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Date Posted: September 28, 2023

Pet Doors and Wildlife: Preventing Unwanted Visitors

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A pet door is a wonderful way to give your dog or cat the freedom to go outside and come back inside whenever they want. But you may be concerned about unwanted visitors to your home. Fortunately, there are ways to keep wild animals from using the doggy door. 

Keep reading to learn strategies and preventive methods for keeping wildlife outside where they belong.

Wildlife-Proof Pet Door Strategies

Do you have squirrels, raccoons, or rabbits in your neighborhood? How about coyotes or maybe even bears? You might worry about having “the wrong kind of animals” using your dog door. Preventing wildlife intrusion isn’t as difficult as it may seem. There are logical and innovative strategies that you can use to keep everyone safe.

Use strong, secure dual flaps and tight-fitting magnets

Our pet doors all include dual flaps, heavy-duty alnico magnets, and steel strikes. This keeps the flaps securely closed. In addition to preventing other animals from entering, the tight seal, along with multiple types of weatherstripping, makes your home more energy efficient.

Install in a discreet location

Although most dog doors are installed in a door, we also offer a wall model dog door that can be installed in any type of exterior wall. This means that you can hide the door behind shrubbery, at the back of a doghouse, or behind a large potted plant so that it’s not visible from the yard.

Use other barriers to hide the door

Other yard furniture can be used to hide the dog door, such as a storage bin, picnic table, workbench, or patio table and chairs.

Keep food a distance from the pet door

Leaving food outside, especially near the dog door, will attract wild animals to your yard for a free meal. We advise pet owners to keep all pet food inside the home, at a distance from the pet door, so that wild animals can’t smell it. 

Secure pets inside at night

If you’re concerned about wild critters coming in while you’re sleeping, a simple solution is to close the dog door after your pet has come in for the night. This is a good security measure for the safety of your pet as well. Hale pet doors include a high-density polyethylene security cover and steel pin lock that secures from the inside.

Keeping animals out of pet doors (the ones you don’t want, that is) isn’t hard if you use a high-quality pet door, a common-sense approach, and a little ingenuity. 

What About Automated Pet Doors?

Some people looking for critter-proof pet doors might research chip-enabled automatic pet doors that sense when your dog or cat approaches, opening the door automatically for them and then shutting it when they’ve gone through. This seems like a great idea—at first.

We don’t offer these types of pet doors because we believe that there are potential dangers that could put your beloved pet’s safety and welfare at risk. Rather than them opening the flap gently by pushing against it, there is a chance of them getting “spooked” by the sudden mechanical action of the door or of it malfunctioning when they’re partway through.

This could cause them great distress and injury, and they may be hesitant to use it again. Also, there is nothing preventing a wild animal from waiting for them to approach and then following them inside. We prefer using the methods described above and staying with the tried-and-true manual pet door.

The Hale Pet Door Difference

Hale pet doors are made with the highest quality materials in our U.S.-based factory with no outsourced parts. We don’t just sell dog doors—we provide personalized customer service and educational resources with the singular mission of keeping your pet and your home safe and secure while giving them the freedom and independence to live their best life. Explore our Pet Doors.

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