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How To Install A Pet Flap Or Pet Door

When you have pets, large or small, you are going to need a way for your pets to get in and outdoors easily and installing a pet flap or pet door does that.



When there are pets in the house, whether it's a cat or a small breed of dog or a large dog, they need to be able to get outdoors easily when they need to do the deed. A pet flap or pet door is a great way for pets to go outdoors and indoors without you have to leave doors and windows open, especially in the winter months when you are trying to keep your home warm and cosy.


There are plenty of different models of pet flaps and pet doors on the market, from a basic flap door to one that is easy to lock when not in use. While keeping to a budget is important, you will also want to have peace of mind during the night or when you go away that the pet flap or door can be locked, so it might be worthwhile to look carefully at the options available. You will also want a pet flap or door that will last more than a couple of years, so check that the product you select is of good quality and possibly also has a fairly long guarantee.




In this article, we take you step-by-step through the process of installing a pet flap or pet door in an exterior door. This is by far the easiest method for installing an entry or exit for your pet unless you need to look at other options, such as installing one in a wall or window.








Pet flap or pet door sized for your cat or dog

Drill/Driver plus assorted bits

Circular saw - or substitute with a jigsaw


Sander plus 120-grit sanding pad

Tape measure and pencil

Safety gear









1. Before you can purchase a pet flap or pet door, you need to ascertain the size you need for your pet. Measure the height of your cat or dog in a standing position from paw to shoulder.



2. To install the pet flap or pet door, you will need to remove the door from its hinges and place this flat on a couple of workbenches or sawhorses. Make sure to place the supports apart wide enough to give you plenty of space to cut through the door.







3. The pet flap or door will come with a template that you can use to mark the location for cutting out an opening in the door. If it doesn't come with a template, use the pet flap or door itself to mark the location, making sure to take the fastenings into consideration when cutting out the opening to size.


The bottom of the opening for the pet flap or door should be approximately at the total leg height for your pet.



Apply painter's tape to the base of your circular saw to prevent damaging or scratching the finish of the door.


4. To cut out the opening you will need to perform plunge cuts with your circular saw. Position the circular saw so that the front edge of the plate is resting as close as possible to the bottom drawn edge that marks the opening position. Make sure that the cutting blade is aligned on the inside of the drawn line for the side of the opening before switching on the tool and plunging it into the door to cut out. Repeat to cut out the other sides for the opening.




5. Use your drill to drill 10mm holes in the corners of the opening and cut out with a jigsaw. I prefer this method as it gives me more control. Don't forget to place painter's tape on the base of the jigsaw to protect the door.



6. If you use a circular saw to cut out the opening, finish off with a jigsaw to cut out at the corners.



7. Sand all the cut edges smooth before securing the pet flap or door into the opening. For this, you can follow the manufacturer's recommended guidelines for proper installation.



8. Re-hang the door, using a couple of shims to hold the door off the floor, or have someone on hand to help you with this step.


Now all that's left to do is to show your pets how to use the door. Stand on one side of the flap with your pets on the other side and have some treats on hand to entice and encourage your pets to use the door. It might take a couple of days but it is well worth it when they get comfortable using the pet flap or door and you don't need to leave windows or doors open for them to go outdoors when they need to.








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