Updated August 22, 2018 by Jeff Newburgh

The 10 Best Pet Doors

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This wiki has been updated 21 times since it was first published in February of 2016. Owning a dog or cat is both a big responsibility and a rewarding experience. Why not make the responsibility part a bit easier on yourself and Fido by installing one of these handy doggy doors? Our options deliver superior insulation and security that work to keep all the wrong things out, while allowing pets easy access. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best pet door on Amazon.

10. SureFlap Microchip

9. Carlson Pro

8. PetSafe PPA11

7. Ideal Pet Modular

6. BarksBar Premium

5. Extreme Endura Flap

4. High Tech Power Pet

3. Perfect Pet AWXL

2. Hale Giant

1. Plexidor Performance

Doggie Doors Galore

The door also provides a quick exit should the home be compromised by a fire or an intruder.

Mahatma Gandhi once said that the greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated. This phrase speaks to compassion and the dependence of an animal on its owner to properly care for them. Compassion perpetuates trust, which are both ideal values for human society. When one makes the decision to bring a pet into their home, it forms a strong bond and relationship based on purity and trust. Depending on where you live and how you choose to interact with your dog or cat, wouldn't it be nice to give them the freedom to come and go as they please while maintaining that trust? Without some of this freedom, a pet may develop unwanted behaviors that require special training. They might scratch at your doors and walls when they have to go out or they may have additional accidents indoors. Pets are creatures of habit and while they depend on you for the basic necessities, there are ways to make some of these routines easier on both of you, such as a dog's ability to come and go as he pleases when having to go outside to relieve himself. The pet door is an excellent tool to provide this freedom and peace of mind.

A pet door (or pet flap) is a small portal or opening typically cut into the bottom of a human-sized door (or wall) that allows an animal to enter and exit the home on their own without the need for human intervention. The most typical style of pet door features a bottom-weighted, hinged, and spring-loaded flap hung from the top of its opening with the capability to swing back and forth as a pet comes and goes. The flap can be made from rubber, vinyl, or heavy plastic and is sometimes equipped with magnets around its edges to keep the door closed for extra protection against wind, severe weather, and prowlers. Depending on their design, some doors have saloon-style operation that allows them to swing inward and outward with springs to force their closure after the pet has gone through. Saloon-style pet doors do not have rubber flaps and they are often made from acrylic glass with air pockets for extra insulation. For high-tech security, an additional type of pet door includes the automatic door, which operates through the use of a computer chip or magnet attached to the pet's collar and triggers the door to unlock when the animal comes near it. Automatic pet doors are more expensive than conventional doors, but they also offer superior security by limiting who or what can trigger the door to unlock in the first place.

Aside from security and convenience, the pet door offers several health benefits to a dog or cat. With easy access to a portal leading outdoors, your pet can quickly get outside for exercise to stay fit. A pooch forced to hold it in for extended periods of time can also lead to potential accidents inside the home. Installation of a pet door helps to solve this problem, as the dog is no longer forced to wait until the owner lets them out to do their business. Easy access to the outdoors also prevents behavior problems as a result of boredom while keeping the animal mentally stimulated. The door also provides a quick exit should the home be compromised by a fire or an intruder.

Installing The Proper Door For Your Pet

Sizing will be an important consideration. The general rule for sizing the door is to measure your dog's width and height (from the top of the shoulders to the bottom of the chest) and add around two inches to each measurement for ensuring an easy fit. For this reason, one should wait until a puppy is fully grown before making an investment.

Determining where to install the door is a large consideration as well.

Determining where to install the door is a large consideration as well. Some doors can be installed into walls and into front or back doors around your home. That said, this decision should be made based on preference and the size of your dog. Additionally, one must consider the materials they wish to use. If a dog is prone to chewing, then sturdy materials such as plastic, vinyl, or acrylic should be used. Doing this not only prevents damage to the door's components, but it also provides improved insulation and energy efficiency for the home, particularly if you're going to install the door yourself.

If you're worried about unwanted animals finding their way into your home using a door flap, then you can also consider an automatic pet door keyed to an identifiable collar worn by your pet. This ensures that only he or she can enter and exit.

Finally, prepare to train your pet to familiarize himself with the door, regardless of the type you choose to install. The pet will not instinctively know how to use the door, so it may take a couple of weeks for them to learn how to use it through the use of positive reinforcement.

A Brief History Of Pet Doors

Pets have accompanied humans for millions of years, long before the domestication of the modern dog. The oldest dog fossils date back almost forty million years, while the oldest cat fossils date back around twelve million years.

These cats were used to hunt rodents and protect stores of resources.

Human semi-domestication of wildcats dates to around 9,500 years ago when the people of Cyprus created rudimentary cat holes used to invite feral cats into their domiciles. These cats were used to hunt rodents and protect stores of resources. Similar behavior was employed to domesticate cats in ancient Egypt.

Through urban legend, Sir Isaac Newton has been credited with the invention of the pet door through his actions of cutting large holes in his walls for his adult cat and kittens. Since that time, the product has been marketed in several different forms that include manual and hinged flaps, saloon-style operation, and fully automatic doors offering the most cutting-edge technology to keep your home safe for both you and your furry friend.

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Jeff Newburgh
Last updated on August 22, 2018 by Jeff Newburgh

Jeff is a dedicated writer and communications professional from San Francisco with a bachelor of arts in anthropology from UC Berkeley. He began his career in computer consulting and later branched out into customer service. Jeff focuses on making complex topics easy to understand. With over 10 years' experience in research, his relentless curiosity fuels a love of writing and learning how things work, and has helped to build expertise in categories such as heavy-duty power tools and computer equipment. Jeff's passion for animals affords him a strong understanding of pet products, including dog houses, beds, and grain-free foods. When he's not writing, he prefers spending time with his family and three dogs, while kicking back and relaxing with a nice glass of red wine.

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