DIY Drilling Projects: Installing a Dog Door

Installing a dog door isn’t as difficult as it may seem. If you’re looking for a relatively simple DIY drilling project, you can get this one done in a few hours. 

Although this project may be better suited to those with a bit more experience than a complete novice, you won’t need a lot of expertise or complicated equipment for this project. The main things you’ll need include the dog door itself, a cordless drill, a jigsaw, a hammer, a caulking gun and exterior caulk, a flat head screwdriver, measuring tape, and safety glasses.

Ready to get started? In this DIY drilling project guide, we’ll give you some tips on how to install a dog door.

How to Install a Dog Door

Here are the steps you’ll need to take to install a dog door.

Choose the doggie door 

This is one of the most important steps of all. There are many different doggy doors out there, ranging in style and size. Although it’s tempting to go for the high-tech styles with motion sensors and other features, some may require a more complicated process to install. A basic door can be installed at home without the need to make structural changes to anything but your door. To choose your door, you will need to measure your dog while he is standing. Measure his height and width, then add extra centimetres to both dimensions to ensure that he has enough space to get through. You will also need to measure the door you’ve chosen to install the doggy door to make sure that it has enough space. You can then choose a door in the right size. 

Prepare and outline

Once you’ve got your door, it’s time to prepare the door and make the rough outline. You will need to remove the door. With the help of a flat screwdriver and a hammer, carefully pop the hinge pins from the hinges. When the door is removed, place it on your workspace and make sure that it is secure. From here, you can trace the outline of the door, using the door you’ve purchased as a template. The doggy door will need to be positioned at the bottom of the door you are using so that he can get inside easily. Adjust as needed to ensure that everything is aligned. 

Make the opening

Next, it’s time to make the opening. You can do this using your drill and your jigsaw. With your drill, make holes along the outline you have made in the door, spaced about a centimetre apart. Then, use your jigsaw to carefully cut the opening, starting at one corner and working your way around each of the holes you have drilled. Remove any debris and double-check the frame of the dog door to make sure it fits into the opening.  

Install the door

To install the door, add a bead of caulk around the inside perimeter of the dog door’s outer frame, then carefully position it into the opening on the exterior of the door. Repeat this process on the door’s inner frame and insert it into the opening on the inside of the door. You may need to add more caulk if you have raised panels on your door. From there, use your cordless drill to insert the supplied screws on either side of the frame. You can then put your door back, carefully tapping the hinge pins into the hinges. 

Once your new dog door is installed, all you need to do is test it out. Remember, if your dog isn’t used to using a door it may take a bit of practice. With a few treats to help him get used to the door, he’ll soon get the hang of it and you won’t have to worry about constantly opening and closing your back door to let the dog in and out. 

Looking for drill bits for this project? Ruwag has all the bits needed to install a dog door and complete many other DIY projects at home.

Ruwag | DIY Drilling Projects: Installing a Dog Door