How To Install a Doggie Door in a Glass Door (Easy Steps & Complete Guide)

It is not recommended to cut into a glass panel unless you are a professional because it can cause the glass to crack or shatter. But there are options that don’t involve cutting the glass, including using a patio panel, installing a special ordered glass panel into your existing unit, or installing a new unit with a pre-installed dog door.

The following article covers the different available options for installing a dog door in a glass door, the steps it takes to install these options, and why you shouldn’t cut your own glass.

What factors dictate how to install a dog door in a glass door?

The factors dictating how to install a dog door in a glass door include:

  • The type of glass door
  • The experience level of the DIYer
  • The budget for the project
  • The end goal for functionality and aesthetics

Can I cut a glass panel to install a dog door?

It is not recommended that you cut into a glass panel because it will most likely cause the glass to crack or shatter. Cutting into double-paned glass is especially difficult, and most glass sliding doors are double- paned. Professionals should be hired if this job needs to be done because they have special tools and training allowing them a greater chance of success.

What are my options for installing a doggie door in a glass door without cutting the glass?

There are several different options to choose from when installing a dog door in a glass door without cutting the glass. They all depend on the scope of the project and each one comes with its own pros and cons.

The following are options to install a doggie door in a glass door:

  • Patio Panel
  • Special ordered glass panel
  • Glass door with pre-installed dog door

What is a patio panel?

A patio panel is a specialized panel with a dog door that you install in your existing sliding glass door. It fits into the frame against the door jamb of the sliding glass door and acts as an extension of the wall. The sliding glass door no longer closes all the way to its original location, instead it would latch onto the patio panel. This is the absolute easiest way to install a dog door on a sliding glass door.

How do you install a patio panel?

  • Start by ordering the exact patio panel that is designed for your model of sliding glass door.
  • Assemble the patio panel.
  • From the interior of the house, insert the patio panel into the upper door tract on the sliding glass door.
  • Lift up and slide the bottom of the patio panel into the lower door track.
  • Slide the patio panel against the door jamb of the sliding glass door.
  • Finish by securing the patio panel to the door frame with the hardware included in the kit.

What is the special ordered glass panel option?

There are glass panels that you can special order that will allow you to replace the existing glass in whatever style glass door that you have. These new glass panels already have a dog door installed into them. Your local glass and window store can help you special order your glass panels for your exact door type.

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How do you install a special ordered glass panel?

The installation is best done by professionals because it is an intricate job that required special tools and skill. If done improperly, the glass door could leak air, fog up, and possibly be unsafe. It can be attempted by an experienced DIYer in the same manner that you would replace glass panels in a traditional window, using glass glue to place the panel inside the existing window frame.

Why would you change just the glass panel instead of the whole door?

Changing out the glass panel is often the best in scenarios where the original door unit is new and still functioning. Changing out the glass panel, especially when hiring professionals, can be less work, time, and money compared to replacing the unit, which can be a difficult and time-consuming task.

What is the glass door with pre-installed dog door option?

Another option is to replace the entire door unit with a new unit that has a dog door already installed in the glass. This is a good option for those that have an older door that may need replacing, but there is a lot of work, time, and cost associated with replacing an entire door unit.

To replace an existing glass door with a new glass door you must:

  • Remove the surrounding outside siding
  • Remove the inside trim
  • Remove the old door without damaging the door frame
  • Replace with a new heavy door
  • Level and shim the new door
  • Secure the new door in place with nail gun
  • Properly insulate the new construction
  • Reinstall the outside siding
  • Reinstall inside trim

Can you install a dog door in the screen of a sliding glass door?

There are options to install a dog door in screen doors. This is a great option for those that don’t want to take on the project of putting a dog door in a sliding glass door. Unfortunately, this option doesn’t work well in climates with cold winters.

Can I install a dog door in a window?

Yes, it is highly unusual, but a dog door can be installed in a window. There are special kits that are designed for single and double paned windows, but they need to be installed by professionals. Your local glass and window shop will be able to help you find the right installation for the job.

What factors determine what kind of dog door that I need?

Each dog door installation project is different depending on several factors including:

  • Size of the dog
  • Location of the dog door
  • Type of glass door being installed into
  • The need for extra insulation or not
  • Weatherproofing requirements
  • The style of dog door (flap, electronic)