Dog Flaps and Dog Doors

Is your pooch tired of being cooped up? Are you sick of constantly letting them out only to hear that scratching and whinging at the door seconds later? Like a frustrated toddler, dogs always want to be on the other side of any door that comes into view.

The easy way to give them their freedom and protect the finish of your door is to install a dog flap or dog door.

In, out, shake it all about

The advantages of fitting a dog door are endless. As well as allowing your dog some freedom, they're great for letting them flex their muscles while you're out and about. If a dog is enclosed, the temptation to simply sleep all day (depending on your mutt) can be too much.

If they can get in and out of the garden, they're far more likely to stay active when you're a bit too busy for walkies. Getting out in the fresh air is brilliant for tiring them out and giving them some stimulation.

The comparison to toddlers continues: if you keep a dog cooped up for too long, cabin fever sets in and they can start to push your buttons. Yet busy lives don't allow us to head out for long stomps as often as we'd like. The dog flap offers welcome reprieve from boredom and saves your sanity.

And not least of the benefits: it offers your pet a quick escape route in the event of an emergency.

The right size

Forgive us for stating the obvious here, but do bear in mind the size of your pup when shopping around for dog flaps. They come in a variety of sizes but many of them are intended for cats and similar-sized canine breeds. If your dog is a little on the, ahem, 'portly' side, you'll need to dig deep into the product specs before choosing a door.

Operation options

In terms of how they work, there's always the old faithful flexible flap. These are usually made of very durable material and have the benefit of being quite weather-proof. You can also choose a swing style door where the flap itself is made of a more rigid material.

When shopping for any kind of door, it's preferable to opt for a magnetic closing so that you don't lose heat from your house when it's cold outside.

Most dog flaps will feature magnetic closing and be lockable for when you're away. Make sure you check out the product's statistics for these features as they're desirable.

Price-wise

As with most accessories, there's a wide range of doors and prices on the market. But in order to ensure you're getting a good quality door, you'll probably need to spend between £30 and £40. There are more expensive options so if you feel like splashing out, go for it!

Fitting

Fitting your new dog flap is something you should probably leave to the professionals (unless you're a dab hand with DIY) and it won't cost too much. Most companies will supply you with a free quotation, so shop around to make sure you're getting the best deal.