Sliding Glass Doors with Doggie Doors: A Perfect Fit for Pet Owners

Ready to enhance your pet’s life with a patio panel pet door? Look no further! Sliding glass doors with doggie doors are the perfect fit for pet owners looking to give their pet access outdoors without making any permanent changes to their home. After all, not everyone wants to punch a hole into their door or wall.  

Before upgrading to a sliding glass door pet door panel, read up on our Need-To-Know guide. We talked to the pet door experts about the most important things for pet owners to know about sliding door dog door inserts and compiled them into an easy reference for anyone looking to make the change. 

husky going through the endura flap thermo panel 3e

The Perks of Sliding Glass Door Pet Panels

If you don’t already know, sliding glass door pet panels have a few extra benefits to them that pet doors for walls or pet doors for doors don’t necessarily have, and that includes: 

  • Hassle-free Setup: Most of these pet panels boast a quick and tool-free installation. Forget rummaging through your toolbox; these panels are designed for an effortless setup that will have your pet exploring in no time.
  • Ideal for Temporary Dwellings: If you're a renter or have a vacation home, these panels are a godsend. They offer a non-permanent solution, which means no disputes with landlords or concerns about property value drops.
  • Keep Your Doors Intact: One of the biggest perks? No need to carve into your pristine doors or walls. Sliding glass door panels fit seamlessly with your existing setup, ensuring the integrity and aesthetic of your home remains untouched.

What To Do Before Purchasing a Sliding Glass Door Doggie Door

Before adding a patio pet panel to your home, you will need to keep a few important things: 

  • You need to accurately measure your sliding glass door
  • You need to know how tall the step-over should be 
  • You need to know what material your frame is
  • You need to consider how you will keep your home secure
  • You need to know how much you want to pay for a panel

How To Accurately Measure Your Sliding Glass Door For a Pet Door Panel 

1. Measure Your Pet

It may seem a little strange, but measuring pet dimensions is very important in order to find the right pet door size, and in turn, find the right sliding glass door dimensions

To find the perfect pet door size for your pet, we recommend measuring their height from the tallest point of their back to the floor. It is not advised to go by weight or breed since a beagle and poodle can be the same weight but different sizes. 

For a perfect fit, the top frame of your pet door should be at least 1” above the tallest point of your dog’s back. You don’t want your dog’s back to scrape against any part of the pet door. 

This does not mean you need to buy a pet door that is taller than your pet. When picking a size, you need to factor in the step-over height.

The step-over is the distance from the bottom of the pet door to the ground– or, how high off your pet door is from the ground. Don’t make your step-over too tall, or else your dog won’t be able to step over the bottom of the pet door to go through. A lower step-over is easier for pets to use, especially if they have mobility issues. 

Check out our measuring guide for more information.

2. Measure the Height of Your Sliding Glass Door Track

For most patio pet door inserts, you will need to measure the track height from top to bottom. This is the space your slider slides on. Top to bottom refers to the deepest parts on the top of the track, to the deepest parts on the bottom of the track. Check out this video to see how it’s done: 

Mismeasuring happens. A common occurrence is when your measurement is just above or below the track height range that fits your track height, and you end up purchasing a panel that is either too short or too tall to fit your slider tracks.

On that note, there is a height extension that can be purchased and used with the Thermo Panel 3e.

3. Measure Your Track Width Or Thickness

This step is often overlooked, but if you don’t check to see if your track is wide enough for the panel, you risk getting a patio panel you can’t use. 

Measure the door track of your sliding patio door from the interior side of the home to the exterior. 

Sliding door inserts allow you to use your slider normally. Once installed, the insert attaches to your door frame, leaving room for you to walk through. This will help you gauge whether or not it is going to take up the right amount of space. 

Make Sure The Step-Over Is Correct 

A ‘step-over’ is the distance between the ground and the bottom of the flap. It determines how high your dog will need to raise their paw to step over the bottom of the pet door.

You need to be mindful of the step-over for a number of reasons. If your step-over is too high, your small pet may struggle to get through their door. If it’s too low, your large size dog may end up scraping their back on the top of the doggy door for sliding glass door when they enter and exit.

Check your patio panel’s dimensions to see how high the step-over on the panel is. Then check to see how high off the ground your panel will be once installed into your sliding glass door–especially from the outside. Most backyards are lower than your home’s ground level. 

Add the two heights together and check to see how easily your dog can step over them. You can do this by holding up a piece of cardboard the height of the step-over and having your dog step over it.

We recommend doing this when your dog is fully grown.  It is hard to determine what height works when your dog is a puppy. We recommend getting a panel with an adjustable step-over range (such as the Thermo Panel 3e pet door for sliding glass door) so they can move through easily at every point in their growing life. 

Still, confused? Check out our exclusive guide for all the detailed information on what step-over height best suits your pet.

Know What Material Your Frame Is 

Patio panel pet doors are a great way to give your pet the freedom to come and go as they please without having to open and close the door for them all the time. However, it is important to choose the right type of panel for your sliding glass door, as vinyl and aluminum panels have different features and benefits.

Vinyl panel pet doors are thicker than aluminum panels, and they are also more energy-efficient. Vinyl is a good insulator, so it will help to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Vinyl panels are also more durable than aluminum panels, and they are less likely to warp or rust.

If you’re looking for a vinyl patio panel pet door, check out the Endura Flap Severe Weather Pet Door, the Dragon Pet Door for Vinyl Sliding Glass Doors, and the Whiskers & Windows Vinyl Sliding Glass Door Cat Door Panel

Aluminum panel pet doors are lighter and less expensive than vinyl panels. They are also easier to install. However, aluminum is not as good an insulator as vinyl, so aluminum panels may not be as energy-efficient. Aluminum panels are also more likely to warp or rust over time.

Some of our favorite aluminum patio panel pet doors include the High Tech Armor Flex Patio Pet Door, the Endura Flap Thermo Panel 3e with Dual Panel Glass, and the PetSafe Freedom Dog Door for Sliding Glass Door.

It is important to match the material of your pet door panel with your slider frame for two reasons:

  • Appearance: If you have a vinyl sliding door, a vinyl pet door panel will match the frame better and create a more seamless look.
  • Fit: Vinyl and aluminum sliding doors have different track widths. A vinyl pet door panel will not fit properly in an aluminum sliding door track, and vice versa.
  • Condensation: Mixing panel and frame materials can lead to condensation forming around your pet door. 

Ensure Your Home Will Be Secure 

Most panels will not mate with your existing slider lock, which is why you will need to look into adding an alternative locking mechanism to keep your home safe. Luckily, there are a variety of options available to best suit your home and security needs. 

You can add a Patio Door Clamp or a Foot Actuated Dead Bolt Lock to the bottom of your sliding glass door in order to keep it closed. 

You can also use a charley bar to keep your door shut against intruders. The bar applies pounds of pressure against your slider to keep it sealed against the patio pet door panel. 

If you just want to block your pet from using the flap, you will just need a locking pet door. Whiskers & Windows offers some low-tech options for cats, which High Tech has some smartdoor-esque options for dogs. You can also use the locking cover that comes with your pet door to block off the flap. 

Understanding Price Differences 

Sliding glass door dog panels are a great way to give your dog the freedom to come and go as they please, but they are not the cheapest option. Unlike traditional pet doors, patio panel pet doors include additional costs beyond the flap that can drastically affect the pricing. 

To find the best pet door panel for the pice, you need to find the right balance between these features:

  • Height: The height of the panel is one of the biggest factors that affects the price. Your panel will not fit into your sliding door track unless it is the same height as your sliding glass door. If your door is not a standard height, you may need to pay extra for a custom height range
  • Glass type: The type of glass in the panel can also affect the price. Dual-pane glass is more expensive than single-pane glass, but it is also more energy-efficient. While dual-pane glass requires dropping more money now, it can save you on your energy bills in the long run. 
  • Electronic panels: Electronic pet doors are more expensive than traditional pet doors. They can be a good option if you want to prevent unauthorized pets or people from entering your home, but they are more complex to install and maintain. Plus, they can be very noisy. 
  • Flap size and type: The size and type of flap can also affect the price. Larger flaps are more expensive than smaller flaps, and flaps with special features, such as magnetic closures, are also more expensive. However, simple flaps may fly open at the slightest wind and will cause drafts. 

It is important to note that the cheapest pet door is not always the best value. It is important to choose a pet door that is made from high-quality materials and that is backed by a good warranty.

Last Minute Considerations…

Still have a few lingering questions? Check out these common worries from other pet owners just like you.

Worried about bugs flying in between the screen and patio pet door?

Lots of people complain that bugs can get in through the gaps in screen doors. Check out the Magnetic Bug Screen for Doorway to keep your home bug-free.

Do we carry your track size?

If this is the case, you may need a custom panel height. We have a full selection of customizable pet doors that you can check out. Pet owner favorites include the Hale, the Thermo Panel 3e, and the Ideal Fast Fit

Wondering how to lock the pet door?

Each pet door comes with its own security cover to restrict access through the flap.

Need an electronic solution for your sliding glass?

We have a few products to consider. Most will require your pet to wear a collar key to signal the automatic flap to unlock. We also have microchip options for small dogs or cats. These are the best pet door solutions to keeping unwanted critters from entering your home!

Deciding on single or dual pane?

Dual pane glass insulates much better than single pane and attenuates noise much better. If you live with severe weather conditions, are looking for a more permanent doggie to use it year-round, it might be worth getting dual pane. If you live in a temperate area, single pane may be just fine. You can tell what type of glass you have by placing a finger on both sides of the glass. If they look like they’re touching, you have single pane; If they stop about 1/2″ apart, you have dual pane.

Still have questions? Need advice from an expert? Contact our team of pet door experts for any assistance you need in finding the best sliding glass door with a dog flap for you. 

Mia Daniele

Written by

Mia Daniele

Copy Editor

Pets: I have a fluffy, 14 year old chow-collie mix with red fur named Rosso. He's very stubborn and has the standoffish personality of a cat.
Fun stuff: I am a hot chocolate connoisseur.

Copy Editor

Pets: I have a fluffy, 14 year old chow-collie mix with red fur named Rosso. He's very stubborn and has the standoffish personality of a cat.
Fun stuff: I am a hot chocolate connoisseur.


  • Hi Traci!

    Most patio panel pet doors come with a clamp lock to secure the panel in the sliding door track. Once the panel is secured, you can lock the sliding door in place with a wooden dowel in the track or a Charley Bar. We have two Charley bar options available for purchase:



    Please feel free to contact us at or 1-800-826-2871 if you have any questions!

    Happy holidays!

    Elizabeth (Staff)
  • I’m renting a guesthouse as a primary residence that only has a sliding door as a entrance/exit. I picked this place because it has an enclosed yard for my dog…but I’m concerned I won’t be able to lock and secure it from the outside? Help!

    Traci Garrett
  • Hi Carly,

    Good question! The sliding door pet door panel will be able to stay in the sliding door track by itself, since it is secured in place by a spring-loaded mechanism (which means you can still use the sliding door for human use). One thing to think about is the size of the pet door your pet needs. If your pet is larger, the pet door they will likely need will be wider, which means less overall room for a person to get through the opening (the overall panel widths should be indicated in the size charts on product pages). You can measure the opening of your sliding door and subtract the overall width to make sure that the remaining space is comfortable for a person to walk through still.

    If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to us at!

    Grace (Staff)
  • Hi! I’m trying to see if I’d still be able to use the door when the doggy door panel is in place. The panel would remain stationary of course, but I’m wondering if I could regularly open the door for human use, or if that wouldn’t work well? Thanks so much!

  • Hi Alex,

    Great question! If you have a more timid cat, getting heavier flaps like or or double flap versions of those doors could be the answer to the cat not going through the pet door. However, some cats figure it out and will use the pet door anyway.

    It’s not a guarantee that the cat will not simply run through the door with the dog, but we also carry electronic sliding door panels that work with collar keys. This one is for larger dogs:

    If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at!

    Grace (Staff)
  • Hello!
    Any suggestions on how to configure a glass slider dog door that the cat can’t use!? Would it be weighted differently? We have a Bernese Mountain, so the panel could be on the heavier side that a cat wouldn’t be able to open. Is that even a thing? Thanks!

  • We have sliding doors that look like 4 doors. The two that meet in the middle and one on each side That don’t move. How would you attach the pet door and is it possible to send a picture. Thank you

    Kathleen Prawl
  • Hi Kim,

    Great question! Yes, it still works. One door will be partially ajar with the panel filling the gap, and will remain stationary. The other door will open and close as needed. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at or give us a call at 1-800-826-2871!

    Grace Fuh
  • We have double sliding glass doors that meet each other in the middle. Will inserting the panel between them still work?

  • Hi Tim!

    Thanks for reaching out! For that space between the stationary glass and slider of your sliding glass door, you can check out this draft stopper weather stripping we carry. It sticks onto the slider and covers a good amount of that space you’re referring to. See the third image through the link for a diagram. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to or give us a call at 1-800-826-2871!

    Grace Fuh
  • I don’t know if you can help. We installed a doggie door in a sliding glass door for our beagle. The door works, but now we have about a 1/2″ gap between the locked slider part of the door and the opposite side of the glass door that we moved over to install the doggie door. Do you make anything to seal that area so air and bugs don’t come in?

    Thank you,

    Tim Glass
  • Hi there! The cost for installing doggy doors varies depending on who you choose to work with in your area. However, sometimes that cost can be $0! If you get something like the Ideal Fast Fit or an Endura Flap Thermo Panel, those are a “no-tools” install. They install in minutes! You just loosen the tension and compress the spring-loaded top piece, and then sit the door in your track and release the tension again (tightening the tension again to keep it snug in the track).
    Generally, for sliding doors, the only professional installation necessary is when inserting a doggie door directly in the glass of the sliding door. In this case, you would work with a professional glazier for your situation. We would be happy to answer any other questions you may have! Send us an email at if we can be of further assistance!

    Kate Miller
  • I am looking for a quote for someone to install a doggy door onto a glass sliding door frame

  • Hi there! There’s a couple options for sliding glass door doggie doors. Some don’t require installation at all! For example, the Endura Flap Thermo Panel is a tools free quick installation (and so is the Ideal Fast Fit). Both of those come with customizable heights available to fit nearly any sliding glass door.

    Another option is to install something directly into the glass. Our two options for this is the Pet Door Guys “In the Glass” unit, or the Hale Through Glass model. Both options require working with a local glazier (glass professional). Since this is a highly custom option and you’re working with a professional installer in your area, the pricing will depend on who you choose to work with!

    Kate Miller
  • Hi i have a husky was wondering about how much it would be to install a dog door in the sliding glass back door.

    Tony O Travis
  • Hi there!

    There are a few things you can do that we can recommend!
    Sometimes, you can just open the screen door enough to leave the pet door exposed. However, this can leave a gap between the slider and the screen, so we typically recommend the Bug Warden to block off that gap to prevent insects from entering your home. You can find that here:
    Another option is to remove your screen door, though sometimes this doesn’t work for everyone. If you don’t want to remove your screen, and the Bug Warden doesn’t work for your situation, we have a few very easy options for a doggie door for a screen door. The screen door options can be found here:

    If this doesn’t answer your question, or you’d like to hear more about solutions for this, please feel free to send us an email at Sending us pictures will help us give even better help! You can also call us at 1-800-826-2871.

    Hope this helps!

    Kate Miller
  • We just had our new sliding glass door installed that has the doggie door built into it. Any ideas as to how to keep the screen door from covering the doggie door?

  • I am looking for a lockable pet door for my patio sliders: 95″ high X 1 3/4″ jamb slot.
    I want the existing potion door to lock to the pet door.
    White Aluminum.

    James Kerrigan
  • Hello there, You have done a fantastic job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I’m sure they will be benefited from this site.


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