If you’re a dog owner with a beautiful backyard or patio, an electronic dog door can provide your dog with a secure way to access the outside without you having to get up to let them out. Electronic doors (also known as automatic dog doors) can be permanently or temporarily installed, so if you live in a rental you can still use an electronic dog door. There are even electronic doors for toy breeds and large dogs.
We reviewed dozens of automatic dog doors to identify the best options available. We looked at sliding glass dog doors and electronic doors with microchips. We even evaluated models designed to provide cost-effective solutions for small dogs.
The PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor stood out as a clear winner for an electronic dog door. Its petite size and technology-driven features make it easy to see why so many customers choose this model. It also works well for cats.
In This Article
The 4 Top-Rated Electronic Dog Doors
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Electronic Dog Door Overall: PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor
The PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor, Collar Activated with SmartKey is one of the most popular electronic dog doors you can buy online. For its low price, two size options, and available install kit, it is a convenient option for most pet owners looking to buy their first electronic dog door. Its small profile is also appealing because it makes it less obvious that you have a dog door installed.
This model gives you several size options so that you can accommodate any pet. The door is battery-operated on 4 D batteries. You get five smart keys with the door so that you have enough for every pet. Because of its design, this door can be installed inside or outside.
PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor Key Features:
- 5 smart keys
- Multiple sizes
- Installation kit available
Best Automatic Electronic Dog Door: High Tech Pet Power Electronic Dog Door
The High Tech Pet Power Electronic Dog Door offers all of the features you’d want in an electronic dog door in a permanent wall panel installation, including a directional sensing system that won’t unlock the door if your dog happens to sleep near it. It is available in two sizes: Medium and Large. It has a 4-Way access control setting where you can give your dog full access, locked access, out-only, or in-only access.
It has a motor driven vertical sliding door that automatically opens and closes for your pet. There’s not a flap that any stray animal to open to get in. Plus, the deadbolt lock gives it added security against intruders.
High Tech Pet Power Electronic Dog Door Key Features:
- Motor driven vertically sliding door
- Directional sensing system
- 4-Way access controls
- Automatic deadbolt locking for extra security
Best Budget Electronic Dog Door: SureFlap Microchip Pet Door
The SureFlap Microchip Pet Door is one of the most secure electronic dog doors that you can buy. The 4 3/4” (H) by 5 5/8” (W) pet door is also on the lower end of the price scale, making it the perfect budget pick. It is suitable only for small dogs, and works with their existing microchip to let them in. This is safer than a dog door system that connects with your dog’s RFID collar, as the collar can potentially be removed and used to access your home.
The door’s memory can accommodate up to 32 pets, so it’s perfect if you’re a pet love. It also couldn’t be easier to keep running, as it only requires 4 AA non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. You’ll be able to get around 12 months of battery life depending on use.
SureFlap Microchip Pet Door Key Features:
- Uses your dog’s existing microchip
- Just requires 4 AA non-rechargeable alkaline batteries to run
- Accommodates up to 32 pets
Best High-End Electronic Dog Door: Endura Flap Thermo Panel 2e SureFlap Microchip Pet Door
The Endura Flap Thermo Panel 2e SureFlap Microchip Pet Door is our top pick of high-end sliding dog doors. It’s a great option for adding a secure and convenient way of letting your dogs in and out. You’ll certainly get what you pay for. It has a four-lock system that keeps it firmly in place and keeps the door locked until it is triggered. The door lock is activated by your pet’s embedded microchip, removing the need for an external remote tag that could be lost or damaged. The door is tough and can keep both large and small unwanted animals out.
- Four-lock system
- Embedded microchip key
- Electronic locks
- Sturdy construction
Who Should Buy an Electronic Dog Door
An electronic dog door is an excellent purchase for a dog owner that has a fenced-in backyard or patio. If you spend a lot of time getting up and down to let your dog out, this will save you the time and effort spent going back and forth. When you leave your home for the day, most electronic dog doors have a way to lock them to prevent your dog from going outside.
Even apartment dwellers can appreciate an electronic dog door that isn’t permanently installed. An electronic dog door designed for a sliding glass door can be a simple alternative that does not require you to cut out anything from your doors or walls. However, an easy to install option is an in-demand option even for those that own their home.
To benefit from an electronic dog door, it is important that it’s safe for your dog to go outside unattended. Some dog owners allow their dogs to use the dog door when they’re not home. Even if you are at home, it’s important that your patio or yard is well-secured and free of hazards when your dog goes outside when you can’t see him.
Important Features to Consider
An electronic dog door comes with a variety of important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting one:
- Directional sensing system. You don’t want the electronic dog door to unlock every time your pet walks by the dog door or naps near it. A directional sensing system helps to limit when the door opens to only when your dog walks to the door to go out.
- Access control. Access control refers to a setting where you can change when and how the dog can use the door. You can set it so that it doesn’t allow your dog out or in, or that the door won’t open from the outside when your dog is inside.
- Panel size. Not all panels will work for all dog sizes. It’s important to carefully measure your dog and where you plan to install it to ensure that it fits.
- Ease of installation. Some dog doors are easier to install than others. Make sure you’re comfortable with the installation process for the model you’re looking at or have a plan to have a contractor install it.
- Microchips or smartkeys. Microchips or smartkeys are worn by your dog to operate the door. When the microchip or smartkey is close to the electronic dog door, it unlocks the door. Some models have collars that have a microchip in it or a tag that you’ll add to your dog’s existing collar.
- Remote control. A remote control makes it easy for you to open the dog door, even from the other side of the house.
- Programmable timers. These timers can be set so that your dog only has access to the door when you want. You can lock the door during nighttime hours to prevent your dog from barking outside in the middle of the night.
- Construction material. Stainless steel dog doors may last longer than plastic because of the durable material. Consider the longevity and aesthetic appeal of the construction materials of the electronic dog door you want.
- Multiple pets. Some models make it easy for multiple pets to use the door, while others are meant for a single pet to use.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an electronic dog door and how does it work?
An electronic dog door works like a traditional dog door in that it allows your dog to go in and out of your home through an opening that you install in your home, either in a door or the wall. However, an electronic dog door goes one step further by restricting some access to the door by locking it during certain situations. With electronic dog doors, you may be able to set a timer so your dog only has access to the backyard during the daytime or when you’re home. Other electronic dog doors restrict access to who can use your dog door, so stray animals like raccoons aren’t granted easy access into your home.
There are different types of electronic dog doors available for purchase that operate differently. Some only open for pets who wear a specific microchipped collar or tag, while other models have remote controls that enable you to unlock the door from across the house. Most of these models work when the electronic dog door receives a signal to open.
How do you install a doggie door?
Installing your pet door will vary in complexity, based on the specific model that you’ve chosen. Some sliding glass dog doors simply need to be placed on the sliding door’s track. Before you purchase or install any electronic dog door, it is important to measure your dog to make sure the dog door is big enough for him.
Use the included template according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, taping the template to where you want the door, at least 3 inches from the bottom of the door. Trace the template and note where any screws or other hardware will go. Pre-drill any screws if you’d like.
Once you’re sure about placement and have used the template to mark your opening, use a jigsaw to cut the opening in the door along the traced lines. Insert the dog door frame and ensure that it’s flush against the door. Use caulk around the frame to prevent air from coming through.
How do I measure for an electronic dog door?
There are two primary measurements that you need to be concerned with when it comes to electronic dog doors: the size of your pet and the size of the door. You’ll need to check your pet’s height from the ground and width from shoulder to shoulder to ensure that your pet will be able to pass through the door that you choose. You’ll also need to check the measurements of the dog door against where you plan to install it. You don’t want to buy an electronic dog door that won’t fit.
Can I install an electronic dog door in the wall?
Some electronic dog doors can be safely installed in walls, though not all of them can be. Walls are generally much thicker than doors are and may have wires or other building materials that you’d need to consider. You may want to check with a local contractor to see if there are permits required to install a dog door through a wall where you live.