The 7 Dos and Don’ts of Buying a Pet Door

DosandDontsPet doors are the perfect option for allowing cats and dogs access in and out of your home when they need it, without having to disturb their anyone. It can be a great addition for busy families, working owners, and other similar situations. Shopping for the best pet door can require a bit of research and consideration. Here are 7 dos and don’ts that all pet owners should consider.

Do: Consider security.

Those who have larger animals may find that they have to install a dog door that a human with less than admirable intentions could also fit through. There is also the potential threat of wild animals or even just the neighbor’s cat being able to slip into the home. If you find yourself in this position, consider buying a pet door with an automatic door, which can detect a sensor on the collar of the animal that is allowed access and will only open for that pet.


Don’t: Assume that doors are a one-size-fits-all investment.

You should take measurements of your pet to determine the exact size of door that he or she will need. You should also consider the temperament of your pet. A biter, for example, should have a bite-proof door. Some owners might also prefer a door that locks to keep pets from wandering overnight or during particular times of the day.


Do: Consider energy costs.

Many cheaper pet doors have only flimsy, poorly insulated covers. Poor insulation might account for up to 20 percent of a home’s energy bill, and the dog or cat door can be a big contributor towards this problem. Doors such as a Thermo Panel can help avoid these energy costs. Like other types of green investments, the extra money saved on energy bills will easily make up for the additional cost of the door.


Don’t: Let price overrule you.

While for most owners, the cost will be an important consideration; it should not be the only one. Investing in a door that makes the owners feel insecure in their own home, causes larger energy bills, or can easily be destroyed by the pet will end up costing more in the long run. Consider all your requirements and select a door that will work well for your family and animals for years to come.


Do: Consider where the door should go.

While many imagine a pet door fitting perfectly into the family’s front door, an animal door can actually go nearly anywhere and on nearly any type of door. That means if you would prefer your pets to step out into the backyard rather than the front, you can place the door with confidence. You can elect to have the pet door go through a sliding glass door, a French door, even a window. There is freedom in the door’s placement depending upon the layout of your home and your preferences.


Don’t: Think your dog or cat automatically knows how to use the door.

Pets will need to be taught how to use the door. Some pets will figure it out after just a demonstration or two. Others might need a bit more time to really master their new door. In either case, use encouragement, rewards, and patience to teach the animal and you will be rewarded in the end.


Do: Consider the options.

There are a number of different design options depending upon visual preferences, materials, and the type of door. Since this choice will be affecting the home in a number of different ways, from energy usage to security to appearance, this is not a choice that should be purchased based upon the first listing in a search result. Research the different options, read reviews, and select the one that works best.


Selecting the right pet door can mean that the animals of the house become more independent and have an enhanced quality of life. There are a number of options available for pet owners. Those interested in learning more should keep the above dos and don’ts in mind as they begin their search.

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