What You Need to Know about Dog Door Installation

The convenience of a dog door can outweigh any obstacles or concerns you have about dog door installation. It can be a relatively simple process and installation of a door that leads into a fenced-in area or backyard can give your dog the freedom to come and go as he or she wants.

Prep Work

You first need to know the measurements of your dog. You will want to use these measurements to know what size door you should purchase. Before you buy, check the packaging on the dog door for special instructions about installation, maintenance, sealing, and the types of doors that the model can be installed in. The next point to consider is what kind of exterior door you have. You can have dog door installation on a wood, fiberglass, or metal exterior door. Knowing the kind of door, you have will help you choose the right dog door and know what tools you need for the project.

Placements and Measurements

Once you have the initial steps completed, you want to remove the exterior door. Use a couple of sawhorses in order to create a workstation. Center the dog door on your exterior door and mark the measurements. You will want to make sure you place the door at the right height for the dog to use the door comfortably. This should be about two inches above your dog’s height and three inches from the bottom edge of the exterior door in order to make sure you keep the integrity of the door. Your dog door may have a template to help with and marking on the exterior door and measuring. If you have a template, use it to mark the points where screws should be placed to attach the dog door to the exterior door. Use the appropriate type and size of drill. If you don’t feel comfortable with these measurements, it’s always a good idea to hire a professional for installation in order to save you money and eliminate the chance of making mistakes.


If your exterior door is wood, then use a reciprocating saw in order to cut along the outline you have traced. If you have a fiberglass door, you can also use a reciprocating saw or a diamond blade with a circular saw. With a fiberglass door, be sure to wear a mask in order to prevent you from inhaling dust while cutting. If you have a metal door, you will need a combination of saws in order to square up the corners neatly. Secure the dog door to an exterior door with screws and the predrilled holes. If there are gaps that remain, use caulk. Wait for the caulk to dry then reattach the door.

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