The Best Pet Door – Choosing the Right One for Your Home

Choosing the best pet door for your home might sound like an easy task. However, there are more things to consider than you might think. You want to give your pet the freedom they need. You also want to make sure the security of your home, the safety of you and your pet, and your pet’s overall health aren’t compromised. Maybe you are a new pet owner, or are finally getting around to that to-do list. When you need to install a pet door for your cat or dog, here are some things to consider.

Model Type

Pet doors come in all sizes. However, one of the first decisions you need to make when choosing a cat or dog door for your home is the model type. If you plan to install your pet’s access door in a “people door” that leads outside, a door model pet door is your best option. These models can be easily installed in virtually any type of door. This gives your pet the same outdoor access that you have in the same convenient location.

Screen model pet access doors are designed to be installed in screen doors or windows. This option is perfect for screened patios or for those homeowners who like to let in a fresh breeze but want to keep out pesky insects.

Wall model cat and dog doors can be installed in just about every wall in your home, whether an interior or exterior wall. You can keep your cat’s litter box, and its smell, behind closed doors, but still give them access with a small cat door through an interior wall. Or, give your dog outdoor access from the garage by installing a wall model pet door in one of the exterior walls.

Or course, other types of pet doors are also available for sliding glass doors, windows, and unique locations like RVs and even fences.

Pet Size

Pet door Sizing Graphic

The size of your pet is the next consideration to think through when choosing a pet door. You want to choose a door that will outlast their lifetime growth. Obviously, a small access door will work when your German Shepard is a puppy, but when they’re fully grown, that smaller door will need to be replaced. Planning ahead and purchasing a larger door upfront will save time and money in the long run.

A good guideline when choosing the right-sized pet door is to buy one size bigger than your pet’s full-grown size. This will account for changes in height and width over time. It helps to ensure that they always have extra space and won’t have to squeeze through too small of a door.

Determine the correct size of pet door by measuring your pet’s height and width at the shoulders.  Weight is not the best determining factor when choosing a pet door.

Pet Door Placement

Dog struggling to get through a too tall pet doorOnce you’ve decided on the model type you need for your home and your pet, placement is a huge consideration. You need to put yourself in your pet’s shoes. Can they comfortably come and go through the opening in the spot you have chosen?

If your pet’s door is installed too high, your cat or dog constantly has to jump through the opening. This risks chronic wear and damage to their shoulders. A pet door that’s installed too low also poses joint risk. This is especially true for larger dogs who will inevitably have to duck everytime they use the door.  In addition, it can cause additional wear on the flaps making them fail sooner.

Ultimately, your pet should be able to take a normal, easy step in and out of the pet door you install. Have them stand next to the spot you plan to install your pet door and mark an outline.  (You can use a cardboard cutout to avoid any damage to your home).  If it seems it will be too high or low, make adjustments before making any permanent changes to your home.

Other Pet Door Considerations

Children, neighborhood critters, and environment are other considerations to think about as a final step in choosing an access door. You want a dog or cat door that will give your pet freedom, but also won’t allow for anything or anyone else to come or go from your home. Common features or add-ons to pet doors are security barriers, weather stripping and magnets, and security covers.

Make the Right Choice For Your Pet

Clearly, there’s lots to think about when choosing a pet door. You may find deciding on the perfect door is more of a process than you may have originally thought. If you take these considerations into account, you can choose the right pet door for your home and your pet. Keep yourself and your furry friend happy.  Shop pet doors now.