While having a dog can bring a lot of joy to your life, the constant necessity to get up and let the dog out and then back in can be draining, if not annoying. Moreover, sometimes the dog just wants to go outside for a little bit and burn off some energy, even if you'd rather stay glued to Netflix. A doggy door can be a great way to give you both what you need, and not break you or the bank. But since they're exposed so often to four-legged foot traffic, doggy doors have a tendency to break down over time. Here are some ways to slow that process down.
Buy the Right Size Door
You would be surprised how many people fail to properly measure their dog to get the right size door. We either believe that our dog is larger than it is, or, more often than not, too small, which results in a dog that is constantly squeezing in and out through a hole that is too small for them. Measure the right size for your dog and it'll cut down on wear and tear.
Consider How It Tastes
Most dogs, but especially puppies, like to chew on just about everything, including their doggy door. For this reason, it's better to buy a no-bite door, or one that is made of tougher material than the simple plastic or vinyl most are made of. Once he develops a taste for his doggy door, it can be nearly impossible to break Fido from his new toy.
Buy One on a Swivel
Most doors are constructed a single piece of material that flaps back and forth, attached to a groove that holds the top firmly in place. Over time, that flap will bend and crack, which could create leaks or splinter off entirely. Opt for a doggy door that moves freely at the top to minimize stress on the flap itself. Over time, the cost of the replaced flaps will greatly exceed the cost of a quality door.
Consider How it Freezes
When the temperature drops, most vinyl flaps will freeze and become stiff, cracking almost immediately when the dog enters or exits. Instead, look for flaps that use a polymer-based material that can withstand sub-zero temperatures. If you live in an environment that is especially harsh, you most likely won't make it through a single winter without one.
Your dog is part of the family, and you want their life in your home to be comfortable. If your furry friend now has free access to your yard, be sure to set up extra security like a fence, security monitoring, and gates with latches. Be sure to take these and other considerations into account as you find a door that works for your dog.