How to Install a Dog Door

dog door

In our last blog post, we outlined how to install an interior door in your home. We’re continuing the door theme in this post today. Instead of interior doors, we will be explaining how to install a dog door in your home for easy entry and exit for your pet.

You will love this project if you live with a dog. The addition of a dog door in your home is extremely convenient. You won’t have to get up in the middle of the night to let your dog outside anymore.

This will help avoid “accidents” in your home and on your carpet too. Pet urine stains are very bad for carpet according to These types of stains can cause permanent damage to your carpet pad and subfloor.

Let’s get started. Here is how to install a dog door in your home:

The first thing to determine is where you want to install the dog door. This will usually be on your back door connected to a mud room, laundry room or your kitchen. The door you choose should lead directly to a safe open space outdoors for your dog to go to the bathroom and relax and play.

Then you need to decide which dog door to purchase. There are several brands and models to choose from. You can buy a metal dog door or a plastic one but be sure to purchase a size that is large enough for your dog to comfortably enter and exit the door.

You should measure your dog from shoulder to shoulder and add 2 inches. Then measure your dog from shoulder to the bottom of their torso and add 2 inches. This should ensure that your dog can comfortably use the door.

We recommend removing the door from the hinges before beginning the installation process. You can lay the door onto sawhorses or a bench and the project will be much easier. Be sure to set the exterior side up and cut through the bottom of the door, not the top.

The door you purchase should come with an outline or template. You will use this to trace along the door to create the necessary cutout for the door. Be sure the cutout is at least 3 inches from any edge of the door.

Now place the door frame into the cutout and use a pencil to mark the screw holes for the frame. Then remove the frame and drill the holes for the screws. Now hold the inside frame beneath the door and screw the frame in from the bottom. Now the dog door is installed.

All that is left is to reattach your door to the hinges and train your dog to use the door going forward.

Most models available for purchase at the hardware store also include a solid plastic cover to slide into the door to close access if you do not want your dog exiting or anything from the outside entering through the door.

You and your dog will love this addition to your home!

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