Tuesday Topics #36 - Doggy Door?

turquoise blue curtain hanging in sliding glass doorway, with Cabana coming out the door underneathThis is my $4 version of a doggy door, using some bright turquoise blue poly mesh that I had in my fabric bin, with two cheapomatic tension rods to hold it in place. Is it ugly? Yes. Does it keep out flies? Not so much. I guess I won't be patenting my invention any time soon.

I've been thinking about investing in a REAL doggy door. The kind that installs next to a sliding patio door. They are quite expensive but would be a large improvement over the unsightly blue curtain. But I wonder if I should bother. After all, the blue curtain works okay in a pinch, and do I really want to give Cabana free reign to go in and out on a daily basis?

It would come in handy on days when I need to be gone for over 5-6 hours. However, Cabana is so used to doing her business in our presence that I'm not sure she realizes she has our permission to "go" when we're not there. (We've done some training sessions so she does know how to go in and out.) The few times when we've utilized the blue curtain, she hasn't even ventured outside, as far as I could tell.

On the plus side, Cabana doesn't dig, try to escape, or have other unsavory outdoor habits, so I'm not worried about her having free reign in the backyard. I do have some concerns about other animals coming into the house (mostly neighbor's cats), but we can lock the opening, especially at night, or on rainy days when I don't want Cabana tracking in mud.

So what do you think about doggy doors? Are they a gateway to freedom, both human and canine? Or an invitation to impending mayhem?

JackDaddy  – (November 2, 2010 at 12:58 PM)  

I can't imagine not having a doggy door. But our back yard is completely fenced in with an 8' fence running all the way around. I don't mind Jack going in and out whenever - it makes it a lot easier on me.

Coreena  – (November 2, 2010 at 1:02 PM)  

I was so excited when we moved into this house because of the dog door. To be honest, though, we hardly use it. The rain has started and Eva tracks in enough mud going out a couple times a day, much less in and out at her free will. It's also too cold to leave Rizzo out there too long. I'm sure I'll love the dog door next summer, depending on our next pup's age and behaviour, butfor now, it's always closed and the girls have to ask to go outside.

Ally and Eclipse  – (November 2, 2010 at 1:13 PM)  

I must say doggy doors are a saving grace around here! Teddy can easily "hold it" for 14 hours at a time if necessary and most days we have to force him to go out more than twice a day. Kira on the other hand can't "hold it" at all and so has to be crated at night or when we're gone for even the shortest amount of time. Same thing for Eclipse, he can hold it but it's hard on his kidneys so a dog door is necessary for both Kira and Eclipse. Although we don't have one installed right now we are going to be getting one soon. It'll be great for when we're gone and at night (no more waking up to let dogs out at 1 a.m.) but I think when I'm here during the day it'll be closed for various behavioural/management reasons :-D

Sierra Rose  – (November 2, 2010 at 1:46 PM)  

Hi!!! Great to see you at McInnis Park this morning! Hope we can get together again soon :)
We don't have a doggie door, but your blue curtain is great!!! We have a tall fence, and haven't seen kitties or other animals in the yard...but Sierra Rose does seem to be snaggling things a bit more these days...like our deck!
Keep us posted on what you decide :)

Sierra Rose :)

Raiser Erin  – (November 2, 2010 at 2:44 PM)  

I love my doggie door at home. I think if your dog is well behaved outside then by all means, let them have the freedom. My dog Arwen would be absolutely devistated if she couldn't go outside and sun bathe during the day. It all depends on the dog's maturity I suppose. With Freya I had to keep the doggie door closed because I couldn't knock her habit of cat poop eating so I wanted to be out there with her all the time to correct her if she started to eat cat poop. I didn't have to worry about Rocco so much. But it sounds like Cabana would do well with new found freedom.

Emily and Joel  – (November 2, 2010 at 3:13 PM)  

They do make doggie doors with a collar activated access. So as long as Cabana's the only one wearing the special collar attachment, she's the only animal to go in or out!
They really are worth it. And you'd never have to worry about having to go home early to let her out :)

Kari in WeHo  – (November 2, 2010 at 3:25 PM)  

With my dogs, a gateway for trouble!


Becky  – (November 2, 2010 at 8:09 PM)  

I LOVE our doggie door. It makes life so easy when we are home. That being said I didn't use it for the first while with Cricket until I understood her routine. She is like clockwork (how would it be :D) I am such a fan ... the weekend when we want to sleep in she can let herself out before breakfast. We have a small side yard that is totally fenced so she goes out - does business and generally comes back in.

Cassie and Dagan  – (November 3, 2010 at 10:09 PM)  

Since I don't like my dogs in the yard without me knowing and supervising, I don't feel like I am missing out living without a dog door. My parents have one. They used to have white carpet in front of the dog door too! They also have a fair number of other friends that come to visit - their own cats with mice or birds and possums mostly (yes, possumS a couple babies and one adult). :)

But, when I had a pet dog and worked full time, there was really no option but to use a dog door or ask my aging golden to hold it all day and hope for no problems. I had no critter visitors except flies. My girl liked to sit inside and stick her head out through the dog door :)

Mango  – (November 5, 2010 at 4:41 PM)  

We've never had a doggie door. I guess I never thought of one since with Mango it would be most of the door. Personally, I don't like the dogs outside when I am not on the property even with a fenced yard. That's just me. But if you are comfortable with her being out I think she is clever enough to figure out the dog door and it would be great fun for her.

Mango Momma

The Thundering Herd  – (November 7, 2010 at 5:02 AM)  

We do use a dog door - but with two caveats. The dog door leads outside only to a smallish run area - not the entire yard. That is less about fears of other humans than all of the wildlife in the area. That run is very securely fenced (8 foot fencing, one foot concrete filled trench, padlocked gates, right beside the house).

And going inside, the dog door leads only to the dog room - a brick floor sun room area that is heated in the winter (we do not have air conditioning anywhere because it only gets to 80 F max). Thus, if the dogs get muddy, no worries.

When I am home, they can come and go as they please.

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