Stop, Thief! - How to Protect Your Home from Pet Door Invaders

Mav's large doggie door cover keeps his home safe - locking dog doors

Pet doors are an undeniable convenience to any home. With one installed, your pet has the added freedom to come and go as they please and you no longer have to worry about accidents in your home. Unfortunately, this new dog door often causes some concern for pet owners as to who may have access to your home through this new entryway. There are lots of stories out there of burglars getting through dog doors into homes. This is a fair concern to have and a pretty common one, but you’ll be glad to know that the latest pet door models are designed with this concern in mind.

Should I Be Worried?

Pet doors are not usually the weakest point of entry in a home, but should still be a consideration if you have a large pet door. We get the question all the time; are doggy doors safe? It’s important to keep in mind, your dog may not be the only thing trying to come in and out of it, and an extra big size can allow larger things to enter.

Let’s assume that you have recently installed a pet door in your home. The immediate outdoor area may be fenced in, allowing your pet to roam worry free. Unfortunately, the fence might not keep other determined intruders and critters away. A large pet door can seem like an inviting opportunity for someone who wishes to enter your home. Most pet door kits include a locking dog door cover that can keep animals inside or out, but a very determined human could potentially force their way past it. So what do we as dog owners do? How can we prevent things like this from happening?

As we mentioned, newer models are being designed to address this concern with built-in security features. These secure dog doors work in the same way as traditional pet doors but include some features for added protection against home invasions. Some have hinges and a keyhole, meaning the door can be locked from the inside. Some doors even feature a combination lock system for an added measure of security. These doors, however, limit the primary use of a pet door; the ease of your pet going in and out at will.

6 Tips for a Burglar Proof Doggie Door

There are a number of things you can do to ensure the security of your home and your pet door. There are also lots of options when it comes to secure pet doors, from electronic pet door models to well-designed locking covers. Take a look at our 6 tips for keeping intruders out of your pet door.

Buy An Appropriately Sized Door

Often times, overly extra large pet doors are purchased for smaller dogs or cats. Not only can this be a concern for your pet, you’re potentially opening up your home to thieves. For burglars, the bigger the pet door, the better. We know what you’re thinking – even if burglars enter your home through the pet door, your dog will scare them off, right? Wrong – You could be risking the safety of your pet. Don’t believe us? Check out this  story from Los Angeles, where there was a series of burglaries where the entry method was via the pet door, and in one, three dogs were subdued with pepper spray. The best option for the safety of your pet and your home is to keep your pet door the smallest necessary to let your pet comfortably in and out.

Invest in a More Secure Door and Locking Mechanisms

Most dog doors come with locking covers. These are often lightweight but hard plastic. If you prefer something a bit more heavy-duty, there are several options that are designed to supplement your pet door. The Watchdog Steel Security Pet Door Cover is one of the most secure options for how to secure a dog door from intruders and it is compatible with most pet door brands and sizes.

The security dog door cover features a 4 digit combination lock, as well as 12-gauge steel. The bolts are very sturdy and can only be removed from the inside, the door frame also covers the hinges which means that potential invaders cannot dismantle the door when the locking features are engaged.

For sliding glass dog door inserts, you can use a Charley bar to secure the panel in your door frame. We recommend the Prime Line Products Charley Bar or Wedgit Charley bar.

Consider Automatic Pet Doors

Electronic Dog Door for Door for Larger Dogs that shows how secure dog doors can keep out instruders

Consider automatic Pet Doors or electronic dog doors that only operate for pets via collar keys or other individually identifiable methods like RFID chips. Critters and pests are always on the lookout for a food source, shelter, and warmth. All things that your home can provide. So if you have a pet door and stumble upon any of these pests in your home, you can probably already guess how they got there. We find that the automatic models like the High Tech Pet Power Pet are some of the best dog doors for small dogs you can buy, especially to keep critters out of your home.

 

Microchip pet doors are another advance in pet door technology that can make you and your pet’s life a lot simpler. These doors work via a radio frequency that communicates with a special tab placed on your pet’s collar or their implanted microchip. Anytime they come within a certain range of the door, it opens thanks to a sensor in the door. This is a great in between pet door choice if you’re looking for an option that gives your pet freedom but keeps your home sealed off from intruding critters. As it stands currently, most automatic doors that are big enough for larger dog breeds cannot use microchip technology, but still use a kind of smartkey on the dog's collar.

The SureFlap Microchip Pet Door even has a specialized raccoon mode to keep out the most cunning of critters! The electronic doors are the perfect access control for your pets and your home.

Install Your Pet Door in a Discreet Location

An easy way to discourage home intruders is to install your pet door in a location not easily viewable by strangers. Most homeowners choose to put their pet door on their back door so that it is not visible from the street. This makes the burglar unaware of the entrance and you can prevent unwanted visitors from targeting your home and your house from appearing vulnerable. Others have gotten more creative. Nowadays, you can have a wall mounted dog door installation. This allows you to garden around their entrance, putting bushes and grass right outside their door! This effectively hides the dog door from outside viewing. It also give a bit of weatherproof wind-break to your door, reducing drafts.

Use and Enforce your Locking Mechanism

As mentioned before, most pet doors already come with some kind of locking mechanism or cover. A very simple tip is to utilize the dog door locking mechanism on your doggie door cover when you’re away from your home. Most pet doors have them and snap-lock into place.

the burglary proof charley bar secure doggie doors in inserts to the sliding glass door

That means making sure that your locking doggy door cover is being used when away for a few days. Re-adjust door locks if they can be reached through your pet door.

But what about if you have a sliding door panel? Security becomes more complicated if you have a patio panel or sliding glass door. Sometimes you can’t easily remove the panel from the track. In that case, you can use a burglary proof wedgit charley bar. These bars sandwich your dog door insert between the patio door slider and the frame, making them near impossible to force open. You can also modify your installation and add a foot-activated deadbolt lock.

Place a “Beware of Dog” sign

Place the “Beware of Dog” Sign on your property (even if your dog is non-threatening). While you might think this would tip would-be robbers off about a potential pet door on your property, it also scares them away. Like we mentioned before, burglars look for easy targets, and a “beware of dog” sign will warn them that your home is not one. It also comes as no comfort to say, but it's just as easy to break a window or bust a lock than go through a big dog's dog door!

Answering that question 'are doggie doors are safe to have' is difficult. While a pet door will rarely be the main focus as a point of entry for intruders, there are still steps you can take to minimize that potential risk.

Answering the question about whether or not doggie doors are safe to have many different components to it. While a pet door will rarely be the main focus as a point of entry for intruders there are still steps you can take to minimize that potential risk.

If you have any questions or specific concerns feel free to email us at customerservice@petdoors.com and we can help you out!

To examine more pet door options, head over to our site to see the different styles we offer, and which is best for you.

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