Best Dog Doors: Liberate Your Dog (And Yourself)

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Best Dog Doors - Boxer dog in front of doorDo you feel like you always have to let your dog in and out, especially when you’re in the middle of something important (baby crying, must-answer phone call, dinner on the stove) or when you’re not home? Don’t let your pooch drive you crazy; give him some freedom to come and go on his terms. Installing a dog door in your home can go a long way in simplifying your home life — and making your dog a happy family member. But how do you know where to start when there are hundreds of different doggy doors on the market? We’re here to help you make sense of all the details so you can choose the best doggy door for your home.

Why Dog Doors?

If you can afford the cost and time to install a dog door, why not invest in something that you and your canine will love? The benefits are enormous — just take a look at the advice from experienced U.S. veterinarians about how pet doors can save you and your dog from unnecessary headaches and stress. So now hopefully you know why, let’s talk about what to look for in dog door options.

What Factors Should You Consider?

Before we get to the products themselves, first things first. There are a number of factors you need to consider when embarking on your research. Give some thought to the following questions to help you narrow down your choice to find the best fit among the best pet doors.

Where to Install?

Your first decision should be where you want to install your pet door. There are a lot of good options for the types of doors you have — sliding glass, screen door, storm door, etc. You also have the option of going with a dog door for walls.

What Size?

The general rule of thumb is to measure your dog’s width and height (top of shoulders to bottom of his chest or belly); then add one to two inches to each measurement.

Are Energy Efficiency and Durability Important?

It pays to invest in a dog door that’s more energy-efficient; otherwise, your heating and cooling bills could rise if your dog door isn’t well insulated. Pay attention to the materials of your dog door, especially if you have a chewer or scratcher.

Are You Handy, or Willing to Pay Someone for Installation?

Some dog doors are easier to install than others. If you’re handy, you shouldn’t have a problem. Many dog doors come with detailed instructions. But don’t discount paying a contractor to install one for you if it’s the one you want and within your budget.

What’s Your Budget?

These days, you can pretty much find any type of dog door, ranging from the old-school flap doors to high-tech automatic dog doors. Prices vary widely — anywhere from $30 to $600 or more.

Best Dog Doors

So, what are the best dog doors on the market? Our extensive research led us to the following “best of” list, which we’ve categorized to help you home in on what you need in our in-depth dog door review below. We chose our top picks based on quality, durability, ease of installation, customer reviews and more.

Best Automatic Dog Door | Best Dog Door for Walls | Best Extra-Large Dog Door | Best Dog Door for Screened Doors | Best Sliding Glass Dog Door | Best Storm Door with Pet Door

Best Automatic Dog Door: SureFlap MicroChip Pet Door

SureFlap MicroChip Pet DoorView on Amazon

The SureFlap Microchip Pet Door is a no-hassle approach to pet doors. The SureFlap pet door uses your pet’s implanted chip to open the door and eliminates the need for collar keys. This lets only your pets with microchips enter and exit the home, while keeping out other pets, strays and wild animals. An excellent choice for households with multiple pets or owners who don’t have time to monitor their pet’s location.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy DIY installation with step-by-step manual
  • Fits doors 1 to 2″ thick
  • Double-flap, weather resistant and high energy efficiency
  • Multi-point locking
  • Modes to restrict access to certain times
  • Customer support Mon.-Sat. via phone and email
  • Only accommodates cats and dogs under 50 pounds
  • Need for microchip

Pricing & Tech Specs

  • $148.39
  • Flap Opening: 7″ W x 7″ H, Cut Out: 13 1/8″ x 17 1/16″
  • Frame Dimensions: 14 1/4″ W x 20″ H
  • Pet Size: Under 50 pounds
  • Two year limited warranty

Best Dog Door for Walls: Endura Flap Dog Door for Walls

Endura FlapView on Amazon

The Endura Flap wall mount pet door is the sturdiest, most energy-efficient wall mount we found on the market. Unlike other flaps, Endura flaps are sealed with magnets, making them more rain and wind resistant than many other dog door flaps. And their flaps are made from environmentally friendly materials. This is a sturdy, well-made product with an aluminum steel tunnel and locking cover, which is easy to lock quickly. They also have four different size options, as well as the option for one or two flaps. Two flaps are recommended for harsher climates. The only drawback to the Endura Flap is that the installation is difficult. If you’re considering this dog door, you may want to look into hiring a contractor to install it for you.

Pros

Cons

  • Small, medium, large and extra-large options accommodate most dog sizes
  • Highly weather and wind resistant
  • Fits walls up to 8″ thick
  • Single and double flaps seal with magnets
  • Heavy-gauge aluminum tunnel
  • Easy and sturdy locking clip
  • Excellent warranty
  • Customer support 7 days per week via phone and email
  • Installation is difficult, even for handy people
  • Installation instructions are hard to follow

Pricing & Tech Specs

Includes limited 10-year warranty.

  • Medium – Double Flap 8″ x 14″ in Bronze: $379.00
  • Large – Double Flap 10″ x 18″ in White: $449.00
  • XL – Double Flap 12″ x 22″ in Bronze: $569.00

Best Extra-Large Dog Door: Plexidor X-Large Door Mount Pet Door

Plexidor Extra Large Door Mount Pet DoorView on Amazon

Need a sturdy, durable dog door for your massive sized canine? Look no further than the Plexidor Extra Large Door Mount Pet Door. Made with many of the same features found on commercial kennel doors used by military and police, the Plexidor is strong enough to withstand all the power behind your pooch. The Plexidor incorporates 3/8 inch thick shatter-resistant acrylic doors and chew-proof aluminum trim in a saloon-style, swinging door design. No more flaps to replace! Yes, it’s on the expensive side, but it’s worth it if you want a dog door that will outlast your dog. We highly recommend this product — and Plexidor also makes an extra-large wall mount version in case that’s a better fit for your home.

Pros

Cons

  • Accommodates dogs up to 220 pounds
  • Extremely sturdy and durable
  • Weather resistant and energy-efficient
  • Fits standard household and glass doors
  • Easy installation if you’re moderately handy
  • Self-closing doors that seal tightly
  • Heavy steel security plate you can screw in for longer periods away from home
  • 5-year warranty
  • Although the door has a lock, there’s no easily attachable cover for temporary use
  • Some consumer complaints that dogs can’t tell when doors are locked or open (so dogs try to barrel through when locked)
  • Customer support only available between 10am – 4pm Mon – Fri via phone

Pricing & Tech Specs

  • Extra Large: $685.00
  • Opening: 16″W x 23-3/4″H
  • Cut Hole: 18″W x 25″H
  • Overall: 20-1/2″W x 26-3/4″H
  • 5 year limited warranty

Best Dog Door for Screened Doors: Ideal Pet Doors Screen Guard Pet Door

Ideal Pet Doors Screen Guard Pet DoorView on Amazon

The Ideal Pet Doors Screen Guard Pet Door is an ideal solution if you need something a bit less expensive that’s also easy to install and you don’t want to mar your home’s walls or permanent doors. Installation is a breeze. You can attach the Ideal Pet Screen Guard to a door grill (sold separately) to ensure that your screen door doesn’t get damaged. A great choice for owners living in milder climates or a seasonal second dog door.

Pros

Cons

  • Less expensive option
  • Easy DIY installation
  • Flexible vinyl flap with magnetic closure
  • Sturdy construction
  • Customer support Mon – Fri working hours via toll-free hotline
  • Not suitable for dogs over 90 pounds or larger stature dogs (be sure to measure your dog before purchasing)
  • Not energy-efficient

Pricing & Tech Specs

  • Medium: 7″W x 11-1/4″H (13 to 35 pounds) – $45.90
  • Extra Large: 10-1/2″W x 15″H (up to 90 pounds) – Check on Amazon
  • One year warranty

Best Sliding Glass Dog Door: Thermo Panel 3e for Sliding Glass Doors

Patio Pacific Thermo PanelView on Amazon

The Thermo Panel is an excellent choice if you want your doggy door installed in your sliding glass door. It fits all standard size sliding glass doors, is made with heavy gauge aluminum framing and incorporates Patio Pacific’s Endura flap technology (also used in our Best Dog Door for Walls above). You also have the option of choosing custom height patio panels and frosted glass. Although it’s on the expensive side, you’re getting a sturdy, durable, secure and energy-efficient product.

Pros

Cons

  • Accommodates all dog sizes
  • Durable dual-pane glass for greater insulation
  • Fits all standard size sliding glass doors (minimum track width 1 inch)
  • Sturdy locking flap cover
  • Flap has adjustable magnet strength
  • Moderately easy installation for do-it-yourselfers
  • Customer support 7 days per week via phone and email
  • Expensive
  • Learning curve for smaller dogs and cats to push through the magnet-fortified flap
  • Some consumer complaints that patio door doesn’t mate perfectly with fixed side so air gets through (although the product comes with a vinyl insulation strip to help seal)

Pricing & Tech Specs

Includes limited 10-year warranty.

SizeFlap DimensionsStep Over RangeOverall Panel WidthPrice
Small6"W x 11"H3"W x 5"H11-1/4"$409.00
Medium8"W x 15"H3"W x 7"H13-1/4"$564.01
Large10"W x 19"H3"W x 9"H15-1/4"$513.45
Extra-Large12"W x 23"H3"W x 11"H17-1/4"$549.00

Best Storm Door with Pet Door: EMCO K900 Series White Vinyl Self-Storing Pet Storm Door

View on Home Depot

The EMCO K900 Pet Storm Door is another good alternative if you don’t want to permanently mar your solid doors or walls — and, unlike using a screen door with a dog door, the storm door is more energy-efficient. We like the ease of installation, the sturdiness of the door itself and the dog door, and the fact that it has a window panel at the top to let light through. It’s an affordable option with easy installation for handy people.

Pros

Cons

  • Relatively affordable option
  • Storm door has weather-stripping and dog door closes well with minimal airflow, so moderately energy-efficient
  • Two-flap dog door with clear flaps so dogs can see through
  • Dog door has locking cover
  • Easy installation
  • Solid 10-year warranty
  • Customer support 7 days a week (business hours) via phone
  • Only accommodates dogs up to 90 pounds
  • Storm door doesn’t have a lock (just push-button closure)

Pricing & Tech Specs

  • $229 at Home Depot
  • Storm door: 32″W x 80″H
  • Dog door opening: 10-1/2″W x 15″H
  • 10-year limited warranty

Video: What Happens When You Don’t Have a Pet Door?

Dog and pet doors are a must for your active, non-human family members. Watch this funny video to see how bad they want to go outside (but can’t)!

Doggie Door Alternatives

We hope our article has helped you make sense out of how to choose the best dog door for your home. But if you’re looking for alternative ways to keep your pup from escaping? Check out our dog gate review. And if you do let your dog roam free, make sure you have a fence (or wireless fence) so they don’t run away.

What’s your no-hassle way of letting your dogs out?

The information contained in this article and website is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional safety advice; it is provided for educational purposes only.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Sally grew up in a feline-only home, but cat allergies in her early 20’s made it an easy transition to dog ownership. And she couldn’t be happier with her canine shadow, who’s been at her side (literally) for years. No longer a cat person for obvious reasons, Sally is now a true bone-ified dog lover.

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2 Comments on "Best Dog Doors: Liberate Your Dog (And Yourself)"

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Donald Love
Donald Love

I’m curious how you came up with the Endura Flap as “the most energy-efficient wall mount we found on the market”. You’ve clearly not looked very hard. Freedom Pet Pass dog doors have gone through actual independent lab testing and were shown to leak 15X less air than the requirements for an Energy Star door and 10X less than the requirements for Energy Star windows. They’re also the only pet doors that meet California’s rigorous Title 24 residential building standards (energy efficiency regulations).

Note: I work for Freedom Pet Pass. That being said, all of this information is out there and can be verified independently.

Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

We chose the Endura flap wall mounted dog door as our best choice for a number of reasons: its magnetic sealing capability on all sides of the door, wind resistance up to 50 mph, the fact that you can purchase an additional magnet kit to increase the wind resistance and sealability, the flaps are made of polyolefin-based polymer (better than vinyl) which keeps them from stiffening in extremely cold temperatures, it has won awards from independent organizations.

In the author’s extensive research, she never came across the Freedom Pet Pass. However, we will consider adding it to our review during our next audit.

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