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DIY Dog Door Installation

Okay, so a dog door installation might seem like an intimidating project to undertake and I can understand why! You are literally cutting a hole into a perfectly working door!  But this is much easier than it seems!  

Step One: Choose Your Door

Most doggie doors will have size guides to assist you in selecting the right door and the right size.  You will want to make sure that you get a door that is not too small for your dog.  If the door is too small they will be less likely to use it.  

For me, my tiny puppy quickly and surprisingly turned into a tiny horse!  He is very tall, 25.5 inches at the shoulder,  so it took me some digging to find the perfect extra large door.  I also was very particular on the type of flap that I wanted on my door.  I did not want the normal rubbery, flimsy flap most doggie doors have. This is because those doors tend to let cold air in and never stay shut.  So, I went with the PATAPLUS Aluminum Frame Large Dog Door with heavy-duty flaps.  

Like I mentioned this is a rather large doggie door, if you are looking for another option I have linked a smaller one below.  The smaller one is the one my sister has and is very happy with! 

dog door installation
pet door installation

Step Two: Mark the Door Placement

To mark the placement of my doggie door I started with the height of the opening.  I used my dog’s shoulder height plus one inch to determine where the top of the opening should sit. 

My doggie door came with a printed template.  With my height determined, I then marked the center of my [human] door and then placed the template on the door.  

Dog Door Installation
family handyman

Step Three: Drill Holes in Marked Corners

dog doors

With the template taped to the door I drilled a hole in each corner.  Then I used my level and drew lines between each of the holes. 

Step Four: Cutout the Opening

I used my jig saw to cut along the drawn lines and completely cutout the hole for the doggie door.  Make sure you wear protective eyewear for this step!

I did end up having to cut from both the inside and outside of my door because I did not have a new long metal blade.  There was just no way I wasn’t installing this door as soon as I received it so I made due with what I had on hand. 

door install
home improvement

I should have planned & ordered a blade at the same time I order my door, so for my lessons learned –

  • Use a new blade 
  • If your door is wide, make sure you have a longer than standard blade
  • Use the appropriate blade for the material of your door. (Metal blade for a metal door or wood blade for a wood door)

Step Five: Insert the Door Frame

With your opening cut out, first dry fit the frame by placing the interior and exterior on either side of the door.  Once you’ve made sure everything fits then pull the frame out and run caulk sealant around the opening and then press the frame back into place.  Use clamps to hold in place temporarily.

dog door installation

Step Six: Screw the Frame into the Door

Most doggies doors will come with screws included; however, since my door is metal the included screws were not holding.  Instead I used Teks self-drilling lath screws and they worked perfectly! 

outside frame

With my doggie door installed, all that was left was training my dogs to use it!  This didn’t take long at all!  My dogs are very happy to be able to pop in and out when they want, all day long.  And I am very happy to no longer have dogs constantly whining at the door to go in and out! 

dog door installation

Looking for more Dog DIYs?  Check out our DIY raised dog bowls here

Links for Dog Door Installation

Dog Door Installation

DIY Doggie Door Installation

Prep Time 15 minutes
Build Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Dry Time 30 minutes


  • Tape Measure
  • Level
  • Drill
  • 3/8" Drill Bit
  • Jig Saw
  • Jig Saw Blade
  • Caulk Gun


  • 1 Doggie Door
  • 1 tube Sealant Caulk
  • 14 1" Tek Self Drilling Lath Screws


  • Choose your Doggie Door.
  • Mark the Placement for the Doggie Door.
  • Drill Corner Holes.
  • Cutout Opening for Doggie Door.
  • Insert the Doggie Door Frame on either side of the cut out.
  • Screw the frame to the Door.
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