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The 6 best dog doors for all types of homes

Looking to give you and your dog a little more freedom? Here are our favorite dog doors for a variety of homes and dogs.

Updated September 27, 2021

Created By

Mariah Ackary,
Dog laying by a door

📷 by Jack Schwartz

The best dog doors

Our 6 favorite doggie doors, reviewed

What we love: The fact that PetSafe’s Sliding Glass Door is detachable and requires minimal drilling is a gamechanger, but the durable and weather-resistant aluminum makes this door the whole package. The magnetic flap is energy-efficient, automatically shutting the entrance after your dog goes through.

What customers say: The 16,000+ Amazon reviews average at 4.5 stars, so it’s safe to say that most purchasers are happy with their pet door. There are some valid criticisms in the reviews, namely that it isn’t ideal for very cold climates and isn’t compatible with some screen doors.

Materials: Aluminum and glass.

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What we love: If the classic side or exterior door isn’t a practical spot for a doggy door on your home, this Wall Entry Pet Door from PetSafe can be installed on nearly any interior or exterior wall in your home, up to 7 ¼ inches thick. The double door flap design helps with weatherproofing and energy efficiency, too.

What customers say: In general, reviewers agree: If you take your time, installation is pretty easy. With a 4.7-star rating on Amazon, most pet owners say they love how easily their canine companions learned to use this door, but some reviewers said that the heavy flaps, though effective at keeping the door shut, made their pet hesitant to use the door.

Material: PVC.

What we love: With all the features of a standard dog door and an affordable price, we think BarksBar’s Large Plastic Dog Door provides wonderful value for the price. The vinyl flap is soft and flexible enough for your dog, but durable enough to withstand harsh weather conditions. Plus, the aluminum door frame looks super sleek and minimal.

What customers say: Nearly 90% of Amazon reviewers gave this door 4 or 5 stars. Lots of reviewers rave about the affordability and quality. As one review says, it’s an “unbelievable deal!”

Material: Plastic, aluminum, and vinyl.

What we love: Whether you’re trying to keep the heat out or in, this All-Weather Energy Efficient Dog Door from Perfect Pet is probably your best bet when it comes to energy efficiency. The two-flap design is truly unique, going the extra mile to protect from weather. Though designed to be installed on a door, you can separately purchase a wall kit that will allow you to put this door nearly anywhere in your home.

What customers say: Reading the 2,000+ Amazon reviews, it’s clear this door holds true to its promise of all-weather durability. One reviewer said it’s been a part of her Pennsylvania home for over 3 years and has withstood brutal winters — including a blizzard — without a problem.

Material: Plastic, nylon, and vinyl.

What we love: Because Power Pet’s Electronic Pet Door opens like a car window, rather than swinging out like a typical dog door, it closes with an airtight seal that is both weather-proof and bug-proof. It also has an automatic deadbolt locking feature, which adds an extra level of security.

What customers say: Reviewers love the security offered by the collar-triggered sensor. One buyer said that because they live in an area with lots of wildlife, the electronic door gives them peace of mind that other doors could not.

Material: Plastic and resin.

What we love: This door’s three-sided magnetic closure enables it to stand up to wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour and temperatures as low as 40 degrees. That way, you can keep your electric bill down during the extreme summer and winter weather. For added insulation, you can purchase the double flap version of the Endura Flap Pet Door.

What customers say: This is a newer product on Amazon, so it has fewer ratings than some of the bestsellers. That said, the average star rating is 4.6 and most reviews feature words like “well-made” and “quality.”

Material: Plastic and resin.

What to consider when buying a dog door

Before you buy, you need to make sure the door is a good match for both you and your dog. Here are the top six things you should consider.

  • Size. You don’t want a door that’s just barely big enough for your large dogs to squeeze through. Many doors come with size guides, but a good rule of thumb is that the door should be two inches above your dog’s shoulders in height and at least two inches wider than their shoulders or hips. If you have both an extra-large dog and a small dog, you’ll probably need two separate doors.
  • Placement. Before buying a dog door, you should know where you’re going to place it — an exterior wall? A door? Most dogs are designed to fit walls of a specific thickness, so you need to do the research ahead of time to make sure it fits properly and serves your needs.
  • Energy efficiency. When it comes down to it, adding an opening in your home is bound to reduce your energy efficiency to some extent. With many of the best dog doors listed above, you can minimize the loss of hot or cold air. But if you live in an extreme climate, you should prioritize energy-efficient features, like insulation or automatic shutting.
  • Training.  Some pets may take a bit of coaxing to use their new door. Expect to do some positive reinforcement training with treats and praise to help them feel safe using the doggy door.
  • Security. Dog doors open up opportunities for intruders, both animal and human. If you’re concerned about something coming in from the outside, consider a door that has the ability to lock.
  • Children. Small children will probably be able to fit through the dog door, so consider this safety hazard before you purchase one. One workaround is buying a door that locks.

The risks and benefits of installing a dog door

While the increased freedom for both you and your dog is nice, there are some potential drawbacks you should be aware of before installing a dog door.

🚨 You should make sure your backyard is safe and fenced in before installing a dog door.

Pros/benefits

  • More exercise. With more time spent running around and exploring their environment, your pup will live a more active lifestyle. This has weight benefits, but also mental and behavioral perks. Just like humans, dogs have a better mental state living an active lifestyle.
  • Fewer potty accidents. Giving your dog the ability to let themself out for a bathroom break is huge. Not only do you eliminate whining at the door, but you’re also much less likely to come home to an accident.
  • More freedom for you. With a self-servicing doggie door, you’ll have far fewer interruptions from your furry friend while you’re working, sleeping, or doing other things around the house.

Cons/risks

  • Your dog’s safety. While giving your dog the freedom to let themself out is a benefit, keep in mind that there’s a lot more trouble — toxic plants, other animals, potential escape — to be found outside, especially unsupervised. At a bare minimum, your yard should be fenced in and free from dangerous objects. But if your dog likes to hop the fence or munch on everything, a dog door may not be a good idea.
  • Children. Small children can easily fit through dog doors. If that’s a concern, consider an auto-locking door or waiting a few years to install a dog door.
  • Intruders. Adding an opening to your home does create one more entry point for wild animals and other intruders. A door that automatically locks can mitigate some of this risk.
  • Installation. Most dog doors require some upfront legwork before it’s smooth sailing. Some doors, like sliding glass door inserts, are non-permanent, but most require cutting a hole into your door or wall.
  • Energy efficiency. Just like when you open a regular door, some heat or cold is going to escape from your home. If your dog likes to come and go often, you might lose more than usual. And if you live somewhere with extreme weather, you might see the effects on your energy bill.

👉 Pro tip: If you’re nervous about your dog breaking out of your fenced-in backyard, consider having a vet implant a microchip — it usually costs about $50 and can give you peace of mind.