Installing Doggie Doors in a Wall

  • 4-8 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-150
What You'll Need
Jig Saw
Power Drill with 3/8 inch Bit
Screwdrivers (Phillips and Flathead)
Measuring Tape
Metal File
Protective Gloves
Protective Eyewear
Carpenter Square
Stud Finder

Doggie doors are an excellent way to allow pets to go in and out of your home according to their own needs and desires. Many homeowners decide to install a pet door not only because it is convenient for them, but also as a way to allow their pets some independence.

What to Look for in a Doggie Door

One of the greatest benefits of installing a pet door is that it can free you from having to constantly let your pet in and out of the house. However, if you will be traveling you may want to have the option of closing and locking the door.

Additionally, if you live in a region that has especially cold winter weather, you may also want a door that has a double flap opening to protect against unneeded cold air from coming into the house.

Installing the Door

Installing a pet door in an exterior wall is not a complicated process, although it can take an afternoon.

Step 1

Use the stud finder to locate the wall studs in the wall where you intend to install the door.

Step 2

Measure the shoulder height of your pet. You will need to place the doggie door 1 ¼ inch above shoulder height for a single flap wall mounted door and 2 inches for a double flap wall mounted door.

Place the pet door against the wall where you will be installing it. Tape the door to the wall to hold it in place while you draw around it. Take note of places where screws will be located (you can simply insert the pencil into the screw hole and make a dot).

You should locate the pet door so that it is between wall studs and where there is no plumbing, electrical or other wiring.

Step 3

Using a jig saw, cut through the interior and exterior walls to create the opening for the door.

Step 4

Measure the distance between the interior wall and the exterior wall. Cut small pieces of lumber to the size of your door opening. Hammer these pieces of wood into place on the sides, top and bottom of the opening as you would for a regular door or window. Use a carpenter square and level to ensure that the frame is square and plumb.

Step 5

Temporarily place the pet door inside the opening to make sure of fit.

Step 6

If the door fits, then use the drill to drill pilot holes for the screws for the door. Screw the door into place with the screws that came with the doggie door.

Step 7

Apply silicone caulk around the door opening to create a water and weather proof seal.

Step 8

Let your pet try the door a few times to test the size and placement of the door. You may need to initially encourage your pet to use the door with treats and praise if they have not used a doggie door before.