Smart dog doors are there to allow your pets free access into or out of your (and their) home without you needing to be involved and without the fear of letting in some other uninvited creature.
We’ve found three Smart dog doors that are super convenient and work using either Radio Frequency Identification technology (RFID) or a microchip reader, which means that unless a pet’s chip has been registered into the door’s memory or the pet is wearing the RFID tag on their collar, it won’t be able to use the door as it would stay locked.
The Electronic SmartDoor from PetSafe comes in 4 sizes, from small to extra-large. The door flap actually opens automatically when the dog comes closer wearing a SmartKey using the RFID tech. It is battery operated and can have up to 5 SmartKeys programmed in.
The SureFlap Microchip Dog Door from Sure Petcare is perfect for small dogs (or cats) who might not wear a collar, but whose identification microchip (that vets put under the skin between their shoulder blades) activates the door to unlock. It works with batteries and even comes with a curfew mode where pets can no longer leave between pre-set hours.
Sure Petcare also has a model called SureFlap Microchip Pet Door Connect that’s controlled and monitored by a mobile app on your smartphone. This allows you to monitor long-term activity and notice any changes in your pet’s behavior. At the moment this model only comes in a small size.
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Table of Contents
Our Recommended Smart Dog Door in 2021
1) PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor
- CUSTOMIZE YOUR PET’S ACCESS: The SmartDoor features programmable selective entry, exit and auto-locking...
- PEACE OF MIND: The SmartDoor works with the waterproof SmartKey worn on your pet's collar; only the pets...
- MULTIPLE PETS: Great for households with multiple pets; programmable for up to 5 SmartKeys
Last update on 2021-10-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Types of Smart Dog Doors
Smart Dog Doors work with:
Radio waves (RFID) – the models that operate with a collar tag worn by the pet that communicates with the door, signaling the door to open when the tag is close.
Wi-Fi – allows you to control the door from your phone, like a remote control via mobile app.
Magnetic Keys – works by unlocking the flap when the magnet key on the pet’s collar drags across a strip on the bottom of the door.
Benefits of Smart Dog Doors
As the flap panel is sealed when your dog isn’t using it, it means it’s both waterproof and airtight. Being airtight it also ensures that the temperature outside stays outside and doesn’t interfere with what you’ve got going on inside the house.
No intruders allowed
Smart dog doors only open when the key, frequency or microchip programmed into the system approaches. Which goes on to say that any creatures without “permission” can’t enter through the panel – no raccoons or random cats etc. Just this function alone will sell many of you on these products.
Peace of mind
A smart dog door provides security for your pets and ensures that no other animals can get through. If there’s a new doggie who’s not allowed out yet, you have control over that too. Also, you don’t need to get up to open up every time you hear a whine or bark from the door.
These smart dog doors are surprisingly easy to install, so you could even do it yourself with a minimum number of tools. Your pet’s height is considered to determine the best position for the dog-door frame and a piece is then cut from the access door to your house according to the dimensions of the Smart dog-door. Holes are then drilled on the inside of the frame which is installed into the cutout.
PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor
The PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor uses radio frequencies to give your pet access to entry and exit of your house. Your pet will have a SmartKey collar that puts out a unique signal to your dog door that will unlock it. As soon as your pet gets out of the range of the SmartDoor, the door will automatically lock by itself.
You can program up to five SmartKeys to work with the PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor. The SmartKey is also waterproof, allowing your pet to go swimming without the risk of damage.
If you have a specific climate-controlled home environment, the PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor is a great option because it offers UV sun protection.
The PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor comes in two sizes: Large, for pets up to 100lbs with an opening of 11” x 16”, and Small, for pets up to 15lbs with an opening of 5.5” x 7.88”.
What You Might Not Like About the PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor
There are a few complaints regarding the design of the product, the product tends to become dysfunctional after about two years of use. Specifically, the plastic material and rod get worn out or knocked out of the enclosure.
The PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor has unfortunately poor construction and materials. The idea of SmartKeys for each dog allowing them entry and then locking after their use of the SmartDoor is great, however, the flimsy materials used in production would have you thinking twice about buying it unless you don’t mind replacing it every couple of years.
The point remains, it can still perform the task of letting your dogs in and out of the house while preventing wild animals from the same access. The ease of installation and use make it a good option, especially at its price point.
PX-1 Fully Automatic Power Pet Door for Dogs and Cats
This is a perfect option for those with pets that are fairly hesitant about going through pet doors, the PX-1 Fully Automatic Power Pet Door for Dogs and Cats scans the collar of your pet and opens by itself so your pet feels welcomed to come in or out.
The PX-1 Fully Automatic Power Pet Door for Dogs and Cats offers a bulletproof resin and even has a deadbolt so you don’t need to compromise your security against intruders. It’s even kick-proof, so nobody can sneak in.
This PX-1 Pet Door is wind-proof and weather-proof, it won’t crack under extreme weather conditions. It fits great for both small and medium-sized cats and dogs.
The PX-1 Fully Automatic Power Pet Door for Dogs and Cats has a motor running the system and works all by itself. Extremely safe and secure, the door will remain open until the signals are out of range to make sure your pet doesn’t get closed into the door. It comes with a sensing system that will raise the opening if it detects an obstruction as it closes the door.
SureFlap Microchip Pet Door
If you have already installed a microchip in your pet for identification purposes, you can use that same chip for the SureFlap Microchip Pet Door; the microchip will give the SureFlap Microchip Pet Door the information needed to know whether to open the door.
This a great security measure to keep unwanted animals out of the house. Even if your pet doesn’t have an identification microchip, you can buy the SureFlap RFID collar tags. The SureFlap Microchip Pet Door even has a timer so you can keep your dogs inside the house at night, or even just control the times in which they are allowed in and out.
Most features become unlocked when you connect the SureFlap Microchip Pet Door to your Sure PetCare Hub. This application gives you the ability to connect your SureFlap Microchip Pet Door to Wi-Fi so you can access its features over the Sure PetCare mobile application. You can use the app to lock and unlock the pet door remotely. You can get activity alerts so you know when your pet is using the door, whether coming in or going out. You can check the history of their activity even to see any patterns they develop and whether they deviate from these patterns if they’re ill.
The app is even able to be used by friends and family when you are out of town, so they can give access to your pet. The door opening is 7″ x 6.69″ wide. The SureFlap Microchip Pet Door can be installed into drywall, glass windows, and doors of course. Check here for the latest prices!
If you have smaller to more medium-sized dogs, this SureFlap Microchip Pet Door can be an awesome renovation to your house, giving them freedom of access of your home. This is even a great choice for pets that consistently lose their collar since it can be dependent on the already embedded microchip. Surely you can appreciate the information you get, being able to follow the logs of whether your pet is getting enough outdoor time.
The SureFlap Microchip Pet Door is raccoon-proof, meaning a raccoon cannot just pull the door open while the locks are engaged. You will love how this pet door is designed, but the expensive price tag might be the hardest pill to swallow. There is an additional fee involved with getting two RFID tags and the hub.
PetWALK isn’t just a flap on your backdoor, it’s a small door for your pets. You can install it anywhere, no matter the material: concrete, wood, and glass.
PetWALK uses motion sensors and your pets’ RFID collar to know when to open the door. Your pets don’t need to slam their face into a door anymore, they can simply walk through. The PetWALK is insulated, preventing heat from escaping or entering your house depending on the season. It’s even burglar-proof having its own built-in alarm system, but you can even connect your home alarm system to said built-in system. It comes with a remote control so you can operate the dog door yourself, in need of a manual override.
PetWALK is a bit expensive for a dog door, however, they intend to announce new features soon, so it may be worth your while with the new features.
What are these features? Firstly, the PetWALK will be able to connect to a mobile app, where you can control the PetWALK remotely and see all the details about when your pets are going in and coming out of the house. It will also be able to connect to your Amazon Alexa and even your Nest Cam.
An additional feature the PetWALK already has is its elegant design. It has an LED display on the top, straying the minimalist white design of the rest of the door. However, you can even get the door in different colors in case the white is too boring for you. Part of future announcements will be the ability to choose your desired skins, the inside color, and even create your own design.
Buyers Guide – features to look for:
If you have a cat or small dog, you’ll buy a small door for it, and if you have a bigger dog, you’d buy a bigger door. The doors we’ve listed state their dimensions clearly and recommend sizes according to the weight of your dog – which is quite useful. The smart dog doors come in sizes small, medium, large, and extra-large.
Due to its wireless nature, a Smart dog-door needs to be powered in order to function. Some have an AC adapter that can be plugged into any power socket. These come with a rechargeable battery backup in case of a power outage. Some models only use batteries and don’t require an AC adapter.
One of the dog doors we’ve listed here in this article works with RFID (using a key fob attached to your pet’s collar), and the others work with your pet’s identification microchip that gets placed just under the skin between their shoulder blades. If your pets already have a microchip, it would be easy to buy one of the doors that works with microchips – if not, the access key for the RFID smart door is included when you purchase it.
The SureFlap Microchip Pet Door Connect by Sure Petcare has a smartphone app that allows you to connect to the door with your phone. With this app you can control the lock on the door – if you decide you don’t want your pet to leave the house anymore because of a change in weather or it could be getting late, you can set the lock so that the pet can’t leave the house but can still come in if he/she is still outside.
Manual Pet Doors vs. Electronic Pet Doors
Manual pet doors remain the more common option, with so many models to choose from. They allow more level of freedom than their electronic counterparts, as they cannot restrict unwanted pets from using them. This results in stray animals finding a way into your home, which can be a dangerous thing.
A manual pet door works fine for potty training. If you do not face dangers of wild animals or burglars, or if your pet is a little one, or if you seek the low-cost option, you can go for the manual pet door option – giving your pet all the freedom in the world.
Electronic pet doors have all the features that come with manual pet doors, plus more. There is an added layer of security that comes with these pet doors, as your pets now have to be granted access before going in or out. The method of identifying pets is found in the collar keys and implant chips. Once your pet is within range and with the identification device, the electronic pet door opens automatically. Flap doors are generally rigid plastic. This makes them energy-efficient, especially in cold climate, and less likely to be chewed on.
Electronic Pet Doors Provide More Security
It is quite easy to see how the use of electronic doors results in more security; the doors only give access to recognized pets. Your pets are welcome to move in and out while strays looking to mark new territory are restricted from access. Wild animals seeking food are also restricted, like every other unwelcome intruder.
Every standard electronic pet door has a lock features that involves a plastic or metal piece holding the door tightly closed, like a little deadbolt lock. Larger dog breeds require larger pet doors and result in peace of mind for owners knowing that burglars will most likely be deterred on seeing the size of the door and assuming the size of the dog behind that door.
Have you ever taken the time out to really see the number of electronic devices you personally use every day? Almost every household appliance is an electronic machine helping us make our lives easier or more frustrating, sometimes. Well, the pet doors space isn’t left out; there are electronic options now.
In our modern world, we now have manufacturers producing electronic doors for pets. This makes life all the more blissful for our furry friends, safer too. In addition to the basic function of being the entrance for your dog or cat, electronic pet doors have a lot more to offer, in terms of purpose and functionality.
Similar to traditional or manual pet doors, electronic pet doors can also be installed in human doors, sliding-glass doors, sash windows, and regular walls. Electronic pet doors do a far better job in preventing unwanted animals for gaining entrance into your home. Some models block out raccoons, and restrict which pet can or cannot use the door.
There are electronic door models that have timer control features, some raise the flap for your pets, and most importantly, they all have your pet feeling safe from all external elements. Below, we review some of the more popular electronic pet door models with their respective features.
Why should you choose an Electronic Pet door over Manual?
Pet doors can be seen as little animals; they come in different shapes and sizes. They are designed in different color and are ideal for cats and dogs. They come in manual and electronic variants. The electronic ones usually restrict full access, very unlike the manual doors. Electronic doors can be set to only give access to pets with their collar key.
It is important that you make an active decision on whether or not to purchase a manual pet door or an electronic one. To make the decision that suits you best, you must learn the differences between these two classes of pet doors.
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