For a dog, there's almost no greater joy that being able to run outside to play or to use the bathroom. Unfortunately, for dog owners, this requires that they stop what they are doing to open the door every few minutes. One solution is to install a patio pet door into a door, French door, or wall to let the pooch go in and out at his own convenience. Standard dog doors have some disadvantages though, so more and more people are turning to a high tech electronic, automatic doggie door.

One common problem with a standard pet door is that they allow traffic to enter and exit indiscriminately. This can be a problem for pet owners who also have small children that can fit through the opening. By installing an automatic style doggie door, parents can avoid this. In an automatic pet door system, the pet wears a collar around its neck that has a computer chip in it that signals a sensor on the door to open it and let the dog out or in. Only with the electronic "key" can objects pass through the door. This feature is also great for security as the door is electronically locked at all times, preventing animals or people from entering from the outside. Electronic doggy doors are also great for families who have pets that they would like to wander freely and those whom they would like to keep inside at all times. Because of the electronic collar, only animals fitted with these collars can enter or exit the home.

Another problem with standard dog/pet doors is that they can be poorly sealed, resulting in loss of cool or heated air from the interior of the house, depending on the time of year. Electronically sealed doors provide a tight lock and will not be a source of leaks or drafts.

Training dogs to use pet or canine doors can be difficult at first. Dogs can be frightened by the new doors or not understand how to use them. One way that an owner can help to acclimate his dog to using the door is to place bowls of food and drinking water on one side of the door. Dogs are highly motivated by food, and will usually go through a patio pet door in order to get to it.

Pricing an automatic doggie door varies, but they usually cost several hundred dollars. Checking the internet or local pet stores for sale prices will help to get the best bargain for the buck.