Have you become a servant for your pet, always opening and closing doors for them at their beck and call? If you’re gone for the day, do you worry about the condition of your carpets until you get back home? When you’re in the middle of running errands and hanging out with friends, do you have to excuse yourself from the fun and run back to your house to let the dog out? If so, a pet door may be the answer to your troubles.
Relieving You (and your pet)
If you don’t want to become a doorman for your pet but you want to continue to save the condition of your floors, then an easy way to relieve the hassle is with a pet door. These small entryways and exits not only alleviate your responsibilities, but they also make life more comfortable for your pets. Since they can enter and exit the house at their convenience, you longer will you have to deal with incessant barking, scratched up doors, or stir crazy pets; and they will no longer have to hold it while waiting for you to come let them out or howl for you to let them come back inside. Also, since your pets will now have more access to the outside, they will be able to get more exercise when they desire, allowing them to be healthier while making them more relaxed when inside the house.
So you have a dog door now, which also means you now also have a small, square hole in your patio door. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that all security is gone because there have been many recent renovations in their design and function. Many of these doors come with an optional lock system allowing you many settings to choose from:
- You can permanently lock your pet door to keep anything from coming in or going out during the night or in inclement weather.
- You can create a one-way path, allowing your pet to go out and stay out or vice versa.
- All doors are self-closing, thereby sealing out wind drafts and wandering insects.
- They are tamper-proof, which means that they cannot be stolen from the outside since all installation is completed on the interior of home.
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But remember: dog doors do not factor in humans. Though most of these spaces are too small for people to crawl through, there is still that possibility since they are specifically designed for small animals. So keep an eye on your locking system periodically and make sure you properly size the door beforehand so that only your pet can fit through it.
How to Choose
Pet doors come in all materials and styles so as to fit your specific needs. Here are some available options:
Plastic: This is a very traditional model which allows you, and your pet, to see through the door. Although it’s convenient to see outside so easily, it may be a security problem: if you can see out, then others can also see in. You can have it tinted for added protection.
Metal/Aluminum: These doors are heavier which makes them more durable and protective. But they are also loud when opening and closing, which may be good for security reasons: this natural alarm system scares away unwanted pests or intruders and allows you to keep track of your pets’ activities.
Glass Doors/French Doors: Yes, dog doors can be put into sliding glass doors with special products and installation, allowing you to keep the view and beauty of your home.
Walls: Yes, these units can also be put into walls if a door in not available, or if you want an entryway/exit between areas that normally stay closed (garage, laundry room).
Electronic Dog Doors: Electronic dog doors will keep your pet door to stay permanently locked for surefire security. They automatically unlock when your dog or cat approaches through an infrared or magnetic signal that is transmitted through a key attached to your pet’s collar.
Measure your pet: In preparation for buying a door, make sure to measure your pet accurately so as to customize your model. Try to keep the height of the opening to one or two inches above the highest point of your pet, and install the door at about abdomen-level. There are sizing guides out there to help you identify the appropriate dimension of the door, but make sure if you have a puppy or a kitten that you keep in mind their estimated growth throughout the years so you only have to buy once.
Training: Usually, pets are able to naturally use the door with little or no training required. Simply show the animal the door and then nudge them through it in order to demonstrate how it works. If that doesn’t work, stand on other side of the door with a snack to lure them through. Soon they should be able to pick up on the procedure.
Installation: Though these doors are usually easy to install, it may be a good idea to hire a professional. These experts can easily select the right door for you and ensure quality installation for your specific needs. And it’s always best to hire someone when it comes to installing into sliding glass doors since these specific entryways deal in such precise procedures and dangerous materials.