Choosing The Best Dog Door
Are you a proud dog owner? If you are, then you take your role as a dog caretaker very seriously. You always make sure your canine friend is well-provided for. From providing your dog with a healthy diet plan to dressing your dog up for fun, your priority is the welfare of your dog.
As a member of your extended family, your dog needs to be free to roam everywhere inside or outside the house. To ensure your dog’s safety, you need to install a dog door on your house door.
A dog would appreciate the freedom of its own door, and a dog door will make your life easier. It will encourage your dog to do its business outside, and allows your dog to easily enter or exit the home without leaving the door open. Also known as a pet door, a dog door has more uses than just an entrance for your pet.
A dog door in your home can also act as a make-shift insulator. It allows air to travel throughout your house, effectively regulating the quality of airflow in your home.
Not only you will experience the benefits, but your dogs will also love their new place of freedom and the ability to do things they couldn’t have done before themselves.
Choosing the best dog door for your pet shouldn’t be a hassle, as long as you have the patience and the willingness to cater to your dog’s need to explore.
But to be honest, the process can get confusing, considering the thousands of dog doors available on the market. It’s better to get to know the dog doors first before purchasing them, just in case, so you get the most suitable dog door for your home.
And that’s what this site is about – getting the necessary help through the experience and knowledge of other people. So let’s begin your journey to the improvement you will love even more after you install your first dog door!
Benefits of the Dog Door
People usually say that little things matter the most in life, but dog doors also bring us a lot of value. Not only they bring the benefits for dogs who will love the dog door, but they also benefit the owners indirectly.
Benefits for Dogs
They say that dog is human’s best friend, so don’t you think that they deserve all the happiness in the world there is?
Dog doors are just one way to express the love to your dog and do something that will make them happy for the rest of their life.
Here are the most common benefits dogs experience thanks to the dog doors.
- Potty breaks can be done on the outside
- More freedom for the dog
- Reduced risk of diseases
- Less boredom, more fun
- Better safety
There are just some brief benefits dogs experience immediately, so here’s a brief explanation of each one of them.
Potty breaks won’t be a problem anymore for dogs since they have the independent freedom to leave the house without whining to the owner to let them out. Therefore, they will get more freedom and privacy which can result in a positive way for a dog.
Freedom is one of the most important things for dogs. They are very smart and will obey any rules you put on them, however, they won’t experience the true happiness unless they feel their own freedom without having to get to the owner for everything. Freedom also leads to healthy mental stimulation for dogs and fewer behavior problems.
Risk of diseases is proven to be significantly reduced by letting your dogs the chance to leave the house and spend more time in nature and clean environment. One great example is the urinating. Dogs tend to hold it for long until they get the attention of their owners, which isn’t good at all. Holding it for too long can lead to UTIs, while, on the other hand, a dog door is a way to prevent it and make your dog happy at the same time.
No more boredom should be the main slogan of the dog doors, honestly. While you’re working long day shifts, dogs can be bored if they aren’t entertained or have a chance to do entertain themselves. It’s simple to understand that the freedom has positive effects on their brain, but also on their happiness.
Safety should always be as important for dogs as it’s for the humans. House fires are a very common thing nowadays with all the electrical gadgets and devices we have. With the dog door, your dog will be able to leave the house even before the fire is spread. They also won’t have to wait for the owner to help them get out of the house – which might not be successful always.
Benefits for Dog Owners
There are even more benefits for dogs than we can imagine, but we have definitely thought about ourselves before purchasing the dog doors. And that’s okay.
There are many benefits that involve dog owners as well, no matter if they’re direct or indirect.
Here are some of the most common benefits that dog owners experience after installing a dog door.
- They’re convenient
- Less cleaning up
- Easy one-time installation to solve all the problems
- The ability to control your dog’s access
- Better home condition
I believe there are many more benefits, yet these are the most common ones and the most known benefits that we experience as a dog owner with dog doors installed in our homes.
Their convenience allows us to stop playing doorman for our dogs. Imagine not having to wake up early in the morning just to let your dog go and get the fresh air and do his thing. We are less interrupted by our dogs, but also we get more sleep in the mornings and on the weekends.
Less cleaning up is definitely one of the better benefits. It’s directly connected with the freedom of a dog who doesn’t have to hold it anymore. By letting your dogs do their thing on the outside whenever they have to, you will have to spend less time cleaning up your home, but your home will smell better and stay clean as well.
Installation is something that makes dog owners think twice before purchasing the dog doors. But once they realize that the installation is very easy and simple one-time process, it’s the last doubt they will have before getting the dog door for their home. Believe me, even if the installation was complicated, it would still be worth the problems they solve and the benefits they offer.
Controlling your dog’s access with a press of a button is definitely one of the better benefits. Even though you install the dog doors, you will still have the ability to control your dogs and let them know when it’s the right time for them to play outside, but also when to stay inside. Such benefit is useful at nights when you might want to prevent your dog from going into the backyard.
The home condition will definitely improve from the moment you install the dog door. There won’t be any more scratched doors, pooped and urinated floors, no broken things or furniture due to indoors playing.
So now when you know what to expect, don’t get discouraged yet feel motivated for the next step!
How to Choose the Best Dog Door
When it comes to choosing the best dog doors for your home, there are various things you should pay attention to. Just the way there are thousands of dog doors available on the market, they all have similar things in common, and that’s what you should look out for.
Plastic vs. Metal
Plastic dog doors have become common in the market today due to their sturdiness and lightness, but for more durability consider metal dog doors. You should also consider the comfort of your dog. Will it hurt your dog if he bumps his head into a metal dog door? Or, is it safe for your dog to push through a metal dog door?
The material might also depend on the weather you’re exposed to, but also your location itself. Old school dog doors were made out of metal while nowadays, they’re mostly made from robust plastic which serves as good as metal material did in the past.
These two materials are the two main materials used to craft dog doors, so the choice isn’t that hard at all, yet it’s good to know that they’re both as good.
Before you even shop for a dog door, first determine the size of your dog. You don’t want your dog to get stuck in the pet door attempting to get out of the house. Dog doors come in many sizes, so be sure to measure your dog first. Consider the height if your dog and the width of its shoulders since they will use their head and shoulders to squeeze through the dog door.
To make things easier for the future dog door owners, most manufacturers create their own sizing charts and guide on how to measure your dog in order to know which size would you need. It’s most likely that once you find a dog door you like, there will be different sizes to match different dog sizes.
Dog doors may look simple, but once you start shopping for the best dog door, you’ll notice manufacturers pack many features in one dog door. While dog doors might be very similar, there are thousands of them and they mostly differ in features.
Choose the dog door that includes features you will need in the future. Don’t be blinded by the technological gizmos. If you need a simple dog door, then get a simple dog door.
There is a simple rule to determine whether you will need some special features or not. Simply think of the reasons you’re purchasing the dog door and whether the features you see on some dog doors are really necessary or not.
Needless to say, some features including modern technology can make life easier, but even the simplest dog doors will make a change in your home and routine. It’s also good to know that the benefits of owning a dog door apply to all features and types of dog doors.
Before, there were only one or two different dog door types. However, nowadays, there is a number of different dog door types. With the help of the technology, there are even electronic dog doors.
The most common dog door types are
- Door-installed dog door
- Manual dog door
- Electronic dog door
- Sliding-glass patio dog door
There are also many other dog doors which aren’t that known, but the possibilities are endless. You can have as much imagination as you’d like and find a dog door that won’t only serve the purpose but also have great looks.
Personally, any dog door type is trustable and good enough, yet it’s up to your personal preference and budget to decide how fancy would you like the dog door to be.
Just the way there are many dog door types, you won’t be limited to installing them only on the doors, even though it’s how it used to be before.
Nowadays, you can choose the location for your dog door and install it almost anywhere. While the dog door for door installation is still the most common one, dog doors can also be installed on the wall, glass, and even sliding patio doors.
Your Home Location
Believe it or not, your home location matters due to the weather and some location-based differences.
Counting in your home location and weather can help you get the most accurate dog door which can award you in the long run with its long lifespan.
For example, if you live in great plains where temperatures fall down quickly, or in the south where the summer is endless, you will have to find the perfect dog door that will suit and withstand the weather conditions at your location.
What to Look for in a Dog Door:
There is one thing that might make people doubt about getting a dog door and that is the installation process. However, many people feel like the weight has fallen from their shoulders once they know that the installation is the last thing they should worry about.
A typical homeowner usually doesn’t have any technical experience in assembling a dog door, so an ideal dog door comes with simple parts that are easy to assemble. Before purchasing a dog door, make sure that it comes with a comprehensive instruction manual to guide you through the entire installation process.
Since you will get everything necessary to install the dog door yourself, make sure to find the dog door that comes with great instruction manual, because, believe me, having the proper instructions are very important and it will depend on how well will you install the door.
Dog doors are typically made of either aluminum or plastic. Before you choose which type to purchase, make sure you understand the advantages and disadvantages of each. Plastic, for instance, can be flimsy and susceptible to wear while aluminum tends to expand and contract depending on temperature. Above all else, make sure that your dog door is made of durable, long lasting material.
It’s a great idea to think about your location and installation placement while thinking about the configuration because they’re relatively connected. The plastic material might not be the best one to withstand long hot summer due to the UV radiation. Therefore, the metal is the best way to go.
However, if you will place the dog door in your back door where it isn’t as sunny throughout the day, count that in as it will help you make the most accurate decision.
The best dog doors have electronic functionalities that can ensure the security of your home. When possible, get a dog door that incorporates sensor tags and other high-tech qualities.
They often might be a bit pricier than the standard models, but they’re also more secure and they can keep your home secure even when you’re not there.
There are electronic dog doors that come together with electronic collar your pet has to wear, and the doors open only when your dog is near the doors, which eliminates the other animals entering your home.
Your dog door should accommodate your pet comfortably. If it’s not a perfect fit, then it won’t be useful. Don’t get a door smaller than your pet because this will only render it useless. Also, don’t get one that’s also too large for your pet since you’ll only be wasting money and space. Pay attention to size.
While it’s easy to get a replacement, it’s easier to get the right size so the installation process goes as simple as possible and so you can enjoy the benefits sooner.
I really have to give credits to the manufacturers who precisely craft the dog doors to accommodate different dog sizes, and they even have their own size chart and instructions on how to measure your pet to know which size to purchase.
Mode of Operation
Dog doors are designed for the same purpose, however, they can work on a different mode of operation.
The simplest mode of operation is only one flap which swings as the dog comes through. It’s worth to remember that such simple dog doors have no feature to lock the doors and control the accessibility of your dogs.
While some modern dog doors have two or even three flaps which can be locked and offer at least 4 different lock settings.
The game changer is definitely an electronic dog door which can’t be opened unless the dog is close to them and is wearing a transmitting collar which actives and opens the dog door. In my opinion, they might be a bit pricey, but they’re totally worth it.
They offer safety and the ability to control the doors better than any other mode of operation. At the same time, they aren’t even using a lot of electricity either. Some of the electronic dog doors are powered on two AA batteries.
While it’s the last thing to look out for, I don’t find it to be the least important one. There might be thousands of pet doors, but you would want to find the one that will match your home interior and exterior as well.
Most of the dog doors are pretty universal and come with the nice looks, so you won’t have to do a deep search to find the perfect one for yourself.
However, the better your budget is – the better and the prettier dog door you will be able to get. Just like anything else on the market.
With the amount of dog doors available on the market and very affordable prices that offer a lot of value for the price you pay, I’m 100% sure you will easily be able to find the right dog door for your surrounding.
Things to Pay Attention to When Installing Dog Door
There are many different dog door types and sizes, however, almost every one of them will be suitable to be installed by customers.
There are 4 installing types for dog doors which are:
- Door tracks and sliding door patio
For any regular dog door type, all you will need is the right size dog door, screwdriver, jigsaw and a drill with the proper instruction manual to get to work.
However, if you’re planning to install the dog door into the wall, you will have to pay a bit of attention since it might not be the easiest way to install the dog door. If you have no actual experience, I’d recommend you to call in a professional for this one, since it might not be as easy as installing the dog door on the door.
The same thing applies to the glass. Cutting glass might be one of the trickiest things to do, and even I don’t think I would be able to manage it successfully. Getting a professional isn’t a bad idea as I can imagine glass being way harder to cut than wood or wall.
Door tracks and sliding door patio
On the other hand, installing the dog door into the door tracks or patio sliding glass doors is very simple. All you have to do is slide the frame into the door tracks or place the patio at the end of the sliding door into its tracks and secure it.
|PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Patio Panel Sliding Glass Pet Door||$$||4.3/5|
|Ideal Pet Products Ruff-Weather Pet Door with Telescoping Frame||$$||4.6/5|
|BarksBar Original Plastic Dog Door With Aluminum Lining||$||4.6/5|
|SureFlap Microchip Pet Door||$$||4.1/5|
|TAKARA INDUSTRY Pet Dog Door for Screens||$||4.1/5|
|Dog Mate Small Dog Door White||$||4.4/5|
|Patio Pacific – Endura Flap Wall Mount pet door||$$$||4.3/5|
|Perfect Pet The All-Weather Energy Efficient Dog Door||$$$||4.4/5|
|PetSafe Wall Entry Aluminum Pet Doors||$||4.5/5|
|Ideal Pet Products Original Pet Door with Telescoping Frame||$||4.6/5|
The Top 5 Dog Doors
PetSafe Freedom Patio Panel Pet Door
As an industry leader in the US for over 20 years, PetSafe made a name for themselves by providing quality pet products.
Today, we’ll be testing out one of PetSafe’s premium product: the PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Patio Panel Sliding Glass Pet Door. This unit promises a flexible and efficient way of installing and maintaining a pet door.
- 76 13/16” x 81” heavy-duty aluminum patio panel doors
- Customizable, comes in three colors and four pet sizes
- Easy to install and adjustable, no need for cutting
- Magnetic closure for additional security
- Comes with a ultra-seal flexible tinted flap for secure locking
- Comes with durable aluminum framed for weather resistance
- Comes with a glass sweep and a closing panel
- Easy to install – You can easily install it in your sliding door without any power tools.You’ll have a functioning pet door in under 15 minutes. This is also ideal for pet owners who are just looking for a temporary pet door and don’t want it being part of the house’s aesthetics, as it can be easily removed and stored. Even if you’re not handy, you can easily follow the instructions included in the unit.
- Comfortable door sizes – It doesn’t matter if you own a Chihuahua or an Aussie, the Freedom Patio Panel Pet Door can accommodate dogs of all sizes. The space is comfortable enough for any dog to squeeze in through. Just make sure you measure your dog before choosing the right door size.
Some customers noted the locking features failed to work, especially in windy places. The magnetic enclosure can’t withstand winds of up to 55 mph. Also, the flap occasionally bends leaving a crack of around an inch. Some users also reported that the rubber stripping on their Freedom Patio Panel Pet Door didn’t last very long.
The Freedom Patio Panel Pet Door isn’t without faults, but considering how convenient it is to install and the comfort it can provide for your pet, it is worth the asking price.
The Freedom Patio Panel Pet Door appeals to the outgoing pet lover who wants to provide their pet freedom. It can also appeal to stylish homeowners who don’t want to sacrifice aesthetics for convenience.
Ideal Pet Ruff-Weather Pet Door
The Ruff-Weather Pet Door is looking to save you energy costs with its energy-efficient features. It’s designed to allow an air pocket of up to 3 inches between two soft flaps.
Together with the available wall tunnel kit, the air pocket can even grow to a maximum of 9 inches, making it an efficient insulator.
- Durable and weather-resistant pet door
- Made from structural foammolded plastic
- Comes with an inner telescoping frame
- Comes with an optional wall tunnel kit for additional efficiency
- Specially designed to include an efficient air pocket
- Energy-efficient and cost-saving design
- Easy to install and secure
- Soft and clear vinyl-insulated flaps
- Can support up to 150 lbs. of weight
- Efficient – This product can be considered an insulator, and in this area, the Ruff-Weather proves its worth. The pet door’s flap system does great to prevent heat leaks as theair gets trapped in between the two soft flaps. It also helps that the flaps are surrounded by a short brush to seal off the air around the plastic every time you close the pet door.
- Easy to secure – Securing the Ruff-Weather Pet Door is easy thanks to its metal bolts. Most manufacturers use plastic bolts to secure their pet doors which turn off most costumers. Ideal Pet took note of this issue with the Ruff-Weather Pet Door, making its structure sturdier than other pet doors. The metal bolts attach to metal threads, ensuring a lifetime of durability with reasonable usage.
The Ruff-Weather’s resistance to extreme weather is questionable. Some users have reported rainwaterleaking during heavy rains.
Water can seep into the plastic frame between its storm flaps which forms a small crease for the water to get through. Be prepared to wipe the floor when it’s raining outside.
The Ruff-Weather pet door proved its durability and its thermal capabilities while also catering to your pet’s comfort. If you’re looking for the best pet door for your massive dog or your petite feline friend, Ruff-Weather Pet Door will deliver.
Weather concerns may strike doubt to its capabilities, but if you’re willing to work around its design flaws, you’ll get a pet door that could last a lifetime.
SureFlap Microchip Pet Door
The main selling point of the SureFlap Microchip Pet Door is its security feature that identifies whom your pet is, preventing other animals from entering the pet door. This futuristic pet door uses a unique identification microchip technology that identifies the RFID collar tag of your pet.
- Equipped with unique identification microchip technology
- Identifies your pet and prevents other animals from entering your home
- Comes with a free SureFlap RFID collar tag
- Compatible with various microchip formats
- Can store up to 32 unique IDs in memory
- Includes a Curfew Mode to schedule locking and unlocking
- Runs on 4 C-cell batteries each sold separately
- Easy to program with a few buttons
- Can be installed on doors, walls, and windows
- Feature-heavy – The technology behind the SureFlap Microchip Pet Door is as good as it claims to be. The pet door is easy to set up. Although it will take a while for you to install it, once installed, all you need is a few buttons pressed and you’ll be good to go. The pet door accurately reads the RFID tags on your pets, and no one has experienced any delays. The Curfew Mode is also a hit with the customers. It is easy to set up and the pet door opens and closes at the scheduled time.
- Durable – SureFlap Microchip Pet Door is incredibly tough. This pet door is hard to open, and this can either be a good thing or bad thing for your dog.But, we can agree that this proves its durability. Animals with no RFID tags won’t have access to the door, as proven by SureFlap’s numerous tests.
Most complaints came from pet owners who had a hard time teaching their pets how to use the pet door. They were saying their pets are having a hard time familiarizing themselves with this complex pet contraption. You might spend weeks trying to get your pet to push through the door since the pet door doesn’t automatically open from the inside.
If you want a high-tech pet door for your home, the SureFlap Microchip Pet Door should meet your standards and more. Its identification technology is useful and its tough structure provides the best combination of automation and convenience.
There could be a huge learning curve when it comes to teaching your pet, but once you’re past that, this pet door will make life a little bit easier for you and your pet.
BarksBar Premium Dog Door
As a leading provider of quality pet products, BarksBar aims to give pet owners luxury in taking care of their pets. Part of their extensive lineup of pet products is the BarksBar Premium Dog Door.
The product boasts a number of unique features, including its heavy-duty flaps, its impact-resistant telescopic frame, and its securelocking mechanism.
- Soft and flexible vinyl flaps
- Durable, bite-proof and scratch-proof
- Weatherproof structure
- White plastic and aluminum lining
- Impact-resistant telescopic frame
- Comes with sliding door panel
- Comes with magnetic closure
- Customizable flap sizes
- Easy to install
- Supports up to 100 lbs.
- Timeless Design – If you’re worried about a dog door ruining the aesthetics of your home, this dog door won’t pose a problem. You can even install it on your bedroom door and it will perfectly blend into your motif.
- Durable – The dog door has metal reinforcements on all four sides for a tougher exterior. You can even install it in a wall and it won’t make any difference compared to when you install it in a door. One thing’s for sure: the materials used in this dog door don’t feel cheap. If you want a tough dog door for your rowdy pet, BarksBar Premium Dog Door should be at the top of your list.
Some customers reported that the dog door rusts faster than other dog doors. In rough weather conditions, condensation builds up on the flaps freezing them and rusting the screws. Customers also complained about the flaps not closing correctly during storms and rainwater can easily get to their floors.
One word to best describe the BarksBar Premium Dog Door is durable. The materials are sturdy and it’s hard to find a tough dog door that is also easy to install.
If you’re looking for a durable dog door with the least amount of maintenance, this dog door should be your best bet. The locking feature and the durable flaps should also add more reasons for you to choose BarksBar as your best pet door.
Takara Pet Dog Door
The Takara Pet Dog Door markets itself as a convenient dog door for large dogs. No fancy technology to work around, no additional parts to be added. It’s just your good old fashioned dog door. The Takara Pet Dog Door boasts an easy-to-install structure, a hinged flap for a wider range of swing, a magnetic closure for added security, and an opening that looks to accommodate large dogs.
- Easy to install using only basic tools
- Comes with screws made from stainless steel
- Comes with a screened flap for a wider swing range
- Comes with a magnetic closure for added security
- 13 5/8” x 12 1/4” door opening
- Can support up to 80 lbs. of weight
- Easy to install – It would take you around 15 minutes to install this dog door.Even though the manual is in Japanese, the accompanying pictures are easy enough to follow. If you don’t mind working with screwdrivers and knives, installing the Takara Pet Dog Door shouldn’t be a problem.
- Comfortable – It can easily support big dogs. It also helps that the flap is sturdy enough for a dog to push through without hurting its head. You can even train your dog to use its paws and the pet door easily swings open. The wide swing range of the flap is a bonus for large dog owners who want to train their pets in the proper use of pet doors.
One critical flaw of the Takara Pet Dog Door is its magnetic closure. Some users reported that the magnetic closure that comes with the pet door isn’t powerful enough to secure the flap.
Intense winds will easily knock the pet door open.So, if you’re the type of homeowner who doesn’t want any dirt or bug on your floor, buy this pet door with extreme caution.
If you’re looking for a basic pet door without the bell and whistles, then Takara Pet Dog Door should be your top pick. Compared to other pet doors on the market, this pet door seems to be the simplest, but it accomplishes its function as a pet door surprisingly well.
It can even accommodate large animals of up to 80 lbs., so it’s safe to assume this pet door is enough for your pet door needs. Truly fitting enough to be included as one of the best dog doors too.