Best Dog Door of 2020: Give Fido the Pup Freedom to Come & Go

By Michael Tarran

July 7, 2020

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You might’ve had success training your canine baby, but there’s not lots you can do about their innate need to spend time outdoors.

Whether it’s the bathroom break, basking in the sun, catching up with their canine friends, or keeping tabs on the neighborhood squirrel population, your pup never runs out of ideas of what to do outside.

But you can’t always be there to play the doorman, now, can you?

If you don’t want to keep your pooch cooped up inside all day, but can’t drop everything you’re doing whenever they feel like stretching their legs, my advice is to purchase the best dog door.

I have a recommendation or two – well, actually, I have quite a selection – that will meet the needs of pups and their humans!

In a hurry? After 45 Hours of Research, I Recommend:

best outdoor dog bed


94/100

My Score

Why I chose it as the best?

  • Best-rated manual dog door
  • Durable frame and flexible tinted flap
  • Can withstand wear and tear in homes with multiple pets
  • Features a sliding door security panel
  • Easy to install pet doors with a cutting template, instructions, and installations hardware
  • Fits exterior and interior doors
  • Limited lifetime warranty

How I Picked:

Reviews considered in making a decision

The consumer opinions matter,
and I pick through those thoroughly.

Sources inspected & researched

I gauge the source authenticity & authority before checking the opinions.

Hours spent comparing & researching

I spent the time so you don't have to. The products are reviewed with utmost care.

Products considered

My selection included all the popular entries from popular sources, and was narrowed down to the finest seventeen.

Last Updated: November 26th 2020

By Michael T.
This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding best dog doors available for those who are interested in having the proper door for their pet. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best dog doors currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.

Best Dog Doors
- Comparison Table -

PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Dog and Cat Door - Durable Frame - Small Pets, PPA00-10859, White
PetSafe Plastic Pet Door Large with Soft Tinted Flap, Paintable White Frame, for dogs up to 100 lb.
SureFlap-Sure Petcare Microchip Pet Door (White)
Ideal Pet Products Designer Series Ruff-Weather Pet Door with Telescoping Frame, Grey, Extra Large - 9.75" x 17" Flap Size (DSRWXL)
PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Patio Panel Sliding Glass Dog and Cat Door, Adjustable 76 13/16 in to 80 11/16 in - Large-Tall Bronze Pet Door
Endura Flap Pet Door Double Flap Wall Mount - Large Flap (10" x 18"), Bronze
Product
PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Dog and Cat Door - Durable Frame - Small Pets, PPA00-10859, White
PetSafe Plastic Pet Door Large with Soft Tinted Flap, Paintable White Frame, for dogs up to 100 lb.
SureFlap-Sure Petcare Microchip Pet Door (White)
Ideal Pet Products Designer Series Ruff-Weather Pet Door with Telescoping Frame, Grey, Extra Large - 9.75" x 17" Flap Size (DSRWXL)
PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Patio Panel Sliding Glass Dog and Cat Door, Adjustable 76 13/16 in to 80 11/16 in - Large-Tall Bronze Pet Door
Endura Flap Pet Door Double Flap Wall Mount - Large Flap (10" x 18"), Bronze
Available Sizes
S, M, L, XL
S, M, L, XL
6.7 x 7 inches
S, M, XL, Super L
S, M, L, L-Tall, XL
S, M, L, XL
Number Of Flaps
Single
Single
Single
Double
Single
Double
Material
Aluminum, vinyl
Plastic, vinyl
Plastic
Foam-molded plastic, vinyl
Aluminum, tempered glass
Aluminum, polyolefin polymer
Type
Manual
Manual
Electronic
Manual
Manual
Manual
Price
$44.95
$54.95
$199.00
$87.50
Price not available
Price not available
Amazon Prime
-
PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Dog and Cat Door - Durable Frame - Small Pets, PPA00-10859, White
Product
PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Dog and Cat Door - Durable Frame - Small Pets, PPA00-10859, White
Available Sizes
S, M, L, XL
Number Of Flaps
Single
Material
Aluminum, vinyl
Type
Manual
Price
$44.95
Amazon Prime
PetSafe Plastic Pet Door Large with Soft Tinted Flap, Paintable White Frame, for dogs up to 100 lb.
Product
PetSafe Plastic Pet Door Large with Soft Tinted Flap, Paintable White Frame, for dogs up to 100 lb.
Available Sizes
S, M, L, XL
Number Of Flaps
Single
Material
Plastic, vinyl
Type
Manual
Price
$54.95
Amazon Prime
SureFlap-Sure Petcare Microchip Pet Door (White)
Product
SureFlap-Sure Petcare Microchip Pet Door (White)
Available Sizes
6.7 x 7 inches
Number Of Flaps
Single
Material
Plastic
Type
Electronic
Price
$199.00
Amazon Prime
Ideal Pet Products Designer Series Ruff-Weather Pet Door with Telescoping Frame, Grey, Extra Large - 9.75" x 17" Flap Size (DSRWXL)
Product
Ideal Pet Products Designer Series Ruff-Weather Pet Door with Telescoping Frame, Grey, Extra Large - 9.75" x 17" Flap Size (DSRWXL)
Available Sizes
S, M, XL, Super L
Number Of Flaps
Double
Material
Foam-molded plastic, vinyl
Type
Manual
Price
$87.50
Amazon Prime
PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Patio Panel Sliding Glass Dog and Cat Door, Adjustable 76 13/16 in to 80 11/16 in - Large-Tall Bronze Pet Door
Product
PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Patio Panel Sliding Glass Dog and Cat Door, Adjustable 76 13/16 in to 80 11/16 in - Large-Tall Bronze Pet Door
Available Sizes
S, M, L, L-Tall, XL
Number Of Flaps
Single
Material
Aluminum, tempered glass
Type
Manual
Price
Price not available
Amazon Prime
Endura Flap Pet Door Double Flap Wall Mount - Large Flap (10" x 18"), Bronze
Product
Endura Flap Pet Door Double Flap Wall Mount - Large Flap (10" x 18"), Bronze
Available Sizes
S, M, L, XL
Number Of Flaps
Double
Material
Aluminum, polyolefin polymer
Type
Manual
Price
Price not available
Amazon Prime
-

6 Best Outdoor Dog Beds: Detailed Reviews

Let's get straight to the best dog door reviews!

1. PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Dog Door Overall Best Dog Door

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My Rating: 94/100

The PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Dog Door might be one of the best universal pet products I came across recently. It's hard to imagine any kind of dog ownership scenario – be it regarding dog sizes, easy installation, versatility, or value – where this doggie door wouldn't be a reliable solution.

Durability is probably the first thing that stood out about this dog door, as it features aluminum construction with reinforced corners.

The flexible vinyl flap features magnets on the bottom to keep it closed – and is tinted, too. Anyone who values privacy knows that this little detail makes a big difference compared to clear flaps. 

It also includes a slide-in closing panel, which, considering that the product doesn't have a locking system, adds a touch of security. 

The dog door comes in four sizes, from small to extra-large, so I'm sure finding the ideal pet door size won't be an issue. 

I already mentioned this, but one drawback is that the dog door doesn't have a proper locking mechanism for the flap, other than the slide panel. The panel does the job, though; this is just me being nitpicky. 

Also, I would recommend getting proper screws for the installation, rather than using the included plastic ones.

Pros

  • Sturdy construction with reinforced aluminum corners
  • Tinted vinyl flap with a closing magnetic strip
  • The slide-in closing panel offers some protection
  • Dog door comes in four sizes
  • Reasonable price tag

Cons

  • Comes with plastic screws
  • Doesn't have a proper locking mechanism

Conclusion:

If you want a classic dog door that works well and is durable enough to handle multiple dogs, from toy breeds to gentle giants, I'm a big fan of the PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Dog Door.

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My Rating: 88/100

If you'd prefer something that's relatively "basic" – with a budget-friendly price tag to match – the all-plastics version of the PetSafe pet door might be your best bet. 

It's a straightforward, no-frills dog door with a plastic frame and a single vinyl flap, which is tinted to add a secrecy layer. Also, it comes with a snap-on panel that's supposed to restrict your dog's in-and-out access when needed and keep the dog door closed in bad weather. 

The door's available in four sizes, making it suitable for dogs that weigh as little as 15 pounds or as much as 220 pounds. Besides the specified weight ranges, you'll also be able to choose a size based on your dog's size to ensure the best possible fit. 

Also, I like that they made the white frame paintable; it's nice to have the option of painting the dog door any way you want to match your home's interior décor. 

However, this one does feature a plastic frame – and even uses plastic bolts for installation. In terms of durability, it can't quite compete with the aluminum option.

The plastic snap-on cover doesn't inspire a lot of confidence safety-wise, either, because there's no real way to secure it.

Pros

  • Straightforward design with a plastic frame and single vinyl flap
  • The snap-on cover closes the door when not in use
  • The flap is tinted for privacy
  • Available in four sizes
  • The white frame is paintable

Cons

  • No way to lock the dog door
  • You can't secure the snap-on safety cover
  • Uses plastic bolts for installation

Conclusion:

If you'd like a no-frills, pocket-friendly dog door that only one pet will use – and occasionally so – this one's more than cut out for the job.

outdoor dog bed for large dogs

My Rating: 93/100

If you want a more secure option – not that the previous pet products weren't reliable – this no-hassle SureFlap Microchip electronic dog door is one great option. Install it on doors, walls, or windows – whatever works best in your case!

SureFlap microchip-detecting electronic pet door eliminates the need for a SmartKey and reads your dog's implanted ID microchip via RFID, instead. Your pooch gets access, while intruders, critters, and stray animals stay outside of your home. 

The door memorizes up to 32 pet IDs – but it doesn't matter if your dog doesn't have a chip. You can still use the SureFlap Microchip Pet Door with the RFID collar tags. 

It also comes loaded with all the pet door key features you'd want in an electronic dog door: 

You get safety features such as Curfew Mode, Raccoon Mode, and a low-battery indicator – it's battery-powered – but with one-button programming for the not-so-tech-savvy owners. 

However, as high tech as this electronic dog door is, it's only suitable for small dogs and cats. Owners of large dogs won't find this product particularly useful.

Other than that, it's hard to find anything to complain about here.

Pros

  • High tech microchip-activated electronic dog and cat door
  • Suitable for small dog breeds and cats
  • Curfew and Raccoon modes and one-button settings
  • The system memorizes up to 32 pet IDs
  • Detects implanted microchip or RFID collar tags for authorization

Cons

  • Uses non-rechargeable batteries
  • Won't stop other family pets from going outside
  • Relatively small opening

Conclusion:

SureFlap Microchip Pet Door is, hands down, one of the best electronic dog doors Charlie (my cat) and I had the pleasure of testing. Whatever small dog breed or cat you have – or both – this hassle-free security door does the job!

4. Cheerhunting Waterproof Dog Bed Outdoor Dog Bed - Best Pet Cot for Small Breeds

best pet cot for small breeds

My Rating: 92/100

The Ideal Pet Products' Ruff Weather Pet Door is all about providing excellent insulation and keeping your energy bill in check, while still giving your pooch the freedom to come and go as they please. 

If that's not the definition of the best door for dog, I don't know what is!

The structural foam molded plastic build lends the frame the much-needed heavy duty feel while keeping things relatively lightweight. 

The double flap design, with tinted vinyl flaps and magnetic strips at the bottom, creates a three-inch air pocket that promises outstanding insulation properties. Plus, they boast weather resistance and won't warp, even in harsh weather. 

Versatility and flexibility of this dog door are every bit as outstanding:

The pet door comes in four sizes, but more importantly, it can be installed pretty much anywhere in the house with equal energy efficiency, thanks to the telescoping frame. If you get the optional wall kit and transform this into a wall mount pet door, the air pocket extends to nine inches! 

The magnetic strips on the flaps are a bit weaker than I would've liked, but the sheer heft of the flaps keeps them closed.

Pros

  • A heavy duty structural foam-molded plastic frame
  • Telescoping internal frame fits most doors
  • Double flaps create a three-inch insulating air pocket
  • Slide-in locking panel
  • Available in four sizes
  • The optional kit allows wall mounting

Cons

  • The magnets on the flap seem relatively weak 

Conclusion:

Ideal Pet Ruff Weather Pet Door boasts an energy efficient design with dual vinyl flaps that form a three-inch air pocket. Even if you don't experience extreme weather, this high-quality, built-to-last dog door is still worth considering!

Best outdoor dog bed for winter

My Rating: 91/100

Yes, another Freedom dog door made it to my round-up! Straight away, I can tell you that this is the absolute best dog door for renters – and everyone who'd prefer a detachable, non-permanent dog door.


Majority of pet doors are designed to fit standard – often wooden – doors, but not this model:


Installing this semi-permanent patio door is as easy as fitting it into the existing sliding glass door track. There's no cutting or drilling required, which makes installation a piece of cake!


Featuring a weather-resistant aluminum frame, shatter-resistant tempered glass, and a single, tinted vinyl flap with a magnetic closure strip, this patio panel dog door is as durable as they come.


You can get the patio panel in two different heights, with the bottom opening – the actual dog door – available in five sizes.


Moreover, the dog door comes with a slide-in closing panel for when you want to restrict pet entry or add a protection layer.


The main downside here is the not-so-stellar insulation performance. It might be energy efficient enough for some homes, but pet owners who live in colder climates may see a rise in their heating bills.

Pros

  • Aluminum and tempered glass construction
  • Fits most sliding glass door tracks 
  • Detachable, semi-permanent design 
  • The installation process doesn't require cutting
  • Features a slide-in closing panel

Cons

  • The insulation could be better
  • It doesn't feel very secure
  • Narrows the doorway a bit

Conclusion:

The benefit of not having to cut anything or make holes for installation – it acts as a sliding glass door insert – makes PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Pet Doors a real winner for renters.

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My Rating: 92/100

If installing a door within a door isn't an option, the side wall is one of the few solutions left – if you don't want to cut into glass doors or windows, that is. 

Enter Patio Pacific Endura Flap – a double flap, energy efficient dog door that features durability, insulation, weather, and wind resistance as its core benefits, while also giving dogs access to your home whenever they want!

The double flap system with larger-than-average flap sizes creates air pockets and withstands winds and extreme weather. Your energy bills won't suffer, even when the temperatures reach -40 degrees Fahrenheit. 

It features adjustable magnet strength, with a three-sided magnet that resists winds of up to 50 miles per hour – and a security plate for the added peace of mind. 

The Endura Flap's dog door also comes in four size options, making it a solid choice for any dog breed or pet size. 

As amazing as the Endura Flap Door is, note that it's expensive compared to the prices of any other option on my dog doors list – even the SureFlap's electronic smartdoor. 

The price could be a problem for some dog owners – but others will appreciate that this pet door has no trouble fitting within stucco or brick walls!

Pros

  • The aluminum telescoping frame fits two- to eight-inch walls
  • Double flap with three-sided magnet closure 
  • Exceptional durability and wind resistance for extreme climates

Cons

  • Not as easy to install 
  • Many owners will find the price too high

Conclusion:

Yes, the cost is relatively high – but if you need a wall-mounted dog door that can handle it all, from wind to extreme temperatures, this Endura Flap dog door is, by far, the best choice for your home!

Factors to Consider in order to Get the Best Dog Door

best dog door

By now, many dog owners are probably thinking: 

We read the product reviews, and we know what the best-rated dog door options are. But what are the dog door key features worth considering when it comes to choosing the right door for the pooch? 

Well, I don't want to keep you waiting any longer. 

Let's get down to business!

Basic Styles of Doors for Dogs Explained 

Pet doors come in quite a few different styles, but you can usually group them based on the mode of operation and installation location. 

I figured this is the ideal place to start your search for the best dog doors because it may help you narrow things down and focus on what works best for your home's layout and lifestyle. 

So, let's see which style of dog doors works best for you, your house, and, most importantly, your pet!

Mode of Operation: Manual vs. Electronic

When it comes to mode of operation, there are two types of dog doors: 

  • Manual Dog Doors – Following a more traditional design, manual dog doors tend to be cheaper, more durable, and surprisingly enough, preferred by most pet parents. Manual pet doors typically feature a plastic or aluminum frame and a simple opening system with one – or multiple – plastic flaps, either clear or tinted. 

Electronic Dog Doors – With smart home technologies being on the rise, some dog owners prefer the convenience of dog doors that incorporate automation features, even though these tend to be the more expensive option. It's hard to deny the advantage of having a built-in sensor for access control, programmable timers, and the like.


Location: Door or Wall?

Door or wall – where you're going to install the pet door should be one of the first decisions you make before getting one. 

  • Door-Mounted Dog Doors – Most flap dog doors are designed to be installed on standard wooden doors. When you think about "dog doors," the first thing to come to mind will likely be a cut-out mounted on the lower portion of the house's back door, leading to a fenced-in yard. Different models work with different doors; be sure to keep the manufacturer's recommendations in mind. 

  • Wall-Mounted Dog Doors – Instead of a door, wall mount doors are usually thicker than standard door-mounted options, as they're installed directly into the wall. They are, however, much harder to install, even with a DIY wall kit. You'll have to make a hole in the wall, which will require some relatively advanced skills and tools that you might not have on hand. 

So, think about whether you want a manual or electronic, door mount or wall mount type of dog doors first. 

Then, you can start thinking about other factors.

Materials: Let's Talk Quality & Durability

Whether you're installing a manual or an electronic dog door, you want it to be quality-made, durable, and sturdy because this plays a significant role in how long the dogs doors will last – and how safe they'll be for your pet. 

Is the frame made of plastic or aluminum? Is the pet door weather-resistant, and will it prevent heat losses? Is it corrosion-resistant? Will it be able to withstand occasional chewing attacks from the dog? 

These are the kinds of questions you should be asking when choosing the best dog doors. 

While there's a variety of materials used in the construction of pet doors, your choice will come down to plastics and aluminum: 

Aluminum is always a solid choice longevity-wise, but high-quality plastic doesn't fall that far behind in terms of toughness and durability – especially when it comes to doors for small dogs.

Insulation & Energy-Efficiency 

Punching a hole in the door or wall could mess with your home's internal temperature – and increase your monthly household energy bill – even more so if you live in an extremely cold or hot climate: 

Besides giving dogs the freedom to come and go as they please, doors for dogs could allow air to find its way inside your home – even when they're seemingly closed. 

Some manufacturers address this problem by incorporating double flaps – sometimes even triple – in the door's design to trap the air and provide some insulation. 

If energy efficiency matters to you – and it should – be sure to check whether or not the doggy door will let energy escape and how it'll affect the temperature inside your home.

Dog's Size: Time to Do Some Measuring  

Okay, now's the time to whip out your measuring tape and take your dog's measurements. 

Before you start cutting holes in doors and walls around your home, you have to make sure that the doggy door fits your dog. It should be big enough for your dog to pass through comfortably without wasting space or money. 

The two most important measurements to take here are your adult dog's width – from one shoulder blade to the other, the widest point of their body – and height, measured from the paws to the shoulders. 

Once you have the numbers jotted down, the general rule of thumb is to add a two-inch allowance to both for good measure and choose a pet door accordingly. 

Also, be sure to take your dog's weight into account, since many dog doors on the market do come with load restrictions. 

Bonus tip: 

You can use the dimensions of the dog house doors as a reference point!

Installation: Be Realistic About Your Handyman Skills

If you're a self-proclaimed handyman, the pet door installation process probably won't be a biggie. You'll generally have to cut a hole in the door or wall, do some initial assembly, and affix it once you're done – but most dog doors are relatively easy to install. 

Most pet doors brands usually provide detailed, easy-to-follow instructions and all the hardware required to get things done. If you get one of these DIY kits, all you'll need are some tools and a few minutes of your time – and you'll have it all set up before you know it. 

Others, including highly-advanced electronic and wall-mounted doors for dogs, will require extensive installation, though. That's where your handyman – or even carpentry – skills come to play.

Creating a full-blown hole in the house's side walls isn't something most people have experience with – and it most certainly isn't something that you should take lightly. If there's any chance that you have electrical wiring or plumbing running through the wall, it'd be best to consult a contractor first. 

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Don't Forget About Safety 

Finally, since you'll install an additional entryway inside your home, you have to think about security when selecting the best dog doors. 

The thing is, dog doors work both ways: 

Think about who can come inside – unwanted intruders and stray animals – and who can get out through the door. Other pets and small children could potentially find their way outside, which may be risky if there's a backyard in-ground pool or a busy street nearby. 

Pretty much all models address this common concern by incorporating some sort of locking mechanism into their design. 

At the very least, dog doors should have a manual flap door lock. That sort of defeat the purpose of installing a pet door in the first place by restricting the in-and-out access – but it's better than nothing. 

On the other hand, electronic doors often feature smart lock systems that recognize the microchip in your dog's collar and grant them access while also preventing unauthorized entries. Moreover, some models can be programmed to control the dog's entry and exit routines.

 - Frequently Asked Questions -

Q: Are dog doors safe and secure?

Critters, strays, intruders; you're probably worried about the many unwanted visitors that could try and find their way into your home through the pet door.

Small doors dogs can fit in are considered safe enough – there's no way people are squeezing through them – and often include an additional security panel.

Electronic high tech pet doors offer even better options, relying on collar keys to let your pet pass.
Pet doors aren't your home's weakest entry point, but take necessary precautions and put whatever locking mechanism you pick to use whenever you're away!

Q: How to install a doggy door in the glass door?

You don't need extensive knowledge or a garage full of tools; it comes down to the ability to follow the manufacturer instructions. The process of installing a dog door within sliding glass doors or windows generally includes the following steps:

Remove the glass pane from its frame, create a cutting template using masking tape (check the dimensions twice), score the glass in a straight line using a glass cutter, and then break the pane along the previously scored edges.

Approach this with care and attention to prevent injuries or leaving marks and chips in the glass. Hire a professional glazier for safe and easy installation.
The rest is as simple as fitting the pet doors in the cut-out and re-framing the glass pane. 

Q: How to lock sliding glass door with dog door?

Sliding glass pet doors are a great option for renters with dogs that can't make modifications to the existing patio doors since they're easy to install and fit into place with the sliding glass doors' tracks.

Most glass door dog panels don't work with the existing sliding door security lock – whether it's a security bar, a deadbolt lock, or something else – which is why the manufacturer will include a separate locking mechanism.

After All Is Said & Done, I Recommend:

best invisible dog fence


94/100

My Score

Why I chose it as the best?

  • Best-rated manual dog door
  • Durable frame and flexible tinted flap
  • Can withstand wear and tear in homes with multiple pets
  • Features a sliding door security panel
  • Easy to install pet doors with a cutting template, instructions, and installations hardware
  • Fits exterior and interior doors
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Conclusion

I hope this article answered every question you had about choosing the best dog door. Designs, installation requirements, and purposes will vary from unit to unit, though. 

So, my advice is to find something that will work for you and your pet.

The PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Dog Door, while void of any bells and whistles, is the best-rated dog door in its category, meeting the needs of houses with multiple pets with its rugged-but-flexible look that fits most home doors!


Does your dog moves through your house freely? 

Or do you have to open the door for your pooch every time it wants

to go outside?

Let me know in the comments and make sure to share this article with someone who might consider it helpful!

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Michael Tarran

About Me

I'm a devoted pet parent to two lovely creatures – Charlie the Cat and Jimmy the Dog – a full-time assistant pet store manager, and an animal shelter volunteer. I've gathered knowledge about pets for almost a decade, and it all started in a small store called Jack's Pets.

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