As with every dog owner, we love to give our dogs the freedom they need by letting them into the yard and allowing them vital playtime. However, constantly having to open and close the flap can be tiresome, especially if your dog wants to go in and out frequently.
That’s where a dog flap opener comes in. This innovative device is designed to automatically open and close the dog flap, giving your dog the independence they crave while saving you time and effort.
Today, we’ll tell you how to choose a dog door flap with this motorized system, installation tips, and the benefits of this system.
What is a Dog Door?
Dog doors, also called doggy doors or dog flaps, work precisely like cat flaps or chicken doors. It’s a small opening in a door or wall that allows dogs (and sometimes other pets) to go in and out of a house or enclosed area without human assistance.
They offer convenience for the pet master and the pets. But the problem is, your pets are at absolute liberty to go in and come out. As a safety-conscious pet master, you know this is not safe. It’s an open invitation to roaming animals in the wild like coyotes, raccoons, or snakes.
This is why installing a dog door opener is important.
What’s the Dog Door Opener and How It Works
The dog flap or dog door opener is an automated system that opens and closes the door when the dedicated control is activated. It provides convenience to both the dog and its owner by eliminating the need for human intervention in letting the dog in and out.
Some components include an infrared motion sensor, implanted microchips in the dog’s body, and an actuator. This latches and releases the door flap when it receives the command to do so.
Once the dog is detected, the opener triggers the door to open, allowing the dog to pass through. In some advanced models with features like RFID collars or chips, unauthorized access is prevented. This also prevents unwanted animals from entering the house.
Advantages of a Motorized Dog Flap Opener
- Convenience for both the dog and owner.
- Freedom for pets to move in and out independently.
- The dog door opener helps with home insulation and saves energy when not in use.
- Selective entry thanks to microchip recognition or the collar sensors ensures security.
- Customizable and easy to control with an app system, an home automation Internet of Things (IoTs).
Features Every Dog Flap Opener Should Have
Now what should you look for when trying to get a dog flap opener? We think the motor drive system, sensor technologies, and control systems are good features to watch out for. These are perhaps the most important to consider when choosing a dog flap opener for installation.
1. Motor drive system
Various motor drive systems are used to power the flap opener. These include direct current motors, gear motors, servo motors, and actuators. Actuators are perhaps the best choice because they’re the most efficient and also affordable for this purpose.
For example, door openers with actuator systems are easily replaceable and installed. Both linear and rotary actuators are used in door flaps. It just depends on the mechanism design, space constraints, strength and force, precision and control needed, and the range of motion.
2. Sensor technology
When it comes to models that work with RFID chips or collars, the use of the dog flap is restricted to the dog alone. This offers more security and guarantees that only your dog uses the dog flap.
When they approach the door, the sensor is registered and the dog flap unlocks automatically.
However, your dog needs to be microchipped by the veterinarian for this. Once chipped, each chip has a so-called identification number, on which the dog flap can be programmed. When your dog approaches the dog flap, it registers the chip and opens automatically.
Today’s door opener models are compatible with a large number of RFID chips. But you still need to check the instructions or the product description if the electronic door flap will work well with your animal’s chip.
You should also check that the model is compatible with an RFID collar. Moreover, a collar is even already supplied with certain models so there is no need to get an additional one.
3. Remote Management
Remotely controlled dog flap openers are currently the most complete. They come with the possibility of controlling everything from an application.
These include adding or deleting registered animals, controlling the lock remotely (ideal in the event of a storm when you are not at home), programming exit or entry times, etc. To all this, we can also add notifications to warn when the animal comes in or goes out. Some models can be hooked up to the smart home automation system.
How to Use a Linear Actuator to Automate Your Dog Door
Installing simple models yourself is generally straightforward, particularly with wooden or fly-screen doors. However, if you have a glass door, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a specialist as attempting to saw through safety glass with a jigsaw is not recommended.
It is also worth noting that breaching the masonry can have an impact on the stability and insulation of the entire wall. Should you choose to proceed with the installation yourself, carefully follow the provided instructions and use the appropriate tools.
First, install the actuator and connect it to a power source, ensuring that all wiring and connections are secure. Test the actuator to ensure it opens and closes smoothly and adjust any settings or limits as necessary. Once the flap opener is in, train your pet on how to use the door. With a properly installed and functioning linear actuator, your dog door will provide convenience and peace of mind for both you and your furry friend.
Looking for more ways to automate your home, we have created a detailed video for you!