What’s the Secret to a Great Pet Door?

Not sure if you need a pet door or not? Here are 10 telltale signs that it's time to get one for your furry friend.

Getting these 3 things right will make your pet door great:

  1. Perfect fit for your pet
  2. Convenient Location
  3. Suits your climate
dogs walking through doggie doors in sliding glass doors - select the right flap size

1. The Perfect Fit For Your Pet

Figuring out the right size dog door for your pet will play a big part in determining if your pet will use the doggie door for the years to come. Getting a size too small can be uncomfortable, and your pet might refuse to use it. Getting one too large might be intimidating. You'll also have to mount the pet door at the appropriate height! Your pet door needs to meet these standards:

  • Tall enough so your pet does not need to crouch
  • Low enough that your pet does not have to jump
  • Wide enough that your pet does not have to squeeze

Learn more about how to measure your pet with our measuring guide. If you are looking for a doggy door that multiple pets can share, you will need to make sure that:

  • The stepover height is no more than ⅓ of the shortest pet’s height
  • The top of the doggy door opening is at least 1” taller than the tallest pet

These steps are important to ensure that your dogs or cats will be able to easily use the pet door.

dog standing next to window mounted doggie door - select the right location

2. Choosing the Best Spot

You can install a doggie door just about anywhere. Choose a location that works best for both your home and your pet! Make sure you have a safe enclosure for your pet, and that the doggy door will have easy access to that area. You may need to add steps to make sure they can get in and out comfortably. Another thing to consider is that your pet will be coming inside on their own, and might bring in some dirt! So you might not want to install your pet door over white carpet. We have several installation locations available, from a standard door mount to sliding screen doors with dog doors. Check out the different location options:

pet door installed into a glass panel piece custom installation for a door that suits your climate

3. Consider the Weather

If you have a harsh climate, with anything like snow, extreme heat, or gusty winds you might be skeptical about installing a pet door in your home. No one wants all that weather getting inside! A solution for these situations would be a doggie door that seals tightly and insulates well. Electronic doggie doors are usually successful at this, but they do have moving parts that are prone to breaking which can leave your pet stranded inside or outside. Not to mention the collar keys that are easy to lose, and batteries that need replacing! The best insulating and highest quality pet doors you will find are the Endura Flap and the Hale. But if you're looking for a lower price tag and live in a temperate climate, we would also recommend the PetSafe Extreme Weather, Ideal Ruff Weather, and Ideal Draft Stopper. Read more about our recommendations for insulating pet doors.

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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