When it comes to pet care, particularly for dogs, one of the most important elements of care is making sure they get enough exercise. Not a problem for some that are able to take their pet out several times a day. For others however, with the best intentions in the world, the working day just doesn’t leave enough time to adequately exercise your dog. It’s not just the working hours, it’s the school run, the shopping, the commute, all the things that eat away your time. One pretty effective solution to this, as far as your dog is concerned, is to invest in one of the best dog doors.
These allow for your dog to come and go from house to garden throughout the day, keeping them stretched and toileted and comfortable between walks. So what should you look for in the best dog doors? Let’s take a look
Many dog doors are made of sturdy plastic or aluminum, and the door, itself, is often made of thick, clear, pliable plastic. However, sometimes, the door is just that–a door. For instance, sometimes, the door will hinge at the top and swing open and closed as the dog enters and exits. In either case, you want to ensure the construction is sturdy and precise, allowing for no drafts. Additionally, some dog doors have a reinforced frame and door for a more sturdy fit.
With a quality dog door, installation is rarely a complicated process. In terms of the frame, you should pick one that can accommodate the same thickness as your door or wall. Most come with a sizing stencil that you place on your door or wall, so you can draw your cut marks. Once you have cut the hole, you can insert the dog-door frame. With the dog-door frame in place, you can then screw in the trim of the door, which covers up the cut marks and provides a way to install the actual dog door. Once the trim is in place around the frame, you can attache the dog door, and your dog is ready to go.
The best dog doors have a variety of options. For instance, the door might have a sensor. When your dog approaches, a motor engages the door and vertically raises it. Others have a telescoping tunnel that accommodate thin or thick doors or walls, allowing for a tight fit. Some doors have dual flaps or are insulated for superior protection against inclement weather and extreme heat.
Finally, some come with apps that can track your pet’s activity. In terms of all doors, they should open and close easily enough as your dog passes through, and the weight of the door should not drag against the back of your dog.
In terms of security, you can even purchase a dog door that has a locking mechanism or dead bolt. Locking the dog door at night, for instance, ensures none of your pets can get in or out. It also helps keep wild animals out of your home.
Why buy one?
The primary reason for any dog door is convenience for your dog. A dog door provides more choices for your dog. Instead of creating an environment where your dog cannot go in and out at will, you can allow your dog to engage in natural dog-type behaviors, such as scouting the area of his or her territory. Additionally, a dog door gives your dog access to the yard in times when he or she needs to use the facilities, as it were.
Best Dog Doors – Comparison Table
|1. PetSafe Wall Entry Pet Door with Telescoping Tunnel||Sturdy|
Suitable for dogs of many sizes
Exterior will not fade or discolor
|4.3 out of 5|
|2. PetSafe Extreme Weather Energy Efficient Pet Door||R-value of 4.78|
|4.3 out of 5|
|3. Ideal Pet Products Designer Series Plastic Pet Door||Will not warp|
Equipped with lock-out
|4.1 out of 5|
|4. Ideal Pet Products Designer Series Ruff-Weather Pet Door||Insulated frame|
Dual door flaps
Lightweight enough for smaller animals
|4.2 out of 5|
|5. Plexidor Weatherproof Dog Doors||For dogs up to 100 pounds|
|3.9 out of 5|
|6. BarksBar Original Plastic Dog Door||Chew and bite proof|
Sized for dogs up to 100 pounds
Flaps resist warping
|4.3 out of 5|
|7. Endura Flap Pet Door Double Flap Wall Mount||Withstands winds up to 50 miles per hour|
Protects against extremely cold temperatures
Single- or double-flap option
|3.8 out of 5|
|8. Ideal Pet Products Aluminum Sash Window Pet Door||Non-toxic|
|3.5 out of 5|
|9. PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor||Ability to program up to five pets|
Must wear SmartKey to enter and exit
Choose between door or wall installation
|3.9 out of 5|
|10. Perfect Pet The All-Weather Energy Efficient Dog Door||Double-flap design provides superior insulation|
Exterior door or wall installation
Four sizes available
|3.9 out of 5|
10 Best Dog Doors Reviewed
The PetSafe pet door features a telescopic tunnel that will fit walls between 4.75 inches and 7.25 inches in thickness. Because of its thickness, this particular dog door is designed to be installed in a wall rather than a door.
The dog door can be installed safely in a variety of wall types, such as stucco or brick. Of course, it can also be installed though standard drywall-based walls. The door size measures just over 10 inches by 15 inches, so it is recommended for dogs up to 100 pounds.
For protection against the weather, it features dual flaps, so there is rarely a time the outside wind or air can get inside your house. Even in strong gusts, the flaps are weighted, so they do not blow inward. Additionally, the PVC plastic is durable and will not fade in the sunlight.
- suitable for dogs of many sizes
- exterior will not fade or discolor
- no safety or security features
Featuring an R-value of 4.78, the PetSafe Extreme Weather door provides superior protection against hot and cold drafts during the summer and winter, respectively. Although the door, itself, measures 10.125 inches by 16.25 inches, the flaps are adjustable, allowing you to make the opening as precise as possible.
Unlike traditional doors, this door features three flaps for the best possible protection against weather. Additionally, the plastic frame can be painted, allowing you to match your home’s decor. Finally, it comes with a sizing chart, which helps you to cut the perfect hole in your door or wall.
- R-value of 4.78
- triple flaps
- no locking mechanism
The Ideal Pet Products pet door is a plastic, telescopic door that will fit doors ranging in thickness from 1.25 inches to 2.0 inches. The vinyl flap will not warp from summer heat or become brittle against the winter cold. The final size is 10.5 inches by 15 inches. Once you have cut the hole in your door, all you have to do is screw the door into place. Due to its basic design, installation time is only 20 minutes.
Although this is one of the most basic dog doors, it is also one of the most precise. For instance, it features a floating bottom threshold, which creates a precise fit. Additional extras include a lock-out feature, which prevents your dog from leaving after hours.
- will not warp
- equipped with lock-out
- not insulated
This Ruff-Weather door by Ideal Pets Products offers dual vinyl flaps for protection against weather and drafts. The large 15-inch by 23.5-inch opening accommodates large dogs. The cut-out size is 16.25 inches by 25.75 inches, and the frame, itself, measures 19 inches by 28.125 inches, ensuring a secure fit. Although it is a large opening with large sections of vinyl, the vinyl is light enough that smaller dogs or cats can use it comfortably.
Where many dog doors provide only a plastic or aluminum frame that fits against your door or wall, the Ruff-Weather Pet Door includes a foam-insulated plastic frame that keeps you from heating or cooling the yard.
With its 12-month warranty, you are protected against any build problems, and if you do not want to cut a hole in your door, wall kits are available for easy wall installation.
- insulated frame
- dual door flaps
- lightweight enough for smaller animals
- no locking mechanism
If you are looking for a solid, secure door, the Plexidor’s frame is constructed of heavy-duty aluminum. As such, it is nearly impervious to warping and cracking. Additionally, the panels are shatter resistant and are guaranteed to never need replacing.
In terms of being connected to the internet and to your phone, this dog door might not be technically smart, but it is smartly built. For instance, the door flaps are designed to open easily, smoothly, and quietly. Additionally, the flaps are crafted with a nylon pile to help increase insulation value. Finally, the door utilizes dual-thermal-pane construction, ensuring a superior seal for protection against drafts.
In terms of installation, you can install it in a variety of wall types, including brick, stucco, wood studs, and cement. In terms of protection of your financial investment, this door offers a 10-year warranty.
Finally, this door comes with a grooming and massaging glove, allowing you to pet your dog while also helping him or her shed unwanted winter hair.
- for dogs up to 100 pounds
- superior insulation
- dual-thermal-pane construction
- flaps will not warp or crack
- no locking mechanism
The BarksBar dog door has a telescopic frame that is designed to fit most doors. The lining, made of aluminum and white plastic, compliments any home decor. With a flap size ranging from 10.5 inches to 15 inches, it can easily accommodate dogs up to 100 pounds.
The flap is made of heavy-duty vinyl that is both flexible and soft. In terms of energy efficiency, the weatherproof flap includes a magnetic closure that ensures your home is protected against rain, wind, and annoying insects. Additionally, exposure to extreme temperatures will not cause the flap to warp.
In terms of durability, the thermoplastic-impact resistant frame is sturdy enough to withstand daily use. Finally, you can install this door in just five steps, and installation can be completed in about 25 minutes.
BarksBar comes with a self-locking door panel that you can simply slide into place. Once affixed, you can rest assured that no unwanted guests will enter. The door panel also protects your home from air drafts, weather, and bugs.
- chew and bite proof
- sized for dogs up to 100 pounds
- flaps resist warping
- includes a removable, self-locking, sliding panel
- not insulated
Endura is an award-winning, energy-efficient, dog door that provides your dog the ability to come and go when needed. At the same time, it protects your home from the heat and cold. The door features a heavy-duty aluminum frame that fits walls ranging in thickness from 2 inches up to 8 inches.
In terms of durability, the combined polyolefin-polymer and UV-retardant design ensures the flaps will maintain flexibility during extreme cold. Additionally, the flaps will not warp or crack during hot summer months. By way of example, Endura has over completed over 3,000,000 successful trials of this door. Consequently, you can be sure this dog door will not fail you.
Finally, with the included clip-lock, you can rest assured that no unwanted visitors can enter your home.
In terms of protection against the elements, the three-sided magnetic seal stays shut–event against winds up to 50 miles per hour. The magnetic seal is adjustable, so you can find the perfect strength needed to allow your dog to move freely while keeping out the elements.
- withstands winds up to 50 miles per hour
- protects against extremely cold temperatures
- single- or double-flap option
- available in small or extra-large
- variety of colors available
- some customers reported long installation times
The pet door from Ideal is super easy to install in most sash-style windows. It is made of high-quality aluminum, and the white finish ensures it will match most home decor.
In terms of security, you can set the flap to the in only, out only, or lock position. However, you can also set it to always be open, allowing your dog to come and go freely. Because the door is made of clear, unbreakable Lexan, your dog can easily see through the opening, allowing him or her to decide whether or not to go outside.
- 12-month warranty
- easy installation
- for pets up to 25 pounds
- window access only
The Electronic SmartDoor from PetSafe fits interior and exterior doors that are 1.5-inches to 2-inches thick. With and additional purchase of a wall-conversion kit, it will fit walls from 3.75-inches up to 7.25-inches thick.
The Electronic SmartDoor technology uses radio frequencies to operate the dog door. As your dog approaches the door, the SmartKey, worn by your dog, sends a programmed signal that unlocks the door. In essence, your dog has an actual key to your house. This means your dog can come and go as needed while your house remains secure.
In fact, you can be absolutely sure that your house remains secure because the door will unlock only when the SmartKey triggers the flap to unlock. Once your dog is out of range, the flap automatically locks. Finally, there are three modes available: unlocked, locked, and automatic. The automatic mode allows dog-door access only to dogs wearing the matching SmartKey.
- ability to program up to five pets
- must wear SmartKey to enter and exit
- choose between door or wall installation
- four D-cell batteries not included
- wall installation option requires purchase of installation kit
The all-weather, energy-efficient, dog door from Perfect Pet features a telescopic, structural-foam, plastic frame that adjusts to most doors .75 inches to 1.75 inches in thickness. A lockout slide is included to keep your dog inside or outside your house.
An air pocket created by the unique, double-vinyl flap design provides energy-efficient insulation against extreme heat and cold. Additionally, the magnetic-closure design ensures both flaps close after each use.
- double-flap design provides superior insulation
- exterior door or wall installation
- four sizes available
- optional wall installation kit must be purchased separately