child proof comparison

7 Child-proof Pet (Dog & Cat) Doors – Must Read for Peace of Mind

As a new father, I quickly realized how many features in my house pose a risk to my children. Concerns about safety at home are enough to give you sleepless nights, which is why researching child-proof dog door or child-proof cat door products was on my to-do list as soon as my daughter’s crawling phase started. 

Crawling and walking infants are curious, so sooner or later they try going through gaps like dog doors. Luckily I found products as impressive as the High Tech Pet Power Pet Electronic Pet Door that won’t allow a pet or kid to exit unless he or she is carrying a chip. And now I can help you improve safety at home! 

my Picks for Best child-proof dog doors

my Picks for Best child-proof cat doors

Best child-proof dog doors reviewed

High Tech Pet Power Pet Electronic Pet Door

Power Pet Large Electronic Pet Door PX-2

Fit an MS-4 ultrasonic collar on your dog and with the help of technology and a motor-driven door, your dog door will only open when your four-legged friend comes near it. On the High Tech Pet Power Pet Electronic Pet Door, the door is bulletproof and sturdy so no chance of your child pushing it open or breaking it to get outside. 

Why to consider it

A deadbolt keeps the door in place, so even bigger toddlers won’t be able to open it. It’s a trustworthy barrier you can install in doors and even walls. This one is suitable for dogs up to 100lb.

Pros

  • Secure barrier
  • 2 sizes available
  • Battery or power cable operated

Cons

  • More expensive than some
  • Power cord can pose a safety issue
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Ideal Pet Products Designer Ruff Weather Alarm Alert Pet Door

Ideal Pet Products Designer Series Ruff Weather Alarm Alert Pet Door, Super Large 15' x 23.5' Flap Size

In the Ideal Pet Products Designer Ruff Weather Alarm Alert Pet Door you get a lock-out slide to prevent it from opening. Added to this is an alarm so if someone – your toddler – removes the slide, you’ll know about it. 

Why to consider it

The alarm helps you monitor the dog door. You can place the lock-out slide over the hole when your child is roaming the house and if he or she gets smart enough to remove it, the entire household will be informed. Your dogs may have to find their door locked at times, but it can give you peace of mind while you nap or finish dinner. 

Pros

  • Works for doors and walls with thickness up to 7”
  • Can completely lock when you need it to
  • Different sizes available

Cons

  • Wall kit sold separately
  • Extra expense of batteries for alarm
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Perfect Pet All-Weather Energy Efficient Dog Door

Perfect Pet The All-Weather Energy Efficient Dog Door, Extra Large, 9.75' x 17' Flap Size

The Perfect Pet All-Weather Energy Efficient Dog Door also gives you a cover to slide into place and make sure no pet or child gets through. You can use it for a door or purchase a wall kit. 

Why to consider it

This design comes in many sizes so you can buy one that’s small enough to only accommodate tiny dogs up to 2lb. Having a smaller gap goes a long way in preventing babies and toddlers from passing through. 

Pros

  • Many sizes available
  • Appropriate for walls
  • Offers good insulation
  • 1 year warranty
  • Can be used for dogs but also smaller animals like cats
  • Small units keep out critters like raccoons

Cons

  • Wall kit is an extra expense
  • No beneficial electronic features 
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PetSafe Most Energy Efficient Pet Door

PetSafe Extreme Weather Dog and Cat Door - Aluminum Frame Pet Door - Large

Any additional barrier in a dog door serves as one more challenge for your child to overcome before he or she can go outside. With the PetSafe Most Energy Efficient Pet Door there are 3 flaps your child will need to open and magnets keep them in place, which smaller kids may find difficult pulling away from the frame. 

Why to consider it

You can choose from multiple sizes and also whether you want a plastic or more durable aluminum model. This unit is easy to install, so ideal for DIY enthusiasts. With a sliding closing panel, you can completely lock it at times when you can’t keep an eye on your toddler. 

Pros

  • Easy installation
  • Sizes appropriate for dogs 12lb to 220lb
  • Multiple layers that kids need to open to get through
  • Slide in closing panel available
  • Works on all types of doors

Cons

  • Without closing panel children can still get through
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Best child-proof cat doors reviewed

PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor

PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor - Collar Activated Dog and Cat Door - Small to Large Pets

The PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor works for dogs and cats because you can get one small enough for smaller animals, reducing the risk of kids fitting through. This is an electronic system that will open when a SmartKey on your cat’s collar prompts it to. 

Why to consider it

It’s versatile since you can program it and easily lock it at times when you don’t even want your cat going through. You get a safe, locked barrier because the door won’t open for your child, since he or she isn’t wearing a SmartKey. You can program up to 5 SmartKeys, making it ideal for households with multiple pets. 

Pros

  • Battery operated
  • Program up to 5 SmartKeys
  • Locks securely
  • 2 sizes available

Cons

  • Still large enough for small kids to pass through
  • More expensive than some
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Depets Large Cat Door

Depets Large Cat Door (Outer Size 9.9' x 9.2'), 4 Way Locking Cat Flap Door for Interior Exterior Doors, Weatherproof Pet Doors for Cats & Doggie with Circumference  23', Suitable for Window & Wall

Get the Depets Large Cat Door and you can manage entry and exit to your house whether you’re there or not. The door has four different settings. For example, give your cat access to the house but lock it so your child can’t push the flap open from the inside.  

Why to consider it

While still allowing pets a 1-way entry point you can safely keep your child inside the home. Thanks to a brush strip the door won’t make a noise when falling back in place, so it won’t wake a sleeping baby! 

Pros

  • 4-way locking
  • DIY installation
  • Works for windows and walls

Cons

  • Eventually a child may figure out how the settings work
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PetSafe Exterior / Interior Cat Door

PetSafe Exterior / Interior Cat Door: Staywell Big Cat 4-Way Locking Pet Door Flap for Large Cats - Tinted Privacy Door - Weatherproof, Durable Door Frame - DIY Easy Install with Hardware Kit Included

The PetSafe Exterior / Interior Cat Door is similar to the unit above but a little more expensive. A 4-way locking unit allows you to choose whether you want to lock it completely, allow 2-way traffic or set it to a 1-way option so children’s movements are blocked. 

Why to consider it

The company has two sizes on offer so their ‘Regular Cat Door’ size that’s smaller is an even safer option than some pet doors. A tinted flap limits the view of the outside, so children may be less curious.

Pros

  • 4-way locking unit
  • 2 sizes available 
  • DIY installation

Cons

  • More expensive than similar models
  • Children can figure out how it works
View on Amazon

How to child-proof a pet (dog, cat) door

For dogs

With a dog door, the first step is to not go too big. Buy the smallest possible door that your dog will still fit through. You can also block access to the door with random objects or your child’s playpen.

The most effective way to child-proof a dog door setup is to install an electronic unit like the High Tech Pet Power Pet Electronic Pet Door which only gives access to your dog when it’s wearing a collar. 

For cats

Cats are nimble and easily jump onto surfaces like window sills or cabinets. Consider installing the cat door up high, rather than on the floor where a child can easily get to it. By using a model that you can install in a wall or window, you can position it almost anywhere in the house. 

Remember that pet doors aren’t the only pet feature you need to babyproof. Read my article on baby-proof dog bowls for handy tips on preventing unnecessary accidents. 

Features to consider when looking for a child-proof dog or cat door

Size

Your pet door must be big enough for your dog or cat to fit through but always pick the smallest possible one. The smaller it is, the less chance there is of a child fitting through. 

Location

Rather install your pet door in a place your child is less likely to notice it. This could be in the basement or the back door if you usually spend time in the front of the house.

Some pet doors you can even install in the wall, so make sure you buy one that’s appropriate for the place you’ll use it. Certain ones only work on thin doors while others are designed for wider installations. 

Features

For your child’s safety, it’s worth paying a little more to have high-tech features like an electronic system that opens the flap only if a microchip is in the vicinity. Since your child won’t have such a chip he or she won’t be able to go through the door. 

Features like an alarm that warns when it’s tampered with are also helpful to help you know what’s going on elsewhere in the house. Even a feature as simple as tinted doors can help, because it will block some of the details on the other side of the door. If your child notices less through the closed partition and is less curious, there’s less chance of him or her wanting to go and explore. 

Installation

The door will only be efficient if it’s installed correctly. Check the installation guidelines and find an easy option if you’re going to attempt a DIY project or don’t have the budget to pay an expert to assist. You don’t want faulty workmanship endangering your child. 

Another home aspect you may have sleepless nights about is house plants because anything can be a choking hazard and eating certain plants may even spark allergic reactions. For some insight on baby-proofing your house plants, read my tips on the subject.  

How do baby gates help you in child proofing a pet door?

With a new baby in the house, it may be necessary to rethink your routines and habits. Baby proofing a pet door could mean keeping your child away from the door completely, especially if the gap is large enough for bigger dogs and small children. In this case, adding a baby gate to block access to the room with the pet door can give you peace of mind. However, then your pets that enter through the gap will only have access to certain areas of the house unless they’re big enough to jump over the baby gate. 

I also found this video showing an alternative to baby gates. 

With a Door Buddy limiting how wide a door can open, you can effectively block children and larger animals from entering certain spaces. 

You can also consider baby gates that contain pet doors, such as the Carlson Extra Wide Walk Through Pet Gate with Small Pet Door to control your child’s movements. Your pets can still roam free, and as long as the door is for tiny animals only and too small for a child to fit through, your doggy door will be baby-safe. You can place this at the nursery door or as a barrier between the lounge or kitchen where you installed a pet door. 

And to keep even the nursery itself safe, I suggest my article on crib mobiles as well as some ideas I share about keeping drawers safe

Conclusion

With children, you can never be too careful, so it’s best that all animal-loving parents consider this topic and do something before it’s too late. And apart from keeping your baby safe, with products like High Tech Pet Power Pet Electronic Pet Door or PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor you even effectively protect your house from other critters you don’t want inside the home. 

So, with which product will you give yourself a bit more peace of mind at night?

Last update on 2022-01-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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