Dog doors are a great way to give your four-legged friend freedom and independence. They conveniently let your dog come and go as it pleases, while at the same time keeping your home insulated, secure, and accident-free.

These practical doggy doors have been around for more than 400 years, starting off just as a hole in the wall, but today they’re much more advanced and sophisticated. With such a wide range of features and different types, available sizes, and countless colours, how do you find the most suitable doggie door for your lovely home and your playful friend? Find out more about dog door types in our Ultimate Guide to Dog Doors Types.

Shopping the best dog door requires extensive research and consideration. To help you navigate all the options and find the right doggie door, here are 5 things to consider before choosing the right one.

dog in front of a dog flap

Types of dog doors

What kind of dog door are you looking to install? There’s a myriad of options varying in price, size and installation ease. The most common types you should be aware of are:

  • Microchip dog doors: with a microchip doggie door you won’t need to run home in a panic every time there’s a storm outside. The microchip dog door allows dogs who wear sensor tags to enter or exit through the door. Some doors can be programmed to let the dog out at certain times of the day and block their exit at other times. An added benefit of these doors is that they’re a great way to keep raccoons and other unwanted visitors away.
  • Traditional doggie door: these doors are constructed of a flexible plastic material that a dog can push through to get outside. These are the most inexpensive type of dog door and the installation is quick and easy.
  • Hard doors: these doors are made from hard material, like a sturdy plastic or metal. The difference between these hard doors and the traditional dog doors are the increased security measures. You can lock the door to prevent your dog from getting out or unwanted visitors getting into your home

Additional reading: What are the Benefits of Using a Pet Door? (add blog url)

Dog door location

Does your dog need access to the front yard or to the backyard? Do you have a glass door or a timber door? Dog doors, depending on the dog’s size, are most often installed in: 

✔Timber doors

✔ Sliding glass doors

✔ Screen doors

✔ Steel doors

✔ French doors

✔ Windows

✔ Walls

 

If your dog spends most of its time outdoors, then opt for a garage door to allow for indoor space when it gets chilly. If you have a dog that prefers the indoors, then consider installing your dog flap into a door that offers quick access to the garden. Choosing the right spot for your dog flap is key to installation costs as well as your furry friend’s comfort.

Pet Size

Before choosing a doggie door, make sure you calculate your dog door size by breed. Some doors are suitable for small breeds, such as Maltese terrier, miniature poodle or chihuahua. Others suit large breeds of dogs, including a golden retriever, collie, or a Rottweiler. In order to make the right buy, you’ll need to measure your dog’s height and width. Measure your dog’s height from the ground to the top of their shoulder. The general rule is to get a door that is 1” larger than your dog’s measurements. To estimate your dog’s width, simply measure your dog at their widest part, usually between the shoulders. If your dog is between sizes, always choose the larger one. Carefully look at the size chart of each dog door to find the right fit.

dog in front of a microchip dog door

Dog door safety

Are there any other pets in your home? If you have a cat, for example, you don’t want to install a traditional dog flap that your cat can easily get through and escape. The safer choice is to get an automated dog door that will only open for your dog and keep other pets from exiting the house.

What about a child in the house? Having a toddler at home can be an issue as small children can exit the house through the dog door. Again, you might want to opt for an automated dog door that’ll only open for your dog.

Dog door features

Having a door that is weatherproof when you live in an area that gets extreme heat in summer, heavy rain in autumn, or deep snow in winter is essential. A weatherproof dog door will help insulate your home as heat and cold air can escape when the door opens. These all-weather doggie doors are the best ones on the market and are the ideal way to increase insulation for maximum energy efficiency. There are many doors whose flap uses magnetic seals that keep them closed in gusts up to 50 mph.

Moreover, there is also a wide choice of frames to choose from. Most dog doors feature plastic or metal frames, the former being cheaper and the latter more expensive but stronger. If your door is subject to a direct sun, you should opt for a metal frame to make your door more durable.

Ease of dog door installation

The ease of dog door installation varies, depending on the door type and the material of the area you want to insert a dog door. For example, installing a traditional flap door into wood is easier than installing a dog door into a wall. Not all of us are handy, and for that reason, you can hire a professional to install the dog door for you.

Dog door reviews

Any pet owner looking to buy a dog door for the first time is probably flooded with questions to ask.  What is the best manufacturer for pet doors? How much time does it take to install a dog door? Do they come with a warranty? Are they energy-efficient? To get a quick and sure answer to these questions, consider reading dog door reviews. Reading the reviews can be a great way to get more information about the product and see what customers who have bought the dog door think of it.

Additional reading: 5 Ways to Stimulate Your Dog’s Mind 

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