Smart dog doors are a feature-rich option beneficial to both pets and their owners. These options are a wonderful next step from an electronic dog door. They also work seamlessly with your smart home and home automation systems.
There are many reasons to install a smart dog door in your home. From home security to insulation, smart access to timers, smartphone integration and beyond, a smart dog door is truly the next step to a better-run household. Read on for the scoop on why you should have one of these pet accessories installed as soon as possible.
AUTOMATED PROXIMITY SENSING
One of the most common issues affecting standard dog doors is allowing other animals to enter a dwelling. With standard, inexpensive two-way flap doors, there is nothing stopping racoons, cats and other curious animals from making themselves at home in your home.
Many smart dog doors have alleviated this issue by limiting the animals entering and exiting the door to only those you specifically “tag” as being approved to do so. The way this is done is through a device that triggers the dog door to open when a sensor reaches a certain point. Think of a hotel room key.
Some smart dog doors, such as the PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor, work by way of a key fob type device that attaches to your pet’s dog collar. When they get close to the dog door, the key fob emits a signal that opens the door automatically. For those concerned about a lost key fob, other smart dog doors work with the microchip embedded in most pets, like this option by SureFlap.
Most cheaply-made flap-based dog doors let cold air in, which can be problematic when living in climates where cold air and extensive winds could cause your dog door to remain ajar. Conversely, many smart dog doors have insulated flaps to prevent the passage of air through the opening. This, in turn, enhances a home’s energy efficiency.
Dog doors with gasket-style seals will provide the strongest insulation, such as this smart door by Ideal Pet Products.
EMBRACING AUTOMATION WITH TIMERS AND LOCKS
If you are looking to keep your dog fenced in outside or contained via an electric dog fence at certain times of the day, or want to ensure they remain safe and sound in your home at night, smart dog doors with inbuilt curfew timers and locking modes is a wonderful option.
Dog doors with your home automation setup work together to control your pet’s presence inside or outside. Most commonly, owners will want to lock down the dog door to keep their pet locked inside. This is ideal for evening times after their final bit of exploration for the night, and provides pet owners the peace of mind knowing that your furry friend is not roaming the streets while the city sleeps.
Additionally, curfew timers are programmable to trigger these locks during set times, and then unlock when the time comes to let the dog out to do their business. Think of the timer on a Nest thermostat. This is ideal for those whose pups have their own bathroom schedule that doesn’t line up well with your sleep schedule, allowing them the freedom to use the bathroom on their own time without the need to wake up and let them out yourself. It also works great for those who are away from home often, and don’t want to clutter their house with dog potty pads.
If the ideas above still don’t leave you wanting more, there are some smart dog doors that feature an even more robust automation setup by connecting directly to your smartphone using an app. Sureflap’s option above with the added hub does just this. You can open and close the door straight from your phone.
There also comes with this the added analytics element. The apps will monitor the frequency of your dog’s bathroom patterns by logging when they go out and come in. This is ideal for older or sick dogs to track their behavior and look for outliers to report to your veterinarian. Think of dog activity monitors, but embedded within a dog door to track one specific purpose.
FUTURE INTEGRATION WITH YOUR SMART HOME SUITE AND BEYOND
While there are not currently any smart dog doors that integrate with voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or the apple HomePod, there has been a rapid onset of automation products for your fuzzy loved one. From automatic fetch machines to GPS tracking apps and beyond, it won’t be long until these products are fully integrated with your smart home setup. And with tools such as If This Then That and Zapier, we may not need to wait for Amazon, Google and Apple to catch up.
Interested in outfitting your home with a smart dog door? Check out our recommendations here.