How to Install a Pet Door

How to Install a Pet Door

Pet doors provide your pet self-esteem by offering him the freedom to move in the house and outdoors as he pleases, and it is easy to learn how to install a pet door yourself. It also helps in overcoming some common behavioral problems like excessive barking, clawing, housebreaking, scratching furniture, and destructive chewing.

If you are planning to install a pet door, here is an article with pet door installation tips. There are different types of pet doors available in the market, including electronic dog doors that help in preventing your little one from roaming outside at night.  


Installation of pet doors is an easy DIY task. Nevertheless, if you are not sure about installing the pet door on yourself, it would be better to hire a professional.  

Steps to install a Pet Door

Select a Door

 A cute otterhound dog using his pet door

The first step for installing a pet door is to choose an appropriate model.

When choosing the pet door, you should consider the size of your pet and home. Below mentioned are some tips. 

Measure the Size of Your Pet – Before thinking about how to install a cat door or dog door, it is better to measure the size of your pet. The door should be sufficiently large to suit the width and height of your pet.

If you opt for installing a small door, your pet might not be comfortable going through the door. Different pet doors in different sizes, including small, medium, large, or even extra-large, are available in the market to accommodate your pet. 

Pay Attention to the Opening Size of the Door – The opening of the pet door matters more than the total size with hardware. The height pet door should be around 2 inches wider and higher than the measurements of your dog.

Choose a Space – Take measurements properly to make sure that the dog gets appropriate access to space both inside and outside. You should leave a few inches on both sides of the door for the purpose of security.

Opt for an Alternative Placement – Certain models of pet doors can be installed inside the wall. However, the placements of these models can be more daunting.

Mark the Placement

A wall mounted catflap

The next step is to mark the placement where you want to install the door. 

  • Trace the template of the dog door onto the place where you want to install the pet dog with the help of a pencil.
  • Now mark required screw holes.
  • Mark the corners of the pet door opening. You will have to make the cuts.

Make Holes

  • In order to make a hole at the center of each marking, use an electric drill containing ½ inch drill bit.
  • You should drill holes for the supporting hardware by following the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure accuracy.

Cut and Make the Opening

  • Use a hand saw to make the opening for the pet door. You should begin in one corner and then continue cutting along the outline made by you with the help of a template.
  • Insert the side having no flap from the external side of the home. You need to insert the side into the frame that is present on the pet door’s outer side. You need to make sure that the frame sits completely against the door.
  • In case the door is too deep, there are certain models with break-off levels available in the market. These can be removed with the help of pliers.
  • Now remove the levels one at a time.

Put the Frame

  • The next step is to install the interior frame of the pet door from the inner side of the door to your house.
  • Now you should put the screws, by holding the door properly in place in order to manage to keep it straight.

Seal the Frame

The final step is to seal the frame.

  • In order to seal it, use a caulk.
  • It will help in keeping the air from entering your house. 

Once the pet door is installed, you can train your pet to use it. Some people leave the flap for some days as it allows the pet to move in and out easily. Praise your pet every time it uses the door. Praising the pet three times in a row will help in locking the behavior in place.

Some pets require more time as compared to others in learning the habit of using a pet door. In such cases, be patient. Once your pet learns using the pet door, he will love the new freedom. 


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