In addition to fast, simple installation, this door boasts energy-efficient materials and sturdy construction. Works just as well when installed in a wall as it does in a door. Comes in a choice of 4 sizes.
Magnetic strips at the bottom of the door don't always seal properly, resulting in drafts. Pricey and somewhat noisy.
This door features an aluminum edging and impact-resistant frame that are durable enough to allow for everyday use. Also comes with magnetic closures and a weatherproof flap that prevents wind and rain from getting in.
Some customers have found that the flaps wear and tear easily.
Comes with a durable white frame that can be painted to fit your decor. Snap-on closure allows you to control your pet’s access. Also includes a weather-resistant flap design to stay closed and protect from the weather.
A few customers found the doors difficult to install.
Smooth and wide openings allow for safe entry and exit. Comes with easy-to-understand installation instructions and a door template. Complete installation in 25 minutes or less. Can be painted to match decor.
Several reports of the door being too small. A few longevity concerns.
Impact-resistant frame keeps door secured at all times. Also features a flexible vinyl flap with a closing sill. Comes complete with a lock-out slide to restrict pet’s access when needed. Available in 4 sizes for pets up to 120 lbs.
A couple of users found the doors to be much smaller than expected.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Whether you're the proud parent to a dog or a cat, pet doors offer a convenient solution for letting them in and out of the yard.
Pet doors give pets the freedom to go out of the house into the backyard or some such area to stretch their legs and expend that extra energy by running around, chasing leaves.
A pet door is also advantageous in letting your pets take care of their business so they don’t accidentally make a mess inside the house in case you get delayed taking them out at their regular time.
In order to choose the door that will work best for your home and your pet, there are a few key factors you'll want to consider.
Soft plastic pet doors have flexible, soft plastic flaps for your pet to push his way through.
Soft plastic pet doors are ideal for cats and small dogs who might not feel confident going through hard plastic flaps.
Many soft plastic pet doors are relatively inexpensive.
Some basic, soft plastic pet doors don't lock at all, and most that do have a separate slide-in or clip-on panel, which is much less convenient than other options.
Soft plastic pet doors aren't as durable as hard plastic models.
Price: You can find small, basic models for less than $10. Large, high-end options can cost $60 to $80.
Hard plastic pet doors have heavier, sturdier doors, made from rigid plastic.
Hard plastic pet doors are easier and more convenient to lock.
You'll find most hard plastic pet doors are more durable and secure than soft plastic models.
Some pets feel less confident pushing their way through a hard plastic door.
High-end hard plastic pet doors can be expensive.
Price: While you can find some basic hard plastic cat doors around the $10 to $20 mark, larger models suitable for dogs cost at least $30 to $40, with high-end units fetching as much as $500.
These pet doors are designed to open only for pets that are wearing a special chip-containing tag on their collar.
Collar-activated pet doors are designed to stop unwanted visitors from entering your house — for instance, neighborhood cats or wildlife.
If you have multiple pets, and some are allowed to go in and out of the house freely but others aren't, a collar-activated pet door is ideal.
Most collar-activated pet doors are very sturdy and secure.
You may find there's a bit of a learning curve figuring out how to set and program a collar-activated pet door.
Collar-activated pet doors are usually more expensive than other options.
Price: You can find collar-activated pet doors starting around $60, with sliding electronic models costing up to $600.
Pay close attention to both the height and the width of your chosen pet door, to make sure your furry friend can comfortably fit through it.
You'll find the door measurements in the product description, but you may need to get out your trusty measuring tape to measure your pet, if you're not sure whether he'll fit.
The most common pet door installation type is door-mounted, where the pet door is fitted to hole in the door to your yard.
However, you can also buy wall-mounted units, or pet doors that fit into sliding patio doors.
Think about which variety works best for you, depending on which type of door you have and where it's positioned in relation to your yard.
Different pet doors have different types of locking mechanisms — and some don't lock at all.
We've already discussed automatically locking/unlocking collar-activated pet doors, which are an excellent option.
You can also find pet doors that lock with a bolt, with the press of a button, or with the flick of a switch, all of which are quite convenient.
Some basic pet doors, however, have a separate panel that slides into place to block entry. This is the least convenient option, and isn't ideal, especially if you lock and unlock your pet door every day.
The majority of pet doors have plastic frames, but you can also find a handful of models with metal or wooden frames.
As long as the plastic is heavy duty it should stand the test of time, unless your dog is a keen chewer, in which case you might be better off splashing out for a metal option.
Wooden frames aren't always the most durable and will degrade over time, but some people find them more aesthetically pleasing if mounted in a wooden door.
You may want to look for a pet door with a frame that matches the color of the door or wall you mount it into.
Our expert, Nicole, has a tip for kitten or puppy parents: "Consider your pet's size when full grown when looking for a door — you don’t want to have to install a new one in just four months."
You can find electronic pet doors that slide up as your pet approaches, and down again once she's safely through the door. These are usually collar-activated.
Look out for weatherproof pet doors that won't leak or become easily damaged in extreme weather.
Make sure your yard is completely secure if you're going to let your dog freely in and out through a pet door.
Some pet doors have timers so that they won't let your pet out past a certain hour. This is useful if you're trying to curb your cat's nocturnal wanderings or your dog's midnight barking sessions.
Q. What if my pet doesn't like going through his door at first?
A. Nicole has shed some light on this common issue. "Don’t be surprised if your pet won’t go through the door immediately — it’s something new and not familiar for him. Practice holding up the flaps and calling him through the door. As your pet goes through the door, verbally praise him and reward with a treat. Once this is easy for your pet, try putting down the flap and calling your pet from the other side. Remember to use lots of praise as he goes through the door. In no time your pet will be coming and going through on his own."
Q. Are pet doors difficult in install?
A. Unless you're a DIY expert, you'll probably find a pet door very difficult to install. You'll need specialist tools and a very steady hand. As such, we recommend that most people have their pet door installed by a professional, especially if you opt for a wall-mounted model.
Q. Where should I position my pet door?
A. Most people place their pet doors in their back door, leading out to the back yard. However, this doesn't work for everyone, because the door to your yard might not be in a convenient location, or you might not have a door to the area you want to let your pets into. In this case, a wall-mounted unit might serve you better, as you have more flexibility about where you can position it.