How to Maintain Pet Door Flaps
Almost no pet door flap is going to last forever. Flaps are usually made of flexible vinyl, hard plastic or hard lexan. In some special cases you might have metal flaps as well. The follow information goes over on how to maintain your flaps so you get optimal use out of them.
Sizing & Placement of Pet Door
Possibly the biggest preventive measure is available to you as you are deciding to purchase the pet door initially. An incorrect size will cause undue wear of the flaps and cause them to need replacement much more often than flaps on a properly sized pet door.
Golden Rule When Sizing a Pet Door
Select a pet door that when installed will clear the shoulders of the tallest dog by 1.5 to 2". The bottom of the pet opening should be low enough to the ground to allow easy step over navigation, even as the dog ages.
If a pet door is too small, then the dog is likely to pinch the flaps at thee top when they use the door, this causes undue stress at that point on the flap, and will result in you replacing flaps with greater frequency.
Keep Flaps Clean
Clean the flaps regularly. If you're able too totally remove the flaps every few months and simply clean the flaps with warm soapy water and try them. This in turn let's you inspect the flap far more closely where you're able to make out possibly tears or cuts into the flap. The earlier you can detect this damage, the more prepare you will be on replacing the flap. The last thing you want is for the flap to rip out of the door and you have to wait several days to get a new flap.
Tighten flap Connection Screws
Check how secure the flap is regularly. At times preventing a flap from failing is as simply as making sure it's attached securely. If you have multiple pets or even a pet that uses the door aggressively sometimes screws can be become loose. This will cause the flap to shift in-between the frame of the pet door and the screw with repeated use. Then eventually because of this shifting the flap will simply rip out and fail near that loose screw or screws. A good guideline is to check the connection points of your dog door flap once a month.
Overall Performance Check
Most importantly, don't forget about the dog door. Generally just checking the condition of the door once a month will extend the life of it. That way you can detect damage early and decide on what course of action to take. If you neglect the door like anything else someone or a pet uses, it will eventually stop working.