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Unlock Pet Freedom: The Ultimate Guide to Smart Dog Doors

Published at 1/26/2024

Alexander Hack

Alexander Hack

9 mins read

Happy Dog walking through a smart pet door

Have you ever wondered if there's a better way to keep your pets safe while letting them enjoy some freedom? As pet parents, we all want the best for our furry friends. This often means finding innovative solutions that offer both convenience and security. One such solution gaining traction among pet lovers is the Smart Dog Door or the Electronic Pet Door. Let's delve into what these technologically advanced pet doors have to offer.

So, what's a Smart Dog Door?

A Smart Dog Door is an electronically operated pet door that transcends the capabilities of traditional pet doors. But how does it operate? The magic lies in a special chip in your pet’s collar or a microchip implanted by the vet. This chip, known as an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tag, communicates with the door, causing it to unlock just for your pet.

The benefits of such a system are numerous. For starters, it offers your pets the freedom to come and go as they please, without the need for you to constantly open and close the door. More importantly, it enhances the security of your home by ensuring that only your pets can access the door, keeping unwanted animals out.

Why do I need a smart doggy door ?

Convenience for You and Your Pet

  • Freedom for your pets: With a smart pet door, your pets can come and go as they please. This means no more early morning or late-night trips to let them out!
  • Peace of mind: A remote control dog door allows you to manage your pet's access to the outdoors even when you're at work or out running errands. By using the autoslide pet door function, you can eliminate the need to rush home. The RFID pet door provides peace of mind by ensuring your pet has secure and controlled access when you're not around.

Enhanced Security

  • Selective entry: Smart pet doors, also known as cat proof dog doors, can be programmed to allow only your pets to enter and exit, thereby preventing the entry of uninvited animals. These doors ensure that your cat proof dog door functions effectively. So, whether you're using it as a smart pet door or a cat proof dog door, you can have peace of mind knowing that it's fulfilling its purpose.
  • Lock features: You can remotely lock the RFID doggy door or schedule the smart pet door to lock during specific nighttime hours for enhanced security. It functions like an automatic pet door that provides additional protection. Remember, this is made possible by the dog door's RFID feature.

Health and Well-being

  • Regular exercise: Your pets can step out to stretch their legs, chase squirrels, or enjoy the sun whenever they need to, promoting better health and well-being.
  • Mental stimulation: Access to the outdoors can help reduce boredom and associated behaviors like chewing or scratching furniture.

Smart Home Integration

  • Connectivity: Some smart pet doors can be integrated with your home's smart system, allowing you to control it via your smartphone.
  • Monitoring: You can keep track of when your pet leaves and enters the house, which is great for monitoring their health and habits.
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Environmental Control

  • Energy efficiency: Smart pet doors often have better insulation than traditional flaps, helping to keep your home's temperature regulated.
  • Customization: You can set the door to only open under certain conditions, like when it's not raining or when the temperature is within a comfortable range for your pet.

Practicality for Special Needs Pets

  • Elderly and disabled pets: A smart pet door can be a boon for pets with mobility issues, giving them easy access without the need to climb or jump.

In conclusion, a smart pet door isn't just a convenience; it's an investment in your pet's happiness and freedom. It's about giving your beloved companion a little more control over their environment, which can lead to a healthier, more active, and more satisfied pet. And as a pet lover, what could be more rewarding than that?

Door Size

Pet Weight

Examples of Breeds

Installation Type

Doggy Opening

Cut Hole Size

Overall Dimensions


Up to 9 pounds

Brussels Griffons, Chihuahuas, Maltese, Papillons

Door Wall

  • 6 1/2" x 7 14"
  • 6 1/2" x 7 1/4"
  • 8 3/4" x 6 5/8"
  • 8 3/4" x 6 5/8"
  • 9 7/8" x 9 7/8"
  • 10 3/8" x 11 7/8"


Up to 40 pounds

Cocker Spaniels, Corgis, French Bulldog, Poodles, Schnauzers, Whippets

Door Wall

  • 9" x 12"
  • 9" x 12"
  • 11 1/2" x 13 5/8"
  • 11 7/8" x 14 3/4"
  • 13 3/4" x 15 1/4"
  • 14 3/8" x 17 3/8"


Up to 100 pounds

Boxers, Collies, Dobermans, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Pointers, Setters

Door Wall

  • 11 3/4" x 16"
  • 11 3/4" x 16"
  • 14 1/4" x 17 5/8"
  • 14 3/8" 18 3/8"
  • 16 1/2" x 19 1/4"
  • 16 1/2" x 20 1/2"


Up to 220 pounds

Great Danes, Great Pyrenees, Irish Wolfhounds, Old English Sheepdogs

Door Wall

  • 15 3/4" x 23 5/8"
  • 15 1/4" x 23 5/8"
  • 18 1/8" x 25 1/4"
  • 18 1/2" x26 1/4"
  • 20 1/2" x 26 3/4"
  • 21 1/8" x 28 7/8"

The Best Smart Doors for Pets on the Market

Choosing the right smart door for your pet is a crucial decision that affects not just the safety of your furry friend but also the convenience and security of your home. After scouring the latest reviews and product features, here are some top picks for smart doors that cater to the needs of pets and their loving owners. Each option has its unique features, ensuring there's something for every pet household.

1. PetSafe Electronic Dog Door

This PetSafe Smart Door is a marvel for pet owners seeking both convenience and security. Equipped with programmable and selective entry/exit, this PetSafe SmartDoor ensures that only your pets can come and go. With its weatherproof design, this Petsafe electronic SmartDoor pet door is suitable for all climates, providing your pet's comfort year-round. Operating on 4 D-Cell batteries, this dog door with sensor collar can manage access for up to five pets using programmable SmartKeys. This auto pet door, hence, becomes an ideal choice for multi-pet households looking for a secure way to manage their pets' outdoor activities​.

A friend of mine installed this electronic dog door for her two Labradors. She loved how it served as much more than just an auto pet door, in fact, it stopped her worries about neighborhood raccoons sneaking in for a midnight snack. The PetSafe Smart Door installation was a breeze, she mentioned, turning a potentially complicated setup into a simple afternoon project. She insisted, PetSafe SmartDoor transformed their lives, making the supervision of pet movement more manageable and stress-free.

 PetSafe NEVER RUST Electronic Pet Door

PetSafe NEVER RUST Electronic Pet Door

2. SureFlap Microchip Dog and Cat Door with Hub

For those in a multi-species household, this door is a game-changer. It uses microchip technology to allow access to registered pets only, supporting up to 32 pets on one system. It's particularly handy for homes where keeping the cat in while letting the dog out is necessary. The door is energy-efficient, battery-operated, and features a 4-way manual lock for added security. Its double antenna system ensures accurate reading of pet microchips, providing peace of mind to pet owners​.

A neighbor who uses the SureFlap door for her cat and dog noted how the system effectively keeps her curious cat indoors while her dog enjoys the backyard. She highlighted the app's convenience, which lets her manage the door settings remotely, adding a layer of control and flexibility to her pets' movements.

SureFlap Microchip Pet Door Connect With Hub

SureFlap Microchip Pet Door Connect With Hub

3. High Tech Power Pet Electronic Door

This door's motor-driven sliding mechanism is perfect for tech-savvy pet owners looking for a blend of innovation and functionality. It features a directional sensing system that opens the door only when your pet is directly approaching, preventing accidental openings. The ultrasonic collar is another highlight, offering hands-free operation to pets and their owners. This door is ideal for those seeking a modern solution to pet access, combining convenience with advanced security features​.

Muhub Pet Door, Large Dog Door for Exterior Doors with Double Automatic Closing Magnetic Flaps

Muhub Pet Door, Large Dog Door for Exterior Doors with Double Automatic Closing Magnetic Flaps

4. Thermo Panel SureFlap Microchip Pet Door

Ideal for those with sliding glass doors, this product marries the convenience of microchip access with the elegance of a sliding door solution. It's designed to fit various door heights and offers excellent insulation, thanks to its dual-pane glass. This door is a perfect choice for pet owners concerned about energy efficiency and security, providing a reliable barrier against the elements and uninvited guests​.

 SureFlap Microchip Pet Door

SureFlap Microchip Pet Door

Choosing the right smart pet door involves considering your home's specific needs, your pets' habits, and the level of security you desire. Whether you prioritize easy installation, energy efficiency, or advanced security features, there's a smart door that fits the bill. Always remember to measure your pet and the installation space to ensure a perfect fit, and enjoy the newfound freedom and peace of mind that a smart pet door can bring to your life and the lives of your furry family members.

Potential Drawbacks of Auto Pet Doors and Smart Doggie Doors

Dog walking through smart dog door

While smart doggie doors, otherwise referred to as automatic doggy doors, offer numerous benefits, it's important to consider potential drawbacks. One concern is the potential for unwanted animals to gain access, especially for doors that only control entry but not exit. These so-called auto pet doors, or smart dog Doors, also have another double-edged flaw. Specifically, some automatic doggy door models may have insufficient weather insulation, which could impact your home's energy efficiency. However, many of these concerns can be mitigated by choosing an electronic dog door model with robust security features and proper installation.

Are Electronic Dog Doors and Smart Dog Doors Worth It?

While the initial cost and installation of electronic dog doors, akin to an auto pet door, might seem daunting, the long-term benefits make them a worthy investment. They provide convenience for busy pet owners who may opt for an automatic doggy door, autonomy for pets, and added security for homes. Plus, the joy of seeing your furry friend independently using the smart dog door, or similarly, the electronic dog door, is priceless! Investing in a smart doggie door could indeed be worth your consideration.

Smart Doors for Multi-Pet Households: Dogs Out, Cats In with the Electronic Smart Dog Door

Can an electronic smart dog door, or a smart dog door with an app, distinguish between your garden-loving dog and your indoor-only cat? Absolutely! Certain models of the electronic smart dog door provide selective entry and exit features, similar to a dog door that only opens with a collar. These can be customized for specific pets.

This technology guarantees that your playful pup, equipped with its electronic collar, can freely access the outdoors, while your cat remains securely indoors. The smart dog door with app functionality offers precise control over who can enter and exit. The collar-activated dog door adds an extra layer of security, ensuring only pets with the designated collar can use it.

Understanding the Range of RFID Tags for Pet Doors


When it comes to enhancing the autonomy of your pets and the security of your home with smart pet doors, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology plays a crucial role. This technology allows pet doors to recognize and grant access to your pets through unique identification tags attached to their collars. A common question among pet owners considering this technology is, "What is the range of the RFID tag for pet doors?"

  • The Range of RFID Tags: The standard range of RFID tags, especially those designed for pet doors, is typically about 3 feet (approximately 1 meter). This range is sufficient to ensure that the pet door reads the tag when your pet is directly approaching the door without accidentally triggering it from a distance​​. For instance, the Autoslide K9 system, a popular choice among pet door solutions, uses an RFID collar key system designed to work effectively within this range. This ensures the door opens only when your pet intends to go through, preventing any unintended openings​.
  • Why Range Matters: The effective range of RFID tags is a critical factor in ensuring both convenience and security. A too-short range might require your pet to wait uncomfortably close to the door before it opens, while a too-long range could lead to the door opening when your pet is merely passing by, rather than intending to go through. I remember a friend sharing a story about her adventurous cat, Milo. She installed an RFID-enabled pet door to allow him the freedom to explore the garden. Initially, she was concerned that Milo would struggle with the concept, but to her surprise, he quickly adapted. The door's range was perfectly calibrated to recognize when Milo was ready to venture out or return home, providing him with independence while keeping the house secure from any uninvited neighborhood critters.
  • Customizable Range for Convenience: Some pet door systems, like the Autoslide Smart Tag Pet Door Kit, offer customizable range settings. This flexibility allows pet owners to program the pet mode to the distance that best suits their pets' habits and the layout of their home​​. This feature can be particularly useful in homes where the door to the garden or patio is frequently used by pets but you want to avoid the door opening for every passerby or when your pet is merely lounging nearby.

Choosing an RFID-enabled pet door with an appropriate range can significantly enhance your pet's freedom while maintaining your home's security and energy efficiency. By understanding the technology's functionality and selecting a system that offers customizable range settings, you can tailor the pet door experience to suit your and your pet's lifestyle perfectly. Whether it's for a curious cat like Milo or a playful dog, the right RFID pet door can provide a seamless bridge between the comfort of indoors and the adventure of the outdoors.

Installation and Maintenance Tips for your Autoslide Door Opener


Most dog doors, such as those with collars or sensors, are designed for straightforward DIY installation. This applies to both the automatic dog door with collar and the autoslide pet door. Regular upkeep, including thorough cleaning and timely battery checks, is essential to maintain the durability and dependability of your electronic smart dog door or autoslide door opener. Proper care for your smart dog door with an app, the automatic dog door with a collar, or the autoslide pet door ensures efficient and precise management of traffic in your multi-pet household.

Smart Dog Door Installation: Flexibility is Key!

Hello to all my fellow pet enthusiasts! Ever caught yourself daydreaming about placing that fancy new smart dog door in a spot that's not, well, an actual door? Maybe you've got the perfect wall location in mind that leads right to your pet's favorite frolicking zone. Good news: these smart dog doors are incredibly versatile. Yes, you can install them in both doors and walls, giving you the freedom to choose the best access point for your furry friend.

Just a heads up, though: Before you get too excited and start planning your installation party, it's wise to peek at the product's specs. Not all smart dog doors fit everywhere, so you'll want to ensure your chosen model matches your space's needs.

Neighborly Insight

Take it from my neighbor, who almost missed out on a great smart dog door because she didn't realize wall installation was an option. Once she discovered a model that fit perfectly into her wall, her life (and her dog's) changed for the better. It's all about finding that perfect match and making the space work for you and your pet.

Power Outages? No Problem!

Let's tackle the elephant in the room: power outages. If you're worried that a power outage could leave your smart dog door unusable, either locking your pet in or out, I've got some comforting info for you. Many smart dog doors are designed with battery backup systems. This means your pet’s access won't be hindered by the occasional power glitch, and your home stays secure from unexpected animal guests.

It’s a real load off your mind, knowing that your pet can keep their freedom to roam, regardless of what the power grid is doing. And, it certainly beats the hassle of manually managing pet access during those dark times.

When the Lights Go Out

Here's a quick story: During a major outage in our area, while the rest of us were fumbling for flashlights, our dog, Bella, was unfazed. Thanks to our smart dog door's battery backup, her evening routine went on without a hitch. It's these moments that truly show the value of having a reliable system in place.

So, whether you're mulling over the best place to install your smart dog door or wondering how it'll fare during the next power outage, rest easy knowing there are options designed to make life simpler for you and your pet. It's about making technology work for you, ensuring your pet's happiness and your peace of mind.



A smart dog door can greatly improve the quality of life for both pets and their owners by offering an ideal balance of freedom, safety, and convenience. Remember, the best smart dog door for you depends on your specific needs and the unique characteristics of your pet.

Now, we'd love to hear from you. Have you tried a smart door for your pets? Got any questions or concerns? Leave a comment below and join the conversation.

FAQ: All About Smart Dog Doors

Got questions about smart dog doors? You're not alone! Here's a handy FAQ section to clear up some of the most common curiosities and concerns pet owners have about these nifty gadgets. Let's dive in and get those questions answered in a friendly, helpful manner.

1.) Are smart dog doors secure? Can other animals get in?

One of the best features of smart dog doors is their enhanced security. These doors are designed to open only for your pet, thanks to unique identifiers like microchips or RFID tags. This keeps stray animals and unwelcome wildlife from wandering into your home. Rest assured, it's just for your furry family members.

2.) How difficult is it to train my pet to use a smart dog door?

You might be surprised at how quickly pets adapt to using a smart dog door. The key is patience and positive reinforcement. Start by encouraging your pet to pass through the door with treats and plenty of praise. Before you know it, they'll be using it like a pro. Every pet learns at their own pace, but with a little encouragement, they'll get the hang of it.

3.) Can I control when my pet can use the smart dog door?

Yes! Many smart dog doors offer programmable settings, allowing you to control when your pet can use the door. This is perfect for setting boundaries during nighttime or when you're not home. It's all about giving you control and flexibility while ensuring your pet's safety.

4.) What about energy efficiency? Won't a dog door let in the cold or heat?

Modern smart dog doors are designed with energy efficiency in mind. Look for models with weatherproofing features like insulated flaps and tight seals to minimize energy loss. This way, you can enjoy the convenience of a smart dog door without compromising your home's temperature control.

5.) How do I choose the right size smart dog door for my pet?

Choosing the right size is crucial for your pet's comfort and safety. Measure your pet's height and width at their widest points, then add a couple of inches to ensure they can pass through comfortably. Most products offer size guidelines to help you pick the perfect fit for your furry friend.

6.) Can I install a smart dog door myself?

Many smart dog doors are designed with DIY installation in mind. They come with detailed instructions and can often be installed with basic tools. However, if you're planning to install the door in a wall or you're not comfortable with the installation process, it might be wise to hire a professional.

We hope this FAQ sheds some light on smart dog doors and helps you make an informed decision. Remember, the right smart dog door can make life easier and more enjoyable for both you and your pet. Happy pet parenting!