Pet doors are one item that pet owners far and wide puzzle over. There are countless options when it comes to selecting the right door. They’re offered in a variety of materials and installation types and can be electronic doors that magically open when your pet wishes to enter, or conventional doors that your pet physically pushes open. Once you choose either of these categories, there are more decisions to make. Which model should you choose, where should you mount your door and, possibly, the biggest decision of all, which company should you purchase from? Because pets and pet owners are our biggest concern, we want to help you make an informed decision.
Electronic doors come in a variety of sizes and installation types. There are those that install in your wall, your door, and even alongside your sliding patio door. One of the biggest reasons why pet owners decide to buy electronic doors is to prevent unwanted animals from entering their home. Many companies sell electronic doors, but the complaint we hear most frequently from pet owners is that they are flimsy and/or not well insulated against drafts and cold, so before buying, make sure they are built to be fully wind and weather proof with an air-tight sealing system.
Another important design element is pet safety so make sure the door lowers by gravity, so even if your pet remains in the doorway as it closes, it will stop gently without harming your pet.
Finally, make sure it has a high level of security. It should be built of a high strength material to eliminate the possibility of break-ins and should be equipped with a deadbolt locking system that locks automatically once your pet is in or out.
After all of these important features are established, make sure the design suits your taste and will be attractive in the environment in which it will be installed. After all, if you don’t like looking at it, you won’t be satisfied with even the best built door you can buy. Don’t ever invest in the purchase of an electronic pet door if it does not contain this mix of features, style, safety, and reliability.
If electronic doors are not the route you want to take, there are many conventional pet doors on the market and important factors to consider before choosing among them.
What size pet you are buying for is, of course, the first consideration. There are sizes to fit all pets, from the most petite kitty to a 200 lb. dog.
Whatever size pet door you’re looking for, make sure you look for something appropriate to the climate in which you live. For instance, if you live in a cold northern climate, you want to look for doors that are built for cold, rough, sometimes windy weather. Heavy duty weatherized dual flaps, heavy structural foam construction, adjustable frame, a weather seal, and a floating magnetic flap seal running the entire length of each flap to insure reliable closure and good wind resistance are all features that you should look for. Otherwise, you may find that it does not serve much more purpose than cutting a hole in your door or wall.
If your pet is large enough for a person to enter through the pet door, security then becomes a very high priority. Look for one with a security lockout slide that insures that the door can’t be opened from the outside when the lockout slide is in place.
If you’re looking for conventional pet doors for your over-sized cat, there are even doors that are extra wide, allowing weight challenged cats to get safely through without getting stuck.
There are hundreds of pet doors out there, from as many different companies. Because pets are our highest priority, our goal is to give pet owners the insight they need to make a competent, informed decision when purchasing their next pet door.