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How to Install a Pet Door

In. Out. Repeat. Sound familiar? Stop playing doorman and install a pet door in your home with this guide.

The first and most important step in determining whether a pet door is right for your home is to consider what issues might come from your pet’s new-found freedom. For instance, does your dog or cat have a tendency to run away? Or, do you live on a busy street? Will your neighbors mind if your pet is outside unattended? Keep all of these things in mind before installing a free pass to the outdoors. Installing a pet door may require first putting up a fence around your yard to ensure your pet’s safety. Whether you opt for a physical fence or an invisible one, a barrier will give you piece of mind that your furry friend won’t get lost or hurt when outdoors.

Choose the Right Door

After you’ve addressed your pet’s outdoor safety, you’ll need to determine the kind of pet door that is right for your home. Just as there are many things to consider when choosing a front door for your home, there are plenty of elements to consider when selecting a pet door.

A pet door can be installed in the wall, storm or screen door, garage door or sliding glass door. Cost of installation and complexity of the project varies with each option, storm door installation being the most cost-effective.

Before making your pet door selection, you’ll need to take your pet’s measurements. Consider that your pet will duck his head when entering and exiting, so you’ll want to find a door that is slightly taller than your pet’s shoulder height and at least two inches wider than his body. Creating a mock door out of cardboard is an easy way to test your measurements.

Ready to install? Hire a professional, or follow a step-by-step guide from your local home improvement store.

Consider Resale

While 65 percent of American households included at least one pet, according to the Humane Society, some may not be ready to commit to a permanent pet door for resale purposes. If a temporary option is best for your home, consider opting to install the pet door in your storm door or screen door, so it can easily be removed or replaced should you decide no longer need it.

Sharon is the Digital Content Specialist for Coldwell Banker Real Estate, LLC. She lives in New Jersey and holds a BA from Syracuse University. She is passionate about giving back to the community and enjoys teaching STEM (Science, Tec

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