When it comes to our furry friends, we consider them to be part of the family. We want them to be comfortable and feel at home in our houses. With that in mind, homeowners should consider the possible dangers of installing a dog door.
We’ve written about keeping our pets safe and secure around the pool, but installing a dog door brings a whole new set of issues to the surface. Read on as we explore some of these potential pitfalls.
Stay Positive: The Positives of Pet Doors
Before we jump in with negativity, let’s look at the benefits of installing a dog door. First of all, it’s very convenient. If you let your dog or cat roam freely between your backyard and home, a pet door can save you from a lifetime of constantly opening and closing the door. Additionally, contrary to many concerns, a properly installed pet door will not necessarily affect your heating bill. It should close and seal tightly enough that hot or cool air won’t escape your home.
Under the right circumstances, a pet door can give your furry pal full access to your property. Just be sure to install a mesh pool fence to help keep them away from the water.
The Downside: Unwanted Guests
Okay, so that’s the good news. Are you ready for the bad? If your pet can enter via this opening, what’s to stop neighborhood raccoons or possums from muscling their way into your home? It gets worse! Here’s a story from Inside Edition about an alligator that got into a house via a pet door!
So, this danger should be pretty self-explanatory. Some pet doors are specifically designed to keep out unwanted neighborhood pests, but any buyer will need to do their research. Just like pool fences, not all pet doors are created equally.
Installing a Dog Door Can Be Harmful to Kids
Wild animals can be scary, but for most parents, child safety is always the biggest nightmare. Sadly, installing a dog door can be a danger to small children. A crawling toddler is usually just about the size of a small dog. There are countless stories of children crawling out of the home and into trouble.
Of course, water safety is a top concern at Life Saver Pool Fence, but above all, we need to keep children out of harm’s way. Layers of protection are key. In the past, we’ve encouraged the addition of alarms and locks to your house doors. But most door alarms are designed to work when a door is opened. With a dog door, children have a perfectly accessible point of entry/exit, and it may never trigger an alarm. Parents should keep this danger in mind at all times.
Keeping Kids Safe
As with all of the topics we address on this blog, it pays to seek out education. According to the Safety Research and Strategies website, roughly 75 percent of all pet door incidents result in injury or death. One of the major culprits here is ignorance. Put simply, many parents just aren’t aware of the dangers associated with installing a dog door. A small 38-pound child can easily pass through the opening and into trouble.
More than anything, if you are installing a dog door, it’s important to use multiple safety precautions both inside and out of the house. Should your child make their way outside, you want to have levels of protection ready. If your child is in the pool, active supervision is critical at all times.
However, even when they aren’t in the pool, it is essential that you remain vigilant in keeping them safe from the water. Obviously, we recommend a pool fence in your yard. In addition, it is a smart idea to purchase a personal alarm, such as the Safety Turtle. This alarm is worn by the child and is designed to sound the moment it is submerged in liquid. Together, these are the best bets to ensure the safety of a curious child.