Installing a doggy door is a good way to provide pets with greater mobility and independence. Before purchasing a unit, consider the following factors to prevent problems down the road:
Doggy doors introduce a small opening where not only pets can go through, but air as well. Think of the effect this will have on the HVAC system. The cold air produced by air conditioners will have a sizable escape route which will lessen energy efficiency. This may be minimized by using doors which can be sealed tight when not in use. Flaps are not very efficient as air can readily escape through the sides. Sliders are better as they can be closed fully when they are not needed.
Think of the door size carefully. You want it to be as small as possible while be adequate for the dogs to pass through. Base the size on the largest dog you have. It should be wide enough to accommodate the pets until their adulthood or else you would have to reinstall another one once they outgrow the first. Their adult size will be easy to predict if you also know their parents but if you adopted from a shelter or bought at a pet shop then this may be a challenge. Ask veterinarians or ask owners of similar breeds for recommendations.
One of the reasons why you want to go as small as possible is security. You don’t want young children to use this opening to get in and out of the house without permission. Even thieves might devise a way to take advantage of it if it’s large enough. You also wouldn’t want any other animals to roam inside. That’s why most security experts recommend something that can be monitored or at least has a way to filter out entrants. There are doors with detectors which will only open when they sense the approach of a paired collar. Place these around the neck of your pets to give them access.
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