Adding a Timer to an Electronic Pet Door

Are you looking for an automatic electronic dog door with a timer feature? Lots of pet owners have expressed interest in an electronic smartdoor with customized access control such as a curfew mode (the door opens for your pet during the day but stays closed at night during the hours of your choosing). This would allow you to control exactly what time you want your dog or cat to be able to use their electronic dog door. Some pet doors, like the SureFlap Microchip Pet Door and the Cat Mate 305 Selective Entry Door, already have a programmable timer mode built in. While these doors work great for cats and small dogs, they are not compatible with medium and large dogs due to limited range in microchip sensing. So, there are no selective entry doggie doors with pre-installed timer options available for bigger pets.

Make your own timed dog door lock for a customized locking dog door

To solve this dilemma, we've laid out the steps for adding a timer to electronic pet products so that you can choose when you want to grant your pet full access and when you want to restrict access. Alternatively, you could use one of these methods on a dog cage or crate door to allow them in and out during specific times of the day. Sometimes the best dog door is one that you alter yourself to fit your needs! Keep in mind that if your dog is still outside when the timer turns off, they will not be able to come in through the dog door!

1) Purchase a timer

Defiant timer for your automatic dog door - electronic dog door timer

Usually, a digital or light timer will work best for this DIY. You can check out Amazon for a wide range of options. If you are still unsure of which one to purchase, you can ask your local hardware store where you might find the timers for Christmas lights. We also recommend the type of light timers that can plug into an outlet so easy installation. Most are pretty manual so you won’t be getting a programmable dog door, but something more like a semi-automated door.

The timer we used in our example is the Defiant Indoor Heavy Duty Timer purchased at the local hardware store. 2) Program timer for the time period that you want the pet door to stay on

This steps differs depending on what type of cat door or dog door timer you purchase. Generally, following the instructions provided by the product is a good idea. For our timer, we programmed the timer by pushing down the pins of the times we don’t want the pet door to be used.

3) Plug the timer into the wall, then plug the pet door into the timer

Sliding glass dog door with heavy duty timer - automatic pet door

Since the timer we have is an outlet timer, we installed it by plugging the timer into the closest outlet to the installation location. An extension cord may be necessary if there are no outlets close by. Once the timer is programmed and plugged in, plug the pet door adapter into the outlet on the timer. Finally make sure everything is turned on, relax, and watch the timer do its job.

4) Test the pet door to make sure it works

high tech doggy door with heavy duty timer - electronic pet door

Have your pet try the to use the timed pet door during the the "on" period and the “off” period to make sure the timer is functioning correctly. If it is not, there may be some troubleshooting needed. The best way to go about this is to make sure that you have programmed the timer and the pet door correctly. If there is still some problems, we recommend that you contact the timer manufacturer for timer related questions and contact us for pet door related questions. Note if you do upgrade your dog door with timer functionality, once the timer locks the pet door will not open in either direction.

Want to see the High Tech Sliding Glass Dog Door in action?

The High Tech is one of the best electronic dog door options for big dogs. Here is a video that shows how the energy efficient, collar activated dog door only works for selected dogs!

If you have a big dog but would still like to enjoy the benefits of a door that unlocks for a smartkey worn around your pet's collar, we recommend the High Tech Power Pet Automatic Pet Door, one of the leading pet doors with collar tag sensors. The Automatic Power Pet Door Mount can be installed in your door frame or a cut out in your wall, and the Automatic Power Pet Patio Pet Door installs in sliding glass doors. The High Tech Pet door panel, sliding door insert, and wall installation styles all feature a two way directional sensing system, meaning they lock from the inside and the outside to keep stray animals out of your home. This door comes with one waterproof, ultrasonic collar key (extra weatherproof collar keys available for purchase).

The rigid flap improves energy efficiency, resisting winds that could blow open a flexible flap and let air inside your home. The High Tech door has an automatic deadbolt locking system that activates as soon a the door is completely shut (default safety system ensures it doesn't close on your pet's back). You can also purchase a High Tech Rechargeable Battery to use as the main or backup source to power your automatic door installation. Here is a guide on how to add a timer to this automatic dog door so that you can control access to the flap door all hours of the day.

If you need any assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us by emailing us at or give us a call at 1 (800) - 826 - 2871.

Stephanie Wong

Written by

Stephanie Wong

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