How To Install a Dog Door in A Wall

Are long working hours coming in the way of your dog’s freedom? Want to make your furry friend enter and exit the house on its own? Then it’s high time to install a Dog Door in the wall. A dog door is an excellent way to provide your pet free access to the outdoors even when you are not around. So, you don’t have to rely on friends or neighbors to let your pooch out.

Due to packed schedules in the busy life nowadays, you may not be able to always address the signals that your dog needs to go outside. In such a case, the result can be an obnoxious mess. By installing a dog door in the wall, your dog will move around freely and will not roust you from your favorite television series anymore! Being highly convenient for the homeowners as well as the pets, a dog door can make life easier for both of them.

In this article, we will discuss about how to install a dog door in different kinds of walls, which include:

Let us consider each of them one by one:

Install Dog Door In An Exterior Wall

In order to install a dog door in an exterior wall, you will require professional equipments like hammer, jigsaw, drill, and screwdriver mainly.

Tools Required:

  • Hammer
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Pencil
  • Drywall Screws
  • Toggle Bolts
  • Face Mask
  • Safety Glasses
  • Measuring Tape

Installation Steps:  

Step 1: Firstly, you need to double check the wall for electrical, studs, and plumbing pipes. After locating the wall studs, draw a vertical line between them that is approximately 10-12 inches above the ground.

Step 2: Measure your dog’s shoulder height, mark it on the vertical line and using that mark, create a straight horizontal line.

Step 3: Take out the perfect template size and match the marked lines with the ones on the template.

Step 4: Place the template over the wall and trace its outline perfectly.

Template for Installing Dog Door in Exterior Door template

 

 

 

 

 

Step 5: Use a drill to create holes inside the corners and a jigsaw to further cut out those holes, beginning from the corners and going through the lines.

Drill to create holes in Exterior Dog door for wall during installation

 

 

 

 

 

Step 6: Now place the frame in the cut out and check if it fits properly. If it does not, trim the opening again.

Step 7: Position the center locator into the cutout, place a side of the door inside the wall and leverage drywall screws to hold it.

Center locator positioning inside the exterior dog door for wall

 

 

 

 

 

Step 8: Now, lift the flap and push it in a way that it touches the outside wall. After marking holes on the center locator, you can remove the door from the wall inside. Then you can drill the marked holes.

Step 9: By drilling holes for toggle bolts in the drywall, you will be able to position the exterior and interior frames together with the flap.

Things To Remember :

  • The bolts installed must not be overtightened.
  • Make sure to seal off the wall from inside in order to prevent moisture from penetrating into the wall.
  • Train your dog well to make him comfortable with the use of pet door.

When installing a dog door through an exterior wall, it is important to get a high quality door, after all you are cutting a hole in your house! Featuring sturdy aluminum framing and tunnels for ultimate durability, the best doors include a double flap option for added insulation too. The Endura and Hale Wall Mounts offer all of these qualities.

Install Dog Door In A Stucco Wall

Installing a dog door on a stucco wall may seem like a daunting task, but if done properly, it offers some distinct advantages for you and your pet which outweighs all the issues you faced while installing it. However, its proper installation is the key to success.

Tools Required:

  • Hammer Drill
  • Tape
  • Putty Knife
  • Key-hole saw
  • Pencil
  • Tin snips
  • Screw
  • Caulk
  • Face Mask
  • Safety Glasses

Installation Steps

Step 1: Firstly, you need to double check the wall for electrical, studs, and plumbing pipes. After removing the drywall of the interior side, remove the insulation to get a clean area which makes it easy to access the inner side of the exterior wall.

Dog Doors for Stucco Walls Installation

Step 2: Tape a plastic sheet on the interior of the cut out that prevents debris from going inside the house and makes clean up easier.

Step 3: Now, start drilling through the complete wall in a way such that the holes over the exterior wall will help you cut the wall from the outside.

Step 4: Also, you can tape the perimeter of the required opening from the outside. By taping off the desired area, it will ensure that the cut does not extend and further reduce the crumbling of the edges.

Step 5: In order to cut through the stucco, you can make use of a putty knife. To smooth the edges (of the cut), either a putty knife or a key-hole saw is preferred.

Step 6: After getting a clean hole in the wall, place the pet door into that hole from the inside. Use a pencil to mark the tunnel’s portion that you need to chop off. Now, make use of tin snips or jigsaw with the appropriate blade to trim the tunnel.

Step 7: Another step is to fasten the exterior part of the pet door. Leverage a drill to penetrate through the exterior flange and securing it collectively to the tunnel frame by using the screws. You can run a bead of caulk at the door’s external portion where it connects with the wall.

Step 8: Also, you can add a carpet to the bottom and walls of the pet door for better finishing.

Things To Remember :

  • Always use a silicone caulk to adhere the carpet to the tunnel.
  • In case the outside ground is comparatively lower than the inside flooring, you can use a platform which makes it easy and safe for your dog to go through.

Endura Flap Stucco Dog Door for Walls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stucco walls are generally less than 8” in thickness, so the tunnels don’t need to be as long as those for brick or concrete walls. Also, Stucco walls are typically found in climates that are more moderate (think central California), so the energy efficiency isn’t as necessary. A few good doors for walls like this would be the Ideal Ruff Weather or the Endura Flap (in the single flap version).

 

Install Dog Door In A Brick Wall

Dog door for brick walls

 

 

 

 

 

 

In order to install a dog door in a brick wall, you will need professional masonry tools like a hammer drill and reciprocating saw. You can rent these equipments also, in case of emergency. It is advised to remove insulation first by cutting the interior wall (much like the installation through stucco) opening before going through the brick. Tape a plastic sheet on the interior of the cut out that prevents debris from going inside the house and makes clean up easier.


Tools Required:

  • Hammer drill
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Cloth 1/2″
  • Masonry drill bit
  • Diamond saw blade
  • Pencil
  • Wrecking Bar
  • Face Mask
  • Safety Glasses
  • Measuring Tape

Installation Steps:

Step 1: Firstly, you need to double check the wall for electrical, studs, and plumbing pipes. Use a cloth to clean the internal surface of the brick wall, take the measurements of the pet door, and mark its outline over the brick surface.

Step 2: Make sure the drill is positioned in a way such that its outer edge comes just over the line that defines the intended opening.

Step 3: Drill through the brick and repeat the same process on every corner.

Step 4: At the upper left-hand corner of the outline, insert a tip of the reciprocating saw blade (in the hole) and place it in a way that it easily snips down the line on the left-hand side of the new opening.

Step 5: Now you can leverage a demo saw to rip down the line on the right-hand side followed by the top and bottom.

Step 6: Take a wrecking bar and slide its flat end over the top edge of the opening and pull it outwards to extract the cut brick. Repeat the above steps until you remove the complete brick.

Things To Remember :

  • Make sure that you measure the pet door size correctly in order to create an appropriate opening.
  • Before cutting a brick wall, always check the electrical and water lines that are installed between the interior and exterior surface of the wall.

Dog doors for brick walls with longer tunnels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best doors for brick walls include longer tunnels so they can frame out thicker materials.  The Hale can frame out a wall up to 16” in width and the Plexidor can frame out up to 12”, making them ideal for brick, stone, or concrete block installations. These installations were done by Pet Independance who supplied us with the photos as well.

Cost of Installing A Dog Door In A Wall

Installation of a dog door in a wall comes up with some challenges especially if you don’t have an idea what to do. Since it’s a labor-intensive task (cutting a hole through the wall) which requires construction know-how, we recommend you to hire a professional pet door installer in your area to install the dog door for you. Also, the presence of electrical wires and pipes in the wall makes it more crucial to hire some professional help.

Installing a door through a wall can be less expensive if you are doing it yourself, but if you are not very handy the time and effort you put in maybe worth more than the ‘$200-$300’ you would pay to have a pro tackle the job for you (not to mention the cost of any repairs if something wasn’t done correctly the first time).

The overall cost may vary depending upon the tools that are needed and the type of wall wherein you want to install your dog door. Moreover, it also depends upon what the contractor finds when they make a test hole. If there are studs, electrical fittings, or plumbing, then they might likely have to make some changes if you still want to put the dog door there. This may include reframing or rerouting electrical wiring and piping which will further add to the cost of installation in time and parts.

Have these 5 significant points in mind before you start installing the pet doors yourself

1) Ask yourself how handy you actually are?

If you have any doubts, hire out!

2) Knowing where the wires/studs resides in the wall?
This is crucial as cutting through electrical, pipes, or load bearing studs can cause serious injuries to you and damage to your home.

3) Will your pet door fit between the studs?
Some doors have wider rough openings than others and depending on how your home is framed and where you are putting the door you may not have enough space.  And the last thing you want to do is find out after making a hole in your wall.

4) How high off the ground should you install your pet door?
In general you only want your pets to have to step over about 3” – 5” and will want to make sure the top of the flap is mounted at least 1” above the tallest part of your dogs back. The installation instructions for your pet door should have recommended template placement tips for you.

5) Read through the included installation instructions (and watch online videos) beforehand
This is very helpful and even if you aren’t installing it yourself.  You and your contractor can go through it together and that way you make sure they are also installing it correctly.

Please read more about this on our DIY Pet Door Installation Page.

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