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Glass Doctor Recommends: Automatic Pet Doors

A pet door

As a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure your animals are safe and well cared for. One way to conveniently care for your pet’s outdoor needs is to install an automatic doggie door. Is this the right option for you? Learn more about automatic pet doors and decide for yourself.

Pros of Automatic Pet Doors

Control who goes out

The main purpose of an automatic pet door is to ensure only the designated pet or pets can go outside. This is possible via a “key” your pet wears on his collar or a microchip implanted under his skin. If you have any indoor animals, they can’t follow your dog or cat outside because they lack the key to open the automatic pet door.

Control who comes in

The key used to open the pet door from inside also applies on the outside. Only your pet can come back in – not raccoons, stray animals or intruders trying to break into your home. This improves home security while still allowing your pet access to the back yard whenever he wants.

Prevent drafts

One common problem associated with pet doors is their lack of tight seal and insulation. Depending on the model you choose, automatic pet doors can be quite efficient, sealing and locking any time they’re not in use. The same can’t be said of ordinary pet doors with their simple rubber flap.

Cons of Automatic Pet Doors

Mechanical limitations

With no moving parts, manual pet doors last for years and require little to no maintenance. On the other hand, automatic pet doors are mechanical, which means they break down from time to time. Many also require batteries.

Your dog could lose his “key”

If your dog’s access in and out of the pet door is tied to his collar, he could become trapped outside if he loses it. The pet door remains useless until you buy a new collar key and pair it with the automatic pet door.

More expensive

In order to benefit from the high-tech features of an automatic pet door, you must be winning to make an extra investment.

Types of Automatic Pet Doors

ID Microchip Pet Doors

This type of pet door reads the ID microchip implanted between your pet’s shoulder blades. This is a great solution for cats that refuse to wear collars and eliminates the possibility of losing a collar key. There are also no batteries required. However, microchip pet doors are only available for cats and small dogs, so you’ll need a different option if you have a larger animal.

Magnetic Pet Doors

A magnetic pet door senses the magnet in your pet’s collar as he approaches the door and unlocks in response. Some door models require batteries, but the collars do not. These doors are relatively inexpensive, but they come with one major flaw: if a neighbor’s animal also happens to wear a magnetic collar, he could enter through your automatic pet door.

Ultra-Sonic Motorized Pet Doors

This type of pet door opens in response to a high frequency sound emitted by an ultra-sonic collar key. The sound is a much higher frequency than humans and animals can hear. The collar and door require batteries, so check them occasionally. The door is also susceptible to water damage unless you install a waterproof version.

Radio-Frequency Pet Doors

A chip in your pet’s collar emits a unique signal and the door unlocks when the signal gets close enough. Then, when the signal goes out of range, the door locks again. If you have multiple pets, you can program the door to recognize several unique signals. The collar and door require batteries, so check them occasionally.

RFID Chip Pet Doors

With great durability and waterproof features, radio-frequency identification chips are a great choice. The pet door detects the RFID chip on your pet’s collar and unlocks in response. The chip itself is a passive device, but the door requires batteries.

What to Expect During Installation

You’ll be happy to hear that existing front and back doors, interior doors, and even sliding patio doors can be retrofitted with an automatic pet door. Installation depends on the type you choose and the style of door you have. For example, in the case of sliding glass doors, the installer puts in a whole new sheet of glass with a pet door built in rather than cutting through the existing glass door.

To learn more about how automatic pet doors are professionally installed, contact Glass Doctor® today.