How to Install a Doggie Door in a Wall

Learn the easy and faster way how to install a doggie door in a wall by following these step-by-step guides for installing a pet door.

Give your dog a grand entrance by installing a pet door on a wall. A pet door is one of the valuable assets if you have pets at home since it allows them to enter and exit on their own.

So, if you are tired of letting your cat or dog in and out every time, then a pet door is a better and more efficient way.

How to Install a Doggie Door in a Wall

A pet door, also known as a dog door or cat door, offers better solutions and greater efficiency at home for your pets to move in and out freely.

Therefore, you must learn some essential tips on how to install a dog door in a wall to be able to do it yourself and at a limited cost.

Doggie Door in a Wall

A doggie door in a wall, also known as a wall-mounted pet door, is a small opening in a wall that allows dogs or other pets to move freely between the indoor and outdoor areas of a house or building. It is designed to provide pets with easy access to the yard or garden without the need for human assistance.

A doggie door typically consists of a frame and a flap that swings freely, allowing the pet to push through it. The frame is installed into a hole cut into the wall at a suitable height for the pet to enter and exit comfortably. The flap is usually made of durable materials like plastic or rubber, and it’s designed to seal against the frame to provide insulation and keep out drafts and pests when not in use.

Doggie doors in walls are often used when there is no suitable door or window available for a standard pet door installation. They can be particularly useful for homeowners who prefer to keep their existing doors closed or locked but still want to provide their pets with the freedom to come and go as they please.

How to Install a Doggie Door on a Wall

One of the top essential things when installing a wall pet door is careful carpentry. This is important mainly when you are cutting through the exterior wall.

The good thing is you don’t have to have excellent skills to cut through. Just moderate carpentry skills with careful cutting are enough for a quality installation.

That said, let’s now have a look at the steps for installing a dog door.

Step 1: Know how skillful you are

This is usually the first step in almost installing anything in your home. So, how good are your carpentry skills?

Can you make an almost perfect cut as well as make the right measurements? Remember, If you have doubts, hire out!

Step 2: Find the Best Location for Installation

Before you do any cutting, first double-check both sides of the wall to ensure they are free from electrical or cable wires, pumping pipes, and load-bearing studs.

Generally, these are the things you should consider when searching for the perfect location.

1. Ensure there are no cables, studs, or pumping pipes

2. Determine how high from the ground should the pet door be installed

3. Or, check if the bet door will fit between the studs or if the studs can be easily and safely removed

If you have a back garden, then the ideal wall to install a pet door will be the one that will allow direct access to that garden.

Therefore, knowing where the installed studs and wires reside in your walls is the first step to preventing damage and, more importantly, injuries.  

After marking the perfect location to install your dog’s door, mark the wall for where to drill or cut.

Using a template paper if given, you should cut or drill 4 inspection holes on the wall where you want to install the door as shown in the paper. The best way is to stick the template paper on the perfect wall location and then drill it.

Step 3: Cut out the wall

Using a reciprocating blade, make a fine, straight cut from one hole to another. Most of the pet’s doors come with their installation template that guides you on installing with regards to size, shape, and several other things.

So, you must follow the given sizing to have a correctly installed door. If there is any insulation after cutting out the wall’s inner part, save it because it may come in handy later or someday.

If there are studs in your chosen location, remove them, but this is better and safely done by a carpentry expert.

If there are some places or voids left after cutting out the drywall, use insulation to fill them up. And for the unsupported edges, you should put 2x blocking behind them by screwing each to the sheathing to offer sturdy support.

Step 4: Add New Header

If you happen to have removed any stud, it is recommended that you build a new header to offer proper support.

Screwing 2x6s to the sheathing will help support the cut stud, which can also be incorporated with a 1-inch foam insulation filler strip. This is ideal if you want the header to flush with framing.

After adding the header, you will also need to add support to both sides of the framing using a short 2×6. The added support should always fit tightly between the header and the bottom plate, and you can do this by hammering.

Step 5: Cut the sheathing and trim the opening

For this, you will need a reciprocating saw to cut out the sheathing and also to trim the opening.

After removing the outside siding and house wrap of the marked area, carefully cut out the sheathing by ensuring you make straight lines between the holes you made earlier.

When you are done removing the sheathing, then proceed to cut/trim the door’s bottom side such that it slants towards the outside. This is a much easier step since drywall will easily guide your blade.

Step 6: Installing the door

This is pretty much the last step, but it involves several mini-steps:

1. Flashing the sill

2. Waterproofing the opening

3. Attaching the interior

4. Exterior door panel or frame

5. Fitting the side liners and sill liners

These steps are pretty easier but have to be done in a particular sequence to avoid having a roughly installed door or screwing and unscrewing the frames.

So, to help with that, you should therefore start with waterproofing the opening, fitting the inside panel, flashing the sill, installing the exterior panel, and finally, the liners.

Furthermore, when it comes to fitting the liners, start with sill liners then side liners.

How to Install a Doggie Door in a Wood Door

Installing a doggie door in a wood door is a simple DIY project that can be completed in a few hours. Here are the steps to follow:

Materials Needed

1. Doggie door kit

2. Pencil

3. Tape measure

4. Drill

5. Jigsaw or reciprocating saw

6. Screwdriver

7. Sandpaper

Step 1: Choose the right location for the doggie door. Measure the height of your dog from the floor to its shoulder and add two inches to determine the height of the door. Measure the width of your dog at the widest point and add two inches to determine the width of the door.

Step 2: Using the measurements from step 1, mark the location of the doggie door on the wood door using a pencil.

Step 3: Use a drill to make a hole in one corner of the marked area. This will allow you to insert the jigsaw blade or reciprocating saw.

Step 4: Cut along the marked area with the jigsaw or reciprocating saw. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to cut the hole for the doggie door.

Step 5: Sand the edges of the hole to remove any rough or sharp edges.

Step 6: Follow the instructions provided with the doggie door kit to install the door. This will usually involve attaching the frame to the door with screws.

Step 7: Test the doggie door to make sure it opens and closes properly. Encourage your dog to go through the door by using treats or toys.

Why are Doggy Doors Dangerous?

Doggy doors can pose several potential dangers, including:

Security risks: Doggy doors can provide an entry point for intruders, including burglars, wild animals, or even other pets.

Health and safety hazards: If your pet can come and go freely, they may bring in parasites, diseases, or other harmful materials from outside. Additionally, small pets could become trapped in the door, or larger pets could get stuck or injured while attempting to enter or exit.

Accidental access: Doggy doors can allow access to areas of your home that you may not want your pet to enter, such as rooms with dangerous items, like cleaning supplies or medications.

Energy efficiency: A doggy door can compromise the energy efficiency of your home, allowing conditioned air to escape and unconditioned air to enter, which can result in increased energy bills.

To reduce these potential risks, it is important to choose a high-quality doggy door that is appropriately sized for your pet and installed securely in a location that is safe and easy for your pet to access. It is also essential to monitor your pet’s behavior and ensure they are not bringing in any harmful substances or creating any security risks.


Q: What tools do I need to install a doggie door on a wall?

A: The tools you will need to install a doggie door in a wall may vary depending on the specific installation kit and the materials you are working with, but typically you will need a drill, a jigsaw or reciprocating saw, a level, a measuring tape, a pencil or marker, a caulking gun, and screws or bolts. You may also need a saw to cut through the wall, a stud finder to locate any studs in the wall, and a pry bar to remove any existing trim or molding.

Q: Can I install a doggie door on any wall?

A: It is possible to install a doggie door on any wall, but the installation process will vary depending on the type of wall you are working with. For example, if you are installing a doggie door in an exterior wall, you will need to consider factors such as insulation and weatherproofing to ensure that your installation is secure and energy-efficient. Additionally, if you are installing a doggie door in a load-bearing wall, you will need to take special precautions to avoid compromising the structural integrity of the wall.

Q: How do I measure my dog for a doggie door?

A: To measure your dog for a doggie door, you will need to measure your dog’s height and width. To measure your dog’s height, measure from the floor to the top of your dog’s shoulders. To measure your dog’s width, measure the widest point of your dog’s chest or hips. Be sure to choose a doggie door that is large enough for your dog to comfortably fit through, but not so large that it compromises the security or energy efficiency of your home.

Q: How do I cut a hole in the wall for a doggie door?

A: To cut a hole in the wall for a doggie door, you will need to follow the instructions that come with your doggie door installation kit. Typically, you will need to use a template that is provided with the kit to mark the location and size of the hole.

Then, you will need to use a saw to cut through the wall along the marked lines. Be sure to follow all safety precautions when using power tools, and take care to avoid damaging any pipes or electrical wiring that may be hidden within the wall.

Q: How do I install a doggie door on a wall?

A: To install a doggie door on a wall, you will need to follow the instructions that come with your doggie door installation kit. Generally, the process involves inserting the doggie door into the hole you have cut in the wall, securing it in place with screws or bolts, and sealing any gaps around the edges of the doggie door with caulk or weatherstripping. You may also need to install any additional components that come with your installation kit, such as a security panel or a flap to keep out insects and debris.


These steps are generalized ways of how to install a doggie door in a wall, and they apply to almost all doors.

But to be honest, some doors may not have liners or other components. But the most important thing is knowing the general principle of installation, which is accurate cutting and proper checking of the installation space.

That’s all on how to install a pet door on a wall; I hope it was useful. You can also check our other article on how to install a magic gate here.

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