Replacement Flap Vs. New Door: Is it Time to Upgrade?

Some things are meant to break, like piñatas and eggs. However, your dog door should last you and your dog a long time. If you find yourself replacing your dog door flap often, it might be time to consider ditching the dog door you have now and replacing it with a new one.

But nobody wants to go through the trouble of shopping for a new door, learning how to install a pet door, and teaching your dog to use it, especially when the one they have now might already be the best dog door for their family. When do you know when to keep buying replacement flaps and when to upgrade to a new flap door?

We’re here to help you figure out if it’s time to buy dog door replacement parts or a new pet door entirely.

If you don't know how to fit a smaller door into a larger frame, you can get a custom made dog door might be the best type of dog door for you

When to Buy Replacement Parts and Flaps

Pet doors are an investment, and the best types of dog doors will last you a very long time. So you probably just want to avoid installing a brand new dog door and just replace the worn-out dog door hardware. Not sure which flap you need? Check out this table of replacement flap dimensions to check! Here are some signs that now is the time to keep purchasing replacement parts instead of upgrading your dog door:

  • You have an energy-efficient dog door. Pet doors are not well known for keeping your energy bills down, so when a cold-weather dog door is energy efficient, you can trust that the door has a durable frame and flap that can withstand extreme weather conditions and will not wear out easily. So if you have an energy-efficient dog door, you can trust that whatever replacement parts you do buy will last you a very long time.
  • You have a custom made dog door. Much like how energy-efficient dog doors are more durable than the average dog door, custom made dog doors are typically higher quality as well. If your dog door is custom made, such as a wall mount dog door that has specific door dimensions or a storm door with a built-in pet door included, then it typically will also be a higher quality pet door that won’t break too often. Additionally, since the door is custom made, it would be harder to find a new dog door that could replace it. Knowing how to repair broken parts would be a worthwhile investment.
  • You don’t need a new flap door too often. Buying the occasional replacement part is part of pet door ownership. So don’t sweat if you may need a new dog door flap once every few years or so.
  • Your problems can easily be fixed with one part. Some dog doors can be customized with simple fixes, such as additional magnets on the flaps for a tighter insulation seal. Options like these allow you to get a pet door that is tailored to your pet’s needs without needing to shell out the money for a custom made pet door.
Cold weather dog doors are often more durable than mild climate pet doors since the dog door hardware has to withstand extreme weather conditions

When to Invest in a New Pet Door

No one wants to go through the trouble of getting a new pet door, but sometimes the dog door brand you have is not the best one for you or your pet. Instead of getting dog or cat flap replacement parts, you might need to bite the bullet and upgrade to a better dog door flap. Here are some signs that now might be the time to invest in a new flap door:

  • You need to buy replacement parts often. Pet doors should be a long-lasting solution, including their flaps. Buying replacement flaps might not seem like a big deal, but their cost adds up quickly. If you are buying replacement flaps too often, such as once a year, then it’s time to invest in a door that might be more expensive upfront but require way less maintenance.
  • You have a cheap pet door. Flaps that have to be replaced often are usually for economically-priced pet doors. While cheap pet doors can be a good solution for short term problems, they can end up costing way more in the long run. Since cheaper pet doors are not made from durable materials, they’re more likely to break from consistent use or even warp due to water or direct sunlight. Then you would need to replace your dog door hardware often to keep your pet door in working condition. You can actually save money by paying more for a high-quality pet door that will not require as much upkeep to keep like-new.
  • Your door doesn’t fit your climate. Not every pet door is good for your home, and you might not have the best type of dog door for where you live. If you bought a pet door for mild climates but live someplace with cold Michigan winters, you might be doing more than driving up your energy bills. If you do not have a cold-weather dog door or cat flap that is insulated or well-sealed, you might be leaving your door or wall vulnerable to water damage. This will cost you more money in the future as you will eventually need to repair more than just a damaged dog flap.
  • You have new pets. Pet door sharing between dogs of different breeds and sizes, or even dogs and cats, is possible. But if you bought your dog door when you only had one pet, then later adopted more dogs and cats, you should consider getting a new door. A combination dog and cat door needs to have a step-over that is comfortable for both pets in every stage of their life, or else you risk causing them future discomfort. Additionally, if you installed a cheap pet door when you only had one pet and thought it worked fine, you might find it falling apart now that there are more dogs and cats using it.
  • You got your door when your dog was a puppy. Similar to the last point, the dog door you bought initially might not be the best door for the dog your puppy grew into. If you measured for a dog door flap when your dog was a puppy, the door might be too small for them now. Your dog’s back should not touch the top of your dog’s back when they walk through, and they should not have to stoop below the flap or struggle to step over the step-over. If you predicated what size your dog would grow to when you bought a dog door, it might be time to double-check those measurements. The wrong pet door size and position will mean discomfort for your dog, especially as they grow older in age.
  • Your broken door is too hard to fix. Your pet door might break one day and it will just be too hard to repair it. If a new dog door installation seems like it’ll be easier than fiddling with replacement parts, then it’s time to look into buying a new dog door brand. We’re giving you permission to look into getting that swanky custom made dog door you’ve always wanted, or just to get a dog door design that better matches you and your pet’s lifestyle.
What if you do need a new pet door? Where do you even start? If you have any of the above problems, then it will be best to invest in a dog door that is durable, energy-efficient, and made to last. Check out a few of our recommendations:
The Endura Flap wall mount dog door, which is a great, long-lasting combination dog and cat door that does not need a lot of replacement parts
Endura Flap Severe Weather Vinyl Sliding Glass Dog Door
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 Roseann,

    We are not affiliated with any installers. but we have some recommendations here:

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

    Happy holidays!

    Elizabeth (Staff)
  • How to find a good installer for a wall mount door?

    Roseann Giambro
  • Hi Fred,

    This is a common issue when pet doors are chosen for the puppy, rather than for the estimated size when the dog is full grown. We may need a few more details to give you a proper recommendation for your situation. Please reach out to us at 1-800-826-2871 or email us at so we can help you out!

    Grace (Staff)
  • Yes I need a new door it is a bit short now. The dog has gotten bigger, but what to do with the hole and I really don’t want to pay $500 for the bigger door. Or have it to spend right now

    Ps my wife love Denny’s hit chocolate and it free refills at ours in town.


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