Have mixed thoughts on whether to invest in a dog door? This article will help you reach a decision. We have laid down some points to consider along with its benefits and problems to help you determine whether it’s right for you.

Factors to Consider

Installation Location

Dog doors can be installed in any door or window. It depends on your dog’s preferences. If it likes to be outside, go for the garage door or screen door for easy lawn access. Windows are preferable if your dog is an observer but occasionally goes out. Installing a dog door in walls is another option, but it requires more effort and money.

Width & Height

Some doors are best suited for small breeds like a dachshund, chihuahua, basenji or poodle, while others fit large breeds such as a husky, malamute, collie or retriever. Thus, be sure to measure your dog’s width and height so that it can comfortably walk in and out. Measure from its shoulders to the bottom of its stomach and add two inches to every measurement.

Safety and Security

Whichever dog door you install, make sure it’s safe, especially for toddlers and other small pets. The safest option is an automatic door that only opens for your dog. Don’t forget to lock the door at night. Most come with some sort of locking system to ensure your safety.


Some dogs are dedicated scratchers or chewers. Hence, the door material should be strong enough to withstand anything your dog can throw at it.

Ease of Installation

This varies according to the type of door and surface material you want to mount it on. For instance, installing into wood is easier than installing into a wall. Furthermore, some dog doors can be installed by anyone, while others will need a professional.


It’s important to have a weatherproof dog door for the summer heat, heavy autumn rains or winter snow. It should be able to keep the heat or cold out of your home.


Dog doors come in a wide variety, from traditional to high-end automatic doors. Hence, the price range also varies, from $30 to $600. You need to keep your budget in mind before choosing a dog door.

Potential Benefits


Having a dog door means convenience for both the owner and a pet. If you have long working hours, you don’t have to worry about coming home to let the dog outside for bathroom time. Similarly, when you are busy with house chores, you won’t be interrupted by the dog if it needs to head out.

Mental Stimulation

Dogs are social creatures and being outside is beneficial for them. New sounds, smells and sights promote good mental health in them. It helps them stay young, active, aware and alert of their surroundings. A dog door will give them the freedom to go outside whenever it needs some mental stimulation.

Good Behavior

Everyone knows that when dogs are bored, they tend to engage in destructive activities, especially when not properly trained. They let out their frustration and boredom by ripping apart sofas and cushions and scratching cabinets, tables and chairs. The freedom to go out anytime can eliminate such practices as they get to play, explore and be occupied.


It provides more safety for you and your pet. For example, in case of an emergency like a house fire, your dog would need quick and easy access to run outside or to escape from extreme weather outside such as the scorching heat, heavy snow or rain. It also allows it to inspect strange noises in the backyard or ward off possible intruders without you having to interfere.

Protected Doors

Dogs usually scratch or bang against the door to let you know they want to go outside. However, with a pet door installed, you are less likely to have a damaged door on your hands.

No Indoor Mess

If dogs are kept inside for a long period, they might relieve themselves in the house. Urine and poop cause bad odor and bacteria and are a nuisance to clean. A dog door solves this problem and makes your life much easier. It allows the dog to go out and do its business whenever needed.

Potential Problems

Wildlife Invasion

There is always a possibility of wildlife invading your living space. Animals such as stray cats, raccoons, coyotes, snakes or even alligators are known to enter homes via dog doors. Hence, if the dog door is left unlocked, you might discover these animals wreaking havoc in your house. It’s also dangerous for other pets and children in the house.

Not for Everyone

Mounting a dog door might seem like a good idea, but it has a downside. For instance, if you have a backyard pool, your dog can go out anytime and jump into it, which can be dangerous without any supervision. A toddler can also easily sneak out unseen and drown. In addition, not all houses have fenced gardens, which gives the perfect opportunity for some dogs to run away. It’s enough to have an underground dog fence.

Encourage Undesirable Traits in Dogs

With a well-mannered and obedient pet, a dog door is no issue, but if you have an alpha dog, giving it a door to utilize freely can reinforce its belief that it is in charge.

Dead Animals Inside

Some cats are natural hunters and find clever ways to open doors. If you own a cat that likes to hunt, a dog door will serve as its passage for catching squirrels, birds or mice and bringing its kills inside. Who knows what you’ll find under the pillow, couch and bed or even on the kitchen counter? Similarly, dogs can drag in stuff from the garbage which it sees as food or toy.

Not Intruder-Proof

You can invest in the best high-tech dog door that guarantees security, but a skilled criminal can probably find their way in.

Energy Waste

If the door is not energy-efficient, your dog would be wasting cool or warm air every time it goes in or out. This can cause high energy bills and an uncomfortable atmosphere in your house.

When looking for a dog door, do your homework. Take the important points into consideration and think about all the pros and cons it will bring to your life. Look at what works best for you and your pet, and decide accordingly.