Guide to Installing Pet Doors

Give your dog or cat the freedom to come or go at will by installing a pet door at your home. When life gets busy, a pet door can be the perfect solution to ensuring your pet is able to escape into the outdoors without you being there. Although installation will vary by style and brand, these guidelines will walk you through any general pet door installation process:

Explore Options

First and foremost, you’ll want to narrow down your options. Picking the perfect pet door can be a challenge! Before deciding, carefully consider your options – from style and size to flap and material. With some careful thought and consideration, you’ll be able to find an ideal match for both your home and pet.

Choose a Suitable Location

Prior to installation, it’s crucial to consider the most optimal location for your home. A few of the most important factors according to include:


Installing a pet door can be an exciting addition to the home, but it’s important to consider how this new dynamic might affect the living environment. With plenty of pets now venturing in and out more freely, furniture placement should reflect that – make sure there is plenty of room. Plus, it can be fun picking out the exact look – choose from tons of options and make sure you pick what fits best into your existing decor.

Ease of Installation

When it comes to installation, keep in mind that a regular hollow door is the easiest to install a pet door in. Complexity increases as you start to dabble in different door materials such as metal, or even paneled doors. Be realistic about your capabilities when it comes to installation!


It goes without saying one of the most important factors of location is that it’s suitable for your pet. Typically, this is a door relatively connected to the exterior of the home and around the main living area, where your pet likely spends majority of its time.


The key to any successful installation is accurate measuring in preparation for installation. Pet doors should be installed at least 1 inch above the tallest part of the dog’s back and at least 3 inches from the floor. The step-over should be no more than a third of your pet’s height. It’s also important to note that certain breeds of animals are expected to grow significantly, so make sure you are accounting for that as well. See how to measure your pet for a pet door for more detail.

Prepare the Area

Step 1: Tape the Template

  • When you’re ready to make the rough cutout, tape the frame onto the door.

Step 2: Mark the Drilling Points

  • To make drilling easier, mark the four corners of your outline.

Step 3: Drill the Holes

  • Use the size drill recommended by the specific manufacturer and drill holes in the center of the “X”s you created.

Step 4: Mark the Cutout

  • Apply tape to connect the four holes you drilled.

Step 5: Insert Frames

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to attach the frame securely to the door or wall.

Step 6: Cut the Opening

  • Starting in one corner, insert a blade and drill a hole about half an inch thick.

Step 7: Screw the Frame Into the Door

  • Using a level to ensure placement is straight, insert the frames on either side of the door.

Secure Attachments

Make sure the flap of the door is securely in place and swings freely. Once you’ve ensured your animal’s doorway is sealed and moves with ease, let the adventures begin!

Train Your Dog

Entering the house through a door is something that won’t come naturally to your pet, so this step will require some patience. To coax them through the door, have another family member stand on the other side and call them, or even get treats involved for persuasion. Depending on the animal, you may even have to lift them through initially to show them it is possible.