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A dog door that fits in your door or wall is a convenient way for a well-trained pet to head outdoors and back in at its leisure. Many of them also block out the elements, so rain, snow, and the cold won't enter your home. Before you buy, you should consider the space, the size of your dog, and additional features that may or may not be important to you.
To help you in your search, we've researched the best dog doors for all types of needs.
Best Overall: PetSafe Plastic Pet Door
Available in four different sizes
Easy door installation thanks to the cutting template
Replacement flaps may be needed over time
This inexpensive plastic pet door has everything you want in a basic option, making it our top choice. Its soft, flexible flap makes it easy for your pet to let themselves in and out and it has a magnet at the bottom to help hold it closed when your pet isn't passing through. At nighttime or when you’re out of town, snap on the closing panel to keep your home safe from stray animals.
The door is available in four different sizes, and the plastic frame can be painted to match your existing door. It's easy to install thanks to the included cutting template, detailed instructions, and installation hardware included. Should the flaps wear out over time, PetSafe sells replacement flaps separately.
Best Electronic: High Tech Pet PX-2 Power Pet Fully Automatic Pet Door
Electronic features offer convenience
Bulletproof resin adds element of security
Its automatic nature is perfect for timid pets
An electronic door that opens automatically in the presence of a corresponding dog collar offers several advantages: 1. timid pets are more likely to use it as they don’t have to push through a flap, 2. it automatically deadbolts after opening or closing, and 3. because it closes tightly, you’ll lose less heat in the winter (and AC in the summer) as your pet goes in and out.
This door from High Tech opens upwards when your pet is approaching—you set the distance for the inside and the out. The door is made of bulletproof resin for added security and works for pets up to 100 pounds.
Best for Cold Weather: Perfect Pet The All-Weather Energy Efficient Dog Door
Frame is made from energy efficient materials
See through flaps offer convenience for pets
The door promotes temperature control
Limited door sizes available
With two soft vinyl flaps, this dog door is designed to create an air pocket to trap the cold air out of your house and the hot air in. Each flap has a magnetic closure to keep it in place gently, while still being easy enough for your pup to control. The frame itself is made of an energy efficient structural foam molded plastic. The door works with doors from 0.75-inch thick to 1.75 inches and the door comes with a removable lock out slide. The vinyl flaps are see through, which helps your dog feel safe using it; if your pup is hesitant at first offer plenty of healthy dog treats as encouragement.
Best for Sliding Glass: High Tech Pet PX-2 Power Pet Fully Automatic Pet Door
Ideal for sliding glass doors
Tempered glass locks in climate-controlled air
Has a closing panel to ensure security
Only fits dogs up to 15 pounds
If your house, apartment, or condo has a sliding glass door, a dog door made for a sliding glass door is an easy-to-install option with no cutting or drilling required. It inserts right into your existing door jam with the screws or adhesive strips (both are included). The door has an aluminum frame with tempered glass plus pile weather stripping to prevent your climate-controlled air from leaving your home, while the dog door has a magnetic closure. It comes with a closing panel for nighttime or whenever else you want to make the door inaccessible. This door fits dogs up to 15 pounds and it’s great for cats, too.
Best for Large Dogs: BarksBar Original Plastic Dog Door
Built for dogs up to 100 pounds
Includes a sturdy thermoplastic impact-resistant frame
Bite- and chew-proof
It’s important to install the right size door for your dog—too big and you may needlessly let air into and out of your home, yet choose one too small and your pet may injure itself when coming and going. When measuring your dog, measure from its shoulders, not its head as dogs will duck when using a dog door. This door made for dogs up to 100 pounds features sleek aluminum edging that complements any decor fitted on a sturdy thermoplastic impact-resistant frame. The entire door is bite and chew-proof and is built to withstand heavy day-to-day use. It comes with a removable self-locking side panel.
Best Wall-Mounted: Ideal Pet Thru the Wall Pet Door
Works with walls up to 7-inches thick
Boasts a tamper-proof mounting system
Dual vinyl doors offer added energy efficiency
Limited by where it can be installed inside
If you don’t have an appropriate door where you could install a dog door, a wall mounted one like this one may be the solution. This one from Ideal Pet works with walls up to 7-inches thick, just make sure to pick a space that has no electrical lines, pipes, or wall studs. It’s designed to be installed on the interior of your home; keep in mind that while some walls can be easily patched, such as interior dry walls or exterior stucco walls, not all are easy to repair should you want to remove the door. The door itself has a tamper-proof mounting system, dual vinyl doors for added energy efficiency, and a removable lock out panel that snaps into place for when the door is not in use.
Best Splurge: Endura Flap Single Flap Pet Door
Expandable frame maximizes energy efficiency
Is as effective as double pane glass
Can withstand winds up to 50 MPH
While this door is more expensive, in exchange you’ll get added energy efficiency and security. The frame is designed to expand and contract in hot and cold for maximum energy efficiency while the double layer flap is made of polyolefin based polymer that’s non toxic, recyclable, and will not harden in winter nor yellow in the sun. The manufacturer claims it’s as effective as double pane glass at keeping the elements at bay also thanks to its magnetic strips along the bottom and the sides and has been tested to withstand winds up to 50 MPH. As for security, the locking cover is made of strong ABS plastic, the equivalent to a 1/16" sheet of steel.
Best App-Controlled: SureFlap Microchip Cat & Small Dog Door Connect
App-controlled feature offers convenience
Can be connected to a pet's microchip
Curfew settings automatically lock and unlock the door
Only compatible with the most common microchips
You can keep tabs on your pet’s comings and goings with this app-controlled door. It works with your pet’s existing microchip (it’s compatible with most common ones) and the SureFlap Connect Pet Door Hub (sold separately). You’ll be able to when your dog went outside and when it came back, plus you can lock or unlock the door remotely and set a curfew time for the door to automatically lock and morning hours for the door to automatically unlock. Pet owners like that the app sends notifications as their four-legged friends go inside and out and that the door can be installed in doors, windows, or walls.
Our best overall pick is PetSafe's Plastic Pet Door (view at Amazon), which is easy to install and available in four different sizes. If you're looking for something a bit more high-tech, opt for the SureFlap Microchip Cat & Small Dog Door Connect (view at Chewy). This app-controlled door allows you to set limits on when your pup can go outside, and syncs with their microchip for added security.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Anne Fritz, a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience. Previously an editor, she has covered products for all aspects of the home and knows what makes for a great find. To make this list, she considered a dog's size, the door location, and additional features.