How to Install Dog Door in Wall

A dog door is important as your pet can go out and come in without having to disturb you. Sometimes you may be absent and your dog gets stranded in the house. Once the dog knows where the door is, it will be more independent when it comes to trips in and out of the house. It shall easily run away from extreme weather or go out for fresh air at its own volition.

Important Considerations

Before you settle on making this major change on your wall, there are a few things you have to consider. For instance, are there animals like raccoons where you live? If they are present, then you may have to reconsider your decision.

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Secondly, what type of wall you would want the door on? Some walls can be challenging to break through while others may affect the house structure if interfered with. It is important to involve a building expert when you are not sure if your house can accommodate a door for your pet.

Now that you have determined that your wall is good to handle changes, the next step is to choose the type of door. You can go for an electric door with sensors or a flap door. From the satisfied customers, flap doors seem to be a better option since they are affordable and easy to install.

Check to know what is behind the wall. Look out for electrical switches or outlets within 12 to 15 inches from your chosen door location. Confirm that there are no wires and pipes inside the wall by poking a hole and checking inside.

In addition, you need to measure the door size, it should fit right into the wall and be wide enough for your dog to use. It should be low, almost to the ground for easy access. Also take measurements of your dog's shoulder, not the head. This is because pets tend to duck their heads when entering through their door.

Tools for Use

You need to have these tools to be able to work effectively and efficiently when fixing your dog’s wall door.

1.  Accuracy Tools

The stud finder makes it possible to locate the studs in the wall as the tape measure ensures you get the correct measurements on your points. You will need a framing square and a level to ensure your markings are accurate, and a pencil to make markings.

2. Cutting Tools

All your cutting work is made possible by these tools: jigsaw, wire cutter, and scissors. Whatever you will need to cut, one of these tools will help in the process. Consider using the right tool for good results.

3. Other Tools

A hammer comes in handy when you are hitting into the wall, maybe hitting the nails to make markings. Use a drill to insert the drill bits to make holes for screws and toggle bolts that hold the door in place. Furthermore, the duct tape sticks the door template on to the wall while the caulk seals spaces keeping them airtight.

Door Features

The door you pick has to have certain characteristics for efficiency. For instance, the flap should be flexible for simple entry of your dog without causing any injuries like pinching on the dog's fur or skin. Furthermore, the flaps are unlikely to crack when they swing on a rod.

A security panel should be on the door, to enable it to lock when not in use. Moreover, with magnets embedded in the frame and flap of the door, it should seal tightly. These magnets also make the door wind resistant.

A see-through door that allows light into the house is better than an opaque one as your pet can see the inside or outside. Getting an ultraviolet proof door and one that can withstand high temperatures will prevent cracking and fading.

Correct Door Location

In case of a wooden wall, check for studs. Once you find their location, draw a vertical line joining them 10 to 12 inches from the floor. Take measurements and mark on the wall using your pet's shoulder height as a reference point on the line you already drew.

After drawing a horizontal line to join your markings, cut out carefully to get the correct template size. Match the lines on the center with the shoulder lines to your template. Using tape, stick the template on to the wall and trace its outline.

Cutting Out

Peel off the tape holding the template from the wall and drill holes in the corners that you already marked. Use the most suitable tool to cut out the hole depending on your wall type. Begin from one corner and follow the line-markings all the way to the start point.

Place your flapped frame in the cut-out. Check how well it fits and make the necessary adjustments to ensure it fits as required. Take the center locator and put it into the cut-out. With drywall screws, hold the A-side of your door temporarily in place.

Drilling

While lifting the flap, push the center locator to make it touch the outside wall. Make markings on the center locator and remove the door from the interior wall. Now make holes into the marked surface.

Once again, drill holes into the corners and cut with the right tool while following the line-markings. Check how it fits by placing the flapped frame in the cut-out. Trim as necessary for a perfect fit.

Where the drywall screws were, drill holes for toggle bolts. Join the exterior and interior frames together with the flap. The bolts can now be installed from the inside and outside without making them very tight.

Final Words

Your final task is to train your pet to use the door. Use treats to lure your dog in and out of the house through the wall opening. Stand on one side and put a treat or snack so it can come for it.

While doing this, ensure the flaps are up and taped to prevent them from falling back and causing injury. Once your pet can use the door, let the flaps down. It is advisable to be patient and never to force the dog into or out through the wall door.

James F. Swanson
 

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