If you are looking at having a dog door, then please consider the security aspects as the opening can be big enough for a small person to fit through. Pet friendly burglar alarm sensors are available which will not be triggered by pets up to a certain size. If you have concerns, then you may need to talk to a security professional. You may also need to talk with your insurance company to see how this may affect your insurance cover or premium.

Dog doors come in a variety of shapes and styles, though mainly in just two colours, white or brown, although there are a few exceptions. They are generally of the manual type, although there is one magnetic and one microchip door, both for small dogs only. There are exceptions to this, but they tend to be very expensive. In addition to the basic feature of some form of manual locking, several dog doors have an additional slide-in closing panel. The manual locking is generally operated via sliding or rotating catches providing two way locking (free access or locked), or four way locking (free access, in-only, out-only, locked).

If you are looking for a cheaper option then look at manual dog doors. The magnetic type has the common problem of loss of collar attachments and is for small dogs only as is the single microchip model which restricts access to registered pets only

The three types of dog door are:

  1. Manual dog doors

    The basic manual type which accounts for the majority of the available dog doors and thus the most popular and widely installed

    Pros: cheap, no batteries, simple manual controls

    Cons: there is a risk that other pets or wild animals may enter your home. The larger ones may provide a security risk. You will also have to remember to set the access on the door to suit the time of day to keep your dog(s) in at night and allow them to go out in the morning

    For further details see the Manual Dog Doors page

  2. Magnetic dog doors

    Although there is nothing inherently wrong with this type of dog door, the big problem is your pet losing the collar attachment which activates the flap. They can be replaced, but in the meantime your pet will be locked out or the dog door will have to be placed in manual mode. I can install this type of door but I recommend that you consider either the manual or microchip types

    Pros: the flap is unlocked by the magnet carried by the dog on a collar around its neck. This prevents other dogs (or foxes) coming in

    Cons: there is a risk that the dog will lose its collar and find itself shut out. Also, neighbouring pets may be equipped with identical magnetic collars which will admit them to your home. These are not generally suitable for fitting to doors containing metal and, be aware, some uPVC doors contain a sheet of reinforcing metal. The one model available is for small dogs only

    For further details see the Magnetic Dog Doors page

  3. Microchip dog doors

    Pros: the most secure type of dog door, it recognises your dog’s unique microchip implant. In fact, it will recognise as many dogs as you have, or may get in the future (up to around 30 pets at any one time)

    Cons: not generally available from pet shops but can be ordered direct from manufacturers or I can supply them at a generous discount. The presence of metal in doors could potentially interfere with the microchip reader, but this can be overcome by cutting an oversize hole through the door. Your dog will also have to be microchipped which some owners may be uncomfortable with. The one model available is for small dogs only

    For further details see the Microchip Dog Doors page