A Door the Whole Family Can Use
Need a door for your dog? House doors are a convenient and familiar choice for pets. Thing to consider before purchasing an in–door dog or cat door . . .
Options for In-Door Pet Dog Doors
- Electronic Pet Dog Doors – Electronic pet dog doors utilize electricity or batteries and pets wear a transmitter. The door remains locked whenever not in use which prevents other animals or intruders from entering.
However, electronic dog or cat dog doors may give a false sense of security. Receivers may respond to a pocketful of change or other stimulus. A pet standing or lying near the doggie door can unlock the door and allow an inside cat out or a clever thief in. Also, an indoor pet can slip through with another pet and become trapped outside.
- A Solid Acrylic Dog Door Flap – A solid acrylic dog door flap must be pushed open and not every pet will feel comfortable doing so. Hinges are installed on one side with a single flap or two sides with a split flap.
I never recommend solid acrylic flaps because if a pet tries to back out of the door, they may become trapped or injured. If that happens, a pet may never use the pet dog door again.
- Flexible Acrylic Dog Door Flaps – I recommend flexible dog door flaps. They allow easy operation by both cats and dogs. Flaps should be made from heavyweight, weather–treated, 3/16" thick vinyl. Pets can push flexible flaps open or use their paws to open the door.
- Energy Efficient Pet Door Options – To create a dust and bug barrier, use a minimum of ½" weather-stripping. Weather–stripping along with a magnetic dog door flap will ensure the most energy efficient seal for dog doors. I recommend flaps with strong Anico5 magnets with stainless steel strikes. Strikes and magnets along the sides and bottom of the door flap that seal tightly offer the most energy efficiency. Using two flaps makes for a more energy efficient dog door.
- Pet Door Security Cover – Particularly with a large dog door, you should secure your door when you're away from home or at night. Plastic doggy door covers are the least secure option. I always recommend doggy door security covers made of translucent Lexan® polycarbonate or Starboard® marine grade polymer which comes in a variety of opaque colors.
- Locking Dog Door – A center top pin lock can scratch your wall. The best dog door security cover lock is a positive pin lock. On a small dog door or cat door, the lock is attached to the top corner. For maximum security or with a large dog door, use a security cover and locks on both sides of the door.
- Aluminum Pet Door Frame – I recommend a pet door frame made of 0.063" extruded aluminum combined with a positive flap and security cover. These doors are the strongest in the industry. The best dog doors and frames have the ability for pet door security covers to load from the top or the sides.
The best dog doors include flashing or raincap attachments, which I highly recommend for any door fully exposed to inclement weather.
Pet Dog Door Warranties
Ensure your pet door, door flap and door frame are covered by a warranty. I know of one 6 year warranty but it excludes the door flaps, the most likely component to wear out. As far as I know, Hale Pet Door offers the only 5 year warranty that includes the door flaps.
I'm Eddie Coykendall and I've been doing professional dog door installation since 2002. Give me a call at 702-379-0609 or contact me and together we'll find the purrfect pet door to allow your pet to happily enter and leave your home through a new glass door or window dog door.