Sliding glass dog doors are a godsend for busy pet owners. Let’s just face it: we’re busy most of the time. If you’re anything like me, you probably don’t have the time to open doors for Fido all day so he can explore the backyard.
Dog owners that have a wooden entrance have it easy. They can just install a regular dog gate to provide it access to the outdoors. But what about those of you that have sliding glass doors? Well, sliding glass doors for dogs are the answer.
What is a Sliding Glass Dog Door?
Sliding glass doors for dogs are complete panels of sliding glass that contain an in-built pet gate. It’s not possible for dog owners to fix a pet door in a sliding glass panel due to obvious reasons. If they do, the glass would break. But with a sliding glass door for dogs, you solve the problem as you get a pre-fitted dog door in a glass panel that you can then place in the track of the sliding door.
Who doesn’t want a dog door? I mean great would it be to give Fido the freedom to move in and out of the house whenever he pleases. But if you’re reading this article, then chances are that it’s not that simple for you. Why? Because you use a sliding door at home and not a regular one. Sure, siding glass doors look fantastic. But there’s no way on earth you can fit a dog door in them. That’s where dog sliding glass doors come into play.
How to Choose the Right Sliding Glass Door for Your Dog?
Sliding glass doors for dogs are one of the most technical pet products to buy. And I don’t say that just to make this portion relevant; here are the factors that one needs to consider before purchasing a sliding patio pet door.
The size of a pet patio door is one of the most integral parts of the purchase. If this isn’t right, the whole product would be useless for you. All sliding dog doors are adjustable in size. This means you can adjust their height for a few inches. Manufacturers clearly mention this adjusting limit in all product listings – there are specifically designed dog doors for big dogs!
But that’s not all. You also need to understand how to take the proper measurements for your door. When measuring the height of the sliding door you require, measure from the inside of the upper sliding door track to the inside of the lower track. This is the height of the door you need. Also, notice how broad the track is as this would decide whether your sliding dog door would fit inside it in the first place.
With that said, don’t forget to measure the flap size of your door as well. Ideally, you want it to be a couple of inches taller than your dog’s shoulder height and a couple of inches broader than the widest part of your mutt’s body.
Manufacturers usually use aluminum or vinyl in sliding glass dog doors. Aluminum is more common, however, it isn’t hard to find a decent option in vinyl as well.
With that said, I think it’s obvious to ensure that the material of the patio pet door you’re buying should be the same as the one you already have at home.
Ideally, the installation of any dog door should be easy. The fewer tools it involves, the better it is for unskilled dog owners to install sliding doors for their mutts.
However, if you’re one for taking up a nice DIY project, then by all means, you can go ahead with a trickier option if you like it. Many sliding glass doors just pop right onto the track and minimal effort for installation.
When it comes to any dog product, durability is certainly a major factor to consider. We all know that dogs can play it a bit rough. So, you’d want to buy a sliding door that’s durable and one that proves to be a sound investment for years to comes. Usually, the doors themselves are quite sturdy. However, dig into whether the accessories like flaps and covers are as durable as you’d like.
A major concern for dog owners when buying a sliding glass dog door is that it will allow extra cold and heat to enter the house. So, you should look for one that’s well insulated and air-tight. With that said, having a completely air-tight dog door is a bit too much to ask for, in my opinion. However, many high-end doors are properly insulated.
Some sliding patio dog doors come with weather stripping which is useful for insulating the door.
Safety & Security
Whenever you buy a product that allows access into and out of your house, it comes with a potential security threat. Before you buy a sliding glass door for dogs, research whether it comes with safety mechanisms like locks.
Also, how secure are those mechanisms? You’ll find that some locks are just good enough that the dog won’t open them but any human with half a brain could pop it open in no time.
You could potentially keep the sliding door shut overnight and keep your dog indoors, in a playpen for example.
7 Best Sliding-Glass Dog Doors
Now that we know exactly what to look for in a sliding glass door for dogs, let’s move on to our list of some of the best in the market. Like all pet products, there are hundreds of them available online. But fret not, we’ve done most of the leg work for you and have shortlisted the top 7 that you would want to look at.
So, without further ado, here are the best sliding glass dog doors.
1. Petsafe Freedom Dog Sliding Door
Petsafe is the clear leader in the industry when it comes to this type of dog doors. This model comes in 2 different sizes; one with a height of 75 7/8″ – 80 11/16″ and the other 91 7/16″ – 96″. You’ll also get to choose from 3 different colors, which isn’t all that common since small manufacturers offer only 1 color option. Not to mention, its installation is simple and doesn’t require any cutting. Another interesting feature of this sliding glass dog door is that its flap contains a magnetic closure. That’s immensely useful for keeping the heat outside. What’s more, it comes with a shatter-resistant glass that would prove to be a sound investment for years to come.
Buying a pet patio door isn’t all that easy, and Petsafe recognizes that. They provide extreme quality and variety with this product to make sure there’s one variation that works best for you. But even then, they’re really particular about how you should go about buying their product. They recommend you choose the right size of dog flap that comes in the sliding door. These sizes range from small X-large.
2. Ideal Pet Products Vinyl Patio Door
Own a vinyl sliding door? Then this is the perfect patio door for your pup. It fits in a 1 ½” -1 ¾” door track. You’ll find 2 separate size options in this sliding glass dog door; one for 78” and the other measuring 94′‘. This vinyl patio door uses tempered glass. That effectively means it’s a lot stronger than regular glass.
Don’t forget, with the Ideal Pet Product Vinyl Door, you get perfect insulation as well. The material in this airtight door ensures the maintenance of indoor temperatures at all costs. With that said, bear in mind that this is a double pane sliding glass door, so it won’t work with single-pane doors. Even if you try to make it work, both doors won’t meet flush. Also, this door requires some drilling so make sure you’re up for some DIY.
3. Ideal Pet Products Aluminium Patio Door
Here’s another door from Ideal Pet Products that we know you’ll love. The manufacturer made both these doors for separate door types. This one is for aluminum patio doors while the previous one was for double-pane vinyl doors. It comes in a 77-5/8 to 80-3/8″ inch adjustable height. Not to mention, you can get 5 different sizes of flaps with this door, which would allow you to find just the right one for your mutt. You’ll also find it in 3 different color options that cover all the basic shades in aluminum sliding doors.
There are many things to love about this patio door. However, customers seemed to love its weatherstrip the most. This helped in insulating their houses in harsh weather conditions. Ideal Pet Products also installed a magnet under the flap so it remains shut when it’s not being used. However, if you buy a large-sized flap, it might fly open with some wind.
4. PetSafe Sliding-Glass Dog Door Insert
Here’s another one for PetSafe lovers. This one comes in adjustable size from 76 13/16” to 80 11/16”. The Aluminum frame in this dog door is extremely sturdy. Not to mention, the glass used in it is tempered and long-lasting as well. PetSafe goes a step ahead to include 2 latch kits with this Sliding glass door for dogs. This would allow you to securely lock the door when need be. Like the previous door, this one also contains a weather strip for insulating the house and keeping excess heat and cold out.
Now, this door comes in 3 flap sizes. The small flap is adequate for dogs up to 15 lbs, the medium size is good for 40 lbs and below, while the large size is for dogs up to 100 lbs. If you’re one who isn’t that handy when it comes to installing such products, then you’d be thrilled to know that PetSafe includes an instruction manual with this door. Bear in mind that the large flap would blow open in a stiff breeze.
5. CEESC Pet Door for Sliding Screens
A lot of sliding glass doors also have sliding screens with them. These are useful to maintain some airflow without letting bugs in. If you have one, then CEESC’s sliding screen door would be a fine option for you. This is the 3rd upgraded version of this door which works for pets of all types. It contains a magnetic closure system that ensures the dog door is firmly shut once dogs pass through it.
With that said, customers seem to be enjoying their CEESC sliding screen dog doors. The installing procedure is pretty simple for the average person to understand. However, this probably isn’t the sturdiest of options in the market.
6. Patio Pacific Sash Window Dog Door
On our blog, we try to review extremely diverse products; this is one of those. Patio Pacific went a step ahead with this one and made a glass pet door for sash windows. With this door, you don’t even need a sliding glass door. All you need to have is a sash window and attach this door at the bottom. It comes in five different sizes which helps it fit in windows of all types. The installation process for this window is simple and requires no tools. Also, the durable aluminum in this sash window protects it against corrosion.
In extreme weather conditions, you’d like to keep the curtain closed. But with such a pet door, it won’t be possible to do that. Interestingly, this dog patio door is weather-resistant, which means it’ll keep most of the cold and heat outdoors. It also has a press-fit closing cover which you can place on the door when you want to keep your pet indoors.
With that said, this type of door is best suited for cats since windows are a bit high for dogs. However, if yours are lower and the door size works well for your pooch, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go with this cost-effective solution.
7. Ideal Pet Products Aluminium Modular Dog Door
To put a cap on this list, we will end it with yet another Ideal Pet Products door. What interests me in this door is that along with silver and white aluminum panels, it also comes with a clear one. That’s quite uncommon for aluminum doors. This door is adjustable from 77-5/8″ – 80 3/4″. It contains clear glass that is tempered for improved strength.
Like all high-quality sliding glass doors for dogs, this one comes in a variety of flap sizes. From small to Extra Large, it’s good enough to accommodate all types of dogs. With that said, it seems like the weather stripping that comes with this aluminum door is not as efficient as you’d like it to be. If that turns out to be a problem, buy some of your own or go with thermal tape that’s a better option for completely air-tightening the edges.
Sliding Glass Dog Doors FAQ
In this article, we tried to cover everything there is about sliding glass doors for dogs. However, you might still have a few questions in your mind. So, in this section, we’ll go over some of the most commonly asked questions about patio panel pet doors.
Are sliding dog doors safe?
Sliding dog doors are usually safe. Manufacturers equip them with sound locking mechanisms that keep intruders outdoors. If you buy from a high-end manufacturer, then a sliding glass dog door should be as safe as any door.
With that said, it’s understandable why you would feel a bit unsafe with these doors. Firstly, make sure that the door you’re buying fits like a glove with your original sliding glass doors. Secondly, make sure you can properly close the flap. It might be too small for a human to pass through, however, nocturnal animals like raccoons can easily slide in through that door. Also, even if a complete human can’t pass through the flap, a skilled thief can certainly work a lock if he’s able to slide an arm inside.
The best thing to do in this situation is to make sure that the door you’re purchasing locks well with the rest of your patio doors. Also, the flap should be completely locked at night.
How to install a dog sliding glass door?
To install a dog sliding door, first measure the sliding track. There are 2 measurements that you’ll need here. Firstly, the height of the track. You can measure this from the inside of the upper track to the inside of the lower one. Based on this height, you’ll adjust the height of your sliding glass dog door. Ideally, you’d want to know the track’s height even before purchasing the door so you don’t buy the wrong size.
Then, measure the breadth of the track. If the track is too broad or too thin, your sliding door won’t fit. If your door is perfect according to your measurements, you can proceed to install it. For this, just place the bottom of your sliding glass door for dogs in the bottom track and position it accordingly. Once you’re satisfied, feel free to tighten its screws from the bottom. After that, place the top part inside the upper track and tighten the top screws, if any. Some sliding dog doors might require you to put some extra screws or do some drilling, but that entirely depends on the design and the manufacturer.
How to choose a sliding glass door for your dog?
To choose a sliding glass dog door, there are many factors to consider. Firstly, the door’s size should be according to your track. If not, it would be useless. Secondly, the material should be durable and of the highest quality since it’s going to be exposed to extreme outdoor conditions. Proper locking mechanisms should be provided with the door. This is to avoid any mishaps like the entry of unwanted animals in the house.
There are many other factors for choosing sliding glass doors for dogs that are less important but can truly make a difference. These include the design of your door, its color, and the technicality of its installation procedure.