- 1 Are Pet Doors Safe?
- 2 The Mindset of a Burglar
- 3 Installing your Pet Door in a Different Location
- 4 Pet Door Sizes
- 5 Leaving Food Safe
- 6 Types of Pet Doors Available
- 7 Materials of Pet Doors
- 8 Installing Pet Doors
- 9 Pet Door Insulation
- 10 Automatic Pet Doors
- 11 Installing Security Cameras or other Sensors
- 12 Security Locks and other Accessories
- 13 Energy Issues with Pet Doors
- 14 Real Estate Value Due to your Pet Doors
- 15 Safe Pet Doors
Are Pet Doors Safe?
It is a convenience to install pet doors to your home. Your pet will have the convenience of coming and exiting whenever he pleases, without bothering you to open the door for him constantly. He can run out to play and have fun, to relieve himself, and to get some sun. However, a pet door can pose a big safety issue as well as it is an easy target for burglars to break into your home. Burglars can’t completely fit through most pet doors, but burglars can fit their arms or head through the door, and reach through with tools to unlock or break through your door. If there are fences in the surrounding yard area where the pet door is installed, that might give the burglar enough privacy to use the pet door to break into your home.
There is a greater security concern if you were going to install multiple pet doors into your home. This is a creative and convenient idea for pet owners who have multiple pets that are active and would like to give their pets space and freedom with multiple entrances. That is why it is recommended for you to install more security measures into your home if you have pet doors installed. You should stay aware of your neighborhood and judge if whether there are frequent robberies or intrusions happening in your neighborhood, then plan on installing the appropriate security systems with your pet doors.
The most basic pet door is a plastic flap with a pet door cover that you can put over and lock whenever the pet door isn’t being used. The pet door cover is often a plastic cover, which can be easily broken through when locked. Hopefully, if you live in a relatively safe neighborhood then a basic pet door is a fine installation, however you should install some extra security measures to be safe.
The Mindset of a Burglar
You should assess your neighborhood to determine if you have high risks of robberies in your neighborhood. However, it is mainly up to you as a homeowner to practice good safety habits and secure entrances to your home to prevent robberies from happening. Even in a low crime neighborhood, anyone can still go up to your house if you have your house laid open, such as leaving doors open, open garage door, open windows, etc.
Burglars will use alternative methods of getting into a house if the front and back doors are locked, and all windows are locked. There are stories of burglars entering through the chimney or using a pet door to break in. A pet door that is too large is an easy target for people to break in. You can test if your pet door is too large by reaching through it to see if you can unlock the door. This is an easy and concerning maneuver that robbers will do when you install a pet door on a door.
People assume that burglars act during the nighttime when it is dark, and everyone is asleep. However, there are more risks to getting caught since people are home and can be easily awaken at any noise level. So, in actuality a lot more burglaries happen during the day time when people are at work, and children are usually in school. Most burglars want to be as discreet as possible, to steal anything of valuable that you might have, and to exit as fast as possible without being caught.
Another thing to note is that not all burglars are adults bent on stealing your goods. There are people who wants to vandalize houses, as well as teenagers who wants to play pranks or even attempt to break in for fun. There are children who can do similar things out of curiosity or vandalism too. A pet door can be a target for them to break in.
Installing your Pet Door in a Different Location
A good tactical strategy is to install your pet door in a different location of the house that isn’t on a door or facing a street. It is the most obvious and dangerous to install a pet door on the main entryway to your house.
The front door faces the street where anyone can walk up to, and many front yards are open people to observe the activities of your household. This allows for would be robbers to analyze the activities of your home, learning times when you are often awayThat is why it is best if you don’t install the pet door on the front door.
If you’re really set on installing a pet door on your front door, then it is recommended that you install more advanced door models with automatic security features.
Most home owners install their pet doors through the back door, so it isn’t visible from the street. This prevent your home from looking too obvious for breaking in, and most intruders can be unaware that you have a pet door. Also, backyards are usually fenced in to allow playing and running rooms for your pets.
You can also install pet doors through a wall instead. There are pet door kits made for installing on walls. This allows you more room to pick a discreet location where your pet can easily access it but it will be harder to notice. You can choose a spot that you can do some gardening outside. Plant a bush, or some grass, around your pet door so it won’t be too noticeable.
Pet Door Sizes
A good advice is to measure your pet and order the appropriate pet door sizes. Buy the smallest possible door size that your pet can fit through. A pet door that is too large will be too easy to access by intruders or other critters. Position the door properly, and not too high or too low. The pet door should be placed to the height of your pet’s back, and the pet door’s width should be to the width of your pet’s shoulder width.
Not all intruders are adults. Children and curious teens can fit through smaller pet doors, so you should practice precautions with smaller pet doors as well.
Leaving Food Safe
As mentioned above, other critters and pests can enter through a pet door to look for food and shelter from your home. The types of animals are possums, rats, raccoons, and any kind of local wildlife depending on where you live. These pests can bring diseases to your home or vandalize your home in their search for food. You can leave your pet food and other food safe by keeping them far away from the pet door and in close containers so pests don’t smell them. Don’t leave any food out in the open, and keep the room where the pet door is cool so to not increase any food smells.
Types of Pet Doors Available
As described before, most basic pet doors have a flap for your pet to get through, and a pet door cover with a locking mechanism. There are also electronic pet doors with an automatic sliding door. These are more modern and recommended to prevent a lot of security problems that pet doors can pose. However, many of these automatic doors are made of one single layer plastic door. This plastic door can be broken through with a hammer or any tools from a determined intruder.
Materials of Pet Doors
There are a wide variety of materials being used for pet doors, but most notably aluminum and some plastics. Aluminum can last long with use and handling the elements, but good quality plastics will also be durable for smaller pet doors.
Installing Pet Doors
Pet doors installation can become a big DIY task depending on where and how you would like to install it. Before installing the basic pet door itself you would have to cut a hole into the door, or wall area that you would like to install. That is a difficult task requiring you to have the right tools, and even then you might have difficulty if you don’t have steady hands. It is a good suggestion to hire an installation service to help you installing your pet doors. The added cost will save you time and frustrations.
The only easy pet door installations are the sliding door pet door models. There are pet doors for your glass sliding door. They are often whole panel of glass sliding door that includes your pet door that you can wedge between your glass sliding doors. They are a nice and creative addition if you have glass sliding doors, but they don’t offer a lot of insulation as well.
Pet Door Insulation
Pet doors are an entryway into your home, and many pet doors are made of thin plastics or metal, not very good insulation materials for your home. Even for automatic pet doors, which often uses a plastic panel for the door that doesn’t provide a lot of insulation for your home. Your pet door is also a pathway for outside air to mix with the air inside of your home, and this can become a problem if you live in extremely hot or cold weather. This will increase the energy consumption of your home, and make the atmosphere of your home uncomfortable.
There are some pet doors on the market with two or three flaps instead of one. These can help trap air inside of the door, so to the lessen the effects of air mixing with outside air. However, if your pet frequently enters and exit the pet door, there would still be a lot of inside air mixing with outside air, resulting in atmospheric and temperature changes inside your house.
Now onto the safety measures that you can install with your pet door to make your home safer. There are different types of electronic pet doors that will provide more securities, as well as sensors and different security systems.
Automatic Pet Doors
There are newer, more high-tech automatic pet doors that are good options if you want to install your pet door by the front door, or other entrances if your home is more exposed.
There are electronic pet doors that operate with pet collar keys or with RFID chips. These are convenient because they will solve the problem of having other critters and pests that want to invade your home for food and shelter. A basic pet door is quite easy for these pests to invade through.
Microchip pet doors are available in a variety of sizes for smaller cats and dogs. Larger pet doors don’t utilize the microchip function, but they are activated using a tab on your pet collar instead.
These doors are a little bit more expensive than standard pet doors, but they are good investments if you want no hassles from any intruders, critters or burglars.
These automatic doors are usually made with a door panel that is one single layer of plastic. These are not too sturdy from an intruder with a hammer or tools to break in. To add more security to these doors, you can replace their plastic door panel with something that is sturdier, like a metal or wood door to prevent easy break-ins. You can also install an additional door cover made from wood or metal, with an automatic lock feature to use whenever you are away from your home.
Installing Security Cameras or other Sensors
A security camera system is an awesome security feature against burglars for any homes, even homes that do not possess pet doors. Simply install a security camera over the door that you installed your pet door, over the other entrances to the house, and over the wall area where you pet door is if you install one by the door.
This will deter burglars from your house more since it’s obvious that they are being watched. An alarm system that will notify local authorities in conjunction with your camera system is even better at providing security to your home. This method is a good security system for homes that do not possess pet doors as well.
Such security system can be quite expensive to install with monthly payments even if there is a monitoring system in place, but it is a good investment if robberies are a frequent concern in your neighborhood. You can set your camera to livestream the camera recordings onto your phone, or even install an app that notifies you whenever your pet door is being used.
For much less than a security camera system, you can install fake security cameras. There are many on the market that looks like real security cameras, but they do not record any footage. Some fake security cameras come with built in lights so they look more authentic and deter many skittish intruders. You can install them right over any entrances to the home, especially the door that has the pet door, and at the top of the area where your pet door is if it installed on a wall to make them look like an overall camera security system for the home.
Extra accessories that can help deterred intruders are pet door security alarms. You weigh your pet to see how heavy they are, and there are sensors on the market that will sound the alarm when something heavier than that tries to get through the pet door. You should follow installation instructions on these sensors, but likely you would install them on the pet door frame. These would alarm intruders when they are trying to break in, and will get them noticed by neighbors and likely make them go away.
Security Locks and other Accessories
If you have a sliding patio door, you can install a wedgit charley bar to lock your sliding door in place. It is bar that you can install on one edge of the sliding door and set it across as a bar to prevent your door from sliding. This is a good installation if you install sliding door panels with pet doors, or if your sliding door is close to a door where you have your pet door installed, and is a good general security feature against intruders for sliding doors.
You should also have very secure locks on the gates to your backyard or property in general. It would make it harder for intruders to access your pet door, and a general good security tip. Lock your gates whenever you are not home, and at nighttime before going to sleep.
Posting a “Beware of dogs” sign can also deter intruders. Even if your pet is a very sweet dog, a sign like this will warn intruders away because people generally do not want to deal with a barking dog that will draw attention to himself, or possibly being chased by one. Many crime experts agree that the idea of a dog is enough to scare off a big variety of burglars, since most intruders just want to be discreet and exit fast without drawing attention to themselves.
Energy Issues with Pet Doors
To reduce this problem, look for dog doors with an insulated door flap, or dual-flap door to offer more protection. These flaps reduce outside air from mixing with inside air to your home, reducing the atmospheric changes in your house and conserve a little bit more energy to your home. However, if energy conservation is important to you, then consider installing pet doors because there would still be a lot of air exchanges when your pet enters or leave the pet door.
Real Estate Value Due to your Pet Doors
Pet doors don’t affect the real estate value of your home too much, as long as they are well-done and are not damaged, and doesn’t compromise the security of the home or letting the weather to affect your home. If you have security systems or accessories in place to make your pet door safer, then it is a good system for you to have your pet doors. If you are still concern about the pet doors affecting your property value, then hopefully you’ve installed pet doors where it is easy to take them off, such as a sliding glass door, or window pet doors where you can easily take those off as well.
If you had installed your pet door in a wall, you might have to have professional fixes to uninstall it and cover up your wall again. But this wall pet door is a good addition to your home if it is not damaged, has security locks or other security features, well camouflage, and you have positioned it where it won’t be too affected by flood or the weather.
For pet doors installed on doors, you can take the door off and install a new door for your property when you are renting or selling your home. But a well-installed pet door on a door with good security features are good features to a home and won’t affect your property value too much.
Safe Pet Doors
Other cons pet doors pose are insulation problems to your home. This can increase your energy consumption for your home, along with the energy consumption from the added security features to your pet doors. There aren’t big solutions to these problems currently so it is a factor you should take into consideration when installing your pet door.
However, the convenience and good appearance of well-installed pet doors are nice features that will add a bit of value to your property.