We get calls from quite a few customers that are trying to find a pet door for their senior pet. Some call that have never even owned a pet door, but because now their dog takes a certain type of medication they need to be let out much more frequently, often in the middle of the night, and a pet door is a wonderful solution. Others are replacing an existing pet door because it’s become too uncomfortable to use, let’s face it we all get a little less spry the older we get, so going through the same smaller opening or having to duck down all the time might not be as easy. Could be because the door was mounted too low or too high or with some breeds problems like hip dysplasia and arthritis might be a factor in needing a door mounted much lower that still offers a taller opening. Possibly some not so large breeds like Corgis and Doxies that may be short in stature, but have longer bodies that can make them prone to back problems, so a low step over is very important.
For instance if you are thinking about a wall mount, but have base boards or framing that you can’t cut into making it so that they door has to be mounted 7 or 8 inches from the floor. Well, that step over might be a bit high and more daunting, especially since your dog has to go through a tunnel. We say that you generally don’t want the pet door mounted more than about 3-4” from the floor. Possibly taking a look at a different installation spot would be a better choice. If a different installation type is not available then considering ramps or steps making the door more easily accessible would make it much more comfortable.
While the Endura Flap line seals amazingly well, that might not be the best choice. Why? The better the sealing the more magnet strength and the harder the pet has to push. For smaller or older weaker pets this may pose a challenge, so trying to maintain that balance between insulation value and usability is important. In this case a good one to go with would be the Hale line of pet doors, since they have magnets strategically placed around the flap so that the pet would not have to put as much pressure on it in order to break the magnet contact.
Older pets might have some issues with vision, such as cataracts or glaucoma, making certain doggy doors more challenging. We have had customers in cases where the pet would go into the door or wall go with a clear type vinyl flap as they allow more light to get through and easier to see something on the opposite side.
The bigger the pet door generally the heavier the flap and the more magnet strength. You do want a door that is large enough for you dog offering some wiggle room so they aren’t squeezing, but going overkill isn’t necessary either. We suggest taking a look at how we measure pets to get you pointed to the proper size.
These are just a few suggestions to consider and as always we hope you call or email us with any questions or concerns you might have when choosing the best door for senior pup!