Skip

where to get a dog door with a timer?
December 4, 2010 12:02 PM   Subscribe

where can i buy a dog door with a timer OR how can i make one OR is there somewhere i can commission such a thing?

i recently started traveling a lot for work, and i am trying to make it as easy on my dogs (and me) as possible. i would like to set up a system where a dog door lets them come and go from the fenced yard during the day, but does not allow them to go out at night. either it would need to know they were inside (rfid?) and lock behind them, or it could just give them one-way access after a certain time of night, so once they came in they couldn't get back out.
i can't believe no one is making a dog door that does this, but i can't find one. it seems like it ought to be fairly simple to make something like this, but i don't know where to start, or how to find someone who would do it for me.
posted by dontmesswithseth to Pets & Animals (8 answers total)
 
Our dog door was either open or closed. We closed it with a small panel thing that slid over the flap. This isn't the answer you are looking for, but this sounds all sorts of complicated.

Can you pay a neighbor (a kid would love this job) to come to your house at night and slide the panel over the flap? And then come back in the morning to up it back up?

I think no one is making this kind of technology because no one expects you'll be leaving your dogs at home alone without supervision for this long. Paying a neighbor kid a couple of bucks to this (or, say, $10 or $15 a week to be on reserve to do this when you need it done) would probably be cheaper than commissioning this kind of technology.
posted by bluedaisy at 1:09 PM on December 4, 2010


Making the door only open one way at night would be easiest.

You could set up a solenoid on the outside that pushed a lock into place at a certain time of day and retraced that lock at some other time.

There are a few electronic kits you could buy that assemble into alarm clocks with a relay output. The ones I know of only have one alarm so you would need one to lock the door and one to unlock it.

You could hook these up to a bi-directional latching solenoid.

That could connect to some kind of linkage that moved a bolt into place.

Or you could get fancier and buy a micro-controller so that you could run the whole thing off of one brain and even have a checking circuit that made sure the door was actually closed before locking it.

This is something I could build for you, if you wanted to go that way.

How big are your dogs?
posted by keeo at 1:16 PM on December 4, 2010


Alan Graham's automatic chicken door might give you some ideas.
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:16 PM on December 4, 2010


Upon further consideration, you could buy one of those lamp timers that people use when they go on vacation, instead of the alarm clock kit. If you can get an A/C solenoid, the timer could run it directly, but you need a timer with two separately controlled outlets.
posted by keeo at 1:31 PM on December 4, 2010


I think no one is making this kind of technology because no one expects you'll be leaving your dogs at home alone without supervision for this long. Paying a neighbor kid a couple of bucks to this (or, say, $10 or $15 a week to be on reserve to do this when you need it done) would probably be cheaper than commissioning this kind of technology.

this.

said neighbor kid can also give your dogs food and fresh water, which they will also need while you're gone, and make sure they haven't destroyed anything or experienced any medical emergencies.

Your previous questions says you plan to be gone 4 days a week, every week. Thats a LOT of time for dogs to be without human companionship, entertainment, and a walk. Twice-daily visits and belly-rubs from a neighbor kid would probably also help stave off the inevitable loneliness-induced psychological scarring these dogs are likely to experience.
posted by juliapangolin at 2:53 PM on December 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


yeah, i am not planning on leaving them unattended for four days at a time, but i do know how frequently the neighbor kid (or whomever) has some kind of schedule conflict that keeps him from getting over to my house at the time the dogs want to go out/ eat/ etc. it's a lot easier for me to know they are being let out/ fed at consistent times, and that someone can go over there to hang out/ walk them/ stimulate them on a more flexible schedule. basically i want to use this as a backup to a plan that involves human care (if i have care arranged through sunday night and my flight is delayed until monday morning, for example)
posted by dontmesswithseth at 4:06 PM on December 4, 2010


A friend of mine has a chicken coop door that he uses to keep his dogs inside his garage from the time he leaves for work (dark o-clock) until, say, 10am - else his neighbors are driven up the wall by 7am barking. It is pretty much a normal dog door, but with a grating "portcullis" controlled by the timer.
posted by janell at 4:35 PM on December 4, 2010


The only currently manufactured door that allows you to designate in-only and in-or-out (4-way doors, in the vernacular, I think.) that I could find was the 'Power pet Automatic pet door' - Here's a review. If you take a look at the control panel, you'll notice that it has a pushbutton that turns the inside sensor on and off. When the LED is off, the sensor is too.
You could wire some type of clock-triggerable power (Wall timer? X-10 module?) to a set of relays so that it sets the sensor on or off depending on how the timer supplies power. Not totally sure on the wiring, but it's probably 3 or 4 reed switches from Radio shack, and could probably be mounted in the exsisting case. I'll work it out for you if you're interested.
posted by Orb2069 at 4:39 PM on December 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


« Older I want to listen to a good, pe...   |  Is there an app which allows m... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.


Post