How to Install a Pet Door

If you have dogs or cats, you quickly learn how convenient a pet door could be. Especially with cats, there's the constant open the door, shut the door. When they're out they want in, and when they're in they want out. Why wear out your door hinges and sliding door when you can give your pet the freedom to leave and enter your home at their leisure? Installing a pet door is a reliably inexpensive thing to do, and depending on the type you install, can be done in an hour or so.

Here are a few different options you have when it comes to installing a door for your pet.

Sliding Glass Door Attachment

One of the least expensive and easiest way to give your pet the freedom he or she wants is buy installing an addition to your sliding glass door. These are sold as vertical glass slats that vary in width depending upon the width of the pet door you need. You install it into the sliding glass door tract and it sits next to the original door. This addition has a pet door built in. You only need to seal the gap between the addition and the original door, as well as bolt the original door into place to keep it from opening. That is the only downside to this method – it almost renders the exit useless, except for by your pets.

Pets Doors Within a Door

If you do not want to take the drastic step of cutting a hole in your wall and installing a traditional pet door, consider instead installing one into an interior door. Many homeowners will do this in the door leading to the garage, and then leave the garage door open. This serves a couple functions: it allows you some control of when your pet can leave the home, yet allows the animal access to food, water and bedding which may be located in the garage. It also does not affect the resale value of your home, as a door can be inexpensively replaced.

Cutting a Hole in Your Wall

The most permanent and drastic way to install a pet door is by having one put into a wall that leads to the exterior of your home, preferably a fenced side or back yard. There are easy to follow instructions on most DIY websites, but you will need to cut a rectangular hole in your wall to allow for the installation of the door. Be sure to check wiring and plumbing locations before you begin tearing your wall apart.

If you're still unsure if a pet door is right for your animals, remember that there are styles that will allow only authorized pets through, keep wild critters out and your pets safe.