How to Install a Dog Door

It does not matter what type of door you have. You can install a pet door. Most of the time, it is installed at the back door. With the proper tools and some effort, your dog can smoothly go in and out of the house independently. You can do the installation alone, or you can ask for some help from your friend. Below are steps on how to install a dog door.

Steps on Installing a Dog Door

Before we start with the installation, you need to prepare the materials and tools first. Also, it is important that you choose the right dog door that will suit your pet perfectly. You can also consider buying the best electronic dog doors to install.

What You Need:

  • Automatic center punch
  • Four small hand clam
  • Hammer
  • Jigsaw with metal cutting blades
  • Measuring tape
  • Painter’s tape
  • Screwdriver
  • Straight edge or yardstick
  • Variable speed drill and drill bits

Step #1 Measure Your Dog’s Shoulder Height

In installing a pet door, your dog or cat should enter and exit the house with ease. If you have more than one dog, measure your biggest dog as the basis for your pet door. With a measuring tape, measure your pet to their upper shoulder area and take note of the measurement. While measuring, it is best to give your pet some treats to keep your pet calm and in position.

Step #2 Remove the Door

In removing the pins from the hinges, make sure the door ooseis closed. Use a small screwdriver and a hammer to loosen the pins. Work first at the bottom pin and the top pin last. After removing all the pins, slowly open the door and lift it out from the hinges. It is best to ask someone to help you do this, particularly if the door is heavy.

Set sturdy sawhorses and lay the door flat on top of these. Position it on the sawhorses where you can easily cut the pet door with the interior side facing up.

Step #3 Layout the Pet Opening

Ensure that you have picked the right pet door. Pet doors are available in different sizes and materials. You must select the best door for your pet and application. You need to follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions carefully. Steel door, exterior facing, insulated are some of the examples of a dog door.

The pet’s door is usually installed at least three inches from the floor and positioned at the door’s center. Double-check the measurements and even triple check it to make sure the payments are accurate. Keep in mind, once you start cutting the door, there is no way you can turn it back.

Step #4 Center Punch and Create Holes in the Corners

Using an automatic center punch, firmly press each corner to create a small dent around ¼ inches inward following the guideline. It will prevent your drill bit from moving as you try to make a hole into the steel.

After creating the dent in each corner, position the drill point in the dent, and start drilling. If you prefer to go straight down and into the door, place one hole in every corner.

Step #5 Mark the Perimeter and Saw Glide

Before cutting, make sure the door is protected. Cover the outside of the guidelines with painter’s tape, and do not forget to tape off the bottom of your jigsaw. This will protect your door from getting scratch. If your door is susceptible to scratching, it is best to put two layers of tape.

Step #6 Pick the Best Blade and Cut the Opening

Blades used in cutting metal are different from those used in cutting wood. Metal cutting blades have smaller, closer, and more teeth, similar to a hacksaw. The metal saw operates at a slower speed, so you need to adjust the speed on your saw based on the blade’s recommended settings.

Choose a metal cutting blade that can withstand the cutting process on both sides of the door. In the corner holes you drilled, insert the blade on it, and start cutting, following the guide towards the next hole. The holes will provide enough room as you turn the saw and make the next cut. Do the process on the other side until you cut the opening completely.

Step #7 Fit the Frame on the Screw Holes You Created

Test fit the frame to make sure it will fit both sides of your door. You need to include the cover and other accessories when test fitting it. Mark the holes in the frame for the fasteners using a pencil.

Step #8 Center Punch and Drill

On the marks that you have created for the fasteners, make small dents using the center punch. With the suggested drill size, slowly start drilling into the door. It is not essential to drill metal at high speeds. You need to apply the right pressure. Do not rush. Take your time.

Step # 9 Clamp the Outer and Inner Frames

You are now set to assemble the outer and inner sides of your pet door. Hold the two halves of the pet door and the four clamps and insert the fasteners to secure them together.

Step #10 Return the Door and Practice Your Pets

Re-hang the door. Place the hinges and re-insert the door pins. After securing the door, train your pets on how to use their door. Do not forget their treats and practice them to enter and exit the door until they are used to it.

The Benefits of Having a Dog Door

Having a dog door will not only benefit you or your other pets, but it will also give you peace of mind. Here are some of the benefits your pets will enjoy:

No Need to Wake Up Early

As a pet owner, you must bring your pet out in the morning to do its daily routine like peeing and releasing waste. With the pet door, you don’t have to wake up as your pet can do it independently.

Pets Will Have the Freedom To Go In and Out

Just like humans dog wants to have the freedom to move around.  Your pets will have the freedom to chase bugs and other creatures. They have the freedom to go out to play whenever they want.

It Can Keep Their Minds Active and Healthy

Dogs need to exercise not just physically but mentally as well. Having less mental stimulation is not acceptable and can make your pet sick. A bored pet may become destructive. So, to avoid this, it is a must to keep their minds stimulated.

Reduces Destructive Behavior

One way to get rid of your pet’s boredom is they chew on your furniture. Since they can run and go out freely, the chewing is reduced. Getting bored will also result in excessive barking, crying, digging, scratching, and other destructive behavior. This also means that you don’t have to deal with messes your pets produce.


Installing a dog door is not just for the convenience of the pet owners. It will benefit your pets a lot. It is the dog owners’ responsibility to keep their pets healthy, and having a pet door can help them. If you want to add something, feel free to do so. Comment below.


How to Install a Doggie Door