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I want to install a pet door to allow my dog to let herself out. The door would run out onto a deck attached to the back of the house. On the wall connected to the deck, I have a sliding glass door and enough wall space that the pet door could be located in a bunch of different situations. So the question is, what would be the preferred location/installing method?

  • In the sliding glass door itself? (Seems difficult if not impossible)
  • In the wall next to the door, between studs? (Cutting through drywall, insulation, and the exterior wall/siding)
  • In the wall centered on a stud? (Not sure how much this would differ from option 2)

Once the hole is made, would you frame around it? Do they sell pet door designed for exactly this (vs placing in an existing metal or wood door)?

  • A few questions: Any cats you want to keep inside? And, if so, is Roxy too skittish to handle the robotic door needed to keep Kirby inside? – stack Aug 5 '10 at 22:33
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    I obviously kept up with this really well. Cats should stay in, dog should go out. – Jordan H. Sep 27 '13 at 17:55
  • Hahaha, coming back to this for reference in the new house? – stack Sep 27 '13 at 18:42
  • No, I just finally managed to combine all of my stackexchange accounts into one so that it wasn't such a terrible experience logging in. :-) And then I saw a notification for this! – Jordan H. Sep 27 '13 at 18:50
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Looks like they do sell pet doors for that purpose. You can even pick the size.

As far as installing it, I think the last thing you want to do is center it on a stud.

  • You could center it on a stud if the wall was built in such a way where it had a header. It would be like a little window with jack studs and king studs. Just no cripples. Wouldn't apply in this case however. – Brian Aug 5 '10 at 15:15
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I would go with an in-wall installation - since you live in Fargo, you're likely to want the extra insulation it can provide.

PetCo carries the Perfect Pet All Weather Series Insulated Pet Door and has a "wall kit" that boxes in the area of the hole.

picture of pet door
(source: petco.com)

Something you might have to take consideration of, depending on the wildlife in your area, is that other animals may figure out how to use the door to get in your house. There are different types of electronic doors that you can get that have a tag you put on your dog's collar to allow them in and out.

Our door is a more basic version of the PetCo one I linked above, but has a sliding panel on the inside that closes the pet door. Unfortunately, one of our dogs is afraid of the plastic flapper, so he won't use it.

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My in-laws have a sliding glass door pet door. The door fits inside the track of the door. It works well for them. Perhaps you should check it out: http://www.amazon.com/PetSafe-Deluxe-Panels-Sliding-Medium/dp/B000633RX8

It matches the height of the sliding glass door. The model they have has clear glass so you don't lose visibility. Other models may be completely plastic on the inside with an aluminum frame.

It can be removed because it has a spring catch at the top which you use to fit it to the door. Imagine it cupping the upper track and you can slide it up/down with your hand. This is the least intrusive solution I think.

Once installed, the sliding glass door butts up against the pet door insert so the dogs only go through the pet door. You can add strip insulation where the sliding glass door and pet door meet to reduce air from escaping.

  • The reviews seem to say that it doesn't seal very well. I live in Fargo, ND, so winters are a little...cold. :-) This looks interesting though. Would you happen to have a picture of this installed? I'm wondering how it looks from the inside and if the sliding door loses its seal against the stationary window (the gap between them when the door slides). – Jordan H. Aug 4 '10 at 20:55
  • I don't have a picture unfortunately. I am in Florida so the winters don't get nearly as cold. The sliding glass door does not move, however. – Brian Aug 4 '10 at 21:54
  • Improving the insulation is probably easier than modifying your whole wall. – endolith Jul 21 '11 at 21:19

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