A Dog Door That Is Truly Ideal

Wanda inside mudroom next to new dog door

A Dog Door That Is Truly Ideal

Until recently, I thought all dog doors were pretty much the same. I’ve had dog doors in my houses for decades — I have moved quite a lot and am lucky enough to be able to choose a house and property based on its desirability to my dogs (only half kidding!). I always fence the property — even if it’s been a rental — so I can put in a dog door for them (in those cases, a removable door that doesn’t require a hole in the wall!).  My breed of choice for a long time has been to rescue big energetic Weimaraners, who appreciate the chance to go banging out a dog door at the slightest hint of a squirrel or the UPS truck.

There’s always been a problem with door doors in extreme climates. In very hot weather they allow the cool air to escape and the heat to come in. More distressingly, in the winter the door dog wouldn’t stay tightly shut and bitter wind found its way in. In addition, the construction of the doors was pretty flimsy — a light aluminum frame holding a rubber flap with screws. Each time I moved and bought a dog door, I’d actually buy two — knowing that the first one would not hold up for more than a year or two before the flap stopped closing properly or ripped out of the screws.

And then I stumbled on a door to end all dog doors: at a trade show in Orlando called Global Pet Expo, I was visiting a booth that had a cool electronic product called EyeAnimal — and there was Ideal Pet door, in the same space. I stared at the demo door because it looked so much better than anything I’d ever seen. It had a molded plastic fame and their cold weather door for super large dogs came with an inner door and an outer one, that fit together with the hole in the wall sandwiched between them. The way the flap moved and closed was so much smoother and tighter than the ordinary dog doors I’d been getting. It was called Ruff Weather pet door and it really did look as though it could withstand some serious weather!

I was so ridiculously enthusiastic about what seemed to be a superior design that the nice man in the booth said he’d send me a door to try. Lo and behold, he did! But it arrived in the middle of Vermont winter, when nobody in their right mind would tackle a deconstruction and insertion job. I’m embarrassed to say that it took until this summer to enlist help from my Significant Other to take out the mediocre dog door and see how “ideal” this new one really was.

Here’s what the removed dog door looked like — probably familiar to anyone who has had one.

Old Dog Door Propped In Corner

But take a look at the new door and compare the sturdy structure holding the flap…

dog door with packagin

And the fact that from the inside the mudroom Wanda can look out to see who or what is on the porch…


…but on the outside, nobody can see in!

Wanda outside dog doo

Thanks to this Ruff Weather Ideal pet door, I cannot wait for winter. Honestly. Can’t wait to laugh at those wintry winds!

—Tracie Hotchner

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