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What does an electronic dog door do? Sing a song? Use fingerprint (or pawprint) lock to open and close?
Most dog doors don’t exactly work that way. However, a smart dog door can still identify your pet by way of their microchip or collar. Some options will work automatically, while others will let you control the game.
So why exactly should you opt for an electronic dog door versus the good old, analogue flap pet door in your grandma’s house?
Because many if not most dog owners don’t want to wake up one day with a raccoon picking its teeth after it ate all of the dog food. Raccoons are cute and all, but your dog’s feelings matter too.
With an electronic dog door, a raccoon won’t stand a chance unless it manages to steal your dog’s collar or microchip. Which would be an impossible feat even for the most seasoned thief.
But it’s not just about raccoons. The best electronic dog doors will add safety to your home, allowing you to control when your pet can exit and make sure that only your pet will be able to enter the house. This and more features of electronic dog doors have made this a go-to solution for dog owners!
Choosing the right dog door shouldn’t be difficult. One of the instant hits will be PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor, an option widely known and loved by pets and pet owners all over the world.
But that is not to say it’s the best doggie door for everyone. We’ve carefully looked at many different options and decided to also include some non-electronic options.
First, there aren’t many decent electronic picks on the market. Second, many pet owners aren’t into things electronic. As handy as they are, they require a power source, and some of the lower-quality options can be unreliable in winter.
Best Electronic Dog Doors (and Some Non-Electronic Too) in 2021
#1 Best Overall – PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor
The PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor can give your dog or another pet full control over the entry or exit. Once the doggo comes in or out, this pet door will lock automatically. Nobody shall enter!
(I would also like it to turn all Gandalf on the unfortunate raccoon.)
This door only works for dogs who have a matching collar, so you can always know that the only dog entering will be your own. This key that the dog wears with it is waterproof. So if your pet is a passionate swimmer, the key won’t go bad after a drenching party.
So, how smart the PetSafe Electronic Smartdoor really is?
It’s smart enough to recognize up to five pets and let them in or out. So, if you have multiple pets, this will probably be the best electronic dog door for all of youse.
Another of its key features is that you can install it on an interior door. If there’s a zone in your house that you want to make pet-free, that’s the way to go!
But it isn’t door-exclusive. You can mount it on a wall if you purchase their proprietary wall kit.
There are different sizes of this door, so make sure to get the right one for your pet. There are also different types of this door to match the environment you live in. From extreme weather to light aluminum ones, choose your material wisely!
The only problem is that this smart dog door runs on batteries. So, if you forget to change the batteries when they’re out of juice, get ready to discover some poop in the planter.
And the batteries do tend to run out fast.
However, I am not inclined to see this as a serious downside. Most electronic pet door options are battery operated. So, it’s up to you to set up a charging routine.
- Door with smart keys programmable for up to five animals
- Good for exterior and interior doors
- Wall installation possible
- Different sizes and materials
#2 Best Weatherproof Door – Endura Flap Pet Door
Endura Flap Pet Door is NOT the best electronic dog door just because it’s not electronic.
Truth be told, it’s not even a pet door in the strictest sense. It’s merely an insert you can install into your sliding door without using any tools.
Well, that still doesn’t explain the price tag, which will possibly be prohibitive for some pet owners.
The thing is, this doggie door insert is hands down the most robust, durable, and reliable solution we’ve seen.
Since it’s not an electronic door, it won’t prevent other dogs and cats (or raccoons) from entering your home. But this door will sure as hell keep the wind out, even if it’s a proper storm outside. And not all pets owners even have the “unwanted guests” issue to begin with!
Before we go any further, let’s see how strong a wind we are talking about here.
The door will withstand wind gusts up to 50 mph. If an even stronger wind should happen, the doggie door will be the LAST thing you’ll worry about. It would be a severe gale that can start causing structural damage to your home.
Back to the key features of this powerful, energy efficient monster pet door. If you live in a super cold climate, note that it will also prevent the freezing -40 degrees Fahrenheit from entering your home.
Not an important concern in California, admittedly. But Northerners will appreciate it all the more. As well as their pets!
The door opens and closes by way of two flaps. Nothing new!
But contrary to most other options, the flaps aren’t made of light materials. It’s the so-called LoE (Low Emissivity Coating) glass. In plain English, it means it’s special glass designed to boost energy efficiency. The door comes with magnets, which will keep the flap closed when the dog is in or out.
- Excellent for severe weather conditions (and severe winds)
- The flaps seal with magnets
- Environmentally friendly materials
- Very robust and durable
- A dozen dimensions to choose from
- 15 years guarantee + 100% money back
- As one would expect, it’s costly
#3 Best Budget Option – BarksBar Original Plastic Dog Door
The name says plastic, but don’t freak out. In BarksBar Original Plastic Dog Door, plastic won’t allow your dog to bite or chew. Even if they do, the door has been tested and proven as chew-resistant.
So how big or small a dog are we talking about? This one is inadequate for super large dogs over 100 pounds. Anything below that will do.
A word or two more on the plastic part. Many other electronic dog doors also have plastic parts, but they don’t say it in the name. So, BarksBar is honest, which is a plus.
Also, there’s nothing inherently bad about using plastic in an electronic pet door. It’s not a thing you use today and dispose of tomorrow.
So how does this door function? It has a magnetic closure flap, which is very soft, but efficient and heavy-duty. This makes it extremely easy for your dog to enter or exit. The removable self-locking door panel allows you to easily secure the door and restrict access.
This also helps to protect from air drafts, bugs, insects or any other environmental factors. Assembling this dog door is extremely easy. According to the instructions, the door can be installed in as little as 25 minutes. While that may be a bit exaggerated, it will still take under an hour.
There are only five steps, and even a non-crafty dog owner will find them easy. But before you even order them, measure your pet to make sure the size is right.
- White plastic and aluminum lining
- Suitable for dogs up to 100 lbs.
- Self-locking slide panel
- Easy to secure and restrict access
- Easy to assemble in just 5 steps
- Heavy-duty and long lasting
#4 Best Sensing System – High Tech Pet Power Electronic Door
Slide up when the pooch comes close, slide down when they’re in or out! That’s the gist of this electronic pet door.
The High Tech Pet Power Electronic Door slides vertically and is driven by a motor, as soon as the matching collar activates it.
The door opens automatically when your dog approaches it directly.
In that regard, it’s no different from most other electronic dog doors.
But mark this. If your pet is sleeping by the door or just walked nearby, the door won’t open. This is an electronic door that uses its own sensing system. It’s a REALLY smart dog door! Power pet indeed.
This system is known to be better than radio frequency or magnetic collars. These types of systems will open as soon as they detect any dog motion nearby. You can choose whether you want to allow entry, exiting only, exiting and entering or completely closed.
This is a feature that adds to the security level of this product. It allows you to always decide who is coming in and out. It has an automatic deadbolt locking, which offers additional security.
The door is waterproof and comes with an airtight seal to keep it protected from all kinds of winds. Whatever environment you live in, it will withstand it.
As for the looks, it will match most house decors. It is suitable for small dogs as well as the larger ones, up to 100 pounds. If you have a giant or overweight dog, the door might turn out to be too small and you might need to consider getting a bigger size.
- Doors slide vertically, motor-driven
- A unique ultrasonic detecting system
- Extra security with automatic deadbolt lock and close-feature
- Water-proof and wind-proof
- Suitable for pets up to 100 pounds
#5 Best Portable Dog Door – PetSafe Sliding Glass Door Insert
PetSafe Sliding Glass Door Insert doesn’t need any cutting or drilling. It’s super easy to install thanks to the 2-piece material that comes with it. However, you still need to have sliding tracks in place.
This sliding door is great if you are renting an apartment. You know how landlords dislike their tenants drilling, poking, or tinkering with their places. Plus, whenever you want to move, you can simply take the door with you!
The frame of this door is made of a strong, aluminum frame in combination with tempered glass.
This is a combination of materials, with weather strips to make it energy efficient. There are two latch kits, so you can lock the sliding glass door with it.
For pet owners, security comes first, which is why they’ll appreciate these key features.
There are three sizes available for cats and dogs, raccoons and ferrets – any animals, provided they don’t weigh over 100 lb.
If you need a dog door for your sliding glasses in your home or apartment, this is an efficient, uncomplicated way to get one! When living on rent, you won’t have to worry about having to cut or drill. This dog door is easily removable without leaving any marks behind.
- Easy to assemble; requires no drilling or cutting
- Aluminum frame and tempered glass combination
- Lock for sliding door
- Sizes available for pets from 15 lb. To 100 lb.
- Easy to remove, can be reused after removal
- 1 year warranty
#6 Best for Small Dogs – PetSafe Wall Entry Pet Door
We’ve featured PetSafe pet doors already, but this one is different. Two words: wall mount. Not everyone can or wants to install their pet door into their human door.
PetSafe’s Wall Entry Pet Door with Plastic Telescoping Tunnel is made out of extremely durable material. It can take a beating from small dogs. So your dog will proudly wag in and out of it for years to come!
As for functioning, it’s a combination of flaps and a slide door panel.
There are aluminum frames and a tunnel made of durable plastic. The tunnel is suitable for walls who are from 4.75 inches to 7.25 inches thick. If your walls are thicker, this dog door might not be suitable.
So the door opens and closes with two flaps, which will bar entry to wind, rain, snow, or any other atmospheric events.
Should anything happen to these flaps, you can replace them. There is also a slide-in panel, built in to allow you to control entering or exiting through this dog door. You can decide when the dog can leave through this door.
So, it’s not just the dog that has a say in this! This cool feature will give you some peace of mind.
Assembly and installation are pretty quick and easy. Instructions come included in the installation kit, as well as a template on how to cut out the wall. It fits wall types such as stucco, brick or siding.
This electronic wall dog door is best suitable for pets who weigh up to 40 lb. Think various Terriers, Beagles, Pomeranians, Corgis, etc. Medium and large dogs owners will need to look up other options!
- Durable aluminum frames
- Slide-in closing panel and double-flap entry
- Easy to install
- Withstands any weather
- For dogs up to 40 lb.
#7 Best for Large Dogs – Ideal Pet Products Ruff-Weather Dog Door
Say hello to another analogue option, for people who aren’t very fond of smart dog doors!
And indeed, a cold or even cold-ish climate could easily mess up with batteries and motors that an electronic dog door runs on. So, an old-school solution could come in handy in places where the winters get bitter.
Ideal Pet Products Ruff-Weather Dog Door comes with an inner telescoping frame and is made of dense plastic. The frame, of course, doesn’t do the trick. But the two flaps do.
So how is it that a flap dog door can be energy efficient? The answer lies in the air that’s in between the two flaps. If you opt for a wall mount, you’ll have to get an extra kit. But that will also bring you means to make this air pocket up to nine inches wide.
Also, this is one of the rare doggie door options that will support dogs up to 120 pounds in weight. There are other size options for small, medium, or large dogs. They’ve got all pet owners covered!
- Durable material
- Two flaps with insulating air in between
- This particular option is for dogs up to 120 pounds, but there are “smaller” doors too
- Easy to install
- Wall kit separately sold, optional
#8 Best Microchip Option – SureFlap Microchip Pet Door
It can get annoying when a manufacturer is selling an electronic dog door that you can’t use if you don’t buy their collar too. And not just because you need to give up on your regular pet’s collar. It’s costly too.
Well, SureFlap Microchip Pet Door works without a collar! It uses the RFID technology (radio frequency identification). In everyday English, it means it’s smart enough to read your pet’s embedded microchip. No need to splurge more cash on an ultrasonic collar, or any other gizmos!
Of course, if your pet doesn’t have a microchip, you have an option to buy a programmable RFID collar tag.
So, no other animals will be able to pass through the door, unless you want them too. You can teach this door system to memorize and recognize up to 32 animals.
But what if you have more than 32 pets? Why, buy another one of these pet doors and you’ll bump it up to 64. I believe that should meet everyone’s needs! ?
If your dog fancies going for a walk in the hour of the wolf, you can set up a curfew. That’s right! You have full access control, and nobody will use the door unless you want them to.
I only wish they’d start making different sizes. This one can only serve as a small dog or cat door.
- Easily programmable – it takes a push of a button
- Use the dog’s embedded microchip or get an RFID collar
- The dog won’t be able to open the door at curfew time – which is set by you
- You can install this high tech pet door in a door, on a wall, or a window
- Small size only
- Three year warranty
Things to Consider When Buying an Electronic Pet Door
So which electronic dog door should you get after seeing all of these options?
If I were you, I would ask the same question. As with other dog supplies, electronic pet doors also come in different types and subtypes. That can get confusing, especially if you’re not intending to become an expert on the topic. You just need to factor in these concerns:
The Size of an Electronic Dog Door
When getting a non-electronic or electronic dog door, you will need to make sure that the measurements fit. If your dog has a wheelchair, you need to take this into consideration too when choosing the right size.
Also, the best electronic dog door for your puppy will be the one that it can comfily grow into.
Sadly, most pet doors we’ve seen come in small to large sizes, and very rarely extra large. That kinda discriminates against Great Danes and other great dogs. And creates an extra hassle for their owners.
Choose whether you prefer a microchip system with radio frequency identification, a magnetic one or an ultrasonic one.
These widgets may not say much to a layperson.
And since there aren’t many experts in electronic pet doors, here’s what you need to know. By “operating system”, we mean the way in which the dog door connects to the dog. Does it use radio frequency to read the dog’s microchip? Or maybe the collar key your dog is carrying?
These systems also come with more or fewer benefits. The magnetic system, for example, usually sucks at differentiating between different dogs. With this system, even your neighbor’s dog can enter the house.
Ask yourself this question: do you want a dog door that goes in the wall or in the door? Some dog doors are only suitable for one or the other. Others can be used interchangeably.
It should not come as a surprise that the wall mount type is usually more expensive.
When it comes to installation, you should also look for doors that are easy to install. Some models require a really crafty person in order to get it right. Others will be up within an hour, without any tools.
A dog door basically creates a hole in your home, which can and will affect the energy efficiency of the house. You will need to take into consideration that warm air and cold air from the outside might enter the home.
That might not sound like a big deal. But when it happens 241 times A DAY because your Jack Russell Terrier is such a jolly little chap, it might severely mess up your heating or cooling.
The dog door needs to be protected and to withstand any type of weather. Similar to heated dog houses, you want to make sure that the home stays warm in the winter and cold in the summer.
Automatic Dog Doors for Walls
You can also choose automatic dog doors if you love everything automated and smart.
These are smart enough not only to sense your dog nearby, but also to know if she has an intention of getting out (or in)!
That’s almost a 4 way access for the pooch. Get in. Or get out. Or change your mind before you set the paw. Or choose the doormat as an ideal place to doze off.
This type of door will know your dog’s mind better than you do!
Electronic Dog Doors – Frequently Asked Questions
Do dog doors let other animals in?
The shortest answer is: no, unless you want them to! If you opt for electronic dog doors, they will have a way of recognizing your pet.
No more waking up with a skunk in your bedroom!
However, if you opt for a traditional, “analogue” pet door, it will let in or out every animal that can get through, unless you lock them.
Are doggie doors safe?
Doggie doors are meant to be safe – for your dog, your home, and yourself. However, that doesn’t mean no incident will ever happen.
Many pet owners are distrustful of sliding pet doors. They are afraid that the dog (or its tail) might get caught or pinched.
While I have personally never heard of such incidents, I completely get the fear. If you’re reluctant about this, you should get a flap door. With them, the chance for something bad to happen is virtually zero.
Dog door that is cat proof vs. dog door that cats can’t use
Some dog people like cats too and vice versa. Others are exclusive. Still others are married to the other type.
If you are after dog doors that won’t let a cat in, choose an electronic dog door that will react to your dog’s microchip or collar key.
This doesn’t only pertain to the dog-cat controversy (or lack thereof). It applies to all other animals as well. If you want exclusivity, an electronic dog door is the way to go.
Don’t get me wrong on this – if you want it to, it can also work as an electronic cat door! Just get an adequate collar for your cat.
And try not to get slain while putting it on.
Last update on 2021-03-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API