Installing French doors or French windows in your home is an expensive task. But it’s worth the effort. It raises property prices and offers a gorgeous view of your yard. It also improves your health and your mood, because you get more fresh air and sunlight every day.
If you have pets, they’ll love looking through the glass. But they’ll soon get frustrated if they can’t chase those squirrels they’re eyeing. So what’s the best dog door for your sliding glass door? Let’s review some popular models to help you settle on a good choice for your dog.
1. PetSafe Freedom Aluminum sliding door dog door (Our Top Pick)
If someone tells you a device is easy to install, tell them to prove it with a demo. PetSafe is the perfect example of that. The installation steps are simple, but there’s a lot of them, and it’s easy to leave one out. Watch the video and get familiar with all the door parts before you begin.
The door itself is flexible, stretching from 75 to 80 inches to match your door size. That’s if you buy ‘large’ since the door comes in five sizes and has three color options. The dog door has to be drilled at the edge of your sliding door track, but you don’t have to cut or saw anything, so your landlord probably won’t mind. The flap has a magnetic clip it easily slips open and shut.
It also has a solid sliding cover that you can pull over the opening to keep your dog indoors. The cover locks with a pull-pin. The flap itself is tinted for insulation, so it keeps the room from gaining or losing too much heat when the flap is closed. The cover offers added insulation.
PetSafe Patio Panel is a safe, attractive way to give your door access to the yard. It’s easy to install, but it’s not a simple process, so take some time to get familiar with demo videos.
It installs without cutting so it’s suitable for rental homes.
The sliding cover easily slips shut to control access.
The door has a height extension that gives you 5 extra inches.
The installation process is simple, but it can be tedious and involves a lot of steps. You may have to read the instructions a few times and watch a demo video before you try.
The majority of pet doors are made of aluminum. It’s lightweight, weather-friendly, and easy to mold into the shape you need. But this dog door is made of vinyl, and it’s intended for use on vinyl sliding door frames. If you try to mount it on metal tracks or wooden tracks, you might damage the pet door. And the installation process is lengthy so you can’t afford mistakes.
This door is designed for sizable dogs weighing between 91 pounds and 120 pounds. It has an extra-large flap that’s about 10 inches by 15 inches, and the flap is made of double-pane tempered glass to match the styling of your glass sliding doors. The vertical height of your dog door frame is 76 to 78 inches, so make sure your top track isn’t too high to fit.
This doggie door is pretty and practical. It’s ideal for large dogs because the tempered glass can withstand their energy and heft. But check whether you’re buying the single-pane VPP or double-pane VIP. It’s a simple mistake, but it makes all the difference in quality (and price).
It’s customized for vinyl patio doors.
You can adjust the height by two inches.
The frame is made from dual pane glass (low e).
The installation process is complex. It involves multiple tools and you may need professional help to install it … the demo alone is 15 minutes long!
3. Endura Flap Thermal 3e dog door for sliding door
Endura Flap makes multiple styles of pet flaps, so you need to be sure you’re ordering the right model for your needs. This particular piece had a vinyl frame so you should only mount it on vinyl window frames. The frame is plastic, but the top is made of thermally insulated glass. The glass keeps warm air in and keeps out cold air. And the flap retains its form in extreme weather.
That means it doesn’t get flimsy in summer and it won’t harden in winter, even with temperatures below -40°C. It’s also strong enough to ward off 50 mph winds. The company offers a lifetime guarantee on its pet doors. The door blocks UV rays from damaging the items behind the glass. It comes in three colors and you can adjust the height by up to 3 inches.
Vinyl pet doors are generally considered sub-standard, but this one works well. It has weighted magnets on its flap to prevent wind damage and prevent any gaps when the door shuts.
It has an extra-large flap that’s 12 inches by 22 inches.
The frame has an adjustable spring so you can install it without tools.
The flap stays flexible even during winter.
The dog flap doesn’t have a manual lock to limit access when needed.
French doors are the most common type of sliding glass door. And they’re sometimes called French windows, so we’ll use the terms interchangeably. That side, if your door or windows slides down instead of sideways, you may struggle to find a well-configured pet door. Patio Pacific has a horizontal layout rather than a vertical one, so it’s ideal for up-down sliders.
The frame is made of aluminum and it slips into place using a spring-loaded mechanism. The glass where you’re installing your dog door has to be more than an inch thick. The spring load and aluminum housing both allow for versatility. Meaning you can adjust the metal sash to fit widths of 22 to 37 inches. The flap is lightweight so even the smallest dog can push through.
Patio Pacific is a good option for puppies and small dog breeds. It resists corrosion and it can handle harsh weather. The manual security cover bars access when you want the dog indoors.
It has a spring-loaded fastener so you don’t need tools.
If you want it professionally installed, you can call the vendor toll-free.
5. Whiskers and Windows sliding glass door dog door
Aside from its memorable name, this patio door is versatile. The frame comes in two sizes, and with each frame, you can opt for a small flap or a larger one, depending on how big (or small) your dog is. For a smaller dog, you can order the 34-inch to 37-inch flap. For a bigger buddy, try the 46-inch to 49-inch version. You don’t need any tools to install the door – it’s spring-loaded.
This dog door has an aluminum frame and a fitted flap. The flap has manual red and green slider buttons that facilitate a four-way lock. You don’t have to cut or drill anything when you install this doggie door. But if you must, you can cut ¾ of an inch without ruining the product. You’d have to use a metal cutter though, so watch your fingers. It’s best for a 1-inch track.
The flaps on this dog door determine the size of dogs that can slip through. The smaller flaps are 6 inches by 6 inches while the larger flaps are 7.5 inches by 8 inches.
You can extend the height of the window up to 3 inches.
When you order your frame, you can choose a small or large flap.
The frame is aluminum and comes in black or white.
Color-coded locks are easy for humans to use, but the tabs slide easily. So even if your dog can’t tell the colors apart, a smart pet can figure out how to slide the tab they want.
6. Power Pet Automatic sliding glass door dog door
When we talk about double-pane acrylics, safety glass, or aluminum, you may think we’re describing the flap. But it’s actually the upper section of the door. The part in the center of the frame. Power Pet uses double-pane glass in that section, for extra strength and insulation. The outer frame is heavy-duty aluminum. And it has universal locking mechanisms.
This means you can install it on any French door and it will fit. Plus the lock offers added security and protection. The door comes in two sizes to fit 75 to 80-inch and 92 to 96-inch doors. You can order a medium flap for dogs up to 30 pounds or a large flap for bigger ones up to 120 pounds. The door opens and closes automatically, triggered by your dog’s collar.
The automated doors also have an auto safety lock with a deadbolt. The dual-pane insulated glass is bulletproof and can withstand hurricanes, gale-force wind, and harsh weather. It also keeps out air and moisture. Because it’s a motorized system, it has a control panel for its basic functions. They’re electrical doors, so you can use a rechargeable battery or connect it to AC.
The main advantage of this door is its motorized systems. And since it has an optional rechargeable battery, it can still be used in bad weather or during outages. Plus, it’s bulletproof!
The pet door uses bulletproof, weatherproof, double-pane glass.
It has a motorized lock with an automated deadbolt spring.
High Tech Pet wasn’t satisfied with standard pet flaps. That’s why they invented their own patent-pending version. Instead of being a single or even a double sheet of plastic, the flap is made of a row is interlocking composite slates. They’re so tightly fused that they can block off wind, dirt, and even bullets. And there’s a tamper-proof cover for additional locking.
As for the frame itself, it’s made of heavy-duty aluminum and double-pane tempered glass. The mounting hardware and fasteners are stainless steel, and they have a universal design so you can secure them to any sliding glass door. The slat-like flap gives your pet door the appearance of shutters, adding a nice aesthetic touch to your French windows. The dog door is easy to install.
Armor Flex mixes superior quality with top-tier aesthetics. It’s pretty, tough, made of premium materials, and intuitive for your dog to use. And it has a large 8″ by 17″ flap.
The flexible flap is made of interlocking airtight composite slats.
These horizontal slats are dirt-proof, bullet-proof, and weather-proof.
It has a manual sliding cover that’s tamper-proof.
The frame has an adjustable height, but it takes a few tries to figure out how the extension mechanism works.
8. Ceesc Flap for Cats and Dogs pet door for sliding door
The Ceesc dog door is ideal for sliding doors, but there are two caveats. One, it’s mainly a cat door, so your dog can only use it if he/she is well under 30 pounds. (The upper limit is 27.54 lbs.) Two, the dog door mounts directly onto the sliding door. This is different from other brands that come pre-framed and fit flush onto the sliding door track. This needs more skill to mount.
If you’re unsure of your dog’s weight (and if s/he’ll sit still long enough), you can measure their waist instead. The dog door suits dogs whose waistlines are 24.8 or smaller. The door is made of ABS plastic and the shipping box has detailed installation instructions for all scenarios, including sliding glass doors. The edges on the door are smooth and safe for your pet.
Ceesc is a compact plastic dog door that’s for puppies and smaller breeds. It’s a plastic unit, so you can easily replace it when your puppy gets bigger. It needs cut-out space that’s 8.3” x 9.5”.
It has 4-way locks marked in red and green.
The doggie door opening is 8.7 inches by 7.9 inches.
It has a brush to reduce friction and noise.
This is a cut-out door, so while you can safely mount it on sliding glass doors, you’ll have to slice through the glass and reinforce the door with plywood or plexiglass.
9. Ideal Pets Aluminum Sash sliding glass doggie door
Sliding glass doors often move horizontally while sliding glass windows move vertically. So these sideways sashes are designed for window frames rather than doors. And they fit the bill. The Ideal Pets sash is designed for animals who weigh 36to 90 pounds. The sizing varies and stretches across five options that include ‘small dog’ and ‘chubby cat’.
The flap is flexible, and on the days you don’t want Rex going out in the rain and tracking in mud, you can seal the flap with the lock-out slide. It will keep your doors inside while leaving strays and wild rodents blocked off. The aluminum sash is painted white to match your window trim. With this model, you can expand the window width from 33 inches to 36 inches.
When you have a thick sliding window and your pets need access, consider installing this aluminum pet door. It’s sturdy, weatherproof, and easy to install. And it’s pretty too!
It has separate sizing charts for cats and dogs to make fitting easier.
The horizontal layout is ideal for vertically sliding glass.
The extra-large dog flap is 10.5 inches by 15 inches.
This flap only works on vertically sliding glass, so it’s better on windows than doors.
The easiest sliding dog doors to install are pre-attached to their frames. But if you need to do an installation from scratch, think about Mavricflex. Its extra-large dimensions make it ideal for big dogs. It has a magnetic clip to open and shut, and any squeaks or frictions are resolved by the brush that surrounds the edged of your flap frame. Because it’s for a storm door, it’s sealed.
All its edges are waterproofed and weatherproof. You can engage the manual lock when you need the door to be dog proof – like the night before a vet visit when Spike is likely to hide for hours in fear of his shots. When unlocked, the flap is pleasantly lightweight, making it easy for your dog to maneuver. It’s not hard to install these doors, but it’s tedious and needs strong tools.
Mavricflex dog doors are coated in UV-resistant treatments, particularly on the flap. The version for sliding doors has a plastic frame, and all the mounting hardware is included.
It’s built for a storm door, but you can cut it into a sliding door.
The dog flap is 16.7 inches by 11.6 inches.
It has a magnet and a brush to keep it quiet and secure.
Unlike most doggie doors that attach to the existing slider track, this flap attaches directly to the glass, so you need glass-cutting tools and a backing board.
Dog people generally have bigger yards than cat people. Thus because cats like to roam, yes, but dogs need that space to survive. So whether you have a Chihuahua or a Rottweiler, if your home has sliding glass doors, you’d better give Fido full access. But how decide which one to buy?
The size, age, and breed of your dog will all influence the type of dog door you buy. Cats are fine squeezing through tiny openings as long as their whiskers fit. But dogs get skittish if an entryway scrapes their back or belly. Ensure the threshold on the door isn’t too high for your dog to step over, and leave about 1.5 inches between your dog’s back and the top of the dog door.
With sliding glass doors, you ideally want something you can slip onto the slider track with minimal fuss. So the type of door you buy will depend on the type of glass involved. Horizontal sliding doors work best with a vertical dog door and vice versa. You should also verify whether the dog door can sit on the tracks or whether you need to cut it into the glass with plywood backing.
Dog doors are intended to give your pets easy access. But thy can also provide an entryway for criminals and wildlife. So whether your neighborhood attracts raccoons or cat burglars, consider your options of keeping them away from the dog door. You might buy a lockable door that you can snap shut at night. Or a door that only opens when it spots your pet’s ID chip.
You’ll have to train your dog to use the door. And it can be a frustrating task. It involves giving him/her treats as you guide them through the door. Most dogs catch on quickly, but if yours is fussy, it could take a while. So get a door that’s easy for both of you to work with. Or add some money to the budget for a dog trainer. They can come over and acclimatize your dog to the door.
Your DIY Skills
With some dog doors, you have to cut out sections of the door and screw the flap into place. That requires some handyman or handywoman skills. But you can also buy one that slides into place and needs minimal fastening. This type of door is more popular with customers, but you have to get the sizing right. Since it sits on your sliding door tracks, it has to be an exact snug fit.
How is the flap attached to the door? Is it magnetic? Does it have a sliding cover to lock it or can it be sealed with padlocks? Is it motorized so it can close or open by remote when you see your dog approaching? Is the flap dense mesh, fine netting, flexible plastic, or acrylic glass? Are there any printed patterns or decorative accessories? Does the flap look pretty on the outside?
Sliding glass doors are designed to avoid any seepage or air, heat, or moisture when the door is shut. But slipping a dog door between the French window and its frame might leave gaps where cold air can sneak in (and warm air can leak out). So check that the dog door is well insulated and that all potential gaps are plugged, sealed, and caulked, even if your dog rattles the flap.
Your Brand’s Durability
You can’t tell how long a dog door will last just by looking at it. You can check reviews and watch videos. Or you can ask fellow dog owners what they’d recommend and how long they’ve used it. But if you don’t have any of that information, check the warranty. The longer the guarantee, the better the quality. Longer warranties also imply good customer care and after-sales service.
The most common components on dog doors are vinyl and aluminum. Aluminum is more common because it’s sturdier and more durable. Vinyl dog doors allow for additional aesthetics, but they’re not as strong as metal doors. Check for any clasps, edges, corners, or loose sections that might hurt or dog, snag his/her collar, trap his/her fur, or accidentally bar the dog’s access.