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Pet Doors For use in Walls

Pet Doors to Install in Walls

A wall mount pet door can be a great choice. While installing a pet door in a door effectively ruins the door, a wall mount pet door can often be removed and the wall patched leaving no trace of the dog door or cat door. Stucco exterior and dry-wall interior is the perfect example since both sides can be patched and painted-to-match if the pet door must be removed later.

Read FAQ's about Pet Doors for Walls

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Additional Info

When installing a pet door in a wall, the wall must always be 'framed out'. That is, after cutting the hole, the inside of the wall must be sealed off so that moisture cannot penetrate into the interior of the wall. The 'self-framing' pet doors and wall kits listed here will help to do this step for you and make the job much easier.

However, if you can frame the wall yourself, you can choose any pet door for a wall. For example, if you wanted a Pride pet door in your wall, you'd have to frame it yourself as there is no wall kit for that pet door.

All of these pet doors come with a locking cover, or other method of locking the door shut, unless otherwise noted. Be alert to the possibility of an overhang above the pet door which could interfere with the operation of a locking cover. Each brand has notes regarding this point. Hale Pet Door, in particular, may be ordered with a 'side-loading' locking cover which avoids this problem. Other pet doors have 'front loading' locking covers which is also an effective solution.

Important Don't confuse these with self-framing door mounts! The adjustment range for a self-framing wall mount must be much greater than for a door mount.

A second important consideration in a wall mount pet door is whether to have a single flap or a double flap (flap on both sides of the wall). The air-space between the two flaps of a double flap wall mount will insulate much better than a single flap pet door and the double flaps will stand up to wind much better also. Finally, it will look more finished to have the flap on both sides of the wall.

We haven't encountered any additional difficulty for the pets in using a double flap provided that a reasonable flap size is chosen by the customer.

Most of our wall mount sales are for double-flap doors. However, when installing in a moderate climate or in an unheated garage or shed, we'd suggest that a single flap may be adequate. On the other hand, the Endura Flap based pet doors seal so well that we think a single flap is adequate for all but the most demanding climates.

In choosing the size, keep in mind that your pets will be negotiating a short tunnel. For that reason, we like to see a little more clearance vertically than would be the case for a pet door installed in a door. As always, try to mount the pet door so the top of the flap is at least as tall as the top of the shoulder of the tallest pet (the 'withers').

Vital Notes Regarding Installation of Pet Doors in a Wall

It is imperative to remember that even a self-framing pet door must be properly installed and caulked to ensure that no moisture enters your walls. If you have any doubt regarding your ability to do this, please assign the job to a qualified person.

Likewise, cutting a power line or hitting a pipe with power tools could cause injury or even death. If you are not sure you have the skills to tackle this kind of job, please have a qualified person do it for you. Generally, you can be confident that a properly licensed and insured contractor will have the necessary skills.

FAQ's

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's 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 of the same brand.
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 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 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 siding 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 1/2" 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 to the interior of the wall--a leak into a wall if not quickly caught 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.
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 are the advantages to installing a pet door in a wall?

A: A wall can be great location to install a pet door especially if you don’t have a slider or door you can cut into. This type of installation can accommodate having double flaps depending on the, model, which will always give you superior insulation value. In some cases can also be easier to patch up (less expensive) compared to replacing a whole door if you want to remove it at a later time. This can also be a good option for someone who has a smaller sliding glass door because the dog door panel won't take up all the available space you have to walk through.

Q: Why would you not want to install a doggy door in a wall?

A:  Installation in a wall can be dangerous depending on the electrical wiring and pipes running through the wall, so the best option is to hire a licensed contractor to do the installation for you which could be expensive.   Also, if you want to remove the doggy door, it can be very difficult to patch up the hole if you have any other type of siding besides stucco, such as brick, rock, or shingle.  The inside wall can also be an issue for patching if you have anything other than Drywall.  If you wall is thicker than around 8” then it also makes it tougher to find one that will have a wall framing kit for larger pet doors.  For situations like this you could also have a contractor frame out the wall for you, but again this is where it starts getting more expensive.  Another added cost would be if the cut out is larger width wise then the existing studs as there are ways to solve this problem, but it should be a licensed contractor attempting them.

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.

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.

Q: What is the purpose of the tunnel?

A: The primary purpose of a tunnel is to ensure that water cannot penetrate to the interior of the wall because a leak into a wall can cause serious and expensive consequences for your home. The tunnel must be sealed properly for this to be effective. The tunnel also provides your pet with stable footing. Installing a tunnel is much easier than making one on your own, and will often be more economical and less risky as well.

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.

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: Can you use a door mount pet door in a wall?

A: Yes, but you have to frame it out yourself, or have it done professionally.  We have had customers use various materials to accomplish this so you want to make sure that you check with your contractor to see what would be best for your situation.

Q: In a single flap wall mount, which side is the flap on?

A: It is best to have double flaps for wall mounts, but the flap should go on the inside of the wall if you have a single flap wall mount. In the case of the Endura Flap or Plexidor, the single flaps must always go on the inside as that is how they are designed.  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 and also so that in bad weather you don't have to go outside to close it off.

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 do so depending upon your particular 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 or manufacture electronic doors for walls.

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.

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.

Q: What tunnel sections do I need for a PetSafe 300 door to put it through a 5" wall and how many?

A: The PetSafe 310 Cat Flap Tunnel Sections would fit and you would need 2 extra to put it through a 5" wall. Each tunnel sections are 1 7/8" wide.

 

Do you have a question that wasn't answered? If you do, please email it to us at sales@petdoors.com