Why a Doggy Door May Not Be the Best Idea: Surprising Reasons

If you’re a dog owner, you may have considered installing a doggy door for your pet’s convenience. However, before making this decision, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks of having a doggy door in your home.

While doggy doors can provide your pet with greater freedom and independence, they can also pose a risk to your home’s security and cleanliness. Additionally, if you are unable to provide the necessary training to ensure your dog uses the door properly, it may hinder their potty training progress.

Before deciding whether or not to install a doggy door, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons and consider your circumstances. Keep reading to learn more about why you should think twice before installing a doggy door in your home.

Security Risks

If you’re considering installing a doggy door, it’s important to understand the potential security risks. While dog doors offer your pet more freedom and independence, they can also make your home more vulnerable to intruders.

Dog sneaking in cat flap
Dog peeking through the door opening window.

Risk of Intruders

One of the biggest concerns with doggy doors is the risk of intruders entering your home. Even if the door is small, determined burglars can still find a way to squeeze through. Once inside, they’ll have easy access to your valuables and personal belongings.

To reduce the risk of intruders, it’s important to choose a doggy door that’s secure and difficult to tamper with. Look for doors with sturdy locks or consider investing in a high-tech electronic solution.

It’s also important to be mindful of where you install the door. Avoid placing it in a location that’s easily accessible from the street or other public areas. Instead, opt for a location that’s hidden from view and difficult to access.

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Remember, your doggy door is only as secure as the door or wall it’s installed in. Make sure the surrounding area is secure and that there are no other vulnerabilities that could be exploited by intruders.

Other Risks

Aside from the risk of intruders, doggy doors can also pose other security risks. For example, they can allow wild or stray animals to enter your home, potentially putting your family and pets in danger.

Additionally, doggy doors can make it easier for your dog to escape, especially if they’re not properly trained. This can be dangerous if your dog runs into traffic or gets lost in an unfamiliar area.

Overall, while doggy doors offer convenience and freedom for your pet, it’s important to weigh the potential security risks before installing one in your home.


Dying rat on comfy carpet

Health Concerns

Insect Infestations

If you have a doggy door, insects can easily make their way into your home. Flies, mosquitoes, and other bugs can carry diseases that can be harmful to both you and your dog. Additionally, fleas and ticks can also make their way into your home through the doggy door, which can lead to an infestation. These pests can be difficult and expensive to get rid of, and can also cause health problems for you and your pet.

To prevent insect infestations, you will need to regularly clean and maintain the doggy door. You should also consider using insect repellents or insecticides around the door to keep bugs at bay. Another option is to install a screen door or a flap that can help keep insects out while still allowing your dog to use the door.

A doggy door can also lead to a higher risk of heartworm infection for your dog. This is because mosquitoes, which are carriers of heartworm, can easily enter your home through the doggy door and infect your dog.

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Maintenance Issues

Weather Damage

If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, your doggy door may be subject to damage. According to PetSafe, pet doors can warp, discolor or even crack over time, especially if they are made of cheaper materials. This can lead to drafts and energy loss, which can affect your home’s insulation and heating/cooling costs.

To prevent weather damage, it’s important to choose a high-quality pet door that is made of durable materials. You should also make sure that it is properly installed and sealed to prevent air leaks. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning and lubricating the door, can also help to prolong its lifespan and prevent damage.

How Do You Train A Dog To Use A Doggie Door?

Training Challenges

Potty Accidents

Training your dog to use a doggy door can be a challenging task. One of the most common issues that dog owners face is potty accidents. If your dog is not properly trained, it may use the doggy door to go outside and relieve itself, which can lead to a messy and smelly home.

Doggy doors can hinder a dog’s potty training and affect the cleanliness and security of your home.

To avoid this problem, you need to teach your dog when and where to go potty. You can do this by taking your dog outside on a regular schedule and rewarding them when they go potty in the right place. You can also use a command like “Go potty” to help them understand what you want them to do.

Alternatives to Doggy Doors

Smart Pet Doors

If you’re looking for a high-tech solution, smart pet doors are a great option. These doors use sensors to detect your pet’s collar and only open it for them. Some models even allow you to control the door remotely, so you can lock it when you’re not home. Additionally, smart pet doors can help keep out unwanted animals, such as raccoons or stray cats.

Sliding Glass Door Inserts

If you have a sliding glass door, you can purchase an insert that fits into the track of the door. These inserts have a built-in pet door, allowing your pet to come and go as they, please. They’re easy to install and remove, and won’t damage your existing door.

Patio Pet Doors

Similar to sliding glass door inserts, patio pet doors are designed to fit into the track of your existing patio door. They’re available in a variety of sizes and styles and can be easily installed without the need for tools or modifications to your home.

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Window Pet Doors

If you have a window that your pet likes to look out of, you can install a window pet door. These doors are designed to fit into the lower portion of a window, allowing your pet to come and go as they, please. They’re easy to install and remove, and won’t damage your window.

Sources: – Pawcited


Will my dog be able to use a doggy door easily?

While most pets want to be able to make their way outside, your dog will be unlikely to use a doggy door properly without effective training. The process will take multiple days of disciplined guidance so that your dog can push the door by themselves, and some dogs will take to the concept less readily than others.

Will my dog be comfortable using a doggy door?

Some dogs will take more time than others to become comfortable with the idea of using a doggy door, and this can create a problem for training. The noise of the door, the steps required to enter and exit through it, and the fact that your dog is unused to the process, may all create anxiety for your dog.

Does one doggy door suit all types of dogs?

A doggy door needs to be the appropriate size and installed in the right place, meaning that one door may not suit multiple dogs, and the correct size and position will change as your dog grows. For a puppy, the door needs to be close to the ground and reinstalled at greater heights as your dog grows.

Is a doggy door safe for my dog?

If your outside space is not securely fenced in, your dog may be vulnerable to dognapping or becoming lost if they can exit the house at will. According to the animal charity The Blue Cross, there was a 170% increase in reported pet thefts between 2019 and 2020 so owners should be particularly careful.

How does a doggy door impact potty training?

Access to a doggy door can make it harder for a puppy to become potty trained because your dog will not go outside to go to the bathroom by default, so you must train them to use the outside space. This is more challenging with a doggy door, as your puppy can become used to being able to pee and poop whenever, and therefore wherever, they feel the need.

Will a doggy door affect my dog’s behavior?

Having the ability to choose when to come and go can increase a dog’s alpha mentality. Your dog will be less reliant on you as an owner and therefore will be more independent, which removes a bonding opportunity and can result in your dog becoming less responsive to training and instruction.

Will my other pets use a doggy door?

Most cats, and other medium and large-sized indoor pets, will be able to use a doggy door to enter and exit the house. More expensive, electronic doors can be harder for cats to master but it is best to assume that if your dog can work the door, your cat can too. 

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Is a doggy door a security risk?

Depending on the size of the door that you install, children, wild animals, and even intruders may be able to use the door to gain access to your property. Even a smaller door can allow an intruder to reach through and manipulate the locks, which can pose a risk of burglary.

How clean is a doggy door for my house?

When your dog can leave and enter at will, they are much more likely to track dirt through your house or bring in other unclean things, like dead animals, without you realizing. This can be a particular problem if there is no one around to supervise and clean up after your dog when it comes in.

Is a doggy door energy efficient?

Installing a doggy door will have an impact on the insulation of whichever door or wall it has been installed in and you can see an increase in your heating bills. Not all doggy doors function well in high winds and more extreme temperatures, and damage to the door over time can increase these problems.

Will installing a doggy door cause damage?

Even when done correctly, or put in place by a professional, installing a doggy door can void the manufacturer’s warranty on a door and it will not be easy to remove. High usage can also cause damage to the doggy door itself over time, and lower-quality doors can become unusable or unsafe.