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Cut Utility Costs by Installing a Pet Door

petsafe dog door

During summer, I spend most of my day letting dogs in and letting dogs out. It’s annoying. Since I live in the hottest place of the world (in an environment that is actively trying to kill us), I lose about $30 worth of air-conditioned comfort every single time I open the door. If you’ve been wondering how to install a pet door for summer, this is your article.

My pets don’t really care about our loss of air conditioning – they would be totally content to stand in the doorway letting the cool air waft over them while they were warmed by the sun.

Bree will literally stand inside with her head sticking out of the doggy door – just to check temps.

Their lack of empathy means I have to take precautions to conserve my air conditioned comfort. I don’t want to knock a hole in the wall, so what’s a girl to do? The answer is simple, really…

How to Install A Pet Door for Summer That Doesn’t Destroy Walls

If you rent your home (or apartment), and even if you don’t, you probably don’t want to drill a permanent doggy door into your wall or install something you can’t remove later. Not only is it unattractive, it’s damage you don’t want to incur.

Petsafe has our favorite line of doors that install easily into the sliding door of your home. No walls to knock out, no air lost on your dog’s indecision, and decreased cooling costs.

The line we most prefer is called the Freedom™ Patio Panel. This panel/door system slides right into your existing sliding door.

Sliding Pet Door Inserts

Sliding door inserts are an excellent way to see if a pet door is right for your pet and your lifestyle. Because since there’s no wall cutting, there’s no commitment – if you or your pets don’t like the door, simply remove it.

This means that my dogs can come in or go out at their will. I no longer have to get up and open the doors, waiting until they feel the urge to walk through.

how to install pet door for summer

How to Install A Pet Door for Summer

The install is incredibly simple. Here is the short version:

  1. Open the sliding glass door.
  2. Slide the doggy door panel in (they have springs that are loaded for an easy vertical fit)
  3. Convert the locking mechanism (drill two holes and screw in new assembly)
  4. Apply the weather stripping.

That’s literally it.

The hardest part of the process is converting the locking mechanism, but even that is simple. Simply measure where your current lock is, drill two holes, attach new mechanism and make sure it’s flush.

If you don’t have a sliding glass patio door, or don’t want to use your sliding door, Petsafe has some other amazing options. These include:

  • RFID chip reader doors: This allows for easy control of which pets are allowed outside. Ideal if you have one dog you do want out, and a cat you don’t want out.
  • Secure smart doors: These allow you to install a completely secured system that will not only allow specific pets of your own to go out, but will stop people, other people’s pets, and wildlife from coming in. Ideal for homes in rural areas that often have wildlife wanting access.
  • Alexa or Google Home Operation: Don’t want any of your pets out? No problem. You can remotely access which pets are allowed in or out. You can also program it to lock automatically during specific hours.
how to install pet door for summer

Security Concerns of Pet Doors

If you have large dogs like we do, the first question you’ll probably ask is if the door is large enough for my dog to get in, it will allow a person to climb through.

These doors can all be locked up completely with a hard plastic panel that slides in each night. There’s little to no worry of someone breaking in or crawling through your dog door. While nothing is 100% secure, this is as close as you can get. Hopefully your very big dog will be barking loudly at the intruder.

Exiting into a Kennel or Enclosure From Pet Doors

We always recommend that your door open onto an Outdoor Enclosure, particularly if you have small dogs and ESPECIALLY if you have cats.

Letting your pets roam out in the yard is becoming more and more dangerous in this crazy world. More cases are being reported of pet theft and there have been numerous attacks on pets in yards.

Bobcats, coyotes, mountain lions, hawks, owls and more – there are many ways your pet can be injured or even killed while you’re at work.

Adding a dog run or large fully-enclosed kennel will allow your pets out access into a safe environment.

If you live in the wild (like we do), remember that small dogs and cats can be scooped up and carted off as they leave a dog door. Large dogs may be facing a coyote threat or run across a porcupine or curious skunk. All of these potential issues can be resolved by utilizing a kennel or enclosure.

how to install pet door for summer
Outdoor Enclosure for dogs and cats from CDE

Drafts and Wind from Dog Doors

What about drafts and winds coming through the door?

Well, that is a problem for a bygone era. Doors these days are much sturdier and also magnetically sealed. For very cold (or extremely hot areas), wall doors are available with dual flaps that seal as the dog or cat is entering or exiting.

You can also add an additional flap on your freedom style patio panel. Dual flaps are heavier and can help the flaps stay closed. We haven’t had much of a problem at all with our magnetically sealed flap for our big dogs. If you do find there is a problem, you can order or pick up the replacement flaps at Amazon, Petsafe, or any of the retailers near you .

Don’t let summer bring you down. Pet doors are not the old “knocked out wall panel”. They’ve become something much nicer, more luxurious, and designed to make you and your pets lives much simpler.

how to install pet door for summer

If you have a recessed sliding glass door, you will need a Patio Panel Kit for Recessed Door Frames (not included). For more information on recessed doors, visit PetSafe.com

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