Electronic Dog Doors Australia -
Best Automatic Doggy Doors
Tired of playing the doggy doorman? This can be a full-time job, especially if your pup is going through the potty-training stage.
An electronic dog door gives your pooch the ability to go in and out of the house without your assistance, but still under your control. But how do you choose the right one? We did the work for you, so all you have to do is read this guide!
We teamed up with veterinarians, doggy behaviour experts, and dog parents alike to form an independent panel of experts. We then researched and tested several dozen automatic dog doors. After months of testing and plenty of debate, we finally agreed on this list. In this article, we’ll review all the best automatic doggy doors Australia offers to help you make the optimal choice.
Quick Picks - The Top 3
Our Number 1 Pick -
PetSafe Electronic Smart Door
- Works with up to five pets
- Easy setup
- Three programmable modes
- Comes in two sizes
Runner Up -
SureFlap Microchip Pet Door
- Works with both microchips and RFID collar tags
- Remembers up to 32 pets
- Different modes available
- Three-year warranty
Third Choice -
Ideal Pet Products Electric Pet Door
- Four direction modes are available
- Optimal energy efficiency
- Practically unbreakable
What Is The Difference Between Manual And Electronic Pet Doors?
A smart pet door was invented as a response to undesirable visits by critters and stray animals through manual pet doors. It’s great that your pooch can go from the backyard to the house via their doggy door a hundred times a day, but you can’t control who enters.
Related: Best Doggy Doors Australia
An electronic pet door allows your dog to enter and leave the house but prevents anyone else from going through. This is possible thanks to tags that you can attach to your pup’s collar.
Alternatively, some models have a microchip reader that identifies your dog by the implanted microchip number. And as soon as your dog comes close to the door, it unlocks, allowing a safe passage.
What’s also great about electronic dog doors is that they automatically open as your dog physically gets in contact with them. With manual dog doors, a certain amount of physical force is required to move the flap and pass through. Our panel of experts note that for elderly or injured dogs, pushing the door open can be difficult, especially with those made of tougher materials. In that case, a smart dog door makes it much easier for these dogs to get inside or outside.
With a smart dog door installed, your pooch can safely go in and out even when you’re not home. Since the door always requires some kind of key to unlock, it’s not an easy way in for potential intruders.
How To Choose The Best Electronic Doggy Door?
You can find all kinds of models on the market that claim to be the best automatic dog door out there. But in reality, the best door is the door that suits your needs the most. And to figure out which model does that, here are the things our independent team of experts suggest you consider when buying a smart dog door.
This is the most important factor to keep in mind when choosing a doggy door. An electronic dog door might have tons of bells and whistles, but what good is it if your pooch can’t fit through?
Getting the right size isn’t guesswork given the fact that you can find out the actual dimensions of every smart dog door product before ordering. So the only thing that’s left for you to do is to measure the size of your dog to see which model fits the best.
First, you want to measure the dog’s height. To do this, I had my pooch stand up straight, then I found the tallest point of his back, which was between his shoulder plates. Then, all I had to do was measure the height from the floor up to that point (2).
Next, you need to know the width as well. A dog’s widest part is generally from shoulder to shoulder. But with chubby pooches like mine, that part could also be around the midsection. In any case, you can easily do a test run at home for this. Just open any door in your house to the intended width and call your Fido to pass through. This will let you know if the opening is too narrow for your dog to pass through or not.
Now that you have your pooch’s measurements, it’s time to add the step-over into the equation. If you’re mounting the sensor dog door onto your front doors, our team of experts quickly realised that it needs to be slightly elevated from the ground. But generally, you want it to be no lower than 7 centimetres, and no higher than the one third of your dog’s height.
Once you know the height of the step-over, I then measured how tall the dog door needs to be. You want the top of the door to be at least 3 centimetres above your dog’s back, so that there’s no need for bending over when going through the door.
Think you have the right dimensions? Replicate them on the cardboard and cut out the opening. See if your pooch can get through with ease. If you own more than one dog, measure them both and take whichever numbers are larger for both height and width.
Of course, the whole point behind the electric dog door is to only allow your pets to enter the house. But many models feature several control modes to choose from, including one-way access.
So for instance, the exit-only mode allows your dog to go outside, but not the other way around. This is a good way to prevent critters and stray animals from entering your home without notice. With the enter-only mode, you can leave dogs in the yard knowing they will go inside if the weather gets too hot.
Some models go even further, by allowing you to set up a curfew time. This means you can program the dog door to lock and unlock at a specified time of the day.
Electronic dog doors are powered either by batteries or by electricity, and both options have their advantages and disadvantages.
Our expert panel liked using battery-powered dog doors since it meant no cords laying around that your pooch can trip over or chew on. But on the other hand, this means you have to replace them when the battery gets depleted, and is yet another thing you have to keep track of. On the bright side, most electric dog doors will work for 6 to 12 months before they run out of batteries, which is a pretty long time.
Smart dog doors that run on AC power require a power outlet nearby. If you don’t have one, then you’ll have to use the extension cord, which is not practical nor aesthetically pleasing. But our team agrees that electricity-powered dog doors give you peace of mind, as you don’t have to keep track and buy batteries every few months.
Door Key Type
Electronic dog doors use different methods to identify your pet and grant the passage through. Most models use some kind of key that you can attach to your dog’s collar, including magnets, RFID chips and infrared signals. So as your pooch approaches the door, the key tag sends the signal and grants access.
Some smart dog doors use implanted microchips instead to identify your dog. When testing this method, I just had to program it with my pooch’s microchip number, and the door scanned and used that as a key instead. This meant my canine friend didn't have to wear a collar at home just to be able to go in and out.
However, there’s always a possibility of your dog’s microchip migrating down the back over time. If that happens, the door might not pick up the signal, thus remaining closed.
Number Of Dogs
Depending on the size of your pack, you might have to narrow down your list of potential electronic dog doors. Our research panel noticed that pretty much all models are compatible with more than one dog, but most only allow you to set them up to work with three to five different tags. On the other hand, some models that use microchip numbers as identification can remember up to 32 different doggies.
Best Electronic Dog Doors in 2023 Reviewed
And now for the real thing. Here are the best automatic dog door models you can buy online, reviewed in detail by our team of independent experts.
What sets this product apart from the rest?
This product by PetSafe is, without a doubt, the best electronic smart door you can find on the market. Equipped with tons of features, this model offers the perfect blend of convenience and technology you want in such a product.
As our independent expert team noted, this smart dog door works using the radio frequency identification system. It comes with a SmartKey, which is a tiny little tag device that you attach to your dog’s collar. As your pooch approaches the PetSafe door, the automated flap picks up the signal and opens to let them in or out.
The PetSafe Electronic Smart Door being tested by our independent expert team.
Without the SmartKey, the door doesn’t budge. This means no animal intruders can get inside your house unless you allow them to. While the door comes with a single SmartKey tag, you can purchase up to four more devices for your other pets. While entry for five pets is more than enough for most households, it sets it apart from our second choice, which allows entry for up to 32 pets. The tag is waterproof, so it will work even if your Fido was out in the yard during the rain.
We also love how the PetSafe smart door features three programmable modes: locked, unlocked and automatic. So depending on the time of the day or weather, you can control the outdoor access of your pets.
The installation is pretty simple. Designed to fit most standard doors, the PetSafe smart door is easily mounted with just a few screws around the frame. With an extension, you can also set it up on the wall.
Our independent expert team all agree that this model by SureFlap is probably the most high-tech smart pet door you can find. Instead of having to wear a collar key tag, my pooch was granted a pass through the door based on his implanted microchip.
What’s amazing about this pet door is that it can store up to 32 pets’ identities in memory. So basically, you could program it to allow entrance to all pets in the neighbourhood if you wanted to. In case your canine companion isn’t microchipped that’s not an issue either, as this product also includes a single RFID collar tag. If needed, more tags can be purchased additionally.
The SureFlap Microchip Pet Door being tested by our independent expert team.
SureFlap door gives you complete control over your dog’s entrance and exit. Aside from the standard mode, you can also set the door to only work in one direction. The out-only mode is especially handy as it prevents critters and other animals from getting inside your home. With a curfew mode, you can set the door to lock and unlock at specified times.
With a Sure Petcare hub (sold separately), you can control the door remotely through an app on your phone. Aside from changing the mode, the app also sends notifications whenever your dog enters and leaves your home and monitors long-term activity. This door is really only suitable for small dogs, which is why it is not our number one choice. After all, the PetSafe door comes in two sizes.
This model by Ideal Pet Products is proof that electric pet doors don’t have to cost an arm and leg, making it a great choice for budgeting households. For more than an affordable price, this smart dog door has all the necessary features of such a product.
This electric dog door uses radio frequency to operate, similar to our number one option. So as long as your pooch has the RFID tag attached to the collar, the door will open and close for your pet. The door can be set to operate in four different ways: locked, unlocked, in-only and out-only. This way, you can control when your pooch can and cannot go out.
The flap is made of Lexan, which is a virtually unbreakable material. So even if your canine companion decides to pound on the locked door viciously, there’s practically no way it will crack. While extremely sturdy, our independent team of experts agree that the Lexan flap is lightweight enough for pets of any size to easily walk through the door.
This door is designed to fit most standard doors. While it’s possible to install it on a thin wall, you’ll need an additional extension to mount it on a thicker wall. With dimensions of 18 cm x 22 cm, this product is suitable for dogs up to 15 kg, similar to our number two option.
When it comes to electronic dog doors, all members of our team of independent experts agree PetSafe holds a well-deserved first spot. This model features three programmable modes, comes in two different sizes and works with five different dogs. I especially loved how it’s also pretty easy to install on both doors and walls.
If you want a smart pet door that can be operated remotely, then we recommend the SureFlap Microchip dog door instead. This high-tech model has different modes, and you can switch between them through an app on your phone. And since it uses your dog’s microchip number as an ID, your pooch doesn’t have to wear a collar at home.
Don’t be surprised if your dog feels reluctant to pass through the smart dog door at first. But you can encourage the behaviour by standing on the other side of the door and recalling. Once your dog goes through the door, make sure to reward them for a successful task. Repeat this as many times as you feel it’s needed.
Compared to manual dog doors, electronic dog doors have additional features for extra security. First, the whole point behind this type of dog door is to only work when it connects to the nearby sensor your dog is wearing. Many models are also sensitive to motion, so they only unlock when your dog is actively approaching it. Finally, the door closes down as soon as your dog passes through it, leaving practically no time for any critter to sneak in.
Most electronic dog doors you can find nowadays are designed with simple installation in mind. This means that, with proper tools and a manual, most people can set them up by themselves. Ultimately, it’s up to you whether you prefer paying more for doing less work.
With that being said, installing electronic doggie doors on walls is more difficult than installing them on doors, as they require some tools not everyone has at home.
In most cases, smart dog doors are more energy-efficient than their manual counterparts. That’s mainly because they use solid materials as flaps. So as soon as your dog passes through, the automatic dog door closes almost immediately, letting very little heat escape.
- Buzhardt, V. “The Ins and Outs of Pet Doors with Microchip Sensors”. VCA Animal Hospitals. Retrieved October 23, 2023. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/the-ins-and-outs-of-pet-doors-with-microchip-sensors
- Corrigan, R. March 29, 2019. “How to Measure Dog Height”. WikiHow. Retrieved October 23, 2023. https://www.wikihow.pet/Measure-Dog-Height