When Dog Doors Meet Sliding Glass Doors

Here's our Need-to-Know guide to patio pet doors! Now you can give your pet the freedom they need without punching a hole in your door or wall!

Benefits of sliding glass pet doors:

  • Most have a quick, tool-free installation
  • Great for renters or vacation homes 
  • No cutting into a door or wall 

We talked to the pet door experts and found the most important things for customers to know about sliding door dog door inserts. Below are the most important things to consider about Pet Patio Panels.

Here is your official checklist!

Take Necessary Measurements

1. Measure your Pet and Track Height

It may seem a little strange, but measuring pet dimensions is very important in order to find the right pet door size, and in turn, find the right sliding glass door dimensions. We have a guide on how to properly measure your pet. We recommend checking their height from shoulder to floor. It is not advised to go by weight or breed since a beagle and poodle can be the same weight but different sizes. Our pet door experts suggest the top of the flap be at least an inch above your pet’s shoulder. This height includes the step-over, which is how high the bottom of the pet door is raised from the ground. Check out our measuring guide for a video and more information, so you don't end up with an extra-large door for your chihuahua!

Dog door for sliding glass door measurement guide - sliding glass dog door

For most patio pet door inserts, you will need to measure the track height from top to bottom. This is the space your slider slides on. Top to bottom refers to the deepest parts on the top of the track, to the deepest parts on the bottom of the track. If you are looking into the Hale Omni Panel, please note that the panel does require a different measuring technique.

Mismeasuring happens. A common occurrence is when your measurement is just above or below the track height range that fits your track height, and you end up purchasing a panel that is either too short or too tall to fit your slider tracks. If you are having trouble with this, we recommend calling our customer service 1-800-826-2871 or chatting with us on live chat through our website to make sure you purchase the right size. On that note, there is a height extension that can be purchased and used with the Thermo Panel 3e, featuring an ‘anti whoops‘ component that addresses this height problem.

2. Measure your track width or thickness

This step in measurement is often overlooked and needs to be checked. This will determine if the panel you are looking at will sit snug or loose. Measure the door track of your sliding patio door from the interior side of the home to the exterior. 

Sliding door inserts allow you to use your slider normally. Once installed, the insert attaches to your door frame, leaving room for you to walk through. This will help you gauge whether or not it is going to take up the right amount of space. It's worth noting, most inserts do not work with existing sliding glass door locks, so additional locking mechanisms are included with purchase.

Consider Step Over

Dog using sliding door dog door insert fopr sliding glass door dog door

A ‘step-over’ is the distance between the ground and the bottom of the flap. The higher it is, the bigger the hurdle your cat or dog will have to get over. This is one of the key components to consider for a number of reasons. If your step-over is too high, your small pet may struggle to get through their door. If it’s too low, your large size dog may end up scraping their back on the top of the doggy door for sliding glass door when they enter and exit.

Note: It is hard to determine what height works when your dog is a puppy. We recommend getting a panel with an adjustable step-over range so they can move through easily at every point in their growing life. The Thermo Panel 3e pet door for sliding glass door has this feature.

Still, confused? Check out our exclusive guide for all the detailed information on what step-over height best suits your pet.

Check Your Frame

This includes checking the color and frame material. Most inserts are made out of aluminum. If you have a vinyl framed slider, our aluminum inserts can still work. We also have vinyl patio door panels available. These inserts are limited in flap and track sizes. Read below to know more about the vinyl panel options we offer. If you need a different color than we offer, choosing the White color option and painting over it, as a DIY craft, would be an option.

Important Considerations before getting your Patio Panel Pet Door

Vinyl or Aluminum?

Vinyl sliding glass door dog - dog door for slider for glass sliding doors

A great option requiring little to no tools are Sliding Door Doggie Door Panels. These panels do not require modification to the frame of your sliding glass doors. Install by simply placing the pet door panel on the same track that your patio door slides on. The panel will match your frame by adjusting to your track height with its spring-loaded top! We found pet panels from lots of brands, from Endura to PetSafe to Hale.

Patio door panels are typically manufactured using aluminum. However, a common concern is for those with a vinyl slider frame. Contrary to popular belief, aluminum panels can be inserted into a vinyl sliding door. The concern with the two materials has to do with the fit, as vinyl frames tend to have wider tracks than aluminum frames.

The solution: We have a vinyl sliding glass dog door or vinyl sliding glass cat door panel! The Endura Flap Vinyl Sliding Glass panel is made to match the thickness of your vinyl slider framing, and you won’t lose insulation or appearances in the process. Alternatively, the only other vinyl panel options are the Ideal VPP or Ideal VIP which comes in a dog or cat version. If you still wish to go with an aluminum insert you can also try to shim or toe-nail the panel. Shimming can make up for room on the top or bottom of the panel. To toe-nail the panel in, screws are drilled in at an angle to go through the panel and into the track. This helps the panel’s stability.


Locks for doggie door for sliding glass door - pet door for sliding glass door

Most panels will not mate with your existing slider lock, but they do come with an alternative locking mechanism. There are a few solutions can offer. With no tools required, you can use a Clamp lock or Charley Bar. These locks can be taken off your slider at any time. The clamp lock attaches to the bottom of your track, while the charley bar sits between the frame and slider. The VIP and VPP vinyl pet door in slider options actually have a lock latch that you install on the side of the panel to work with existing locks. This is a great locking doggy door for sliding glass doors made of vinyl. The VIP and VPP latch lock hardware will not work properly with other slider models. Additionally, each doggy door comes with its own locking cover.

Another related product for pet patio doors included with your order is weather stripping for energy efficiency, which keeps the seal on your door and keeps your home energy efficient in moderate to extreme weather.

Price Differences

With different quality come different prices. Here are the main factors of sliding glass door dog doors that determine the price:

Height: Almost every height range causes the price to vary, especially if your slider is not a “standard” height according to a manufacturer. Custom height options will also cause a price hike.

Glass Type: This can refer to whether you purchase a panel with dual or single pane glass to match your existing sliding door. The difference between the two panes can impact your insulation value.

Electronic Panels: One might be looking for an electronic pet door to prevent critters and stranger cats to enter the house. Though we only carry microchip pet door panels for cats and small dogs, we do have Electronic panels for larger dogs require each pet to wear a collar key, which sends a signal to an automatic door for your pet to enter and exit.

Flap Size & Flap Type: Every flap is designed for specific purposes. Some flaps are designed with magnetic closure on their doors to hold up in severe weather conditions better than the economical options, which can reflect an increase in price. The best doggie door for sliding glass doors will obviously be better insulating and longer-lasting than the cheapest one, with pet owners not needing to buy replacement flaps for years after installation. Consider also whether you are looking for a rigid cat flap or a flexible dog door flap.

There are many great benefits to a sliding glass door insert. With little to no tools required, these options are great for renters or for vacation homes! No modifications to the actual house are necessary, just careful measurements. As with any pet door, please take note of the step-over options available. Most panel inserts will not have adjustable step overs, except the Thermo Panel 3e. For other models, you can look into getting a custom step over to help your pets access their door comfortably.

Last Minute Considerations…

Worried about bugs flying in between the screen and patio pet door?

Lots of people complain that bugs can get in through the gaps in screen doors. Check out the Bug Warden to keep your home bug-free.

Do we carry your track size?

If this is the case, you may need a custom panel height. The Hale and Thermo Panel 3e can be made to fit just about any height. The Ideal Fast Fit can be made to fit heights above 80 inches.

Wondering how to lock the pet door?

Each pet door comes with its own security cover to restrict access through the flap.

Need an electronic solution for your sliding glass?

We have a few products to consider. Most will require your pet to wear a collar key to signal the automatic flap to unlock. We also have microchip options for small dogs or cats. These are the best pet door solutions to keeping unwanted critters from entering your home!

Deciding on single or dual pane?

Dual pane glass insulates much better than single pane and attenuates noise much better. If you live with severe weather conditions, are looking for a more permanent doggie to use it year-round, it might be worth getting dual pane. If you live in a temperate area, single pane may be just fine. You can tell what type of glass you have by placing a finger on both sides of the glass. If they look like they’re touching, you have single pane; If they stop about 1/2″ apart, you have dual pane.

In the event that you have any additional questions, or need clarification, please contact us through the live chat on our website, email us at, or call us at (805)781-7700 to speak with a customer service representative. We are happy to help you out!

In the Glass Pet Doors

patio door with pet door built in: in glass doggy door for sliding glass door

Alternatively, we can have a new piece of glass manufactured to fit your sliding patio dimensions. You can have an Endura Flap pet door pre-installed at the bottom of a piece of glass that will replace your current glass. These are the Custom In the Glass options. Or take a look at pre-installed doors like the Doors 4 Pets and People exterior doors with pet doors.

Using a pet door that is installed in your glass allows you to use your sliding glass door’s normal locking system. This is essentially just a patio door with pet door built in! It also lets you use the full width of your sliding glass door when you come and go! Check with a expert for more information!

Cynthia Herrera

Written by

Cynthia Herrera

The Team is dedicated to providing the highest quality pet doors. As dog and cat lovers ourselves, we aim to write about the topics that matter the most to you and your furry friend. If you have any questions, please contact our customer service team. 🐶🐱

The Team is dedicated to providing the highest quality pet doors. As dog and cat lovers ourselves, we aim to write about the topics that matter the most to you and your furry friend. If you have any questions, please contact our customer service team. 🐶🐱


  • Hi Traci!

    Most patio panel pet doors come with a clamp lock to secure the panel in the sliding door track. Once the panel is secured, you can lock the sliding door in place with a wooden dowel in the track or a Charley Bar. We have two Charley bar options available for purchase:



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

    Happy holidays!

    Elizabeth (Staff)
  • I’m renting a guesthouse as a primary residence that only has a sliding door as a entrance/exit. I picked this place because it has an enclosed yard for my dog…but I’m concerned I won’t be able to lock and secure it from the outside? Help!

    Traci Garrett
  • Hi Carly,

    Good question! The sliding door pet door panel will be able to stay in the sliding door track by itself, since it is secured in place by a spring-loaded mechanism (which means you can still use the sliding door for human use). One thing to think about is the size of the pet door your pet needs. If your pet is larger, the pet door they will likely need will be wider, which means less overall room for a person to get through the opening (the overall panel widths should be indicated in the size charts on product pages). You can measure the opening of your sliding door and subtract the overall width to make sure that the remaining space is comfortable for a person to walk through still.

    If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to us at!

    Grace (Staff)
  • Hi! I’m trying to see if I’d still be able to use the door when the doggy door panel is in place. The panel would remain stationary of course, but I’m wondering if I could regularly open the door for human use, or if that wouldn’t work well? Thanks so much!

  • Hi Alex,

    Great question! If you have a more timid cat, getting heavier flaps like or or double flap versions of those doors could be the answer to the cat not going through the pet door. However, some cats figure it out and will use the pet door anyway.

    It’s not a guarantee that the cat will not simply run through the door with the dog, but we also carry electronic sliding door panels that work with collar keys. This one is for larger dogs:

    If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at!

    Grace (Staff)
  • Hello!
    Any suggestions on how to configure a glass slider dog door that the cat can’t use!? Would it be weighted differently? We have a Bernese Mountain, so the panel could be on the heavier side that a cat wouldn’t be able to open. Is that even a thing? Thanks!

  • We have sliding doors that look like 4 doors. The two that meet in the middle and one on each side That don’t move. How would you attach the pet door and is it possible to send a picture. Thank you

    Kathleen Prawl
  • Hi Kim,

    Great question! Yes, it still works. One door will be partially ajar with the panel filling the gap, and will remain stationary. The other door will open and close as needed. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at or give us a call at 1-800-826-2871!

    Grace Fuh
  • We have double sliding glass doors that meet each other in the middle. Will inserting the panel between them still work?

  • Hi Tim!

    Thanks for reaching out! For that space between the stationary glass and slider of your sliding glass door, you can check out this draft stopper weather stripping we carry. It sticks onto the slider and covers a good amount of that space you’re referring to. See the third image through the link for a diagram. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to or give us a call at 1-800-826-2871!

    Grace Fuh
  • I don’t know if you can help. We installed a doggie door in a sliding glass door for our beagle. The door works, but now we have about a 1/2″ gap between the locked slider part of the door and the opposite side of the glass door that we moved over to install the doggie door. Do you make anything to seal that area so air and bugs don’t come in?

    Thank you,

    Tim Glass
  • Hi there! The cost for installing doggy doors varies depending on who you choose to work with in your area. However, sometimes that cost can be $0! If you get something like the Ideal Fast Fit or an Endura Flap Thermo Panel, those are a “no-tools” install. They install in minutes! You just loosen the tension and compress the spring-loaded top piece, and then sit the door in your track and release the tension again (tightening the tension again to keep it snug in the track).
    Generally, for sliding doors, the only professional installation necessary is when inserting a doggie door directly in the glass of the sliding door. In this case, you would work with a professional glazier for your situation. We would be happy to answer any other questions you may have! Send us an email at if we can be of further assistance!

    Kate Miller
  • I am looking for a quote for someone to install a doggy door onto a glass sliding door frame

  • Hi there! There’s a couple options for sliding glass door doggie doors. Some don’t require installation at all! For example, the Endura Flap Thermo Panel is a tools free quick installation (and so is the Ideal Fast Fit). Both of those come with customizable heights available to fit nearly any sliding glass door.

    Another option is to install something directly into the glass. Our two options for this is the Pet Door Guys “In the Glass” unit, or the Hale Through Glass model. Both options require working with a local glazier (glass professional). Since this is a highly custom option and you’re working with a professional installer in your area, the pricing will depend on who you choose to work with!

    Kate Miller
  • Hi i have a husky was wondering about how much it would be to install a dog door in the sliding glass back door.

    Tony O Travis
  • Hi there!

    There are a few things you can do that we can recommend!
    Sometimes, you can just open the screen door enough to leave the pet door exposed. However, this can leave a gap between the slider and the screen, so we typically recommend the Bug Warden to block off that gap to prevent insects from entering your home. You can find that here:
    Another option is to remove your screen door, though sometimes this doesn’t work for everyone. If you don’t want to remove your screen, and the Bug Warden doesn’t work for your situation, we have a few very easy options for a doggie door for a screen door. The screen door options can be found here:

    If this doesn’t answer your question, or you’d like to hear more about solutions for this, please feel free to send us an email at Sending us pictures will help us give even better help! You can also call us at 1-800-826-2871.

    Hope this helps!

    Kate Miller
  • We just had our new sliding glass door installed that has the doggie door built into it. Any ideas as to how to keep the screen door from covering the doggie door?

  • I am looking for a lockable pet door for my patio sliders: 95″ high X 1 3/4″ jamb slot.
    I want the existing potion door to lock to the pet door.
    White Aluminum.

    James Kerrigan
  • Hello there, You have done a fantastic job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I’m sure they will be benefited from this site.


Leave a Comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published