Dos and Don’ts of Using a Pet Door
Pet doors are a great way to give your pet the freedom to enter and exit the house without your assistance. Selecting the right pet door can be a difficult choice, with such a wide range of sizes, materials, and safety and security features to choose from. Before making your selection, it’s important to do some research into all the available options and to share any concerns with your pet door retailer.
Here are some important dos and don’ts when considering a pet door:
DO take into account comfort and size of your pet
Your pet door retailer should have a sizing chart to help you find the best fit for your pet. Measure your pet’s width at its widest point and its height from the floor to the top of its shoulders—add an inch or two for safety. If your pet doesn’t fit one of the standard pet door sizes, ask about custom doors. Also consider the elevation of your pet door. If the ground outside your pet door is too low, or if you have a short-legged or senior dog, you may need to install a pet ramp.
DON’T assume your pet knows how to use the pet door
Most pets will require at least a little training before using their new pet door. Never push or force your pet through its pet door. Wait until your pet is interested in going outside to start your training and use treats if necessary. Be patient and reward your pet with affection and lots of positive reinforcement.
DO discourage outside animals from using the door
Keep water and food away from the pet door so other animals won’t be tempted to use the door. Most high quality pet doors are designed to seal tightly, which should prevent rodents, insects and other animals from entering your home.
DON’T assume your indoor pets will stay indoors
If you live in a multiple pet household, you may want to consider an electronic door that allows selective entry for certain pets (e.g., if you want to let your dog outside but keep your cat inside). These specialized doors are activated by a control on the pet’s collar to not only let you customize which pets can go outside, but they also prevent outside wildlife from entering your home.
DO lock your pet door when your yard is being serviced
If you have a gardener or pool cleaner for your yard, keep your pet door locked while they’re working. Likewise, you should keep the pet door locked when you’re using any dangerous gardening equipment.
DO remember to exercise your pet
While having a pet door can give your pet the freedom to go outside as it pleases, remember that pets need mental stimulation, quality time, and regular exercise. If you have a dog, remember that a pet door doesn’t replace your dog’s regular walks and play time.
With these simple tips in mind, you can find the perfect pet door for your pet and open up a whole new door for them.
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