If you live in a house with a backyard or patio, you are probably perfectly familiar with the hassle of constantly getting up to let your dog in and out of the house. And while most of us could use this little yet regular workout, soon you start wondering: “Is there a better way to help my dog move around the household freely without compromising everyone’s security?”
The perfect solution for this situation is an automatic dog door. These devices can be easily installed and used, and they provide a never-before-seen level of comfort and security to both the dog and the owner. Here is our guide to the best electronic pet door options available on the market today.
PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor
A collar activated dog door is the ideal way to teach your dog some independence and allow him to enter and leave the house as he wishes without any additional steps. This PetSafe automatic dog door can be effortlessly installed into the door or wall and can be used by up to five pets. The door is available in two sizes.
So what makes the PetSafe creation the best electronic dog door you can buy today? Once you install the door and put the SmartKey on your dog’s collar, you and your dog don’t need to do anything to activate the system. All your pup needs to do is simply come up to the door and the door will automatically unlock. You can also permanently lock or unlock it in a few easy steps.
OWNPETS Pet Screen Door
A good smart dog door does not have to be expensive, and the OWNPETS creation is the best proof that budget-friendly automatic dog door options can be as good as their higher-priced counterparts.
The OWNPETS door is designed for small and medium dog breeds. It can be installed into any door or screen window. The door will automatically close after your dog walks in or out of the house. You can also lock it completely if you want to stop your pets from getting out. The construction of the door is reinforced with screws, making it more secure than many of the standard dog doors.
SureFlap Microchip Pet Door
Best app controlled dog door
If you are a modern dog owner who loves technology and automation, you are going to enjoy the app-controlled dog door by SureFlap. The elegantly designed door connects to a special hub and can be controlled remotely via a smartphone app.
The SureFlap door is available in a single size and is built for cats and small dogs. Using the app, you will be able to not only lock and unlock the door from a distance, but also set curfew times and get detailed statistics of your pet’s current and long-term activities.
High Tech Pet Electronic Pet Door
Best secure dog door
If you are looking for more security with your new automatic dog door, we have got just the right option for you. The secure dog door by High Tech Pet has a more durable, weather-proof construction and more settings to prevent the unwanted consequences of using a dog door. The device comes in a single size and is designed for dogs up to 100lbs.
The High Tech Pet locking dog door works with an ultrasonic collar you need to put on your dog. The door will only open when your pup is directly approaching the entrance, which prevents it from opening up when the dog is simply walking around or sleeping. There are four different settings ranging from Locked to Full Access for every situation in your dog’s daily routine.
Endura Flap Double Flap Wall Mount Pet Door
Best magnetic dog door
If a regular magnetic dog door does not seem secure enough for your needs or you live in a harsher climate, you should consider the double flap magnetic dog door by Endura Flap. This door was designed with comfort, security, and energy savings in mind. It is available in four sizes and three colour options.
The double flap magnetic door can withstand strong winds, as well as extremely high and low temperatures. The installation will only take you a few minutes, and the durable door magnets and tunnels will serve you for years. You can also lock the door completely if you do not intend to use it for some time.
Dog Door Buying Guide
With the endless variety of automatic dog doors for every family and budget, making the right choice is often harder than it looks. We have prepared for you a detailed buying guide that will help you pick the most suitable option for your needs.
Why should you buy an automatic dog door?
If you live in a house and have a dog, there is a good chance you and your furry friend will benefit from purchasing an electronic dog door. Your dog probably spends a lot of time outside, but constantly getting up to let the pup in and out of the house can be exhausting when you have just come home from work and want to unwind on your favorite couch.
An automatic doggie door is only a suitable option if you are convinced your backyard or patio is completely safe for your pup. If there are any hazards, then you should only let your dog out under your direct supervision. For the same reason, not every dog owner feels confident enough to leave the door unlocked when going to work and leaving the dog at home, although if your outdoor space is completely safe, you can allow your dog to go in and out of the house even when you are not around.
When talking about the benefits of dog doors, most owners and reviewers mostly mention the convenience factor. However, an automatic dog door can be also very beneficial for your dog’s health.
First of all, a doggie door gives your dog unlimited access to bathroom breaks. When your pup can relieve himself anytime he wants, it can prevent a variety of health conditions and make your dog feel even more comfortable at any given moment.
Plus, installing a dog door helps your pup get the desired amount of physical activity. Being able to just run out of the house to get some much-needed exercise in a safe variety and then going into the house to catch a breath makes your dog more agile and prevents him from getting bored and losing his top-notch physical shape.
How do electronic dog doors work?
There is no universal answer to the question about the operating specifics of automatic dog doors simply because there are several most common types of doors you can currently choose from. Here are the five most popular types of automatic dog doors that are available right now.
These are probably the most simple dog doors you can get: your dog needs to physically push the door in order to get in or out, and then the force of the magnet will shut the door. In most magnetic doors, you can also lock the door completely for a period of time.
These dog doors come with a sensor and a key that you need to put on your dog. The sensor will then detect the approaching dog and unlock the door for the pup to get in. You can adjust the sensitivity of the sensor to prevent accidental openings when your dog is simply passing by.
Microchip dog doors are possibly the most advanced variety of automatic dog doors — you don’t even need a collar to use it. The technology is based on vet-installed microchips, so if you have previously chipped your dog, you will definitely enjoy this type of door.
- RFID signals
Automatic dog doors that operate on RFID signals are the newest addition to the pet door market, but they are steadily gaining popularity. These doors use radio frequency identification to detect the dog who is allowed access into the house; anyone else will be prevented from getting in.
- Radiofrequency chips
Dog doors with radiofrequency chips are somewhat similar to RFID doors, since they both use the radio frequency technology. However, radiofrequency chips do not contain any information about your dog and will automatically open up for anyone with a collar emitting the same frequency.
Important features to consider
Once you have settled on a particular type of an automatic dog door, there are a few more features to take into account when making the final choice:
- Access control
With this feature, you will get more opportunities for managing your dog’s use of the door. For example, you can set it not to open from the outside when your dog is already inside.
- Use by multiple pets
If you have more than one dog or other pets who can also use the automatic dog door, you should opt for a device that is designed to be used by multiple pets instead of a single-pet door.
- Remote control
To make things even easier for you and your pup, you can choose a doggie door with a remote control option, which can be done from anywhere inside or outside the house with a special controller or a smartphone app.
- Directional sensors
Having your dog door open up every time your dog simply walks by or takes a nap near the entrance can be annoying and even unsafe. Look for a door with built-in directional sensors that will unlock the door only when your pup is directly approaching the entrance.
- Timer settings
If your dog door is equipped with a programmable timer, you can set the device to automatically shut down at night, when you’re out at work, or when the weather conditions outside are too severe for your pup to leave the house.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are two most important measurements to take when shopping for an electronic dog door. The first one is the size of your pet: measure your dog from the ground standing up and shoulder to shoulder to make sure he fits into the selected door size. Plus, you will need to measure the dog door you want to buy against the preferred location to easily install it with just the right fit.
Automatic dog doors require different installation techniques; typically, you will find an extensive installation guide in the package with the doggie door you bought. You will need to trace the template of the dog door, which should be located at least three inches from the ground, in the door to your house. Then, using a jigsaw, cut out the required fragment and install the dog door, securing the perimeter of the device with caulk.
If your dog does not instantly get the hang of an automatic dog door, you need to remember that every dog is different and your pup may be simply too scared or self-conscious and will need some time to get used to the new device. If you want to speed up the process, you can use the traditional method of positive reinforcement.
Leave your dog inside with another family member and go outside to stand in front of the door. Call your dog by his name, and when he finally comes out, reward him with his favorite treat. Repeat the training as many times as necessary for your dog to get used to the door. However, if you are noticing any negative behavior towards the door, suspend the training for a few days — it is very possible your pup is simply bored and can use a break.
While there are no direct references to dog doors in the policies of most insurance companies, there have been cases of insurers voiding the insurance because of dog doors. Plus, you risk losing your no claims bonus and other perks if it is discovered that you have a dog door installed.
In this situation, you should opt for the most secure options on the market — for example, an app-controlled or collar-activated dog door. And don’t forget to lock the door completely during the night or whenever you are not planning to let your dog out of the house. Microchip and RFID doors are also good options in terms of safety.