Date Posted: July 6, 2022

How to Choose a Dog Door in Five Easy Steps

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Hale Pet Door discusses 5 things to do when you choose a new dog door or cat door.

Whether you’re shopping for pet doors in person or online, you need to how to choose a dog door the right way. We know it can be an overwhelming process with endless options to choose from. You have the entire world of pet access doors at your fingertips, how are you supposed to know which one to choose or which one will work best for your dog and your home?

Contrary to popular belief, doggie doors are not a one-kind-fits-all type of product. Here are five easy steps to guide you through picking the best one.

1. Decide On A Model

Deciding which model you need is the most important first step when you choose a dog door because not every company will offer every model. Ask yourself these questions.  Do I need to give access:

  • Through a door
  • Through a wall
  • Through a window
  • In a screen
  • From my patio door
  • Inside my home
  • Outside my home
  • To the backyard
  • To the garage
  • To a litter box
  • To a patio or “catio”?

Answering these questions will help you decide on a dog door model.

2. Find the Right Size

Dog doors are not one-size-fits-all. There are different heights and widths to consider. While you are looking through the options that are offered by different brands, find a pet door sizing guide for that brand. A dog door company should offer sizing from kitten-size to Great Dane-size and every size in between.

Measure your pet according to the brand’s sizing guide, then eliminate the brands that don’t come in the right size. Look for a very large variety of sizes as well. Simple sizing like “small, medium, or large” may not be enough.

3. Consider Installation

Some dog doors are easy to install and can be self-installed for those that are handy with a few basic tools. For example, wooden door pet access doors require a quick cut-out in the door and a few screws. Others, like an in-glass doggie door, require professional installation. 

If you plan to do the installation yourself, make sure you are looking for pet doors that allow you to do it without too much complexity. “Simple installation” or “Install yourself at home” are good indicators that installation is pretty easy. 

You also want to consider your home’s security post-installation. Providing constant access to your home is great for your pet, but not great for intruders. Look for companies that have gone the extra mile to provide a product that keeps you, your home, and your pet safe.

For example, the Hale simple security barrier can be installed in the ground in front of the pet door. This inventive design is to prevent a human from fitting through the dog door.

4. Purchase and Install

Now that you have decided on your perfect dog door and made your purchase, it’s time to install it or have it professionally installed. The biggest thing to keep in mind while you’re installing your new dog or cat door is the placement of the door. You’ll want to account for your pet’s mobility throughout their entire lifetime. 

For example, your puppy may be able to easily hop through a dog door that’s placed higher up now. But, as he ages, having to jump through his door could cause shoulder or hip problems that could deter him from using it at that time. Installing a door too low can cause hip problems in the future as well. Always be sure to consider future mobility during the install.

5. Train Your Dog

Now that your pet door is installed, it’s time to train your pet to use it. The easiest way to do this is to enlist a friend or family member to help. One person stands on one side of the door and the other person is on the other side. Both people have a bag of treats.

Call your cat or dog through the door. Once they use it successfully and reach the other side, reward them with a treat or two. Then, do the same thing in the opposite direction. Continue this process until your pet realizes the door is an access point for them, and they can use it as they please. Remember to be patient. Some pets pick up on the concept quicker than others.

Your pet door company should give you lots of tips and tricks on how to train your pet to use their new access door.

Why Choose a Dog Door from Hale?

When you choose a dog door at Hale, you get 

  • the widest variety of sizes, 
  • models that can be installed in doors, windows, screens, walls, and glass,
  • high-quality materials
  • energy efficiency
  • security barrier options
  • and an unmatched 5-year warranty.

We pride ourselves on providing top-quality dog doors and cat doors. Shop our products now.

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