How Do You Make a Doggie Door? (Easy Steps & Complete Guide)

To make a doggie door, you have to:

  1. Measure your dog to get the measurement for your doggie door.
  2. Create a guide and cut your doggie door into your door.
  3. Sand down your hole using a sanding block and your hand.
  4. Attach rubber to the flap using adhesive.
  5. Secure your doggie door with a metal sheet.

Are you thinking of installing a doggie door? Read our helpful guide to learn all about doggie doors!

How do you measure your doggie door?

How big or small your doggie door is depends on how big or small your dog is, so you need to measure your dog.

Have your dog stand up and use a measuring tape to measure the distance from the top of his back all the way to the floor.

You want to give him about two inches of clearance so he doesn’t have to bend down to come in and out. 

Also, leave an inch between the bottom of your door and the bottom of your doggie door.

Once you have all these measurements, use a guide to trace the doggie door onto your door. You can create a guide by measuring a sheet of paper or cardboard and using a square to keep the corners 90 degrees.

How do you cut your doggie door into your door?

Now you need to cut your doggie door into your door. You can take it off its hinges to do this, but you don’t have to. It depends on how confident you are in your cutting abilities and how much experience you have with a jigsaw.

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Drill a hole that’s big enough for your jigsaw blade to fit through. Then you can cut out your doggie door. 

If you’re cutting a hollow core door or a wooden door that has veneer you should use a fine toothed blade. However, if the door is solid wood then you can use a more aggressive tooth. You can find different blades at your local hardware store- it’s important to use the right kind.

Follow the outline that you drew on your door. If you drill holes along the outline, it can help give you a path to follow.

Why do you sand down your hole?

Once you cut your doggie door out, there will probably be some sharp edges left over. You need to sand these down in order to make the door safe.

Use a sander to soften the edges and get rid of any wood that is poking out. This can hurt your dog.

How do you sand down wood?

The best way to sand down sharp edges is to use a sanding block. You can cut your own or buy one. 

Sanding blocks let you apply even pressure while sanding and keep your sandpaper from slipping or bunching up. 

But when you’re creating the rounded edge around your hole after sanding down the rough spots, get rid of the sanding block and use your hand with the sandpaper instead.

What material can I use for the flap?

The flap that you use should be made out of rubber. One idea for material is the mud flap from a car. You may even have an old one somewhere in your garage or basement. 

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Clean it up and paint it if you want to. 

Another idea for material is the floor mat of a car. Any rubber that is bendable and big enough to cover the hole works.

You can also order rubber that is specifically made for doggie doors.

How do I attach the rubber to my door?

Use a strong adhesive and attach the flap over the hole in the door on the inside. It should be glued above the hole and hang all the way to the bottom. 

However, if it hangs past the bottom your dog won’t be able to push it both ways. Because of this you need to measure your rubber carefully. Make sure it is big enough to cover the hole and that it has enough extra room to glue it, but not so long that it will hang over.

How do you secure your doggie door?

Now your dog can roam in and out of your house freely while you’re home. 

However, you should never leave it unattended because it presents a security threat.

Buy a metal sheet that is big enough to cover the hole at your local hardware store. Drill holes in the corners of the sheet and in corresponding places around the doggie door, but not so deep that they go through your door fully.

When you’re not at home, screw the metal over your doggie door to keep your house safe. 

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Why are doggie doors important?

According to Energy Efficient Dog Doors, experts conclude that doggie doors are good for your dog. 

They increase your dog’s self-esteem by letting him have the freedom to move between inside and outside as he pleases.

Doggie doors also help with common behavioral issues like clawing at furniture, excessive barking, destructive chewing, and housebreaking.

What are some health benefits that doggie doors provide for your dog?

It can be hard and uncomfortable for your dog to hold it in for long periods of time. Doggie doors let your dog go to the bathroom when he needs to.

Doggie doors give your dog exercise by running around the yard, improving his fitness.

The outdoors stimulates your dog’s mind and senses, keeping him alert.

Safety features include letting your dog escape from a fire indoors or bad weather outdoors.

How do doggie doors help you as a pet owner?

Doggie doors help pet owners in numerous ways.

One way is that your dog will no longer scratch on the door when he needs to go outside.

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He will have less accidents indoors and bark less. You don’t have to worry about remembering to let your dog outside every few hours.

You also won’t have to walk him as much because he will get exercise outdoors using the door.