Guest contributor: Briley Kenney
Fellow animal lovers! Have you ever heard of the PetSafe smart door?
I know, I know. You’re probably thinking, “not another smart product we don’t need.” If that is what you happen to be thinking, you couldn’t be more wrong.
I’m willing to bet you could find a use for the PetSafe Smart Door in your home, just as I did for mine. What makes me say such a thing?
Allow me to explain.
What Is the PetSafe Smart Door?
My wife loves animals. She loves them so much, she’s the type of person that will go to the grocery store for milk and eggs and come back with a new pet. That’s why we have four dogs and a cat.
They keep each other company, and they’re pretty good for the most part. But occasionally they do what most pets do, and potty on the floor. More often than not, this is no fault of their own, but ours as their owners.
Most likely, we did not let them outside frequently enough to do their business. That’s an easy task to complete when we’re home, but when we’re away it’s a different story.
They spend their time in dog crates when we’re out of the home, except for the cat, she rules the house. She can actually open doors, how crazy is that?
Generally, they don’t spend long hours in their crates, because I work from home. If we go away for a vacation, my brother and sister in law – who live only a couple houses down - take care of the dogs. It’s a great setup, but I’ll be the first to admit, it could be better.
We would allow them free roam of the house – they’re well behaved – but as I said, when they don't have access to the outdoors, they do their business on the floor. More specifically, because I ripped out all the carpet and now have stained concrete floors, they like to go on various rugs. I end up playing hide-and-seek with poo when I get home.
We could always install a pet door, thus allowing the dogs to roam in and out of the house while we’re away. We do have a sturdy fence – we had it put in as soon as we bought the house so it’s fairly new – so they wouldn’t be able to wander off.
A doggie door would also ensure they can retreat inside if there’s inclement weather. I hate when I see animals left outside in the rain, so I wouldn’t want it for my little guys.
But there are a lot of strays in our neighborhood. There’s always the possibility that one of them – or another more unwelcome critter - could find their way into our home. I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of damage and chaos that would ensue.
Plus, our cat is an indoor cat. If we used a conventional pet door she would also be able to leave the house, which could spell disaster.
That’s where the PetSafe smart door comes into play.
It looks like any old pet door – and works like one too – with one exception: it cannot be opened without a special key. Without the key, the door simply will not open. It can withstand up to 100 pounds of pressure too.
That means I can attach the key to each dog’s collar and then provide them unfettered access to our backyard. Meanwhile, the cat won’t be able to leave because naturally, she won’t have a key.
What Else Can the PetSafe Smart Door Do?
This is a “smart” door, after all, so surely there must be more features?
Of course, there are!
You can program up to 20 keys per door. Hopefully, you don’t have that many pets, but hey, at least the designers are thinking ahead.
There are four separate options to select when it comes to access. The door can be set to allow in only, out only, in and out, and no access at all. There’s a programmable timer too which is easy to set. You can customize it to fit your preferences, and then it will do its thing – with nary a demand from you.
Finally, the manufacturer claims it is the most “energy efficient” door ever. This is primarily because the door is insulated well from the elements, and has its own rechargeable battery.
The PetSafe smart door starts at $269.99, and personally, I think it was worth the investment. Now, my dogs can go in and out of my house safely while we’re away, but my cat is stuck inside. [Insert evil laugh here] It is available through Amazon.com
No, but seriously, my cat is the evil one. Have you ever seen the Jurassic Park scene where the velociraptors figure out how to open doors? That’s my cat. Seriously. I had to put a special padlock on my front and garage doors just to keep her in.
About the author: Briley Kenney is a smart home guru who enjoys all things electronic. Currently he writes for Ideaing, sharing his gadget expertise with others.
(Thank you Briley for being a contributor and we look forward to more techie articles that help pet parents be the best they can be!)