Dog doors can be a great solution for pet owners who want to give their dogs the freedom to go in and out as needed while keeping them safe. These canine-friendly exits are also perfect for families who may not be home all the time, and want to make sure their dogs have access to the outside when they’re away. But how do you choose the right doggie door for your beloved pets?
According to the non-brand-affiliated website All Pet Doors, there are six important considerations when choosing a dog door.
- Price and features: It’s always a good idea to be sure you’re getting the most features for the best price.
- Security: Choosing the right door to install a dog door means should have a double-keyed deadbolt and an entrance with a way to lock access to the rest of the house, if the opening will be large enough for a person to fit through.
- Weather conditions: In climates with cold winters, it’s important to choose a dog door with a good seal to make sure the house stays warm when the pet door is closed.
- Opening size: Of course, your dog door will need to be large enough to comfortably allow your pets through. If you have young pets, be sure to consider the size they’ll be when they are fully grown.
- Preventing unwanted guests: If you live in a rural area, you may want a pet door with additional protection against neighbor’s pets, strays, and wild pests such as mice, opossums, and raccoons.
- Multiple pet support: For multi-pet households, you’ll want to make sure that your dog door is large enough to accommodate your biggest pets, while still allowing the smallest to operate the door.
Wondering what kind of options are out there? Here are four great dog doors to consider installing in your home.
- Fully programmable exit, entry, and auto-lock options
- Weatherproof SmartKeys that attach to your pets’ collars; up to 5 SmartKeys can be programmed per door
- Can be installed in exterior doors, interior doors, or walls
- Available in multiple sizes and styles
- Extra-secure with programmable SmartKey technology
- A variety of sizes and options allow ease of access for multiple pets
- Flexible installation options permit use in most homes
- Great value for the included features at around $150
- Not ideal for cold weather climates
- Runs on household batteries that may need to be changed frequently
Good for: Homes in mild climates with single or multiple pets, where there are concerns about security
- Fully automatic, motor-driven vertical slide door that opens and closes automatically in response to programmed collar
- Four-way settings: Full Access, In Only, Out Only, and Locked
- Weatherproof and windproof with air-tight seal
- Available in multiple sizes and styles including door installation, wall installation, and sliding patio door insert
- Enhanced security with automatic dead-bolt locking system prevents intruders
- Fully weatherproof for colder climates
- Can be run through a wall outlet with a backup battery for power outages
- Limited sizes (medium and large); large size may not accommodate very large pets over 100 pounds
- Higher end cost at $350
- Access collars for more than one pet must be purchased separately
Good for: Single or multi-pet homes looking for additional security and weatherproofing
- Door access mechanism works with your pet’s existing microchip to unlock and lock door
- Can also be operated with SureFlap RFID collar tag
- Programmable lock allows for full access, inside only, or outside only
- Curfew Mode allows you to program the door to lock or unlock at specific times of the day
- Available in white or black (one size only)
- Operates with four C batteries
- Affordable pet door at around $140
- Can accommodate up to 25 programmed pets with microchips or RFID collar tags
- Very easy to install
- One size only (7 by 7.5); will accommodate most cats and small dogs
- For multiple pets that are not microchipped, will need to purchase RFID collar tags separately
- Not fully weatherproof
Good for: Homes with one or more small pets in mild to moderate climates
- Fully automatic sliding pet door
- Available in 10 different sizes to accommodate any type of pet
- Weatherproof pet tag sensors operated with magnets
- Multiple program modes including open, locked, only in, and only out
- Weather-safe seal keeps the elements out
- Wide variety of sizes to fit any pet or multi-pet household
- both dog door and collar activation sensors are weatherproof
- No batteries required for door or collar tags
- Easy installation
- Priced on the high side at around $400
- Additional collar tags must be purchased separately
Good for: Single or multi-pet households in cold climates who need additional security
When it comes to buying and installing a dog door, it’s important to consider your household’s needs and the needs of your pets, and weigh the pros and cons of each model before making a decision. After all, you don’t want to end up having to install a new dog door if your first choice doesn’t work out!