into anything. As the name suggests, it’s a cube that measures a little over 2 inches on each side and comes with a USB-C AC adapter for power. It sits on a rotating U-bracket with a magnetic base. It’ll sit on a shelf or table, or you can use the included metal disc and adhesive to magnetically snap it onto a wall or hang it under a shelf.
Once you’re set up, you can use the 1080p camera to check in on home from the mobile app. It has a wide 110-degree camera and night vision mode, and you can zoom in, record video, and talk to your critter using the two-way audio.
All that’s pretty standard fare for a pet cam, but what I wasn’t expecting was the integrated vet chat. If you are concerned about a health matter, rather than running to the vet and paying $100 just to walk in the door with a cat carrier, you can talk to a real vet online to see if a doctor visit is needed. You get one free consultation, but to use the vet chat regularly, you need to pay $5 per month. Speaking of subscriptions, you can separately subscribe to the usual suite of video recording, video history and smart alerts (in which it listens for barks, meows and human voices) starting at $4 per month.
Of course, keep in mind that this is a $40 pet cam, so you’ll need to temper your expectations. I found that the video was sometimes slow to connect and the HD video is good but not awesome. But the only other camera I can think of that’s this cheap is the $25 Wyze cam, and while it comes close to matching the Petcube’s features, it includes no vet chat option, pet-centric smart alerts or extended cloud recording.
If you want a cheap way to stay connected to your pet, I’d recommend Petcube — and the 10% off code should work through Oct. 6.
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