Owning a pet comes with responsibilities. On top of giving your pets healthy food and lots of love and affection, you also need to make sure their basic needs for exercise and mental stimulation are met. Being a responsible pet owner means making a commitment to providing your pet with a healthy and active lifestyle.
If you’re considering getting a new dog or cat, it’s important that you make sure your home environment is right for the pet you choose. One of the simplest ways to adapt your home to suit a new pet is to have a pet door installed. Pet doors improve quality of life for our four-legged friends and also make it easier for pet owners with busy schedules to care for their animals.
Why Are Pet Doors A Good Idea?
Pet Doors give your pet easy access to indoor and outdoor areas and with ability to lock the pet doors, controls when you would like your furry loved ones access to both inside and out side areas. If you work full time and can’t be home during the day, providing your dog with free access to play in the backyard along with the safety of retreating indoors is the best way to keep them healthy, happy, and safe. Large dogs in particular need the freedom to explore and let themselves in and out as needed.
It’s not only people who work full time that benefit from installing a pet door. Changing family dynamics and circumstances might also mean you have less time to dedicate to your much-loved family pet. Busy parents with young children, and less-mobile adults who are no longer able to take their dogs for regular walks find that pet doors are a convenient way to offer their dogs exercise and time outdoors. Cats also benefit from access to the outdoors for some fresh air and sunshine.
Biggest Advantages of Pet Doors
Pet doors offer a number of health and lifestyle benefits to pets and their owners. The most popular reasons why people choose to install a pet door include:
The most obvious advantage to installing a doggie door is the convenience they offer to pets and pet owners. The most common worry for dog owners who spend long hours at work, or have a busy schedule, is that their pet is bored at home. Not being at home for extended periods means your dog would either be confined inside with the risk of chewed furniture and bathroom accidents, or locked outside in hot or cold weather. A dog door gives your pet the freedom to run around outside to get some exercise, and then come back in for nap time, safe and happy inside their home.
Providing your pet with free access to the backyard also means not having to get up overnight or interrupt dinner to let the dogs in or out for a bathroom break (or just because they suddenly need to investigate a noise outside). For cats, free access to the outdoors can mean removing the hassle and odour of indoor litter boxes.
Pet Health and Behaviour
Improved pet health is another major benefit of installing a pet door. Dogs and cats both benefit from fresh air and the mental stimulation of being outside and surrounded by nature. Dogs in particular are likely to suffer from loneliness, boredom & anxiety if kept inside all day long.
It’s essential that you provide your dog with a mentally stimulating environment with plenty of options for exercise and physical activity. Dogs that are kept indoors with no one to play with become bored and are more likely to bark and display other negative behaviours. Even if you walk your dog every day, they’ll be healthier and happier if you install a pet door to let them play outside at their convenience.
In hot weather, your animal’s health is at risk if they are left outside all day. Heat stroke and dehydration are real risks, particularly for large dogs with thick coats. Allowing access into the house is a simple way to keep your pet cool in summer. Likewise, even if your pet generally prefers to stay outside, small dogs and cats are vulnerable to cold weather. A pet door to give your dog or cat the freedom to come and go inside and out to suit themselves is the easiest way to make sure they stay safe in both hot and cold weather.
Even if you are not keen on giving your dog free access to roam through the carpeted areas of your house, a dog door installed in the laundry gives you the option of providing them with a safe place to retreat to inside in case of bad weather or unexpected storms. Many dogs are scared of thunder and are likely to hurt themselves or become terrified if they are alone during a storm. A pet door gives you peace of mind, and is an easy way to provide your pet with a safe haven inside if you can’t be home with them.
One of the biggest downsides to pet ownership is the added difficulty of keeping your home smelling fresh and clean. Feeding your pets inside can attract ants, and nobody likes the smell of cat litter. A pet door makes it easier to keep your home clean without restricting your pet’s access to food or bathroom breaks.
There’s nothing worse than coming home from a long day at work to discover your pet has had to relieve themselves indoors. It’s also not realistic to expect your pet not to go to the bathroom if you are away for long periods of time. Installing a pet door solves that problem entirely by giving them access to the backyard or outdoor litter tray. Both dog and cat faeces contain bacteria that can be dangerous to humans – particularly children and pregnant women. So outdoor toilet options are a good idea for all pets.
Things to Consider Before Installing a Pet Door
For pet owners who are thinking about installing a doggie door, we’ve put together some helpful advice on choosing the best pet door to suit you and your pet. Your choice of pet door will obviously depend on the size of your pet and the special features you need. But there are several things to consider first if you’re debating the pros and cons of installing a pet door.
Before choosing the style of pet door you need, you should take some time to consider the best location for installing your pet door. Doggie doors will generally open onto a yard area, however this isn’t your only option. Access to the side of the house via the laundry door can help to limit access to the rest of the house, and also means less coming and going of excited dogs through the main living areas of the home.
Pet doors can be installed into windows, sliding doors, timber doors, glass doors, and security screen doors. You can even install a double door to give access through both your security door and timber door when they are both closed at the same time. With this range of options, you might find a bedroom door, back door, or bathroom window are the best locations for installing your cat or dog door.
Non-Permanent Pet Door Options for Renters
Most pet doors are permanent alterations to your home. This can be a disadvantage for renters or for those who don’t want to make permanent changes to their walls or house doors. In this situation, pet doors for sliding screen doors or pet doors installed in a glass are both semi-permanent, removable, and cost-effective solutions. Installing a cat door into glass door windows is also a good option for renters who would like to own a pet. It’s simple to replace and leaves no permanent structural alterations when you move out.
Professional Installation or DIY
Modern pet doors look great. Done right, they can be an investment in your home. You don’t want to risk damaging your home with inexperienced DIY efforts. To make sure the job is done properly, you should get your pet door professionally installed. You also want to make sure you don’t compromise your home security by installing your pet door incorrectly. Professional installation ensures a safe and secure fit with no external screws and full weather protection.
Pros and Cons of Different Types of Pet Doors
Pet door come in a vast range of styles that are suitable for various applications and installation methods depending on preference. Pet doors also come with different features and to suit a range of different budgets.
Sydney Pet Doors offers professional installation in doors, and windows. We supply and install standard small cat doors in glass, larger doors for dogs installed in glass doors, pet doors for security screens and microchip pet doors.
Pet Doors for Security Screens
Installing a pet flap in your existing screen door is a very affordable option. These rectangular pet doors come in a range of sizes to suit small, medium, and large pets. The flexible magnetic pet flap is made from UV-stabilised plastic fitted to a strong aluminium frame. For safety, it can be locked with a slide-in plate. This is an advantage for home security and those times you want to lock your dog in or out, for example if it’s been raining and you want to prevent access to the back yard.
Pet doors for security screens are sturdy, quick to install, and offer your family a safe, secure, and budget friendly way of giving your pet access to the outdoors. The main disadvantages are the limited locking options and the fact that you’ll need an aligned screen and timber double door to allow access when both the screen and main house doors are closed.
Small Cat Doors for Wood
These are rectangular, tough poly-carbonate pet doors designed to fit into timber doors. They have 4 locking options, great safety features, weather seals, and a long 3-year warranty. The small clear door looks modern, is unobtrusive, and easy to clean. While it’s the perfect pet door for cats, its only disadvantage is its small size won’t suit multi-pet homes with both dogs and cats.
Standard Small Pet Doors for Glass
These small, circular poly-carbonate doors are suitable for installation in glass including windows and sliding glass doors. They look great, have 4 locking options, great safety features, weather seals, and full 3-year warranty. The biggest disadvantage of the small poly-carbonate door is its size. These are great for cats and small dogs up to 6 kg, however they are not suitable for larger pets.
Small to Medium Dog Doors for Glass
These come in a range of sizes suitable for small dogs (or very large cats!), or medium dogs up to 22kg. They are designed to fit into glass including single and double glazing, and sliding doors or windows. They have a circular design, 4 locking options, great security features, weather seals, and full 3-year warranty.
Large Dog Doors for Glass
These rectangular doggie doors are designed for large dogs over 22kg. Made of a tough poly-carbonate they are easy to clean and built to last with a full 3-year warranty. They have a 2-way locking system with self-closing magnets at the base of the door flap to keep the weather out. These doors are suitable for most large breed dogs but will not suit extra-large breeds like Great Danes or big German Shepherds.
Dog Doors for Wood
These rectangular doggie doors come in a range of sizes including medium, large, and super large for the biggest of dogs. They are designed to fit into solid timber doors. Dog access is via a flexible magnetic vinyl pet flap fitted to a strong aluminium frame. These dog doors look great, are easy to keep clean, and are lockable with a slide-in plate. The smooth and silent door flap action is good for timid dogs and won’t disturb you in the middle of the night. The super large dog doors will fit even the biggest of pets with a flap size of 381 x 508mm.
Microchip Pet Doors
Microchip pet doors are becoming increasingly popular options for pet owners who want more control over their pets’ movements and their home security. They work by recognising either your pet’s existing microchip or a collar tag to allow access. For multi-pet families, you can store up to 32 different pet identities with their own schedules and access permissions. This has the added advantage of preventing neighbourhood animals or strays from entering your home.
Electronic pet doors that recognise your pets’ microchip or collar can also be set to curfew mode. Putting a curfew on your pet door is the easiest way to keep your cat in at night and one of the biggest advantages of microchip cat doors. Curfew mode works by setting the current day and time, and then programming the flap to lock and unlock at specific times of the day. Most cat owners will program their cat door to lock an hour before sunset to keep their pet inside overnight. And then unlock early in the morning so they are not woken up by an insistent cat needing to go outside!
If you own both cats and dogs, you can simply program your microchip pet door to let your dog in and out overnight, but restrict your cats’ access to daylight hours so they are less of a threat to native wildlife. While electronic pet doors are more expensive than manual pet doors, the added flexibility and programming options makes them worthwhile for many pet owners. The main disadvantage of Microchip Pet Doors is they are currently only available to suit smaller pets.
Need More Advice Before Deciding On A Pet Door?
Modern pet doors are stylish, fast and easy to install, and convenient to use. Best of all, they provide your pet with the freedom to come and go without compromising on home security.
If you’d like to find out more, contact the team at Sydney Pet Doors for personal advice. Our fully qualified tradesmen offer professional installation throughout the Sydney area.