Custom Dog Door Prevents Culinary Atrocities

Riley, an 8 lb pug, has more beauty than brains, and a palate as unrefined as crude oil. While we hate criticizing others’ interests and tastes, his penchant for eating cat poop needed to stop. After a thorough exploration of a variety of options, including cat food additives that make its excrement taste worse (HOW? WHY? Clearly taste wasn’t the issue!), automatic litter boxes that stow the secretions, and pet doors that authenticate access to the room with the litter box, [Science Buddies] eventually settled on a solution that was amenable to all members of the family.

The trick was in creating a door mechanism with a blacklist of sorts rather than a whitelist. As the cat didn’t like to push the door open itself, the solution needed to have the pet door open by default. A magnet on Riley’s collar would trip a sensor attached to an Arduino that would control servos to swing the door shut immediately if he attempted to access the defecated delights. Of course safety was a consideration with the door swinging in Riley’s face.

We’ve covered a few pet screeners, including one for the same purpose that used IR sensors (but a much bigger dog also named Riley), and a flock of solutions for chickens. We’ve also seen [Science Buddies] in previous posts, so they’re not on the tips line blacklist.

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