Parts of the House/ Doors/ Entry Doors/ Exterior Doors/

How to Install a Dog or Pet Door


Install a Pet Door to Allow Your Dog or Cat Free Access Inside and Outside Your Home

Spend an afternoon on a pet door installation and make life easier for you and your pet long term. Customize pet door size for your cat or dog. Use the security panel to control access at night or in your absence. Pet door installation requires one person, but company is welcome and makes the work go faster.

Read More
checking the difference between floor and ground elevation
Step 1

Measure and Mark Elevation of Pet's Chest from Floor/Ground

Measure the height of your pet's chest to determine the correct pet door height from the floor/ground. If the ground outside is a different elevation from the floor inside, average the heights and mark the elevation with tape.

remarking the elevation for the pet door
Step 2

Mark the Door's Center and Remark the Pet Door's Elevation

Run masking tape upward from the door's center bottom edge. Draw a perpendicular line up the exact center of the door to intersect the exact measurement for the pet door's bottom edge as measured and marked earlier with tape.

matching centers on the door and the pet door security panel
Step 3

Trace Cut Lines for the Pet Door Opening

Mark the center of the pet door security cover/panel and align it with center of the exterior door marked earlier. Trace around the security panel with a heavy pencil, using it as a rectangular template for the pet door opening.

keeping the drill vertical with a combination square
Step 4

Drill Starter Holes at the Corners of the Rectangular Tracing

Drill small pilot holes through the corners of the pet door tracing. Keep the drill vertical. Re-drill halfway through the door with a larger bit. Finish the hole from the opposite side to avoid splintering the wood.

removing the cut-out for the pet door
Step 5

Cut an Opening along the Trace Lines with a Jigsaw

Insert the blade of a jigsaw into one of the corner holes and saw along the cut lines traced earlier for the pet door. Be particularly careful about cutting the corners neatly and completely at right angles. Remove the tape.

preparing a water-tight caulking seal for the pet door
Step 6

Run a Bead of Exterior Caulking around the Opening

Run exterior caulking around the opening to make a water-tight seal for the pet door frame and prevent wood rot. Press the frame in place, remove excess caulking with your fingers, and secure it temporarily with painter's tape.

positioning the pet door's interior frame
Step 7

Position and Secure the Interior Frame of the Pet Door

Position the interior frame of the pet door in the opening with the hinge side upward. Secure this inner panel to the outer panel with screws, effectively sandwiching the people door between.

inserting the pet door security panel
Step 8

Use the Pet Door Security Panel to Control Access

Slip the security panel onto the pet door from the interior side to prevent your house pet from exiting or entering at night or when you are away from home. It5 also prevents other domestic or wild animals from entering.

coaxing your pet through the pet door
Step 9

Introduce Your House Pet to the New Pet Door

Teach your dog or cat to use the pet door to exit and enter your home. If necessary, coax your reluctant pet from the opposite site with treats and praise it when it passes through the opening

Ron Hazelton Headshot

Have your project done by a local, qualified professional.


Not everyone is in a position to do a project themselves. That's why I've partnered with to provide you with free quotes from qualified local professionals.


Related Tips

Blog Articles

April 14, 2021

Foam Tiles Offer Beautiful Way to Cover Up Out of Style Popcorn Ceilings

Outdated popcorn ceilings can be easily hidden beneath decorative foam ceiling tiles.

March 15, 2021

Refinish Your Cabinets - No Stripping!

If the kitchen is the most-used room in the house, then you can probably say that the kitchen cabinet is the most-used thing in that room. With time and repeated cleanings, they can end up looking pretty shabby. Here is an easy way to refinish your cabinets. 

March 15, 2021

Create Slide Out Shelves

Ready to organize your kitchen? Install sliding-shelf kits that you purchase, cut to size, and install in your kitchen cabinets for extra storage and easy access to items at the back. The kits join with dove-tailed sides and a tray bottom that is secured with screws.

Recent Articles