"My dog is too small to use this heavy of a door, so I need to return it."
While we agree that our dog doors for small and large dogs are made of quality material and provide the appearance of a "heavy door", your dog is very capable of using any of our doors, despite their size. If your dog has used a dog door before, the transition period and acclimation process will be very quick. If your dog has not used a dog door before, follow our acclimation training tips provided in our installation instructions. Remember to keep the sessions short and include lots of praise or treats. With short and rewarding sessions, your pet will catch on very quick and use the door in as little as 1 day. Timid/Shy dogs can take up to a week or more to gain their confidence and trust before using the door independently. For such dogs, you may consider our trainer kit.
For reference, we raise Vizsla's, English Pointer's, and English Setter's. When the pups are 4-5 weeks old (3-7 pounds), they use our Heavy Duty Dog Door ® to go from the puppy pen to the outside run. If you have more questions about our dog door sizing or heavy duty dog flaps, feel free to contact us.
"I think you shipped me a one-way door, I ordered the “Heavy Duty Dog Door ® which is 2-way door..."
We get this call enough times to place it on our FAQ list. The unique design of the Heavy Duty Dog Door® and Big Dog Door™ allow them to be 2-way operating doors, while looking like one-way doors. These specific doors work in both directions with the assistance of 4 hinges. Referencing the dog door mounted on the exterior mounting surface, the entire dog door assembly (frame and acrylic panel) opens when the dog exits (exterior/front 2 hinges were used). When the dog returns, only the acrylic panel moves through the tunnel (interior/backside 2 hinges were used) allowing the dog to return to the house/garage/kennel room.
A lot of us are visual learners so even after the above is explained, a few customers insist that we ship them the 2-way door they purchased. Depending on how I think the customer will react, I sometimes say, OK, you got me, we only sell one-way doors, because you see my kids are going to college and I need you to purchase 2 doors so I can double my revenue! SILENCE is often the result. Then I resume and say OF COURSE we would not sell one-way doors. If so, we would not still be in business after 30 years of offering these pet doors. So, we often ask them to install the door on the mounting surface to visualize how the door functions. It is fun and rewarding to “hear” the lightbulb turn on as the customer now understands how our unique two-way dog door operates. As soon as the customer understands the doggie doors' functionality, we often hear many wonderful comments about how ingenious the design is and then a lot of positive comments about how the door is made of such high quality material.
"I have dogs of different breeds, some are big and some are small. Which door should I get? How should I install it?
This question is more a function of our recommended clearance between the dog’s chest and the dog door frame. We recommend the bottom of the rough opening be 2” below the dog’s chest.
If you have dogs that are of significant size difference, we recommend you use the Big Dog Door ™ or Easy Big Dog Door ™ which when installed low, will accommodate both sized dogs.
"I don't know which dog door is best for my dog, can you help me decide?"
We get questions about how to choose a dog door a lot. The first determining factor will be size. Our doors come in small, medium/large and extra-large. The dog's weight will help you determine which size you should choose. For small dogs 20lbs or less, like terriers, you will want a small size dog door. For 21- 120lb dogs you will want a medium/large size dog door. If your dog is very large (120 - 200+ lbs), like a Great Dane or German Shepard you will want either the
If you have an old, arthritic dog the Easy Dog Door style may be more suited. You can get a drop-in or guillotine closing panel to keep out bad weather.
If your dog has never used a dog door before and you are leaning toward the heavy duty style, we also sell dog door training panel replacements to acclimate your dog to the new design and functionality of the door.
The Heavy Duty Dog Door® is by far our most popular product. Both styles are two-way access, chew-proof and made in American using premium quality materials. They both have a 10-warranty.
"Do the doors lock?"
The doors are secure when you add either our Drop-In Closing Panel or Guillotine Closure kits. The closure kits are mounted on the interior of the application. This way the pet is allowed to use the door when you decide. Check out either our Drop-In Closure Panel Kit or the Guillotine Closure Kit. We offer kits specific to the dog door you purchased or can custom make the size that fits your needs.
"How long will it take to ship?"
We do everything possible to ship the exact same day you ordered. The only exceptions are orders placed late in the day, weekends, and Holidays. We ship with UPS and USPS.
How to properly mount your doors:
Before we talk about how the doors are mounted, let’s understand your application. If your application requires the purchase of our PVC Trim Kit, then the trim kit is installed first and fastened with 8 total screws. The next step is to install the actual dog door onto the trim kit. This only requires 2 screws! We have customers of all handyman skill levels and even the rookie handyperson is able to install our trim kit and dog door in under 5 minutes (this does not include creating the rough opening or framing out the rough opening to accept the PVC Trim Kit to ensure there is adequate material to fasten the PVC Trim Kit and Dog Door to – this takes around 15-20 minutes.)
If your application does not require one of our PVC Trim Kits, then the dog door mounts to the mounting surface with only 2 screws (included with purchase). Yes, 2 screws holds the door to the mounting surface.
How to properly trim the door:
Door openings are trimmed out with our PVC (both wall and door applications) or Wood (only door application) trim kits. Otherwise, you're welcome to have your contractor or yourself trim them out with the appropriate wood and or aluminum material to cover up the sharp edges and internals of the mounting surface.
- "I’m building a new kennel, how should my contractor trim out the openings?"
This question applies to the single door customer or a customer who is having a large kennel built by a contractor.
The first step in installing our dog door is to ensure your install height it determined. We recommend the rough opening to be 2” below the dog’s chest.
Next, we want to make sure you have created a frame that has material strong enough to fasten the dog door to. There are too many applications to cover all of them in this answer, but generally speaking, you need to make sure the fasteners (screws) will be securely fastened into the mounting surface.
We then would recommend that you purchase our PVC Trim Kits. Our PVC Trim Kits are made to fit all of our dog doors. NOTE: The rough opening size required is slightly larger compared to the dog door opening required size!
If you and your contractor would like to use material on hand to trim out the tunnel, we recommend making the “picture frame” out of green treated lumber. Leave 2.5” clear from the rough opening then the contractor can J-Channel around that rectangle. The 2.5” clear area can be and is recommended to be covered with flashing or some other material to 1) prevent moisture from getting into the “picture frame” and deteriorating it over time and 2) cover up the rough edges of the tunnel.