So, you’ve decided to install a pet door. Now, your dog or cat can be free to come in and out of the house for potty trips, exercise, exploring, playing, and sunny naps while you’re busy or away. You will now be free from stopping whatever you’re doing to go to the door every time your dog needs to go out or in. Now you’re preparing to install your new dog door. There are many considerations involved. Here are some tips for successful decisions and plans for your pet door installation.
11 Helpful Tips for Installing Your New Pet Door
These can help you be sure that installing your dog door goes smoothly and that the pet entry you install will function ideally for your dog and/or cat and you.
- Before you begin your installation, make it easier by ensuring that you have selected the pet door option that is actually best overall for your needs. For example, energy-efficient pet doors that feature two vinyl dog door flaps create an air space designed to minimize thermal transfer. Before you install, make sure you have the flap system you really need, and make an exchange if necessary before installing.
- For the easiest possible pet door installation, choose a dog door that does not need installation at all. Pet doors designed for “light installation” into sliding glass door tracks, such as our removable pet door insert. These fit directly into the track of the existing sliding glass door and can be easily removed later without the need for any restoration of the structure. This alternative works very well for renters.
- Pet doors designed to be installed in an exterior wall work well to direct your dog’s exit into a fenced yard, for example, but keep potential future issues in mind. For instance, it can be very difficult to find siding to match the exterior of your house if you later decide to remove the dog door and close up the wall. So, be sure you’re prepared for contingencies like selling your house, etc., with this type of pet door installation. Maybe you’d prefer to switch to a removable model if that’s a better option.
- Don’t assume that the pet door you purchased is the right size for your dog or cat. Double-check before you install it to ensure that it is not too small. It’s worth the time for checking, to avoid losing money and the time it took to install it. If your dog is still a puppy, keep in mind that, depending on the breed, the dog may soon grow to several multiples of its current size.
- A) Measure from the floor to the top of your pet’s shoulders, and then add 2 inches. B) Measure from the floor to the top of the elbow of your pet’s front leg. A + B = the rise (That’s the height your pet will need to lift his/her leg to go through the dog door). B – A = the height of the dog door opening from the floor. (That’s the vertical limit of the space your dog has to walk through the dog door opening.)
- Measure your pet across its widest body area. You can find the widest part by standing above the dog while he/she is standing and looking downward at him/her. Before you install the pet door, make sure the dog will fit comfortably when passing through it with a little extra room on the sides.
- If you have two or more pets that will be using the pet door, the door opening should be both tall and wide enough to accommodate the largest of your pets. The bottom of the opening (the rise) should be low enough to accommodate the shortest pet.
- Be very careful during DIY pet door installation to ensure that you will not saw or drill into electrical lines, water plumbing, gas pipes, sewage lines, or HVAC ducts! Check from the basement to see if any of these conduits are located in the wall where you want to cut the opening for your dog door.
- Keep at least 8 inches away from the right and left sides of doors, windows, and corners of the house to avoid cutting into structural supports that may have dense concentrations of wood, metal, or concrete building reinforcement material.
- Cut from the outside of the house to the inside to reduce the amount of construction dust and debris on the interior side of the opening you will create to install the pet door.
- If you’re not entirely sure that you can do a quality job, it may be better to leave it to an experienced professional installer. If it makes more sense to bring in a pro, contact the manufacturer or a licensed local contractor to avoid the risk of damaging your home’s structure. (Be sure to ask for a free, no-obligation estimate.)
For DIY Dog Door Installation Instructions
Use the manufacturer’s detailed installation instructions for the dog door type you have selected. For perspective, you can find different iterations of the instructions for most types, by searching, for example, “install pet door in glass door,” “install pet door in exterior door,” install dog door in wall,” and so on.
Pet Door Products Dog and Cat Doors
We manufacture the world’s best energy-efficient pet doors in a wide variety of designs, sizes, and colors to suit your needs and preferences for your pet and yourself.
For questions about pet door installation or to order your new dog door, call Pet Door Products at (801) 973-8000, or contact us right here on our website today!
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