Pet Owners Guide to Dog & Pet Doors

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Pet Owners Guide to Dog & Pet Doors

June 30, 2014
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Almost half of all Utah residents own dogs, cats, or other four-legged pets, enjoying the health and emotional benefits of owning a pet. Of course dogs and others have their own special needs, including exercise, grooming, play, and food. Many dog owners looking to simplify their lives choose to install a dog door on their homes. This cuts down on the number of times they have to interrupt other activities and let the pet in and out of the house.

There are many different sizes of doors that are available. So you need to take the size of your dog into consideration when choosing a door. Generally, dog doors range in size from small doors of 5 inches by eight inches to large doors of 13 inches by 23 inches. You can also install them in different places, including glass, French, steel and wood doors; stucco and brick walls; siding and windows. Doors are constructed for withstanding various locations and environments as well, and in Utah best bet is to let us install a high-grade and energy-efficient pet door.

Given the wide array of dog door choices that are available in the marketplace, it’s very important for pet owners to consider what their individual needs are, in addition to available product options, models, sizes and features to find the best dog door. There are plenty of dog doors for sales at various manufacturer websites and pet stores. However, we at Sawyer Glass can help you wade through the options and quickly determine which will best suit your pet, your home, and the best options for where the door is installed.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Pet Door Selection

With so many different products that are available, choosing the right pet door can feel overwhelming. However, by doing just a small amount of research to learn what to do as well as what to avoid when making your choice, your purchase can be very satisfying and provide plenty of enjoyment for both your pet and you.

Do Evaluate Different Dog Door Types

The dog door material can vary, depending on the dog and mounting location. Choose a bite-proof door if you have a dog that loves to chew. Higher energy efficiency is another advantage offered by the advanced construction compared to models that are thinner.

The size of the dog door should be based on the size of your dog. It should reach approximately two inches from the shoulders of your pet. The door’s lower lip might be low or high. Some pet owners choose a door that has an opening that is five inches or higher above the ground in an attempt to discourage backyard wildlife or the neighborhood cats from wandering indoors.

While most dog doors come with a door flap, other models feature sliding panels. This kind of dog door obviously is much more energy-efficient, since it prevents extreme cold or heat from seeping inside. Another advantage that sliding door doors offer is that they can be locked. This keeps trouble out and pets in.

A sliding glass door insert offers the most convenience since it doesn’t require an open screen or storm door for a dog to be able to access it.

Do Consider How The Dog Door Operates

Basic manual dog doors are mounted to a wall or door and have a flap that allows the dog to exit and enter. It’s the most affordable kind of door. However, with this style of door, the owner isn’t able to control the coming and going of their dog. You also can’t regulate which pets are able to use the door. As an example, if another dog or a cat isn’t allowed to be outside without supervision, the kind of door can’t prevent them from accessing it.

On the other hand, an automatic door has the ability to be dog-specific. That’s because of a control on the collar of the dog activates the opening of the door. When an electronic door is used, the collar of the dog contains a special magnet, ultrasound transmitter or computer chip that signals for the door to open. An automatic door also has the added advantage of being able to keep unwanted intruders and pests from gaining access.

Do Assess The Location Of The Dog Door

There are various locations that you can mount a dog door on. Doors are the most popular choice. Whether you are looking to install a dog door in a wall, sliding glass door, garage door, or storm door, you need to consider size as well as material. Each type offers different benefits as well as flexibility.

Having a storm door dog door installation is a bit of a misnomer since the dog door is actually installed on the screen door. A storm door controls the access. With this kind of installation, you can open or close the storm door and control the access that your pet has.

The sliding glass door insert is the most common and simplest kind of dog door. It fits on the ending of a patio door track. The dog opening is located on the bottom. There are in-door options available as well. However, since precision glass cutting is needed, professional installation is required for this kind of dog door.

For dogs who stay outside most of the time, the best choice might be the overhead garage pet door. That way, the dog will have access to the garage when the weather is cold, hot or otherwise inclement. The dog can stay outside the remainder of the time. When considering installation, size is very important since the door will have to work around the many springs and joints of the overhead garage door.

Do Consider Energy Efficiency

No matter where you decide to put the dog door, it is highly recommended that you include a weather seal. Cool air from the air conditioner escapes outside any time someone opens an outside door. That’s why the basic flap-entry style of the dog door isn’t the best choice for conserving energy. To keep heat or cool air indoor, it is important to choose an energy-efficient dog door.

There are energy-efficient flap style dog doors that are available. The flaps are either insulated or a double-wide. Or the dog owner might want to get a solid-paned door that locks or slides instead of using a flap style one. The kind of door features more secure construction and is perfect for those concerned with safety.

Do Measure The Installation Location And Your Dog Before Buying

After you have made the decision to buy a dog door, the first thing you will need to figure out is what size you need to buy. Accurately measure your dog, from the floor to the shoulders for the height, and from the widest point of the hips or shoulders for width. The dog door should be two inches wider at least than your dog. The dog will be ducking his head when passing through the door, so the height can be about shoulder height. You can always make a mock dog door from paper or cardboard and put your dog next to it to test how accurate your measurements are.

Don’t Assume That One Size Will Fit All

There are numerous factors that need to be evaluated in order to figure out what your individual needs are. This will dictate what doors are best for your particular situation. You should carefully view the features of each dog door and pay close attention to location restrictions and installation instructions. If different sized dogs are going to use the door, you need to take all of them into account when choosing your door. As an example, if a retriever and toy poodle are going to use the door, then the door needs to be low enough to the ground so that the poodle can step through it and large enough for the retriever to fit through. Also, it will need to have a relatively light door flap so the poodle can get through comfortably.

Don’t Assume That Your Dog Will Know How To Use The Dog Door

Some dogs will learn how to use a dog door within a couple of minutes. However, it could take a few weeks for others to be trained. Stay patient and give your dog treats and praise as a reward for his progress. If your dog doesn’t seem to want to use a dog door, you might want to take him to a local dog trainer to go through a desensitization program.  Better yet, the guys at Sawyer Glass have a little trick they show customers how to use bacon and other food incentives to get a dog or other animals to pass through the door for the first time!