How to Pick the Correct-Sized Dog Door

By Maya Marin

A dog door offers your pooch the freedom to go in and out when he chooses, which leads to less indoor "accidents" for him and more peace of mind for you. However, it's important that you purchase the right sized door. Doing so will ensure your dog's safety, as a too-small door can cause injury. In addition, the correct door for the job will also increase the longevity of your investment. Do the following in order to pick the perfect door for your pooch.

Items You Will Need:

• Tape measure
• Large piece of cardboard
• Scissors
• Dog treat

Step 1

Measure your dog’s width with the tape measure. Take this measurement across the widest part of your dog’s chest. Add an additional 2 inches to this measurement to ensure your dog will be able to pass through the door safely. This measurement will be the minimum width of your dog door.

Step 2

Measure your dog’s height from the top of his back to the lowest part of his chest, usually right behind the front legs. Add an additional 2 inches to this measurement. This is the recommended height of the dog door.

Step 3

Cut an opening with these measurements in a large piece of cardboard. Encourage your dog, with a treat, to step through the cardboard. Watch how your dog moves through the opening. If he has difficulty, add additional inches as needed.

Step 4

Consider the rise of the dog door when choosing a particular type. The rise refers to the height the door will be above the ground when installed. For short-legged dogs or dogs suffering with arthritis, lifting their legs may be difficult. While the opening measurement of a door is important, the rise height is also a factor.

by Deborah Lundin

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Resources:

Moore Pet Supplies: How to Measuring Your Pet for a Pet Door
PetEdge: How to Select the Right Pet Door
Hale Pet Door: Sizing Information

About the Author
Deborah Lundin is a professional writer with more than 20 years of experience in the medical field and as a small business owner. She studied medical science and sociology at Northern Illinois University. Her passions and interests include fitness, health, healthy eating, children and pets.