Table of Contents
- Can Dogs See Screen Doors?
- Why Can’t Dogs Look at Screens?
- How Do You Screen Proof a Dog Door?
- Option 1: Putting in a Screened Dog Door
- Option 2: Put in a Hanging Magnetic Screen Door
- Option 3: Deal with the Opening
- Option 4: Cut a Side Screen Flap for Your Dog
- Option 5: Make Markings on the Screen
- Option 6: Install a Tighter Screen
- Option 7: Setup a Temporary Screen
- Option 8: Stretch Out an Alternative Screen
- Top 5 Hilarious YouTube Videos of Dogs and Screen Doors
Can Dogs See Screen Doors?
Most dogs can see screens that are a certain size, especially if they’re on a door that’s being opened or closed. Large mesh screens, like those on consumer-grade screen doors, are normally too little of an impedence to their vision to notice and thus they ignore them.
Unlike humans, dogs only have two sets of color-reception cells in their eyes. That means their vision is based more on how objects move and act rather than the shape of them. Thus, dogs will often ignore screens if something more interesting is going on.
Why Can’t Dogs Look at Screens?
Dogs can look at screens, but they usually see whatever is beyond them. Screens are made up of tiny holes that humans can look at independently of the landscape behind the screen.
Both wild and domestic canines see objects based on their motion rather than their geometry, so they normally ignore the static screen in front of any background. If something outside starts moving, then their mind notices it rather than the screen in front of it.
That’s why a dog who sees a squirrel right outside a screen door might attempt to run straight through it to get the animal. They merely aren’t focused on the screen itself.
How Do You Screen Proof a Dog Door?
The easiest way to screen proof a dog door is to simply make sure the screen door is always open anytime that your dog wants to do in or out. Unfortunately, that’s not always an option so check out the following alternatives.
Option 1: Putting in a Screened Dog Door
You can install a dog door in place of your screen door to help your pooch pass back and forth regardless of whether they can see the screen or not. This involves cutting into your existing screen, but it should work well with any sized dog.
Find a frame to use for the dog door that’s going to rest on the inside of your screen door. Several pet supply companies sell dedicated frames for different sized dogs, but you might be able to find a piece of material at your local hardware store that will do the trick.
You’ll need to then install this frame into your door and push it into the existing ruts with a spline tool. Once you have it in place, finish it with a piece of freestanding spline.
This will certainly take a while, but it might be the most permanent option.
Option 2: Put in a Hanging Magnetic Screen Door
You can hang a magnetic mesh screen right outside of a doggie door or almost any other kind of opening. When your dog goes outside, the magnets will automatically open and shut as soon as he or she passes.
These usually aren’t that durable, but they’re easy to install and equally easy to replace if they don’t hold up as well as they should. They’re easy to find in almost any hardware or pet supply place.
Option 3: Deal with the Opening
By planning the location of your dog door, you might never have to deal with screens. Put your dog door either into an exterior wall or a storm door that doesn’t have a matching screen.
This is probably not an option if you’ve already installed a doggie door, but it could help those who are still in the planning phase.
Option 4: Cut a Side Screen Flap for Your Dog
Not everyone can install a full-sized dog door into an existing screen, but it’s easier if you cut away a section at the left or right-hand bottom of the door. You can then put in a dog frame and make a flap that will allow your dog to enter and exit your home regardless of whether they can see the door or not.
Option 5: Make Markings on the Screen
Take a piece of cloth or another object that your dog will immediately identify and affix it to the screen door. You might also consider using paint or another source of contrast to mark out your door.
Dogs can’t see screens in many cases because they’re looking right through the holes and ignoring everything else. If you make it easier for them to see the object in front of them, then they might think twice before trying to run into it.
Animal lovers who’ve found that birds sometimes take a look at their dog and give chase will like this option as well, since it can help their feathered friends to see the screen as well.
Option 6: Install a Tighter Screen
Remove the existing screen mesh from your door. Take a spline tool and force a new piece of mesh in place that has much tighter holes than the current one, which should be darker in color and therefore easier for dogs to see.
This option doesn’t require you to make any other alterations to your screen or any dog doors that are in the way. It also has the side benefit of actually blocking out bugs better than the wider screen mesh that’s usually installed on a majority of doors and windows in residential areas.
Option 7: Setup a Temporary Screen
If your dog only uses a certain exit at certain times of the day, then you might consider replacing the existing screen with a folding temporary one. These are commonly available in hardware stores and telescope outward so that they can fit in almost any door or window gap.
When your dog comes around, you could remove it to allow them free passage. The screen could then easily be put back in place when the time comes.
These are especially good for smaller dogs who might be using something other than a door to make their way outside.
Option 8: Stretch Out an Alternative Screen
Fly blinds and folding partitions are every bit as effective as screen doors, and both of these can simply be stretched into place. You usually don’t need any tools beyond a screwdriver and maybe a hammer to put one in.
Since they’re opaque and both somewhat solid, they’re usually visible to dogs and most animals won’t run into them the way that they might run into a screen door. That being said, most pet owners won’t find them quite as aesthetically pleasing as traditional screens so they’re not for everyone.