Now you can snoop on your pooch around the clock. Cameras set up to monitor pets online are becoming a staple at kennels nationwide, and animal lovers are using them at home too.
"No other tool or feedback could provide our customers with the instant gratification and satisfaction of seeing their dogs playing and having fun as video can," says Greg Powers of Camp Bow Wow, a nationwide chain of dog daycare and overnight boarding facilities.
Dog owner Susana Trujillo, 52, agrees. "A lot of people my age are as neurotic about their pets as I am, and it gives you a good degree of comfort knowing that your dogs are in a safe environment," she says. She keeps tabs on Sadie Dogg, her Australian shepherd, who attends doggie daycare at Denver's Mile High Mutts.
Pet cams also give vacationers visual access to their kennel-bound friends. "If clients call from overseas and can't see their dog playing, we move him or her in front of the camera," says Penni Phillips of Urban Tails in Houston.
Although dogs are the pet cam stars at most kennels, you can set up your own webcam for any home-bound pet. Buy a camera for upwards of $80, then use an Internet broadcast service like MyPetSitterCam.com while you're away.