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Cold Weather and Your Dog Doors

by Jeffrey Magnusson

Were you affected by the Polar Vortex this year? Freezing cold temperatures ravaged much of the United States, and over here in California, we were receiving a flurry of calls from customers who were trying to keep the cold out and shore up their pet doors. But how to winterize a dog door effectively? There are a number of ways to keep the cold out, which we’ve outlined below. We also want to let you know about the best pet doors for cold weather!

Check Your Flaps

Older flaps can still be physically intact, but they may be not sealing properly. This even goes for "all-weather dog doors" and "extreme weather pet doors." Always check to see if there are gaps forming at the edges. This means that cold air is going to come into your house. Any light you see coming through the sides of the flap is going to translate to heat leaving your house. Check out this large selection of replacement flaps.

Does your Insulation or Weather Stripping Need Replacing?

Sometimes the flaps are just fine, and it's the weatherstripping that fails. For older panels or where a lot of direct sunlight hits the draft stoppers or weatherstripping, you may need to replace the affected materials a bit more frequently. The best way to tell is to feel along the gaps for drafts and cold.

It May Be Time to Upgrade

If you have had a pet door for 15 years, chances are high that the technology has made leaps and bounds in terms of energy efficiency and insulation. Living in colder climates or having harsher winters can necessitate the need for dual flaps or more insulated flaps to keep it warm inside. These days, there are lots of extreme weather dog door options. If you have a slider insert, then you may want to look into dual-pane glass, as the glass itself can allow for insulation loss if it is only a single pane. If you wish to upgrade, check out the best dog doors for cold weather.

Three dogs huddled and cuddled together in one dog bed

As far as the cold weather goes, we did some testing on some of the most popular door brands on the market to see what flaps shrink in the cold or would blow open in the wind. You can see the video results below (on any given day you can find a flap or two in our freezer, it’s a weird break room):

Pet Door Freezer Test Video

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