Fic Your Pet Door Problems: Addressing Your Concerns

Concerns about installing a pet door? Pet doors are a convenient solution for pet owners looking to improve the quality of their pets' lives. Yet, many are apprehensive about the potential issues that may arise post a doggy door installation.

Here's a thorough breakdown of common pet doors concerns and all they ways to fix them so that you can add a pet door to your home stress-free. 

Will A Pet Door Expose My Children To Danger? 

By far, the most pressing dog door problem is the possibility of exposing your children to danger.

It's a misconception that a pet door is too small for a child to navigate. Kids have an uncanny ability to wiggle through tight spaces, making it essential to take precautions.

Before diving into the pet door installation, ensure that areas like swimming pools, trampolines, and raised decks are adequately fenced. This mitigates the risk of children venturing into potentially dangerous zones. You can also use a locking cover to block off your flap when children are around.

Will A Pet Door Hurt My Dog? 

Using a pet door will not hurt your dog as long as it is the proper size. This means that the pet door is easy to step through that the top edge of the flap is at least 1" above the tallest point of your dog's back. 

Like with children, a pet door may also give your dog unsupervised access to dangerous areas of your yard. Make sure your yard is safely fenced. Regularly inspect the area for harmful plants or features.

How Do I Prevent My Pet Door Flap From Letting In The Cold? What About The Rain?

A common issue with pet doors, especially those with plastic flaps, is insulation. These doors can allow cold drafts or seep out AC during varying weather conditions.

The solution? Opt for high-quality pet doors, like the Endura Flap Pet Doors. Their exceptional insulating capabilities are reinforced by robust magnets, ensuring the flap remains closed even during gusty winds.

In fact, the Endura Flap’s prowess in sealing and insulation made it the recipient of the Fancy Publications Editors Choice Award in 2007. They also offer diverse door models, catering to different installation styles.

What Do I Do If Drafts Are Coming In Through The Pet Door Frame?

While it's rare, some pet doors, particularly those on patios, might leak around the frame.

The fix? Utilize adhesive foam weather stripping. To apply, clean the surface where you will install the foam stripping. Cut a single piece of the foam stripping with scissors to the length of the pet door. Peel back the paper on the foam to expose the adhesive. Install the foam strip in the channels on both sides of the panel pet door. 

For maximum energy efficiency with a sliding glass door pet door, the Pet Door Guys "In the Glass" Pet Door is a great option. This is a pane of glass with an energy efficient Endura Flap pet door built in that replaces the original pane from your slider. This means that unlike with a patio panel door, there is no chance of air leakage between the panel insert and the slider of your glass door.

I Don't Want To Spend A Fortune Replacing Doggie Door Flaps

A high quality pet door will come with a flap that will last a lifetime. 

Our top pick for durability is the Endura Flap pet door. They’ve undergone rigorous testing and come with a lifetime warranty. These doors resist extreme weather conditions and frequent use, reducing flap replacement costs.

Can I Get A Dog Door That My Dog Can Use But Keeps My Cat Out?

To ensure your dog can exit while your cat remains inside, consider an electronic pet door with collar or microchip requirementsHowever, this is not to say that the cat won't slip out behind the dog.

There are a few methods you can use to discourage your cat from using your dog's pet door. If your cat tries to slip out, you could try spraying a squirt gun in the cat's direction. You can also spray the door with scent that cats find noxious or line the ground around the door with aluminum foil. 

You should also make sure your cat has plenty of enrichment so that they feel fulfilled staying indoors. If your cat craves time outside, then you can build them a catio (accessible only through a cat flap) or leash train them. 

I'm Worried That A Pet Door Will Get In the Way Of My Screen Door 

There are plenty of pet doors that install directly into screen meshes that will allow you to keep bugs out of your home while giving your pet free reign outdoors. Our top picks include the Hale Pet Door for Screens and the PetSafe Pet Screen Door

You can also transform your screen into a pet door with the screen conversion kit

If a pet dog for screens isn't your style, you can also install a pet door directly into the non-moving section of your sliding glass door with Pet Door Guys, Pet Door Products, or Utah Pet Access

Can Burglars Get Into My House Through A Pet Door?

Home invasions rarely involve a robber accessing homes through a pet door. But if you want to increase your pet door security, you can get the Watchdog Security Pet Door Locker. It's made of 12 gauge steel and will put a steel combination lock between that burglar and your pet door.

To secure sliding door and window pet door inserts, we recommend installing a Charley Bar. It secures horizontally or vertically against the side of the door or window track in a matter of minutes.

How Do I Install A Pet Door Into A Hollow-Core or Steel Door?

Your best bet is to purchase a self-framing pet door. Then you may skip the framing part below.

If you've already got a pet door that isn't self-framing, you'll need to frame the hole as shown. To do that you're going to need a table saw to rip the pieces to the correct thickness. Glue in place, clamp and let dry. Then mount the pet door.

The only difference in a steel door is that you use a different saw for cutting the hole. Jig saw with a metal cutting blade works best.

Can I Install A Pet Door Into An Irregular Surface?

Every pet door needs to be installed on a flat surface so you'll need to make sure your install location is completely flat.

It's probably a good idea to choose a sturdy metal-framed pet door for this application. The plastic-framed ones are easier to distort if the surface isn't perfectly flat and any distortion may cause the flap to bind and not swing freely.

The best, neatest way to handle this situation is shown: cut furring strips just thick enough to bring the thinner areas up to the same thickness as the thicker areas.

A cheaper method would be to get a self-framing pet door and make each of the four corners the same thickness. Then caulk in the spaces between the corners.

What's The Best Way To Install A Pet Door Into A Wall?

Easiest way to install a pet door for walls is to purchase a 'self-framing' manual wall mount or electronic wall mount pet door (you can check out our cat wall doors).

But if the particular pet door you want is designed for installation in a door you probably still can install it in your wall if you have the skills to frame the wall yourself. We think it best to hire this job out to a contractor. It's a big problem if you cut into electrical or fail to seal the wall properly against weather.

If you’re pondering how to install a doggie door or seeking tips on pet door installation, remember that prioritizing quality and following guidelines will ensure safety and longevity. Whether it’s a DIY dog door project or hiring a professional dog door installer, a properly installed pet door provides freedom for your pet while ensuring the safety of all members of the household.