How Do You Install a Dog Door in a Hollow Core Door? (Solved & Explained!)

Here are some steps on how you can install a dog door in a hollow-core door:

  1. Measure your dog size.
  2. Remove the door from the wall and place it flat on a table.
  3. Outline the template according to the height and width of the dog.
  4. Drill holes in each of the four corners of the template.
  5. Saw the dog door along the blade marking.
  6. Remove the cut piece and file down the insides.
  7. Insert the frame and check if the measurements are correct.
  8. Insert interior and exterior frame of the dog door.
  9. Tighten the screws and reattach the door. 

In the following sections, we will look at each of these steps in detail, along with some related questions to help you install your own dog door with ease.

What Should You Know Before Installing a Dog Door in a Hollow-core Door?

When installing a dog door to give freedom to your pet, you should know a few important things before you start:

How Do You Install a Dog Door in a Hollow Core Door?

How Do You Remove the Door?

Remove the bolts out of your door with the help of a hammer and screwdriver.

Once bolts are out, remove the door and lay it down on a flat and hard surface.

What is the Best Way to Measure Your Dog’s Size?

For size, you have to measure the length and width of your dog.

First, measure the widest part of your dog’s body, the chest, and the hip with the help of a measuring tape. Write down the measured values. Add an extra two to three inches to allow for wiggle room.

Then, measure your dog’s body from the top of the shoulder to the bottom of the belly and add one inch extra in the measured value.

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How Do You Mark the Lower Border of the Door?

Mark a line three inches above the lower portion of the door.

Make this mark on both the interior and exterior sides of your hollow-core door. Marks can be made with a graphite pencil or a carpenter’s marker.

How Do You Draw an Outline on the Template?

Most dog doors retain a template for cutting the hole. Outline the Template according to the height and width of the dog and place the hole on it.

Position the Template in the desired location on the door. You have to make sure that the Template is leveled and the lowest cutting mark is at least three inches above the bottom edge of the door. Tape the template in place, cut out the fit-size Template for dog door installation. Tape the template on the door.

How Do You Drill Four Corners for the Hole?

Using an electric drill and properly sized drill bit, carefully drill one hole at a time in the spots specified by the template.

How Do You Cut the Template?

After perfectly drilling the corner holes, place the blades of the electric saw on one of the corners and cut it along the template marking between each corner. 

How Do You Make the Hole for the Dog Door?

When sawing is complete, carefully remove the piece of the door that is no longer needed. Sand and file down the inner edges of the door to make it safe.

How Do You Know the Frame Insert Will Fit?

Once you remove the piece out of the door, check the interior frame’s fit by inserting it into the hole.

If it does not fit properly, then make necessary adjustments by using your marking pencil and saw.

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How Do You Measure the Thickness of the Door?

Insert the exterior frame from the underside of the door. Measure the thickness of your door, and if there is any need to trim the core frames with shears or pliers to verify a fit, then you can do it. Flip the door and trim off any excess using wire cutters.

How Do You Install the Dog Door?

Place the frame and use the screws supplied by the manufacturer, ensuring that you do not try to substitute materials for anything else other than what the manufacturer provides.

You have to make sure to drill the holes at the right angle on the door so that the hardware comes up with both sides of the frame. Using other material that isn’t part of your hardware kit may cause the door to not work properly. 

How Do You Add the Closing Panels?

Add the closing panel to keep your dog from using the dog door. This is usually screwed in and can be locked or slid shut over the door opening to prevent the dog door from being used.

How Do You Seal the Dog Door?

If you want to get an airtight seal, you can use waterproof sealant around the exterior frame, such as caulk. This will ensure the door is sealed, safe for use, and will last a long time.

How Do You Reattach Your Door?

Once you install the dog door successfully, re-attach the door by lining it up with the frame and re-adding its hinges.

What is My Dog Door Maintenance?

The only maintenance needed for a dog door is to close its closing panel during the times you don’t want it to be used, such as during the night.

The closing panels prevent your pet from leaving without supervision and prevent other animals from entering the house.

What tools are required to install a dog door in a Hollow-core Door?

Here are some of the tools you will need to successfully install a dog door on the door. 

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  1. Measuring Tape.
  2. Electric drill.
  3. Pencil or carpenter’s marker.
  4. Hammer.
  5. Wirecutter.
  6. Working gloves.
  7. Electric Saw.
  8. Screwdriver.
  9. Ruler.
  10. Double-sided tape.
  11. Dog door kit.