If you own a dog, then you know that they love to come outside and play. But if your dog is restricted to the inside of your home because there isn’t enough space for them to run around, then it won’t be much fun for them. Therefore, it is important to have a dog door installed so that your furry friend can go outside as much as it desires.
Installing a dog door can be challenging but with the right information and the right tools, it is doable for anyone. This whole process should take less than 1 hour. Read on for more details about how to install a dog door. We will discuss the steps for smaller dogs and bigger ones.
Measure before you buy
Before you start installing a dog door there are a few things that you should know. First, you need to make sure that your door or wall is big enough for your dog door to get through. Next to the width of your door, you should also check the depth to make sure that you can install a dog door. Although this is obvious, many homeowners skip this step.
Another thing to know about installing a dog door is that it should be installed at the lowest point of the home’s exterior. This will ensure that it is more weather resistant and, most importantly, less likely to be vandalized. It is also important to make sure that the area where you are installing the door is level and plumb.
When you get a big dog door kit, it is quite easy to know how big of a hole you will have to cut. To know the height of the door kit, you can measure your dog from the floor to the shoulder and add 3 inches. Other systems use the weight of the dog to determine if it is suitable for your dog.
How to install a big dog door in the door
Remove the door
We start by removing the door. This is done by lifting it up. In other instances, we will have to use a hammer and a screwdriver. Insert the screwdriver into the underside of the hinge to remove the pin inside of it. It is also possible that you have to remove some screws with a Phillips screwdriver.
Once you have removed the door, we can place it on a portable workbench. Place the dog door so that it is right in the center of your door and mark the location where you have to cut it. This is done by drawing a line on the door with a pencil. Make sure that the hole is not too big! Most dog doors are installed with screws so keep these holes into account when you cut.
Once this is done, we can use a jigsaw for a metal or wooden door. It is important to wear appropriate protection when you do this. Once you have done this, you can use a hammer to remove the cut-out part. We can finish this and smooth things out by using a knife.
Install hardware and prepare the area
There are premade dog doors that make it easier to install them. Depending on the manufacturer, the way you install the hardware will vary slightly. Make sure that you install the latch on the outside of your door. The dog door should slide right into the hole that you have created.
The screws should be on the inner part of your door so that people that are outside can’t remove the dog door.
The next step is quite simple. You just add the screws. Don’t overtighten them as this can break your door. Double-check that it is installed properly before moving forward.
Add the door assembly and close up
Now that we are ready, we can put the door back in place. Make sure that it hangs level. Make sure that the door frame doesn’t come apart. This is also a great moment to add some lubricant to the hinges.
You can now show your dog how it can use the door. Adding a treat outside might entice it to give it a try. Some dogs might take some time before they start using it. Give it some time.
Final steps – protecting your new door
The dog door needs some maintenance. It is a good idea to add some lubricant from time to time. Also, check the instructions of the manufacturer and make sure that you check the dog door from time to time.
It is also possible to install this dog door in the wall, as outlined in the video above. Use a stud finder before you do this so that there are no wires or plumbing running in this area. If you cut a stud, you will have to add a jack. Check with a local expert to make sure that you don’t decrease the stability of the wall or house when you do this.
How to install a dog door in the wall
For a bigger dog, you can consider adding the dog door to the wall instead of the door. We will have to cut a hole in the wall. Make sure that it is not a structural (or supporting) wall when you do this as it can affect the stability of the house!
Use a stud finder before you do this so that there are no wires or plumbing running in this area. If you cut a stud, you will have to add a jack. Check with a local expert to make sure that you don’t decrease the stability of the wall or house when you do this.
-This can be quite challenging for a brick wall and we will have to use a jackhammer. This is quite challenging and should only be done by advanced DIY’ers.
-For a wooden wall, we can start by removing the siding and using a jigsaw. Make sure to use enough protection when you do this! You can use wooden pieces to build the header of the door. Screws can be used to keep this in place. Once this is done, we can add some insulation.
You can use a multitool to make sure that the borders are smooth.
Once this is done, we can use screws to install the dog door. It is possible to add some insulation here as well.
To conclude, we can state that installing a dog door is quite straightforward if you have a kit and the right tools. You can consider getting one with a magnetic closure as these are more weather resistant. This also keeps insects outside. Your dog should be able to play in no time with the previous instructions!
Some doors can be closed off with a panel so that your house is safe when you travel. There are also dog doors that only open when the dog wears a collar with a digital key that opens the door. This avoids uninvited guests inside your house. Some dog doors are energy efficient as they add another layer. It can be a great idea to get one if you live in a colder area.