or Electronic dog doors are doors that open with the aid
of a “key” consisting of a small sensor or transmitter located on
your dog’s collar, or activated by you with a remote control unit
or sometimes a small keyfob. Some of these look like traditional
flap-style doors, with the difference that only the proper key (remote)
can open the door. Others are high-tech sliding affairs that glide
up and down when activated or, as noted above, entire patio doors
that can open and close automatically. Most can be turned off or
locked if you don’t want your dog to use them. In addition, you
usually have the choice of hard-wiring them, or plugging them into
a household outlet with an extension cord.
these doors may be called motorized or electric, in reality all
doors that operate by means of a remote “key” on your dog’s collar,
or a handheld remote control unit or
keyfob operated by you are electronic. However, when reading product
descriptions, an “electronic” door usually refers to one which unlocks
a flap that the pet may then push open and pass, while “automatic”
means a door that swings or slides open of itself when the dog approaches.
Dog Door Activation
The type of activation used, whether light (infrared), sound (ultrasonic),
or magnetic might be important if you have other remotely controlled
devices such as wireless fencing or electronic training collars.
In that case, finding a dog door that uses the same type of sensor
would be most convenient, as it might be possible to use one key
for two or more systems.
Bi-directional and Uni-directional
Something else to keep in mind is that electronic doors may be either
bi-directional or uni-directional. A bi-directional door is one
that allows the pet to go in and out at will, while a uni-directional
door is one that allows any dog to exit the door, but only the one
wearing the key may enter. However, be aware that not all uni-directional
doors will necessarily keep out unwanted animals or vermin. The
reason is that most of these doors are held shut by small locking
tabs that prevent the door from being pushed in. But animals with
claws, such as roaming tomcats, or skunks or raccoons, can get a
hold of the flap, lift it outward, and then climb in. The sliding
type of automatic door is really the only type that effectively
keeps out unwanted furry guests.