The best dog doors allow you, the owner, to offer the best of both worlds: your dog can enjoy the comfort of your home, and go explore the outside world.
The best pet doors for dogs should offer easy setup, and safe use, and the most expensive dog doors even have a microchip identification before allowing any dog to pass through. Yep, doggy doors are that smart these days!
Before clicking one of our links below, we recommend you read the buying guide we put together. In this guide, we’ll discuss dog doors for different breeds and will help you learn two things; how to choose a dog door and how to measure a dog for a pet door.
We have reviewed the top 10 best dog doors and here they are:
- PetSafe SmartDoor (Best Electronic Dog Door)
- SureFlap Microchip Pet Door (Best Premium Dog Door)
- BarksBar Original Plastic Dog Door (Best Cheap Dog Door)
- PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Patio (For Sliding Glass Door)
- PetSafe Wall Entry Aluminum Pet Doors (Best Value For Money)
- PATAPLUS Large Pet Door (Best Dog Doors for Large Breeds)
- HARDLIGHT Dog Door (Best Weatherproof Pet Door)
- Endura Flap Pet Door (For Extra Insulated & Cold Weather)
- MAVRICFLEX Heavy Duty Dog Door (For Dogs Up to 220lbs)
- Armor Pet Door (Best Airtight Dog Door)
Let’s start by helping you know what features and specifications to consider the most when buying a doggy door.
How To Choose The Best Dog Door
Let’s face it — all dogs want to go outside, exercise, socialize, sunbathe, or simply get some fresh air. The problem kicks in when your dog unintentionally invites an unwanted guest and makes a mess of your flooring with mud tracks. In the same way, dogs who can’t easily get out through the door may start to have urinary problems from keeping it too long. Anxiety is a big problem for active dogs who are forced to remain indoors; this often translates into destructive behaviors.
These scenarios may occur if you don’t have a pet door, or if your current pet flap has poor security features and durability, which is why you may need to replace it. When wondering what is the best dog door for small breeds or even giant breeds, you might find the task pretty daunting, but it’s simple once you know what to look for.
Here are some of the key factors when deciding which pet door is made for you and your cats and dogs.
Remember that dogs can gain and lose weight, just like you! A dog door should be just the right size for your dog — perhaps even a little bit bigger in case he or she gains more pounds. As a bonus, if you have cats in the house or other pets as well, they may also be allowed to use the door for their own business.
Picking the right size and correct door height for your doggie door is important. Dogs not only grow older but may also grow taller if you get the door while they are still young. We have a couple of guidelines for measuring your dog for the doggie door (see the below section on How To Measure For a Pet Door.)
Keeping stray dogs out is one of the challenges that a doggie door can face, especially if you own a female dog in your house. Female dogs can have many boyfriends at the same time when they go outside — and this can be a problem if you don’t want puppies from an unwanted breed of dog!
In the same way, stray dogs may also adversely affect males, since they might have fleas or some skin diseases that your pet can catch. Moreover, most of these stray dogs may also make a mess of your home, so you have to find a way to keep them out and keep your own pet in.
Other animals like foxes and raccoons can sneak into your home and cause some unfortunate damage, or just a big scare. Regardless, it’s the first choice you have to make when browsing dog doors: an electronic pet door with identification, or a regular flap allowing everybody inside.
Another thing that makes a dog door effective is that it can block the cold weather so you save more energy in your house in the long run, especially during winter. It can also work the other way around during the summer when you don’t want the cool air-con wind to leak outside.
Most people don’t add a dog door to their house due to this factor, and simply open the main door when taking their dog outside, but this can have bad effects on the dog (as mentioned above with the urinary problems.) What you just need to consider is a dog door that easily closes — and tightly to avoid leaking out cool air during the summer or leaking out warm air during the winter.
Magnetic closing systems are great at leaving no room for air to circulate.
Fit & Setup
Consider a pet door that gives you an easy yet secure installation method. In fact, some of the best sliding dog doors are so simple that you don’t need a lot of tech or carpentry skills to install them, much like putting together a doorbell system in your house. Sliding doors are perhaps the easiest, but it depends on the type of installation for it.
Regular door installations are the most common out there with a cheap to moderate cost. Wall installations can be a bit harder but have the same cost. Both require cutting through.
Sliding dog doors or panels that are inserted into the door are easier to install and require no cutting. However, they will only work for sliding panels, usually found in condos or patios. They tend to cost more because they aren’t just dog doors, they are full glass panels.
Do consider a dog door that has long-lasting durability against the elements and your dog’s come-and-go routine. A waterproof dog door is a great choice if you live in a place where it often rains. Do remember that most higher-priced dog doors do offer more durability because of the materials used to conceive them. The outer part will require a lot more cleaning so be prepared for that, too.
If you go with an electronic dog door, make sure you have enough batteries to change them every few weeks or months.
Top 10 Best Dog Doors
To sum things up, the best dog doors are durable, weather-resistant, and easy to set up, but more than anything, they are safe. There are two types of pet doors:
- Electronic Dog Doors — more expensive (easily the double) but only allow authorized dogs
- Regular Dog Doors — cheaper but will allow your own dogs as well as estranged animals
I wouldn’t spend less than $30/50 unless you have very low expectations and won’t bother with a bad product. For safety concerns, I would personally spend the extra money to get an automatic dog door allowing only my dog inside and out.
1. PetSafe SmartDoor
— Best Electronic Dog Door
This PetSafe dog door is battery-powered and embeds radio-frequency technology to only allow authorized pets in. Dogs wearing the SmartKey on their collar are allowed in, otherwise, the doors remain solidly shut. It’s amazing to keep stray dogs, cats, foxes, and raccoons outside your home. One SmartKey is included when you purchase the door, you need to buy additional keys for each pet you want to allow through this electronic doggie door.
If you just want to use the door as a regular flap, it’s possible. There are three modes available with the PetSafe SmartDoor: locked, unlocked, and automatic (only allows identified pets.) The documentation delivered with it is great according to most reviewers!
If you are a first-timer with electronic dog doors with that type of identification, you may find the transition challenging. There are a few points to address or get used to. Dogs play near the pet door and unlock the door without wanting to, and this can get annoying at first but you can turn the locked mode on. Batteries may run out after a few weeks (or months) depending on how often your pets go in and out, again, just leave it unlocked when you know your dogs will keep on passing through.
2. SureFlap Microchip Small Dog Door
— Best Premium Small Dog Door
Similar to the PetSafe SmartDoor, the SureFlap Microchip Pet Door only let in dogs with authorized microchips. The detector works with all types of microchips, worldwide, or you can also order a SureFlap RFID Collar that would act as an identifying device (if you have a guest dog for a day or two.)
If you want to schedule periods of time during which the door should remain shut even with identified dogs, you can set this up easily using the Curfew Mode. You should be protected against bad weather since this doggie door closes using gravity first, but also boasts a secondary magnetic system for a firmer lock.
On the flip side, it is a little pricey for a dog door, especially when compared to very regular dog flaps. However, money shouldn’t matter when you buy much safer equipment. Not allowing random animals in your home is kind of super important, don’t you think?
3. BarksBar Original Plastic Dog Door
— Best Cheap Dog Door
While it boasts an unbeatable price tag, this cheap dog door doesn’t look bad at all. It’s slick, made of plastic and aluminum, and sturdy enough to last you a long time even with daily usage. Don’t worry about small crawling and flying insects, and even less about weather resistance: this dog door comes with a magnetic closing system that will firmly keep the door shut.
Now, the problem is there are only two modes for this regular door:
- Unlocked — the door will allow your own pet(s) but also external animals in or out
- Locked — the door is shut and won’t allow your or any other pet in or out
Such binary mechanisms can be worrying in some neighborhoods in which stray or wild animals are common. Trust me, some are smart enough to figure it out, especially if they see your dog doing it once or twice.
4. PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Patio
— Best Sliding Glass Dog Door
The Freedom Aluminum Patio is a top choice for those who have sliding doors at home, or in a condo or rental. Simply replace one of the regular panels leading to your patio or conservatory with this one, lock it properly and you’re good to go! The dog flap is located at the bottom of the sliding panel and requires nearly no cutting or installation itself.
Because the size of the Panel matters a lot, it comes in various colors, heights, weights, and even thicknesses. In the United States, most sliding doors are standardized therefore making the rails and tracks an irrelevant worry (it should work!) Unlike other dog doors requiring a lot of prep time, this sliding dog door requires no cutting whatsoever.
Some cons have been mentioned by various hands-on reviewers but they are tiny details such as needing two people to set it up properly inside the upper and lower tracks, and things of the sort. Otherwise, it’s pretty straightforward and has a great dog flap that actually melts in your home design perfectly.
5. PetSafe Wall Entry Aluminum Pet Doors
— Best Value For Money Pet Door
Although the BarksBar Dog Door is a cheap and decent product, this PetSafe Wall Entry dog door is upping the game for a slightly bigger price — and it’s worth every penny! Indeed, it offers some great advantages over most models, including:
- a unique telescopic tunnel system sandwiches the wall so there is no need for framing materials
- a double-flap system creating a chamber that will hold the cold weather instead of allowing it directly into your home
- you can use two opaque closing/locking panels for complete protection and safety
- includes clear instructions to set up this dog door and cutting guides too
Overall a wonderful product for those who want a simple-to-use, no-hassle pet door. It is still going to allow foreign animals in, but it is the best dog door under the $100-mark.
6. PATAPLUS Large Pet Door
— Best Dog Doors for Large Breeds
The PATAPLUS pt door offers three sizes; extra-large, large, and medium that is perfect for owners who own giant breeds. This large dog door has two locking modes that can allow your pets to enjoy free entry and exit whenever they need a potty break or desire to play outside.
This pet door is made of high-quality aviation aluminum alloy, durable, and not easy to tear. Its flaps feature UV protection and 4 magnetic buckles that provide weather protection that’s energy-efficient. It can be installed on interior doors, exterior doors, metal doors, and PVC doors. And for an easy DIY installation, this dog door includes a cutting template, mounting hardware, and detailed instructions. Flap openings are 11″W×16 6/7″H while the dog door’s frame is 14 3/8″W×20 3/8″H, suitable for pets up to 110 lbs.
7. HARDLIGHT Dog Door
— Best Weatherproof Pet Door
HARDLIGHT’s dog doors are made out of durable and sturdy aluminum material to ensure that they won’t easily break or be torn apart by your fur buddies. It has a lockable security slide panel that can protect the security of your home while reducing heat transfer during rough weather. Its magnetic door flap closes well when your pet crosses through this door to keep other unwanted visitors out of the house.
This pet door can be installed in paneled, wood, PVC, and metal doors that are 0” to 2.76” thick while its external measurements are 11.22”(W) x 15.63”(H), flap opening is 8.74”(W).
8. Endura Flap Pet Door
— For Extra Insulated & Cold Weather
Endura flap dog door is one of the most high-quality pet doors that’s available on the market. It’s accessible to use, durable, energy-efficient, secure and can provide almost all of your dog’s needs. For easy training, this unique dog door features a three-sided magnet design that’s adjustable for training or for timid pets while providing the strength you need to keep the wind out.
The flaps are rated to stay shut in gusts of up to 50 mph, it also comes with a secure locking cover when not in use. This award-winning double flap dog door is designed for maximum energy efficiency even in the most extreme weather. Its patented technology resists energy loss from your home in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit.
9. MAVRICFLEX Heavy Duty Dog Door
— Best Dog Doors for Giant Breeds Up to 220lbs
The MAVRICFLEX gives your pets the independence to go outside on their own and simplify your life as a pet parent. The double flaps inner frame measures 11”x17 inches that feature strong magnets to ensure a tight seal and maximum security for your home. The weatherproof function of this dog door in the wall is achieved by a magnetic closure and UV-resistant flap, it also has a locking panel that can not only double protect the security of your home but also reduce heat transfer in rough weather.
The best part of this product is that MAVRICFLEX offers lifetime free customer service. They will replace missing parts or broken parts of the aluminum dog doors caused by the manufacturer at no charge on your side.
10. Armor Pet Door
— Best Airtight Dog Door
Armor Flex pet doors have a revolutionary patent-pending flap design that creates an airtight seal that provides the highest level of extreme weather resistance and energy efficiency. It features an innovative new flap design made of individual, interlocking segments that are precisely positioned by rare earth magnets.
The interlocking segments pivot featured by this dog door is relative to one another to provide the horizontal rigidity that creates an airtight seal while providing vertical flexibility – which makes it easier and safer for your pet to use. Amor Flex dog doors feature heavy-duty aluminum frame construction, high-strength ABS composite flap construction, and all stainless steel hardware.
How To Measure For a Pet Door
The key measurements are:
- Height of the dog — this can be seen as the distance from the ground to your pet’s shoulders.
- Width of the dog — this is the measurement of your dog’s widest chest part. Leave out the fur in case you have a fluffy dog because it’s not going to hinder the dog’s movement anyway.
- Rise height — the distance from the ground to your dog’s lower chest is the measurement you are looking for, which is about 1 to 2 inches, depending on the breed size of your dog.
To make room for growing dogs or if ever he eats too much over the course of the months, lengthen your measurement to about 2 inches for the height and 1 inch for the width. You can also add more to this number if your current dog is still a puppy and needs more room to grow. The above-mentioned measurements will make it easy for your dog to step over on and get through the dog door with great confidence.
On another note, if you keep more than one dog in the house, you need to consider both of their measurements and combine them together to go for the best dog door that will fit both of them. For instance, one dog may be pretty tall but the other dog has a wide body but can’t reach the rise height. This can be a bit tricky, but with the right measurement techniques we mentioned above, you’ll be fine.
Best Dog Doors: FAQ
Dog doors are easier to install on doors than wall mounts. That’s the reason why most dog owners use this opportunity for a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) project. But keep in mind that it’s easier to mend a hole in your wall rather than mending a hole in your door if you want to remove the dog door later.
The best location to install your dog door still depends on your home layout. But most pet owners install their doggie doors on the patio door for quick access to the backyard area where your fur buddies can play and do some potty break.
On average, installing dog doors can cost around $100 to $300 but it can also go higher to $2,000 if you need a complete demolition of your home especially if your home layout does not give access to the backyard.
Yes. Dog doors are not only for classic doors and wall mounts. Because of the modern technology, you can now install your dog’s door through the glass such as sliding doors since most homeowners use glass doors for their backyards.
When installing a dog flap in a UPVC door, it’s best to purchase your pet door first so you can have the exact measurements before drilling holes. Take note that if you drill the holes first, it can mess up your UPVC door and will be harder to repair.
No, most dog doors are too small for a human to enter. Also, pet doors provide a locking cover at night and can block any access to prevent wild animals from entering your home.
One of the best options is silicone caulk for your dog doors to be quieter when in use. You can also use thin strips of carpet to prevent loud clicks whenever your dog passes through their doors.
Pet door flaps are usually made of vinyl, plastic, and rubber. It’s designed to be flexible for easy access to your dogs when they push it open. Its material bens and gently move along to ensure that your pets won’t be harmed when they pass through.
Yes, dog doors that perfectly fit in sliding doors are the easiest and simplest pet doors to be installed. This is because there’s no necessary cutting needed, you just need a drill and a screwdriver since the panel dits right in the track of the door.
Yes. Though most pet owners walk their dogs every day, it’s important for your pets to have their own freedom to play outside. Since hot weather can risk your dog’s health, it’s best to have a dog door so they can easily go inside your home at their convenience. Heatstroke and dehydration are real risks, particularly for large dogs with thick coats