Securing Your Dog Door: Keeping Unwanted Intruders Out
Fortifying Your Home’s Gateway – Securing Your Dog Door from Unwanted Intruders
Dog doors are a convenient addition to any home, providing your furry friends with the freedom to come and go as they please.
However, while they offer convenience for your pets, they can also pose a potential security risk for pet owners if not properly secured. Unwanted intruders, such as burglars or wildlife, could exploit these openings to gain access to your home.
With 3,062 burglaries happening in the U.S. every day, those considering a dog door should consider the security implications.
Are Dog Doors a Security Risk?
We get this question a lot. The short answer is “somewhat.”
A burglar is unlikely to be able to fit through a dog door, even if you have a large dog. However, a dog door does give a potential burglar the ability to peak their head into your home and get a clear view inside your house.
The larger risk of dog doors is the increased likelihood that raccoons and other wildlife could sneak into your home.
In this article, we’ll explore effective strategies and tips for homeowners to secure your dog or cat door, ensuring the safety of your family and your four-legged companions.
Choose the Right Doggy Door
Before diving into security measures, start by selecting the appropriate pet door for your home. Opt for a sturdy, well-constructed door with security features.
Some dog doors are designed with sliding panels that can be locked in place when you’re not using them. Others have electronic access controls, allowing only your pets to use the door.
Choosing the right dog door is the first step in preventing unwanted entry.
Determine Where to Put the Dog Door
Determining the location of your dog door is a big decision. We recommend installing your dog door in a location that isn’t easily accessible to wildlife.
For example, if you have a forest behind your home, consider installing the dog door on your front door rather than your back door.
Install the Door at the Right Height
Proper installation is crucial for security.
Install the dog door at a height that’s suitable for your pets but small enough to prevent usage by burglars. The goal is to make it challenging for anyone to crawl through the opening. Most dog doors should be installed at a height of at least a foot off the ground.
Use Locking Mechanisms
Many dog doors come equipped with locking mechanisms to secure them when not in use.
These locks can be manual, like deadbolts, or electronic, requiring a specific dog collar or tag worn by your pet to unlock the door. Use these locks to prevent break-ins, especially while you’re out of town.
Upgrade to an Electronic Pet Door
Automatic pet doors are a high-tech solution to enhance security.
They use sensors to recognize your pet’s collar or microchip, allowing only them to enter while keeping intruders out. These doors provide an added layer of protection, and some even offer programming options to control entry and exit times.
Install a Security Barrier
Consider adding a security barrier around the pet door to deter unwanted intruders.
This barrier can be a separate sliding panel or a gate that you can lock when the dog door is not in use. Ensure the barrier is made of strong and durable material.
Supervise Outdoor Activities
While it’s essential to secure the dog door, it’s equally important to supervise your pets when they’re outside.
Be cautious about leaving them unattended for extended periods, especially in areas where wildlife or other potential threats are present.
Implement a Home Security System
Consider integrating your dog door into your home security system.
Motion sensors or security cameras placed near the dog door can alert you to any suspicious activity. Modern security systems often offer smartphone apps that send you notifications about suspicious activity and allow you to monitor your home in real time.
Regularly Maintain and Inspect
Don’t forget to perform routine maintenance and inspections of your dog door.
Ensure that locks, sensors, and seals are in good working condition. Replace any worn-out or damaged parts promptly to maintain security.
Reinforce the Surrounding Area
Strengthening the area around the doggy door can further enhance security. Consider adding a reinforcing plate or frame around the opening.
These additional layers of protection make it more difficult for intruders to force their way in. Ensure that screws and fasteners are securely in place to prevent tampering.
Train Your Pets
While this tip doesn’t directly relate to securing the dog door, it’s essential to train your pets to use it properly.
Teach them to go in and out of the door without lingering, as this can potentially attract unwanted attention. Also, consider training commands to keep them inside when needed.
Employ Motion-Activated Lighting
Installing motion-activated lighting near the dog door can serve as a deterrent to potential intruders.
Bright lights automatically turning on when motion is detected can startle and discourage unauthorized entry attempts.
Consider Secondary Barriers
Depending on your security needs, you might want to implement secondary barriers, such as a sliding glass door lock or window film, in the immediate vicinity of the dog door.
These additional measures can act as deterrents or create an added layer of security.
Consult a Security Professional
If you’re unsure about the best security measures for your specific dog door or home layout, consider consulting a security professional. They can assess your needs and provide tailored recommendations to ensure optimal security while maintaining your pet’s freedom.
Those looking for additional security should consider additional security to keep them and their families secure. Consider paying for a security monitoring system or hiring residential security services to keep you safe.
Securing your dog door is an essential aspect of home security that should not be overlooked. By carefully selecting the right dog door, employing locking mechanisms, and reinforcing the surrounding area, you can significantly reduce the risk of unwanted intruders gaining access to your home.
Electronic dog doors, security barriers, and motion-activated lighting add extra layers of protection. Consistent training of your pets and regular maintenance of the door are equally important.
When it comes to safeguarding your home and loved ones, taking proactive steps to secure your dog door ensures that both your human and furry family members can enjoy peace of mind and freedom simultaneously.