Is a doggy door a good idea?

Dog in front of the door

Installing a doggy door is definitely a good idea if you have a garden. This will allow your pet to explore the outdoors without requesting your help making it a great addition for busy homeowners.

Having a doggy door is most definitely useful in terms of potty trained dogs, especially during the night, as your pet will be able to use it without waking you up. Moreover, working families will benefit tremendously as their worries on how the dog’s day is going will be certainly tackled with this item.

How do dog doors work?

Dog doors come in various sizes to suit different dog breeds. This means that you will need to measure your dog in order to install a suitable door flap.

These mini doors allow your dog (even if it is not a small dog breed) to get outside the house and then return freely without your help.

On the market there are multiple types of doggy doors:

  • Simple doors

Installed on an existing home door and have a plastic or metal made frame and a soft or hard plastic flap. There are also models that have two or three flaps and they are better to keep the home’s ambient temperature unchanged.

These are the most commonly known doggy doors, easy to install and at a cheaper price.

  • Wall-mounted doors

These are doors that are fitted in the wall to allow a pet’s access in another room that is used for feeding and potty needs. They are similar to the simple doors, some can have wood frames and are mostly custom made.

If the walls are too thick there is also the option of having a tunnel.

  • Glass safe doors

These can be installed in windows, french doors and sliding patio doors. Read more about them on

  • Electronic pet doors ( to be used with microchips or electronic tags)

These doors are more expensive but offer great value for it. Your pet will have an electronic tag that is recognized by an electronic dog door to allow its movement outdoors and then back indoors.

Investing in this reduces any security risks and also other intrusive animals are kept away.

If you have two pets you can even select which one of them is allowed to use this door.

Dog doors – a security risk?

Dog doors could be a security risk, however, these products have advanced and changed with time. There are different ways to secure a dog door from intruders:

  • Adding manual locks
  • Investing in extra security locking covers
  • Adding sliding bars or bolt locks
  • Place your doggy door in a less visible place (for outside visitors)
  • Installing an electronic doggy door

It’s good to know that a locking cover can not be accessed from outside by any intruders (humans or animals) as this will be installed in the house.

Cat intruders

Do dog flaps affect house insurance?

Some insurance companies might consider a dog flap as a security risk resulting in an extra fee. If you decide to invest in an electronic door you might find that this will be better received by your insurance company.

Do dog doors decrease home value?

The short answer is no. There is no reason for decreasing a home’s value due to having a pet door installed. However, this should not alter a fire door for example as it can be considered a safety issue.

Most people would add a pet door at the back of the house, leading away from the kitchen. This is an area that is less viewed by passers-by or even house visitors and it wouldn’t necessarily be considered unsightly and require repairing by eventual buyers.

If you plan to install a doggy door and worry about your house value, you might consider a window door or one that can be added to a sliding door as this can be easily taken out or replaced.

How much does it cost to put in a doggy door?

Prices of these pet doors vary depending on the brand, the materials used, the type of flap door, with the cheapest prices starting at 30$ / £25.

Another thing that needs to be taken into cost considerations, is the installation fee. If you are handy with tools and enjoy your DYI then you won’t add any extra payments. However, if you hire someone for installation you will need to check the price with the handyman or the company that you are buying the door from.

Dog door training

Dog door training instructions

When deciding to buy a door flap for your dog (or your cat) you need to bear in mind that training will be required. Your pet will need to learn what that new thing is and how that can be used to get out and then back into the house.

  • Start training your dog by making this feel like a new game or trick it needs to learn.
  • Present the new item and show the dog how it works by placing your hand through it.
  • If the noise makes your dog anxious, let it know that nothing bad can happen and find a way to reduce the noise.
  • Use rewards – small treats and verbal praise
  • Reward your dog when it gets close to its door
  • Get your dog to place its head through the flap either by gently pushing its head and rewarding with a treat or encouraging the dog to test the flap
  • Do the same with its paws
  • Go outside and call your dog. The same must be done for entering back in the house
  • Help your dog by gently pushing it through the door. This should be avoided with anxious dogs until they get assured that everything is in order.
  • Placing its favorite toy or treat on the other side, through the flap, might push your pet to go quicker through the door
  • Offer less help and more praise when its confidence increases.
  • Encourage your dog to use only the doggy door in the first week or so.
  • Teach your dog to go potty through the flap door by pointing the door
  • Remember to remain patient throughout the whole process. This is something new for your pet and it needs to get accustomed to this new change.

Doggie door alternatives

For pet owners that are not sure about installing a flap door, a convenient way to let pets go outside in the garden can be a magnetic mesh that opens when the cat or the dog pushes against it. It will close by itself due to the magnetic insert.

Another alternative is the installation of a latch designed specifically to allow pets to go outdoors through the windows or doors without having to leave them open completely.