A proper pet door is something that every pet owner, and surely their pet, will love. Typically, pet doors are installed on an existing exterior or interior door in your home, and some can even be installed on a wall.
They allow your pet to have a private entrance into your home, without bothering you every 5 minutes to be let in, or go out in your yard to do their business. If your dog or cat is the type to want in and out all day long, a pet door will definitely give them some much-needed freedom, and take the pressure off of you as the owner to be your pet’s “doorman”.
Today we look at the PetSafe SmartDoor, a highly popular model, and you can be the judge as to whether this pet door will suit your personal requirements. Also, we will look at what distinguishes the PetSafe SmartDoor from the other similar pet doors on the market.
Most pet doors enable free access of your pet into your yard, and home. The pet opens the pet door by simply pushing the flap using its head. However, this simple entrance method can be used by literary every animal that passes through your backyard. That can be a stray dog, or cat, raccoon, or even your neighbor’s pet!
So, unless you are around to prevent uninvited visitors from entering inside your home, or you have a dog that is trained to chase them away, there’s the risk of finding an unknown animal sitting on your favorite spot on the couch. One solution that some pet doors offer is to cover the pet door from the inside using an included sliding panel, in order to restrict traffic to just the pet members of your family only.
The PetSafe Smart Door offers a different solution to this frequent problem and flaw of most pet doors you will come across, which we’ll mention presently.
When set on automatic mode, this pet door unlocks only when it reads the unique signal of the SmartKey attached to your pet’s collar. It weighs next to nothing so your pet won’t even notice that it’s wearing something around its neck. The SmartKey is included in the package, and you will find it in the battery box. Both the SmartKey and the smart door flap work on batteries.
The SmartKey batteries last for several months, but having a few spare ones in your home is not a bad idea.
However, the 4 D-Cell Batteries required for the smart door are not included in the package, so this is a small downside. Nevertheless, they can be easily found online.
So you won’t have to worry about uninvited animals entering in your home, as the pet door will grant entrance only to the pet wearing the SmartKey. You can see it on the image just to give you an idea of the size of it.
More Than One Pet?
Although the product comes with only one SmartKey, it doesn’t mean that only one pet can use the smart door. In fact, you can program up to 5 SmartKeys, which are bought separately. They do come at a decent price, so you can allow up to 5 pets using the smart door while wearing their SmartKeys around their neck.
The PetSafe SmartDoor offers three programmable modes: unlocked, locked, and automatic.
The unlocked mode means you grant free access for your pet to come and go whenever it pleases, without having to wear the SmartKey. You can set this mode for a time when you are home, and your pet wants to run in and out, but you don’t feel the need to guard against other critters coming in.
The locked mode is just the opposite. The pet door is locked all the time, and it’s especially convenient at nights, or when you’re not home and the door is not in use.
And, as you might guess, the automatic one which offers entry or exit to your pet whenever it comes near the pet door while wearing the SmartKey around its neck. So once again, this feature is the biggest one that makes the PetSafe SmartDoor unique among all the other pet doors on the market.
You can as well choose the in-only access, so your pet can only come in, but not go out once again; or out-only access, so your pet can only go out, but not come in, as long as it wears the SmartKey.
Since this is a pet door for a panel exterior or interior door, or wall, it will require cutting. As it always does with all of their doors, PetSafe has provided template for the easy and precise measuring of the cutting surface, so you shouldn’t run into any problems trying to guess at the dimensions.
Don’t forget to measure your pet’s height and width before choosing the right template. You will need several tools, like a drill, cutting tool, screws, tape, and of course a pencil. The best way to install the PetSafe door onto your door is to remove your front door from the hinges and place it on a flat cutting surface.
For more clear instructions about PetSafe SmartDoor installation, check out the video below.
More Sizes, More Convenience
A pet door like this one, which offers a variety of sizes, is always the better option. You don’t want ordering one your dog can barely walk through, or one that’s too big for your cat. PetSafe SmartDoor in particular comes in two sizes, small and large.
The dimensions of the smaller door are 4 x 3.2 x 17.8 inches, so it’s ideal for a cat pet or a small to medium sized dog.
The dimensions of the larger door are 8.6 x 3.2 x 27.1 inches, and obviously the better option for a larger dog. However, the best thing is to measure your pet in height and width before choosing the right size for your pet door, just to make sure. Perhaps your small dog isn’t as small as you think!
The PetSafe SmartDoor has a durable hard flap that easily opens when your pet approaches wearing the SmartKey, and a plastic frame. A few seconds after being opened, the pet door locks on its own to prevent stray dogs or cats entering your house. The hard flap offers more weather-resistance in comparison with the flexible flaps on most pet doors.
The purpose of any pet door is to give freedom to your pet so it can come and go as it pleases, giving you as a pet owner more free time. However, the risk that most pet doors have is that they provide that same freedom to any living creature big enough to go through the pet door.
Although you may not personally be too worried about these non-family member intruders gaining access to your home, or your backyard is simply not visited by stray cats and dogs or racoons, you must admit that having the option to screen your visitors is definitely the best option.