Guest Post: How To Train Your Pet To Use a Pet Door - The Trupanion Blog
Underwritten by American Pet Insurance Company

Guest Post: How To Train Your Pet To Use a Pet Door

Alan Lethers is the owner of America’s Finest Pet Doors, an authority retailer of dog doors and cat doors for walls, windows, and residential entryways. America’s Finest Pet Doors’ standout innovation, the Endura Flap, has revolutionized modern pet door technology.

Installing a pet door in your home is a great way to let your pet travel freely through the indoors and outside. Once installed, it’s time to introduce your pet to their new door. However, a pet door may confuse or startle your pet, so make sure to follow these simple steps to properly train your furry friend.

  1. Remove the Cover. The first step in getting your cat or dog accustomed to their new pet door is to allow them to walk freely in and out of the designated door opening. If you have a pet door with a removable flap, completely disconnect the flap and leave the door fully open. For those that do not have removable flaps, make sure to tape the flap up so it will not intimidate or interfere with your pet. Gently coax your dog or cat through the opening with either toys or treats, until he or she gets used to the back and forth motion. Have patience! Some dogs or cats may be intimidated initially by the introduction of a pet door.
  2. Cloth Cover. Attach a small cloth or towel on the pet door opening, so that it acts in the same way as the flap. Continue coaxing your pet back and forth, and encourage them to ‘push through’ the towel. For pets that adapt quickly to the cloth, continue to step three. Otherwise, another interim flap (such as a soft piece of cardboard) may be introduced before re-attaching the flap.
  3. Re-Attach the Flap. At this point, gently hold open the flap so your pet can get used to pushing against a stronger material. Continue encouraging pets to go back and forth through the door while lowering the flap. It also may be beneficial to tape the magnet on the flap (if it secures magnetically) so that your pet does not have to use as much force initially to walk through the pet door. If you are using an electronic pet door, be aware that the noise could startle your pet. If possible, disable electronics at this stage so that he can become comfortable with the door. During this stage, limit training sessions to ten minutes so your pet does not become overwhelmed. Continue with short training sessions until your pet successfully can push open the secured flap.
  4. Reward. Congratulations! You have successfully taught your pet how to use their new door. Make sure to reward them with lots of praise or even a treat or two after they successfully complete their training. Happy pet door training!
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