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Carpentry  /  February 28, 2023

Carpenter in Red Deer: Helpful Tips to Remember When Installing a Pet Door

Helpful tips to remember when installing a pet door

A pet door gives dogs and cats a measure of independence. They no longer have to rely on you to let them out when they have to eliminate or when they just want to play. This can be advantageous for pets and owners alike, but you should consider carefully before making the final decision to call a carpenter in Red Deer to have a pet door installed.


It can be embarrassing and frustrating to have to call repair services to reinstall a pet door for you because the first one you got was the wrong size. Choosing a pet door can be particularly challenging if you have more than one pet of different sizes, such as a large dog and a small dog or a cat.

There are three measurements you need to make of each of your pets before you choose your pet door:

  • Widest spot from side to side
  • Height from floor to shoulder blades (then add 2 inches)
  • Distance from the floor to the top of your pet’s front elbow (also known as the “rise”)

Pet doors may not match these measurements exactly, but choose one with dimensions that are a little bigger than your pet’s (or your largest pet’s) measurements to provide some extra clearance. If you have more than one pet, the rise should be short enough so that your smallest pet can step over, but the width and shoulder height should accommodate your largest pet. That way, each of your pets can use the same pet door.

Don’t neglect the measurements if you only have cats as pets. Some breeds can be significantly larger than others, and cat doors aren’t necessarily one size fits all.


The location you choose for your pet door should allow your dog or cat access to an enclosed space. In many houses, this is the backyard, but if you have a fenced-in front yard, you can install your pet door to open onto that part of your property.

Some homeowners are reluctant to install a pet door in an exterior door for fear of voiding the warranty. However, there are other places you may be able to install a door if this is an issue for you. For example, if you have a patio door, you can buy special inserts with built-in pet doors that slide into the track. They are easy to install and, if you change your mind, equally easy to remove, and they don’t void any warranties.

If you’re asking yourself, “Where else can I have a handyman near me install a pet door?” you should know that there are now pet doors that install directly into an exterior wall. This allows you to install the pet door almost anywhere.

Other Options

In the past, when pet doors were essentially just a flap in a traditional door, people had some concerns about safety and security. Wild animals may come into the house through a traditional pet door or, if the opening is large enough, even burglars.

Fortunately, many modern pet doors now have security features built right in. For example, there are magnetic doors that stay closed until your pet pushes them open. These are a good option if you only have one pet or all your pets are roughly the same size, but small pets may not be able to push open a heavy door intended for a large dog.

There are also electronic pet doors that open only for your pets no matter their size. Each pet wears a collar equipped with a special chip. The pet door has a scanning device that opens the door automatically when it detects the chip.

Handyman Connection can help you with the installation of a pet door. Learn more about what we do.

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