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Pet Doors 101

If you have a furry friend at your house, whether of the canine or feline variety, then purchasing and installing a pet door is something you might want to think seriously about. Typically, a 24×72 pre hung door does not come with a pet door already installed. It’s something you’ll want to add yourself if needed. But before you start cutting into your lovely door there are some things you’ll need to know. Keep these in mind as you research, purchase, and install that doggie door.

42053935 - two dog siting in front of the door

Considerations Before You Buy

Here are a few things to think about before you spend the money on the door.


If you have a large dog it’s quite possible that a burglar can make his way into your home through the pet access door. Perhaps your dog will serve as a deterrent to such individuals, but in the event your dog would just as soon lick the intruder as bite him you should consider getting a dog door that is controlled by a sensor on your dog’s collar. This will keep the door from opening for anyone else.

Energy Cost:

Unless you purchase a good quality pet door you may see a lot of your heating and cooling money floating silently out through the pet door. A good pet door will have better insulation and you can avoid increasing your energy bills.


Most pet owners think of pet doors as always being installed on an actual door, but modern pet doors can actually be installed in a wall, window, traditional door, French doors, and even sliding doors. The options are broad and pet owners should consider where the best place for your dog to have access to is located. If homeowners are gone for a large portion of the day, then the dog door should be placed where the pet can only access the backyard. If they own a cat, the cat flap could be placed higher up on a wall or near a window in a space that the cat can reach easily.


Multiple Pets:

One size does not fit all when it comes to pet doors. If you have a short dog and a tall dog, you’ll want to make sure that the placement of the door doesn’t make it difficult for either one to get through. If you have an older animal with mobility issues, make sure that the door is easily accessible for them.


If you have very young children it might be better to wait on the pet door. There have been accidents and even deaths related to young children and animal access entries. Please do your research and keep your children safe.

Unwanted Animals:

The unfortunate thing about a pet door is that they swing both ways. There have been many unfortunate homeowners who have woken up to find that a skunk, possum, raccoon, or other curious animal has found its way into their home. Even the occasional alligator has been reported! If your backyard is a favorite hangout for unwanted animals, you might want to think twice about installing a pet door.

Considerations When You Purchase

Read Reviews:

Pet owners are usually very good about leaving reviews for products. These will give you a good idea of how the product works in real life, not just how it sounds in the advertising.

Compare Prices:

Don’t just go for the cheapest door on the market, and don’t assume that the first price you run into is the best one for the door you want. Compare online markets with your local pet store, see which has a better deal, and if you want to support your local store but the online market has a better price tag, just ask if they can match it. Sometimes a local shop owner will lower his price if he can keep a long term customer.


Double Check the Size:

It’s very important that you get a door that fits your pet. An inch taller than your animal’s shoulder height and at least two inches wider than their hip width is the correct measurement. A door that is too small can cause your animal to get stuck and can potentially cause them injury.

Hopefully you will find just the right door for you and your pet and you’ll enjoy many years of very happy comings and goings.

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