Pet doors let your dog or cat into your home at any time -- but they can also be a way for intruders or pests to enter your house. Taking a few simple security precautions can help minimise the risk of intrusion and keep your pet coming and going happily.
Choose the right door for your pet
Not all pet doors are equal; make sure that your door is a little bigger than your animal, but no bigger than that. Smaller pet doors are harder to gain access to, both for other animals and for human intruders. Install it in a position that will make it harder to reach the main door's lock or handle; you can even install it in a wall, although this can be a larger job than installing it in a door.
Establish a routine
Most modern pet doors come with a security lock, either a tab that locks the door in place or a sliding panel that closes behind the door. If your pet only uses the door when you're home, make sure the lock is in place when you're out or whenever your pet is supposed to be inside. Make closing the lock part of your home routine so that you won't accidentally leave it open.
Secure the area
If you're concerned about pests or other animals using your pet door to get into your home, it may be that something around your pet door is attracting them. Move pet food or water dishes to another area of your home to eliminate the temptation. Similarly, make sure that gates are securely locked, not only to keep your pet in but to provide a first line of defense. If you still have concerns, consider other security measures such as motion-sensitive lights, which can scare off both enterprising scavengers and burglars.
If you need your pet to be able to use its door when you aren't around to let it in, consider using an electronic lock system. These systems consist of the lock itself and a collar unit, which may include a magnet, an RFID transmitter, an ultrasound emitter or an infrared transmitter. Whatever the technology, the collar functions as an electronic key, unlocking the door only when the correct animal wants to get in.
Making sure your pet door installation is secure and taking a few basic security precautions will help keep unwanted visitors out of your home while still letting your pet come and go whenever it needs to.