60$ Pet Door Unboxings: Reviewing Ideal, Petsafe, and Dragon
These days, most everything is bought online, including pet doors! So much of the online buying process is in shipping and unboxing, so we figured we would unbox three pet doors in the same price range, and see how they compare. Each door is under 60$.
Here, we look at the Ideal Aluminum Pet Door, the Petsafe Plastic Pet Door, and the Dragon Pet Door, particularly looking at the following things:
- Shipping Times and Methods
- The Unboxing
- First Impressions of the Product
- Additional Items, Hardware, and Instructions
Shipping Times and Methods
Because of Covid-19, many shipping companies across the country have been struggling to keep up with increased number of orders and decreased number of in-person personnel. This has led to many brands, such as Hale, Endura Flap and Ideal Pet Doors, to require additional days or weeks to build their doors.
That being said, these three brands all arrived at my door within three to four days of ordering. Whether you’re using Amazon or our shipper, FedEx, United States residents should get their pet door within one week during normal times.
Is there anything better than opening up a new package? Even when you know what’s inside, the excitement is there.
The Ideal Aluminum Pet Door comes in a standard brown box with packing wrap. They use the same box for the pet door itself as the one they use for big box stores like Lowes and Home Depot.
The Petsafe Plastic Pet Door also came in a box within a box! This would fit on the shelves of Petco or PetSmart, and has all the features and functions that you can find online, written right on the box.
The Dragon Pet Door comes in a large plastic bag within the shipping box. Unlike the other two, the Dragon is sold only online, so they have no need of an extra box. It comes with packing material to fit the lower profile FedEx or Amazon box.
First Impressions of the Product
First Impressions can make or break a product! Whether it’s the aesthetics, immediate concerns about the future installation, or how it feels as a product in your hands, those first few minutes are extremely important. Here’s what I thought;
The Ideal is the heaviest of the three doors, and immediately feels the strongest and sturdiest, being made of aluminum instead of plastic. The aesthetics are clean, with hidden screws and a crystal clear flap. Although impossible to tell when uninstalled, the flap feels less than perfect, with gaps visible between the flap and frame.
The Petsafe feels very fragile in my hand, though could be stronger once installed. It’s light and has a very slight magnetic pull for the flap. I can also see through the gaps in the flap, and most of the hardware screws and holes are visible. Despite not being metal, the design is very minimalist and still has an off-white coloring.
The Dragon is, again, the odd one out, though not in a bad way. Aesthetically, it is very mechanical and clearly well engineered. The plastic frame feels just as sturdy as the Ideal, but with half the weight. The magnets seem much more effective than those on the other two doors, as they create much more contact with each other and keep the flap sealed even when I turn the door horizontal. The frame color is also off-white, like a pinkish cream color.
Additional Items, Hardware, and Instructions
The hardware, instructions, and templates are just as important as any information you may find online. Each pet door came with installation instructions and hardware, but which ones have the better extra bits and bobs?
The Ideal comes with hardware, a locking cover, installation instructions, and a template for cutting into your door. With just eight components for installation, the Ideal looks to have the simplest installation. The instructions seem clear and the template is in one piece.
The Petsafe comes with plastic screws and nuts, locking cover, framing pieces, installation guide, and folded cutting template. With the most pieces, the Petsafe hardware is less than inspiring. Installation will be more difficult because you need to frame out the door yourself. The folded up template will also make cutting into your door more difficult.
The Dragon comes with steel hardware, locking cover, and single sheet installation instructions and cutting template. It has the best instruction manual of the bunch that doubles as a cutout template. It’s easy to read and comes with pictures for easy installation. With the most contact points and the best self-framing design of the bunch, Dragon dog doors seems to have the best installation and highest quality parts.
While it’s impossible to say which pet door is best until the door is installed, I can share my experience getting to open each door.
The Ideal was the best packaged one, with a perfectly fitted box and most secure shipping. The Petsafe had some of the simplest design, with sleek lines but an inferior flap. The Dragon would be my pick for insulation, and has a mechanical aesthetic and a well engineered flap.