It’s important for many pets to go outside on a semi-frequent basis, and giving your pet the freedom to go outside when it wants to is a great gift. Whether it’s a puppy with boundless energy, an older dog with frequent urination needs, or a dog that simply wants to explore and roam, installing a doggy door can be a great option.
The market has tons of these products, and learning how to install a doggy door can be very easy. Give your pet the freedom to roam with this simple, do-it-yourself project.
Create a Safe Outdoor Space
The first and most important step before you learn how to install a dog door is to create a safe space for it to wander once it gets outside. It’s important that your pet has access to a safe outdoor space either with a physical fence or an out-of-sight, underground fence. A pet owner will want to inspect the area to see if there is high grass (which can be full of fleas and ticks), if there are ways that the dog could easily escape, and if there are any other hazards such as chemicals or manholes.
If your dog or other pet has exhibited the behavior of wanting to charge through a door when you open it, it’s also important to examine the reasons why. If your dog is trying to escape out of fear, then it may continue to attempt to escape once it gets outside as well. You may want to talk to a dog trainer at that point to see how to lower the dog’s anxiety.
How to Install a Dog Door
Once you’re ready, the first step is to buy a door that’s right for you and your pet. Measure your dog at its widest point (usually either the hips or shoulders) and add two inches, and then measure at the shoulders to the bottom of the chest and add two inches to create your template. Remember that puppies and younger dogs are still likely to grow a bit. There are many, many different options, and most of them contain instructions labeled “how to install.” Doggy door options can be made of everything from steel to plastic, but steel choices should always have plenty of wiggle room. Be sure to purchase a door that has a plastic overlay for winter and when you’re away.
Once you have the best door, knowing how to install a pet door can be very easy; however, be sure that you have the right tools and safety equipment listed in your set of instructions. The easiest place to put a doggy door is often in a door that humans use. Measure your dog’s height from the shoulder to the floor and mark that height on the exterior of your door with pencil. Take your door off of the hinges and use the template. The border should be at least three inches from any edge. Cut the box out, and then place your door inside the hole and mark with a pencil where your screws will need to go. Then, drill a hole. Place both sides of the new door on either side of the door and then insert the tabs and screws into place. Next, place the door back on its hinges. Always wear safety equipment when working with tools. The process is largely the same for learning how to install a pet door for cats and other animals as well.
After the Door Has Been Installed
Train your dog, cat, or other pet to use the door using treats and make sure that they’re comfortable. If you’ve installed a wireless fence, place the appropriately-sized collar on and make sure that the fence specialist has also gotten them acquainted with the safe zones outside. Let you pet roam and explore, but watch them for a few days to make sure that the pet remembers where the door is and to see how effective it is. This is especially important for older dogs. Make sure that they don’t bump into the sides of the doggy door or have trouble using it.
Every once in a while, examine your dog for ticks or fleas, and be sure to use the appropriate medication for outdoor pets. At night and when you’re away, you’ll want to make sure that your pet door is shut with the overlay so that you can prevent wildlife and unwanted guests from using your pet door. You could also install a pet door that only opens when it receives an electronic signal from a pet’s collar. If an unwanted guest does appear, remain calm, get yourself and your pet away from the animal, and call an animal control officer.