Are Automatic Pet Doors Safe?

Automatic pet doors are available with many options for cats and dogs. Any one of these can provide you a safe alternative to standard pet doors, while giving certain pets more freedom, and others a secured and locked environment. Automatic pet doors come in different sizes, and you can choose from electronic or magnetic.

Electronic Automatic Pet Doors

Electronic pet doors are fully automated and work using an ultrasonic, radio frequency or infrared key system. Doors generally open in an upward sliding motion. The key system detects which pets are wearing the device, and opens only when they approach the door. This gives you the freedom to allow only certain dogs or cats to use the door. If you have some cats that are only allowed inside, only equip outside cats with the key system. Additionally, strays and other pests, such as raccoons, will not be able to gain entry to your house. Most doors are secured from the outside with a steel deadbolt. This prevents unauthorized entry of any sort from the outside of your home.

Features of Automatic Pet Doors

Different automatic pet doors come with different options. Consider your situation before making a final decision. AC battery backups are available in case the electricity to your home fails. This will allow pets the freedom to continue going in and out as they please. Magnetic doors are also available, in lieu of the electronic version. Be sure an automatic safety device is in place. This will ensure that the door shuts using gravity, rather than by a motorized device. It can also retract or set off an alarm in the case that there is an obstruction blocking the doorway. Some automatic doors come with different activation buttons to give you additional options of one-way opening, or complete lockdown. Distance at which the key control operates can usually be adjusted independently for inside and outside motion, and timing for the door opening may be adjustable as well. Electronic and magnetic doors can provide better insulation to save on energy bill costs. In colder months, a swinging dog door can let in air or elements. Automatic pet doors will remain shut no matter what the weather, keeping out heat, cold, rain or wind debris. 


Whether you are already using an automatic pet door, or are considering purchasing one, there are a few important points to think about. If you have multiple pets, some that aren't allowed to go outside or come inside, you must remember that if two dogs or cats are together and one triggers the door, the other may gain entry or exit as well. More importantly, if you have small children, especially those who are friendly with your pets, it's of utmost importance to monitor them at all times. Many reports claim that pet doors are not safe when children are present, and there have been numerous accidents reported, some that were fatal.