A study by the University of Calgary found pet door cameras can cause stress, and are also a potential health hazard.
But the study also found that pet door camera owners are being left to clean their own home.
“We found that pets were much more likely to leave the door camera on and in the presence of their pets,” said University of Alberta researcher Sarah Reardon.
Reardon was part of a group of researchers who took pet door recordings of dogs, cats and other pets to a pet care centre.
The pet care centres monitored the cameras on the front door of the homes they monitored, to see how much time the dogs spent in the room and how much noise was coming from the cameras.
Reached by phone, Reardon said the research was funded by the Alberta Humane Society.
“There’s no reason why a pet shouldn’t be able to get in and out of a home, but that shouldn’t take the stress out of that, it’s the stress that’s taking away from the dog, or the cat, or their environment,” she said.
Reiner’s team also looked at how dogs interacted with their owners, and whether the cameras were causing problems with their health.
“I can tell you anecdotally that we’ve had dogs that were upset and not able to take care of themselves,” she added.
Reiney said there was no reason for pet door owners to use them to clean out their homes.
“The camera is there to protect the pets from noise, the pet door is there as a security device, and to make sure they have a safe environment to play,” she explained.
Reining said it was the dogs that ended up leaving the cameras in the house.
“If the dog doesn’t want to leave because they’re not safe anymore, then it’s a bad situation,” she told CBC News.
Reinays study also tested the health of the dogs, which was not encouraging.
“It was really a very negative finding,” she noted.
“They were very stressed out and that’s why they were leaving the camera in the door.”
Reardon agreed that dogs should not be left in the home for long periods of time.
“You need to take the time to take it apart to get it out, because there’s a lot of stuff inside that needs to be cleaned,” she stressed.
Reiners study found that dogs were much less likely to have the camera on in the first place.
Reines research also showed that the pet owners were much happier when they left the cameras off for a short time, and less stressed about leaving the door open for a longer period of time than when the cameras weren’t on.
Reined said the study was an important step forward, but it’s not enough.
So I think there’s no real reason why this should be a thing,” she concluded.