Getting a Dog Door for Your Screen Door?

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A dog locked inside the door.

According to the 2021-2022 American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey, approximately 69 million American households have a dog as a pet. That’s almost one-fifth of the country’s population.

However, for many of these households finding a way to let the dog in and out of the house frequently is a challenge. Every time their dog needs to go out, people would have to open the door for them, which does get frustrating at one point.

With dog doors, this problem can be easily solved. Dog doors are one of the most convenient and practical ways to let your dog go in and out of the house. While it is possible to buy a large-sized door for your screen door, it’s more difficult than you might think.

Here are some tips for getting a dog door for your screen door:

Measure Your Dog First

Before you can buy a dog door, you need to know the size of your dog. Measure your pet from head to tail and from nose to rump. Your measurements are going to be based on those dimensions, so make sure you use a measuring tape or yardstick with precision.

Next, it’s time to measure the width and height of your screen door. Take careful notes about where these measurements are taken so that you can find them easily when it comes time for installation.

You’ll also want those numbers written down if buying an extra-large or custom-made doggie door. The same goes for when measuring any other opening through which the pet would pass.

If you have more than one dog, opt for the measurements of your largest dog for the dog door. You don’t have to worry about the larger breeds not wanting to use the door dog.

Recent research published in the Science magazine suggests that the breed of the dog doesn’t predict its behavior. It’s merely a stereotype, which means even the largest of dog breeds won’t mind using a door dog.

Measure Your Screen Door

The easiest way to make sure that you’re buying the right size dog door for your screen door is to measure it first. Measure the width and height of your screen door, including any panels or additional pieces that might be attached.

Then, check out how big your dog is going to be when she’s standing up with her ears fully erect. Ensure that this measurement matches up with the width and height of each model you’re considering buying.

Determine the Best Place to Install the Dog Door

The location of your dog door should be easy for you to access. If your dog has to climb over furniture or struggle through tight spaces to get through it, it will likely become a hassle that leads to accidents.

The height of your dog door should be high enough so that it doesn’t get blocked by furniture and low enough so children cannot reach it accidentally. Many people don’t think about this when they’re planning out their house’s layout and end up with an unusable doggy portal.

When installing one yourself, be sure not only that you can use it but also that there is enough space around all sides so as not to compromise its usability.

Avoid placing your new portal where direct sunlight hits throughout the day. This would mean less airflow through and around this opening at ground level, which could eventually cause corrosion and mold formation inside.

Decide Which Type of Dog Door You Want to Buy

When choosing a dog door for a screen door, you must first explore the types and options available at hand. The first dog door type you can opt for is a magnetic flap. It attaches to your existing screen door or storm door and opens when your pet walks up to it, thanks to a magnet that triggers the flap’s movement.

This type of dog door is ideal if you have pet doors already installed in your home. You can just buy a new flap from the manufacturer and replace them with a new one.

Some people prefer this type because they don’t need any tools for installation. Others prefer not to damage their screen or storm doors with screws or nails during installation.

The second type mounts on top of an existing screen door. As soon as your dog approaches it, he pushes through the plastic flaps and enters your home. This kind of doggy door should be easier than installing an entirely new set of screens around all four sides of a doorway.

Get the Right Tools and Materials

Before you begin, make sure that you have all the right tools and materials. The most important tool is a drill, but you’ll also need a saw and screwdriver (and possibly other tools depending on the type of dog door you choose).

When buying a drill, expect to spend $30 to $70. You can also buy an entire tool kit for anything between $50 and $100. These kits contain everything you might need to work on your door, including screwdrivers and wrenches of various sizes. Besides, some tool kits also come with a drill, but kits usually cost upwards of $100.

You’ll also need to purchase the dog door and some screen meshes for your screen door frame. Once everything is set up and ready to go, measure out where on your screen door frame you want it to go and mark off those measurements with pencil lines.

After that, you can get started with your work and expect to install a perfect dog door for your screen door. Stay true to your initial ideas and plans and execute them accordingly.

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