Let Your Dog Walk Itself, Install a Pet Door


December, 2016


Let Your Dog Walk Itself, Install a Pet Door

If you’re a pet owner, sometimes you just won’t be able to find the time to constantly take your pet outside to go to the bathroom. This can lead a lot of people to attempt installing a pet door themselves, but where do you start? Follow this handy guide, and take the headache out of home improvement.

Pet Size

To start, the most important step is measuring your pet. You don’t want to end up with a doggy door that is too big, or worse too small. Depending on the size of your pet, you’ll need to cut a corresponding hole in your door. Yes, this sounds scary! If you are not completely confident it is ok to call a professional. If you still want to install it yourself, read on. Normally, you want the opening of the door to be about 2 inches wider than your pet. The same goes for height, make sure there are 2 inches wiggle room for your pet. Since the difference in size can be drastic between animals, make sure you buy the right size door. However, if you have multiple pets that will be using the door, opt for the larger size.


Now comes the fun part! If you were worried about cutting a whole in your door, don’t be. Most pet doors come with a handy template for where to cut the hole. This will help insure you don’t make a mistake. On the other hand, if your pet door didn’t come with a template don’t fret. An easy solution is to use the plastic slide as a guide. Now, take either the template or the plastic piece and tape it to the door. Make sure to leave 3 inches from the bottom edge. Next, you’ll need to trace the inside of the template with a pencil. If screws are needed to fasten the hardware to the door, go ahead and mark the placement for those. When that’s finished, remove the template.

The Cut

Now that you’ve guide everything marked, it’s time to get out the drill. On the outside corners of your outline, make an X, these will be your starting points. With your drill, be careful not to go outside these marks. Now that that’s done, you’ll need a jigsaw for the remaining portion. Start at a corner, and put the blade into the hole that you drilled earlier. Slowly cut along the pencil line. Keep going until the entire template has been cut out.


You’ve made it this far, now you can breathe. Everything from here on out is fairly simple. Try the frame in the hole to see if it’s a nice snug fit. If not, you can continue making the necessary adjustments until the frame is flush with the door. Once you have a perfect fit, hold it tightly in place while you insert the screws. The screws shouldn’t be too tight, fasten until they are snug. To prevent air leaks, place some caulking on the inside of the frame. Almost there!

Your Dog Will Walk Itself

You successfully installed a pet door, but now your pet needs to learn how to use it. Sometimes this can be a struggle, and you thought the installation was hard! A helpful hint, is to leave the flap off for a couple days. That way, your pet can move through the door a lot easier. Go outside and call your pet, if they follow you through the door give them plenty of praise and/or treats. Be patient with your pet, it may take some time for them to get used to it. But you’ll both be happy in the end!

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