If you’re thinking that living in cold weather means you can’t have a dog door, you’re wrong! Luckily, dog doors made specifically for cold weather climates will give you and your pet the freedom you’ve always desired. Picking a cold weather door might sound difficult, but the following guidelines will lead you to your Best Dog Door for Cold Weather!
- 1 How are Cold Weather Dog Doors Different from Normal doggy doors?
- 2 Installation and Maintenance Cost of a Winter Dog Door
- 3 Should I wait until after winter to install my cold weather doggie door?
- 4 What size winter dog door should I purchase?
- 5 Are doggie doors safe?
- 6 How high up should I install my dog door?
- 7 What type of winter dog door is best?
- 8 Where can I install my doggie door?
- 9 What features should I look for in a winter dog door?
- 10 What is the difference between a door with a magnetic seal and a non-magnetic seal?
- 11 I have multiple pets. How do I pick a cold weather dog door?
- 12 What do I need to do to maintain my winter dog door?
- 13 Other Considerations
- 14 Dog Door Specifications
- 15 Age and Breed of Your Dog
- 16 Build, Health, and Agility of Your Dog
- 17 Multiple Pet Home
- 18 What cold weather pet door should I buy?
- 19 Ideal Pet Products Ruff-Weather Pet Door:
- 20 PetSafe Freedom Patio Panel Sliding Glass Pet Door:
- 21 PetSafe Wall Entry Aluminum Pet Door:
- 22 PetSafe Extreme Weather energy efficient Door:
- 23 Endura Flap Pet Door
- 24 PERFECT PET The All-Weather Energy Efficient Dog Door
How are Cold Weather Dog Doors Different from Normal doggy doors?
If you live in a colder climate but choose to install a normal dog door, in addition to not being weather durable, your door will most likely let out heat. By choosing a dog door specifically designed to keep out harsh weather, you are picking one that will last longer and save you maintenance costs!
And if you think the thickest winter dog door possible will offer you all the protection you need from the cold weather conditions, you’ll be surprised at the many features of cold weather doors you never knew you needed!
The weather seals used in cold weather dog doors have been used in doors for malls and movie theaters, so you know they will get the job done. These often use a dual-flap design to provide up to three times extra insulation than single-flap doors, ensuring minimal energy loss. These double flaps are sometimes magnetically enhanced with a magnetic strip for maximum efficiency.
Special attention is paid to the corners, which are often thoroughly fitted with metal fasteners and clips to ensure durability. Cold weather doggie doors are often made of extremely durable aluminum frames that will hold up in rain, snow, and wind. Winter doggy doors are specifically tested to ensure construction withstands winds up to 40 mph and harsh winter conditions. __
Installation and Maintenance Cost of a Winter Dog Door
In order to minimize the maintenance cost of your winter doggy door, you should thoroughly consider where to install it. Because high humidity areas can cause your dog door panels to freeze up, you should avoid mounting the door near any wall-vents.
When moisture from any wall vent covers the panel, ice can form on the weather seal and freeze the door panels to the frame. This renders your dog door useless and you might find yourself having to repeatedly pay for maintenance because of a poor installation location. Another location to avoid installing near is any area where it could be misted by water, such as near sprinkler heads.
Additionally, depending on the type of door you select and where you choose to install it, yours may require a frame extender, a cut-out and specialized cutting tools that will cost extra. Read up on the tools that are included (such as bolts and clips) and what is required for installation when browsing dog doors. Many websites include a short video of how to install the doggy door that will give you an idea of how much time, effort, and money you’ll need to put into the door installation.
Should I wait until after winter to install my cold weather doggie door?
You might be surprised to hear that winter is actually the best season to install your new cold weather dog door! What better way to test out the durability of your winter pooch door then to install it during winter? The biggest issue with waiting until the warmer seasons to install your door is you won’t be able to tell if there is proper sealing with the door installation. Rather than waiting until winter comes around to notice there is a draft, installing during the winter ensures proper installation that will last you through the year and longer!
What size winter dog door should I purchase?
to grow. You’ll want to compare your dog’s measurements to each brand’s specific sizing chart in order to pick the right size dog door. If you have multiple pets, make sure your pick a door tall enough for your largest pet.
Are doggie doors safe?
Many dog doors employ safety features such as self-locking and removable security panels, a sturdy locking cover, compatibility with microchips and smart collars, and even magnetic strip closure of door flaps to keep out unwanted animals. To keep out both animal and human intruders, pick a size suited for your pet rather than the largest one possible.
You’ll want to check that the interior lock of your dog door is not reachable from the outside and can only be accessed from inside the home. This will prevents intruders from unlocking the door and accessing your home. To ensure the safety of your pet, make sure to install yours in a safe area without obstructions so that your pet will not run into anything or get tangled upon going outside. You should install somewhere that won’t inconvenience others from going and coming but also not in an isolated spot where you wouldn’t notice your pet coming and going.
How high up should I install my dog door?
You’ll want to install high up enough that they can pass through without hitting their back but also low enough that they can step over the rise comfortably. Factors you should consider when deciding on an installation height include the size, age, breed, build, and agility of your pet. Older and shorter dogs will require a lower installation height, while younger and taller dogs will not mind a higher installation height.
Additionally, if your pooch has health issues or a deeper chest, you’ll want to install your door low enough so as to make sure your pet can pass through comfortably. If you have multiple pets, you’ll want to install low enough for your smallest pet to use.
What type of winter dog door is best?
There are many different types ranging from conventional flap doors to electronic or magnetic doors. Electronic or magnetic strip doors are especially useful in colder climates since they remain shut until your pooch wishes to pass, which prevents cold air from penetrating your heated home.
If you wish to install on a door that opens to your garage, you may find a conventional flap door more convenient. You’ll also want to consider the material of the frame for maximum insulation. The best ones are made of steel or aluminum and include insulation and air pockets.
Where can I install my doggie door?
Picking the perfect location for your dog door is important, especially for houses in snowy climates! Luckily, winter pup doors are designed to be installed in walls, windows, and even in a sliding glass door. Depending where you choose to install, make sure you pick a size that will allow your dog to grow as certain locations will require more effort and money to change out the door assembly.
When choosing an installation location, you should pay special attention to how difficult the installation will be, especially if you plan on installing the door yourself without professional help. Installing a pet door in a sliding glass door, for example, often requires professional help and is much harder than installing a door in a wall.
What features should I look for in a winter dog door?
The best dog doors for cold weather will be ones with a magnetic seal and are weatherproof against extreme temperatures and strong winds. Strong magnetic seals with dual flaps, air pocket and weatherproofing strips provide added insulation for maximal energy efficiency. Do I really need a high tech door? No, but a high tech one will save more energy!
Check for a durable design of both the frame and the door flap and the type of materials used in constructing your door. Look for doors whose frame prevents water damage to the interior of your wall with a design such as a telescopic frame. Pet owners who live in snowy climates should avoid flaps made of vinyl as vinyl is prone to cracking and shrinking in the cold. You should also look for security features such as automatic locking or pairing with microchip sensor collars to keep out unwanted intruders. Look for doors that include weatherproofing strips or foam sealing to save on extra installation and maintenance costs.
What is the difference between a door with a magnetic seal and a non-magnetic seal?
I have multiple pets. How do I pick a cold weather dog door?
You’ll want to take measurements of all the pets who will use the door, since you should pick a properly sized door that all your pets can comfortably use. Multiple pet homes should especially consider flap design because smaller dogs may not be able to push through a heavyweight flap. Make sure to install high enough so your tallest pet doesn’t bump into the frame but low enough that your smallest pet can still step through the door. Some brands only offer one size option, so if you have multiple pets, look for a brand with multiple sizes.
What do I need to do to maintain my winter dog door?
If you live in an area of high humidity or extremely cold temperatures, you should take precautions to prevent your dog door panels from freezing. Coating your panels with WD-40 or a similar antifreeze spray will prevent moisture from affecting your panels. Depending on how much insulation your dog door provides, you may want to consider spraying foam sealant around your frame when you are installing it to add extra insulation.
If you’re thinking of purchasing a cold weather dog door, you’ll want to pick one that is specific to your pup. Purchasing a dog door that fits your dog ensures your pet’s ability to comfortably use throughout its lifetime. You’ll also want to pick a design that matches the features of your home while not compromising on functionality and durability.
Dog Door Specifications
Each type and each brand has its own dimensions, so make sure to read carefully and compare to measurements you’ve taken of your dog’s height and width. To get an accurate estimate of the total height of door you should purchase, you’ll want to pick a door with a total height (step over plus flap height) that is at least one to two inches higher than your pet’s shoulder.
This will make sure they don’t bump into the door frame and that their collar won’t get stuck when entering the door. You’ll want to measure the distance from the ground to the lowest point of your dog’s chest to get an accurate step over measurement, which is the height off the ground that the pet door will be installed.
As for the flap, the distance from the floor to the top of the flap should be at least an inch more than the tallest point of your dog’s back or shoulder. Sizes come in different widths but also heights, so check the specific step over height of any you’re considering. Generally small doors have a step over height of 3”, medium of 4”, large of 5”, and extra-large of 7”. You’ll want to purchase a door with the lowest step over height possible so that your dog can comfortably clear the door frame. The step over height should never be more than 1/3 of your dog’s total height.
Age and Breed of Your Dog
Build, Health, and Agility of Your Dog
Agile dogs will have no trouble clearing taller step over heights, while older less active dogs will have a harder time getting over taller step overs. If you’re dog has health issues or is not as mobile, pick one with a lower step over height. You’ll also want a lower step over height if your dog is particularly slow slung or has a deep chest. Consider a single flap door for small or less healthy dogs so as to not strain them.
Multiple Pet Home
If you have multiple pets who will be using your dog door, picking an appropriately sized door will ensure all your pets will be able to use the door comfortably! Choose one with a step over sized to your smallest pet with a flap height taller than your largest pet. This will allow all your pets to comfortably clear the step over and not bump into any part of the door’s frame.
What cold weather pet door should I buy?
With all these things to consider, choosing a dog door might feel overwhelming. Luckily, we’ve broken down five of the most popular winter doggie doors to give you an idea of the different options you have. From sliding glass doors to wall entry doors, these options cover the basic types of cold weather dog doors on the market, so you’re sure to find one perfect for your pup and home.
Flaps are transparent, so you and your pets will never have to wonder what’s on the other side.
Double-flap design and telescoping frame provides added air pocket insulation and protection from water damage and wind.
Dual magnetic flap closure doubles the energy efficiency and ensures a strong seal when the door is not in use.
Flap sizes up to 9.75” x 17” accommodates large dogs, tall pets.
Lockable flap and security panel provides controlled access for ease of mind, especially at night.
Door frame easily mounts directly through any standard interior or exterior door or wall. Installation is easy and takes the hassle out of picking a discrete and attractive entrance for your pet door!
Comes with a limited 1 year warranty.
Cat owners say their cats can push through the double flaps with magnetic closure just fine, so this dog is perfect for multiple pet owners.
The vinyl flaps can shrink over time with exposure to harsh weather conditions.
Installing this door through a wall is a bigger challenge than installing it in a door, especially if you are going through a stucco wall, so you’ll need to make sure you have the right tools.
The door has great high quality build , but the flaps can sometimes be easily opened by wind. Most owners end up purchasing an extra solid closing door as putting one on the inside adds security and another on the outside adds weather protection and prevents the fading and warping of your vinyl flap when not in use.
If you’re looking for a basic, no-frills winter doggy door and are prepared for the maintenance costs of purchasing extra flaps or replacing the entire door assembly over time, consider picking up the Ideal Pet Products Ruff-Weather Pet Door for its transparent double-flap design.
With no cutting required, this door is easy to install by yourself and great for renters or apartments who don’t want to cut a hole in a door or wall.
This door comes in three finishes, five sizes, and two heights, making it the ultimate versatile pet door for matching your pup and home.
The included slide-in closing panel offers you controlled access and wards off unwanted animal intruders. Slide-in panels are more secure than snap-on ones, so your pets won’t easily be able to push off this panel when you want to temporarily close off the door for use.
The included interior lock adds security to your home.
Pet owners of older dogs like this door because it’s lower to the floor than the Ideal Pet door.
The panel is easily removable from your glass door, which means you can easily remove the panel from your door frame and take it with you if you ever need to move.
Check carefully for measuring dimensions of your sliding patio door. The patio panel comes in two heights: 81” and 96”. These measurements of the two heights are taken from the inside of the upper track of your patio door to the inside of the lower track. Don’t confuse the patio panel height with the width options. This door offers five different widths for the patio panel: small dogs (8 ½”), medium (11 ½”), large (13 ½”), large-tall (13 ½”), and extra-large (16 ½”).
Many owners of this pet door note that this patio door panel often isn’t flush with the sliding door tracks and your sliding door. This can be an issue because any gaps between the sliding door and the panel creates space for energy loss, causing your electricity bill to sky rocket during the winter. The patio panel also doesn’t connect with a screen door as it’s meant to be flush with the sliding glass door. This means if you live in a buggy area, you may need to do some DIY to close off the gap between your pet panel and your screen door if you want the ability to open your glass door for airflow but leave your screen door shut.
If your sliding door has a useful lock that can only be used when the sliding door is completely shut, this pet door will render that lock useless because your sliding door will never fully close but rather connect with the dog door panel.
The glass isn’t double-paned, so you may find some energy loss in the cold winter. The included weather strip meant to insulate often peels off as the adhesive used isn’t that strong and is sometimes not long enough to meet the minimum range of heights offered by this pet door.
Check what type of sliding glass patio door you have as owners of this pet door with patio door frames that are not square found installation to be quite difficult because the door wouldn’t fit perfectly on the tracks.
Does not fit recessed sliding glass doors.
If you’re prepared for the potential hassle that comes with installing a pet door in a sliding glass door, consider picking up the PetSafe Freedom Patio Panel Door! It may not be the most secure option, but it’s certainly sturdy, and with so many size and finishes to choose from, you’ll sure to find one that matches your pup and home perfectly.
Can be installed in a variety of wall types, which makes picking a location to install this door easy!
This door is compatible with the PetSafe Wall Entry Extension (sold separately) for walls thicker than 7.25 inches.
Owners of this pet door love that it’s easy to install and weatherproof and extremely energy efficient resulting in lower energy bills.
The included plastic closing door you can insert to temporarily close the door from use is great for keeping out unwanted critters, especially at night.
PetSafe offers a one-year warranty on this door.
The flap is vinyl which can turn stiff in the cold winter and warp. Some owners of this pet door who live in cold climates note that harsh temperatures will curl the vinyl flap such that it never straightens again.
This pet door is more suited for dogs with its double flap. Since design doesn’t easily allow the flaps to pivot, cats might struggle a bit to push through both flaps. Cat owners often have to remove one of the flaps in order for their cat to get through this door, which means the door will not provide as much insulation.
Replacement flaps are not cheap, so if your pup has a tendency to chew things, you may want to reconsider this door because the flap magnets can be easily chewed off.
While the frame is aluminum, the telescoping tunnel is actually plastic, which is more fragile and could be damaged during the installation process. Some owners find the plastic frame weakens and cracks from sun exposure over time.
This plastic pet door is best for well-behaved dogs and may require additional maintenance cost for flap replacements. One of the most energy efficient doors on the market, this door will give you peace of mind with its weatherproofing and security features!
The included foam for additional sealing means you don’t need to purchase a separate seal kit.
The paintable plastic frame allows you to customize and match your door color to your home décor!
Three-flap design uniquely ensures maximum insulation, offering maximum energy efficiency 3.5 times higher than their single-flap pet doors.
Rigid lock-out panel prevents tampering and unwanted pets.
This door comes with plastic screws for the door assembly rather than steel screws. The included clips to connect the inner frame can break easily. The plastic bolts work but you should take extra care to not over-tighten and crack them when installing.
Flaps are not translucent, so dogs may need to get used to not being able to see through the door when learning how to use this pet door.
The included panel for controlled access is a snap-on panel rather than a slide-in. This panel doesn’t lock either, which means your pups may learn to push the panel out onto the floor, and wildlife might be able to push easily inside at night too.
This door is not the most secure, but it certainly will insulate your home. This door may require additional training because of the three-flap designs and non-translucent flaps but is very easy to install. If energy efficiency is your primary concern, the PetSafe Extreme Weather Door will certainly do the job!
UV retardant flaps are specifically engineered to prevent cracking and warping in severe cold air. Polyolefin polymer ensures flaps stay flexible in extreme conditions. The patented flaps are non-toxic and recyclable.
Double-flap design ensures maximum energy efficiency for temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Three-sided magnet design ensures your flap stays shut in wind gusts up to 50 mph.
The magnet strength is variable which means you can adjust the strength required for your pet to push through the flaps. This is perfect for training your pets how to use the door or for any smaller, timid pets who might not be as strong.
Heavy-duty aluminum framing is durable and able to be securely installed into walls up to 8” thick. Unlike other pet doors with plastic frame and tunneling, the entire body of this door is aluminum (both frame and side tunneling), allowing it to withstand abuse from your pet and weather conditions better!
The included secure locking cover provides you security of controlled access and protection of your flaps when not in use.
The single flap option is great for pet owners who are worried about their pets not being able to push through double flaps. Be sure to check measurements for the single flap model, which also provides great insulation.
The metal clips included to keep the magnets on the bottom of the flaps in may come loose. You should regularly check they are still fastened to the door because if they come loose, they may cut your pet.
Some owners have issues with the threaded rods bending during installation and suggest simply screwing the side tunnel pieces into the frame if possible.
This is expensive but if you want the best on the market that will last you throughout your dog’s life, you’ll want to pick up the Endura Flap Pet Door! Tested and proven with patented designs to hold up through the harshest of weather with minimal checking of its condition over the years, this door is certainly worth the investment. Installation is generally easy and the options for a single or double flap model make this perfect for owners for all pets.
Now that you know the possibilities are endless, spend some time researching what type of door is perfect for your pup and your needs! Carefully measure your pets and consider the functionality and aesthetics of your desired pet door, where you plan on installing it, and how easy or difficult the installation process will be. And with our full breakdown of some of the most popular cold weather dog doors out there, you should now be an expert on what to look for in a perfect winter dog door! Kick back your feet and enjoy the freedom of letting your pets come and go as they please, knowing that both your pup and house are protected!
Made of Energy saving high efficiency foam molded plastic to reduce energy loss.
Nylon material for restricting drafts
Adjustable frame range from ¾-inch to 1 ¾-inchs
Double Vinyl Flap air pocket formation for maximum cold weather and draft ingress