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Pet Doors For In a Screen

Pet Doors to Install In Window Screens, Sliding Screens, Screen Doors & Porch Screen Enclosures

Most of the dog doors and cat doors offered in this section are designed for installation through a screen. Could be a window screen, sliding screen door or the screen in a screened in porch. The other type is the 'instant' or 'hanging' screen door which may be installed in any doorway whether regular door, sliding door or French door.

For the through screen approach you have two major choices:

Read FAQ's about Pet Doors for In a Screen

Read more about Pet Doors for In a Screen below >>

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There are several pet doors on the market that install directly through the screen and rely upon the screen itself for support on all four sides. These come in a variety of sizes and are most suitable for smaller and less active pets like cats though some may be sized for large dogs.

For larger or more active pets we recommend something more sturdy. Choose a brand that allows the pet door frame to be fastened to the screen frame with sheet metal screws down one side and across the bottom.  Then the screen is re-splined to a special groove in the other two sides.

Important note regarding the snap-in style:  We've gotten some complaints from people with heavy wire screening that they can't install them because the screen is too stiff to force into the groove provided by the pet door. If you have that type of screening, we'd suggest getting the “Sturdy Mount” types. Also, we worry about the very, very light fiberglass screening. It may not be strong enough to support the snap-in types even with gentle use.


Q: What are the different types of through-screen installations?

A: There are two approaches to installing a pet door through a screen:

  • Some pet doors are designed to clamp onto the screen itself. These are very simple to install requiring only a sharp knife, a flat surface (like the kitchen floor) and a hammer. Also they are quite inexpensive.
  • Others are designed to fasten with sheet metal screws onto the screen framing in a lower corner. These require more expertise to install (you might even want to have a screen shop do this for you) and cost significantly more. However, they are also much sturdier and come in a wider variety of sizes.
  • Note that the hanging screens for a doorway are covered in this section as well.

Q: Does the type of screen that I have matter?

A: If you intend to use the type that fastens to the screen framing then the screen type doesn't matter. However, if you have light-weight fiberglass screen, then the clamp-on type may not have enough support. Metal screen would be much better.

Q: What are the advantages and disadvantages of installing a pet door in a screen?

A: Advantages

  • Cost. Particularly the clamp-on style are very inexpensive and easily installed.
  • If you have nowhere else to put your pet door then it's nice to know that you can use a pet door through the screen of a window, door or porch.


  • Obviously, you let the weather in with the pet. This might not matter for a screened-in porch but it could be very undesirable for a living area during bad weather.
  • If you lock the pet in or out you may find that the pet scratches the screen in frustration trying to use the pet door.
  • With the clamp-on style the pet door is not nearly so well supported as is the frame mount style. Hopefully, you have a sedate pet. If you don't, then an active dog may take the pet door out into the back yard as he goes through even though the pet door may be large enough for the dog. It's cheaper in the long run to be sure the door you choose is sturdy enough for the pet.

Q: Will the screen in the pet door match my screen?

A: Some screen mount pet doors come with their own screening and are not likely to match your screen exactly. Others allow you to use the screen that you cut out in the flap are, so, are a perfect match.

Q: What if my screen is already torn out by my pet?

A: The clamp-on type is unlikely to work because you won't have screen to clamp onto on two sides. You'll need to go to the screen shop for re-screening, then install the pet door. If you're planning to use the type that fastens to the screen frame then, so long as the pet door frame is larger than the torn out portion you'll very likely to be able to do the install with the screen "as is". This, of course, implies that you have the skill to re-spline the screen to the pet door--a job that isn't particularly easy. You might need to make a trip to the screen shop anyway just to make sure you get a good result.

Q: I'm getting the sturdy type that fastens to the screen framing. Does the thickness of the screen framing matter?

A: Yes it does when ordering a door such as the Hale Screen Mount. This type of pet door expects the screen frame to be no thicker than 1/2". If your frame is thinner, no worries unless it's thinner than 3/8". Then it might not be strong enough to support a larger dog door. If it is thicker than 1/2", then the pet door frame must be modified. We indicate if the manufacturer will do this for you or you may do-it-yourself with a table saw and metal-cutting blade.

Q: How do you install a dog door in a screen?

A: There are a couple different methods you can use for this particular installation. Some dog doors go directly through the screen material, not having to be screwed into the framing. This makes it a very simple install and less expensive, but it’s less sturdy it you have larger or active dogs.  Also there isn’t a huge range of flap sizes to choose from.  Screen installations like the Gateway and PetSafe models tend to work best with cats and small mellow dogs.   With the Hale and Pride screen mounts you attach them to the frame on two sides, making them much more durable, and with the large range of flap sizes are much easier to comfortably fit to your dog or cat. These require more expertise to install (you might want to have a screen shop do this for you) and cost quite a bit more.     

Q: Does it matter what type of screen I have for my dog door?

A: When it comes to installing screen dog doors, your type of screen will determine what door is best suitable for your needs. If you intend on using the type of screen that clamps on the existing screen framing, then the screen type does not matter. However if you have a light-weight fiberglass screen, then the clamp-on type may not have enough support. A metal screen in this case would be much better. If you have a thicker screen on your door, you may want to avoid the doors that clamp on to the screen, as the screen may be too thick and the door won't be able to attach.

Q: What is the most secure pet door for screens?

A: The Hale Pet Door for Screens and the Pride Pet Door are the most secure pet doors for screens. Keep in mind that the most secure screens are metal screens.

Q: What are the advantages of installing a screen door with a dog door?

A: The advantages of installing a screen pet door are that they are convenient, easily installed and usually inexpensive. If you have nowhere else to place your door, a screen door is always a great option in a screen of a window, door, or porch.

Q: What are the potential problems of installing a screen dog door?

A: The most obvious problem with pet screen doors is that they are not weather-proof and weather may be coming into your home along with your pet. If you have a screen door on your porch, that may not matter, but water get inside your home if you have a screen door on a window or sliding door.

Another issue is that if the screen door is locked, pets may sometimes scratch at the screen in frustration, which can wear it out much quicker. Also, pet screen doors are not the most supportive when it comes to dog doors, especially the clamp on ones. This brings up the issue that if you have a highly active pet, they may eventually knock down the door.

Screen doors are great, economic options for pet owners, but you just need to be sure that the door you're buying is best suitable for your pet!

Q: Can I install a doggie door in my screen door if my screen is torn?

A: If you purchased a clamp on type of screen door for your pet, you will not be able to install that door into a screen door that is already torn. The clamp on this type of screen doors requires that the screen in the existing door be intact.

If you have purchased the pet screen door that fastens onto the frame, so long as the doggie door frame is larger than the torn out portion, you'll likely be able to install the screen "as is". You will have to be pretty handy to make this work and you should probably just take a trip to the screen shop anyway just to assure that you get a good result.

Q: I have a very active Labrador, what screen dog door should I get?

A: For very active and larger pets in general, we always recommend that you purchase the dog screen doors that are attached to the frame of the screen because this is the sturdiest and stable option for screen doors. The Hale Security Pet Door Screen Mount is a great example of a good screen door that is sturdy.

Q: For the Hale pet door, is the corner choice to install the pet door going to be the corner when looking from the outside?

A: No, when installing a screen pet door, you should specify the corner in which the door will go from the inside of the house to the outside.

Q: Why would I need the stabilizer bar for the Hale screen pet door?

A: The Screen Mount Stabilizer Bar Kit adds an additional support across the top of the pet door. This is necessary for larger, active dogs, as it will help the screen and dog door stay in good shape for as long as possible.

Q: What does it mean by "exterior" and "interior" for screen pet doors?

A: "Exterior" and "Interior" are referring to where the screening material is located in relation to the frame. If the screen material is installed closer to the inside of the frame, then it is considered "Interior". If the screen material is installed closer to the outer part of the frame, then it is considered "exterior".

Q: Does the Ideal Screen Guard Pet Door actually come with the screen guard?

A: No, the screen guard must be purchased separately.

Q: If I would like to use the Pride door through my screen do I just have to purchase the adapter?

A: If you already own a Pride Deluxe Pet Door, then yes, you only need to purchase the Pride Door Screen Adapter.

Q: What is a Bug Off “Instant” or “Hanging” Screen Door?

A: Bug Off is a hanging screen door that serves to prevent bugs from entering your home. You can walk through it with your hands full and it will quietly snap closed behind you. It is considered a temporary screen door and it's very easy to install (like a shower curtain).

Q: What is the flap on the Pozzy Pet Screen Door made of?

A: The flap in the Pozzy Pet is made of acrylic, which is rigid and thin.

Q: If I wanted the Cat Mate 210, would you recommend heavier screen material?

A: Yes, a heavier screen material is highly recommended for the Cat Mate 210 to better support the pet door. This cat door was designed for installation in thin materials including screen, Plexiglass or thin wood panel.

Q: What is the spline?

A: The spline is the black rubber material that surrounds the edges of the screen and holds the screen door together. This is where the screen will attach to the frame.

Q: Why does Hale ask about so many options on the screen mounts?

A: There are many options for Hale Screen Doors because they are highly customizable and they are very thorough about making sure they give you the right product. If the frame of the screen is over 1/2" in thickness, then it has to be modified.

Q: I have a hole in my screen that my dog made to let himself out, if I get the Gateway do I have to replace the screen first?

A: Yes, screen doors that clamp on such as the Gateway need an existing screen already there.

Q: What is the warranty policy on the RCR Easy Screens?

A: The warranty policy on the RCR Easy Screens lasts for 2 years. The customer must send in a photo of their broken door, and they will receive a free replacement. Photos go directly to WJ Dennis, the manufacturer of this screen door.

Q: Why can't I get a closing cover on my Hale Screen Mount?

A: There is no closing cover for the Hale Screen Mount because there is a theory that a locking cover might encourage a pet to paw through the screen in effort to get through since it can’t see through the cover.

Q: Why can't I use a Bug Off Instant Screen if my dimensions are a little off what you list on the website?

A: You cannot use a Bug Off Instant Screen if your dimensions are off because it will not function properly. If the dimensions are off, it will attach awkwardly and may not close properly. There are many sizes so it's important that you get the right dimensions.

Q: What is the flap made of on the Hale Screen Mount?

A: The Hale Screen Mount Flap is made of Vinyl.

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