Pet Doors - From Simple to Smart

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Home Improvement

Pet Door Options - From Simple to Advanced

pet doorDoes your four-legged friend need a little more freedom? Do you have a place you want your cat to go but not your kids? Pet doors offer animals independence and allow their owners more flexibility in their day-to-day schedules.

A dog door is an excellent purchase for a dog owner that has a fenced-in backyard or patio. If you spend a lot of time getting up and down to let your dog out, this will save you the time and effort spent going back and forth. When you leave your home for the day, most electronic dog doors have a way to lock them to prevent your dog from going outside.

To benefit from a dog door, it is important that it’s safe for your dog to go outside unattended. Some dog owners allow their dogs to use the dog door when they’re not home. Even if you are at home, it’s important that your patio or yard is well-secured and free of hazards when your dog goes outside when you can’t see him.

If you are using a pet door for your cat, you may want to check with your local municipality to ensure house cats are welcome to roam outside unattended.

Whether you're more of a traditionalist, or you're inclined to adopt the latest and greatest tech, there's something for you (and your furry friends). 

Classic flap
We've all seen this one, a small opening with a flap that allows a pet access in and out of the house. These types of pet doors are popular due to their versatility. They can be installed in a door or cut into the side of a home. With the varying climates in Minnesota, simple versions are best used for access between rooms in your home or access to a garage or other protected area. Simple interior flaps can cost as little as $20. More advanced versions with insulation can even be installed in screen doors or glass panels. If security is a concern, these can often be outfitted with a sliding insert that will keep out intruders of both the critter and human variety.

Patio/panel type
This is possibly the only door option if your live in a rental or are weary of cutting a hole in a door that you will have to replace before selling your home. This option is basically a panel that fits within the track of a sliding door and has a pet door flap built-in. If you're renting, moving soon or the very thought of a drill makes you sweat – this one is for you. Popular versions of these type panels often run $600-$700 and can be taken with you when you sell your home or move.

Electronic (Smart) doors
Electronic or magnetic pet doors come with sensor tags that attach to your pets' collar or via your pet's microchip allowing automatic entry or exit when they get close to the door. Only a pet with a sensor tag can enter or exit through them.  Other models have remote controls that enable you to unlock the door from across the house. Most of these models work when the electronic dog door receives a signal to open.

Some electronic pet doors have timers that can be programmed to open during certain times of the day if your furry friend is the schedule-keeping type. There are even doors that connect to your smartphone, so you'll be notified when your four-legged friends step out. If you can afford it, a smart door is an excellent option that mitigates some of the concerns with pet doors – including security, pet safety, and energy efficiency. Some of the most efficient, high the doors can cost around $2,000. Electronic/Smart pet doors would be sold with your home

So, what pet door will you choose?