Having a dog can be a lot of fun, but the hassle of getting up to let it in and out of your house can soon become a tiresome task. If you have a patio or backyard, your dog will most likely want to spend some time outside.
Although the workout you’ll get from constantly opening and closing the door for your dog will be beneficial, you might soon start to wonder if there isn’t an easier way to have your dog move in and out of your house more freely, without compromising the safety of other household members.
If you’re wondering this, here is the perfect solution: an automatic dog door. Not only are these easy to install, but they also offer a level of security and comfort as you’ve never experienced before. Below we discuss which electronic pet door options are available on the market today and give a quick overview of some frequently asked questions.
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The SureFlap Microchip Pet Door
If you’re looking for a pet door that will suit both cats and dogs, then the SureFlap Microchip Pet Door is one of the best doors you can purchase. Retailing for only $150, it’s versatile, effective, and easy to use.
It allows your pets to pass through by reading their microchip information or if your pet isn’t microchipped, a programmable collar tag can be purchased. All pets whose information isn’t programmed to enter the door will be denied access.
Installation of the SureFlap Microchip Pet Door can be done in a wall, a window, or a door. It offers great other features like the ability to be locked at times when you’d like your pets to stay indoors or out. The only downside though, is that this door is limited to small pets with the opening square being only about 7” big.
Power Pet Large Electronic Pet Door
Retailing at $400, this high-tech, durable electronic door is worth the investment if you want an autonomous door for your dogs. Whether your dogs are big or small, it will serve to be a welcoming addition to both your and their lives.
This vertical-sliding motor-driven door is activated by a programmed pet collar tag and only opens once your pet walks directly to the door. If they’re sleeping or wandering nearby, it will stay shut. It can accommodate dogs up to 100 lbs and is wind- and weatherproof.
The PetSafe Cat Door
Since cats are mostly indoor pets, the PetSafe Cat Door was designed with them specifically in mind. They have a need to get fresh air too, and this door gives them the freedom to range the outdoors whenever they feel like it.
Activated by your cat’s microchip or special collar, the flap unlocks allowing them movement in or out. It retails at only $100 and with its unique four-way lock feature which allows you to set it at locked, unlocked, enter only or exit only, it really is a steal!
The SureFlap DualScan Cat Flap
With a retail price of $170, you get added features to control the use of this cat flap. If you have cats who’re allowed to go out, while others should remain indoors then this is the perfect autonomous solution for you.
It features dual-sided microchip scanning abilities which only allow approved cats to enter or exit your home. It can be set to open only for certain pets, so some can be kept inside while others still get to roam free. The SureFlap DualScan Cat Flap is compatible with both microchips and special collar tags.
The High-Tech Pet Product Automatic Patio Pet Door
Being on the fancier side of life, and retailing at a starting price of $600, the High-Tech Pet Product Automatic Patio Pet Door is a great option if you want an autonomous pet door that slides open. It’s easy to install available in different sizes and opens when a pet with a pre-installed ultrasonic key-code approaches it.
The Doorman Electronic Pet Door
Coming from the same brand as the Invisible Fence, this door is the option you should consider if you already have an Invisible Fence installed. It makes use of the same collar that receivers use to activate the Invisible Fence and can be installed on both interior or exterior doors.
To make life more convenient for both you and your pet, investing in an electronic pet door is the way to go. It’s a simple change to make that offers convenience while still ensuring safety.
There are endless choices for dog doors on the market, each with its own unique features to suit different families and budgets. The choice of which one is the best fit for you and your dog is often proves to be harder it might seem. After reading through our buying guide below, you’ll find it easier to pick a dog door for your specific needs.
Reasons to buy an Automatic Dog Door
The most obvious reason to buy an automatic dog door is convenience. You as well as your dog will reap the benefits of convenience when purchasing this device. If you have a backyard, you already know that your dog enjoys spending time outside.
Getting up to open the door for your dog to move in and out of your house is probably the last thing you want to do after coming home from an exhausting day at work. With an automatic dog door, your dog can move around freely while you unwind on your comfiest couch.
Having an automatic dog door is also beneficial for your furry friend’s health. A dog door allows your dog unlimited access to bathroom breaks which means your dog will never have to wait for you before it can go again.
If your dog is able to relieve itself anytime it wants, a wide variety of bladder related health conditions can be prevented. Besides that, your dog will be left feeling much more comfortable.
Another health benefit is the physical activity your dog will be getting. If your dog is able to move in and out freely, it’ll be able to get the exercise needed to stay in top-notch shape on its own.
Being able to breathe outside whenever it wants, will award your dog with physical and emotional freedom and prevent it from becoming bored during the day.
Options and Features
In addition to providing more security, smart pet doors give you plenty of features to choose from, assuming that you are willing to pay for them.
For example, many of the higher end models have doors that raise and lower themselves electronically. This may make it easier for some pets to use the door, and require less training on the part of the owner. They will usually allow you to program multiple keys to work with the door, in case you have multiple pets.
Some pet doors are powered by batteries, while others are powered by a conventional plug and power cord. No matter which type you choose, there are trade offs. Plug in models will require an electrical outlet close to the door, or the use (and perhaps purchase) of an extension cord.
Battery operated pet doors can be installed in any door or window, but batteries will need to be changed periodically and new batteries purchased from time to time.
Programmable pet doors, which also tend to be a little bit pricier, allow you to set conditions under which the door will be able to opened or not. For example, these pet doors can be set with a curfew, so that your dog can not get out and start barking in the middle of the night.
Or, they can be set to only allow exit or entry. This may come in handy if it’s late and you don’t want your pet to be able to go back out after coming in, or if you will be having company and don’t want your pet to come back in after going out.
Most pet doors came in varying sizes, so that your pets can easily get in or out no matter how big or small they are, without bringing any uninvited friends along. Many also have extra safety features built in, such as a sensor that prevents the door from closing on your pet.
Finally, most of the higher end smart pet doors will come with a warranty. This ensures that if something happens to your smart pet door within the first several years of purchase, the company will repair or place the device. This might be a good idea if your smart door is likely to get lots of use.
Now that you have an idea of the benefits of a smart pet door and the features than can include, you can figure out what you and your pet will need, and improve both of your lives sooner rather than later.
Different Types of Automatic Dog Doors
With the wide variety of dog doors available on the market, each has its own unique features to make it stand out from the rest. Read on to see which automatic dog doors are currently the most popular and what their operating specifics are.
PetSafe Collar Activated
With a collar activated dog door, your dog will gain independence without much work for you to do. PetSafe has an automatic dog door that can be installed with ease and accommodate up to five pets. It’s available in two sizes and after putting the SmartKey on your dog’s collar, no extra activation is needed. Once your dog comes near the door, it will automatically unlock. The PetSafe collar activated door can also be locked or unlocked by you in a few simple steps.
Magnetic Dog Doors
Simple and efficient are the words that come to mind when thinking about this type of dog door. To use it, your dog will have to push the door with its movement whether by going out or coming in. The magnetic force on the door will shut it again after your dog moves through. Most automatic magnetic doors can also be locked completely for a specific period of time as needed.
Ultrasonic Dog Doors
Ultrasonic dog doors work with a key and sensor. The key is placed on, for example, your dog’s collar. When your dog approaches the door, the sensor on it will detect your dog and the door will be unlocked. The sensitivity level of the sensor can also be adjusted to prevent the door from accidentally opening when your dog is just passing by.
Microchip Dog Doors
If you’ve chipped your dog previously or plan on doing it, then this advanced type of automatic dog door will be perfect for you. It works with your dog’s vet-installed microchip to open and close as needed.
Radiofrequency Dog Doors
Radiofrequency dog doors use radio frequency through chips. The only downside is that radiofrequency chips don’t store any personal information about dogs which means that the dog door will open for any other dog emitting a radiofrequency.
RFID Signal Dog Doors
Although these types of dog doors are still new, they’re quickly gaining popularity in the market. Using radiofrequency, these doors detect the dog allowed to enter the house and gives access to it, while preventing all others from getting in.
Dog Door Features
Before you make your final decision, there’s some other dog door features to consider. They are listed below for your convenience:
If your dog door has this feature, you’ll be able to manage use of the door by, for example, setting it to not open from outside once your dog is inside and vice versa.
For household with two or more pets who’ll be using the dog door, opting for the one which allows multi-pet access is the way to go.
This feature on some types of dog doors offer even more convenience by allowing you to remote control the door from wherever you are inside or outside of your home. The remote control usually comes in some form of a special remote or an app downloadable on your smartphone.
A dog door equipped with a time setting which can be programmed to your needs, is another great option when ultimate convenience is your goal. Doors with this feature can be set to shut close at night or any other times when you’d prefer your dog to stay inside due to weather conditions or if you’re not at home.
Having a dog door with directional sensors is one of the safest options and can spare you a lot of annoyance. Without directional sensors, most automatic dog doors will open anytime you or your dog passes or stands near it. If a dog door has a built-in directional sensor it will unlock only when your dog is approaching it directly.
Why Choose a Smart Pet Door Over a Manual Door?
Electronic pet doors provide a small opening that your furry friends can use to enter and exit the house at will without allowing other animals – or, potentially, thieves – to take advantage of the pet door to sneak into the house. That’s because smart pet doors will only open for an animal carrying a microchip that can communicate with the pet door itself.
Your pet (or pets) can be fitted with a special collar – or even an embedded microchip – that will emit a specific radio frequency which will be recognized by your smart pet door. This is known as “radio frequency identification,” or RFID.
A smart pet door has a sensor, usually powered by battery or by a power cord and plug, which will only open when it detects the correct frequency, carried by your pets. Any other critters that try to open the smart door will find it locked and immobile.
You are fortunate enough to live in an area where neither wild animals, other domestic animals, or burglars are a threat; where neither extreme heat or cold can enter through an unsealed opening; or you simply can’t afford a smart pet door. But be aware, smart pet doors can be relatively affordable, selling for less than $100 on various websites.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a Smart Dog Door?
Smart Dog Doors are panels installed into an access door of your house that let your pets move freely into and out of the house without needing your assistance. They open automatically for your pet and work using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) or microchips (the identification microchip your vet installs under your pet’s skin).
The Smart door has a sensor in its panel that detects when the chip or RFID key is close by and then opens for the dog (or cat) to move through. Without the chip or key, the door stays locked, and no other creature can access (or leave) the house.
2. How does a Smart Dog Door work?
The panel that is installed into your door works with either Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) where your dog carries the access fob on their collar, or via Microchip Reader where the panel reads the identification microchip inserted under their skin by the vet. When the Smart Door detects the RFID fob or microchip, the panel flap opens.
3. Which Smart/Electronic Dog Door is best?
We recommend the Electronic SmartDoor from PetSafe (which works with RFID tech) or the SureFlap Microchip Dog Door from Sure Petcare. Details of each can be found above in our article.
If you’d like something even more technologically advanced, the SureFlap Microchip Pet Door Connect (also from Sure Petcare) works with a mobile app.
Now you should have enough information to decide which Smart Dog-Door would work best for you and your furry friend.
If you have a pet, it’s probably because you really love them. That doesn’t mean that it can’t sometimes be a hassle to care for them, right? If you share this feeling, you need to invest in smart pet devices. They make life much simpler for both pet owners and pets. Read on below to see what’s available.
Electronic Pet Doors
Acting like a doorman for your dog who stays indoors can become really irritating. Luckily, electronic dog doors are widely available today and although they don’t work like most smart devices (through the internet), they still offer smart functions to make life easier for you.
Electronic pet doors usually work through electronic wave’s set-in motion either by a microchip or special tag on a pet collar to allow for automated opening and closing of the secured flap which allows your pet to pass through. Many other features are available on different models of electronic pet door like setting the door to lock at certain times, allowing multiple pet access or restriction of use to only one pet.
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Last update on 2021-01-15 / Most affiliate links and/or Images from Amazon Product Advertising API