Best Dog Door - Comparison and Reviews

Becky - author

Author: Becky Roberts
Last Updated: December 2019​

Dog doors come in handy when you have a pup who’s always begging to come in and go out of the house. For busy families, these doors offer your pet access to the outside world when you are gone, too. Installing a dog door gives your pet more freedom – to do his business or be out in fresh air – while relieving you of your doorman duties.

healthy dog

In this article, we’ll give you some tips about the best doggy doors on the market and talk about what you should think about before you purchase one.

You’ll find a tremendous variety of doggy doors available, so sift through the choices to find the one that best suits your needs. You’ve probably seen a doggy flap beneath a mailbox, but did you know that you can install one in your screen, patio door, wall, or even inside an existing sliding-door frame? Take a look at our reviews to see what kind of dog door might work best for your home and pet.

Best Dog Door 2019 - Reviews

1. PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Pet Door with Soft Tinted Flap

You can install the PetSafe Aluminum Pet Door into your existing door. It comes with easy-to-follow instructions so you can install the dog door yourself, though you will need a few tools, including a jigsaw, a drill, and some measuring tape.

The PetSafe Aluminum Pet Door is a fit for both cats and dogs. In includes a magnetically sealed, tinted vinyl flap that protects your interior from sun damage. PetSafe’s Pet Door frames come in white, so you can paint it to match your existing door.

This dog door features a sliding cover to keep the opening secure when you are away from the house, or when you want to restrict your pet’s access. This sliding cover is more durable than the snap-on cover offered in the plastic door kit.

Owners are happy with the PetSafe Aluminum Pet Door for its durability. The product comes in four different sizes, so you need to measure your pet to get the right fit. PetSafe also operates a hotline for installation support and other assistance, available six days of the week.

PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Dog and Cat Door - Durable Frame - Large Pets

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Tinted vinyl flap protects your floor against sun damage
  • Pet door frame is white, and you can paint it to match your existing door
  • PetSafe offers a support hotline six days a week
  • The slide-in door cover is more secure than plastic, snap-on versions

Cons

  • The single vinyl flap is not viable against extreme weather
  • Installation requires cutting a hole in your wall or door

2. PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Patio Panel Sliding Glass Pet Door

The PetSafe Patio Panel Sliding Glass Pet Door fits into your existing doorframe so that you don’t need to modify the door itself. This option is a good one for renters because you can easily uninstall the panel and return the doorframe to its original state.

The Sliding Glass Pet Door comes in three colors and five sizes, so you can fit your décor needs and ensure that your pet can move in and out comfortably. It uses a telescoping frame so that you can adjust its height to your existing door.

The PetSafe Sliding Glass Pet Door features a tinted vinyl flap, which will protect the interior of your house from sun damage. The upper portion of the panel has a shatterproof glass window.

You will need to reinstall the existing lock mechanism from your door frame onto the Pet Door panel so you can still lock your door. Some users complained about their ability to lock the door afterward or to get the panel and the sliding door to fit together correctly. So, be careful during the installation that you are not impairing the door’s functions.

PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Patio Panel Sliding Glass Dog and Cat Door, Adjustable 76 13/16 in to 80 11/16 in - Large White Pet Door

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • The dog door does not require any cutting and can easily be removed; perfect for renters
  • Comes in three different colors to match to your sliding door
  • Tinted vinyl flap protects your floor against sun damage
  • PetSafe offers a support hotline six days a week

Cons

  • The single vinyl flap is not viable against extreme weather
  • You need to be careful during installation that you can still lock your door properly

3. Dog Mate Small Dog Door

The Dog Mate Small Dog Door fits into your existing door or a shallow panel. It is ideal for small dogs up to 14″ at the shoulder and is well-suited for cats, as well.

The Dog Mate Small Dog Door includes a four-way locking feature so you can control when your pet has access to outside. This feature also keeps your home secure. The door’s vinyl flap has magnetic bits that keep it sealed, so you don’t experience temperature changes inside your house during winter or summer. This dog door includes a 2” lining.

Owner reviews of the Dog Mate Small Dog Door are consistently positive. Many people report that installation is relatively simple, and the product is versatile. Some people installed the product into an outer screen door, while others put it on an interior door to allow easy access into a cat’s litter-box room.

You can buy the Dog Mate Small Dog Door on Amazon or Chewy.com for $24.45, making it a very affordable choice versus other small dog doors. The Dog Mate Dog Door is also available in medium and large sizes for bigger dogs.

Dog Mate Small Dog Door White

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Ideal for small dogs and cats
  • Four-way locking feature keeps the door secure when you want to restrict access
  • Affordable product, at $24.45 on Amazon or Chewy.com

Cons

  • Not ideal for extreme climates
  • Installation requires cutting your existing wall or door
  • Marketed for cats and small or toy dogs, though larger sizes are available

4. Apalus Magnetic Screen Door

The Apalus Magnetic Screen Door is useful as a pet door, or a means to keep mosquitos out of your house. It’s super-simple to install, requiring no drilling or cutting through hard surfaces. All you need to install the Apalus Magnetic Screen Door are the included hook tape and pins.

The Apalus Magnetic Screen Door comprises high-quality mesh and top-to-floor magnets that automatically reconnect after you or your pet passes through the door. The screen fits inside your existing door frame. If you have a wooden door frame, you can attach the screen using pins to avoid damaging the finish.

This product is not meant for metal doors, as the magnets will stick, preventing the screen or door from opening. You want to be sure to purchase a screen wider than your existing door to maximize its effectiveness.

Due to the Apalus Magnetic Screen Door’s easy installation, you can remove it during winter months. This screen allows you to leave your door open while you are at home during the summer, and you won’t have bugs keeping you company.

Apalus Magnetic Screen Door, 36'x83' Super Strong Fly Mesh, 28 Magnets from Top to Bottom Ultra Seal Magnets Close Automatically

Pros

  • Easy to install with hook tape
  • Does not require any lasting modifications to your door
  • Cost-efficient, at $17.99 on Amazon
  • Keeps bugs out while providing pet access
  • Made from strong magnets and high-quality mesh
  • Versatile for any size dog

Cons

  • No way to restrict pet’s access
  • Only ideal during the summer months
  • Does not work with metal doors

5. PetSafe Plastic Pet Door with Soft Tinted Flap

PetSafe also offers a Plastic Pet Door for dogs and cats. This kit comes in four sizes to fit all sizes of dogs. Not to be confused with Pet Safe’s Freedom Aluminum dog door, this door uses a plastic frame.

After purchasing a PetSafe Plastic Door, read through the instructions for how to install it into your existing door. You will need a jigsaw, a drill, and some measuring tape. Most users consider PetSafe to have clear, easy-to-use instructions, even for those who aren’t so handy.

The tinted vinyl flap protects your floor from sunlight damage. Its magnetic strip along its bottom keeps your door sealed, reducing changes in air temperature inside your house. The dog door has a snap-on cover so you can keep the door shut if you want to restrict your dog’s access, or if you’re going to secure your house.

Users of the PetSafe Plastic Pet Door complain that this product is not as durable as the aluminum version. Several owners mentioned that the snap-on cover did not remain secure and that their dog could easily remove it to get outside.

PetSafe Plastic Pet Door Extra-Large with Soft Tinted Flap, Paintable White Frame, for dogs up to 220 lb. - PPA00-10961

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Tinted vinyl flap protects your floor against sun damage
  • The pet door frame is white and can be painted to match your existing door
  • Includes locking cover to limit pet access
  • PetSafe offers a support hotline six days a week

Cons

  • The single vinyl flap isn’t viable against extreme weather
  • Installation requires cutting a hole in your wall or door
  • Snap-on locking cover pops off easily

6. OWNPETS Pet Screen Door

This pet door is designed to install into your screen door or window screen. With an OWNPETS Pet Screen Door, your pets can move in and out without letting bugs join you. This option is ideal for times you are at home with your pups during warm weather.

Each OWNPETS Pet Screen Door includes installation screws and s manual so you can install the door yourself. Just attach the door onto the existing screen using a hammer to push the screws through the mesh. With a razor knife, cut out the screen from the inside frame of the pet door. Several owners say installation is more comfortable with two people because the screws were tiny and a little challenging to handle.

The magnets along the pet door’s outer edge keep it closed when your pet isn’t moving in or out, so it won’t be a gateway for insects. The OWNPETS Pet Screen Door has a locking feature for times when you want to restrict pet access.

Many pet owners say the OWNPETS Pet Screen Door is an easy, affordable solution for summer.

OWNPETS Dog Screen Door, Lockable Pet Screen Door, Magnetic Self-Closing Screen Door with Locking Function, Sturdy Screen Door for Dog Cat

Pros

  • Easy to install, no cutting through hard surfaces
  • Strong magnets around the border keep flap secure
  • Keeps bugs out during summer
  • You can lock it when you want to restrict your pet’s access

Cons

  • Inserts into the screen door, so not ideal for winter
  • Placement inside the screen door doesn’t allow your dog access when you are away from home
  • Requires you to cut through your existing screen door
  • Small screws are difficult to handle during installation

7. Pets Deluxe Aluminum Pet Door with Telescoping Frame

The Ideal Pets Deluxe Aluminum Pet Door uses a telescoping frame for easy installation, allowing you to adjust the frame to the desired height. The door’s aluminum frame offers more durability than plastic, which may crack with regular use.

The Ideal Pets Deluxe Aluminum Pet Door has a slide-in locking feature. This slide-in cover is plastic, and though some are skeptical about it, this cover is safe for rambunctious dogs that like to test the boundaries. Most pet owners who purchased this door say both the sliding cover and aluminum frame hold up well with regular use.

This pet door has a clear polyvinyl flap with a magnetic strip on the bottom to limit airflow. One complaint about the Ideal Pets Deluxe Aluminum Pet Door suggests that the polyvinyl flap may not protect against moisture or frigid weather. You may need to seal your pet-door frame with caulk to keep moisture out.

Ideal Pets offers a support hotline for customers seven days a week. It also provides a limited lifetime warranty on this product, but that warranty does not apply if you purchase your door on Amazon.

Ideal Pet Products Deluxe Aluminum Pet Door with Telescoping Frame, Extra Large, 10.5' x 15' Flap Size, White

Pros

  • Easy to install; uses an adjustable telescoping frame to select the height
  • Aluminum frame durable against cracking
  • The slide-in cover allows you to restrict your pet’s access
  • Customer service support hotline operates seven days a week
  • Limited lifetime warranty unless you purchase on Amazon

Cons

  • Installation requires cutting into your existing door
  • The slide-in cover is plastic
  • Not ideal for protecting against extreme weather
  • May require sealants after installation

8. BarksBar Original Plastic Dog Door With Aluminum Lining

The BarksBar Original Plastic Dog Door with Aluminum Lining has a telescopic frame, which allows you to install it quickly, adjusting the height to fit your space. BarksBar claims that you can install this dog door in fewer than 25 minutes. Many buyer reviews confirm that installation is simple and a one-person job.

BarksBar re-engineered this product to include aluminum lining that’s more durable against wear and tear. Many users confirmed that it does, indeed, stand up with energetic dogs.

The BarksBar Original Plastic Dog Door features a self-locking thermoplastic panel. You can slide the panel behind the dog door when you want to restrict your pet’s access or secure the opening against pests and weather.

The flap comprises heavy-duty vinyl, which should prevent warping and tear. Should the vinyl flap on your dog door wear out, BarksBar offers replacement flaps for $14.99 on its home site.

This doggy door sells for $45.99 on Amazon, though BarBarks also offers a more economical dog door. Overall, users appear satisfied with its easy installation and durability.

BarksBar Large Plastic Dog Door with Aluminum Lining - 10.5 by 15 inches Flap Size | Pets Up to 100 LBS

Pros

  • An easy-to-install, telescopic frame allows adjustments to the ideal height
  • Durable aluminum lining
  • Thermoplastic slide-in cover protects against temperature changes
  • BarksBar sells replacement parts for slide-in cover and vinyl flaps for $14.99
  • Affordable option at $45.99 on Amazon

Cons

  • Requires cutting your existing door
  • Not ideal for extreme climates
  • Some owners worried that the slide-in locking panel is plastic

9. Endura Flap Double Flap Wall Mount Pet Door

The Endura Flap Double Flap Wall Mount Pet Door is designed extreme temperatures, guaranteeing energy protection against -40-degree temperatures and winds up to 50 mph. It is made in the USA and carries a 15-years warranty.

This heavy-duty dog door uses two durable, clear flaps that don’t stiffen in freezing temperatures. These flaps are UV-resistant don’t contain vinyl, which is more liable to discolor, warp, or tear. Most dog doors use a magnetic strip only along the bottom. But the Endura Flap Double Flap has magnets on three sides to ensure that it stays sealed on cold, windy days.

The Endura Flap Double Flap also protects against energy loss in extreme heat. It uses two horizontal barriers for increased insulation, holding tight against the wind.

Owners of the Endura Flap say the product is durable, though installation is complicated and lengthy, even for handier types. You might need to hire a professional to get it done right.

While other products from PetSafe or Ideal Pets tend to run $50-$100, this door starts at $400. But it’s built to last, and Endura Flap stands behind it with a 15-year warranty.

Endura Flap Double Flap Wall Mount Pet Door- Medium Flap (8' x 10'), Bronze

Pros

  • Protects against the most extreme temperatures, such as -40-degree freezes and 50 mph winds
  • All three sides of the flap use magnets, sealing out drafts
  • Horizontal barriers in the flap resist strong wind
  • The UV-resistant flap is a more durable material than vinyl
  • Made in the USA
  • Generous 15-year warranty

Cons

  • Installation is complicated; you might need to hire a professional
  • Requires cutting into existing door or wall
  • By far the most expensive product reviewed, starting at $400

10. Ideal Pet Products Designer Series Ruff-Weather Pet Door with Telescoping Frame

The Ideal Pet Products Ruff-Weather Pet Door is designed for energy efficiency in extreme climates. You can install this pet door into your existing door – or a wall of your home, if you purchase a wall-installation kit separately.

The Ideal Pet Products Ruff-Weather Pet Door uses a telescoping frame, so you can adjust the door to fit your ideal space. Its vinyl flaps come in various sizes to match your dog. This door uses two vinyl flaps, creating an air pocket that helps protect your interior from temperature changes.

At $92.99 on the Ideal Pet Products home site, this is a more economical option for extreme-weather dog doors. That said, many users said they vinyl gets damaged and warped by water, thus preventing the magnetic strip from staying closed against the wind.

With a top-grade extreme-weather dog door running $400, the Ideal Pet Products Ruff-Weather Pet Door is a good option if you’re on a budget and don’t get a lot of severe wind. Otherwise, you have to be willing to get creative with caulk sealants and replace worn flaps regularly.

Ideal Pet Products Designer Series Ruff-Weather Pet Door with Telescoping Frame, Extra Large, 9.75' x 17' Flap Size

Pros

  • Easy-to-use self-installation kit
  • The telescoping frame makes the height adjustable
  • Double vinyl flaps protect against extreme temperatures
  • An affordable option for extreme-weather protection, from $92.99

Cons

  • Many users complain that the single magnetic strip doesn’t protect against drafts
  • Vinyl flaps easily warp with regular use
  • You might need to apply caulk sealants to keep out moisture

How to Choose the Best Door for Dogs

There are a lot of things to consider before choosing a dog door. Do you live in an area with extreme temperatures in summer or winter? Are there a lot of little pests in your area that could make their way into a doggy door if it doesn’t seal properly? What kind of security mechanism do you need for your door?

Dog lookingYou also want to consider how long you’ll be living in the house, and what changes you are allowed to make. If you’re renting, you’ll want to find a dog door that doesn’t require modifications to the existing door or wall.

Different Types of Dog Doors and which one to consider

Electronic Dog Door

Electronic dog doors are becoming increasingly popular, especially among homeowners who like to show off their high-tech home features. Automated dog doors come with a variety of different operational systems. You should be aware of how they work and what their benefits and drawbacks are.

Electronic doors require professional installation. They also are considerably more expensive than the simple self-installation dog-door kit you can find at Lowes. But an electronic dog door doesn’t need a magnet strip to open and close, and it provides better protection against the weather and pests.

Electronic dog doors use sensors that signal when to open and close. Depending on the system, these sensors pick up information differently. Some communicate with a magnetic, ultrasonic, or radiofrequency sensor on your dog’s collar. Some of these will scan not only your dog but any dog with a sensor. Some operate on batteries, so you have to check often to ensure you have enough power for the sensors to work.

Other electronic dog doors use radiofrequency signals to identify the dogs you’ve saved into your system. You can also program your electric dog door to your dog’s microchip, limiting access to your pet only.

The advantage of electronic doors is that you can time when your pet can leave or enter the house. Your pup can freely enjoy the outdoors especially if it is secured with an electric dog fence that would make sure your dog would remain inside the house boundaries.

Dog Door for Walls

You can install dog doors into your wall, too, but you need to think about temperature and moisture regulation. In general, a doggy door in the wall should have two flaps to create an air pocket that helps protect your interior climate.

When looking at dog doors, double-check the packaging to see whether it’s suitable for wall installation. In some cases, you might have to buy a wall installation kit that corresponds with your dog door.

Dog Door for Screen Porch

If you want to install a doggy door onto a screen porch, consider one that is specifically designed for that use. The OWNPETS Screen Dog Door is a popular one that is lightweight, and you can install it directly only your screen.

In fact, many dog doors work with screens, but always check the product description to be sure before you buy one.

Dog Door for Bad Weather

One common concern with dog doors is temperature control. If you live in an extreme climate, make sure your dog door can protect against wind, snow, heat, and moisture. There are dog doors specially branded for extreme climates, though higher-quality products are pricey.

In general, you want a dog door with double flaps to create an air pocket. Be sure the flaps are strong enough to withstand gusts, and its regular use isn’t going to affect its ability to stay closed.

Microchip Dog Doors

Most owners ask a veterinarian to implant a microchip in their dogs so they can track their pets if they get lost. Some electronic dog doors will allow you to program this microchip information into your door’s mechanism, so the door opens only for your pet. Not all automated dog doors are capable of differentiating the sensors they pick up. But microchip dog doors are a nifty way to restrict access to other outdoor pets.

FAQs

How much is it to install a doggie door?

That depends on your handyman, but installation by a professional could cost you anywhere from $75 to $300. The cost of installation excludes the price of the door, and installations for larger dogs are pricier.

Airtasker offers quotes from $75 to $160, including reviews of different handymen in your area so help you narrow your installation options for a harder-to-install door.

How do I choose a dog-door size?

For measuring pet door size, measure the distance between your dog’s paw and its chest, then add the length from its chest to the highest point on its shoulders. Your dog door should always be 2 inches taller than the highest point on your dog’s shoulders.

Measure your dog’s width, too. Calculate the distance between its shoulders or hips, whichever is wider. Choose a door size that is at least 2 inches wider than your dog.

If you are installing a dog door for a puppy, buy a door you estimate will work for your puppy when it grows to full size. Otherwise, you’ll be reinstalling a bigger door when the dog outgrows it!

Can you put a doggie door in a glass sliding door?

Yes, you can. You’ll probably need the help of a professional for the installation, though. A professional handyman will remove the existing glass from your door and install a new piece that includes a dog door at the bottom.

That said, you can buy ready-to-install glass dog doors that fit into your existing patio-door frame, so you don’t have to modify your door. If you have a sliding glass door, it will close against your newly inserted dog-door panel. PetSafe offers this ready-to-install dog door, as do Lowes and Amazon.

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