A small dog door or pet door installed in a patio door, or even in the exterior wall, allows dogs to come and go as they please. Pet owners don’t have to worry about their animals having accidents in the house, or about the barking, scratching and other undesirable behaviors associated with a pet that wants to get outside. The best dog doors include a locking system, which is either a two-way lock that prevents animals (or people) from entering or exiting, or a one-way lock that allows pets to go out but not to come in. A dog door should also make an airtight, tamper-proof seal to keep out drafts and pests. The two primary factors that affect the cost of installing a dog door are the materials used to build it and the homeowner’s choice to do the work or hire a professional.
Types of dog doors
Dog doors and pet doors are available to fit with any type of patio door and home decor. Homeowners can choose from basic plastic doors with a flap to electronic dog doors that unlock when an infrared signal is transmitted from the pet’s collar. Pet doors can be installed in sliding glass doors, screen doors, wooden French doors, and even walls to the outside or a garage.
Choosing a pet door
Before purchasing a door, measure your pets; a dog door should be about 2 inches taller than the tallest dog. The cost of the door varies greatly depending on the materials. A simple cat door insert with a plastic flap costs as little as $25, while an insert for a paneled wooden door large enough for a medium-sized dog can cost $150. An electronic sliding pet door, which can be installed in a patio door or a wall, ranges from $400 to $1,200, depending on the size.
Installing the pet door
Depending on where the door will be placed, it may be easy enough for the home do-it-yourselfer to install. It’s best to hire a professional if the door will be inserted into an existing door, especially a sliding glass patio door, or cut through a wall.
Hiring a pro
Most professional handymen can handle this type of project, such as Home & Retail Repairs of South Bay in Torrance, California, and Finish Doctor in Murrieta, California. A handyman will charge either an hourly fee or a per-project fee; the cost increases if the handyman provides the pet door. The cost of installation ranges from $125 to $300, plus the cost of the door. For example, Greg Allen of Finish Doctor charges a base price of $125 for a small pet door, such as for a miniature poodle; installing a door for a larger breed such as a German shepherd may cost an additional $100.