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Do you want to let your pets in while keeping raccoons and other furry critters out? A traditional doggy door has some security flaws that might make you nervous. That’s where a smart doggy door comes in. Utilizing the latest and greatest of smart technology, a smart doggy door will let your pets come and go as they please—while locking out unwanted guests. Keep reading to find out if a smart doggy door is right for you.

Pet using a smart doggy door

What makes a doggy door smart?

Smart doggy doors grant your pets access to the outside world while blocking unwanted guests, like raccoons and squirrels, from entering. They can do this through one of two ways: with a vet-implanted microchip or a radio frequency identification (RFID) collar key. While traditional doggy doors can potentially let in wild or stray animals, a smart door has tighter security. As long as your pet is wearing their RFID collar or their microchip, the door will open for them as they come and go.

Along with being convenient, smart doggy doors are also safer than traditional doors and come with amazing bonus features, such as voice control and timers.

What features should you look for in a smart doggy door?

While smart doggy doors offer features that traditional doggy doors lack, it’s important to make sure it’s the right purchase for your furry family. The first step is to determine what exactly you’re looking for. If you live in an area with lots of stray animals, security is probably your top concern. But if you trust the neighborhood squirrels to stay away, you might be more concerned with timers and voice control.

White cat using a smart doggy door

Voice control

Most smart dog doors come with voice control features that let you open and lock the door with just the power of your voice. As an added bonus, many can also be linked to your smart home assistant. Connect your doggy door to Google Home or Alexa for seamless integration and even more control over your smart home hub.

App control

These days, there’s not much you can’t control from your smartphone. Your smart doggy door should have a corresponding app where you can monitor the technology remotely. Forget to lock the doggy door before you left? No worries—simply lock the door from the app. Does your pet need to use the bathroom while you’re out and about? You can unlock the door for them and lock it again once they’re back inside.

Security

The greatest security tool that smart doggy doors offer is automatic locking. This means that unless the smart technology can sense that your pet is trying to come inside or go out, the door will stay locked. If you want more control over this feature, you can use app control to lock or unlock the door as you wish.

Of course, you’ll also want to make sure that your home WiFi is secure from hackers and other cyber threats too. Secure WiFi provides automatic protection against online threats for all of the devices connected to your home WiFi network (including those without a display). It also gives you more control over the devices in your home.

Calico cat using a smart doggy door

Timers

Another great feature that you might want to look out for is timers. In the settings of your app, you should be able to make and adjust timers. If your pet always goes outside at a certain time, you can set the timer to unlock for them to go out and lock once they’re safely back inside. This can be a great tool for people with older pets that are used to a schedule.

If you’re interested in using timers for your own device, learn more about how you can automate your life.

SmartKey

Some smart doggy doors work by linking to a security chip implanted by your vet. While this can be a good option for some people, others may feel more comfortable using a SmartKey. This device works similarly to an Air Tag. You simply attach the SmartKey to your pet’s collar and you’re good to go. The door will lock and unlock as your pets come in and out of the radio-frequency range. The downside of this method is that if your pet loses the SmartKey, they lose access to the doggy door.

Sizes

It might seem obvious, but don’t forget to check the size of your smart doggy door before purchasing. Most smart doggy doors are built for small to medium dogs. So, unfortunately, your Saint Bernard may not be a good candidate for some doggy doors.

Woman playing with her pet dog

Power source

Some smart doggy doors are battery-operated, which can be inconvenient. It’s best to find an electric-powered doggy door that connects to your home WiFi. When it comes to adding smart pet technology to our home, it’s important to keep in mind the bandwidth of your internet services. If you have a lot of smart devices in your home already, consider upgrading your internet to fiber, which can reliably handle a lot of devices while maintaining high speeds.

CenturyLink® Simply Unlimited Internet is internet with unlimited data and straightforward pricing. This means no annual contract, no promotional rates that expire after a few months, no bundles, and no data overage charges. It’s simply reliable internet with unlimited data, so your family can use the internet as it is intended. It’s the internet you deserve.

More smart tech for pets

Smart pet technology can help our furry friends—and help us take care of them better. Want to keep an eye on your pets when you’re not home? Invest in a pet camera. Did your pet get out of the backyard? A smart tracker can help you find them again. A smart litterbox, like the Litter-Robot 3 Connect, can help you monitor your cat’s health while automatically cleaning up after them. To learn more about smart tech for pets, check out our article on gadgets for dogs and cats.

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Emily Richey is the Content Manager for the CenturyLink and Quantum Fiber blogs. A recent graduate of Pace University NYC, she's an avid reader and writer. She spends most of her free time in bookstores and cafes, seeking the perfect cup of coffee.