Pet doors have their pros and cons. In addition to their self-service convenience, it can also be argued that they have the potential to be life saving. Consider this: You go away for the weekend and entrust your pets to a friend who comes over twice a day to feed them and take them for a walk. Your friend locks up for the night with your pets snug inside and goes home when a fire breaks out. The sitter has no idea. Your pets have no escape.
However, pet doors aren’t always a good idea, especially if you have dogs or cats who don’t like to share their space with the rest of the pets in the neighbourhood. Many pets treat pet doors as the swinging doors of ye olde saloons – basically everyone is invited. This could lead to all sorts of behavioral problems in your pets.
Furthermore, if your pets have uncontrolled and unlimited access to the great outdoors, you don’t always know where they are. This is especially problematic if you have an epic adventurer.
Do pet doors help toilet training?
Many people think that pet doors will help with house training. After all, what could be better than a puppy who takes herself out when she needs to go? Pet doors are convenient, especially on cold, wet nights, but they don’t necessarily teach puppies the correct behavior. It also doesn’t help train bladder control. If the pet door is ever locked or stuck, or you visit a holiday cottage that doesn’t have a pet door, your little pooch will probably have plenty of accidents. She simply doesn’t know how to ask to go out and she doesn’t think about holding either.
Pet doors also don’t really work if you have very big dogs. Any door big enough to accommodate a mastiff or Great Dane is big enough for an average size burglar. If your dog comes and goes at night, you can’t set your alarm to alert you to intruders. It makes all your high-tech and expensive security systems redundant.
Installing a pet door is not exactly a piece of cake. All dog door installations require you to cut out a chunk of your door. Not only do you have to get your measurements exactly right, but you also have to consider how any new owners will feel about the door when the time comes to sell. There is also the heat-loss side-effect; basically, installing pet doors affects your home’s insulation, which will affect your home’s energy efficiency.
If you really want a pet door, then you may like the range of designs and styles available. You’re not limited to a plain old swinging flap.
For example you can find electronic dog doors for sliding glass doors and these don’t need you to cut a hole in the door or wall to install them. You can even take them with you when you sell your home.
You can also get pet doors with a locking cover, usually magnetic, with the control signal located in your pet’s collar. This could take care of some security and energy-efficiency problems.
Pet awnings are cute and functional. They provide shade where pets are most comfortable, which is right outside the door and underfoot. There are other benefits to pet awnings. They keep out the rain, dust, slush and snow, and they let pets stand half in and half out while they decide whether they want to brave the elements. Choose a sloped awning that protects against the wind. Awnings also make it more difficult for intruders to come in through your doggy door.
Note: Be sure to check whether the doggy door that you’re about to install aligns with the pet awning you may have in mind. Some doors don’t work with an awning because the designs aren’t aligned, and in such a case the awning will be a hindrance to the free entry zone.
There is a wide range of pet doors available, from manual to electronic doors, and each style and model has its pros and cons. Choosing the right pet doors will require a bit of research. First and foremost, you need to consider your pet and whether installing a door will benefit them or upset them. Then you need to consider the type of door you have and the type of pet flap you want because the two might not go together. Finally, consider your DIY skills, it will add to the expense to get someone to install your pet door professionally, but that is nothing compared to the expense of a whole new door if you cut off more than you should.