Many families like having lots of pets around, and in fact couldn’t imagine life without their pet dog. While dogs can be great home security features that are on 24/7, effectively scare burglars, and show you undying loyalty, there is another side effect of having a dog in the house that can weaken security: the doggie door. Most families today are out of the house the entire day, leaving poor pooches alone for many hours on end. Leaving the dog outside all day is not a good solution due to weather concerns, those who might look to harm or steal your pet, and simply because the pet may become confused and run away. Closing a dog inside is not nice either since the dog will likely need a bathroom break at some point while you’re gone, or may just need to stretch its legs in the great outdoors. In order to solve both problems at once, many families install a doggie door. This technology is nothing new, and not only dogs but residential burglars across the country have figured out how to get in and out of a home via the doggie door. To keep your doggie door without inviting in intruders, consider these home security tips.
Measure Carefully. Most people install a doggie door when their dog is just a puppy, anticipating growth. While it’s a good idea to start dogs using one when young from a training perspective, it can also be tricky to know exactly just how big the dog will someday get. Most people overestimate, and end up with a door even an average-sized burglar could crawl through, and that four of your dog could squeeze into. Instead, go with a modestly sized door to start. It’s always possible to upgrade to a large doggie door, but downgrading requires an entire door replacement.
Make it Subtle. A gigantic doggie door in the middle of the front door screams ‘easy break in’ to a burglar. Instead of making it obvious, hide it a bit by putting it on a back door, side door, or any door that cannot be seen from the street. A clever new trick is installing a patio door panel that has one magnetized plastic flap which the dog can walk in and out of. This style of door appears nothing like a traditional doggie door, and will likely be overlooked by the average burglar.
Utilize Technology. While there is no better home alarm system than a pet dog, keep in mind that Rover can also use modern technology for effective home protection. While they can run on the expensive side, try an electronic doggie door that only opens when your pet comes near with his special unlocking collar. This system is especially helpful for big dogs that require doors too big to be safely left unlocked.
Never Underestimate Humans. While most people look at a doggie door and think ‘no burglar could fit in there,’ remember that someone who decides to break into a house in the first place is not working by the same moral code that you are. The person may use tools to open and widen the hole, or even use a small child to crawl in and unlock the door. For these reasons it’s important to always be protected with a home security system. Keep motion detectors set in the areas around doggie doors for an added measure of security.