How To Install a Dog Door in A Wall
Want to give your pet the freedom of their own door, but don’t want to ruin yours? Then it’s a great idea to consider wall installation. A wall entry doggy door is an excellent way for pet owners to provide their pet free access to the outdoors even when they are not around, meaning they don’t have to rely on friends or neighbors to let their pooch out. However, unless you are installing in a sliding glass door, installing a flap pet door in an interior or exterior door can wreck your door frame. That's why dog doors for walls are a great home improvement idea—a hole in your wall being easier to amend if you decide to remove the pet door later down the line.
In this article, we will discuss how to install a dog door in different kinds of walls, which include:
- Everything about Dog Doors for Walls
- How to Install Dog Door in an Exterior Wall
- How to Install Dog Door in a Stucco Wall
- How to Install Dog Door in a Brick Wall
You can also see our guide on pet door installation DIY. Let us consider each of them one by one.
Everything about Dog Doors for Walls
Dog doors for walls come in a variety of sizes to fit small dogs to extra large dogs. One of the best pet doors for walls is the energy-efficient Endura Flap for walls, available in sizes small, medium, large and extra-large. This extreme weather pet door comes with fuzzy weather stripping that surrounds the pet door frame and is manufactured with a sturdy flap that is completely weatherproof. Looking to keep raccoons out? Check out the Cat Mate Elite 355 Chip and Disc Pet Door, which installs in 4" walls (for additional framing a wall adapter tunnel can be purchased separately).
See our full list of pet doors for walls for more options. Due to packed schedules in a 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 unfortunate mess. By installing a dog door in walls, your dog can move around freely without interrupting your favorite television series any more! Being highly convenient for the homeowners and their pets, a through-wall dog door can make life easier for both of them.
Install Dog Door In An Exterior WallDog door installations require different steps and tools than door mounts. In order to install a dog door in an exterior wall, you will require professional equipment like a hammer, jigsaw, drill, and screwdriver mainly.
- Drywall Screws
- Toggle Bolts
- Face Mask
- Safety Glasses
- Measuring Tape
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.
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. Step 6: Now place the frame in the cutout 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.
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.
Install Dog Door In A Stucco WallInstalling a dog flap 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.
- Hammer Drill
- Putty Knife
- Key-hole saw
- Tin snips
- Face Mask
- Safety Glasses
Installation StepsStep 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.
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 that makes it easy and safe for your dog to go through.
Install Dog Door In A Brick Wall
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 this equipment also, in case of an 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.
- Hammer drill
- Reciprocating saw
- Cloth 1/2"
- Masonry drill bit
- Diamond saw blade
- Wrecking Bar
- Face Mask
- Safety Glasses
- Measuring Tape
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.
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, making it ideal for brick, stone, or concrete block installations. This installation was done by Pet Independence 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 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 may be 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 reside 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. You can use a stud finder tool to help with this process.
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.