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