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What Are the Best Automatic Dog Doors? 5 Must-Have Features

It's a rainy day, and your dog is giving you those sad eyes, begging to go outside. The thought of getting up, opening the door, and letting in the cold air makes you shiver.

Enter automatic dog doors.

Automatic pet doors have become a must-have for many pet owners. They offer convenience, security, and a bit of independence for our four-legged family members. No more playing doorman for your dog or dealing with scratches on your doors from a pup desperate to get out.

Plus, they're pretty nifty gadgets that can make life smoother for both you and your pet.

So, whether you're tired of getting up at the crack of dawn to let your dog out or you're just looking for a way to make life a bit easier, this blog is for you. Let's find out what makes the best automatic dog doors so essential.

Why Automatic Dog Doors are a Game-Changer

Automatic dog doors bring convenience and ease into your life as a pet owner while giving your dog the freedom they crave.

These automatic pet doors let your pet come and go as they please. This is especially handy if you have a busy lifestyle. The last thing you need is to play the doorman for your dog. With an automatic pet door, you can focus on what you need to do.

Now, think about the quality of life for your dog. They get to explore the yard, get some exercise, and take care of business without waiting for you. It’s a win-win situation. They’re happier, and you’re not constantly getting up to let them out

Safety is another big plus.

Modern automatic pet doors come with smart features to keep unwanted animals out. Your dogs can get in and out, thanks to RFID tags or microchips. Some dog doors even have locking mechanisms and selective entry options.

Security features also give you peace of mind. You don’t have to worry about raccoons or other unwanted animals sneaking into your home. The pet door locks when not in use, adding an extra layer of security.

Electronic pet doors offer convenience, improve your dog’s quality of life, and come packed with safety features.

What are the features to look for?

With the many automatic dog doors in the market with advanced technology like a motion sensor, high-tech security, and more, choosing the best pet doors can be confusing. There are 5 essential features to look for.

Feature #1: Smart sensors

Smart sensors detect when your dog is near the door and automatically unlock it. Your dog can come and go as they please, and you don’t have to open the front door by yourself.

Why are smart sensors so beneficial?

A white automatic dog door with a transparent flap. What are the best automatic dog doors

They offer convenience and security. Your dog can go out to play or take a potty break whenever they need to. You don’t have to drop what you’re doing to open the door.

There are different types of sensors to consider. Each has its own perks, so let’s break them down:

  • RFID Sensors: Your dog wears a small tag on their dog collar, and the door reads this tag to grant entry. It’s secure and precise. Only your dog can use the door, keeping out stray animals and other unwanted guests.

  • Microchip Sensors: If your dog is already microchipped, this might be the perfect option. The pet door reads your dog’s implanted microchip, so there’s no need for an extra collar tag. It’s convenient and just as secure as RFID.

  • Motion Sensors: The pet door opens when it detects movement nearby. While they’re easy to use, they might also let in other animals. If you live in an area with lots of wildlife, this could be a disadvantage.

Feature #2: Energy efficiency

The best automatic dog doors are made from durable, insulating materials that prevent drafts. Look for doors with sturdy, double-pane construction. These act like the double-glazed windows of the dog door world, keeping your home’s temperature stable.

Weatherproofing is another key factor. It’s what stands between your comfortable home and the elements. A weatherproof pet door has seals and flaps designed to keep out wind, rain, and snow.

Some doors have magnetic or airtight seals that close snugly after your pet passes through. Others use multiple flaps, like PetSafe Extreme Weather Pet Door, to create an airlock effect, adding an extra layer of protection.

Good insulation isn’t just about comfort; it’s about conservation. When your home is well-insulated, your heating and cooling systems don’t have to work as hard. This means lower energy consumption and reduced utility bills. It’s a win for the environment and your wallet.

So, what should you look for in terms of insulation features?

Look for pet doors with foam insulation or thermal seals. Some high-end models even offer eco-friendly materials that provide excellent insulation without harming the planet.

Feature #3: Durability and Material Quality

When it comes to automatic dog doors, durability and material quality are crucial. You want a door that can withstand the daily hustle and bustle of your furry friend while lasting for years.

So, what materials should you look for?

  • Aluminum: It’s a top choice for many pet owners because of its strength and resistance to wear and tear. Aluminum pet doors can handle rough use, making them ideal for large or energetic dogs. Plus, they’re rust-proof, which is a good thing if you live in a humid area.

  • Plastic: It’s lightweight, easy to install, and more affordable than aluminum. But, not all plastics are created equal. High-quality, durable plastics can last a long time and withstand harsh weather conditions. But cheaper plastics might crack or break more easily, especially in extreme temperatures.

For those in colder climates, insulated materials are a must. Look for pet doors with a core of insulating foam or thermal layers. These doors help keep the cold out and the warmth in, making sure your home stays comfortable year-round.

But if you live in a hot climate, you’ll want a pet door that can block out the heat and prevent your home from turning into an oven

Feature #4: Size and fit

Choosing the right size and fit for your automatic dog door is crucial. Get it wrong, and you’ll have a door that’s either too small for your dog to use comfortably or so big that it compromises your home’s insulation.

A properly sized pet opening width makes sure your pet can move in and out easily without squeezing or struggling.

To get the perfect fit, you need to measure your pet accurately. Follow How to Measure a Dog to help get the right-sized door frame and door.

What are the best automatic dog doors. Close-up of a bronze automatic dog door mounted on a wall. The door has a translucent swinging flap

Avoid common mistakes like only measuring when your dog is sitting or lying down. Measure them when they are standing for the most accurate results. And remember, a pet door that’s too tight will discourage your pet from using it.

Some electronic pet doors come with adjustable sizes, which can be a real lifesaver. These doors allow you to tweak the opening to better fit your dog’s dimensions, which is especially useful if your dog is still growing or if you have multiple pets of different sizes.

Feature #5: Ease of installation

No one wants to spend an entire weekend wrestling with tools and instructions. The simpler the installation, the quicker your dog can start enjoying their new freedom.

A user-friendly installation process means you can get the job done without calling in professionals. Plus, it makes sure the pet door is installed correctly.

There are different installation methods to consider:

  1. DIY Installation: Many automatic dog doors are designed with the DIYer in mind. They come with clear instructions, templates, and all the hardware you need. If you're comfortable with basic tools like a drill and a screwdriver, you can likely handle this on your own.

  2. Professional Installation: Sometimes, it’s better to leave it to the pros. If you’re not handy, or if the pet door requires more complex adjustments to your home’s structure, a professional installation might be the best choice. This option makes sure the pet door is installed perfectly, without any risk of damaging your walls or existing doors. It’s also a good idea if you want a custom fit or have a unique home setup.

Choosing the right automatic dog door for your home

Picking the perfect automatic dog door isn’t just about the specs. You need to consider your lifestyle, your pet’s behavior, and your home environment.


Because these factors will determine how well the door fits into your daily routine and meets your dog’s needs.

There are plenty of dog doors for large dogs and smaller dogs. If you're looking for the right pet door, browse through our durable dog doors. If you want to know more about our puppy products, contact us anytime.

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