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Which Pet Door Flap is Best: Transparent or Opaque?

Common questions our customers ask us include: Why is your pet flap opaque? Why not a transparent pet flap like the other pet door manufacturers? Should my pet be able to see through the pet flap? Won’t light passing through the pet flap help my pet locate where the pet door is and see that is safe to go outdoors? Whether the pet flap is a dog door flap or a cat flap, ultimately you want your pet to interact with the pet door without any problems while providing you with peace of mind that what you install is safe and practical addition to your home.

Transparent pet door flaps are typically standard when shopping for a pet door. This pet door flap will allow light to pass through whether day or night. Considering there is no evidence that pets use their eyesight to locate the pet door, light passing through the pet door flap is not necessarily a benefit. Pet’s do however rely on the scent of the trail they leave coming and going through the pet door to locate it.

Pets are cautious by nature. Because pets rely mostly on their sense of smell and ears to anticipate danger, being able to see outdoors through the pet door flap will not help your pet. And there is no evidence that a pets eyes can focus through a transparent screen. A very common disadvantage is that when it is dark outside the light from inside your home acts as a beacon attracting unwanted animal visitors to your home, especially insects! Another disadvantage is the material transparent pet flaps are typically made of scratch easily which provides a place for bacteria to build up which can affect your pets health. This type of flap material is often very difficult to clean. The material used to make this type of flap also has a tendency to warp, crack, and fade from exposure to the sun and cold weather.

We use an opaque pet door flap for several reasons. We have determined there is no evidence that a transparent pet door flap is easier for your pet to locate and use. Our goal is do design a pet door flap that provides you and your pet with as many benefits as possible. A pet flap that doesn’t allow light to pass through will prevent the beacon scenario mentioned above from happening. In other words, our pet door flap doesn’t attract insects or unwanted animal visitors.

Another benefit our opaque flap offers is in the materials we use to create it. We hand sew marine grad canvas over a thermal rubber material. The thermal rubber provides many insulating benefits and its is extremely flexible and easy for your pet to use. This flap will not warp, crack, or fade and has been tested in temperatures ranging from -40 to 160 degrees F.

The canvas coating is scratch resistant which prevents an area for bacteria to build up. This canvas material is very easy to clean and disinfect. In reality, whether or not a pet door flap is transparent or opaque is of no importance to your pet. If pet safety, quality and thermal properties of the pet flap material, and preventing insect or animal infiltration, is important to you aFreedom Pet Pass pet door maybe what your looking for.

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“Snake Proof” your pet door, snakes will come through a pet door that doesn’t seal

Does your pet door seal airtight or are there any gaps that a snake can fit through? Pet doors are commonly overlooked access points for snakes, and must be sealed or removed to prevent snakes from entering your home. Outdoor and indoor/outdoor cats and some dogs capture and kill millions of frogs, lizards, snakes, and birds each year, and are often responsible for bringing snakes into homes – usually through pet doors!

This is an actual e-mail conversation with a customer. Please excuse the language. This is as authentic as it gets.

Customer – “So will these doors keep the heat out when it is 115 degrees outside?  Will your materials warp in the sun?  Will it lose color?  Will it keep them big bull diamond backs out of my living room?   What is to stop all them damn fiddle back spiders from rippin into my ass?  Is the door Star rated?

The pet door line looks very attractive. We are looking to get a fence put up in our yard for Simba “the dog” and one of your doors would work in our garage back door.”

Freedom Pet Pass – “Great to hear from you.  How funny!  Yes, we got your back and your butt covered!  It will keep the 115 degrees out, will not warp or lose color.  We recommend the new cedar door mount to keep the snakes and spiders out.  We are not yet energy star rated but are sold by energy star partners.   Energy star will not favor a single manufacturer for testing, there needs to be several pet door manufacturers that can produce a seal comparable to ours.”

Customer – “This is no joke.  I am out in Lawton, Oklahoma and I have been here now for 15 months.  One night I thought I had a snake in my apartment!  Did you know you can feel your heart beat in your face cheeks?”

Imagine finding out bugs, snakes, or other creepy things coming in though your pet door. I’m glad my pet door seals airtight. Invest in a pet door that seals and you will have the peace of mind knowing that snakes and bugs stay outside. Unless your pet brings them in. Look around to learn more about the best sealing pet door you can install into your home.

If you have a similar story to share please post to comments.

If you want to read more about how to “snake proof” your home read this interesting piece. Dealing With Snakes – Preventing Negative Encounters

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Worried about other animals using your dog door?

If you install a dog door with a clear plastic flap or install a dog door that leaks air, all of them do, there is a chance other animals may attempt to use your dog door. The chance of this happening is much higher if you live in a rural area. There is a solution to this problem. Install a dog door that seals airtight that offers a pet flap that is opaque, a pet flap that blocks light from passing.

  • Animals rely heavily on their sense of smell, therefore, if the dog door seals airtight the wild animals will not investigate the area. A pet flap that leaks even a small amount will attract animals to investigate.
  • During the night, some animals are drawn to light and a clear pet flap acts as a beacon attracting unwanted animal visitors to your home to investigate. An opaque pet flap that seals airtight keeps light from passing through and keeps animals from approaching.

There is only one dog door that seals airtight. The Freedom Pet Pass dog door. The Freedom Pet Pass energy efficient dog door offers and opaque pet flap that blocks light and radiant energy. This energy efficient dog door might be just what you are looking for if you are concerned about animals using your dog door.

Did you install a dog door that leaks and has an unwanted animal visitor entered your home?

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How do I train my dog to use my doggie door?

Training your dog to use a doggie door is simple. The most common method of training a dog to use a doggie door is really just a matter of showing the dog the dog door, then putting yourself on one side of the dog door and your dog on the other and enticing him through by calling him or holding a treat.

Of course, when he does come through, reward him with the treat and spend a few minutes petting and playing with him before repeating the exercise. Many dogs will catch on in just a few minutes. Others will take a day or two. For the slower learners, try coaxing him through the dog door from both inside and outside of the house. If he seem very confused, try propping the door open at first, then lower it when he seems to understand what it’s for. Keep the whole exercise positive, be sure not to push your dog through the dog door or otherwise turn it into an unpleasant experience, and eventually he’ll get the idea.

To read an article I published on wikihow about training your dog to use a dog door click here

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Will a drafty pet door that leaks air raise my energy bill this winter?

YES!! A drafty pet door that leaks air into or out of your home will raise your energy bill. Even more so if you live in a climate that has extreme hot or cold weather throughout the year. With cold weather right around the corner you might be looking for the best pet door for winter. Read this taken directly from the Energy Star website:

More than any other time of year, you notice your home’s air leaks in the winter. Most people call these air leaks “drafts.” You may feel these drafts around windows and doors and think these leaks are your major source of wasted energy. In most homes, however, the most significant air leaks are hidden in the attic and basement. These are the leaks that significantly raise your energy bill and make your house uncomfortable.

If your looking the best pet door for the winter months be certain to find one that seals and allows zero air infiltration. It is a fact that Freedom Pet Pass pet doors reduces air infiltration over 190% better than the competition and reduces thermal loses by 35%. An Energy Star home sealing engineer tested the Freedom Pet Pass against the worlds best selling pet door to find this out and more… read full report

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How do I install your energy efficient wall mount pet door?

There are many things to consider when explaining how to install a pet door. If I addressed this question like a window installer that was asked to frame a window into a wall I would need to know how the outside wall of your home was constructed, ie location and supporting wall stud configuration, the outside (vinyl siding, brick veneer)and inside (dry wall, lap plaster) building materials attached to the inside and outside of that wall.

Is the location clear of utilities (electric, plumbing, cable etc.). The size of the window or in this case pet door to be installed. Lets not forget the elevation difference between the inside floor and the outside ground level the pet would traverse or the depth of the wall and tools necessary to safely finish this project with.

Our medium wall mount can be framed into walls like a vinyl replacement window or exterior door with out having to add a header. Our large wall mount pet door with a outside frame width of 16 inches wide can be attached directly to the outside side of 16 inch on center standard wall studs, This would give a recessed look with the exterior (siding etc.).

If the wall studs are wider than 16 inch on center then once again our pet door can be framed in between the studs and trimmed off in the same fashion your existing windows and doors have been trimmed on both the interior and exterior sides of your wall.

We don’t offer an aluminum wall tunnel kit because they are energy inefficient and still need to be framed in. We do offer a versatile energy efficient Pet door product at a price when compared to other wall mount products gives you a monetary difference that can be applied to the cost of installation, leaving you with a custom built draft free pet door application.

If the first two paragraphs seem a bit overwhelming, to summarize your question it may be better to ask who should install rather than how to install a freedom pet pass wall mount pet door. The answer to the second question “what is the difference in the two doors available”, one wall mount is 1 inch thick and houses both our flap system and security door. The other wall mount is a 1/2 inch thick and houses only the draft free, wind resistant flap system.

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Will cats pass through your air tight pet flap?

Will cats pass through your pet flap? Yes, our pet flap sells regularly to cat owners who are now comfortably enjoying a draft free home.

Our product when originally introduced to the market with a magnet to magnet in line design provided a weather barrier that satisfied both an easy access for dogs and still handle the wind commonly associated with inclement weather. Since then I have found that by offsetting the bridge (the one way flexible magnetic jam) slightly lower, the amount of magnetic energy can be reduced to accommodate our feline friends.

The flap system still produces a draft proof seal for energy efficient homes located in climates that regularly create a difference in outdoor and indoor air presser. The trade off is the amount of wind the flap system is exposed to and the amount of magnetic energy the cat will push against to pass through. Watch this video to learn more.