8 Best Dog Doors Reviews and Buying Guide 2018
Are you tired of waking up at 5 am during weekends to let your dog out because he needs to access his toilet? Are you sick of pausing your favorite TV shows to go and let your dog out?
If so, you need a dog door. These doors give your dog more freedom as he can go out outside whenever he wants if the door is not locked. Dog doors are also convenient for you as you will not need to keep letting your dog out every time they feel like going outside.
However, before you rush to Amazon to buy a dog door, it is vital that you learn more about these doors. While a high-quality dog door can lessen your work and be convenient for your dog, a low-quality door can compromise your home’s security and increase your energy bills.
We have made the work easier for you by compiling an exhaustive buyer’s guide and a list of best dog doors. Each door we have reviewed here provides security, great value for money, and are energy efficient.
We have reviewed different door types to help you find the right one for your home. We recommend you first read our buyer’s guide to knowing why you should invest in a dog door, different types of dog doors, and what to look out for in these doors.
So, let’s get started…
If you are in a hurry, check out our recommendation list below.
What Are the Benefits Of Investing In Best Dog Doors?
Dog doors offer more benefits other than acting as passageways for our canine companion;
It provides optimum comfort for dogs
Even if your pooch is trained to urinate or defecate only at specific times of the day, there will be times when they feel they want to defecate or urinate earlier than their specified times. Unfortunately, if you are not at home during that time, then it means he will have to ‘hold it inside’ until you come home.
Just like humans, your dog will feel uncomfortable and will suffer while trying to control their pee. With a dog door, you are giving him an opportunity to relieve themselves whenever they need to.
It offers more opportunity to exercise and play
In addition to relieving himself at his desired time, access through their door means more exercise and playtime for your dog. Exercise for him, maybe exploring your garden or playing in the backyard. Even if they have your company at home, dogs will still want to run and jump outside.
It helps in reducing boredom for them
Many pooches develop behavioral problems because of boredom. Pooches don’t have a wide area to play inside your house. Therefore, by giving them access to the outdoor environment, you will help them combat boredom. Besides, they will socialize with other dogs as well. This can act as healthy mental stimulation for your canine companion.
Saves your door
Since they cannot communicate with words, dogs express their dissatisfactions or requests differently. For instance, many scratches on the door when they want to tell their owners they want to go out. This ends up damaging the finish of your entries.
By installing a door designed for them, they will not have to scratch your precious door again.
It adds convenience to your home
You don’t need to get up every time or pause whatever you are doing to open and close the door anytime your dog wants to go out or come back to the house. You can also relax on your couch without your pooch jumping on you, begging you to open the door for them so they can go and relieve themselves. A dog door will save you from all these hassles.
Those are the main benefits of installing dog doors. Let’s now discuss the types of dog doors.
Common Dog Door Styles
Dog doors come in different styles, with each best suited for different dogs, owners, and situations. Here are the most common styles;
Door-Mounted Dog Door
This is the most commonly used dog doors and is designed to be mounted in the lower part of your house door. They are what many pet owners envision whenever the phrase “dog door” is mentioned. Different models work best with different types of standard doors, and thus you need to read the manufacturer recommendations before ordering your preferred selection.
Wall-Mounted Dog Door
These are designed to be installed into a hole made on a wall, rather than a door. They are deeper and thicker than door-mounted models. Besides being difficult to install, you will also need tools and requisite skills for the tasks. Therefore, consider these conditions before selecting this style of dog doors.
Sliding Door Dog Doors
These are doggie dogs designed to fit in the gap created by sliding glass doors that don’t open fully. The designs are easy to install, but they are quite pricey than door-mounted models because they include a long section of the glass door.
Electronic Dog Doors
These doors vary widely. Some are passive units with programming options designed to restrict access while others open and close automatically. Some are designed to open and close when they are triggered by the RFID chip fitted in your dog’s collar. These doors are installed in standard home doors; not on glass doors or walls.
Your family’s lifestyle and home’s layout will dictate the style that will work best for you. Most of the styles on the market are practical for usage by dogs, provided you buy the right size.
With that in mind, let’s now discuss how to buy the best dog door.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Dog Door
There are several things you need to keep in mind when choosing a dog door;
Size of The Dog Door
This is an obvious thing to consider; your dog should fit through the door for it to use it. Most brands would measure the size of the door with a dog’s weight, which remains practical most of the time. However, some dogs, such as the English Staffordshire have an unusual weight-size ratio. They have wide shoulders, yet they are a small breed.
If you are unsure, check the door height and width, cut a hole on cardboard and get your pooch pass through it. Try to get the smallest door your dog can get through as an unnecessarily large door will create a security risk for your home.
The Durability of The Door
Most common dog doors involve fitting the door on your existing standard door or wall that cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Once the hole is cut, there is no going back. Therefore, it is important that you get a dog door that will last.
Look for brands that have a warranty as well as those selling replacement parts such as flaps.
Where You Need It Installed
Different doors have different locations where they should be installed. For example, dog doors that are designed for glass installations, are unusually round and have slim frames. This is because it is easier to cut a round hole on the glass.
There are also doors designed for security doors and fly screens. Therefore, know where you want the dog door to be installed and find the right type.
It is crucial to remember that your dog door will act as an air pathway; air will enter and leave your house through that opening. Even when entirely closed, a thin piece of plastic or aluminum will not be the same as a wall or door. Therefore, it is important for owners living in extremely cold or warm climates to consider this.
Some dog doors cater for this problem by including two or three flaps, instead of a single flap. This helps to trap air in the door cavity which helps with insulation. Still, if you are looking to ensure energy efficiency in your home, it is important to consider how long a dog door will affect the cooling and heating of your home.
Most dog doors have the same type of locking system on them; either a little locking latch on the side or a full slide-in panel blocking off the door. Slide in panels are more secure, but the locking latch system can offer out-only or in-only modes.
Pet doors provide an extra entryway into your house. Therefore, you will want to consider the security implications of these doors when selecting a design.
Most high-end units feature a sophisticated locking mechanism, which prevents unauthorized or other dogs and animals from entering your house. However, the downside is that you can only engage the lock when your dog is safely inside. This decreases the value of the dog door since the key benefit would be the ability to control the lock both from the outside and the inside.
Manufacturers are trying to address this problem by using smart doors, which have a system that reads the microchip fitted on your dog’s collar. Such dog doors allow your pooch to enter while keeping out any other animal.
Additionally, some doors are programmable, especially the electronic doors, thereby enabling your pet to enter or exit through the door at specific times.
Dog doors are made of varying materials, but most of them are made from some tempered plastic or aluminum. Aluminum doors tend to last longer, although tempered plastics is also adequately strong.
Now that you are more enlightened and better-positioned to choose the right dog door, here are the best dog doors 2018.
Features That Make Ruff-Weather Pet Door Stand Out
- Here’s an all-weather pet door that will help you save on energy costs significantly
- Ideal Pet Products Ruff-Weather door for pets is a convenient solution that lets your pet to go outside without you having to open and close the door
- The door comes with double vinyl air flaps that allow your dog to see what’s on the other side and to ensure insulation
- The flaps measure 7 ½ inches by 13 inches
- For people who live in cold regions or areas with extreme winter conditions, this weather-proof door may be a suitable choice as it features waterproof materials to draw out outdoor elements
- The dual panel keeps your house protected against wind and allows insulation
- Installing this door will be an easy job thanks to the structural foam plastic telescoping frame
- Another nifty feature is that you can purchase this optional wall tunnel kit that offers more insulation for your pet without the need to install many doors for different rooms
- The pet door provides durability featuring a foam molded plastic that won’t break or get loose after a few uses
- To ensure a more sturdy built, the manufacturer included sturdy metal bolts for door attachment
- You get different sizes of this door ranging from small, medium, extra-large and super-large sizes
Proc of Ruff-Weather Pet Door
- Features quality materials
- Efficient at weather resistance
- Comes with a telescoping frame
Conc of Ruff-Weather Pet Door
- Smaller dogs may find the flaps a little heavy at first but get used to it after practice
Why We Recommend It
This door from Ideal Pet Products is designed to offer sufficient insulation while giving your dog freedom to go out. The unit promises great energy efficiency and will last long. The inclusion of a telescoping frame makes it easier to install.
Features That Make PetSafe Wall Entry Pet Door Stand Out
- For pet owners on a tight budget but looking for cheaper dog door option, this one could be a good purchase
- The flap opening measures 8.25″” x 11.25″” in size which allows small and medium-sized dogs to go through
- The wall entry dog door features a telescoping tunnel that can be installed on 4” or 6” wall constructions
- For added insulation, this dog doors feature a double-flap construction and can be replaced after some time. The double-flap unit creates a chamber where cold weather is held
- This door ensures safety and full protection thanks to the included dual opaque locking panels
- The PetSafe Pet Door offers enough energy protection as it comes with a sliding partition to ensure that your energy bill doesn’t shoot
- The pet door is made of aluminum which is known to be sturdy. This enables it to accommodate large dogs weighing up to 40 pounds
- If you are worried about installing the door, it comes with a step-by-step instruction guide as well as a cut-out template to make the job easy – the dog can be mounted on stucco, wood, brick, sliding walls and others
- It also includes a telescoping tunnel that ensures easy installation in walls
Proc of PetSafe Wall Entry Pet Door
- Has tunnel telescopes to fit on walls
- Has double flap units for insulation
- Offers enough security
Conc of PetSafe Wall Entry Pet Door
- Some pets find the magnets too strong
Why We Recommend It
While the door comes at a lower price, it looks decent and provides powerful benefits such as double flap and telescopic tunnel unit. Setting up this pet door is pretty easy with the aid of precise instructions and cutting guides.
Features That Make Ideal Pet Products Original Pet Door Stand Out
- To control access without letting your pet disturb you when going out, you need this door from ideal pet products if your dog weighs not more than 40 pounds
- This dog door features a sturdy telescopic frame that’s made strong to last
- You can get this dog door in 4 sizes with the large size measuring 10 by 15 inches
- The unit creates an airtight pocket between the double flaps which keeps your home insulated
- Once the flaps get old, you can replace them for better results
- It has been made using a sturdy ABS plastic and may fit on metal storm doors with the right spacer
- This affordable pet door comes with a solid panel that can be used to close the door particularly in the evening to keep your dog inside
- The company offers a limited lifetime investment hence provides good value
- Installing the door maybe take some time but it will undoubtedly last
Proc of Ideal Pet Products Original Pet Door
- It is durable with ABS plastic
- Has a solid panel to close the door
- Available in many sizes
Conc of Ideal Pet Products Original Pet Door
- May take some time to install
Why We Recommend It
This pet door has all the basic features you need in a pet door having been made strong to last. It offers a secure and effective way to let your dog out when it matters most to them. A limited lifetime warranty keeps your investment safe.
Features That Make BarksBar Original Plastic Dog Door Stand Out
- Here’s is another ideal pet door for an adventurous pet owner
- BarksBar Original Plastic door is an affordable pet door with an aluminum frame
- It measures 10.5 by 15 inches and can be used for dogs of up to 100 pounds
- It comes in 2 sizes so you can choose what fits your dog size
- The pet door has clear and soft vinyl flaps with a magnetic strap closure
- It has a self-locking slide panel that keeps the door secure to keep the riff-raff away
- You don’t need to worry whether or not the door will withstand the teeth of your furry friend as the flaps are strong with weather strips on the side
- Installing the unit is comfortable with the help of easy-to-follow instructions – it takes less than 30 minutes to install the door
Proc of BarksBar Original Plastic Dog Door
- Has an aluminum frame that lasts
- Made for large pets
- Easy to install
Conc of BarksBar Original Plastic Dog Door
- Some customers said that the flaps might not close correctly during storms
Why We Recommend It
The BarksBar Premium Dog Door is a durable investment featuring materials that don’t feel cheap. The easy to install unit comes with an installation guide for quick installation. For safety concerns, the sliding panel is included to lock the door when it’s not in use.
Features That Make Ideal Pet Products Aluminum Pet Door Stand Out
- Ideal Pet products is a reputable brand particularly for their high-quality products at decent rates
- The product is designed for convenient installation as it can fit on a majority of sash windows
- The easy to install door does not require making holes on the walls which makes it an excellent option if you need a secure and straightforward design
- The manufacturer offers 5 sizes for this product with the width and height being adjustable from flap opening size of 5 x 7 up to 10 x 15 making it suitable for small and large pets
- The window sash has springs on each side which enables you to push the sides in
- You can fasten the window sash using the small silver knobs to keep it stable
- The white finish aluminum construction feels solid and keeps the unit looking great and well made
- It comes with a locking panel that you can use to close the door when not in use
- It comes with replaceable vinyl flaps that offer visibility for your dog
Proc of Ideal Pet Products Aluminum Pet Door
- Easy to install
- Comes with aluminum construction
- Had a sliding panel to lock the door
Conc of Ideal Pet Products Aluminum Pet Door
- The weather strippings that comes with the set up are cheap, so you may need to replace
Why We Recommend It
The pet door is worth the money because it’s super easy to install and features quality materials. All pet sizes can use the unit with a sliding panel to lock the door when not in use. The flap works well too.
Features That Make PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Door Stand Out
- If you have a large breed then the chances are that you have already experienced just how aggressively strong they can get, this factor should weigh in when shopping for a pet door
- PetSafe Freedom Aluminum doors are equipped with a solid aluminum frame that is perfect for multiple pet homes and heavy ones as well
- This pet door comes in three sizes for you to choose from, this flexibility will come in handy if your pet isn’t large enough to warrant for a large-sized entry
- The vinyl flap is flexible for your dog’s comfort and the tint provides privacy for your home
- PetSafe Freedom Aluminum doors work best with panel doors, so the installation process requires some cutting
- The company includes clear instructions and a template for each size, thus making the installation process less hectic
- The product is manufactured by PetSafe Brand which is an industry leader in the USA
Proc of PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Door
- Comes in various sizes and colors
- Weatherproof aluminum frame
- Easy installation and removal
Conc of PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Door
- Some customers complained about the included vinyl screws not holding up for long.
Why We Recommend It
Your furry friend’s comfort and freedom to move along plays a considerable role in how the two of you relate. The PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Door is not only comfortable for your pet to walk through but is also sturdy enough to prevent breakage.
Features That Make Dog Mate Door White Stand Out
- When deciding on which dog door to install you have to consider your pet’s size
- The Dog Mate Door is recommended for small breed dogs with up to 14-inch shoulder height
- This door will also come in handy if you have large breed cats thus doing away with the need to have two separate pet doors
- Dog Mate Door features a 4-way door lock system that allows users to have full control of the pet door
- Available options include swing out, swing in, swing both in and out mode, and fully locked position
- The door is also self-lining for up to 2 inches; this makes it easy to install by taking care of the need to line up and drill holes all day
- Dog Mate flaps are made of weatherproof materials with a brush sealing to keep off the elements during winter or rainy autumn
- To further simplify the installation process the company has provided detailed instructions
Proc of Dog Mate Door White
- Simple installation process
- Weatherproof flap to keep out the elements
- Multiple entry options for your pet’s comfort
Conc of Dog Mate Door White
- The door has a maximum height capacity of 14 inches which is on the lower end. Therefore, if your dog grows past this height, you will be forced to upgrade.
Why We Recommend It
Dog Mate Door features a four-way door lock system that will allow your pets to enter or get out comfortably and without having to squeeze into tight fittings. The pet door features a weatherproof construction to keep away cold elements.
Features That Make Endura Flap Double Flap Pet Door Stand Out
- This pet door Endura offers fantastic energy saving options hence an ideal pick for environmentally conscious pet owners
- The incredible award-winning dog door is a sure way to keep your dog happy and is perfect for hot and cold climates
- It comes in 3 colors including white, black and tan
- What makes this one of the best dog doors for wall mount is the door mount that ensures easy installation
- There are wall mount models that come with an aluminum frame and tunnel for walls up to 8” thick
- The aluminum frame can be installed on the most doors including hollow core doors, solid core doors, paneled doors, storm doors and French doors among others
- You can get models with single, double or sizeable dual flaps, according to your preferences
- The replaceable flaps feature magnetic strip seals made from PVC material
- The door comes with a clip lock which can also be used at night when the door is not in use
- The price of the product is relatively high which may be ideal for people looking for high-end dog doors
- It comes with a generous 10-year warranty hence offering excellent value for your money
Proc of Endura Flap Double Flap Pet Door
- Environmental friendly
- Can accommodate both small and large dogs
- Weather resistant
Conc of Endura Flap Double Flap Pet Door
- It is expensive
Why We Recommend It
This product features heavy-duty construction with a durable frame and weather-proof materials. You can choose between single and double flaps which is an interesting solution because flaps improve energy efficiency. This product majorly made it to this list of best dog doors 2018 for its sturdy construction and effective design.
Dog Door Installation Tips
Installing a dog door in a standard door is usually straightforward and easy. The best dog doors come with simple and clear instruction manuals and also include all the tools needed for installation work. Take your time to read the manual before and take care when installing these doors since incorrect installation can compromise security in your home and reduce energy efficiency.
Here are some dog door installation tips;
- Ensure that you install the dog door a few inches above ground level to prevent rodents and other pests from entering through that door
- Read the provided installation manual clearly and correctly. Double check every line and measurements
- After drawing an outline using a template, ensure the drill holes don’t go past the edges of your templates
- Keep adjusting the dog door flame until it is completely flush with your standard door
- You may need to leave the flap off the dog door for one day. Therefore, ensure you secure the door using the sliding lock at night. This will help teach your dog to use the door with the flap on.
If you have purchased a dog door designed to be installed in walls or glass panels, we would recommend that you hire a professional. Wall installations are quite a process as opposed to installation on regular doors. You also need to check if there are water pipes or electrical wires in the way.
Training Your Dog to Use the Newly Installed Dog Doors
- Keep in mind that not all dogs will be comfortable to use dog doors straight away
- You might need to do some positive reinforcement as well as treats to encourage him to use the door
- The best dog doors come with an exhaustive instructional manual on how to train your dog to use the newly installed dog door
Dog doors can be a convenient and great way to provide your dog or pup with more freedom. It is therefore vital to install a high-quality dog door that is secure, energy-efficient, and easy to install. We hope that our review of best dog doors on the market as well as our detailed buyer’s guide will enable you to make the right choice for your home.
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