1. Dog Door Types
Before deciding if a dog door is right for your house, it's a good idea to understand the different varieties of pet doors available. This way, you'll know how much will be involved in installing it, what your options are, and whether or not an automatic door is something you want. The two most common dog doors are flap and magnetic/electric.
Flap doors are exactly as they sound—retractable piece of plastic that swings from side to side when pushed open by your pet. They're the easiest to install but generally aren't very secure.
Electric pet doors rely on sensors to recognize when your furry friend approaches (and then to open when they move away). They are very secure and can be installed on any door, window, or even wall. They're also ideal for small pets that don't push against doors, walls, or windows often.
2. Pick A Door Type
You've decided on a pet door but have several options of front doors to choose from. While there are many advantages and disadvantages of each type, the most important factor is whether or not you're looking to change the look of your home's external entrance.
Whatever you decide, make sure to find out if the door will comply with local building codes. This way, you can avoid potential trouble with neighbors or local authorities when it's time to install your new door.
3. Know Your Door Options
Once you've decided on a pet door and know the door itself is secure and safe, learn about the frame and hardware used to allow for easy operation of the doggie door. Depending on how easy it is for your pet to enter and exit, choose a certain type of hardware. For example, automatic doors require different hardware than flap doors.
Because of their simple design, manual doors can be installed almost anywhere. That being said, most manual doors are made with vinyl or fiberglass. A good alternative to these is steel mesh that can be used for security or aesthetics. You'll need to make sure the mesh fits properly over the frame and is sturdy enough to prevent any damage by your pet's paws.
4. Find Out How Much It Costs
Once you've chosen a door and have an idea of the hardware needed, figure out what the total price of your door will be. Unless you're going to install a pet door yourself, this number will be minimal.
5. Buy The Right Materials
This step in choosing a new front door is simple but can make or break your pet-friendly home. Before buying anything, you need to know what materials are best suited to your environment and lifestyle. There are several considerations when choosing the right material. For example:
How will this material react to moisture? Are you in an area that sees a lot of snowfall every year? If so, look for a door made with materials that repel water and are easy to clean.
6. Measure Your Dog And Installation Location Before Purchasing Your Dog Door
This is the most important step in choosing a new front door. If you don't get the right size, there's no point in buying the door, and if you don't install it correctly, your pet might not be able to access it.
Before moving forward with any purchase, make sure to measure your dog while they're standing and sitting (if they normally sit or lay at different heights). This will ensure a perfect fit for their paws. Make sure to note if they have long fur that might get stuck while entering or exiting through their new door.
Once you've measured your dog and chosen a dog door, you'll need to find out the opening requirements of your installation location. This is the most important factor to consider when finding the right pet door.
To measure your existing door to compare it to other doors, use a tape measure and find your existing measurement. Measure from the floor to about 2" (5 cm) below the top of the frame that holds your dog door. Then double that number and add 6" (15 cm). This will be the height of your flap/magnetic entryway.
If you're planning on installing your new front door outside, measure each side of your house to make sure it's long enough for the proper operation of your pet door. If you're installing it inside, measure the width of the door frame and compare it to your dog door options. If the opening is too small, it might not work.
If neither option works, you can always frame out a new door in the wall to replace your current one. Make sure to consider this before buying a pet door!
Choosing a new front door for your home is one of the most important steps in creating a pet-friendly house. As long as you've done your research, you're well on your way to finding a door that will work for your entire fur family. If you're looking for more information about how to choose a new pet-friendly front door, then visit DAKO Windows.