Energy Efficient Dog Door

Winter is coming and I have four dogs and two cats. We installed a dog door to the outside some time ago, but it's a big air leak. Even though we replace the door every six months, it's only plastic with magnets on the edges, and doesn't always fall back into place. I've tried various solutions, but what I really need is a solid door that locks into place, or a door that opens and closes with a trigger. Automatic dog doors cost about $350.00 - $450.00, and require the dog wears a special collar. I'm not looking for security, I'm looking for energy efficiency. Can someone please help? I know there are lots of others in the same position.

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bretula5 years ago
I made one. No automatic opening and closing or special security system, but it seals damned tight and looks great.
http://bmog.blogspot.com/2011/12/homemade-magnetic-dog-flap-nirvana.html
I checked it out and I'm gonna try this. Looks great and your instructions were well written. Thanks!
I'm finding the magnetic strips are peeling up a bit as the summer heats up, and I had to glue them back down. You should probably let the rubber cement cure for a day or two with the flaps completely flat before you have the dog start flexing them. Or, use a better glue (I will next time).
mattyw21 (author) 7 years ago
 Actually, after much searching, I got a Pet Safe Extreme Weather dog door.  It actually has three heavy flaps,which virtually eliminates the problem of the door not quite seating properly occasionally.  However, with all flexible flap dog doors, there is the problem of it flapping open when the winds are heavy.  I had seen an automatic door that actually opens by a collar that the dog wears, then stays open long enough for the dog to go in (15 seconds I think), but it doesn't work reliably.  I think, given the time, that one of us clever people could create one that really did work all the time, then put a motion sensor on the inside and outside facing down that would let the dog in.

I really appreciate your input, though.
dalgar8 years ago
For an unbiased opinion on how to best meet your needs try doverprojects.blogspot.com
caitlinsdad8 years ago
Can you build a revolving door to go through? I guess you could train a dog to push its way out but it probably needs to be mechanized for a cat. Maybe install a lobby tunnel - two doors. The animal goes through one and then it leads to another. It would provide a wind break like in store entries. Good luck.