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How to Pick Out a Pet Door

Choosing the perfect size and model pet door starts with a few things to consider:

  • Where do you want to install?
  • What kind of features are you hoping for?
  • Do you have space in your desired install location? (away from wall studs, plumbing, electrical etc.)
  • How much are you looking to spend?

There are many different types of cat and dog doors per installation location. Some include:

  • Microchip enabled
  • Manual (pet has to push the flap open)
  • Energy efficient
  • Economical
  • Electronic collar key required

We recommend checking out the Details and Additional Information tabs on each product page. Some dog doors have the option of getting dual or double flaps. Which means your pet will need to go through two (2) flappers to come in or out. The double door flaps offer an increase in insulation. We suggest two flaps for 4-season regions who can experience harsh weather. While these types can be more expensive, you end up saving on heating and air conditioning!

The Best Double Flap Options:

Endura Flap

Hale Pet Door

*Not all install locations accept double flap models. This option is available mostly for door and wall mounts

Where can I install my dog/cat door?

In a ‘People’ Door

Often referred to as a standard pet door mounting style, a door mount can be a great fit for an interior or exterior door. Many of the products we carry can be installed in wooden doors, with options to install in thin storm and metal doors as well. It is always recommended to keep your pet door frame a few inches from the bottom of your people door to keep the entire unit stable.  Keep in mind you also don’t want the cat door height to be too far off the ground either. 

Most kitty doors gives you control when they can go in or out and what pets can use the door too!

Expert Recommendations:

For the best insulation: Endura Flap Pet Door for Doors

Less Expensive: PetSafe Plastic Pet Door

Economical + Quality: Ideal Deluxe  

Through a Wall

This location gives you full control to remove the frame and flap any time and match up the space; leaving no trace of the pet door’s existence. There are a few more things to be careful of with a wall mount. Keep in mind you or a contractor will need to frame out the interior of the wall to prevent moisture and weather deteriorating your home. Many of our products will have a tunnel kit included to help with installation! There are often electrical wires, pipes, and studs running through the walls; this can cause injury and prevent a pet door installation if you cut or hit any of these. Be sure your area is clear of this type of material.

Short or small dogs can still use wall doors if they have a step to help!
Best Insulation: Endura Flap Pet Door for Walls

Best for Small and Large Pets Sharing: Hale Pet doors for Walls

Less Expensive: Ideal Ruff Weather Dog Door (wall kit/tunnel sold separately)

We also have Frequently Asked Questions about pet doors for doors. Just scroll down to the bottom of the page, and use the “Ctrl F” function to find specific keywords!

Patio Panels for Sliding Glass Doors

The most innovative model yet, panel inserts are one of the most user friendly pet doors to install. If you have a slider, you can temporarily install it so you can take it in and out with ease, or permanently install in the patio frame.


  • Flap
  • Glass Panel with framing (aluminum or vinyl)
  • Unique lock for sliding glass door (every panel comes with their own)
  • Adjustable top to fit your track height

Use your existing slider with a dog door preinstalled in a panel

You can still use your slider normally, only the walking space is reduced by the panel’s width. Many of the patio panels have a spring loaded adjustable top piece that allows you to insert the patio panel up and over your tracks, while springing into a tight and secure position that can be tightened with thumb screws on the inside of your home. Simply measure the height of your door and see which of our height adjustment ranges works for you; don’t see your track height? We can build you a custom patio panel! Several of the patio panel options require no tools for installation and will not require you screw or cut into your sliding glass door unit.

Check out our Comparison chart or Frequently Asked Questions about patio panels!

In a Window Sash (Up and Down opening)

Similar to our patio panels discussed above, window sash pet doors can easily be installed and can work for unique situations. Often times, cat owners love the idea of a window sash pet door. Have a window that slides open sideways or up and down on a track? Easily insert a window sash into its track and allow your pets to have free access to enter and exit your home at will.

Best insulation: Thermo Sash IIIE

For cats: Ideal “Cat Sash”

For Side Sliding Windows: Custom Thermo Panel IIIe

Through the Glass

Patio inserts could take up more space than you desire. In this case, we do have quite a few pet doors that can be installed directly in your glass door. Should you choose to purchase a pet door that can install into glass, we recommend hiring a glazier to cut your physical glass. While this involves communication with a few different groups, we offer a simplified solution. An In the Glass Unit can be custom ordered to match your glass dimensions. This piece of glass will have a pet door already installed. We keep the messy work while your glazier need only replace your glass.

Directly installed pet door in the glass door uses your existing lock and frame and gives your pet the freedom you need

Check out all Through Glass Models here for cats and dogs.

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One thought on “How to Pick Out a Pet Door

  1. Jade Brunet

    Sometimes our family gets busy and forgets to let our dog out. We have decided that a pet door would be the perfect solution for our situation. It is good to know that patio panels are the most innovative pet door styles. I am glad to know that these doors are easy to install and remove. Thanks for the information.