How to Install a Dog Door
Give your pet the freedom to come and go whenever it wishes by installing this energy-efficient kit
When life gets busy, it’s easy to miss the signals that a dog needs to go outside right now. And when the message doesn’t get through, the result can be a nasty mess. That isn’t a worry with a dog door, fitted into either a human-sized door or a wall like the one at right, because it gives your dog the freedom to come and go at will.
Providing a pet with its own portal can also save on heating and cooling bills—a small door, when opened, allows less interior air to escape than a big one does—as long as it is weatherstripped and closes tightly on its own. The DIY pet door above has two saloon-style doors that close quickly and don’t need much pressure to open. When the family is away, a metal plate inside deters intruders.
On the following pages, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva and host Kevin O’Connor will show you how to install a dog door in a wall using a PlexiDor dog-door kit for Soleil, the Newfoundland at the Arlington Arts and Crafts TV project. These kits are available in a range of sizes for breeds big and small—even cats. Whichever size you choose, the door takes only a few hours to put in. Before you know it, your pet will be enjoying the ability to go freely in and out whenever it pleases.
Shown: Soleil now goes outdoors anytime she wants through the dog door at the Arlington Arts and Crafts TV project. Inset: When coming inside, Soleil pushes the saloon doors inward and enters the laundry room.
PlexiDor Wall Series, from $332