The 6 Best Dog Doors Australia: Tested & Evaluated 2023
Would you like to give your pet some more freedom? Maybe you are simply tired of getting up to open the door for the dog all the time?
Well, a pet door can be an easy solution. These old-school home entrances are designed for dogs and still provide an easy way for your dog to come and go as they please. But how do you find the best option for your dog and your home's needs?
Never fear; we've teamed up with an independent panel to test the best dog doors Australia has on offer. After months of research, and many, many doggy door escapades, we were able to compile this list of the very best. Today’s guide is here to help you find the best dog door for your house!
Quick Picks - The Top 3
Our Number 1 Pick -
PetSafe Staywell Original 2-Way Door
- Easy to install
- Good value for money
- Comes with a magnet that keeps the flap closed
- 2-way locking system
Runner Up -
PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor
- Increased safety (no unwanted intruders)
- Easy to set up and use
- Flexible functions
Third Choice -
Ideal Pet Products Air-Seal Pet Door
- Maximum energy efficiency
- Comes in 3 sizes, including extra large
- Easy to install
Australia's Best Doggy Doors Reviewed
Now for the fruits of our labour, our list of the best dog doors on the market. We've put dozens to the test, but our selection below are the ones that stood out from the pack. From small to large, from standard to fancy smart doors, these are the best doors for dogs available online in Australia:
What sets this product apart from the rest?
PetSafe is probably the biggest name in the world of pet doors. They offer a variety of options these days, including super heavy-duty doors and electronic smart doors. But they became popular with this simple dog flap that all of our researchers on our expert panel loved testing.
The Staywell Original 2-Way Door from PetSafe is a simple doggie door; but one that works quite well. At the same time, it comes at an affordable price; so you won’t feel like you’re throwing money down the drain.
The PetSafe Staywell Original 2-Way Door being tested by our independent expert team.
This door is reasonably easy to install and it can be inserted into any kind of full-sized door (wood, PVC, or metal). It can also be mounted on a thin wall. The largest version is suitable for dogs approximately up to 45 kg and it is almost 30 cm wide which is quite roomy. As a small breed owner, I love how there are also 2 smaller sizes in case your canine companion doesn’t need that much space.
This door from PetSafe differs a little bit from many other doors in that it doesn’t have a flexible flap. The flap is a solid piece of plastic, which is very different from our other options, like our number three choice. For some dogs, it can be harder to adjust to this type of door, but usually they do learn in the end.
The rigidity of the flap allows for PetSafe’s 2-way locking mechanism to work. I was able to choose what the door does myself. I was able to let my pets go inside and outside as they wish; lock the door completely; or allow passage only one way.
This electronic doggie door lets you give a key to your house to your pets - quite literally. This door uses radio-frequency technology which allows it to open only for your pets. If they are wearing the SmartKey on their collars, that is.
Here's what our panel of expert testers noted about using this dog door. The SmartKey is a small tag that comes with the door. All you need to do is attach it to your dog’s collar. When the dog comes close to the door, it will open automatically. Only one SmartKey is included with the door. However, it is possible to purchase additional keys separately and make the door work for up to 5 pets.
The PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor being tested by our independent expert team.
What our team really loved about this door is the flexibility it gives you. If you have multiple pets, you can control who gets to go out on their own and who doesn’t. Moreover, with the three modes available, this door can be adapted for any situation. It's easily more versatile than our mumber one choice in that sense.
You can have it completely locked, completely unlocked, or set to open only for pets who have the key. This is especially important for pet parents who are worried about safety and afraid of unwanted pests or strays getting through the door.
This pet door is made to be mounted on doors that are approximately 4-5 cm thick (most standard doors). In addition to this, it is possible to mount the PetSafe SmartDoor on a wall, with an extension.
This door from Ideal Pet is a good choice for anyone who has a dog or dogs who like to go in and out of the house frequently. Very frequently. We all know how annoying it can be.
Now, if you live somewhere with lots of wind or extreme temperatures outdoors (no matter if hot or cold), a regular doggie door is not going to cut it. Those doors with flexible flaps do look nice, but our research team has noted that they often don’t stop the air from going through.
Ideal Pet offers a solution to that problem. The flap on this door consists of 3 semi-transparent rectangles made of Lexan. These 3 panels are quite thick, and hollow inside. This has been done on purpose because it allows the flap to provide unmatched insulation while still being quite flexible for your dog's use.
The Ideal Pet Products Air-Seal Pet Door being tested by our independent expert team.
In addition, the Lexan blocks are lightweight enough for any dog to walk through the door easily, but heavy enough so that they always fall right back into place. In this way, air circulation is quickly stopped, thus saving energy and keeping the temperature inside your home as stable as possible. Unlike the first two options on our list thus far, the design does make this doggy door the noisiest.
This pet door from Ideal Pet was designed to be fitted into most standard doors and windows. It is available in 3 sizes. The largest one is 40 cm wide, which is suitable even for very large dogs.
Want your dog to be able to go in and out of the house, but don’t want to make any holes in your doors or walls? It could be that you simply prefer the dog to go out the patio door due to the spatial orientation of your house. Or you might be renting an apartment and not wanting to make any permanent alterations.
Whatever your situation, the PetSafe Sliding Glass Door Insert makes it possible to have a pet door inside a sliding glass door. All that without making any permanent alterations.
So how does this work? When I received mine, I soon noticed that you get a full-length insert that goes inside your glass door frame. The top 3 parts are tempered glass (for extra security) while the bottom part features the pet door.
All of this is mounted inside a strong aluminium frame. The insert has a spring-loaded mechanism at the top which allows it to fit most standard glass doors. It will adjust to heights from 195 to 205 cm. There are two ways to install the insert: with screws (more secure) or with adhesive strips (less stable but completely removable).
That all sounds nice, but what about the actual doggie door? The door is a classic pet door. It features a single flexible flap. The flab is thick and durable and there is a magnet that keeps it closed. The downside of this type of door is that it is not the best at protecting your home from the weather conditions outside, something I noticed almost immediately.
However, the door does come with a slide-in closing panel which you can add over the flap. You can do this when you want to stop your pet (or pets) from walking through, or when you need extra protection from the weather.
This smart door from Sure Petcare is one of the most advanced electronic pet doors you can find. We were amazed at some of the functions it offers, but let’s talk about the physical characteristics of the door first.
This pet door has a thick plastic frame. It can be mounted onto doors, windows, and even walls (although wall mounting requires an additional extension accessory). The flap itself is transparent, which is something that I really liked. The smart door allowed me to keep the flap locked and let it unlock automatically when my pet (or pets) approached the door.
The SureFlap Microchip Pet Door being tested by our independent expert team.
One great thing about this door is that special collar tags are not required. The door can be programmed to recognize your pet’s microchip. This functionality will work with multiple pets too. However, if your pet does not have a microchip, you can get a collar tag from Sure Petcare. Of course, it is also possible to lock the door completely when you don’t want your pet to leave the house.
Sure Petcare also makes a variety of smart solutions for dogs, but to get full control you need to buy their hub. The SureFlap pet door will work without the hub, but if you get the hub (sold separately) you get some additional functionalities.
Through the hub, it is possible to connect the door to a smartphone app. This will allow you to receive notifications when your pet goes through the door, set curfew times, and monitor your pet’s activity over time. Unlike the standard pet flap dog doors on this list, this smart dog door is more expensive. But techie pet parents may love it for all of these reasons.
This pet door from Ideal Pet is another standard pet flap and is much more reasonably priced than our number five option. It is sturdy, well-made, and easy to operate. It will let your pet through, and that’s mostly it - no bells and whistles. But do you need any?
This door comes in 2 sizes, but what makes it stand out is how big the largest version is. The opening on this one is 38 cm wide (any wider than that and you might as well just open your door). Moreover, the opening is exceptionally high - 50 cm. This should allow even the largest dogs to go through comfortably. While our team learned that it can be difficult to find doggie doors for large dogs, we quickly discovered that this is one of the few good options.
The frame on this door is made of aluminium which holds up well over time. The flap is semi-transparent and flexible since it is made of vinyl.
One downside of this door is that it is not the best for extreme weather. However, there is a slide-in insert, similar to that of our number four choice, that can help. The insert also effectively locks the door, so you can use it when you want to keep the dog inside or outside.
How I Choose the Best Dog Door?
If pet doors are new to you, as they were to some members of our research team, there are some things we're happy to share with you before you start shopping around.
There are a couple of different types of pet doors available, each one with their advantages and drawbacks. The right choice will depend on the climate, the design of your home, and the size of your pet, so there is no single answer as to what is best. However, the guide below should help you make the right choice.
Choosing the right size is the most important consideration when buying a pet door. If your pet can't get through comfortably, then what’s the point?
Luckily, measuring your dog for a door is not too difficult - here's how to do it:
All you need is a measuring tape. What you’ll want is to find out how high and how wide the door should be.
- Let’s start with the width. This step is quite simple - just measure the widest part of your dog. You can measure the widest part of the chest or the width between the shoulder blades. In any case, take that and add at least 10 cm; just in case.
- Now height. There is more flexibility as you can choose how high to place the door when installing it. However, there are still a couple of things to keep in mind. First of all, you’ll need to know exactly how tall your dog is.
To find this out, locate the tallest part of your dog’s back. Then measure the distance to the floor. Now, you’ll always want the highest point of the door opening to be a bit higher than that. For instance, my dog loves to run through flap doors, and if the top of the door is set too low, then it would be really easy for him pet to get injured.
In addition to this, you should take into account the part below the opening that your dog will need to step over. This part shouldn’t take up more than one third of your pet’s height in order for the passage to be comfortable.
When shopping for a pet door, our team notes that you should also pay attention to the fact that the dimensions of the frame, the size of the opening, and the size of the cutout you need to make can all be different. So, always make sure to check all 3.
Material, Design and Energy Efficiency
A pet door essentially creates an additional opening to your house that is going to be used frequently. If you are heating your home or using air conditioning, you’ll want the door to close well - airtight if possible. Otherwise, the pet door can create significant energy loss.
The most common pet doors are those with vinyl flaps. While a vinyl flap is easy for pets to get used to and doesn’t create a lot of noise, over time it can get warped and start letting air through even when the door is closed. If you want a weather-proof door, look for those with a double flap, magnetic closure systems, or some similar solution. We share many of these types of dog doors in our reviews below.
The Different Types of Dog Door Inserts
Standard Pet Doors
By standard pet doors, we mean the most common type. Those are the ones that you most commonly see - a simple opening with a flap installed into a door, a window, or the wall. These doors can have flexible flaps made of vinyl, or sometimes double flaps or rigid plastic flaps to keep the weather out. This is the most affordable option, and, in most cases, it works quite well.
Smart Pet Doors
Smart pet doors are a relatively new product on the pet market. They look just like any pet door, but they can stay locked, and then automatically unlock once your pet approaches the door. This adds an extra layer of security and keeps any unwanted animals out. Some smart doors require collar tags while others work with your dog’s existing microchip.
Related: Electronic Dog Doors Australia.
Sliding Door Dog Door
Drilling a hole in your door or wall might not be an option for everyone. Well, if you don’t want to do that but have a sliding glass door, there is a solution for you: a glass door insert with a pet door. These inserts simply go inside the frame of your existing glass door. Some of them don’t even require any permanent changes for installation which makes this solution perfect for renters.
My Final Verdict
What is the best doggie door? The answer will depend on your preferences in terms of different functions these doors offer, as well as where you want to install the door. When it comes to pet doors that go inside your actual door, window, or wall, our panel of experts think that the PetSafe Staywell Original 2-Way Door is your best choice.
If you want to try out new technologies and have a door that will only let your pet in - and no one else - then we think that the SureFlap Microchip Pet Door is a great choice.
Finally, if you prefer the doggie door to be placed inside a glass patio or balcony door, the PetSafe Sliding Glass Cat and Dog Door Insert will make life easier for you. We've tested them all and think this trio roundup will cover all of your bases.
If you have a backyard or any other kind of outdoor space where your canine companion can chill and play, a dog door is a great way to give your pet a bit more freedom (and yourself a bit of rest). If you are worried that you won’t be able to stop your dog from going outside, just make sure to get a lockable door (and most of them are lockable in some way).
Large dog doors are often big enough for a person to get through them. So, if you are concerned about a burglar trying to enter your house that way, you might be right. However, there are many ways to make a dog door safer. Sliding in inserts that lock the door from the inside are a good idea. Some pet doors also have various types of locks built in.
Some dogs automatically start barging through their newly built pet door, but others need more time (and maybe some help) to get used to it. If your dog is not showing any interest in going through the door, you might want to take the flap off and try to convince the dog to go through the hole. You can do this by standing on the other side and calling the dog. Once they do this successfully, offer a treat. After a couple of times, try the same thing but with the flap in place this time.