Indoor/outdoor pet sensor with gate automation

Hi Folks,

I’m new here and I’m looking for a bit of advice/suggestions on solutions for a pet presence sensor. I know this has been roughly asked before but my use case is a little different and those suggestions aren’t fit for purpose. Bold items are where I’m stuck.

So to outline my use case;

  • Automatic sliding gate to open when returning home
  • Gate to be opened via person’s location sensor (backup - Siri via bluetooth helmet voice command)


  • Open gate 1m if person’s speed is walking pace
  • Open fully if driving speed
  • Only open gate if dogs are inside the house
  • If dogs are outside then feed this back to user arriving home

Reasons I’m stumped and previous suggestions don’t fit…

  • Our house is in suburban Ireland and as such it’s not on large plot
  • Due to our house being new it has great wi-fi blocking insulation
  • Can’t use cameras to check whilst driving (naughty) or on the bike (impossible)
  • While nice, a gps tracker for the dogs won’t be accurate enough for indoor/outdoor - the location could be a couple of feet in the difference.
  • how in god’s name could I get audio feedback to an iphone that’s locked in my pocket while on the bike?

So yeah, the only solution I can possibly imagine is a switch by the front door akin to a doctor’s office - the dogs are in/out - which I or my wife flip when we are in the garden with the kids/dogs. Perhaps a GPS tracker could be possible if the tracker shared the signal dB with HA - there would be a measureable drop between indoor / outdoor…?

Hopefully someone has ideas or a solution in place for this

Dave, owner of untrustworthy car chasing dogs.

I’m in the UK and provide full time care for my mother. This is relevant because I can monitor all of the environment via HA through a VPN connection using Ariela on my android. I’m not sure but the IOS App may provide the same functionality?

Basically and MQTT topic is dedicated to my device and then by way of automation TTS tells me verbally of the status.

So do you have a way of connecting to your phone whilst on your bike? Also when in your car?

It perhaps is a trivial matter to then BLE your dogs (I’m considering the same for mine).

As for outside wifi perhaps an external access point would help?

Just some ideas I’m putting out. Granted nothing specific but your question is quite broad too. No offense meant there.

Oh I know it’s broad, no offense at all!

My phone is connected while on the bike to a cardo bluetooth system that’s in the helmet so it’s audio feedback and Siri available.

When you say you monitor the environment, what are you monitoring?

Everything I automate. For example when someone opens the front door (irrespective of whom) automation .yaml

- id: '1541766423803'
  alias: Front door notification
  initial_state: 'on'
  - platform: state
    entity_id: binary_sensor.front_door
    to: 'on'
  - service: notify.pushbullet
      title: Notification
      message: Someone has opened the front door
  - service: notify.mycroft
      message: Someone has opened the front door.
  - service: mqtt.publish
      topic: homeassistant/tts/android_johns_phone_tts/tts
      payload: Someone has opened the front door
  - service: mqtt.publish
      topic: homeassistant/tts/android_nexus_9_tts/tts
      payload: Someone has opened the front door

So while connected by VPN (or I guess DuckDNS; but I like no holes) My phone gets the MQTT message and verbally tells me that the door has been opened.

This though is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Over the weekend I will look at how I can implement a BLE presence detection solution for my dog and post back the results of my findings here.

Does that help?

You’ve just pushed my brain in to action, with a little help from the Carlsberg I just opened…

I’ve been overthinking it - If my wife and I come to the agreement that if we are in the garden we leave the front door unlocked (Yale Conexis L1) I can just use Siri to query if the door is locked or not, HA can do the same!

I’m still looking forward to the BLE dog solution though, so please do share!

1 Like

That’s the spirit! its always what do I want to do — how do I get there? rather than; how do I get there – I want to do it this way!
Subtle but accurate. Look at what you want then work backwards. Often there are many ways to skin a deer (yes I know traditionally it’s a cat but I don’t eat cat… yet!).

I will share my findings on dog BLE it may take a while to develop as I am sure I will have to build the dog bits from scratch.

I have ble tags (tile in this case as I wanted to be able to use the tile function if they go walkabout) on my dogs collars, and have 5 esp32 devices around the house so I can tell roughly what room or part of the yard they are in. It’s surprisingly accurate.

Uses mqtt room component in HA, and the esp32-mqtt-room project