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How to Install a Pet Door

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Installing a pet door is not as difficult as you might think. Whether you want to provide access to your fenced-in yard, or allow cat-only access to the litterbox room, the following tips can help.

Start With the Right Tools

Here’s what you'll need:

  • flathead screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • electric drill
  • jigsaw
  • masking tape
  • nails
  • tape measure
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • optional – ruler, bubble
    level, carpenter's square

Determine Placement
Mark Shape (template)
Cut Hole
Secure door with screws
Choose Your Installation Location
Today's pet doors can be installed virtually anywhere. For example, PetSafe Patio Panels fit sliding doors (and require no cutting!), while PetSafe SmartDoors are ideal for walls and standard doors.

Install Like a Pro
Installation varies by door, but follows this basic model:

  1. Determine vertical door/wall placement – measure from pet's stomach to the floor while pet stands normally; mark surface with measurement (and template, if applicable).

  2. Cut hole for pet door frame

  3. Insert door frame; drill screw holes

  4. Add weather stripping (if applicable)

  5. Secure pet door in door/wall with screws
  • To maintain the structural integrity of the door, place bottom of pet door at least 4"-6" from door bottom.

  • Before a wall installation, measure wall thickness to determine whether you must compensate (with wooden blocks) for a difference in wall vs. door thickness. Also, locate studs before installation.

Preview the Staywell Pet Door Assembly Video below. Please select your connection speed to view the video:

Broadband (300 kbps)     Dial-up (56 kbps)


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