Are You an Unpaid Doorman For Your Dog? Then Get A Dog Door!

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Oh, the trials and tribulations of having a dog! Do any of these sound familiar?

Scenario No. 1:  It’s 5:15 AM, you are sound asleep and content in the knowledge that you can sleep in this morning. Suddenly there’s a whimpering sound next to you. You roll over and try to ignore the sound but it continues, unabated. Suddenly, you are struck on the shoulder by a huge paw. You open your eyes and see your German Shepherd, Maxie, looking at you with her soulful eyes. Maxie needs to go out! You consider the options:

a.) get up and let her go outside  or
b.) hope that you only have to clean up the kitchen floor since it’s vinyl, not carpet.
You make your decision, stumble out of bed, stub your toe on the bedframe, hobble to the back door, open it, and Maxie finally gets her relief.

Scenario No. 2: You are watching the Big Game on TV when Maxie lets you know that she wants to go outside. You walk to the back door, let her out, close the door and return to the TV to find that you missed your team’s incredible rally to take the lead. You settle in, disappointed but still happy that the game is going well. Suddenly, Maxie is barking and scratching at the back door. She wants back in. You get up, go to the door, let her in and return to the TV. Guess what? Your team is now losing. You missed the big play that gave the other team the lead. You mutter under your breath, glare at Maxie, and notice that Maxie seems to be laughing at you.

Scenario No. 3: The final episode of your favorite TV series will be on tonight. You simply can’t miss even a second of the thrilling conclusion to the season. Remembering the problems you encountered trying to watch the Big Game, you decide to leave the back door open so that Maxie can come and go as she pleases. You happily watch your show, uninterrupted for the full hour.  When it’s over you head for the back door and – yikes!  – a cloud of mosquitos, moths, and other indescribable flying insects are swarming around the overhead light fixture. You look at Maxie and could swear that she’s laughing at you again.

Dog Doors Can Be Quite Handy

Dog Doors Can Be Quite Handy

You’ve had enough and decide to look into the possibilities of installing a dog door.

The Benefits of a Dog Door
With the addition of a simple flap installed in your back door, your dog will be free to come and go from your house. You will no longer have to wake up before dawn to let your howling dog out. Whenever nature calls, your dog will be able to use your dog door to get to your backyard without having to interrupt you. And, although it is not a substitute for walks and games of fetch, allowing your dog to go outside when it wants to run around will help your dog get at least some exercise.

The Problem with Manual Dog Doors
Unfortunately, there can be problems with dog doors. A manual dog door, with a simple plastic flap installed in a wall or door at ground level, can result in a host of problems. Although your dog would have the freedom to come and go, the dog door could also be opening your house up to anything else that can fit through it. Stray dogs and cats have been known to wander into houses through the open flap. Also, if you have a large dog, the hole may be big enough for a burglar to use it to gain entry to your house.

Magnetic or Electronic Dog Doors
Getting a  magnetic or electronic dog door can resolve many of the problems you may encounter with a simple entry flap. With an electronic dog door, the door remains securely closed until an infrared key attached to your dog’s collar opens it. Likewise, a strong magnet attached to your dog’s collar can  unlatch a magnetic door. Although these advanced designs are more expensive, an electronic or magnetic dog door will help ensure that it is only your dog that is entering your home. Indeed, some electronic dog doors may even be connected to a home security system.

Before you Buy a Dog Door
No matter what type of dog door you decide to install in your home, you should consider the following:
*  For security purposes, you should look for a dog door that can be securely locked. If you already have one that cannot be properly locked, you may be able purchase a solid pane that can drop into place over the hole when you and your dog are going to be away from home.
*  Also keep in mind your local climate and the potential exchange of cold and warm air through the hole in your door or wall. If you live in a moderate climate where you do not have to heat or cool your home often, then this will not be a major concern. Otherwise, you should ensure that your dog door is properly insulated. This requires buying a heavier duty dog door that is insulated and seals completely when closed.

A properly selected dog door won’t resolve all of your dog-related trials and tribulations. However, it will enable you to resign from your part-time job as a doorman. Loss of that job is no great loss since Maxie didn’t tip very well anyway.

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