You could be thinking, how can a person fit through Fido or Kitty’s little pet door? The answer is: easier than you might think. Having a cat or dog door large enough for a Great Dane or Labrador may be enough to scare off some thieves, but smaller bodies can easily fit through such a door, or at the very least a hand can reach up to pull the interior door handle.
We have a few tips for those with pet doors, or anybody considering installing one in their home:
Choose the right size and shape
Ensure your pet door is a perfect fit for your furry friend. Also remember that your door may not just be an entry for your own beloved pet – other cats, dogs, squirrels or raccoons may also come wandering in at some point to see what’s cooking in the kitchen! If you have a rather small cat or dog, do not buy a pet door any larger than is necessary – accounting for a couple of extra pounds your pet may put on at some point, of course! If your dog is tall, but slim, buy a pet door that fits that build. It may prevent human shoulders from entering your home via the door.
Electronic vs. standard
Aside from the stock-standard doggy door with a plastic flap, there are also electronic doors that require your pet to wear a collar with an electronic tag to open the dog door. While these can protect against unwanted animal intruders, and potentially thwart simpler thieves, the cleverer burglars may be able to overcome this challenge. If looking for a dog door in a window, or a cat flap in the glass sliding door next to the garden, there are a range of providers offering affordable and premium solutions.
Focus on the surrounds
If a dog or cat door is really necessary, then do invest the time into making your home’s surrounds as secure as possible. This starts with securing your side fences and garden doors, ensuring there are strong locks on your windows and other entrances to your home. If you choose the most affordable, standard dog/cat flap option, install a lock on the interior side of the door, so that you can secure it when you know the dog will stay inside or outdoors. Consider using a home surveillance solution such as the one from Smartfrog (€5.95 / £4.95 per month), which will allow you to see into your home anytime from anywhere. Alerts can be sent to your phone in case any disturbance or motion is detected in your house.
Beware of the dog
Putting this classic sign on your gate can also be a good initial deterrent to burglars, in addition to other security measures regarding your dog or cat door. After all, at that stage they may not be sure whether you have an Alsatian, pit bull or toy poodle, or indeed any hound at all! The ‘Beware of cat’ sign isn’t quite as common, so obvious reasons – but it’ll depend on how fiercely your feline can protect your home.