It may seem like a good idea at first — like most terrible ideas do. But trust us — installing a pet door in or near your garage door is not only a bad plan — it can be quite tragic, in fact. You may think you’re killing two birds with one stone — providing a way for a cat or dog to come and go as they please without providing a house entrance to unwanted pests. But you may very easily kill your beloved pet. As garage door professionals, we’ve seen this sad story play out far too many times.
The Danger of Pet Doors in the Garage
Like the rest of us, animals are creatures of habit. When they go in and out of a pet door installed in a garage door, they expect that door to remain stationary — despite the fact that the garage door itself is installed with an automatic garage door opener. Their instinctual animal brains often overlook the dangers of a door being raised and lowered. They can easily — and tragically — get caught in the middle.
Even having the pet door near the garage door and not actually in the garage door can be problematic. If your pet is used to entering and leaving your home near the garage, they may be tempted to rush a closing door and be crushed. We’ve seen it happen.
Alternative Approaches to Pet Doors
It’s lovely you want to give your pet the freedom to come and go as they please. You don’t have to worry about cold weather in Roseville or Sacramento California, so why not? But it’s important to do so safely.
Traditional installation methods tend to work best. Doors installed in entryways are ideal. Swinging doors are safe and don’t let out the heat or air conditioned air.
The only downside is the door is still open to pests. You could place the pet door in a basement door or window so any pests who inadvertently enter cannot reach the rest of the home. You might also install the pet door in a laundry room, coat room, or enclosed porch area. This way your pet is safe from the weather but any pests cannot reach the interior of the home. You might also consider an digitally operated door that will only operate in the presence of a collar based sensor that can be worn by your pet.