Our gorgeous pets come in all shapes and sizes. There’s the small Chihuahuas and Yorkies, or perhaps a fluffy little cat. There’s the medium-sized Beagles and Cocker Spaniels, the large Labradors and Boxers and, of course, the extra-large Great Danes and St. Bernards. We all choose our beloved pet based on our wants and needs and what we have space for inside our homes. But the one mistake many people make is thinking that pet doors only come in the one size. In fact, there are so many different dog door sizes on the market, it is about choosing the right one for your pet. Here’s a guide to help you out.
Why You Need The Right Size
Just like you wouldn’t like to spend your days squeezing through a door that is either too short, too narrow, or both, neither would our animals! While the idea of them getting stuck in the pet door can sound quite cute, it can actually be damaging to your pets long-term health and wellbeing.
If a door is too short, then it can cause issues with your pets hips and back over time, as they are constantly bending to try and fit through. However, if the door is narrow it can damage their fur or even their skin as they try and squeeze themselves through. If the door is too high off the ground, then your pet will have trouble stepping over it and it can scrape across their stomachs.
This is why there is no universal door to fit all pets. Instead, you need to find a door that is suitable for your pet.
How To Choose The Right Size For Your Pet
Now that we know that pet doors come in all shapes and sizes, it is important to choose the right one for your pet. The best way to do this is by measuring your pet:
- Width: You want to measure the widest part of their body, which is usually across the chest. Once you have this measurement, add a couple of centimeters to make sure the space if comfortable.
- Height: Next you want to measure your pet from the bottom of their chest or belly to the top of their shoulders (whichever is taller). Once again, add a few centimeters to this measurement.
- Choose: Once you have these measurements, you can use the chart below to find a door that best suits your pets size.
Handy tip: It’s important to also allow for your pets future growth. If they are just a puppy, do your research on how large you can expect them to grow and base your measurements off this. Of course, you don’t want to be buying and installing new pet doors every few months as your pet grows.
In the case that you have more than one pet, it is vital to cater to both their sizes. This means the step over height that allows them to get in and out needs to be low enough for the smaller pet, while the size and width of the flap needs to cater for the larger pet.
Installing Your Pet Door
Once you have chosen the right pet door for your animal, it is important to think about the installation process. Many owners make the mistake of only thinking about where the door leads on the inside of the house, i.e into your kitchen, laundry, or another space. But it is important to remember that pet doors are two way. Not only does your pet need to be able to safely step outside, but they have to be able to get back in as well. Think about whether there are stairs outside, or other objects that are going to make this task even harder for your pet. This can mean they will have difficulty stepping back up and lifting their legs over to get back inside, resulting in long-term problems for them.
Ideally, you want the spot to be flat on both sides and at the same height, to make things as easy as possible for your treasured pet!