If you’re a pet owner, you know how important it is to give your pet the freedom to move in and out of your house as they please. One way to do this is by installing a dog door. But, if you have a small dog, you may wonder if they can use a large dog door. The answer is yes, they can!
A small dog can easily use a large dog door. This is great news for pet owners who want to make an impulse purchase and don’t want to worry about selecting the right size. However, it’s important to make sure that the door isn’t too small, as smaller ones won’t work. You also need to ensure that the door is not too high off the floor, as this can make it difficult for your dog to use.
If you’re wondering how to train your small dog to use a doggy door, WagWalking recommends tossing a treat through the door while your dog watches. As your dog goes through the door, say “Yes!” and let them get the treat. If they immediately come back through to your side on their own, mark and reward again. Repeat this process 5-10 times. With a little bit of training, your small dog will be able to use a large dog door with ease.
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Table of Contents
- What to Consider Before Installing a Large Dog Door for a Small Dog
- Different Types of Large Dog Doors
- Injury Prevention for Small Dogs Using Large Dog Doors
- How to Measure Your Dog for a Large Dog Door
- Installation of a Large Dog Door for a Small Dog
- Can a dog door be too big?
- Are dog doors a bad idea?
- Are dog doors standard sizes?
- How high off the floor should a doggie door be?
- How do I choose a dog door?
- How do you make a dog door smaller?
- Do burglars use dog doors?
- Does my dog need a doggy door?
- Can mice go through doggie doors?
- How do you measure for a doggie door?
What to Consider Before Installing a Large Dog Door for a Small Dog
If you’re considering installing a large dog door for your small dog, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure your pet’s safety and comfort. Below are some factors to consider before installing a large dog door for your small dog.
Before installing a large dog door, make sure you measure your dog’s height and width to ensure the door is not too small or too big. The door should be at least two inches higher and wider than your dog’s measurements. If the door is too small, your dog may not use it or get injured going in or out. If it’s too big, your small dog may struggle to push the door open.
Consider the weather in your area when choosing a large dog door. If you live in an area with heavy rain or strong winds, consider installing a door with weatherstripping to prevent water and wind from entering your home. If you live in an area with extreme temperatures, consider an energy-efficient door to help keep your home comfortable.
When installing a large dog door, consider the security of your home. Make sure the door is installed in a secure location, away from windows and doors that can be easily accessed by intruders. Consider installing an electronic door with a microchip sensor to ensure only your pet can enter and exit the door.
Overall, installing a large dog door for your small dog can be a convenient way for them to go potty or play outside. However, it’s important to consider your dog’s safety, comfort, and security of your home before making a decision. For more information, check out our article here (Pet Lover Guy) and The Home Depot for helpful tips and advice.
Different Types of Large Dog Doors
Flap doors are the most common type of dog doors. They are made of flexible material and are easy to install. They come in different sizes, including large and extra-large sizes for big dogs. These doors can be installed in doors, walls, or windows. They are affordable and require little maintenance. However, they are not very secure and can allow other animals to enter your home.
Electronic dog doors are more secure than flap doors. They have a mechanism that opens and closes the door when your dog approaches. They can be operated using a remote control or a sensor on your dog’s collar. Some electronic doors can be programmed to allow only specific pets to enter or exit. They are more expensive than flap doors but offer better security.
Microchip dog doors are similar to electronic doors but use your dog’s microchip to operate. They can be programmed to allow only your dog to enter or exit. They are more secure than electronic doors and are ideal for households with multiple pets. However, they are more expensive than electronic doors.
Power dog doors are the most advanced type of dog doors. They use a motor to open and close the door. They can be operated using a remote control or a sensor on your dog’s collar. They are the most secure type of dog door and can be programmed to allow only specific pets to enter or exit. They are also the most expensive type of dog door.
Injury Prevention for Small Dogs Using Large Dog Doors
When it comes to installing a dog door, size is an important factor to consider. Although small dogs can use large dog doors, there are some injury prevention measures you should take to ensure their safety.
Step and Floor Height Considerations
One of the main concerns with using a large dog door for a small dog is the step and floor height. Ensure that the step-over height is not too high for your dog to comfortably step over. The distance from the bottom of the flap to the floor or ground is called the step-over. A high step-over can cause your dog to trip and fall, leading to injuries.
Additionally, make sure that the floor height is not too high for your dog to jump through the opening. If the door is too high, your dog may not use it or get injured going in or out.
Weatherstripping for Energy Efficiency
Another consideration when installing a dog door is energy efficiency. A poorly insulated dog door can cause drafts, leading to increased energy bills and discomfort for your pet. Weatherstripping can help seal gaps around the door and prevent energy loss.
Make sure to choose a dog door with weatherstripping or add it yourself. This will help keep your home comfortable and energy-efficient while allowing your dog to move freely in and out of the house.
By taking these injury prevention measures, you can ensure that your small dog can safely use a large dog door.
How to Measure Your Dog for a Large Dog Door
When it comes to installing a doggy door, it is essential to measure your pet correctly. If the door is too small, your dog may get stuck, and if it’s too big, it may feel uncomfortable and insecure. Here are some tips on how to measure your dog for a large dog door:
- Measure your dog’s height from the floor to the top of their shoulders. This measurement will help you determine the height of the doggy door.
- Measure the width of your dog at the widest part of its body, which is usually the chest. This measurement will help you determine the width of the doggy door.
- Determine your dog’s weight. Some doggy doors have weight restrictions, so it’s essential to check before purchasing.
When measuring your dog, keep in mind that the opening of the doggy door should be at least one inch taller and wider than your dog’s measurements. This extra space will allow your dog to pass through the door comfortably.
It’s also important to consider the step-over distance, which is the height of the bottom of the doggy door from the ground. If the step-over distance is too high, your dog may struggle to get through the door. A good rule of thumb is to make sure the step-over distance is no more than one-third of your dog’s height.
In conclusion, measuring your dog for a large dog door is crucial to ensure a comfortable and safe fit. By following these tips, you can find the perfect doggy door for your pet.
Installation of a Large Dog Door for a Small Dog
If you have a small dog and want to install a large dog door, you might be wondering if it’s possible. The answer is yes! With the right installation techniques, you can easily install a large dog door for your small pet. Here are some tips for installing a large dog door for a small dog on different surfaces.
Installation on a Wall
If you want to install a large dog door on a wall, you’ll need to make sure you have enough space for the door. Measure your dog’s height and width to ensure the door is big enough for them to pass through. Use a stud finder to locate the studs in the wall and cut a hole in the wall to fit the dog door. Once you’ve cut the hole, install the door frame and secure it to the wall using screws. Finally, caulk around the edges of the door to prevent drafts.
Installation on a Door
Installing a large dog door on a door is a straightforward process. Measure your dog’s height and width to ensure the door is big enough for them to pass through. Cut a hole in the door that matches the size of the door frame. Once you’ve cut the hole, install the door frame and secure it to the door using screws. Finally, caulk around the edges of the door to prevent drafts.
Installation on a Sliding Glass Door
If you have a sliding glass patio door, you can still install a large dog door. You’ll need to purchase a special dog door designed for sliding glass doors. These doors fit into the track of the sliding glass door and can be easily removed when not in use. Installation is simple and can be done in a matter of minutes.
Installation on an Interior Door
If you want to install a large dog door on an interior door, you’ll need to make sure you have enough space for the door. Measure your dog’s height and width to ensure the door is big enough for them to pass through. Cut a hole in the door that matches the size of the door frame. Once you’ve cut the hole, install the door frame and secure it to the door using screws. Finally, caulk around the edges of the door to prevent drafts.
Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing your dog door. Always use appropriate safety equipment when cutting holes in walls or doors. With these tips, you can easily install a large dog door for your small pet.
Can a dog door be too big?
Not really… but it can be too small! A smaller dog will have no trouble using an overly large dog door, but a large dog will not be able to use a door that is too small.
It’s better to get the larger door if you haven’t measured your dog and also consider how much they will grow, to ensure that your dog can keep using it and that you won’t have to install another door at a later date!
Are dog doors a bad idea?
Doggy doors are great, but they do have their caveats. If you are going with a low-tech door, then you can get a draft in the winter if you don’t winterize it, and depending on the size of the door there is a possibility of burglars.
That said, the presence of the dog will probably keep them away, but you might want to consider some motion detectors or other added security to help ensure that no one takes advantage of the doggy door.
Are dog doors standard sizes?
Yes, there are standard-sized dog doors, or you can get a custom install if you like. Standard sizes include small, which measures 6 by 7 inches, with medium measuring 8 by 15 inches, and large and extra large will measure a respective 10 by 19 and 12 by 23 inches.
How high off the floor should a doggie door be?
If you put the door so that it is 6 to 7 inches above the ground, then this will help to reduce the chance of any inclement weather getting inside. If you live in an area that gets a lot of rainfall, this is vital, as you definitely don’t want water to flood in by means of the dog door.
Setting the door 6 or 7 inches above the ground should prevent this in all but extreme cases of storms.
How do I choose a dog door?
You should measure and weigh your dog before purchasing a dog door. With a tape measure, measure your dog’s height up to their shoulders and to their head and measure their length from the tip of their nose to the tip of their tail. Next, weigh your dog, and bring these measurements with you when you go shopping.
Dog doors will be rated for size and weight, so this information will be vital, and you also need to consider your dog’s age to ensure that you get a larger door if they are still growing.
How do you make a dog door smaller?
This depends on where the door is installed. With a dog door installed in a wall, you might be able to use some spare wood or some molding to frame the dog door so that it is a little smaller. If the dog door is installed in an actual door, however, then replacing it might be the easiest option.
Many doors are made of thin materials, so adding wood might make the door unstable, but with more durable doors this may still be an option.
Do burglars use dog doors?
One of the caveats of a dog door is that burglars can indeed take advantage. This is sometimes in the form of a cane or pole being pushed through for ‘fishing’ things out or simply reaching through to unlock your door!
That said, if you have a large dog, then in most cases burglars are going to stay away, but trips and vet visits can still leave you vulnerable. Additional security should be considered to help minimize the risks.
Does my dog need a doggy door?
Your dog doesn’t necessarily need one, as you can always let them in and out, but they definitely love the freedom. A dog door gives your dog the power to run outside and chase that squirrel that they see through the window and when they want a potty break, they can simply go on their own whenever they like.
So, while it’s not a necessity, dog doors are definitely nice to have. Your dog gets more freedom and you don’t have to get up from work or while watching a movie to let your dog outside.
Can mice go through doggie doors?
Mice and rats are adept climbers and can certainly take advantage of a doggie door. That said, it’s not really a huge risk, as rodents can also gnaw their way into your garage and anywhere else that they want to go.
If they want to get inside, they’ll do it, so it’s hard to quantify how much of an impact a doggie door will have on this – likely it is very little.
How do you measure for a doggie door?
As a general rule, you want the dog door to be at least 1 inch taller than your tallest pet. This will help to ensure that they can easily get inside. Before you go to buy the door, measure the width of your dog at its widest point, and measure from its feet to the top of its head. Finally, weigh your dog.
Dog doors come in standard sizes, such as small through extra-large, and they will be rated for certain weights as well. If you aren’t certain which door to pick, go with something larger than you need. A dog can use a door that’s too big, but they can’t use one that’s too small!
My name is Danny Jackson and I’m the CEO and Chief Editor behind Petloverguy.com. After spending a decade working with vets and private clients as an animal behavioral and nutritional specialist I co-founded Pet Lover Guy to help other pet parents learn how to interact with, and make the most of the time that they spend with their adopted and rescued best pet friends.
Working with Ella, our chihuahua rescue, we seek to help all dog and cat lovers have the happiest life possible.