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Is A Dog Door Worth Risk of Robbers, Rodents, Escape Artists?

I thought I'd secured everything enough to keep Grayson in the yard. I don't have to worry about Kaiah so much. Grayson — of course — proved me wrong.

I recently moved from an apartment to a house — a house with a fenced-in back yard. 

I went from a large apartment without a yard to a small home with a large yard.

The best part of this move is that I was also allowed to put in a doggie door for the kids. (What a landlord, right?!) My friend came over, installed the doggie door, and after I get all moved in and settled, he brings me a newspaper article pointing out the inherent security risk of robbers . 

I figure I'm OK because, after all, what robber would want to come into my home and come face to face with my protective large dogs Kaiah and Grayson? My friend then warmly reminded me of another uninvited guest. Rodents might want to come in, also, he said. So nice of him, huh? Especially because he knows how much rodents freak me out.

The article explained many precautions dog door owners could take to guard against break-ins and uninvited rod—, er, guests:

  1. Secure the barrier door while you are gone.  
  2. Get the smallest door that you can get by with.  
  3. If you can unlock your door by reaching up through it, then add a deadbolt much higher than that.  
  4. Install a doggie door that will only open with a microchip that is in your dog's collar.  
  5. Put up a “Beware of Dog” sign. It deters robbers more than you think. No one wants to chance getting bitten.

Something else to think about when you get a doggie door: escape artists.

I thought I'd secured every thing enough to keep Grayson in the yard. I don't have to worry about Kaiah so much. Grayson — of course — proved me wrong.

I came home the other day to find him on the loose in the street. Grayson, my large wolf-looking dog, had squeezed through a very small hole to get under the house, then crawled out to the front through an even smaller hole!

Of course, those holes have now been fixed — with a fence, some lattice and concrete borders. (A lot, I know; but the boy is determined!)

As for rodents, I am hoping Grayson and Kaiah will scare them away enough to keep them from even coming into the yard, because otherwise, that will really freak me out!

Bill McElligott August 21, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Attention Parents -Dog Doors are also one of the barriers which need to be secured to keep small children from accessing pools. Children in Pinellas have had near drownings from these accessible routes to pools hot tubs and water filled items.
Chris Sansbury August 22, 2012 at 02:50 PM
We have a cat door and I would never give up the convenience for the few downsides. Not having to have a litter box or worry if the cat is stuck out in the rain is worth it. Yes, we have had rodents come in the house but they were carried in by the cat and we have had a few dogs and kids try to use the cat door, hilarious but never successfully. And I agree I don’t think most robbers, who can hear barking dogs, want to discover what lies beyond.
Shelly Maslak August 22, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Great point Bill! Chris, I have to say, I LOVE my doggie door, my fear of course is Grayson bringing in a rodent!

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