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Dogs thrive when they have a nice outdoor space that they can call their own, as well as a cozy home where they can snuggle up to their family.
If you are lucky enough to have a nice yard where your dog can play, playing doorman to their whims can get a little tedious. The best solution: their very own doggy door.
What kind of doggy door is right for you depends on the size of your dog, where it is going to be located in your house, and the type of climate that you live in.
We have put together a list of twelve top-quality dog doors, one for every scenario.
OUR BEST PICK: the Ideal Pet Products Designer Series Original Plastic Pet Doors because it is high quality but affordable, and is flexible enough that it will work for most dogs and most homes.
If you happen to have a sliding glass door, then go for the PetSafe Freedom Patio Side Door. – this is what we’re actually using.
You’ll find loads of other great options on our list of best pet doors.
We have also put together a comprehensive buying guide so that you know exactly what matters when choosing a dog door and know which option is best for you and your pooch.
Contents & Quick Navigation
Quick Product Links For The Best Dog Doors
- Ideal Pet Products Designer Series Original Plastic Pet Doors
- Ideal Pet Products Designer Series Ruff-Weather Pet Door
- PetSafe Extreme Weather Pet Door
- PetSafe Freedom Patio Pet Doors for Sliding Doors
- PetSafe Wall Entry Aluminium Pet Door
- Ideal Pet Products Screen Fit Pet Door
- PetSafe Freedom Aluminium Pet Door
- PetSafe Plastic Door
- Dog Mate Dog Door
- Ideal Pet Products Aluminium Modular Pet Patio Doors
- PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor
- High Tech Pet Products PX-2 Power Pet Fully Automatic Pet Door
12 Best Dog Doors
1. Ideal Pet Products Designer Series Original Plastic Pet Doors
If you are looking for an affordable standard door flap that will do the job for most homes, then Ideal Pet Products has the ideal solution.
A simple-to-use manual door, the frame is made from sturdy and durable telescopic plastic, and the flap from a non-toxic tinted vinyl that is specially designed to hold up in extreme temperatures, and won’t warp in the heat and the hold.
The vinyl is relatively light for your dog to push through, but a magnetic seal at the bottom means that it stays shut when it is meant to. If you want to keep your dog inside, the door comes with a separate lock-out panel that can easily be slid into place. We would prefer if this was integrated so there are no pieces to lose, but it more than does the job.
This dog door comes in four different sizes to suit every sized dog, and it also has an adjustable width so that it can be installed in any door from one and a quarter to two inches thick. Installation is relatively easy, and the product comes with a one-year warranty.
They do recommend that you replace the vinyl flap of the door every few years to ensure it continues to work the way that it should.
- Flap made from non-toxic and temperature-resistant vinyl
- Magnetic seal and lock-out panel for extra security
- Variety of sizes and adjustable width
- One-year warranty
- Lock-out pain is a separate piece
- Vinyl flap needs to be replaced every few years
This dog flap is both simple and affordable, and it more than does the job for most dog homes.
2. Ideal Pet Products Designer Series Ruff-Weather Pet Door
Another amazing dog door from Ideal Pet Products, this door is a bit more expensive and designed specifically for homes located in colder climates.
This dog door comes with all the same great features as Ideal Pet Products’ basic option. The frame is made from durable telescopic plastic, and it is matched up with flaps made from non-toxic, temperature-resistant vinyl that is secured with magnetic strips.
But instead of just one flap, there are two flaps, which create a three-inch air pocket. This keeps cold air out of your home and provides insulation, maximizing the energy efficiency of your home. It is recommended that flaps are replaced every few years.
The standard kit comes in four different sizes and is adjustable to work with standard doors between one and a quarter and two inches thick. There is also an optional wall installation kit available. The kit also comes with a die cut template in order to make installation easier.
The door comes with the same separate lock-out door that can be slid into the door panel to prevent its use. It also comes with the same one-year warranty.
- Provides insulation against cold weather
- Can be door or wall mounted
- Variety of size options available
- Flap made from non-toxic and temperature-resistant vinyl
- Magnetic closures and lock-out panel for additional security
- Lock-out panel is a separate piece
- Vinyl flaps need to be replaced every few years
If you live in colder climates and don’t want to compromise the warmth or energy efficiency of your home, then this Ruff-Weather option is for you.
3. PetSafe Extreme Weather Pet Door
This is another door designed for more extreme weather environments, this time from PetSafe. The door featured three flaps, including a special central insulation flap, which makes it three and a half times better at keeping out cold, heat, and rain than a normal flap.
The door comes in three different sizes and can be adjusted to fit doors from one and ⅝ of an inch to two inches thick. The durable plastic of the frame takes paint well, so it can be painted to match the color and decor of your home.
There is a snap-on cover available to close the dog door and keep your dog inside, but it is sold separately.
- Three flaps to maximize energy efficiency
- Paintable plastic frame
- Multiple sizes available
- Lock-out panel sold separately
- Will not work with thinner doors
If keeping the weather out and maximizing the energy efficiency of your home are priorities, then this PetSafe dog door is an excellent choice.
4. PetSafe Freedom Patio Pet Doors for Sliding Doors
If you are looking for an option to include a dog door in a glass sliding door, then this option from PetSafe is one of the best on the market. Naturally, for the best, you do need to pay a little more.
This is a full length panel with a manual dog door that can easily slide into most sliding door frames between 77 and 81 inches tall, and the weather proofing is added. It is also easy to remove in case you move house. The panel is made from heavy duty aluminum and shatter-proof and temperature-resistant glass. It can be fit on the left- or right-hand side of the door.
- Easy to install in most sliding doors
- Variety of sizes available
- Made from durable aluminium and shatter-proof glass
- Magnetic closure and lock-out panel for security
- Lock-out frame is a separate piece
This option from PetSafe is probably one of the easiest and most convenient ways to install a dog door in any sliding door.
5. PetSafe Wall Entry Aluminium Pet Door
Another great option from PetSafe, this dog is specifically for those looking for a wall install dog door.
This dog door is specially designed for walls and is adjustable for anything from 4 ¾ to 7 ¼ inches thick. It also promises to install easily without any framing requirements, and there are three versatile sizes available.
The door has flaps at both sides that are held in place with magnets. The two flaps create an air pocket that keeps exterior air out and maintains the energy efficiency of the home. The door comes with a separate piece slide in panel to lock the door for your dog’s use. It is possible to buy a separate panel if you want to close up both ends of the door for additional insulation.
The flaps are made from quality vinyl, and the frame from durable aluminum. PetSafe are so confident that their good will stand the test of use that they are offering a Lifetime Limited Warranty.
- Available in multiple sizes
- Magnetic closing and lock-out for additional security
- Easy installation
- Lifetime Limited Warranty
- Lock-out panel is a separate piece
- Additional closing panel sold separately
If you are specifically looking for a dog door that you can easily mount into an exterior wall, then this PetSafe option is designed for you.
6. Ideal Pet Products Screen
If it is a screen door that you need to mount a dog door in, then Ideal Pet Products has another solution for you.
This lightweight door can be mounted directly onto any screen, including screen doors, patio doors, and windows. Installation is easy and most people should be able to do it themselves. It has a slim design that means it should fit most sliding doors without inhibiting the use of the door.
The door frame is made from hard plastic, with its own mesh screen. The door is held in place using magnets when not in use, and has an integrated lock at the side that will stop the door from opening when you want to keep your dog in (or out of) the house.
The main downside with this door is that there is only one size available, measuring 9 ¾ by 10 ½ inches. This means that it is not suitable for large dogs, and their weight passing through the screen door would be likely to do damage to the screen in any case.
- Integrated locking mechanism
- Easy to install
- Works with many sliding doors
- One size only
- Not suitable for large dogs
If you want to let your dog pass in and out of a screen door without playing doorman, then this option from Ideal Pet Products can really help.
7. PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Pet Door
If you have multiple pets, or one very restless pup, and you are looking for a standard but durable door, this PetSafe aluminum door is a good option.
Made from a solid aluminum frame with reinforced edges, this dog door is designed to stand up to heavy use. This does mean that it is a bit more expensive than other frames with similar features.
It is a versatile door that is adjustable to work with doors anything from ⅜ of an inch to two inches thick. It also comes in four sizes. It is particularly recommended for storm doors, metal doors, and wooden doors.
The manual flap is made from soft, tinted vinyl and has magnetic closures to keep the door in place. There is also a separate lock-out panel that can be clipped on when you want your dog to stay in the house or add more weather resistance in the case of something like heavy rain. The door comes with a one-year limited warranty.
- Made from durable, reinforced aluminum
- Adjustable width and variety of sizes available
- Magnetic closure and lock-out cover
- Relatively expensive
- Lock-out panelis a separate piece
If you have multiple pets and expect your dog door to get frequent use, ensure it lasts with this extra durable aluminum door from PetSafe.
8. PetSafe Plastic Door
If you are looking for something affordable, but don’t want something cheap that is likely to break, this PetSafe plastic door is a good middle of the road option.
This is a pretty standard manual door, made from durable but affordable plastic. The flap is made from vinyl and is held in place with magnets when not in use, and there is also a separate lock-out door that snaps into place when you want your pooch to stay in for the night.
The door is available in four sizes and is adjustable to fit doors anything from 1 ⅙ to 2 inches thick. The plastic frame is paintable, so it can be adapted to suit your individual home decor.
- Magnetic closure and lock-out screen
- Variety of sizes and adjustable width
- Made from plastic
- Lock-out panel is separate
This plastic PetSafe door is a great middle of the road option for anyone looking for quality without spending too much.
9. Dog Mate Dog Door
If you prefer a hard door to a soft vinyl flap, then this dog door option from Dog Mate is a good option.
Available in three sizes to suit every size dog, this door uses a hard plastic flap as opposed to soft vinyl. It is still easy for your dog to push open, but it also stays in place better when closed. The door is held in place using magnets when not in use to ensure weatherproofing and minimum energy loss from the home.
The medium- and large-size doors come with separate locking panels that can be clipped in place when you don’t want your dog passing through. A bit disappointed that this is not an option with the small door and that the designers did not take advantage of the hard door to include an integrated locking mechanism.
- Magnetic closures and lock-out door
- Available in a variety of sizes
- Lock-out door not available for small size
- No integrated locking mechanism
10. Ideal Pet Products Aluminum Modular Pet Patio Doors
If you are a fan of Ideal Pet Products and their innovative and reliable dog doors, then this is their option for patio doors.
The door comes in three different sizes for different sized pets, and it is highly adjustable to fit almost any sliding door. It is made from two modular sections that clip together, making them easy to install and uninstall in any sliding door from 77 ⅝ to 80 ¾ inches high. The aluminum frame is available in two different colors and also features clear-tempered safety glass.
The flap itself is a manual vinyl flap made from soft, non-toxic vinyl that is resistant to extreme temperatures. As with all of Idea Pet Products’ doors, the vinyl is held in place with magnets when not in use, and there is a separate lock-out panel that can be slid into place to stop your dog from using the door.
This door is incredibly easy to install and is great in rental properties where temporary solutions are necessary. The door does come with a one-year warranty.
- Easy to install and remove
- Magnetic seals and lock-out panel
- Variety of sizes and adjustable to fit more sliding doors
- Reliable brand
- Lock-out panel is a separate piece
Ideal Pet Products is a reliable brand when it comes to dog doors, and this option for sliding doors is easy to use.
11. PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor
If you are concerned about other animals entering the house, and you want more control over your dog’s comings and goings, then you need a SmartDoor, like this option from PetSafe.
SmartDoors basically work like original dog doors, but they are locked, and your dog has the key. The key is placed in their collar and is a unique radio signal that triggers the battery powered flap to unlock, allowing your dog to push through. When the door can no longer sense your dog’s signal, it locks again, stopping other animals from entering.
You can also choose to completely lock and unlock the door as you see fit. The door can have as many as five keys programmed to interact with it at any time, though only one is included with the door.
Such SmartDoors are more expensive than standard manual locks, and this one more so as it needs four D-cell batteries that are not included.
The door comes in just two different sizes, and it is adjustable to fit any door between one and a half and two inches thick. A wall expansion pack is available for wall installation. The hard plastic of the door and the fact that the door remains shut when not in use should stop external air from seeping in in all but the coldest of temperatures.
- Only allows your dog to enter and exit
- Integrated locking mechanism
- Can be programmed to work for up to five dogs (or cats)
- Decent weather protection
- Batteries not included
- Additional collar keys need to be bought separately
When you are ready to upgrade to a SmartDoor, this option from PetSafe is one of the most user-friendly on the market.
12. High Tech Pet Products PX-2 Power Pet Fully Automatic Pet Door
If you are looking for a premium SmartDoor to manage your dog’s comings and goings, then this is the option for you. But beware, it is more than twice as expensive as the next most expensive option on this list.
This model is specifically designed to allow large dogs freedom of movement while keeping your home secure. Like other SmartDoors, this dog door remains shut unless it is triggered to open by a microsonic signal that can be given off by the associated dog collar.
When your dog approaches, the door quickly and quietly opens a space for your pooch to move through, before closing behind them. This is ideal for dogs that have trouble pushing through the swinging doors and offers additional security as it is not as easy to kick through. However, your dog may need a little bit of extra training to learn how to use it.
The door itself is designed with security in mind, made from bulletproof resin. It also has a deadbolt locking feature in order to help secure your home against intruders. The door is also airtight, windproof, and weatherproof, and it can’t be kicked out easily. It has options for either door or wall mounting.
The system also offers fine-grained control, offering full access, no access, in-only or out-only modes. Basically, this is the easiest way to have complete control over your dog’s comings and goings.
- High security
- Fine-grained control of your dog’s access
- Easier for some dogs than push through doors
- Very expensive
If security is your main concern, then this premium dog door will allow your dog to move in and out of the house freely without interfering with the safety of the home.
Dog Door Buying Guide
The purpose of a dog door is to let your dog move freely between your home and your yard, without opening your home up to intruders (of both the two-legged and four-legged varieties).
It means more freedom for your dog as they can go out and play, even when you aren’t home, and less work for you, as you don’t need to play doggy doorman. It also means fewer accidents, as there is no waiting when your dog needs to go out to relieve themselves.
But there are a lot of things to consider when choosing the right dog door. It depends on the size of your dog and the design of your home. Here are the main things to consider when making your selection.
1. Mode Of Operation
When it comes to dog doors, the two primary modes of operation are manual or automatic. Manual dog doors are the classic ones that most people are familiar with. They are pretty much a hole in the door covered with a protective flap that allows your dog to pass through.
Your home is basically kept secure from human intruders by the size and location of the door, and there is little stopping other animals from passing through.
These doors come with manual locks to stop your dog passing through when you want to keep them inside the home.
Automatic dog doors, on the other hand, are not open all the time. A hole in the door with a hard plastic or metal cover, it usually relies on a chip in your dog’s collar to sense that your dog is close and wants to use the door, at which point it will unlock itself for their use.
This provides the benefit of not allowing other animals access to the house through the flap.
You can also put restrictions on when your dog can use the door, for example keeping them inside the house after a certain hour.
The downside with these doors is that your dog does need a little more training to figure them out.
As everyone’s home is different, there are a huge variety of options out there to suit every different home.
The most common are door-mounted dog doors, and most standard dog doors come with a thickness to suit standard doors.
If you have a sliding door, you will need a different design. It usually takes the form of a thin glass panel that fits into the space where the door opens and acts as a new closing point.
The panel has a dog door integrated. This does cut down on the space for people to pass through, but this is not a problem with the size of most sliding doors.
For those who are unable to place their dog doors into a door, there are also wall mounted dog doors, which are thicker and deeper in order to pass through the layers of a wall.
While standard dog doors may be relatively easy to self-install, these more complex wall-mounted doors usually require professional installation.
Which of these options is right for you will depend on the style of your home and what exactly is standing between your dog and the outdoor area that you would like to give them access to.
3. Flaps And Covers
The flap that covers the hole of the dog door needs to be light enough that your dog can pass through without too much trouble but heavy enough that it won’t be blown open by a strong wind, letting cold air into your well-insulated home.
Models can vary significantly. For example, some will use magnets to ensure that the flap remains secure, but can still be pushed open by your dog without too much effort.
Double flaps are also quite common for providing extra insulation, providing a layer of protection even if the outer flap is blown open.
Flaps and covers are generally clear or tinted, and can be made from soft vinyl or hard plastic.
Most dogs will have no problem pushing through these doors, but some do struggle. Some automatic doors also offer an automatic upward opening, which your dog does not have to push through.
Dog doors need to be made from secure and durable materials as they are going to form part of your home and your home security. Most doors are made from aluminum or premium plastics designed for extra strength.
It is important to consider the quality of all the elements of the door and not just the frame and flap. If these are held together by flimsy connectors, the strength of either will not make much of a difference.
The connecting elements should always be made from quality, rust-resistant materials.
Even when your dog door is not open, it is letting air into your home. A flap of plastic or metal is not providing the same kind of insulation as the rest of your home.
If you live in milder climates, this probably won’t be a major problem.
If it gets cold where you are, look for doors that try to provide extra insulation, such as flaps that use two or three layers. This traps cold air in the passage rather than letting it into your home.
If you live in extremely cold climates, it is worth considering whether a dog door is right for you. Not only will it let cold air into your home, it is also likely to see a significant increase in your heating bill.
Naturally, you need a dog door that is the right size for your dog or, in the case of multiple dogs, the right size for your largest dog. If you have a puppy, remember that they will grow.
In general, it is not advisable to get a door much bigger than you need as the bigger the door, the greater the security threat, and the more it is likely to undermine other features of your home, such as insulation.
To find the right size door, start by measuring the height and thickness of your dog. Their thickness is the measurement of their chest at its widest point. Also make a note of the weight of your dog.
Dog doors will often have weight advice, as lighter dogs need lighter doors and may not have the strength to comfortably push open a heavier door.
You also need to carefully measure where in your home the door will be placed. The first measurement is usually door or wall thickness. Most dog doors are designed for standard doors of up to two inches thick.
If you are planning on installing your dog door anywhere other than a door, you will probably require professional help for installation, and it is worth getting that help in the measurement stage.
While some dog doors come with DIY self-installation instructions, most dog doors will require a bit of know-how to install.
Considering you will need to create a perfectly sized hole in your home to install the door securely, unless you know what you are doing, it is worth seeking the help of someone experienced.
A dog door can make a big difference to the quality of life of both you and your dog. Your dog can move between the house and the yard with more freedom, and you no longer have to act as a doggy doorman every time they want to go out.
It gives them more space to play when you aren’t at home, which means a less frustrated dog, and better access to their bathroom, which means fewer accidents inside the home.
Finding the right dog door depends on your dog and your home. Dogs need a door that is the right size and weight for them.
They should be able to squeeze through the space without too much difficulty, and the flap shouldn’t be too heavy for them to push through.
Your choice also depends on your home. What stands between your dog and the space they want to access?
A standard door, a sliding door, a screen door, a wall? All of these options will require slightly different solutions. But every solution should protect your home from unwanted intruders and from cold air, heat, or rain from seeping into the house.
Which of the 12 great dog doors on our list will suit your depends on all these factors.
However, if you are looking for the best dog door for a standard door, start with the Ideal Pet Products Designer Series Original Plastic Pet Doors.
For a glass sliding door, then the PetSafe Freedom Patio Pet Doors for Sliding Doors is a great option.
If you want to upgrade from a manual door to a door that only unlocks for your dog, thanks to a sensor in their collar, then check out the PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor.
What about you? Have you fund the perfect dog door?
Tell us about your experiences in the comment section below.
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Top Picks For Our Dogs
- BEST PUPPY TOY
We Like: Snuggle Puppy w/ Heart Beat & Heat Pack - Perfect for new puppies. We get all of our Service Dog pups a Snuggle Puppy.
- BEST CHEW TOY
We Like: KONG Extreme - Great toy for heavy chewers like our Labrador Retrievers.
- BEST DOG TREATS
We Like: Wellness Soft Puppy Bites - One of our favorite treats for training our service dog puppies.
For a list of all the supplies we get for our new service dog puppies check out our New Puppy Checklist on the PuppyInTraining.com blog.