How to Find a Proper Fit for a Pet Door


Are you tired of letting Fido outside in the middle of the winter, only to stand by and let him back in two minutes later when he realizes it's too cold to chase the squirrels?  Let your dog take himself out by installing a Magnador Pet Door!

How do you select the right size door for your pet? It can be quite easy using a measuring tape.

When making the selection process it’s important to think about the future size of your pup.  Keeping in mind that at some point in the distant future his agility is likely to decrease with age. This is important as well in the installation process when considering the “step over.”  Typically speaking, the step over distance for a dog is ⅓ of their height from floor to the top of the shoulder/back with many dogs handling a 6-7 in step over easily.  With that said, an arthritic dog, or dog who may be prone to hip issues may face a challenge with a 6-inch step over, or even a dog with a deep barrel chest or a low hanging belly. Have more than one pet at home? What about a large dog and small dog (or cat) sharing the same door? 

  1. Measure your furry friend from the ground to the top of the withers (shoulders) and add one (1) inch to that measurement.

  2. Determine the “step-over.” One-third of the previous measurement (this would be MAX step-over height), thinking of your future dog, cut that measurement in half.  Example: 20 inches to top of shoulder, add 1 inch, 21 inches in total, ⅓ of 21 inches is a 7 inch step-over height, cut that in half for your aging dog and you would want a step-over of 3.5 inches, or somewhere close to this (with a 3 in step-over and a 21 inch height your dog flap itself would be 18 inches in overall height).

  3. Measure the narrowest width your pet can comfortably fit through.  Don't measure your dog itself for this process.  An easy way to do this is open a door to a point where your dog can easily make it through the doorway without hitting either side of their body.  Now measure, how wide is that opening?  For Fido here, we will say 9 inches.  There is no need to increase this width for your dogs’ comfort, but you must not go narrower.  This gives you the starting point for matching your dog with their new Pet Door.

Merging the examples in step 2 and step 3, we now know our Pet Door will need to be placed 3-inches off the ground, and the opening will need to be at least 9 X 18 inches. Does Lakeside Products have a door that meets your needs? Check us out.



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