Sliding glass Dog Door Insert

9 Do’s and Don’ts When Buying a Dog Door

9 Do’s and Don’ts When Buying a Dog DoorNearly half of all Americans are dog owners, enjoying the emotional and health benefits that come with pet ownership. As with any pet, of course, dogs come with their own sets of needs, including not only food, play, and grooming, but also exercise. Many pet owners wishing to simplify their lives opt to install a dog door, thereby decreasing the frequency with which they must get up to let their pet inside or out.

Dog doors come in many sizes, a factor to consider based on the size of the pet. In general, dog doors can range from 13 inches by 23 inches on the high end, to 5 inches by 8 inches on the small side. They can also be installed in different places, including wood, steel, French, and glass doors; windows; and brick, siding, and stucco walls. In addition to the standard plastic flap construction, electronic dog doors are also available. They are also built to withstand different environments and locations; in general, the best bet will be an energy-efficient, construction-grade dog door.

With such a range of dog doors on the market, it is important for pet owners to evaluate their personal needs, as well as available product features, sizes, models, and options, to identify the dog door that is best for them. Although dog doors are available from pet stores and manufacturer websites, an aggregate marketplace like eBay provides the widest selection, and often low prices.

Do’s and Don’ts

With the number of products on the market, selecting a dog door may seem a daunting prospect. However, with a bit of research, including what to do and what not to do when making your selection, it can be a satisfying purchase, providing enjoyment for both person and pet.

1. Do Research Options

It is well worth reading professional and consumer reviews prior to making a purchase. While consumer publications and user bulletin boards are popular places to find feedback, another, often overlooked outlet for opinions and recommendations is veterinarians. They may be able to provide feedback that you can take to your eBay search.

2. Do Evaluate Types of Dog Doors

Depending on the mounting location and dog, the material of the dog door may vary. For dogs that like to chew, a bite-proof door is in order. Another advantage of this advanced construction is its higher energy efficiency as compared to thinner models.

Dog doors should be sized according to the pet, reaching about two inches above the dog’s shoulders. The lower lip of the door may be high or low. Some owners choose doors with openings positioned five inches or more over the ground in an effort to discourage neighborhood cats or backyard wildlife from venturing inside.

While a door flap is most common style of dog doors, some models come with sliding panels. Obviously, this type of dog door is more energy efficient, as it keeps extreme heat or cold from seeping in. Another advantage is that sliding dog doors can be locked, thereby keeping pets in and trouble out.

Dog Door Location

Complexity of Installation


Door/storm door


$ to $$


Moderate to high

Sliding glass door – door insert


Sliding glass door – in glass



While a sliding glass door insert is the most convenient because it requires neither storm nor screen door to be open for the dog to get access, it is generally not the best for hot or cold weather, as it provides virtually no insulation. Those in climates with great variations in temperature should seek a dog door with quality weather sealing and thick door construction.

3. Do Consider Dog Door Operation

The basic manual dog door is mounted in a door or wall, and has a flap for dog entry and exit. This type of door is the most affordable; however, the owner cannot control when the dog can come and go. There is also no regulation over which pets can use the door. For example, if a cat or another dog is not allowed outside unsupervised, this type of door does nothing to prevent their access.

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