Spy on Your Dog like a Creeper

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I am not getting compensated for this post, as much as I wish that were the case. However, if you decide to purchase a Nest Cam and use the links in this post to do so, I will get a small commission and it would be very much appreciated!! ~ The Mgmt.

When I first got Chance, I suddenly realized that I was terrified to leave him home alone. I felt so responsible for him, and when I went out, I was paranoid about spending too much time away from home because I HAD NO IDEA WHAT HE WAS DOING WHILE I WAS GONE. Was he crying the whole time? Learning how to open the refrigerator? What if he vomited, choked on the vomit, and DIED while I was out at a wine bar??? HOW WOULD I EVER GO TO A WINE BAR AGAIN???

My life changed when my brothers got me a Nest Cam (ok mine was called Dropcam when I got it, but the company has since been purchased by Nest and now it's a "Nest Cam").

I had looked into nanny-cam-type surveillance stuff online, but it all seemed super-expensive and difficult to install and operate. I brilliantly attempted to use my iPad as a webcam a couple times--there are some apps you can download that purport to stream video from your recording iPad to the app so you can access it on your iPhone while you're out. It never worked, for various reasons. But the Nest Cam is an elegant solution to the whole damn problem.

Easy to Install

It comes in a neat little box and has exactly one cord--the power cord. You plug the sucker in, create a Nest account, download the app on your phone, connect the camera to your home WiFi network, and BAM you're in business! Seriously, I had it running in under 10 minutes. It even comes with a little wall mount if you've got a convenient spot you can permanently place it!

Easy(ish) on the Bank Account

Yes, the thing is $200 upfront, but that's IT. You can upgrade to the paid video storage plan (which records the feed for you), but I don't really have a need to watch videos of him sleeping. It's enough money that I was REAL happy I got it as a gift, but honestly it's worth the investment for the peace of mind if you don't have a birthday or something coming up.

Easy to Use

Actual screenshot from my iPhone! Click to enlarge.

As long as you've got a working WiFi signal in your house for the camera to run on, Nest Cam is ready to go. You just need to be somewhere with a strong enough data signal to stream video (not necessarily on WiFi, though the picture is better when you're also on WiFi).

It also broadcasts sound!! So you can hear exactly what's going on--and can tell if Puppy is whining. And if you want to talk back to him, you can click on a little microphone icon and begin broadcasting YOUR VOICE TO HIM. Caveat: I don't recommend doing this except when you want to startle Puppy (like if he's trying to figure out how to open the refrigerator), as suddenly hearing my voice but not being able to see me seems to thrust Chance into an existential crisis. I'm pretty sure he starts doubting reality.

Easy to Share

You can add other users through the app so you can have a whole network of virtual babysitters! Other users can't activate the microphone function, so you're still the only one who can talk to Puppy, but I love knowing that I can let my mom know to tune in while I'm in an audition or something. In fact, the first image in this post is a screen grab from my mom's iPad!

This feature ALSO comes in handy when you've got Craigslist people coming over to your apartment and you live alone. Those people who bought my chairs had no idea that my mom was watching THE ENTIRE TIME.

Honestly, I can't recommend the Nest Cam enough. If I'm out with friends and wondering if I should really stay for another glass of wine, I just open my puppycam to check on the Boofer (one of Chance's many nicknames), am reassured that he's happily sleeping, and can enjoy the rest of the night. I can check to see if I need to rush home when I'm out doing errands and get unexpectedly delayed--I usually don't, but it's nice to know for sure!

Have you used the Nest Cam? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below!