Doggie Doors 101

Many people have asked about SHUG's policy on doggie doors and the answer is complicated, but here's the short version  . . .  They sound great in theory, but in real life? Not so much.


Here's the long version . . . Doggie doors sound like a wonderful solution for canine potty breaks while you’re at work. No more coming home to messes. No worries if you’re headed home later than usual. And you get to save money on that daily dog walker!


But like many things that sound great in theory, doggie doors come with some risks. At this point we've all heard about the issues related to kids going out and wild animals coming in. Just the thought of walking into your kitchen to find a raccoon sitting on the countertop eating items from your purse should be enough to dissuade just about anyone! But if it isn't, here are some other issues to consider.


A doggie door basically allows your Sighthound to be unsupervised in your yard. Do you have a Sighthound that likes to sunbathe more than is healthy for him? Let's face it, these dogs are beautiful but not necessarily brain surgeons. It sounds crazy but a dog can get overheated and get sunstroke while you’re not home. Or in the winter they’re outside in the cold without their coats getting chilled while stalking the squirrel and not paying attention to the temperature. They are our (furry) children, we need to protect them from themselves.


Even if your dog is smart enough to come in out of the rain, let's not forget the trouble they can get into in the yard on a perfect day. Impaled on a tree branch, tripping in a gopher hole, or nipping at each other completely in play--can all result in a major injury requiring immediate attention.


dogdoor2What if your dog is smart and never clumsy and completely perfect in every way? Well, do you have electricity? Has a meter reader ever left your gate open? Has a tree ever fallen on your fence? Things happen while you aren't home. And – don’t forget -- there are coyotes!


So what is SHUG’s stance on dog doors? We won't turn down your application because you have a dog door. But we will ask a lot of questions and you may not be able to adopt the dog you have your heart set on.


We know many of you successfully use doggie doors and have done for years, and you'll argue their benefits to the death--but SHUG feels the risks are far more important, especially for Sighthounds.


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2 thoughts on “Doggie Doors 101
  1. Quite apart from the safety issues… heat, possibility of theft of houndie, I just can’t imagine a door BIG enough to take a dog flap (what we call them in the UK)….. You’d have to take half the door out. Maybe they’re a different set up in the US…..

  2. I think it all depends on an individuals situation. I have no meters to read in my backyard and there are 2 locked gates you’d have to get through to get to the backyard. A lemon tree that is not going to fall over. No coyotes or raccoons, just the occasional squirrel doing a high wire act running between the telephone poles. My last greyhound was “smart enough” to know to come inside if he happened to be lounging in the backyard and it got too warm. It rarely if ever gets too cold during the day where I live. Of course he preferred the sofa, our bed or his numerous dog beds to laying out in the yard. So yeah, the doggie door worked out fine for me. If someone has a lot of the other risks mentioned above then maybe not. 😉