Ever sit at work wondering what your dog is up to? Snoozing on the sofa? Barking at the postman? Now I can find out in seconds with our Tapo dog security camera.
During lockdown, my mum and I were working from home and the dogs had someone in the house at all times. But as life slowly but surely returns to normal, I thought it would be a good idea to keep an eye on them in some way when they do end up getting left for a few hours. I had noticed Frank becoming increasingly needy, potentially verging on separation anxiety, so also wanted to build up his time spent without us in the house again.
We ordered the Tapo C100, as recommended by our friends at Hounds. We ordered the device on eBay, and it arrived four days later.
What is Tapo?
Setting up the Tapo dog security camera
The Tapo runs on wifi, so the first thing to do is download the Tapo app from the Apple app store or Google Play. Then plug in the Tapo dog security camera and wait until the LED light blinks red and green. Once the app is downloaded and you’ve registered an email address, there are some really easy to follow instructions displayed on the app to get your camera up and running. You have to connect the device to your home Wi-Fi, but the entire set up process took less than five minutes. The camera comes with a stand that you can either have freestanding on a flat surface, or fixed to the wall with screws.
What can the Tapo dog security camera do?
The camera shoots in 1080p, which is brilliant quality for a home Wi-Fi security camera. It’s almost in real-time, with about a three or four second delay from the camera to the app. It has three light settings, including auto, day mode and night mode, which provides a visual distance of up to 30 foot in the dark.
The app will send you notifications if it detects motion in the room, which offers some real peace of mind. You’ll be alerted if your pooch has gotten up to bark at the delivery driver, or more sinister, if there’s someone in the house that shouldn’t be. If the worst should happen, there’s an easily accessible button on the app which will trigger an alarm that will sound in the room.
Let’s talk about chatting to your dog then! Once you’ve allowed the use of the microphone on your mobile, you’ll be able to hold the ‘talk’ button and tell your dog to get off the sofa, to behave, or just that you love and miss them. We love that the camera then projects your actual voice, rather than a robotic one, so your dogs know it’s you. The audio is two-way, so you’ll also be able to hear if your dog is barking. We’ve found this also works well for asking someone in the house to stick the kettle on too.
Whilst you don’t need an microSD card in the camera for it to work, you can insert one if you’d like to save footage up to 128GB. We haven’t bothered with a microSD card as we’re happy to just watch in real-time. You can tap and hold a record button within the app to record ‘memories’ and take screenshot photos if you’r pet is being particularly cute (or naughty!)
You can even connect your Tapo to your Amazon Echo or Google Home and say ‘Alexa, show me the Dog House’, and it will bring the app up on your phone.
Why we love the Tapo dog security camera
First of all, the camera is at a really affordable price range at £25, which is much cheaper than – for example – the Furbo. The quality is the best I’ve seen on home CCTV systems, and is really clear, so you can see exactly what your dog is up to. The two way audio is such a good idea, not only beneficial for chatting with your dog, but also any people in the house.
Tapo gives us the opportunity to keep an eye on our pets and live a less anxious life – it’s particularly good for when the dogs are under the weather but I still have to leave the house. In the days after Frank’s freak seizure, it would have been perfect.
Everyone I’ve told about the Tapo dog security camera has since bought one, and everyone my dad’s told about it at work has also purchased one to keep an eye on their pet. I’m even thinking about getting a second one to prop up the other end of the room, as you can scroll between cameras on the app, up to 32 different views!