Installing a dog door in your home is a great way to give your canine companion more freedom while at the same time offering convenience to the owner. Having a dog door installed allows your dog to go answer ‘nature’s call’ on his own schedule. This is a great solution for dog owners who have work and would leave their pet at home alone most of the day. If you are looking for the best dog door to get in 2018 then you have come to the right place and if you are looking for taking care of your dogs health are also perfect for your dog’s pleasure.
In this article, we will be discussing some key factors to look for when buying a reliable dog door. Once you are thoroughly briefed with the important aspects of a dog door we will then take a look at the highest rated and most recommended products in the market at the moment. That should help you narrow down your choices to a handful of dog doors from a list of thousands.
Why Should I Install a Dog Door?
The primary benefit that dog doors offer is a convenience to both dog and owner. For the dog, they can go out and do their business whenever they want. For owners, they won’t have to worry about their dog having an ‘accident’ indoors if their pet is left alone at home or if they are too busy to take their pet out at the moment.
Every dog owner knows that sometimes, their dogs just won’t go with their schedule. Several times have I woken up in the dead of night because my dog needs to go to the bathroom. By having a dog door, they can do all of that on their own.
The Two Types of Dog Doors
First and foremost, you have to choose whether you want the traditional manual dog door or the automatic electronic dog door.
- Manual Dog Doors
The traditional and most common dog door you will find in households. These are simple to install and are usually made from durable aluminum or plastic frame. It utilizes multiple-tinted or clear flaps that are either made from plastic or vinyl.
The manual dog door can be installed almost anywhere you want. The most popular choice would be to install it on the bottom part of a door that leads outside. You can also install it on walls if you wish. Training your dog is also easier with a manual dog door as they can easily access it whenever they want.
- Electronic Dog Doors
These are automatic dog doors and will require a professional to install. While steadily catching up in terms of popularity, electronic dog doors are rare to find in homes. This might be due to the fact that they are susceptible to errors and require a dedicated power supply to operate.
In terms of design, electronic dog doors are similar to their manual counterpart. They utilize motors, levers, and motion sensors. As for material and construction, you will find that electronic dog doors also incorporate hardened plastic flaps and frames that are either made from aluminum or plastic.
Electronic dog doors come with a specially made collar that has a microchip on it. When the collar is within range of the dog door sensor the flaps will automatically open letting the dog go out. Dog owners also have the option to remotely control the dog door.
What Do I Need to Consider When Buying a Dog Door?
Both manual and electronic dog doors are viable options. The choice will mostly depend on your budget and home security. Manual dog doors are more affordable while electronic ones offer improved convenience as well as a few nifty features.
Here are the important factors you need to look at when buying a dog door:
- Convenience and features.
- Safety Features.
- Quality of construction and materials.
- Installation difficulty.
- Overall design.
- Insulation and waterproofing.
- Quality of the flaps.
- Frame quality.
- Size of your dog.
How to Measure the Right Dog Door for your Pet and Other Factors
Keep in mind that dog doors are not one size fits all products. You need to be a stickler for detail when buying dog doors in order to make sure that your pet can easily and comfortably access the dog door whenever they need to.
In order for you to figure out the best dog door size to buy you need to first to get accurate measurements of your dog as well as the location, you will be installing the dog door in.
- Height – Measure the total height of your dog from paw to shoulders and add a 2-inch allowance.
- Width – Measure your dog’s shoulders from side to side and add another 2-inch allowance.
- The thickness of Door or Wall – Most doors are 2-inches thick, dog doors are designed to be compatible with the industry standard thickness of doors.
- Track to Track Height Measurement – This applies to those who will be installing the dog door on a sliding glass door.
- Multiple Dogs – For people who have more than one dog at home, you will need to make sure that the dog door will be able to accommodate both dog sizes.
The Best Dog Door to Get in 2018
Now that we got the basics out of the way, it is time to introduce you to the best dog doors in the market today. This list is compiled based on the quality, features, and price of the product as well as the overall customer feedback it has.
The Perfect Pet All-Weather Dog Door is marketed as energy efficient thanks to its high-quality insulated flaps and door. This means when the flaps are closed, it is completely closed and won’t let in the cold chilly air during winter. This dog door also comes in different sizes to accommodate dogs of different shape and sizes.
The Perfect Pet All-Weather dog door is specially designed and is constructed using structural foam molded plastic which greatly improves its energy efficiency. The double vinyl flaps also help create an insulating air pocket within the dog door.
The flaps also have magnetic strips that help in creating a better insulating seal. However, this also means you will need to train your dog to push through the vinyl flaps as it offers a slight resistance. This dog door also features an adjustable frame thickness (3/4 to 1 ¾ inch).
As for safety measures, the internal side of the dog door features a sliding panel which you can close to prevent your dog from going outside as well as other animals from getting in. As stated earlier in this review, the Perfect Pet Dog Door is designed for all dog breeds, even the exceptionally large ones like Great Danes. The largest size available features a 15 x 23.5-inch flap which is more than enough to accommodate Great Danes and German Shepherds.
- Two-flap design with magnetic strips for optimum insulation.
- 3-inch insulating air pocket.
- Largest size can accommodate large dog breeds like Great Danes.
- Remember to use the sliding panel when not in use to prevent wild animals from entering your home.
High Tech Pet Power Electronic Pet Door comes with a slew of feature and is one of the most technologically advanced dog door products available today. It comes with all the standard features in an electronic dog door such as an ID collar that allows your dog to enter and exit freely while preventing wild animals from entering your home.
The panels also slide up rather than simply unlocking the flaps. This is good news for dogs who are not comfortable pushing the flaps to access the dog door. This also means that the dog door is sealed tight when closed, compared to those that use flaps.
High Tech Pet Power also found a solution with the most common electronic dog door problem. More often than not, the dog door will unlock whenever your dog is near the sensor radius even if they don’t plan on going out. This is not the case with High Tech Pet Power as it uses a nifty directional sensor system which only opens whenever your dog is directly in front of the panel.
It also incorporates a 4-way access control scheme. What this does is allow you to choose whether to give your dog full access, choose between locking only one side of the panel (interior and exterior), and locking it completely. You can also choose to adjust the range of the sensor for both interior and exterior doors.
High Tech Pet Power Dog Door definitely comes with a lot of bells and whistles which further enhances the convenience it offers to both you and your dog. The construction of the dog door is also solid enough.
- Gives you full control of the 4-way access system.
- The door panel slides up rather than simply unlocking.
- Impressive directional sensor system ensures it won’t unlock accidentally.
- Quite expensive.
- Batteries are patented so they are only available from the manufacturer.
If you are looking for the best affordable dog door then the BarksBar Original might be the one you are looking for. The BarkBar Original might be cheap but it does not skimp on durability and quality. The frames are chew-proof and come in a variety of sizes with largest coming in at 10.5 x 15-inches flap.
BarkBar dog doors are known for being quite user-friendly and the BarksBar Original delivers in this category as well. It also features a telescopic frame and a total installation time of half an hour, tops. It utilizes sturdy aluminum and plastic linings while still maintaining a low price tag.
Additional features include a self-locking panel which helps prevent wild animals from venturing inside your home. This feature can also provide additional weather protection. If there is one nitpick you can give the BarksBar Original Dog Door, it is that it only uses one vinyl flap. While the flap does have a magnetic strip that keeps it sealed, the lack of a second flap means it doesn’t have any insulated air pockets. This dog door is also primarily designed for small to medium breeds and is not a good choice for owners with large dogs.
- Affordable price tag.
- Solid and reliable construction.
- Sturdy material.
- Ideal for dogs that weigh up to 100 lbs.
- Single flap means lower insulation capability.
For busy dog owners, having a reliable dog door will help taking care of your dog flow smoothly. It allows your dog to go out whenever he needs to which adds a whole level of freedom for your pet. It also means you won’t have to worry about your pet ruining your carpet. Many dog groomer such as Likeable Pets can help take care of your dog.
Remember to get dog doors that come with safety features as well as locks and good insulation rating. Hopefully, this article has helped you narrow down your choices of dog doors to install in your home.