Did you know you can easily fit a dog door to use with the sliding doors to your deck? It’s not that tricky and takes just a few minutes.

Dog doors are great. You get to keep the sliding door you have. You’re not cutting into the walls or doing any significant modifications. It helps your energy bill since you’re not opening and closing the door all the time. Or just leave it open, constantly.

If you’re a renter, your options may be limited. Often leases specify that you can’t make permanent changes, so installing a door through the wall would be a no-no.

They’re called Patio or Panel Doors. You won’t need to hire anyone to help, either. It’s pretty straightforward to install on your own. They come in various sizes, so you can get one that suits your dog’s full-grown size.

If your dog is still a puppy, don’t buy for her current size. You should get the size of door that will suit her when she’s fully grown. Determine the widest part of your dog and add two inches. That will give you the minimum size flap you need.

Measure the height of the existing door as well as the rail. Monorail doors can be trickier, but adapters are available to purchase. Before installing the new panel, test fit it. This will help you see if any modifications are needed and make sure latches still line up.

The screws are tightened by hand, starting with the bottom. Once you’ve secured the base, you can do the top. Make sure it’s snug in that top rail. Most brands of panels do not require any tools. They’re designed to be easy in and still secure.

Test the door at this point. If all works as it should finish the installation by applying any insulation or weather-stripping needed.

There’s a glass panel on the top portion, with the flap at the bottom. Your sliding door and screen door will still function normally. Usually, the door comes with a polycarbonate piece that you slide over the flap if you don’t want your dog to be using the door overnight or when you’re away.

The ability to block the flap is also a security measure against other animals coming inside your house if you’re away for an extended period. I think it would be pretty atrocious to come back from a holiday and find a family of skunks has moved in.

These patio panel doors give your dog the freedom to come and go. No longer will you be letting your pup out every five minutes because something must be sniffed, RIGHT NOW.

Ideal Pet Products offers an excellent, easy-to-install door. They have sizes up to super large, for dogs that 100 pounds or more. Their panel doors come in vinyl or aluminum to match your existing door. Insulation and weather stripping are included. Plus, they have a handy installation video available.

Image Courtesy Petco

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