There's no doubt about it—Americans love their pets. In fact, 44% of households in the U.S. have at least one dog. Dog ownership is nothing new, and dates back to prehistoric times when early humans used canines to help hunt and protect.
Today, though, most of us have dogs because we love their companionship. But some people also want their pet to double as their alarm systems. While it's true that dogs are great at alerting us about certain things and can act as deterrents, the truth
is they don't really make the best home security systems.
Is your dog really a guard dog?
First, it's important to realize that a pet dog and a guard dog are actually two different things. Most family dogs, both big and small, will bark when they hear a noise or if someone is at the door, but oftentimes, that’s where the actual protection stops.
One news station put this theory to test by sending "fake intruders” into homes while the owners were both home and away to see if the dogs would protect their turf. To the dismay of the owners, there was very little guarding or protection involved—most of the dogs barked a few times, then went about their business; one dog even hid behind its owner when approached by the faux-intruder.
Trained guard dogs, on the other hand, are working dogs that are specifically trained to recognize threats and attack when their owner or property are in danger. It’s hard to say what any dog would do unless put in that situation, but it’s safe to say that a well-socialized family pet may have a hard time distinguishing between intruders and welcome visitors, like a house-sitter or family friend.
The reality is that most dogs aren't well suited to be guard dogs or the primary defender of your home.
Dogs vs. home security systems
Take a look at a few others ways your dog might not measure up to the best home security systems.
Dogs sleep; home security systems monitor 24/7
If your dog is like most dogs, he probably spends a good deal of time snoozing; the average dog sleeps between 12 and 14 hours a day (more if the dog is a puppy or senior). But when your dog is napping, who's watching the house?
An advanced home security system from Vivint Smart Home, on the other hand, never sleeps. Our system includes 24/7 professional monitoring, with monitoring specialists ready to respond in an emergency. If a burglar alarm goes off or a smoke detector sounds, specialists at our central monitoring station respond and make sure you're ok and alert the proper authorities if needed.
Sense what's happening all around the home
You're sleeping upstairs with your dog snuggled up next to you when someone tampers with your basement door and breaks in. Chances are your dog isn't going to notice that from two floors up—but door sensors from Vivint Smart Home will.
Instantly, your alarm will sound and a Vivint Smart Home monitoring specialist will contact you. You can also have sensors installed on your windows to detect any form of glass breaking as well.
Additionally, if you've ever dealt with a leaky toilet or washing machine, you know how quickly water can spread and how expensive that damage can be. With professional flood sensors, though, you'll receive a notification on your phone the instant water is detected so you can fix the problem right away. As cute as your four-legged friend is, bet he can't do that.
Protection from smoke and carbon monoxide dangers
A dog might alert you to the presence of unfamiliar humans, but can they alert you to threats like smoke and carbon monoxide? While some dogs can detect environmental dangers, they unfortunately are just as susceptible to the dangers of smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning as humans.
A Vivint Smart Home security system not only detects smoke and carbon monoxide, but our monitoring specialists can alert emergency personnel as well if you're not able to respond. This is safer for your family (pets included)!
Know what's happening at home with live video feeds
Have you ever wondered what's going on in your home while you're not there? You dog may be home all day, but short of strapping a camera to his collar, you won't be able to see live feeds of your home and family while you're away.
With home surveillance cameras like the Vivint Ping Camera, Vivint Doorbell Camera, and the Vivint Outdoor Camera, however, you can view live and recorded video feeds anytime to check in on your family, your pets, and your home no matter where you are right from the Vivint Smart Home app.
Ensure your front door is locked
Your kids lost their house key and can't get in after school. You leave for work and can't remember if you locked up. Your toddler locks you out when you step out to get the mail. If any of these things have happened to you, you already know how frustrating it can be. And although it would be nice if your dog could come to the rescue and unlock the front door for you, chances are pretty good that's not going to happen.
With a smart lock, however, you don't have to experience the anxiety that comes with being locked out of your own home or forgetting to lock up. you can lock or unlock your front door right from your smart home app, set rules to automatically lock your door after you leave the house, or secure your front door as you walk out with one-touch locking.
Leave the home security to the pros
When it comes to cuddles, companionship, and unconditional love, nothing compares to a dog. But when it comes to keeping your home and family safe, it's best to put your trust in the hands of experts. That way, Fido can focus on his most important job—being a loyal, lovable, 4-legged member of the family—and leave protecting the family to experienced and dependable pros.
Ready to upgrade your home security? Call us today at 800.646.1469 and one of our Smart Home Pros will help design a customized home security solution for your home.