DIY Doggie Door: Simple Steps to Create Your Own

Are you tired of constantly getting up to let your pet in and out of the house? If so, you may want to consider installing a doggie door. Not only will it save you time and energy, but it will also give your pup the freedom to come and go as they pleases.

But how do you make a doggie door? It may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and a little bit of know-how, it can be a simple DIY project. In this article, we will guide you through the process of creating a doggie door that is safe, efficient, and customized to fit your pup’s needs.

Whether you have a large breed dog or a small one, we will provide you with several options for creating a doggie door that is the perfect size and style for your pet. So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to learn how to make a doggie door that will make your life and your pup’s life easier and more enjoyable.

Measuring and Cutting the Door

When it comes to making a doggie door, measuring and cutting the door is the first step in the process. Here are the steps you need to follow:

Measuring the Door

The size of your doggie door will depend on the size of your dog. So, the first thing you need to do is measure your dog. With your dog standing on all fours, use a measuring tape to gauge the distance from the top of his back down to the floor. You’ll want to give him an inch or two of clearance so he’s not squatting each time he goes through the door.

Next, measure the width of your dog. The door should be at least 2 inches wider than his shoulders and 2 inches taller than the distance from the bottom of his chest to the top of his shoulder blades. Once you have these measurements, you can create a guide for your doggie door.

Cutting the Door

Now that you have your guide, it’s time to cut the door. You can use a jigsaw or a circular saw to cut the door. Make sure you wear safety goggles and gloves while cutting the door. Follow the guide to cut the door.

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After cutting the door, sand down the hole using a sanding block and your hand. This will give a smooth finish to the door. You can also use a router to give a more polished look to the door.

Now that you have your doggie door cut and sanded, it’s time to attach the flap. You can use a rubber auto floor mat to make the flap. Measure the height and width of the opening and add 1 1/2 inches to allow for attaching the flap at the top of the opening. Attach rubber to the flap using adhesive.

Finally, secure your doggie door with a metal sheet. This will prevent any unwanted animals from entering your home through the doggie door.

By following these steps, you can easily make a doggie door that is the perfect size for your pet.


Preparing the Frame

Now that you have the measurement for your doggie door, it’s time to prepare the frame. This section will guide you through the process of choosing the right material, cutting the frame pieces, and assembling the frame.

Choosing the Right Material

The material you choose for your frame will depend on the type of door you have and the size of your dog. The most common materials used for doggie door frames are wood, plastic, and metal. Wood is a good option if you want to match the look of your door, but it may not be as durable as plastic or metal. Plastic frames are lightweight and easy to install, but they may not be as sturdy as metal frames. Metal frames are the most durable and secure, but they may be more difficult to install.

Cutting the Frame Pieces

Once you have chosen the material for your frame, you will need to cut the pieces to size. Use a saw to cut the top, bottom, and sides of the frame. Make sure to measure twice and cut once to ensure that the frame fits snugly in the door. Sand the edges of the frame to remove any rough spots or splinters.

Assembling the Frame

Now that you have cut the pieces for your frame, it’s time to assemble them. Use wood glue or screws to attach the pieces of the frame. Make sure that the corners are square and that the frame is sturdy. Once the frame is assembled, attach the doggie door flap to the frame using adhesive or screws. Make sure that the flap is secure and that it swings freely.

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Remember, the frame is the foundation of your doggie door, so it’s important to take your time and make sure that it is sturdy and secure. With the right materials and careful preparation, you can create a doggie door that will provide your pet with the freedom to come and go as they, please.

Sources: The Honest Kitchen, DIYsCraftsy

Installing the Doggie Door

Positioning the Door

To install a doggie door, you need to position it correctly. First, measure your dog’s height and width to determine the size of the door. Then, position the door at a height that is comfortable for your dog to enter and exit. Make sure the door is level and centered on the door or wall. Use the template provided by the manufacturer to mark the outline of the door.

Securing the Door in Place

Once you have positioned the door, you need to secure it in place. If you are installing the door in a door, you can use the provided screws to attach the frame to the door. If you are installing the door on a wall, you will need to create a frame to hold the door in place.

You can use wood or metal to create the frame. Once the frame is in place, attach the doggie door to the frame using screws or bolts. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when installing the doggie door. If you are unsure about any step in the process, consult a professional or contact the manufacturer for assistance.

Installing a doggie door is a simple process that can be completed in a few hours. With the right tools and materials, you can give your dog the freedom to come and go as it please.

Adding Finishing Touches

Now that you have installed your doggie door, it’s time to add some finishing touches to make it look and function better. Here are some suggestions:

Sanding and Painting the Door

To ensure that the door looks good and matches the rest of your house, sand it down using a sanding block and your hand. Once you have sanded it down, paint it using a color that matches the door or wall. This will make it look more professional and aesthetically pleasing.

Remember to use paint that is safe for your pet and won’t harm them if they chew on it. You can also use a clear coat to protect the paint from scratches and fading over time.

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Adding Weather Stripping

Adding weather stripping to your doggie door can help keep out drafts, rain, and insects. You can use foam weather stripping or rubber weather stripping depending on the type of door you have.

Measure the sides and bottom of the door and cut the weather stripping to fit. Peel off the adhesive backing and attach it to the door. Make sure to press it down firmly so that it sticks properly.

By following these simple steps, you can make your doggie door look and function better. Remember to always prioritize your pet’s safety and comfort when making any modifications to your home.



How do you measure your doggie door?

How big or small your doggie door 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 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.

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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 at 90 degrees.

Dog sneaking in cat flap
Dog peeking through the door opening window.

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.

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 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. 

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But when you’re creating a 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. 

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 hung 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.

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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 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. 

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.