How on earth did I ever live without a dog door? I can't even remember how many years it was that I wanted one in my home but I am sure glad we have one now. We got ours over four years ago now and I hate the thought of not having it. I remember feeling so bad if I was out just a bit longer at the store or a friends; feeling like I should rush home to let the dogs out. Adult dogs are fine to go 4-5 hours but of course there are times.
Every dog and human for that matter has times when holding it is not an option. If I came home and found messes in the house I'd never get mad; I always felt bad for my dogs. Just imagine having to go so bad but there is no way you are getting to the bathroom. Did you see the movie Bridesmaid? Specifically the scene where they are trying on dresses? Honestly, one of the funniest movies ever. Anyway it happens and when you gotta go, you gotta go.
We have a fabulous dog door; the kind that fits into a patio door so we can take it out and bring it with us when we move. No holes in the wall and it is so easy to fit into the door. When I got our door I had to consider that we have big and small dogs. The door had to be tall enough to accommodate the poodles and low enough for Jessie our Jack Russell. All of the dogs use it with ease and I don't have to stress if I'm out for longer than I had anticipated.
I have yet to teach Elsa about the door; I'm frankly amazed that she has not taught herself but she seems mystified by the adult dog's disappearance into the house. She watches intently as they go in and once they are gone she stares at the door and then charges off. Once I teach her how to use the door; my days of having her outside for a bit are gone. My kitchen looks out into the backyard; I have a full wall of windows so wherever she is out there I can see her. I'd have a lot more running around to do if she knew how to follow the big dogs into the house.
Of course when you have a dog door you need to be sure that your yard is secure. You must be sure that your dogs will not get into something that may be dangerous. That can mean anything if you have a chewer; I can't believe how many people have told me that their dog chewed up their entire sprinkler system. You Labrador owners know what I'm talking about. One of the great things about a dog door is that it can eliminate a great deal of anxiety and boredom. A dog may grow anxious in the yard but if they have the option to go in the house then the anxiety may lower.
Going in and out gives more options of what to do for the day. Typically dogs sleep while we are gone but if they are awake they can go out and in at will. Of course there is the chance that they may bring things in the house that you'd rather they left outside. Plants might be dragged in, lizards or other gross things that they may find to amuse themselves outdoors. My guys sleep and normally they are all in the exact same spot as I left them now; of course Elsa would be something different if she were left with free run of the house.
For now I'm not gone long, a couple of hours at the most. Elsa is a long way off from having free reign in the house so she will remain in the dark about the dog door until I feel that she and I need her to know about it. Of course that is unless she finds out on her own how the dogs are disappearing into the house. Otherwise it's on a need to know basis.