Flap or Panel: Which Dog Door is Right for Me?

Just like humans need doors that fit all shapes and sizes and are easily accessible, so do our canine friends. Unlike a house door that accommodates short, medium, and tall residents, a flap or panel doggie door is designed to accommodate the individual size of your dog. Deciding which dog doors is best suited for your pup's needs depend on several factors including:  

  • Size of dog
  • Safety issues for your dog and home
  • Freestyle vs. electric or chip-powered doors
  • Confidence in the dog using the door

Whether you decide on flap or panel doggie doors, these several additional factors will allow the right choice to be made in your first dog door purchase. First, measure your dog to ensure you install the proper size door to accommodate its size.

border collie lying looking at camera

The last thing you want is for your pet to become stuck, panic, and possibly injure itself. Once your pet adjusts to the door and realizes going in and out is a breeze, the dog door will get a daily workout. To ensure the door can stand up to ongoing wear and tear, install a sturdily built door and frame.

Dog Door Material

If you are purchasing a flap door, choose one using material such as heavy duty plastic that will not bend, break, tear or snap. Dog doors need to be equipped with a seal, so heat and cool air do not seep in or out of your home. A seal also helps keep unwanted insects, lizards, and other small creatures outdoors.

Flap vs. Panel

Free-swinging flap doors or electric-powered doggie doors need to provide security to your home, especially if the door accommodates a large breed. A dog door large enough for your canine is also accessible by other domestic animals and wildlife.

endura flap pet door for walls flaps open

A locking system to secure the door when it is not to be used adds extra security to your home. You know your dog best, so keep in mind how inquisitive or skittish your pup may be when deciding which door will best fit its temperament.

endura thermo panel 3e color options side by side


Both flap-style and panel-style dog doors have good points and depending on your dog’s temperament and willingness to use an alternate door will help you make the best decision. Once installed, use doggie treats to entice your pup to move back and forth through the opening to build confidence and prevent any fear of the new door. If you’re interested in looking at the different options available to you then check out one of our top selling panel dog doors, the Patio Pacific Thermo Panel, and one of our best selling flap door dogs, the Endura Pet Door for Walls

Nick Pullano

Written by

Nick Pullano


Pets: I have a half border collie, half angel named Mikey.
Fun stuff: My dog's tongue is slightly longer than her face, so frequently her tongue sticks out a little even when her mouth is closed.

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