Caroline Knapp once said, “Fall in love with a dog, and in many ways you enter a new orbit, a universe that features not just new colors but new rituals, new rules, a new way of experiencing attachment.” And anyone who has loved and been loved by a dog knows exactly how true that is. I know my life changed drastically the day I brought my dog, Bessie, home from the shelter. Bessie is now my alarm clock, exercise buddy, playmate, confidante and stress buster. However nasty my day is, knowing that I’m coming home to her makes it so much easier to get through it.

Yet I can’t shake the feeling I’m letting her down. Working full time means I’m out 10 hours a day. If I meet friends for drinks after work, that’s another 2 hours. Bessie is there for me when I’m feeling blue, yet I only find out she’s had a rough day when I come home to a housebreaking accident, ripped cushions or a stressed-out dog.

 All that changed last week when I discovered an off-the-shelf product called the Nest Cam Indoor Security Camera, which not only allows me to see her, see what she’s doing, and read from her body language how she’s feeling, but it also gives me the option of talking to her to calm her down. A little bonus I discovered? Bessie has some incredibly adorable little habits and rituals I would never know about, like the way she sniffs the door when the dog walker is coming. I found that I can catch each of these small, precious gestures thanks to the Nestcam. Plus, with the voice communication feature, I can reward good behaviour with positive reinforcement and prevent undesirable behaviour with a voice command.

Watch Jasper take to a life of crime as he steals jerky

Read on to find out how the Nest Cam can help you.

  1. Watch your dog
    Oh let’s be honest, we miss our dogs when we’re away at work. Bessie spends the day in the living room, and Nest Cam’s 130º viewing angle means I get to see her pretty easily wherever she is. We can all instinctively read our dog’s body language. I love how Nest Cam can help me get cues on how they’re feeling, and see what they’re upto.

    Watch Manners burn off energy

  2. Reinforce your dog’s good behaviour
    Hearing you praise them over the Nest Cam’s voice feature will help reinforce good behaviour. If I see her calmly playing with her toys, that always elicits a “Good girl, Bessie!” from me. That way, she knows what she was doing was positive and she gets instantly rewarded with praise. That kind of consistent and instantaneous feedback really helps our dogs figure out what we want them to do, and that helps develop good habits.

    Jura, the energy-saving dog, switches off unnecessary lights.

  3. Control undesirable behaviour
    See them doing something naughty? Stop them in the act immediately! Saying “Bad dog” when you discover a ripped cushion won’t help, because they assume it’s the act of being discovered that was bad, not that really fun snowstorm of fluff that happened several hours ago. You can’t monitor your feed all day, but the Nest Cam does increase your odds of catching them in the act, and chastising them right then.

    Nest Cam caught this guy giving the couch a makeover

  4. Record your dog
    They do such goofy, adorable things. And yet, I can never seem to whip the camera out in time. I don’t know if a lawyer advised Bessie to stop doing cute stuff the second a camera is pointed at her, because it seems that way. With the Nest Cam, you can record it all pretty easily. It also helps you figure out how they pull off seemingly-impossible heists.

    Brodie doesn’t just have an itch at the base of his tail, he’s got dance fever too

  5. Calm your dog in stressful situations
    Bessie is terrified of thunder. When I know there’s a storm coming, I make sure I check on her often and talk to her in a soothing, calm voice. The voice feature is priceless for me, because that ensures I can reassure her when I know she’s facing a trigger. I can’t make all stressful situations go away, but I can help her through them and make it easier for her.

    Dawsee goes ballistic protecting her home from the mailman

  6. Check on your dog walker
    The Nest Cam also allows me to check that Bessie is being taken for her walks at the right time and that those walks are long enough. A comfortable and tired dog is a happy dog. The Nest Cam reassures me that she’s getting her toilet breaks in time, and that she is getting enough exercise in the middle of the day.

    Otis is ready to give up his exploring the kitchen counter to greet his human friends

    I still feel guilty leaving Bessie alone all day. Someday, I’ll hope to find satisfying work that pays adequately and allows me to work from home. And I know I’m not alone in dreaming that! But until then, a Nest Cam allows us to watch our dogs, and give verbal commands to them even when we’re away. This helps with training them, and in calming them in stressful situations, as well as giving you valuable behavioural cues that help you understand what they’re feeling and take measures accordingly. It may not be the same as reaching down in your breaks and giving them a belly rub, or playing a quick game of fetch in your lunch hour, but buy a Nest Cam and see how it’s the next best thing.

    Pawshank Redemption: Nest Cam Style

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