The best electronic dog door can change both yours and your dogs lives.
If you thought they were beyond your reach/budget, you’re in for a surprise.
Leaving your dog home alone is worry enough, but with expensive furniture, walls, doors, etc.; the worry becomes a financial burden as well. If only there was a way to offer them more freedom, to roam around the back yard, or the fenced in front yard. You feel for them, you don’t like them being cooped up in the cage that is your living room, kitchen, or perhaps literally in their kennel.
Caring dog owners want only the best for their lovable little pets, and while it can be hard to let them out of the house unsupervised, a dog door can have several benefits.
If it leads out to your backyard, your dog can “go” on his own schedule when you’re away at work, and these doors can even help keep your dog entertained by:
- changing up the scenery
- limiting destructive tendencies that might arise from excessive boredom.
Still, dog doors are not always the perfect solutions. Many models are too cheap and unreliable for long-term use. That’s why in this article, we’re looking at the five best electronic dog doors money can buy to show you what’s out there and help you make an informed purchase.
#1 – High Tech Pet Power Electronic Door PX-2
Our first model comes from High Tech Pet, a company that has been in the business for more than 30 years. Their pet door stands 42 inches high and can accommodate dogs up to 100 pounds.
What’s more impressive is the accurate, efficient sensor that reacts to the included collar. When placed on your dog the door will detect your pet’s movements and open as he approaches.
One other (underrated) feature is the optional AC hookup. Batteries are great, but you don’t want to risk having them die in the middle of the night, stranding your pup outside.
- Accommodates most pets.
- Can fit multiple sized dogs without needing to be readjusted.
- Installation is simple and quick.
- Batteries for the collar are proprietary, which means you’ll have to purchase them at a premium each time they die.
- Sensor can fail at extremely cold temperatures.
Customers appreciate the versatility on offer with the Power Pet Door. Most are in unanimous agreement that it helped dogs overcome their bathroom issues by giving them easy access to their backyards.
An added benefit for multi-pet households was that cats found it easy to move in and out of the house as well, curbing any unwanted, dead “surprises.” However, almost everyone agrees that purchasing additional batteries is a must which adds a consistent upkeep fee to the unit.
Some reviewers also have experienced broken collars within weeks, which can be concerning if a dog is trapped outside on a cold night.
#2 – SureFlap MicroChip Pet Door
If paying for batteries isn’t up your alley, then SureFlap has the product for you! Working with the microchip already resting inside your pet, this pet door ensures security by opening only for its authorized users.
This way, you don’t have to worry about someone getting a hand on your pet’s ultrasonic collar and finding their way in your home. While it won’t accommodate large breeds, if you’re the owner of a bite-sized pooch you’ll have quite a bit of customization by being able to lock the door at designated times, ensuring no late-night excursions.
- Sturdy in both directions and has been tested to hold up to raccoons.
- Batteries are standard “C” cell size, making them easily accessible at any store.
- Needed batteries are not included.
The major talking points among customers are the small form factor and the strength of the locking mechanism. Its small dimensions mean that it can be placed anywhere throughout the house, meaning it can be used to create feeding stations or play areas throughout the house, limiting conflict between pets.
Its locking mechanism is also accurate and strong, ensuring that only your registered pets have access to it. Some customers, however, don’t like the “one-way” design of the lock. Pets can leave the house unimpeded, but only registered dogs can re-enter.
#3 – PetSafe Automatic Electronic Dog Door
Fixing the problems of the SureFlap, PetSafe has come up with a pet door that implements a three-way toggle lock for maximum customization. With this functionality, you can set the door to be always open, always locked, or only accessible to your RFID-collared pets.
That means any pets with restricted access can’t get in, or out of the house without your permission, which should put your mind at ease when you’re away. Their large door has a 16-inch flap height which can accommodate dogs up to 100 pounds, making it ideal for most owners.
- Toggled-lock means the door stays relevant as the needs of your pets change throughout their lives.
- Stands up to extreme winds with ease.
- The lock has a 15-second delay between release and locking, which means agile pets can exploit it to get outside.
Customers love the peace of mind they get when they leave their pets in the hands of the PetSafe automatic door. On newer models, the ID recognition is reliable, quick, and lasts a decent amount of time before needing additional batteries.
For houses with many pets, the ability to lock out unregistered dogs means owners get to spend less time micromanaging their adventurous side.
Finally, while the door has stood up well to heavy winds and rain, it once again suffers under extreme cold, making it unsuitable for northern climates. The locks will end up cycling repeatedly, eliminating all security.
#4 – Solo Pet Doors Electronic Dog Door
If you prefer something made locally in the good old USA, then Solo Pet Doors has you covered. At its most basic level, the design of their pet door is very similar to the SureFlap we looked at earlier but requires a tag instead of being activated via microchip.
The closing mechanism of the door was singled out as being potentially the highest risk of injury to your pets, so this model has been redesigned to use a gravity-led closing system. This means there’s no gears or motors, ensuring that even if the door closes on your pet, the experience isn’t a harmful one.
- Multiple size options depending on the needs of your pet.
- Extremely quiet operation making it ideal for night use.
- The gravity-led closure system can result in the door getting stuck in the “open” position, requiring a lubricating agent like WD-40.
When there are no issues with the product, the vast majority of customers are extremely happy with their purchase thanks to the secure locking mechanism and minimalist design to fit most home decors.
Dogs of all breeds take to the door quickly and love the ease of access it provides to their home, resulting in fewer accidents around the house. However, when something goes wrong with the product many customers have experienced issues contacting Solo Pet Doors directly.
Regardless of defect or fault, the reported policy is that of no returns, which is a cause for concern considering the premium price of a model with basic features.
#5 – PlexiDor Performance Pet Doors PDE Electronic Dog Door
Our most expensive model needed to be feature-laden to justify its enormous price tag, and thankfully PlexiDor delivered with a product that feels and looks premium.
Using state of the art RFID technology and plugging in directly to the outlets of your home, this sturdy door eschews batteries altogether, resulting in a product with minimal upkeep costs over time.
The door itself is thick, heavy and is even programmable to customize how long it stays open for. This is great for elderly dogs who might need a little bit of extra time to make their way through the opening. Its large size also fits dogs up to 125 pounds, making it the biggest product on this list to boot.
- Easily programmable collars for multiple pets
- 5-year warranty means PlexiDor believes in the longevity of their product.
- Holds up to invasion attempts from local wildlife like skunks or raccoons.
- Extremely expensive.
Customers willing to take the plunge on this expensive pet door have unanimously agreed that PlexiDor has solved all their daily problems for getting in and out of the house. They appreciate both the lack of batteries and the generous replacement warranty which covers both the door and the keys.
Minor gripes included elevated noise levels of the motor operating the door, however, this is due to the high-quality construction of the metal pulley belts which adds to its heft and security. At all price points, this door is cited as the best when it comes to ease of use, reliability, and longevity.
Final say on electronic dog doors
Doggie-doors are critical for families that work long hours or find themselves away from home on a regular basis. If your pets frequently need to go outside to play or do their business, then you owe them a key to the house to make both of your lives easier.
Any option on our list today will serve you well, so find one that suits your needs and price point and give it a shot!
Another great read: Best Dog Frisbees (Flying Discs for Flying Dogs!)