Pet Doors for the Elderly Dog

We get calls from quite a few customers that are trying to find a pet door for their senior pet. Some say that they have never had a pet door before, but because now their dog takes a certain type of medication, they need to be let out much more frequently, often in the middle of the night. A pet door is a great solution. Others are replacing an existing pet door because it’s become too uncomfortable to use; let’s face it, we all get a little less spry the older we get, so going through the same smaller opening or having to duck down all the time might not be as easy. Some breed-specific problems like hip dysplasia and arthritis might be a factor in needing a door-mounted much lower that still offers a taller opening. Elder dog care means taking care when deciding your pet door. Read on for a dog door guide for senior dogs.

old dog looking for a good pet door for elderly pets

Installation Type

For instance if you are thinking about a wall mount, but have base boards or framing that you can’t cut into making it so that they door has to be mounted 7 or 8 inches from the floor. Well, that step over might be a bit high and more daunting, especially since your dog has to go through a tunnel. We say that you generally don’t want the pet door mounted more than about 3" or 4” from the floor. Possibly taking a look at a different installation spot would be a better choice. If a different installation type is not available then considering ramps or steps making the door more easily accessible would make it much more comfortable.

Magnet Strength

While the Endura Flap line seals amazingly well, that might not be the best choice. Why? The better the sealing the more magnet strength and the harder the pet has to push. For smaller or older weaker pets this may pose a challenge, so trying to maintain that balance between insulation value and usability is important. In this case a good one to go with would be the Hale line of pet doors, since they have magnets strategically placed around the flap so that the pet would not have to put as much pressure on it in order to break the magnet contact.

Flap Clarity

Older pets might have some issues with vision, such as cataracts or glaucoma, making certain doggy doors more challenging. We have had customers in cases where the pet would go into the door or wall go with a clear type vinyl flap as they allow more light to get through and easier to see something on the opposite side.

elderly dog care - the right pet door is crucial for old dog care - senior dogs


The bigger the pet door generally the heavier the flap and the more magnet strength. You do want a door that is large enough for you dog offering some wiggle room so they aren’t squeezing, but going overkill isn’t necessary either. We suggest taking a look at how we measure pets to get you pointed to the proper size. Caring for an old dog can be hard and challenging, but it's very important for there quality of life. These are just a few suggestions and as always we hope you call or email us with any questions or concerns you might have when choosing the best door for a senior pup!
Kelsey Youmans

Written by

Kelsey Youmans

Customer Satisfaction Jedi

Pets: They're all spoiled!
Fun stuff: Addicted to the Food Network Channel.

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