A doggie door means freedom for your dog, and for you. No more getting up to let the dog out—or in. With a doggie door, your dog comes and goes at will. But what should you look for in a doggie door, and what should you look out for? Doggie Door Features to Consider
First of all, how big a doggie door do you need? Remember, your pet isn't parking in the garage; he's just slipping in and out of the house. Create too big of an opening, and you'll get a burglar instead of a beagle. Measure your dog's height from the top of the shoulders, just behind the front legs, and his width at the chest, and size your doggie door accordingly.
There are many different styles of doggie doors, including doors that are cut into your existing doors, or walls, or even into sliding glass doors. One of the most inexpensive doggie doors features a plastic or aluminum frame and an acrylic flap, often held in place by a magnet, to help keep out the weather. As you move into the higher-end doggie doors, you find self-locking, one-way, electronic ‘key' activated doors, even infra-red technology. Doggie doors at this end of the spectrum feature more energy-efficient seals, lock more securely, and can cost upwards of $1,000. Doggie Door Security
For less than $100, you can find a doggie door that self-locks to keep out unwanted guests, like other dogs, raccoons, snakes, and felons. These doggie doors are activated by an electronic chip on your dog's collar. Expect to pay more for doggie doors that fit larger breeds. Burglars have been known to pry open doggie doors and reach inside to unlock the human door. If your doggie door is cut into an existing door, be sure the door features a lock that can't be easily reached from below.
Even though a doggie door gives your dog the freedom to go out when it needs to ‘go,' leaving your dog alone for extended periods, and letting it use the doggie door unattended, can put your dog in danger. Once outside the doggie door, and alone, even in a fenced-in yard, your dog could be stolen, or could slip under or through the fence and be gone for hours before you get home. When you leave your home, lock all your doors. The Ideal Doggie Door
Your ideal doggie door is sized to fit the standing height of your full-grown dog when measured from the top of the shoulders, and the width at the chest. It features an easy-closing magnetic flap, or, for added security, and electronically activated ‘key' system to keep out unwanted guests and improve energy efficiency. The doggie door should only give your pet access to an enclosed outdoor area, such as a fenced-in yard. Finally, the ideal doggie door is one that you monitor carefully, knowing that your pet is not fully safe using the door when you aren't home.