The Complete Pet Door Buying Guide for 2023

A Buyer’s Guide: Pet Doors for Cats & Dogs 🐶 🐱 

We’ve all been there. A cozy evening on the sofa is interrupted when Fido paws at the back door, eager to venture outside. But wait! The minute you open the door, he turns right around. Sound familiar? This repetitive act can truly test your patience. Enter the dog door, an absolute game-changer that allows your pup the freedom to come and go as they please—without bothering you. This comprehensive guide is your one-stop shop for all things related to dog doors. From the kinds of dog doors you can choose to the features you should look out for, and even how to get one set up, we’ve got it all covered. In this pet door guide, We will cover basic knowledge of Cat doors. So, let’s dive in. 🚪🐶 🐱

Why You Can Trust PupsnPuss for Your Pet Door Needs

At PupsnPuss, we go above and beyond to bring you reliable, hands-on product recommendations. Our meticulous process starts with buying over 30 types of Pet doors, which we distribute to a network of real pet owners. Our experts work closely with them through 30 days of real-world testing, covering everything from unboxing to daily usage by dogs and cats. It takes months to compile this data, which includes assessments of installation, durability, safety features, and performance in extreme weather. All this effort ensures we provide you with the most trustworthy and helpful advice for your pet product purchases. When you read our articles, you can be confident you’re getting recommendations you can rely on.

Read our Expert’s Review Articles on Pet Door

Types of Dog Doors

Flap Dog Doors

When you think of a dog door, a flap one comes first. It’s a simple design with a rubber or plastic flap hanging from the top of the opening. These doors are generally the most affordable option and are easy to install. However, there are more secure or insulating options available.

Electronic Dog Doors

Electronic dog doors offer a step up in terms of security. These doors open only when they detect a corresponding microchip or an electronic key on your dog’s collar. This is a great feature to ensure that only your pet can use the door. The downside is that these doors are more expensive and complicated to install.

Glass Sliding Door

These are designed to fit into the track of a sliding glass door, making them ideal for those who don’t want to make a hole in their walls or doors. They are generally easy to install and remove, making them a good option for renters. However, they take up space in the door opening, making it narrower for human use.

Automatic Dog Doors

These automatic doors are like the Ferraris of the dog door world. They have features like remote control access, timers, and even cameras. They’re fantastic for those who want the most features and are willing to pay for them. However, they can be expensive and require professional installation in most cases.

Dual-Flap Dog Doors

Dual-flap doors offer a middle ground between affordability and insulation. They are similar to flap doors but have two flaps instead of one. The extra flap adds a layer of insulation, making it an excellent choice for homes in extreme weather conditions. The downside? They can be a bit more challenging for your pet to get used to since they have to push through two flaps instead of one.

Features to Look For

In this pet door guide, we will explain a few key features in mind when shopping for a dog door is essential.


The size of the dog door is critical. It needs to be big enough for your dog to fit through comfortably but not so big that it becomes a security risk. Measure your dog’s height and width to ensure you pick a just right door. Remember, your dog will only sometimes enter in a perfect position; sometimes, they’ll duck or step through, so give a little extra space.


No one wants to compromise their home security, and a dog door could be an entry point for intruders. Look for doors with suitable locking mechanisms, and if you’re opting for an electronic door, make sure it has reliable sensors to detect only your pet’s microchip or collar.


You want a door that can withstand the test of time—and paws! Materials like heavy-duty plastic or aluminum are generally good choices. Consider your dog’s wear and tear on the door and choose accordingly.

Ease of Installation

If you’re handy with tools, you might be comfortable with a door that requires some assembly. However, if DIY isn’t your strong suit, look for doors that are easy to install or offer professional installation as an option.

Extreme Weather Climate

You’ll want a well-insulated door if you live in an area with hot summers, cold winters, or both. Dual-flap doors and electronic doors generally offer better insulation than single-flap doors. Some doors are even built with weatherproof materials to withstand the elements.

Measuring Your Dog Correctly

Height Measurement

Have your dog stand upright and measure from the ground to their shoulders.

Width Measurement

Measure the widest part, generally around the belly or hips. Add some extra inches for easy movement.

Quick Tips for Getting It Right

Always measure twice to confirm your numbers. It’s also good to consider your dog’s future growth if they’re still a puppy. Lastly, account for any extra space they might need if they like carrying toys outside.

Ways to Keep Out Other Animals and Intruders

One main concern about installing a dog door is that it could let in other unwanted animals or even human intruders. With technological advancements, many dog doors come with specialized locks and electronic mechanisms that only open when triggered by a microchip or an electronic collar your dog wears. These features significantly reduce the risk of unwanted entry.

Special Features to Keep Your Pet Safe

For extra safety, look for doors with a directional sensing system, which means the door will only open when your pet is directly approaching it, not when they’re just wandering nearby. Some high-end models even have cameras to see what’s happening on the other side of the door.

How to Train Your Dog or Cat to Use the Dog Door

Training your dog to use their new door may require patience, but it’s usually straightforward.

First Steps to Get Your Dog Used to It

Start by propping open the flap and encouraging your dog to walk through the door. You might have to get creative here, using toys or treats as motivation. Remember, positive reinforcement is key!

How to Use Treats as Rewards

Using treats as rewards is a proven method to encourage desired behavior. Please give them a treat every time your dog successfully goes through the door. This creates a positive association with the action of using the dog door.

Turning It Into a Daily Routine

Once your dog has gotten the hang of it, make them use the dog door as part of their daily routine. This will help reinforce the behavior and make it second nature to them.

The Cat Door: Not Just a Feline Fancy

Ah, the cat door – a small, often overlooked innovation that has brought convenience to countless cat owners and freedom to their feline friends. Whether you’re a new cat parent or have had kitties for years, you may have wondered if a cat door is a worthy addition to your home. In this pet door guide, let’s delve into the world of cat doors, understanding their purpose, the varieties available, and how they differ from their canine counterparts.

Why Do We Need a Cat Door?

  • Freedom for Felines: Cats are independent creatures. A cat door gives them the freedom to venture outside when they feel the urge and come back in whenever they please. No more waiting at the door with meows or scratching to be let in or out.
  • Convenience for Owners: No more playing doorman! Cat doors save owners from the constant routine of opening and closing doors, especially at odd hours.
  • Safety: In emergencies, a cat door can serve as an escape route for your cat.
  • Controlled Access: Modern cat doors can be locked or set only to allow access at certain times, ensuring your pet stays safe during unfavorable conditions.

Types and Features of Cat Doors

  • Standard Cat Door: The simplest type, usually a flap made of durable plastic or rubber, allowing free in-and-out movement.
  • Lockable Cat Doors: These can be locked or unlocked manually. Perfect for times when you want to keep your cat indoors.
  • Magnetic or Infrared Cat Doors: Equipped with sensors, they only allow access to cats wearing a corresponding magnetic or infrared collar. This is great for ensuring stray animals don’t enter your home.
  • Microchip Cat Doors: Probably the most advanced, these doors work with your cat’s implanted microchip. Only recognized microchips will trigger the door to open, ensuring that only your pets have access.
  • Interior vs. Exterior Cat Doors: While most people think of cat doors leading outside, interior cat doors can be installed to grant cats access to certain rooms without keeping the door open.

Cat Doors vs. Dog Doors

While the basic concept is the same, there are distinct differences between cat and dog doors:

  • Size: Naturally, cat doors are smaller than most dog doors. However, be cautious: an overly large cat door might invite other unwanted wildlife.
  • Placement: Cat doors are often higher up than dog doors, mainly if they deter dogs from using them.
  • Design: Cats, being agile jumpers and climbers, can access doors that are elevated or integrated into windows. Some cat doors even come with steps or platforms.
  • Locking Mechanisms: While cat and dog doors can have locking features, the microchip feature is more common in cat doors due to the concern of stray cats.
  • Durability: Dog doors are designed to withstand more forceful usage, while cat doors are typically lighter and more accessible for the nimble feline to push open.

The cat door is more than just a portal; it’s a bridge between the domestic comforts of home and the alluring outdoors for our feline friends. Whether for safety, convenience, or a touch of freedom, a cat door can be a fantastic addition to a cat-friendly home. Before purchasing, consider your cat’s needs, your living situation, and the features that would benefit you and your feline the most.

Do-It-Yourself Guide for Installing a Dog Door: Essential Tools and Steps

Firstly, let’s talk about the toolkit you’ll likely need for this DIY project. Generally, you’ll require a few essential tools like a screwdriver, a measuring tape to get the dimensions right, a pencil for marking those dimensions on your chosen spot, and a drill for the installation holes.

Installation Steps to Consider

Start by zeroing in on where you want the dog door to go. Once you’ve decided on the ideal location, grab your measuring tape and accurately measure the required area. Make visible marks using your pencil to outline where the door will fit. Finally, move on to the installation process, following the manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions closely.

The Benefits You and Your Pet Will Enjoy

Having a dog door isn’t just about convenience; it brings you and your beloved pet many other benefits.

Enhanced Freedom for Your Pet

Imagine a life where your dog can roam in and out of the house, enjoying the best of both worlds. A dog door allows your pet to explore the yard, play, or laze in the sun whenever possible.

Peace of Mind for You

With a dog door, you no longer have to rush home to let your dog out. Whether at work or running errands, you can rest easy knowing your pet can care for their business.

Physical and Mental Stimulation for Your Dog

Being able to go outside on their own means your dog gets more exercise and mental stimulation, which is crucial for their overall well-being.

Summary of Pet Door Guide

So, there you have it! A comprehensive pet door guide to buying, installing, and enjoying both dog and cat doors. We’ve delved deep into various types and features to consider for both pets, ensuring you understand how to measure and train your furry friends for their new access points. A pet door, be it for dogs or cats, is more than just an opening in your door; it’s a portal to freedom, exploration, and a healthier lifestyle for your beloved animals. Whether you have a curious cat or an adventurous dog, these doors grant them the independence they crave while making your life more convenient. And remember, when it comes to choosing the best product, rely on our reviews. We’ve done all the hands-on work and rigorous testing, ensuring you can confidently purchase. Dive into our articles on pet doors to discover the ideal match for you and your furry companion.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Pet Door Guide

What are the specific locking mechanisms to look for in a dog door to ensure home security?

You’ll want to look for dog doors with multiple locking features to ensure the best home security. Critical locking systems are a primary yet effective mechanism. More advanced models may offer a four-way locking system that controls your pet’s direction (in, out, neither, or both). Some top-of-the-line doors even use smart technology that syncs with a microchip or electronic collar, ensuring that only your dog can open the door. Also, look for doors with sturdy metal frames around the locking area for extra durability and security.

How do you properly measure your dog to choose the right size door?

Measuring your dog for the correct door size is crucial. Have your dog stand and measure from the floor to the top of their shoulders to get the height. Don’t measure up to the head since they lower their head to walk through the door. To get the width, measure your dog at the widest point, usually around the belly or hips. Always add a few extra inches to both height and width measurements to ensure a comfortable fit. Also, consider if your dog will grow larger if they’re still a puppy, and plan accordingly.

Are there any other factors to consider when choosing a dog door besides size, security, durability, ease of installation, and weather resistance?

Besides the obvious factors like size, security, and durability, you should consider the door’s aesthetic appeal. Will it match your home’s decor or clash? Another aspect to think about is your pet’s comfort level. Some pets may prefer a door that opens and closes quietly so that a noisy door could be a deterrent. Also, if you have multiple pets, ensure the door is suitable for all of them. Some families may also prefer dog doors with a directional sensing system, which provides the door only opens when your dog is approaching it, not when they are merely wandering near it.

Do Dog Doors Affect Home Security?

If you opt for a door with a strong locking mechanism, the impact on your home security should be minimal. Some high-end models even offer additional security features.

Are Dog Doors Suitable for All Dog Breeds?

Absolutely! There’s a dog door for dogs of all shapes and sizes. The key is to measure your dog properly to ensure a good fit.

How Do I Keep My Home Insulated with a Dog Door?

Opt for models specifically designed to provide sound insulation. These usually have features like magnetic closures, weather stripping, or dual flaps.

How do you stop a dog from scratching a door?

You can use a combination of training and distractions to stop a dog from scratching a door. Teach the “stay” and “sit” commands near the door and reward good behavior. You can also use a scratch-resistant door guard to protect the door.

How do dogs know how to open doors?

Dogs often learn to open doors by watching humans or figuring it out through trial and error. Some doors are easier for dogs to open, especially lever-style handles that they can push down with their paws or noses.

Why should I consider installing a cat door?

A cat door allows your feline friend to move between indoor and outdoor spaces without your intervention. This can promote independence, reduce stress from confinement, and ensure they can access their litter box or favorite resting spot whenever they wish. It also provides cat owners convenience, especially during odd hours when your cat demands an outdoor adventure or needs to heed nature’s call.

Are there cat doors designed to deter unwanted animals from entering my home?

Absolutely! There are advanced cat doors equipped with microchip or RFID technology. These doors only unlock when they detect the specific chip or tag on your cat’s collar, ensuring that only your cat has access. This feature is a game-changer in preventing stray animals or neighborhood pets from making uninvited visits.

How can I train my hesitant cat to use the new cat door?

Training a cat can require patience. Start by propping the cat door open and using treats or toys to coax your cat through. You can also try placing their food bowl just on the other side for a few days. Over time, as your cat becomes accustomed to the idea, you can let the door function normally, and they’ll soon be using it with ease.

Will installing a cat door compromise the insulation or security of my home?

Modern cat doors are designed with insulation and security in mind. They typically come with magnetic or gravity-driven flaps that ensure the door closes immediately after your cat passes through, preserving your home’s internal temperature. For added security during the night or when you’re away, many cat doors also come with a locking mechanism.

Can a cat door be installed anywhere other than a door, like a wall or a window?

Yes, there are cat doors designed specifically for various placements around your home. While traditional cat doors fit standard doors, there are models created for windows, sliding glass doors, and even walls. When selecting a location, consider your cat’s comfort and the ease of access to their favorite indoor and outdoor spots.

These FAQs help clarify any questions or concerns about choosing Pet Door. Discuss your thoughts on this Pet Door Guide for your Cat & dog. 🐶 🚪🐶

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