Whether you are a working pet parent or not, the benefits of having a pet door are many. Allowing your pet unlimited access to the back yard, or other outdoor space gives them independence in their toilet needs. No more holding it in until you get home to let them out, or risking accidents inside the house. Another benefit is being able to give your pet access to an inside space, whether it be the house, garage or other area in the event of bad weather. It’s a huge plus if you have to be away from your pet for a length of time.
If you have a high energy pet, giving them the ability to come and go freely can help overcome some common behavioral issues, like destructive chewing, barking, and destroying furniture. Boredom is one of the most common reasons for these issues, and having free access to the outdoors to run off steam while chasing squirrels in the yard, may be just what your pet needs.
Mental stimulation for your pet is often overlooked. The sights, smells and sounds that are found outside can provide this stimulation, and is as healthy for your pet as what it is for humans.
You’ve decided it’s time. Whether it’s giving Fido access to the back yard, or that Fluffy’s litter box needs to be relegated to the garage, the Ruff-Weather Pet Door with Telescoping Frame may be just the product for you.
This affordable and easy to install door is available in four sizes;
- Small 5”x 9.5” flap size for pets 2-12lbs
- Medium 7.25” x 13” flap size for pets 13-35lbs
- Extra Large 9.75” x 17” flap size for pets 36-90lbs
- Super Large 15” x 23.5” flap size for pets 91-120lbs
Not sure what size door to buy? The easiest way to check proper size, is to measure the height of your pet from the ground to the top of the shoulders. If you are buying this door for different sized pets, go with the size that best matches your largest pet.
MUST KNOW TRUE FACTS
There are 10 things to keep in mind when purchasing a pet door, and here are how they apply to the Ruff-Weather Pet Door with Telescoping Frame.
Mode of operation – Is the door manual or automated?
The Ruff-Weather pet door is not automated. Your pet will need to be trained to push aside the flaps if they do not already know how to do so.
Sizes available – pet sizes and door measurements.
The Ruff-Weather pet door comes in 4 sizes from small to super large.
Functionality and technological features
While there are no electronic features (this unit is not automated with chip sensors), this is a very functional, manual pet door.
The Ruff-Weather pet door kit comes with one solid sliding panel that is lockable. Additional sliding panels can be purchased separately.
High quality molded foam plastic construction. This product comes assembled and ready to install.
Door cover or flaps
Durable, clear, double vinyl flaps, one on the inside, and one on the outside of the unit.
The high-quality frame can be installed into doors or walls, although wall installation needs an extension kit that needs to be purchased separately.
Weatherproofing and insulation features
Double vinyl flaps create an insulated pocket of air. There are dual magnetic strips on the bottom of the flaps to ensure that the flaps fall back into place after your pet has used it.
Telescoping design allows you to install this pet door in to doors of multiple thicknesses.
This product has clear and well written installation instructions. It comes with a template for marking both marking the area to be cut, and the placement of screw holes. Installation is easily accomplished by someone with only moderate handyman skills. Should be an easy job for a contractor or handyman.
Tools required (but not limited to depending on your installation area)
Hammer and awl (or nail)
Drill with ½ “ and 3/8 “ drill bits
Electric screwdriver with Phillips bit
FEATURES AND BENEFITS
The Ruff-Weather pet door is made from high-quality molded foam plastic, with a frame that adapts to doors from ¾” to 1 3/4” thick.
This product comes already assembled. Installation is as easy as cut, place, and screw it together.
The unit can be installed into wood and metal doors, as well as doors with raised panels.
This pet door can be installed into a wall. The pet door wall kit is designed to be installed in walls from 4-3/4” to 7-1/4” thick. This is sold separately.
Kit includes everything you need to install the pet door including;
- The frame and all hardware needed.
- Template used to mark out the hole to be cut, as well as the placement of screws.
Instructions are clear and well worded. Videos are available for help with installation.
The double vinyl flap door creates a 3” air pocket for maximum insulation.
Heavy vinyl flaps are clear allowing pet to see through.
Magnets on the bottom of the flaps make sure that the flaps fall back into place each time your pet uses the door.
Weather stripping seal on vinyl flaps.
Safety door, lock panel that slides down over the flaps and prevents your pet from going in or out. Tab that locks it in place. Slots on both inside and outside.
Limited one-year warranty from manufacturer.
Durable construction allows for years of use.
Easy to keep clean.
Suitable for both dogs and cats.
Multiple door sizes available to accommodate any sized pet.
Easy installation process, with clear instructions.
Product can be installed on metal or wood doors, including flat and raised panel. Raised panel door installation may require caulking or extra weatherproofing.
Vinyl flaps are easily removed for cleaning or replacement.
Magnets on the bottom of the flaps can accumulate dirt and debris from traffic.
Bottom of the door has the slots for the solid sliding panel and will accumulate dirt and debris from use. and will need to be vacuumed periodically.
Installation in raised panel doors can be tricky. The door is designed to sit flush with a flat door so there are areas on a raised panel door that will need to be filled in with wood putty or caulk.
The vinyl flaps will become stiff when it is cold out. This may affect the ease of use and functionality in areas of the country where winter temperatures can reach -20 or below.
Wall installation in houses that have lapped siding could be tricky. The rounded corners of the unit don’t allow siding to be butted up against it evenly. This requires possible extra cutting of your siding for a secure fit. The Manufacturer does not have the option for a square, lapped siding unit at this time. All units have the rounded corners.
On the exterior frame of the unit, there is only a thin gasket that is meant to seal the unit from the outside elements. In areas of the country with mild weather, this should be sufficient, but if you tend to lean more towards ‘better safe than sorry’, it might be a good idea to invest in a good outdoor silicone sealer or caulk to fill in any gaps.
As this a manual, non-automated door, if you have both dogs and cats, it will be difficult to keep the cats inside while still allowing the dogs access through the door. For automated electronic dog doors please see our article on Best Electronic Dog Doors [For Wall or Sliding Glass Door]
The above also applies if you have a crawling infant/toddler in the house. This pet door does not restrict access to anyone or anything small enough to fit through it.
CHECK CAREFULLY BECAUSE…
Door clearance – The frame itself sticks out about a 2 ½” on the outside of the door, and 2 ¼ “on the inside of the door. If you are installing the pet door on a door that has a handle, you will want to double- check the clearance before you settle on placement, and begin cutting the door.
Magnets- The magnets on the bottom of the vinyl flaps are strong, and in most climates do a great job of keeping the flaps closed and energy efficient. If the door/wall you have installed the door on faces into the wind, you may find you need extra magnets to keep it closed. Extra magnets are not available from the manufacturer and in the event that you require them, they will have to be purchased and attached on your own.
The magnets, and the slots that hold the magnets, will accumulate dirt and grime from use. As a result, they will end up not sticking closed as well as intended. The magnets, however, are not designed to be removable, and you risk damaging the flap if you take it apart yourself for cleaning.
Safety – Safety is always a concern when there is open access to your home through a pet door. Included in the kit is a sliding lock panel that doubles as security, so that an intruder can’t gain unfettered access to your home, as well as to either keep your pet in or out of the house. General consensus though, is that an intruder will hopefully think twice about entering a house through a dog door that is large enough for an adult to pass through.
The solid sliding door panel is not attached to the unit and needs to be manually slotted into place each time you need to use it.
Moisture – high humidity or high rainfall areas, it is possible for moisture to accumulate on inside of flaps. This brings about the possibility of drips inside the house and/or mold.
While your dogs and cats may already be used to a one flap design door, the Ruff-Weather pet door with its double flap design, may take some additional training. An easy way to do this is to raise inside flap, and secure it, so that your pet can get used to one flap at a time. Slowly lowering the raised flap over a period of time helps pet get used to double flap design.
If your pet is new to using a pet door, they might initially be reluctant to use it. Liberal use of treats, coaxing and praise should go a long way to making your pet understand what the pet door is there for. On the whole, it shouldn’t take your pet more than a couple of weeks to get the hang of it and be using the door independently.
MEASURE TWICE. CUT ONCE! It might sound cliché, but it is still as applicable as ever. Even though the instructions are clear, and the template is easy to use, ALWAYS double check your measurements before you cut.
It is advisable to first cut a small hole in the wall you are looking to install the unit. This allows you to note if there are any electrical wires, plumbing pipes, or any other blockages that stand in the way of installation. It’s far easier to patch a small hole and find a new spot, than it is to patch a pet door sized hole.
Most homes are built with studs measuring 16” apart leaving approximately a 14 ½ “space between them to install the unit between. If you are looking at buying the extra-large or super large door, you will find that the studs in your home pose an installation problem. You will have to cut through the stud, possibly affecting wall stability to install either of these larger sizes.
There are no bolt channel guides to help with threading the 8” bolts from one side of the unit to the other though the thickness of the wall, which can be challenging. Be prepared to spend some time threading the 8, 8” bolts through the wall.
The unit does not come with any additional insulation for inside the walls, around the unit.
While the Ruff-Weather pet door can be installed on any wood or metal door, including raised panel or decorative doors, special care needs to be taken if the door itself isn’t flat.
This unit is meant to be mounted, and works best if installed onto a flat surface, where the gaskets sit flush, and allow for a weatherproof seal once tightened. If you are looking at installing it into a raised panel door, or any other door that is not perfectly flat, you will have to ‘fill in’ the areas where the unit does not sit flush with the door. Foam insulation, silicone sealer, or whatever your personal favorite brand of caulk or wood putty is, should work perfectly.
Hollow core doors – Hollow core doors have very little by way of support inside the door itself. If you are installing this pet door in a hollow core door, care needs to be taken not to tighten the bolts so tightly that they begin to crush the area of the wooden door around the frame.
There are slots on the bottom of the unit, beneath both inside and outside flaps. These slots allow for the solid, sliding security panel to securely fit into place. These slots will collect dirt and debris from your pet using the door. A quick run over with the hose of your vacuum cleaner should clean up all but the worst messes.
Simple yet effective telescoping design
Affordable price point
Can be used for dogs or cats
Easy to follow directions
Installation on average takes 1-2 hours depending on prep work, and tools available
When all things are said and done; this is a great pet door for the price point. Yes, there are pricier and fancier models out there, but the Ruff-Weather Pet Door is an all-around, hard-working door for the simplicity of the design. Reviews are mixed for some aspects of the installation and whether or not the flaps are as weatherproof and insulating as the manufacturer claims, but on the whole, pet owners who have bought this product have been satisfied enough to buy it again.
As all pet owners know, with heavy use, things are going to need to be replaced. This pet door is no exception. Whether it is heavy traffic from multiple pets, high energy pets that barrel through the door, or the extremes of our country’s weather that eventually wears the unit out to the point that it needs replacing, the majority of current owners would replace the unit with the same model.
This door might not be for you if;
- If you have multiple pets, some of whom are allowed to use the door and others that aren’t.
- If you had a small child that could fit through the door.
- If you are worried about stray or wild animals using the door to access your home.
- If you are worried about your pets bringing in the kind of ‘treasures’ pets, especially cats, love to bring in to their owners.
You may want to look into a product like this one that reads your pet’s implanted ID chip;
If you are looking for a simple, affordable pet door option that’s easy to install, stands up well to your pet’s wear and tear, and does a good job keeping out the weather, then the Ruff-Weather Pet Door is the one for you.