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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.

7 thoughts on “Which Pet Door Flap is Best: Transparent or Opaque?

  1. How can I buy a clear vinyl replacement flap for the freedom patio panel pet door. The size of the flap is 8 x 13… Can’t seem to get my cat to go through the opaque one

  2. I have two dogs and my one dog will not go through the dog door until I open the flap & she can see the other side. It’s frustrating & I wish they at least gave you a option on whether you want clear or opaque!!

    1. Thomas – Just as an FYI, we offer both clear options and our regular, insulated options. If a dog is having an issue, it’s typically one of smell (the airtight seal) rather than sight (clear vs. opaque). We can help with any issues you might be having, so please use the Contact Us page if you’d like to discuss!

  3. With a screwdriver, pop the magnet off the bottom of the frame. It will pop off easily. The flap swings more freely with a slight gap at the bottom. I had to do this for my stay cat friends.

  4. There’s so much wrong with this entire series of statements. For dog door flaps that are sitting inside of sliding glass doors, the opacity is irrelevant, except for the dog. PetSafe claims they no longer make clear flaps because people were complaining that outsiders can see inside your house… how ridiculous on a sliding glass door flap!

    My dog had a clear vinyl flap on his PetSafe sliding glass door doggie door for 17 years (replaced twice). I had to buy a replacement flap this month, and all that is available now is the dark, smoked frosted version. He won’t go through it no matter how hard I try to train him. He can’t see through it and sees it as a barrier.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment! Every dog is unique, so there are going to be some dogs like your old fella. However, as a rule, dogs can typically figure out a pet door regardless of the tint or color very quickly. We have tens of thousands of our insulated, opaque doors out in the world, and the dogs and cats using them are having no problems. We have introduced a clear flap for folks like you who need it, but we still tend to recommend the traditional, opaque one.

    2. I totally agree!! My dog knows where the door is but is afraid to go through it because he cant see whats on the other side! It absolutely is not irrelevant! Im trying to find a clear on too and its rediculous!

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