Tips for Finding the Right Dog Door Size for Your Furry Friend

Tips for Finding the Right Dog Door Size for Your Furry Friend

As a responsible pet owner, providing your furry friend with the freedom to move in and out of the house at their convenience is essential. Installing a dog door allows your canine companion to enjoy the outdoors, get some exercise, and relieve themselves without requiring your constant assistance. However, finding the perfect dog door size is crucial to ensure your pet’s comfort and safety. There are dog doors in all sizes, so in this guide, we’ll explore various methods to help you determine the right dog door size for your beloved companion.

1. Measure Your Pet’s Width and Height:

To find the ideal dog door size, start by measuring your pet’s width and height. Open your door or sliding glass door as wide as your pet needs to walk through comfortably. Measure the width of the opening to ensure the flap door is at least that wide, providing enough space for your pet to pass through easily. For the height, have your pet stand upright, and measure from the floor to the tallest point of their back. This measurement will help determine the height of the dog door that allows smooth passage for your furry friend.

2. Consider Adding a Step-Over:

Adding a step-over is essential, especially for door installations. The step-over refers to the height from the bottom of your door to the base of the pet door. Consider your pet’s height and add the step-over height to the measurement. Ensure the top of the flap is mounted at least 1″ higher than the combined height. For dogs with specific health conditions or age-related issues, opt for a lower step-over for easy access.

3. Utilize Breed-Based Pet Door Size Charts:

Pet door manufacturers often provide size charts based on different dog breeds. These charts offer a quick reference to determine the appropriate flap size for your pet’s breed. For example:

  • Small Size (6″ x 7″): Suitable for Cats, Chihuahuas, Yorkies, and small dog breeds.
  • Medium Size (8″ x 15″): Ideal for Beagles, Cocker Spaniels, and Poodles.
  • Large Size (10″ x 19″): Suitable for Labradors, German Shepherds, and Golden Retrievers.
  • Extra-Large Size (12″ x 23″): Perfect for Great Danes, St. Bernards, and other large breeds [2].

4. Account for Multiple Pets:

If you have multiple pets, consider the step-over height to be low enough for the smallest pet, while the flap’s maximum height should accommodate the tallest pet. This way, all your pets can comfortably access the dog door.

5. Measure Your Door or Wall:

Apart from measuring your pet, it’s crucial to measure your door or wall before installing a pet door. Determine the rough opening size and the outer frame size for proper fitting. For sliding glass door pet doors, measure the track height accurately to ensure a perfect fit.

6. Plan for Your Pet’s Growth:

If you have a young puppy or kitten, consider their potential growth when choosing the dog door size. Predicting their approximate adult size based on their parents’ size can help you make the right purchase, ensuring the door remains suitable as they grow.


Choosing the right dog door size is vital to ensure your furry friend’s comfort and ease of access. By measuring your pet’s width and height, accounting for step-overs, and utilizing breed-based size charts, you can confidently select the perfect pet door. Planning for your pet’s growth and considering the needs of multiple pets further ensures a dog door that remains functional and convenient for years to come. So, go ahead and provide your furry companion with the freedom they deserve!

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Tips for Finding the Right Dog Door Size for Your Furry Friend
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