Pet doors are something every dog owner entertains installing if they live in a house. They are a convenient solution that allows your dogs to go in and out of the house as they please, making your life much easier.
However, as helpful as dog doors are, they can be a potential liability for your home. Namely, they present an opportunity for burglars to gain easy access to your home or at least learn its layout before attempting to enter.
Are dog doors safe, or are they more trouble than they’re worth? And is there a way to make them any safer? Stay tuned to find out, as the article will answer all of these questions and offer you some ideas on securing your dog door that will make everyone safe and happy.
Why Are Dog Doors a Security Risk?
First off, burglars can easily push the flap covering the door open and gain access to your home without any issues. While they may not fit through the door themselves, they could poke their heads through and take a good look around. That can help them learn the layout of your home, making future burglaries much simpler.
On top of that, burglars can push different tools through the door that can make breaking into your home child’s play. Worse still, they can also break your front door more easily, as the little door presents a perfect opening to do so.
Finally, homes with pets are often heavily fenced to stop them from running away or keep out other dangers for the animal. Unfortunately, that gives burglars a lot of space and coverage to break in, especially through the dog door.
However, all of the above does not mean that you should not have a dog door at all. There are ways in which you can secure the opening so that no burglars can take advantage of it, and your furry friend can still come and go as it pleases. You can read about them in the sections that follow.
1. Do Not Install the Dog Door on a Door
The best thing you can do to make sure your doggie door is secure is to install it on a wall rather than a door. That way, any burglars will not be able to use it to reach the interior locks and gain access to your home in that manner.
What’s more, breaking a door is much easier than damaging an actual solid wall. So, if you install your dog door in a wall, no one will be able to make the flap wider and get in that way. They would need professional equipment, which would require too much time and make too much noise.
Installing the door this way might be a bit more of a hassle, but it will make everyone safer. If you are unsure how to go about it, asking a professional for help might be the best course of action.
2. Get the Right Size for the Door
Another step in securing your doggie door is getting the right size for your pet. It should be able to fit easily, but the flap still shouldn’t be too wide. To make sure you get the right one, just measure the width of your dog’s shoulders, and you’ll be good to go.
Doing all of this is vital for ensuring humans cannot fit through the door at all. Animals are always more flexible, so they won’t have any problem going in and out. On the other hand, any burglars that try coming in will not be able to do so, which is what you want to achieve in the first place.
Even if a human can fit their hands or head through, they won’t be able to do much more than that. They will most likely get stuck, and they’ll have to give up their plan of going in through the dog door.
3. Position the Door Right
Next, it is essential that you position the door as low as possible. Make sure your pet can still go in and out comfortably but don’t hesitate to make them have to bend slightly to do it. That way, you’ll make it almost impossible for burglars to reach anything other than your floor.
What’s more, doing so will restrict their vision considerably. They won’t be able to take a good look around without using a camera of some kind, which, again, takes too much time and effort, not to mention special equipment.
4. Get a Door With an Electronic Lock
Besides regular doggie doors, you can also get modern ones equipped with electronic locks. Such models require an RFID chip to be unlocked. You can install a chip like that onto your dog’s collar and ensure only they can use the door and get it to open.
Your pet won’t have to do anything to get the door open but approach it. The sensors in the collar and chip will do the rest, and your furry friend will be able to go in and out whenever they want to.
The only downside of these doors is that they are more expensive than regular ones. However, if you want to do everything in your power to ensure your door is fully safe, this model is definitely the way to go. And the great thing about it is that you can be certain no other animal can enter your home uninvited!
5. Install a Doggie Door Security Alarm
Doggie door alarms are another thing you can try out to make your home more secure. These alarms go off whenever something significantly heavier than your pet tries to get through the dog door.
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The advantage of this solution is that you can get updates from the alarm. Thus, you will get a notification as soon as someone tries to break in. Combining this alarm with a regular home one is the best way to go. That way, your home will have both necessary layers of protection all at once.
6. Install Motion Sensing Lights
What attracts most burglars to doggie doors is that privacy is not an issue. Burglars can just bend down by the door and work undisturbed. Also, there is often a fence surrounding the home, making it even more difficult for anyone to spot them while they go about their business.
However, all of the above ceases to be a problem if you install motion-sensing lights. They will go off as soon as someone approaches the door at night and spends more time around it than necessary.
Most burglars are easily scared off by anything that can draw attention to their actions. In that regard, nothing is as successful as some well-placed lights.
7. Install Security Cameras
Security cameras are an even more effective solution than the lights mentioned above. They will catch any burglar in the act and alert you immediately, allowing you to call the police.
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Since most thieves actually “case” the home they intend to rob first, you might even be able to spot them lurking around before they do anything. Either way, security cameras are the best way to ensure you know what’s going on around your home at all times.
Just like security alarms, these cameras are not always the cheapest investment. However, they are effective enough to be worth your money, especially if you live in a high-risk area.
8. Install Timer Lights
Oftentimes, burglars can be scared off by seeing that there is someone at home while they’re trying to enter. However, you don’t have to be at home per se to achieve that. The illusion of someone being there will be more than enough to deter any plans.
If you want to deceive anyone attempting to rob you, all you need are some light switch timers. Install them in the room where the pet door leads to, and pick any time you want.
Most people choose the time interval to be around fifteen minutes. Thus, every fifteen minutes, the lights in the room will turn on, giving the illusion that someone is home. They will then turn off after a while, and the process will repeat over and over until you’re home again.
All of that will be rather worrisome to anyone trying to break in. They will most likely give up the effort entirely. And the best thing is, you won’t have to spend a fortune on expensive sensors and timers. So, if you are worried about your budget, this solution is a great way to do something without investing too much.
Doggie doors are a convenient way for your pet to come in and out of the house on its own. However, the doors also present a liability. Namely, they give burglars an easy entry point through which they can get inside your home.
Luckily, there are various solutions that can help you secure your dog door and keep your home safe. These include getting the correct size of the door and positioning it right, as well as installing the door on a wall. Moreover, you can also get some security alarms, cameras, and light sensors.
Hopefully, the ideas above help you find the best security plan for your home. Remember to do some more research to figure out a solution or a combination of them that will work best for your home. Stay safe, and good luck!
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