A pet door can seem like a small and insignificant home improvement that many home-owners don’t always bother with – after all, you can let a pet outside by just opening an ordinary door, right? Well, that’s true up to a point, but there are still plenty of good reasons to install a pet door on your property – one of them being that it can be done with a basic toolbox and hardly takes any time at all!
Why Install a Pet Door?
There are a number of reasons to install a pet door on your property, including the following:
- It gives the pet freedom of movement all day long, so you don’t need to be watching out for when it’s standing by the door waiting to be let out or to enter again for his or her pouch.
- In the case of cats especially, it allows you to leave the house for a couple of hours without running the risk of finding any unwelcome pet waste on your return.
- Once installed it remains a permanent fixture on your property that requires little maintenance and could even add value to your property.
Installing a Pet Door
- First of all, make sure you carefully and properly measure the size of your pet. All cats and dogs vary significantly in size, and you need to be sure they can use the pet door easily and without risk of harming themselves. If you have more than one pet you want to use the door, be sure to measure the largest animal for the sake of the door’s measurements.
Now choose your door from a local retailer or wholesaler. Doors come in a range of designs and materials, and you’ll want to find one that blends neatly with your existing home décor. Doors should be two inches wider and two inches taller than the final pet measurements you’ve come up with.
Once you have the kit at home, draw a template onto the door in the exact position you want it installed. Mark the position of any screw or drilling holes that need to be inserted before installation begins.
Cut into the door frame (being careful to avoid the drill holes) using the pet door outline or frame as a stencil or guide. Be sure to sand down any rough edges afterwards, and make sure you only cut into the door once you’ve established that it won’t damage the overall structure and security of the fitting as a whole.
Next, insert the outer frame of the pet door from the exterior side of the property. If the cut-out has been done properly this should fit neatly into the existing hole in the door – if it doesn’t quite slot into place, you might need to sand down the hole or cut off an additional section (again, be careful to measure this first).
Now you can insert the inner frame with the flap and hold the door into place while drilling and tightening all the necessary bolts and screws that will hold the three sections securely in place. A single screw should extend right to the outer frame and be capped on the interior side of the property.
Before finishing you can add some extra caulking to prevent any air leaks or additional holes forming around the pet door throughout its use. Make sure you leave this to dry and settle before you let your pet approach the fitted door.
Finally, it’s time to teach your pet how to use the pet door. This may take a little perseverance, as some animals can be reluctant to try something so new – but with a little goading and positive reinforcement there’s no reason they won’t be using it independently in just a couple of weeks! If you need extra help, there are a number of online guides aimed at helping your pet become accustomed to using such a device.
Of course, installing a new pet door can be a tricky business, especially if you are fitting it into the front door of a property (which – for security reasons – isn’t always advisable). If you lack the necessary DIY experience in this area you can always hire a professional contractor to fit the door for you instead. This might seem a tad unnecessary for such a small home-improvement, but they’ll able to fit the door quickly and without running the risk of damaging the main door – giving you a little extra peace of mind.
Having a pet can be extremely nice, and bring in lots of improvement in your daily routine. Sometimes pets can be also useful, so don’t be discouraged from installing a little entrance all for them.