Q. What are the advantages of installing a pet door in a wall?
A. You may have no other convenient locations for your pet door, in which case it is handy to know that the wall is an option.
A pet door in a wall can always accommodate a double flap version of the pet door you want if that is available. The double flap version will always insulate, seal, and stand up to wind better than a single flap version.
If you want to remove the pet door at some future date (say you sell the house and the buyer doesn’t want the pet door) and you’ve installed the pet door in a door, then you’ll be buying a whole new door which can be expensive. On the other hand, depending upon the type of construction, a pet door in a wall may be removed and the wall patched pretty inexpensively.
Q. What are the disadvantages of installing a pet door in a wall?
A. Installation through a wall can be dangerous! If you cut into electrical conduit or pipe you can be injured or even killed. We recommend a licensed contractor for this type of installation.
If the siding is practically anything other than stucco, it can be difficult or impossible to remove the pet door and patch the wall so that it looks “like new.” Brick siding, rock siding, wood or shingle and vinyl siding all present problems when removing a pet door from a wall.
The same consideration is true for the inside wall. Drywall is easy to patch, but wood paneling may not be. If the wall is thicker than about 8” (not very common but it happens) the selection of “self-framing” pet doors diminishes greatly. If the wall is thicker than 16” there are no “self-framing” options except for a few cat-sized pet doors.
Since wall studs are usually 16” on center, a pet door requiring a “rough cut” wider than 14 ½” will probably not fit between your existing studs. There are ways to solve this problem but, again, only a licensed contractor should attempt them.
Q. What does it mean to "frame out" a wall?
A. A wall installation pet door must always include a tunnel through the wall. The primary purpose of this tunnel is to ensure that water cannot penetrate into the interior of the wall-- a leak into a wall if not quickly discovered and repaired would have very serious and expensive consequences. As a secondary issue, the tunnel provides the pet with stable footing.
There are two ways to accomplish this tunnel. The first and easiest is to purchase a “self-framing” wall mount pet door. This type of pet door will be provided with its own tunnel which is typically adjusted by cutting to fit the depth of the wall in the case of the studerier wall mounts with aluminum tunnels. Or telescoping for some of the more economy style plastic models.
The second way is to frame the wall yourself (or have your contractor do it) typically using lumber to build a wood tunnel through the wall. In either case the tunnel is carefully caulked to ensure water-tightness and any wood used is sealed.
While framing yourself is probably going to involve more work and expense, it does have the advantage of allowing you to use virtually any pet door for your wall installation. That advantage is largely offset by the fact that there is a very good selection of “self-framing” wall through pet doors to choose from.
Q: What if my wall is thicker than 8"?
A: If the wall is thicker than 8", the selection of self-framing pet doors goes down. At this point, you can get a door mount and frame the door yourself to create a tunnel (using plywood, aluminum, etc.); if this is what you decide to do you must make sure you seal everything tightly. However, there are still several options with wider tunnels such as Hale, Plexidor and the cat doors with tunnels can be added together to make it as long as you want, like with the Cat-Mate 234 and 235 Wall and Framing Kit. If you are ever unsure on what to do for installation for wall mounts, please contact a licensed professional for help.
Hale Plexidor Cat-Mate Wall and Framing Kit
Q: What is the difference between a door mount and a wall mount?
A: Wall mounts must always have a tunnel through it for support and structural purpose, while a door mount does not. The hardware will also vary depending on the manufacturer and model, and also some will come as a complete unit with tunnel and hardware included like the Endura Flap for Walls. Where with others, like the Ideal Ruff Weather, you have to purchase the door mount and the additional wall kit.
Ideal Ruff Weather: Wall vs. Door Mount Endura Flap for Walls
Q: What if there is a ridge or shelf that is directly above where the dog door will be?
A: The ridge or shelf could get in the way of a top loading locking cover. Hale offers a side loading locking cover. Plexidor and Carlson offer a unique key locking mechanism that also would work perfectly.
Hale Plexidor Carlson
Q: Is it easy to install a wall mount?
A: There are many steps that must be taken to ensure that a wall mount is safe and secure so that internal wall damage doesn't occur and so that a safe tunnel can be built. For this reason, along with the framing that must take place, it is not easy to install a wall mount. We highly recommend you hire a licensed and insured professional. Cutting a power line or hitting a pipe with power tools could cause injury or even death.
Q: In a single flap wall mount, which side is the flap on?
A: Insulation wise, it is best to have double flaps for wall mounts, but if you live in a more moderate climate or the door will be under a covered area than the single would be a good option. Most will have the single flap on the inside and a trim frame to finish out the opening on the outside. As in the case of the Endura Flap or Plexidor. Hale is a bit different, as the single flap goes on the outside.
Q: Which side does the locking cover go on?
A: Typically, you want to put the locking cover on the inside of the house so outsiders cannot unlock it. Also, when there is bad weather you will not be forced to go outside to close off the dog door.
Q: Can I install a wall mount in a wall with siding? If so how would I do that?
A: Yes, you can install a wall mount into a wall with siding. There are several of ways to install the mount, and this depends upon your particular installation situation. Some customers choose to lay the door on top of the siding and other recess it into the siding for aesthetic reasons. The main thing would be to make sure that everything is properly sealed up.
Q: Do you have wall doors that are electronic? What are they?
A: Yes, we have several wall doggy doors that are electronic. Plexidor Electronic Dog Door, SureFlap Dual Scan Cat Door, High Tech's Power doggie door, PetSafe Smart Doggy Door and all Cat Mate and Dog Mate pet door models are manufactured electronic doors for walls.
Plexidor Electronic Dog Door SureFlap Dual Scan Cat Door High Tech's Power Doggie Door
PetSafe Smart Doggy Door
Q: Do you have wall entry cat doors? Which ones?
A: Yes, SureFlap offers the Microchip Cat Door and wall liner kit and the Dual-Scan Cat Door and Wall Liner kit, PetSafe offers a magnetic Cat Door and wall liner kit and Cat Mate offers a 234 or 235 cat door and wall framing kit. You could also try and frame the door out for yourself with a door mount.
Q: Do the large cat doors for walls have tunnel sections?
A: No, unfortunately the large cat doors do not have tunnel sections. This is one of those cases where you can still use the door, you just need to have your licensed installer build the tunnel and supply the proper hardware.
Q: What is a telescoping tunnel?
A: Telescoping tunnels fit in walls with varying thickness and don't require any cutting. They are made of separate plastic parts where one fits into the other allowing for the framing of a certain wall thickness range. PetSafe, High Tech and Ruff Weather doggie doors all have this tunnel type.
PetSafe High Tech Ruff Weather
Q: Do you have dog doors with aluminum tunnels?
A: Yes, Plexidor, Hale, Endura Flap and Carlson all offer tunnels made of aluminum. You’ll want to double check that the self-framing range will accommodate your wall thickness as they vary depending on the manufacturer you select.
Q: Why is the tunnel on the Plexidor Wall Mount sloped?
A: The tunnel on the Plexidor Wall Mount is sloped to encourage rainwater to flow toward the outside of the doggy door and not into your house.
Q: What tunnel sections do I need for a Cat Mate 235 door to put it through a 7" wall and how many?
A: The Cat Mate 234 or 235 Manual Cat Flap and Wall Framing Kit would work for the tunnel sections and you would need 3 to put it through a 7". In this case as the 235 would frame out 2” on its own and the 3 sections would give you an additional 6” and you just trim down the extra.
Below is a table that outlines the liner requirement based on the thickness of the wall you are installing the dog door in.
Q: What model tunnel sections do I need for a PetSafe 300 door to put it through a 5" wall, and how many tunnel sections will I need?
A: The PetSafe 310 Cat Flap Tunnel Sections would fit for the PetSafe 300 door. The PetSafe 300 is self-framing from 0" to 2 1/4" out of the box and tunnel extensions are available which may be added by the user to increase the maximum to any length. For your particular situation you would need 2 extra tunnel sections to put it through a 5" wall since each tunnel section is 1 7/8" wide.