I am blogging on behalf of BlogPaws Pet Blogger Network and Plexidor. I received compensation for my time from Plexidor for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine.
First off, I want to tell you that I was so excited when I saw this opportunity come through for pet bloggers. I met representatives of PlexiDor at BlogPaws this year and I felt like a lurker every time I was near their site, because I couldn’t help wanting to check out the doors.
This is an image of our old door…
I won’t mention the brand, because I have nothing but bad things to say about it, but if you spend any time at the pet store, then it’s the main brand there. This was our second doggy door, Our first one came with the house and needed to be replaced when our medium sized dogs (the vet’s estimate) became large dogs.
The door used to have a flap on it that barely hung on and my boyfriend would go out and track it down to jimmy it back into place whenever it went missing. Since adopting Blue, we’ve replaced the flap twice at about $17 a pop. We gave up when summer arrived and decided to get a couple of new flaps when the weather cooled down.
What sucks even more is that this door was a little too small for Rodrigo and Sydney – even with the weight loss from the raw food diet. We knew that a new door was in order so when the opportunity to review a Plexidor arose, I thought “my stalking paid off!”
We decided to install our own door (i.e. my manly man boyfriend doesn’t need no installer). As you can see, we have a garage full of tools…
Since we already had a hole in the door, the installation wasn’t that bad. We didn’t have all the right tools – giving Johan the excuse he needs (like he really needs one) to pick up a couple things this month.
Lots of drilling and sawing later, we had a nice new doggy door!
Dog Training with the PlexiDor
When we introduced the littermates to their first doggy door, Johan stood on one side with treats and called to them in a sign songy voice they loved. They were going through the door with no hesitation in under 15 minutes.
This time around, we showed Blue the door and it was like “yeah, I know, and?” It wasn’t that easy with the littermates.
Princess Pretty Paws knew how to get through the door, because she watched Blue over and over, but I made the mistake of opening them a little for her and she decided that this was the way she would be entering and exciting the house. That is until food was in my hand. She flew out that door. Then I said the words “is someone here? GO GET ‘EM SYDNEY!!!” and she was flying through the doors again.
Rodrigo was convinced that the doors would eat them. He went tearing out side and skidded to a stop, staring at the doors in confusion. No amount of coaxing, treats, or sweet talk would get him through the doggy door. I finally just had to open it for him and he gingerly stepped through.
Johan took over and had him through the doors in 5 minutes. Jeez. It was another week before Rodrigo would go through the doors without my help. Double-Jeez.
Hey Burglars! We Have a HUGE Doggy Door Now!!!!
In September 2011, we were burglarized. A couple of female (yeah, girls, I know!) meth addicts got in through our doggy door. My hips won’t go through that door, so I can’t imagine how small they were. We got are stuff back and I eventually got over the huge mess they made and the fact that their crime spree that morning resulted in an increase to home owner’s insurance for us and our neighbors.
The best memories I have of that day are…
Coming home to a property crawling with deputies (yayyyyyy) and the K9 unit; the mess those ladies left in our home, and the fact that the CSI officer was another deputy, not a red head guy wearing shades. Huh.
If those ladies could make it through our smaller door, they’ll just walk through this one.
A Deputy’s Thoughts on the PlexiDor
Johan can’t officially speak on the PlexiDor as a Snohomish County Deputy/Detective (let me repeat: this is NOT an endorsement by a county deputy), but he did take his years of experience in law enforcement to share that there is a risk of someone entering our home through the doggy door. There’s also a risk of them entering through a window or an unlocked door too. If someone is determined to get into our home, given enough time, they’ll find a way.
This is why we…
Have an alarm system; we use ADP security
Have good relationships with our neighbors; we watch out for each other
Have three dogs – although they wouldn’t hurt a fly (well, that little one might), most people aren’t going take a chance
Have a huge holly bush in front of the door to block the fact that there’s an entry way into our garage (straight to a locked door)
Don’t leave valuables out for people to spot when spying through our windows
Ordered a white PlexiDor that would blend in with the door
And the PlexiDor can be locked – tightly. One of the things that attracted me to the PlexiDor when I was at BlogPaws was the metal screen and lock & key. When we go on vacation (with the dogs), we can lock our doggy door.
Our former door has a plastic cover – push hard on it OR push gently and shift it up and it pops off. You can reach through and unlock the door. I do this all the time when I get locked out. Well, not anymore. We tested this thing like crazy and the house is locked up tight. The next step was to find a common home for the keys (you receive 2).
The Pros and Cons of the PlexiDor
The only con I can share is that it took Rodrigo longer to go through the door and he would only do it consistently for Johan. That’s not really PlexiDor’s fault.
Is the PlexiDor safe for dogs? The doors swing in and out, so we were worried that if Rodrigo peaked his head in and then immediately pulled out, he’d get stuck – didn’t happen. We tested it on ourselves, on a pillow, and I watched Rodrigo do it many many times. He never once got hurt or stuck.
The security panel is a nice touch and living in a rural area on a lot of land where strangers have easy access to our home without many witnesses, I love this feature. I also don’t feel at risk for another burglary; my boyfriend is happy with the new door so I’m happy too.
We can stop paying for replacement, plastic flaps that last 2-3 months. The PlexiDor comes with an unconditional 90 day satisfaction guarantee, a limited 5 year warrant and the recommended maintenance…
“three drops of 3-in-1 oil on the springs and pivot points annually” – I can do that!
And finally, I love the fact that having this pet door doesn’t mean that our house will need to use more propane to keep us warm in the winter. The PlexiDor is energy efficient and I’m going to pay attention to our energy bill this winter to see how efficient.
All in all, we’re happy with the new pet door; Rodrigo is coming along.