Dog lovers are now turning to the free online video call service Skype to communicate with their pet while they are out at work.
The idea is taking off in the US where dog owners are setting up a Skype account in their pet’s name. A small setting change means the machine at home picks up automatically when they dial in.
Property agent Tom Roszkowski regularly checks up on his three-month-old puppy Pizza from the office.
The New Yorker, who lives with girlfriend Agatha Budys in Brooklyn, bought the Norwich terrier-dachshund mix two months ago.
Curious to know what Pizza did all day in their apartment, he changed his Skype settings and set up an account for the puppy.
"It started as us being curious and wanting to check she was OK," Roszkowski said.
"Then people at work started asking me what’s Pizza doing, and now when I Skype her everyone gathers round to say Hi," he said.
But when the couple saw how sad the puppy was on her own they decided to get a second dog to keep her company.
"One time we called and she was crying the whole time. It was a heartbreaker," he said.
Experts have warned that Skype isn’t suitable for every pet.
"Dogs make sense of their world through smell so if they can hear you but not smell you it might confuse them," Anna Webb, dog expert and broadcaster, said.