Dogs show us a lot of love and loyalty. There is no better way to appreciate them than ensuring they are comfortable—at the very least treat them by getting them the best doggie door out there. There is no doubt that there are a variety of dog doors, and choosing the best is often very tricky.
Dogs are different. There are big dog breeds, such as Great Danes, and smaller dog breeds, such as Chihuahuas, so getting the right dog door depends on the size of your furry friend. Owning a dog can be a bit of work, a dog can be a one more way to make things easier. That way you give your furry friend the freedom they deserve without compromising yours.
To help you find the right door for your dog, we have compiled a few of the best in regard to quality and safety.
The Best Doog Dors: Top Picks
7 Best Dog Doors for 2021
Ideal Pet products wanted to design a door that would stay firm even in the harshest climatic conditions, so they came up with Ruff-Weather pet door. It is paramount that your dog has access to the outdoors every day year-round. Playing doorman is exhausting, and that is where the telescoping frame comes in as it is designed to last.
This door is designed to adapt to thickest doors ranging from 3/4 to 1-3/4-inch. A vinyl flap allows for maximum insulation and energy efficiency through its 3-inch air pocket. With this door, you do not have to worry whether your wall is thick enough because the pet door wall kit comes with installation options for walls that are 4-3/4 to 7-1/4 inch wide.
However, this wall kit is sold separately. As a buyer, you have a choice in pet door style and size, including small, medium, extra-large, and super large depending on your dog's size. This doggie door is proven for its thermal capabilities and durability while catering for your dog's comfort.
If you are looking for a reliable and budget-friendly door, this one from PetSafe is a reliable solution. It is molded plastic which is lightweight but very durable because of its structural foam.
Insulation is guaranteed owing to air pocket inside the double flaps. This means that there is reduced energy loss, and so this is an excellent energy-efficient option. It also has an adjustable sill which comes with ultra-strong magnets.
This doggie door has a telescoping tunnel that makes it easy to adjust in walls of varying widths. The other nice thing is that if you have a cat, they can share with your dog, which makes it more convenient. It is available in small, medium, and large sizes depending on your needs.
With the BarkBar Original Plastic dog door, convenience meets luxury. This doggie door is redesigned with a sleek look and sturdy thermoplastic frame that is both weatherproof and impact resistant. This plastic dog door has no-frills, which permits easy access for your dog.
Despite its affordability, this door is quite durable because of a plastic aluminum lining. This feature also ensures that it is both chew and bite proof. Because of unpredictable, harsh weather events, it has a self-locking panel that offers more protection.
This self-locking panel also prevents other animals, insects, and bugs from accessing your house through the door. The telescopic frame is easy to install, and according to BarksBar, it only takes 25 minutes.
This plastic dog door is ideal for dogs that weigh up to 100 lbs. It comes with a magnetic closure and sliding door panel and is available in two sizes, medium and large.
The PetSafe Patio Pet Door does what it claims—allows your dog to have as much freedom as they want. The heavy aluminum construction gives it the ability to resist even with harshest weather, and the tempered safety glass is made to be shatter-resistant. It has a flexible vinyl magnetic flap, so it shuts when it is not in use.
With no cutting necessary, installation of this door is straightforward. You only have to get a panel to fit in your sliding door's frame then secure it. If by any chance you need to move, you can remove the panel and take it to your new home.
The flap openings are available in different sizes and can handle dogs up to 100 pounds. This doggie door comes in different colors; that way, you can maintain the theme of your house. If you are looking for a seasonal or temporary dog door, this is the perfect option.
The Endura Flap double-flap wall-mount pet door is praised for its energy-saving capability. It has double flap doors which are designed for moderate to extreme weather conditions. This door comes with three adjustable power magnets already fitted to stay secure in high winds.
Unlike other dog doors, this one from Endura is made from a polyolefin-based polymer which is environmentally safe, non-toxic, and recyclable. It has a sturdy clip-lock to keep the door secure and shut when it is not in use. The cover also keeps insects and pests at bay. With this pet door, durability is guaranteed because of the sturdy aluminum tunnel.
Endura claims this door is adaptable to dogs of different sizes because it is designed with a high aspect ratio. So, if you have a combination of large and small dogs, this might be a great choice.
If you’re looking for an affordable door replacement flap that is also functional, this option from PetSafe should fit the bill. The PetSafe Pet Door Replacement Flap is designed for a weather-tight closure with weather stripping and a magnetic closure on the bottom edge.
This replacement flap is compatible with several pet doors including Freedom Patio Panel Pet Doors, Freedom Aluminum Pet doors, the Extreme Weather Pet Door, Plastic Pet Door, and the Freedom Aluminum Pet Door, all from PetSafe. If you have a dirty, old pet door, you can replace it with ease with the PetSafe Door Replacement Flap.
This replacement door comes in multiple sizes, including small, medium, large, and X-large with five holes at the top for easy calibration.
While all dogs are adventurous, some of them are wilder than others, so Ideal Pet designed this particular plastic dog door to ensure safety. Hence the rigid lock-out panel can be removed and placed back on to either keep the dog in or out. It has a sturdy and non-toxic plastic vinyl flap guaranteeing durability.
The light grey plastic frame is impact resistance, so your dog won’t be harmed upon impact if they try to enter when the door is locked. The frame is also compatible with regular interior and exterior doors. There is also a magnetic flap designed to avoid heat loss. It is easy and fast to install, too, as it only takes around 20 minutes, according to the manufacturer.
Dog Door Buying Guide
After reading our review of best dog doors around, you are probably ready to make a purchase for your dog. However, the several types mentioned may still be confusing. Let's take a moment to look at the various types of dog doors, so you better understand your options.
Electronic pet doors
Just as the name suggests, an electronic dog door opens and closes electronically. When your dog approaches, sensors read a microchip in your pet’s collar allowing the door to open to let your dog in and close after they enter. This keeps away stray dogs and other animals who may try to enter your home through the pet door.
If you have more than one dog, most electric pet doors allow for multiple collars. Electrical pet doors are available in designs for wall, door, or window mounting.
Door-mounted dog doors
Dog doors designed to be installed on doors are quite popular because they are budget-friendly, and they adapt quite well. They usually have single or double flaps with a magnet at the bottom to lock it.
You can install a door-mounted doggie door by drilling a small hole in the back or front door of your house and easily insert the pet door into it. Generally, though, you want to leave at least 2 inches between the door and the ground for margin safety.
Wall-mounted dog doors
Drilling can be a bit of a task when installing this door, as you have to cut through an exterior wall in your home. They tend to be a more permanent option—patching a hole in your wall is a much bigger deal than replacing a door.
None the less, once you have a hole cut, the rest of the door installation process is quite easy. Just slide the door in place and tighten a few screws to fasten the flap. Like door-mounted dog doors, these often have a magnet for better closure.
The strength of this magnet and the type of flap will depend on the manufacturer. If you live in an area with extreme weather, you'll want to opt for a double-flap design to create an air gap, as well as strong magnets.
Patio panel pet doors
A patio panel is an ideal option for those renting homes because installation does not require cutting holes. This panel comes with a pre-cut opening for the door, and most patio panel dogs are also weather-stripped hence suitable for extreme weather areas. A patio panel costs more than most wall- or door-mounted options, but they are reasonably priced seeing that you can uninstall them and move them to a new house without needing to do any repairs.
Compared to other doggie door types, patio panels are the easiest to install. You just snap it into place like another glass panel in your sliding door. Your sliding door will function as normal, and the panel can be quickly removed at any time.
Custom dog doors
Some homeowners may have a huge dog that requires a custom-made door, and this is not a problem. However, it is essential to note that custom doors can be quite expensive. Installation also often requires a professional as the hole necessary for installation is far larger.
What to Look for in a Dog Door
Dog doors today range from small to extra-large, so every dog is guaranteed to find a perfect fit. However, make sure you consider your dog’s growth in the future. For example, a puppy is going to need a bigger door as an adult. Look at the average size for your dog’s breed and plan accordingly. You also don’t want to get too large of a door, as not only do they cost more, but they are less energy efficient.
- Sealing Energy sufficiency
Regardless of the pet door you purchase, you have to create a hole to the exterior of your home to install it, and in doing so, create an avenue for air transfer.
This is less of an issue if you live somewhere with moderate weather. It’s unlikely to cause much difference in your air conditioners workload, for example, but if you live somewhere cold, poorly designed dog doors can create a major draft and send your utility bills skyrocketing.
Look for a door with dual panels to create a warm air gap, as well as some mechanism to keep those flaps closed that doesn’t hinder your dog from entering/exiting.
Where you want the dog door installed may seem like a "no brainer," but there is a growing trend of doors being installed on walls too. A doggie door designed for a patio door will be made of different materials and different height than a door that is designed to be mounted on a wall. The dynamic of your home changes with the location because a door-mounted dog door causes more traffic and more changes in your house are necessary to prevent damage.
- Safety and Security
The level of security offered should not be overlooked. The door's locking system is a great place to start. Although there are several types of dog door locks, you will want to have one that reinforces security like the SmartKey collar, a kind of electronic door lock. Manual locks also ensure that the door is locked at all times, including when you are not home.
When getting a dog door, do not automatically assume that your dog will understand it. Some dogs are even afraid of dog doors initially. Plan for a reward-based training when they go in and out through the dog door on their own accord. An important trick is taking it slow and making it fun.
How to Install a Dog Door
The installation process depends on whether you are installing the dog door on a wall or a door. Most doors will come with a template that can be taped onto any surface where you want to install the dog door. An essential step in the installation process is the precision of cutting the right size. Place the template on the desired location at least two inches above the bottom of the door or base of the wall.
Trace the door's interior part using a pencil then make four X marks on corners that will be used for drilling. After drilling holes on the points marked X, drill screw holes. Next, cut an opening using a jigsaw inserting the blade and starting from one corner. Insert the frame from the exterior part(outside) into the opening without a flap. If it extends to the exterior, keep cutting to flash out another break-off level. Finally, insert the inner frame into the opening. Use the interior face of the door and any included flaps at this time, inserting the screws and tightening them until snug.
There are certain things to remember so that you correctly install the dog door. You must tighten all bolts but do not over tighten them. Seal off the wall from the interior face to prevent penetration of moisture through a wall or door.
Now that your dog door is in place, one only thing left is to train your dog and make them feel as comfortable as possible using the door. Good luck !