Dog doors come in handy in many situations. Many dog owners are at work during the day while their dogs are left inside. What’s more, dog owners are often awakened to the sound of a whining dog needing to go potty, leaving them no choice but to get up and let the dog out. Considering these situations, electronic dog doors are extremely valuable. No more calling a friend or neighbor to let your dog out if you’re running late getting home, as your electronic dog door will let your dog out for you.
Electronic dog doors come in different sizes, but they all work similarly to one another. Most work by using Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID)1 that are lightweight and attach to your dog’s collar. Intrigued? If so, keep reading, as we’ve selected five of the best electronic dog doors available based on consumer reviews. Pull up a chair, and let’s check them out.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
The 5 Best Electronic Dog Doors
1. High Tech Pet Products Automatic Pet Door – Best Overall
|15 X 6 X 36 inches
The High Tech Pet Products PX-1 Power Pet Fully Automatic Pet Door automatically opens upward rather than outward, meaning your dog doesn’t have to push it open to enter or exit the home. It features an automatic deadbolt locking feature to keep the home safe from intruders and stray animals, and the door only opens when your pet is approaching. Made from bulletproof resin, the door is airtight, weatherproof, and windproof and cannot be kicked in for extra security.
This dog door comes with a pet transmitter MS-4 collar with a sensor, which will open when your dog approaches. The door quietly and quickly opens, and you can adjust your pet’s level of accessibility by way of a four-way control. Your options are in-only, out-only, full-access, or closed and locked options. This door is compatible with plug-in power or battery powered, and it comes with an AC adaptor and all required hardware to install and assemble. You can also add more collars if needed.
The door may break down after 1 year, and the company will send you replacement parts rather than a new door.
This door is suitable for dogs up to 30 pounds, but the PX-2 is available for medium to large dogs. For the price point, level of security, and sensor capabilities, this door is our pick for the best overall electronic dog door.
2. PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor – Best Value
|27 X 16.1 X 23.6 inches
|SmartKey, RFID, programmable
The PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor comes in a small or large size to accommodate any size dog breed. This dog door works by a Smartkey attached to your dog’s collar that triggers the battery-powered driven flap to unlock. When the Smartkey is no longer picked up, the flap automatically locks back into place.
You can program up to five Smartkeys with a touch of a button, and it operates in two modes: fully locked or unlocked. While in locked mode, no pet can enter or exit. While in unlocked mode, entry and exit are available for all pets. This dog door fits doors 1.5 to 2 inches thick, and the flap is insulated with UV sun protection.
The flap is made of plastic and may not hold up well, and it requires 4-D batteries. However, this dog door is a more affordable option, making it the best electronic dog door for the money.
3. PlexiDor Electronic Dog Door – Premium Choice
|60 X 20 X 10 inches
- Tech features:
- Batteries required?:
For a premium choice, the PlexiDor Electronic Dog Door acts as a mini-garage door for your pet. This product features a waterproof collar key that is lightweight for your pet and requires no batteries to operate. The collar key works by using a sensor that automatically opens and closes the door. You can also change and set the code with one-touch programming. The vertical door can be programmed to control how long the door remains open after your pet has entered or exited. While not in use, the door stays locked with a stainless-steel deadbolt, and the large door is suitable for dogs up to 125 pounds.
This state-of-the-art dog door can be hardwired into your existing electrical system or plugged in. You can purchase additional collar keys through the manufacturer for multiple pets, and the kit comes with two collar keys. Another nice feature is the door will automatically stop if it’s obstructed, and you can place it on a wall or a door.
This electronic dog door is expensive, but it is not unsightly like some dog doors. It also may be a little more involved in installing.
4. SureFlap Microchip Small Dog Door
|6 X 8.15 X 9.25 inches
For dog owners with small dogs, the SureFlap Microchip Small Dog Door might be what you need. This door is compatible with a microchip or a Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) collar tag for pets without a microchip. It uses your pet’s unique microchip to read only your pet’s collar, which keeps stray animals out.
You can program up to 32 different pets, and it’s perfect for small dogs and large cats. You can set a curfew mode, which automatically locks and unlocks at a specific time, and you can install it on a door, window, or wall.
It does require four C batteries but has an indicator to let you know when to replace the batteries so the door doesn’t lose its function. This dog door comes with a three-year warranty, and it comes with all parts and hardware you need to install. The sensitivity of the door may be too long for some and could take 2 to 3 seconds to unlock.
5. Power Pet Large Electronic Pet Door PX-2
|12 ¼ X 16 inches (panel size)
|Automatic deadbolt lock, MS-4 ultrasonic collar
The Power Pet Large Electronic Pet Door PX-2 uses a motor-driven vertical door activated by an MS-4 ultrasonic collar. The door doesn’t open until your pet is in the direct path of the door and not while near the door on the sides to keep unwanted pests or strays at bay. This door can accommodate pets up to 100 pounds, and it’s wind and weatherproof. You’ll have four-way access control to in-only, out-only, full access, or closed and locked.
The door operation is quiet and locks with a secure deadbolt for added safety. The control panel allows you to customize the collar’s range control, and it comes with an AC adaptor, or you can purchase an optional rechargeable battery separately. It’s also easy to install on a door or wall and comes in a medium or large size.
After some time, the door may malfunction and need costly repairs, which is disappointing considering the price.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Electronic Dog Door
Hold on to your hats because we’re not done yet. At first, trying to choose the right electronic dog door for your needs may seem overwhelming. Still, to ease the process, we’ve included a buyer’s guide to help you understand what to look for before committing, especially considering the installation process, price, and your specific needs.
Knowing what size you need is an important factor. Your dog should be able to come and go through the door without any trouble or, worse, without getting stuck. You’ll need to measure your dog from the ground to the top of his shoulders and then add 2 to 3 inches (your dog’s shoulders should not touch the sides of the dog door).
If you have more than one dog, measure your largest dog and go by that measurement. It’s OK if your dog has to crouch a tiny bit or lower his head a bit to get through, but you don’t want your dog crouching to where the stomach hits the frame.
Most electronic dog doors work by some sort of sensor system that is programmed to your dog’s microchip or ultrasonic collar (these collars are included with your dog door). It’s best to find one that sensors a directional path, meaning the door only opens when your dog walks toward the door rather than near it. Otherwise, the door can open and close when not needed.
It’s also wise to look for a dog door that automatically stops if there is an obstruction to keep your dog from getting injured.
A quality feature of electronic doors is that most have a security feature complete with a deadbolt lock while not in use. This feature keeps intruders and stray animals away, and the door will only open for your dog or other dogs the system is programmed to. Ensure the door is durable with quality material and not something that someone can break easily.
Some systems allow you to program the door to your dog’s microchip, and some work with Smartkey collars or Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID) that go onto your dog’s collar. These collars are needed if your dog has no microchip.
Installation can be tricky, but they all come with instructions. Something to remember here is you’ll need to cut into your wall or door for installation, which makes choosing the correct size very important. You can also opt for a wall tunnel that allows you to install the dog door on an exterior wall. If you’re not sure you’re comfortable installing the dog door yourself, enlist a friend or someone with the knowledge of how to do it correctly.
You’ll want a dog door with an airtight seal to keep inclement weather outside where it belongs. You certainly don’t want a draft through the door, which can drive up your energy costs.
Vertical or Swing Door
You can choose a dog door that opens vertically or swings open with a flap. If you opt for a vertical door, ensure the mechanism that opens the door is quiet. Vertical doors are easier for your dog because they don’t need to push the flap open. Vertical doors are also an excellent option for senior dogs or dogs with mobility issues. However, flaps work just fine too.
Some electronic dog doors have the option to program and customize for in-only, out-only, full access, or closed and locked. This allows you to determine when your dog can have access to the door and when he can’t.
For example, the in-only feature only allows your dog to come inside but not go back outside. The out-only allows your dog to go out but not back in. This is a good option if you have visitors and don’t want your dog around at the time. However, you can choose full access or closed and locked, which is an excellent feature at nighttime when you don’t want your dog outside.
We hope our reviews of the best electronic dog doors help you in making the best decision possible for your needs. For the best overall electronic dog door, the High Tech Pet Products PX-1 Power Pet Fully Automatic Pet Door has an airtight seal, vertical door, and deadbolt for the best overall. For the best value, the PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor has an insulated flap that seals when closing, the capability to program up to five collars, and is reasonably priced.
Featured Image Credit: Inked Pixels, Shutterstock