DIY Pet Door Installation

If you are looking to install your own pet door, read the FAQs below related to your installation location! If you can't find what you need, please email our experts at customerservice@petdoors.com!

Q: How far up should I install the pet door? How high off the ground should I install it?

Pet doors must be installed at least 1" above the tallest part of the dog's back and at least 3" from the floor. We recommend measuring your pets to find a comfortable step over range for them so you can install it in the perfect place for them! See how to measure here. The manufacturers will also have specific recommendations included in the installation instructions.

Q: How high off the ground should I install it?

Pet doors must be installed at least 1" above the tallest part of the dog's back and really no more than 3" - 4" from the floor if possible, as going through a wall is a little more of a challange negotiating a tunnel. We recommend measuring your pets to find a comfortable step over range for them so you can install it in the perfect place for them! See how to measure here. You also do need to be careful that you are not cutting into any framing supporiting the wall. If you aren't sure, we suggest hiring a contractor.

Q: How do I know where the wires/studs are?

A: There are plenty of tools out there that can be used to help you find what is inside your wall. like wire and stud finders. However, we recommend that you hire a contractor or handy man to help you install your pet door.

Q: Will it fit between studs?

A: To determine whether the pet door will fit between your studs, you'll want to verify that the rough cut out of the pet door is less than the width between your studs. Find the studs by either using a stud finder, or by knocking on the wall to find it. Remember that studs are typically evenly spaced apart, but may not be so if there is an electric outlet or other apparatus running through the wall in certain areas.

Q: Are these easy to install? Can I do this myself?

A: It depends on how handy you are. If you want something that is easy to install, I would recommend either the Endura Flap Thermo Panel 3e or the Ideal Fast Fit. These pet door panels do not require any tools for installation. For more information, you can visit the 'Installation Instructions' tab on each product page.

How is the pet door secured in my track?

Most panels have some type of pressure system at the top that expands to the height of your track, and then is locked in place so that the panel cannot be removed from the track. Some panels do require you to drill a hole through your track to secure the panel, but most are no tools required.

The Thermo Panel 3e and the Ideal Fast Fit are our two biggest sellers because they do not require any tools to be installed. To see all the 'no tools required' options, go here: https://www.petdoors.com/pet-doors/sliding-glass-dog-door.html?installation_filter=1212

Q: How do I know the correct track position to install the panel pet door in?

A: Many choose to install their sliding glass pet door in the glass track against the sliding door jamb. Then the sliding glass door opens and closes against it. The pet door is always stationary.

Some choose an outside screen track. In that case, we suggest you use a 'spring-load' (no tools installation) type that is particularly thin such as the Ideal Fast Fit. If the glass track height and screen track height are close enough in width, you may be able to move the sliding door pet door from one another as the weather dictates.

Please notice that the thickness of the pet door will not be the same as the thickness of your track. There are too many track widths to make a separate panel for each one and so no manufacturer does. They are all built on the 'thin' side in order to make it compatible with any sliding door track. Properly installed, this fact is not noticeable.

The vinyl-framed pet doors will be thicker to more nearly match vinyl-framed sliding glass doors.

Q: With the installation of my new Sliding Glass Door Patio Panel, the total width of walking space decreases with the panel in place, how do I make sure that I will still have enough room to walk through?

A: The 'Overall Panel Width' column under the size chart will tell you how wide each panel is. You can find out if there is enough space to still use your sliding glass door by subtracting the overall panel width of the pet door from the total width of the opening of your sliding glass door.

After fitting your pet, be sure the remaining opening in your sliding door fits you. If it's tight and this situation displeases you, look for a dog door sliding glass door with a higher aspect ratio for the flap. For example, why get a 14" x 23" flap if your pet can easily use a 12" x 23"? You just saved two inches. Or you can put a pet door directly through the glass of your sliding glass door: See Pet Doors "Through The Glass" Category Page..cat doors for sliding glass doors

Q: How do you fix if the knobs hit the track wall so that the pet door isn't straight?

In this case you would have to shim out the panel. This can be done by adding weather stripping or wood shims into the jamb where the pet door is installed. What this does is push the panel out enough at the bottom to straighten it out preventing the bottom of the panel going into the jamb further than the top where the thumb screw is hitting. (add this to the tricks and work arounds/help page)

Q: Do I want a 'temporary' or a 'semi-permanent' pet door installed?

A: A temporary installation doggie door for sliding glass door may be put in and taken out again easily. This would be the better option if you do not want the panel to be located in one position all the time. For example, you may wish to use the panel only during warm weather or only when you are at home. Having a temporary panel presents a flexible solution.

A semi-permanent pet door for sliding glass door, on the other hand, must be fastened into the track. The panel must be fastened because the manufacturer has put a lock on the pet door which mates to a bracket on the sliding glass door. For that lock to work, the panel must be fastened in place. To make the installation semi-permanent, you can nail the panel into the track on the top and/or bottom. Note: Any modifications to the panel will void the warranty and return policy.

On top of those two options there is a group of pet doors for sliding doors that are neither a temporary install nor a semi-permanent install, but somewhere in between. That is, they may require tools to set up but are not fastened into your track.

If a semi-permanent install is desired and your sliding glass door uses an alarm, it is possible to install the panel on the side of the stationary half of the sliding glass door. This type of installation may help avoid needing to reset your alarm system. Keep in mind that every sliding glass door's stationary panel is different, so moving and reinstalling tactics vary and does not have one specific answer that would suffice.

Another installation possibility that is commonly overlooked, is that all pet doors that are designed for temporary installation may be made semi-permanent by fastening them into the track with sheet metal screws. A temporary type panel has the broadest range of installation choices.

Q: Will it work in my Pella/Anderson sliding glass door?

A: Pella and Anderson doors don't have the standard metal railing on the bottom of the track or the standard grooved track at the top that Endura Flap, Ideal, and Petsafe use for installation. Hale Omni Panels would be the best panel to install on these locations as they use a tension nut instead of a spring loaded topper for installation. Visit the Details tab on the Hale Omni Panel page

Q: Can I install this through my screened-in porch?

A: You can definitely install a pet door for screens through any screen, including that of a screened in porch or lanai. If you are going to install it into a corner, you may need to use a custom cut Hale for screens, check out the "Details" tab of that product to read more!

Q: Do I have to cut my screen?

A: Yes, you will need to cut the screen in order for your pet to go through.

Q: Do I need to buy new screen?

A: They are designed to fit into your existing screen, but some customers have replaced old screen material with more durable pet screening at the time of installation.

Q: Do you have to screw it to the frame?

A: Only the Hale and Pride require screwing it to the frame. The rest go directly through the screen material.

Q: Is the installation easy?

A: Screen mounted pet doors range in difficulty level. A pet door that is installed with screen material on all 4 sides is relatively easy to install, and the only tool you will likely need is a knife. Pet doors for screens that install into the screen's frame are more difficult, and may require additional tools. Screen pet doors are generally easier to install than through doors or walls, but you may still want a professional to get the job done right.

Q: Do you drill them in?

A: Nope! All of them are tension mounted, however you can screw them in if you choose to make it more semi-permanent.

Q: Is it easy install?

A: Most of the Sash windows invlolve loosening the thumb screws, setting the sash in place and letting the topper spring into the frame and then tightening the thumb screws on the inside of the house.

Q: The pet door is not wide enough, but only by an inch, what can I do?

A: If you have a pet insert for your window from Endura Flap or Ideal Pet Products, you can add a width extension to make your panel fit your window. You can cut a board to the height and length you need an slide it into the adjustment chanel on either side.

Q: The sash pet door is too wide by less than an inch, what can I do?

A: If you have a pet insert for your window from Endura Flap or Ideal Pet Products, you can trim off about 3/4" from the edge of the spring-loaded adjustment pieces.

Q: What do you do if the knobs hit the window track so it sits unevenly?

A: You can add weather stripping or shims into the track where the pet door is installed. What this does is kick the panel out just enough at the bottom to straighten it out preventing the bottom of the pet dor going into the jamb far enough to bump into the panel.