Let’s face it, dogs are perverse. If they’re out, they want to be in, and when in, they absolutely need to go out. So give them the ability to do so whenever they want. But remember,if you happen to be near the human door, they of course prefer you to open it for them, as befits their station in life.
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This doggie door with plastic frame and flexible, semi-transparent PVC flap is easy to install. It’s draught-proof and held closed with a magnetic latch. For a large dog, the biggest size is 380 x 450mm, however smaller sizes are also available (medium 300 x 360mm and small 245 x 285mm). Similar doors are available for cats, featuring a lock so you can keep your fearsome prowler inside after dark.
Remember that with any pet door, especially the larger ones, your home security is compromised to an extent, so choose one that has a security panel that can be installed and removed from the inside only. When you’re at home, make sure you remove the panel, especially if your canine is outside or has the tendency to treat the dog flap as a target and launch themselves through.
Gather your supplies
- Pet door of a suitable size
- Circular saw
- Power drill
Step 1 Have your dog stand as still as possible and measure height from ground to shoulder.
Step 2 To make installation as easy as possible, take main door off its hinges and place it on sawhorses. Find centre of door, then position template that comes with pet door so it’s centred, with its top 50mm higher than shoulder height of your dog. Bottom of template should be at least 80mm above ground level. If it’s not, use a smaller pet door. Trace around template with a pencil.
Step 3 Stick masking tape to bottom of circular saw plate to avoid scratching paintwork on door.
Step 4 Plunge cut with saw to make all straight cuts. To do this, pivot front of saw plate on door, so blade is a little forward of corner behind it. Align blade with inside of cut, start saw, then feed it into door. Once plate is completely in contact with door surface, move saw forward to corner or start of curve. Alternatively, cut out entire opening with a jigsaw after drilling starter holes in each corner. Again, if bottom plate of your jigsaw is rusty or rough, stick masking tape to underside.
Step 5 Finish off corners and rounded sections with a jigsaw. Sand edges of opening smooth.
Step 6 At this stage, it’s important to introduce your dog to the newly cut opening, so they understand it’s for them. To do this, carefully stand door upright in its jamb and make it a game for your dog to step through opening by enticing them with treats.
Step 7 Return door to sawhorses and screw on internal half of pet door using screws provided, making sure it’s square to door. Don’t overtighten screws or you may distort frame. Flip door, then screw on external part of pet door, again ensuring all is square. Cover all screw heads with plastic caps for a flush finish.
Step 8 To rehang door, support it on wedges at right height, then put in 1 top and 1 bottom screw. Check swing, then drive in remaining screws. To encourage your dog to use opening, show them the flap is soft and can be nudged open without hurting them, then call them through the door, both ways, from further away.