If you're like many rural pet owners, your pets have free access to the outdoors on demand -- albeit often with preventive measures like microchipping and invisible fence collars. For those who want their pets to have instant access to shelter in inclement weather or potentially dangerous situations, an attached garage is the obvious answer. However, giving your pet access while keeping out potential intruders can sometimes be a tall order from one garage door, particularly when you're also trying to keep your garage a comfortable temperature for your pet on a year-round basis. Read on to learn more about how you can make a pet-accessible garage entry point secure from potential intruders and efficient in preventing heat transfer and intrusion from the elements.
How can you make your garage door accessible to your pet without allowing potential burglars inside?
If you have a medium or large dog, you may wonder whether you can construct a door that will allow your dog to comfortably crawl through without also allowing a teen or small adult to enter freely. Even if you don't keep many valuables inside your garage, an attached garage is an ideal entry point for a would-be burglar due to its ability to provide privacy and seclusion while the interior door is broken down or otherwise compromised. Installing a pet door in your garage for even a smaller pet could allow a would-be burglar to reach inside and unlock the exterior door relatively quickly.
One potential workaround to this problem is to install a motorized pet door that responds to an electronic sensor inside your pet's collar. This door will remain securely locked whenever your pet isn't near, and may even be equipped to sound an alarm when someone attempts to access it without the sensor. In addition to protecting from human intruders, this will also help prevent your garage from becoming a gathering place for raccoons, opossums, or other small wildlife. You'll need to occasionally recharge or replace the batteries in your pet's collar but should otherwise be able to enjoy this secure garage door with minimal maintenance.
Another option ideal for smaller pets is to install this indoor/outdoor pet door as far away from your garage doors as possible and to disengage the emergency release lever on your garage door. This will prevent a would-be burglar from using a long stick routed through the pet door to trigger the emergency release lever and open your garage door from the outside. By disengaging your release lever, you'll make it more difficult to open your garage door in the event of a power outage, but should otherwise improve home security. The combination of disengaging this lever and placing your pet door far enough away from your garage doors to prevent access should be all that is needed to keep your pet door secure.
How can you maintain an energy-efficient garage after installing a pet door?
Once you've made your pet door secure from burglars, you'll still want to insulate it to ensure that it's not the source of a draft that can lower (or raise) your garage's temperature and make it uncomfortable for your pet. In most cases, using thick rubber flaps or even recycled mouse pads over the interior of the pet door should help prevent air flow while still allowing your pet quick and comfortable access from the outside to the inside and vice versa. In other cases, you may want to install an insulating foam seal around the outside of your pet door to help ensure that it securely closes each time your pet passes through.
For more information on making your garage door accessible to your pet without compromising your home's security, check out a garage door company like American Eagle Garage Door Services.
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