How to Train Your Cat or Dog to Use Pet Doors

Teach your fluffy friend how to use pet doors

Getting pet doors installed for your loving companion gives them the freedom to go out to explore and safely return home without your intervention. However, doors don’t come as second nature to your pet friend. You must patiently teach them the basics so that they can naturally use their brand-new pet door and enjoy it.

Pet Door Training

The initial step you want to do is introduce the pet door to your cat or dog by showing them how the flap opens and closes by pushing your hand through. Guide your pet through the door by standing on the opposite side and holding the flap completely open. Use a treat to lure them and give it to them as a reinforcement when they meet you on the other side. Allow your pet to get familiar with the dimensions of the space, the sound the flap makes and the weight of the materials.

Once you get your cat or dog to cross the hole a few times, begin lowering the pet door progressively. That way they can start figuring out the amount of force to apply on the flap. If getting your cat or dog to give their new pet door a chance, make it their only way out by not allowing them to use the regular door. That can raise the stakes and make your pet more motivated to learn. Just don’t forget that learning will be gradual, so don’t rush it.

Consistency and Patience

The primary determinant of success in training your cat or dog to use a pet door is you. Taking the feat seriously and dedicating the necessary time and effort to your pet’s education is the only way to achieve results. A Short 10-20 minute session daily is the best approach. Remember that practice makes perfect.

However, you don’t want to be overly demanding with your furry best friend. Establish a nurturing and relaxing environment so that your pet can feel comfortable adapting to the change. Being extra patient is key to keeping your pet relaxed enough to master the skill quickly and without unwanted anxiety.

Influencing Factors

The right pet door size can make all the difference in your pet door training success. Careless measurements can result in your pet getting stuck in the pet door hole. The experience of being trapped could be traumatic and stressful enough for your pet to prevent them from ever giving the door a chance again.  

The material also plays a role in your pet’s initial reaction. See-through flaps might be confusing at first. If you do have a clear flap, you could simplify the training process by marking the door using a dry erase marker, a sticker or coloured tape.

Learning a new skill takes time and effort for animals and humans alike. Investing time and effort will be worth it once your pet is independent and can comfortably move around the exterior and interior spaces.

If you are contemplating installing a pet door that looks good and is comfortable for your loved pet, call Jim’s Glass at 131 546 to learn more about our options.