The types and benefits of electronic pet doors
An electronic pet door may seem like an extravagance to some, but there are several very good reasons for installing one in your home - convenience, safety, and security among them.
Benefits of Electronic Pet Doors
If you live in an area where stray pets, raccoons, and other pests are likely to treat your home like an all-you-can-eat buffet, then an electronic pet door may be the best way to make them dine elsewhere while still permitting your pets to go outdoors when they need to.
Electronic pet doors are very useful in homes with multiple pets that have different indoor/outdoor privileges. The electronic collar keys that "unlock" the door when the pet tries to get outside can be placed on the pets that have outdoor privileges, while for indoor cats and other pets, the electronic pet door will remain locked.
Families with young children who like to go exploring might also prefer to have a pet door that remains locked. Pet doors with flaps that both unlock and open/close electronically will enable older or disabled pets to get outside without difficulty.
Types of Electronic Pet Doors
The main types of collar keys used with electronic pet doors are infra-red, ultrasonic, and radio-frequency identification (RFID). The pet door itself requires a power source (either batteries or an AC adapter) in order to work with any of these three collar keys. RFID collar keys do not require batteries, but infra-red and ultrasonic collar keys do.
Some electronic pet doors lock in only one direction, while others control both entering and exiting. The best models feature four-way locking: in only, out only, locked in both directions, and open in both directions.
Alternatives to Electronic Pet Doors
Some pet owners choose to install a magnetic pet door rather than an electronic pet door. Magnetic pet doors work much like electronic pet doors, except that their collar keys contain a magnet rather than a transmitting device. Consequently, the door does not require electricity to open or close.
The term "automatic pet doors" is often used to refer to both electronic and magnetic models.