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The best Dog doors are an important addition to any home because they can save you the time and added stress of having to help your dogs anytime they want to go outside. An added bonus is it gives them a lot more freedom. But, when buying or installing accessories or fittings for your dogs I’m sure you’ll want to get only the best to ensure maximum comfort as well as accessibility and that leads us to the question, what are the best dog doors?
Benefits of Dog Doors
Having dog doors comes with a lot of benefits not limited to the reduction in stress. Some of the other benefits of dog doors are;
There won’t be any scratches on the regular door or on the walls around it because since your dog can’t tell you directly that they want to go outside, they’ll resort to different methods to get your attention and one of these is scratching the door or walls around it. With a door specifically made for them they can just let themselves out and all this will be avoided.
You also won’t have to open the door for them any time they want to go outside. This can be very annoying because leaving the door open might let other animals inside so you’ll have to go with them and open the door every time they want to go out.
Your dog will also be able to play outside more and get more exercise when you’re busy or not at home and can come back inside when they get tired or when they want to.
If they hear unusual noises outside and want to check it out that way they can and then they’ll be able to chase off intruders and if there’s an emergency within the house like a fire they have a way to escape.
It is also believed that having doors for your dogs will improve their self-esteem because of the freedom they’ll experience while moving about on their own but you should make sure you lay with them and spend time with them as usual because these are very important if you want to maintain the bond between you and them.
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Factors to Consider When Buying The Best Dog Doors
Dog doors can range from the simple flaps that most of us are used to, to high-tech and secure doors that only open for your dog. You need to make certain considerations before deciding on what door you’ll be getting.
You should measure your dog before getting a door for them. Ideally, the top of the door should be 1.5 inches (3.81 cm) above their back and the height above the ground usually called the step over, should not be more than 1/3 of your dog’s height. If you have more than one dog and they’re all different sizes, the top of the door should be higher than the back of the biggest dog and the stepover should not exceed 1/3 of the height of the smallest dog.
Having a low step-over height also helps when they get older and the top of the door should be high enough so they don’t hit their back when trying to use the door. The door should also be wide enough for all of them to fit through so it should be a little wider than the shoulder width of your largest dog.
If you have puppies make sure the doors when will be big enough for them to fit through when they’re fully grown and if you’re planning on getting a bigger or smaller dog in the future you should make sure the door will be big enough so you don’t have to install a new one when that time comes.
Burglars will use any opportunity to get into your house and if your dog’s door is big enough you can be sure that they’ll try to go through it. Even if they can’t fit through if they might put their heads in and look around to see what’s inside or try to get the door open with other tools through the door.
Luckily, there are a couple of ways to secure your dog’s door, let’s look at them;
You could install the dog’s door on a wall. That way they won’t be able to reach the main door from there and trying to widen the pet door won’t be an option because they’ll have to break the wall to do that.
There are dog doors now that verify the RFID chip your dog is wearing before they let them pass through. This is very useful for keeping out burglars and other unwanted guests like rodents or other small animals that can fit through the door.
This RFID technology can also serve other purposes like keeping dogs that are not feeling well or recovering from a surgery indoors. Some of these doors also use sensors that receive signals from the RFID chips when your dog is within range and open the door automatically.
That way they don’t have to hit the door every time and this is very convenient for older dogs. They also prevent small children from crawling through them when nobody’s watching. A lot of them have different locking modes so when it gets late or if you want to keep your dog indoors you can lock them completely so they can’t get in or out.
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How to Measure Your Dog for A Dog Door
For the height, make sure they’re standing upright and then measure the height from the floor to the highest point of their shoulders. This is the height that’ll determine how high the door should be and the step over should be less than 1/3 of this height. Remember to add the allowance of 1.5 inches (3.81 cm) to the height so they don’t hit their back on the top of the door when coming in.
For the width, instead of measuring them directly, open a sliding door or regular door slightly and get them to walk through it. When you have a width that they can walk through comfortably, measure it and use that as the width for your dog door. Remember, height and width measurements should be done with the largest dog you have and the step over should be calculated based on the height of the smallest dog.
If you have any doubts, you can cut out the size you’ve gotten into a piece of cardboard and get your dog to walk through it to make sue it’s big enough.
Can Dog Doors Be Installed in Glass Doors?
Yes, they can be installed in glass doors and even windows. If you’re renting the place, there are dog doors that fit into the frames of sliding doors and will be attached to the end of the sliding door. That way if you’re moving to a new place you can remove it easily and not have to worry about getting any major work done and if you want a more permanent solution, the glass panel can be cut so that a dog door can be installed.
Can I Install Dog Doors Myself?
If you’re installing the dog door in a wooden door, it can be a fun DIY project. Attaching pet doors to sliding doors or windows can also be easily done without help from anyone. However, it’s best to leave permanent glass installations to professionals. Glass has to be handled with a lot of care and cut properly and if anything goes wrong, you’ll end up having to replace the glass panel and you can easily get injured when working with glass if you’re not trained properly. A steel or any other form of metal door should also be left for professionals to handle with proper tools.
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In my opinion, smart doors are the way to go. I feel the best ones are the Petsafe Electronic Smart Door, the Sureflap Microchip Pet Door and the Plexidor Electronic Pet Door. They have numerous benefits that outweigh regular doors. They are more secure and give you more control. However, if you want to get a regular flap door, the Endura Flap Pet Door is a wonderful choice. Their doors can withstand high temperatures and strong winds and stay closed and they are energy efficient and provide proper insulation.