Buying a Dog door is a great way to give your four-legged friend freedom and independence. They conveniently let your dog come and go as it pleases, while at the same time keeping your home insulated, secure, and accident-free.

These practical doggy doors have been around for more than 400 years, starting off just as a hole in the wall, but today they’re much more advanced and sophisticated. With such a wide range of features and different types, available sizes, and countless colors, how do you find the most suitable doggie door for your lovely home and your playful friend? Find out more about dog door types in our Dog Doors Types Guide.

Before you book pet door installation you are required to do extensive research and consideration. To help you navigate all the options and find the right doggie door, here are 5 things to consider before choosing the right one.

dog in front of a dog flap

Types of dog doors

What kind of dog door are you looking to install? There’s a myriad of options varying in price, size, and installation ease. The most common types you should be aware of are:

  • Microchip dog doors: with a microchip doggie door you won’t need to run home in a panic every time there’s a storm outside. The microchip dog door allows dogs who wear sensor tags to enter or exit through the door. Some doors can be programmed to let the dog out at certain times of the day and block their exit at other times. An added benefit of these doors is that they’re a great way to keep raccoons and other unwanted visitors away.
  • Traditional doggie door: these doors are constructed of a flexible plastic material that a dog can push through to get outside. These are the most inexpensive type of dog door and the installation is quick and easy.
  • Hard doors: these doors are made from hard material, like sturdy plastic or metal. The difference between these hard doors and traditional dog doors is the increased security measures. You can lock the door to prevent your dog from getting out or unwanted visitors from getting into your home

When choosing a dog door, it is important to consider the security features that are available. Some dog doors come with built-in locking mechanisms, which can prevent unauthorized access by other animals or people. You should also consider the type of door that is most suitable for your home, depending on the climate and weather conditions in your area.

Dog door location

Does your dog need access to the front yard or to the backyard? Do you have a glass door or a timber door? Dog doors, depending on the dog’s size, are most often installed in: 

Timber doors

✔ Sliding glass doors

✔ Screen doors

✔ Steel doors

✔ French doors

✔ Windows

✔ Walls

If your dog spends most of its time outdoors, then opt for a garage door to allow for indoor space when it gets chilly. If you have a dog that prefers indoors, then consider installing your dog flap into a door that offers quick access to the garden. Choosing the right spot for your dog flap is key to installation costs as well as your furry friend’s comfort.

Size of Your Dog

Before choosing a doggie door, make sure you calculate your dog door size by breed. Some doors are suitable for small breeds, such as Maltese terriers, miniature poodles, or chihuahuas. Others suit large breeds of dogs, including a golden retriever, collie, or Rottweiler. In order to make the right buy, you’ll need to measure your dog’s height and width. Measure your dog’s height from the ground to the top of its shoulder. The general rule is to get a door that is 1” larger than your dog’s measurements. To estimate your dog’s width, simply measure your dog at its widest part, usually between the shoulders. If your dog is between sizes, always choose the larger one. Carefully look at the size chart of each dog door to find the right fit.

dog in front of a microchip dog door

Choosing the Right Size Door

With the measurements of your dog, you can now choose the right size door. Dog doors come in different sizes, so it’s important to select the right one to meet the needs of your pet. A door that is too small will not allow your pet to pass through, and a door that is too big will let in unwanted visitors.

It’s also important to keep in mind that some breeds of dogs may have specific needs for the size of the door. For example, breeds like Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, and other small dogs may need a smaller door, while larger breeds like Great Danes, Saint Bernards, and Mastiffs will need a larger door.

Overall, taking the time to measure your dog and choosing the right size door is essential for the comfort and safety of your pet.

Location of the Dog Door

When choosing the location for your dog door, there are a few factors you need to consider. Firstly, you need to determine the most suitable wall or door to install the door. This will depend on the layout of your home, as well as the accessibility for your dog. If you live in a house with multiple floors, you may want to install the door on the ground floor to avoid any potential accidents.

Another factor to consider is the weather conditions in your area. If you live in an area with extreme temperatures, you may want to choose a wall or door that is protected from the elements, such as a garage or mudroom. This will help to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. On the other hand, if you live in a mild climate, you may be able to install the dog door anywhere in your home without any issues.

It’s important to think carefully about the location of the dog door to ensure that it is both safe and convenient for both you and your dog. By taking the time to make the right choice, you can ensure that your new dog door is a positive addition to your home.

Dog door safety

Are there any other pets in your home? If you have a cat, for example, you don’t want to install a traditional dog flap that your cat can easily get through and escape. The safer choice is to get an automated dog door that will only open for your dog and keep other pets from exiting the house.

What about a child in the house? Having a toddler at home can be an issue as small children can exit the house through the dog door. Again, you might want to opt for an automated dog door that’ll only open for your dog.

Dog door features

Having a door that is weatherproof when you live in an area that gets extreme heat in summer, heavy rain in autumn, or deep snow in winter is essential. A weatherproof dog door will help insulate your home as heat and cold air can escape when the door opens. These all-weather doggie doors are the best ones on the market and are the ideal way to increase insulation for maximum energy efficiency. There are many doors whose flap uses magnetic seals that keep them closed in gusts up to 50 mph.

Moreover, there is also a wide choice of frames to choose from. Most dog doors feature plastic or metal frames, the former being cheaper and the latter more expensive but stronger. If your door is subject to direct sun, you should opt for a metal frame to make your door more durable.

Ease of dog door installation

The ease of dog door installation varies, depending on the door type and the material of the area you want to insert a dog door. For example, installing a traditional flap door into wood is easier than installing a dog door into a wall. Not all of us are handy, and for that reason, you can hire a professional to install the dog door for you.

Replacing Parts and Repairs

When it comes to buying a dog door, it is important to consider not only the initial cost but also the maintenance and upkeep that will be required. Cleaning and maintaining the door will help ensure that it lasts for many years, while also keeping your home and your pet safe. Consider the materials used to make the door and their durability, as well as the ease of replacing parts or repairing any damage. It is also a good idea to research the manufacturer’s warranty and customer support options, so you can be confident that you will have assistance if you need it in the future.

Dog door reviews

Any pet owner looking to buy a dog door for the first time is probably flooded with questions to ask.  What is the best manufacturer for pet doors? How much time does it take to install a dog door? Do they come with a warranty? Are they energy-efficient? How to Train Your Dog to Use a Doggie Door? To get a quick and sure answer to these questions, consider reading dog door reviews. Reading the reviews can be a great way to get more information about the product and see what customers who have bought the dog door think of it.

Balancing Cost and Quality

Balancing cost and quality is a crucial factor when buying a dog door. While a high-quality dog door may come with a higher price tag, it may also last longer, require less maintenance, and provide better security and energy efficiency. On the other hand, a low-cost option may be more affordable but may not provide the same level of durability and efficiency. When budgeting for a dog door, it is important to consider the long-term costs, including maintenance, repair, and replacement costs. Additionally, it’s essential to consider the benefits of a dog door, such as increased convenience and independence for your pet, improved safety and security, and reduced energy usage. By balancing cost and quality, you can find a dog door that meets your needs and fits within your budget.

Summary of Factors to Consider

Choosing the right dog door for your home can be a big decision. There are several important factors to consider to make sure you select the best door for your furry friend and your home. In this article, we will explore seven of the most important considerations when buying a dog door, including the size of your dog, location of the door, type of door, energy efficiency, cost, maintenance requirements, and finally, a conclusion. By taking these factors into account, you will be able to make an informed decision about the right dog door for your home.

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