Pet doors offer lots of benefits for cat and dog owners. No more having to get up off the couch or out of bed when nature calls for your pet. They can come and go as they please without disturbing your sleep in.
You might also find that your pets aren’t getting up to as much mischief when they’re not cooped up inside. They can go out for all the playtime and outdoor stimulation they need.
So, how do you install a pet door? First, you’ll need to know how to measure your pet so you can buy the right-sized door. Then, we’ll cover how to install the pet door itself.
How to measure your pet for a pet door
If your pet is a puppy or a kitten, you will want to install a pet door that is big enough to accommodate them when they are full-grown, so research what their adult size is likely to be. If your pet is already an adult, proceed with the following measurements.
Take a measuring tape from the floor to the top of your pet’s shoulder blades in a standing position. Add on 2 inches, and make a note of the number.
Measure from the floor to your pet’s front paw elbow while standing. This gives a number called the “rise”. Take away the rise from the first figure. This new number will tell you the minimum height your pet door will need to be.
Seek out your pet’s widest spot and measure across ways, which is much easier than wrapping a tape measure around their tummy or shoulders.
Select a pet door that is a size up from your measurements.
Step-by-step instructions to install a pet door
- Drill bits
- Earmuffs or earplugs
- Dust mask
- Measuring tape
- Safety glasses
- Utility knife
- Workbench or sawhorses
Removing the door isn’t necessary although it does make it easier. Once removed from the frame, place it on either a workbench or two sawhorses. You may want to prop the door up on some wood so that you don’t cut into your workbench when you jigsaw out the hole for the pet door.
Next, you need to mark the desired position of your pet door. You can get this measurement via the abovementioned method or simply measure the distance from your pet’s stomach to the ground. Make a mark of that distance coming up from the bottom of the door in two areas so that it is straight.
Trace around the supplied template, ensuring it lines up with the two dots you’ve made.
Use masking tape to line the outlines of your square template shape to protect the door. Drill holes into the four corners of the square.
Ensure you’re wearing your safety glasses, mask, and ear muffs before putting the jigsaw into one of the holes you made a moment ago and cutting out the rectangle shape.
Attach the pet door to the door with the provided screws.
Reattach your door to the door frame. Introduce your pet to the pet door, and enjoy peace as they let themselves in and out.