Review: SureFlap Microchip Pet Door
As a behavior consultant I routinely recommend that puppy owners use crate training and confinement to prevent puppy potty accidents as well as destructive behaviors like chewing. Of course, the owner must ensure that their pets have ample outdoor bathroom opportunities, too. A recent survey commissioned by SureFlap, the microchip pet door company, investigated how dogs’ exercise and toileting needs are accommodated. The survey found 72 per cent of owners questioned kept their dog indoors, and 48 per cent of those owners confined their dog to a room or crate, while they were out of the house.
While confinement can prevent destructive behavior, it may also lead to frustration and increased barking, says Jon Bowen, animal behavior consultant for the Royal Veterinary College. Since new sights, sounds and smells enrich your puppy’s life, more opportunity to go outside can improve puppy quality of life.
But work demands during the day can make outdoor access a challenge. Young puppies or senior citizen dogs don’t have the ability to “hold it” for long periods can require that owners get up several times during the night for bathroom calls outside. What’s a pet owner to do?
Pet doors can be one option. But a potential hazard of standard pet doors is that they offer access into your home for other pets—-or critters, like skunks. That’s a smelly skunk disaster waiting to happen! A “keyed” door that only allows access to YOUR puppy works better, but owners often complain about the pet losing a pricy collar tag that keys open the pet door. One of the latest options is a pet door that opens via your puppy’s microchip identification.
SureFlap has created a new version of its popular microchip operated Cat Door. The SureFlap Pet Door is designed especially for puppies and small dogs. The flap unlocks only when a resident pet’s microchip comes within scanning range, so the puppy doesn’t have to wear an additional tag on the collar or risk losing it. That means your pup can come and go for potty duty or playtime into the yard, but other animals are kept out. The reader-range has been increased to accommodate dogs, so that your pup’s microchip can be read whether he’s tiny with a flat face, or a short-in-stature adult pooch with a long nose-to-neck ratio. SureFlap says this ensures the product can detect pets approaching from any direction.
The SureFlap comes with an instruction manual detailing how to install the product in walls, doors, or windows. This product will be a boon to those with safe outdoor puppy enclosures, or as a way to manage access to specific areas of the home in a multiple pet household. For instance, a Sureflap installed into a closed interior door would allow your puppy to access a room with his special baby food, but keep other pets out.
A push-button allows the door to be programmed for the individual pet’s microchip as the puppy moves through the opening. The product can “learn” over 30 individual microchips. This could be particularly helpful for boarding kennels or shelter/rescue or foster establishments that deal with many animals.