Updated March 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Best of the Best
IDEAL PET PRODUCTS Perfect Pet All-Weather Dog Door
Perfect Pet All-Weather Dog Door
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Customer Favorite
Bottom Line

Easy installation, strong frame, and versatile sizes earn this dog door many happy customers.


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.

Best Bang for the Buck
BarksBar Original Plastic Dog
Original Plastic Dog
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Simple Yet Solid
Bottom Line

This bite- and chew-proof pet door is ideal for dogs up to 40 lbs.


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.

PetSafe Plastic Pet Door
Plastic Pet Door
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Most Stylish
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This customizable pet door is available in 4 different sizes to best suit your pet.


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.

The Kitty Pass Interior Cat Door
The Kitty Pass
Interior Cat Door
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Most Fun
Bottom Line

Super cute, no-fuss design that’s easy to use.


A safe way to let your cat in and out of closed doors. The wide opening allows your cat to pass through easily. An amusing design that looks like your kitty's ears. This door measures 7 1/2 inches by 6 1/2 inches and is good for cats up to 20 pounds. This cat door will fit all standard hollow and solid interior doors.


This cat door can't be closed.

Ideal Pet Products Designer Series Plastic Pet Door
Ideal Pet Products
Designer Series Plastic Pet Door
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Durable & Rugged
Bottom Line

This tamper-proof door delivers on both quality and affordability.


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.

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Buying guide for Best pet doors

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.

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You'll find different pet doors for dogs and cats, cat doors being significantly smaller than dog doors.

Types of pet doors

Soft plastic pet doors

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.

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Nicole has been training animals for over 15 years, from bears and tigers to household dogs. A member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, she has been certified by the American Kennel Club as a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and she focuses on positive reinforcement methods so that training is always fun. Every year, Nicole attends SuperZoo, the largest pet product showcase, to research new pet products from cat litter to electric dog toys and she loves sharing what she finds with other pet parents.
Nicole Ellis
Professional Pet Trainer

Hard plastic pet doors

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.

Collar-activated pet doors

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.

Considerations for selecting a pet door


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.

Installation type

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.

Locking mechanism

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.

Frame material

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.

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Some pet doors can be set to in-only or out-only modes. For instance, if your cat is still out when you go to bed, and you'd prefer she stay in overnight, you can set the door to in-only, so she can enter through the pet door when she returns, but can't go back out again.


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.

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