Install a Pet Door

Install a pet door as winter approaches. Pet doors are prefab items that you just fit into a hole that you’ve cut in the door. If you’re worried about security, you can get a one-way dog door–these doors let cats and dogs out, but nothing (that includes dogs, cats, little burglars) can get in.

Cutting the Hole in the Door:

Determine the Size of the Pet Door: To figure out how wide the door should be, measure your animal’s width at its widest point across the torso and shoulders, and add a few inches. Now, calculate the door’s height by measuring from the animal’s shoulders to the bottom of its rib cage. This gives you the high and low points where the door should be installed and accounts for the duck-and-step motion animals use to get through pet doors.

Test Cut: Before you cut into the actual door, use the measurements to cut an opening in a piece of corrugated cardboard and see if your pet can comfortably step through it. Tweak the dimensions as necessary. At first, your pet may be a little apprehensive about going through the door. To coax him through it, put some food on the other side of the door–that’ll get him going. After that, your pet will quickly learn how to go through it.

Cut the Door:

Once you’ve determined the correct size for your dog, cut the hole in the door and insert the pet door.

I got a dog. I understand the idea of your pet getting in and out of the house on its own seems ever more appealing. After all, opening the door every time Rex wants to go out means letting in all that bitter cold air. It also means you have to get up from the comfort of your favorite chair. A pet door sounds like a good solution.