In this article, we talk about the reasons pet doors for large dogs are so beneficial, and we’ll explain the things you want to look for when picking a doggie door.
We’ll also review the best dog door products to make it easier for you to find a pet door that’ll work for your large breed.
Even if you love your big dog dearly, you’re still undoubtedly inconvenienced by him from time to time. You have to build time into your schedule to feed him, walk him, take him to the vet, and give him a bath once or twice a month.
Our Top Recommendation for Dog Doors!
The do-it-yourself PetSafe pet door is wall and door compatible and allows pets to move through it at their own will. Further on, it contains weather-proof double flaps and PVC-insulated slide-in closing panels to withstand UV rays and is suitable for large dogs.
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But modern pet owners have access to a number of products and services that can make some of these burdens a little easier to bear.
Pet doors are one of the best examples, as they will drastically reduce the number of times you have to take your furry friend out to go to the bathroom – with a dog door, he can just run out to the backyard when need be.
Pet doors are helpful for most pet owners, but they are especially helpful for owners of big breeds, as large dogs often have a greater need for the exercise and “elbow room” than their smaller counterparts do.
Best Pet Door for a Large Dog
|PetSafe Wall Entry Pet Doors
|• Pet parents can control door access owing to slide-in panels
• Magnetic base of the flap ensures it remains closed
• Quality plastic guarantees rugged usage
|PetSafe Freedom Sliding Glass Pet Door
|• Comes in five different sizes, including options for extra-large and tall breeds
• Comes with a slide-in closing panel to restrict access when necessary
• Strong aluminum frame and tempered glass window
|Baboni Pet Door for Wall
|• Built to preserve your dog’s energy and keep your home safe from invaders
• Dust strip attachment eliminates dirt particles from seeping in
• Can be used on walls such as PVC, brick, stucco, wood, etc.
|BarksBar Original Plastic Dog Door With Aluminum Lining
|• Soft and flexible vinyl flap is designed to work for years without warping
• Sliding panel is chew-proof to ensure that your dog won’t escape
• Telescopic frame adjusts to fit most doors
|PetSafe Extreme Weather Pet Door
|• Paintable frame allows you to match the door to your home’s décor
• Rated as 35 times more efficient than single-flap doors
• Comes with a single locking panel to prevent your pet from using the door, and it will work with an optional second panel, when the temperatures are especially hot or cold
|Plexidor Weatherproof Dog Door
|• Includes a steel security plate for when you’ll be out of town
• Can be locked with a key
• Energy efficient
|Endura Flap Double Flap Wall Mount Pet Door
|• Double flap construction with magnets ensures energy efficiency
• Self-framing” pet doors prevent moisture from getting into the walls
• Guaranteed for 15 years
There are a wide variety of large pet door products on the market, but the following 7 are certainly among the best large dog doors available.
We’ve tried to include each of the primary types of pet doors, so you can find one that will suit your situation.
About: The PetSafe Wall Entry Pet Door lets your pet enter and exit at their leisure and leaves no room for injuries. To attach, measure the door, cut through the wall, and install the pet door. Remember, this pet door is ideal for houses where owners cannot establish a pet door into the human entrance.
The telescoping tunnel allows you to use the door in walls ranging from 4 ¾ to 7 ¼ inches thick; suitable extension kits for walls thicker than 7 ¼ inches are supplied separately. This do-it-yourself project is simple to install in any indoor or outdoor wall, and it comes with a cutting blueprint and step-by-step instructions.
Notable Characteristics and Features:
- Slide-in door panels to control pet’s access
- Designed for installation in siding, stucco, or brick walls
- Durable plastic frames to withstand heavy use
- Flexible flap with a magnetic bottom
- PVC frame withstands UV exposure
Owner Reviews: Although some customers have found the installation process more complicated than necessary, many agree that the door guarantees durability and hassle-free functionality once installed. All in all, PetSafe is an excellent choice for dogs of all breeds and sizes.
Bottom Line: A global brand name in pet products, PetSafe is a trustworthy choice for dog doors. Their numerous styles of doors work best to cater to varying pet owners’ requirements and account for the comfort factor for your pet.
Additionally, PetSafe presents the perfect solution for when your pet is not using the door: a slide-in closing panel offering further insulation and a double-flap providing weatherproofing and energy efficiency.
About: The PetSafe Freedom Sliding Door is the best option for owners who have a sliding glass door on their patio, and it’ll also work as a replacement panel for some aluminum doors. It is easy to install (and uninstall, if necessary), and it won’t ruin the aesthetics of your patio or deck.
Notable Characteristics and Features:
- Comes in five different sizes, including options for extra-large and tall breeds
- Comes with a slide-in closing panel to restrict access when necessary
- Strong aluminum frame and tempered glass window
- Sliding glass door installation works great for apartment/condo dwellers, as it can be removed when you move
Owner Reviews: Most owners were very happy with the PetSafe Freedom Dog Door for a sliding glass door, and reported that it was easy to install and, when necessary, remove.
Several owners mentioned that while it made it easy for their dog to come and go as he pleased, it didn’t allow flies and bugs to get in their home.
Many also liked the fact that the pet door comes with a lock mechanism, so you don’t have to compromise on safety to give your dog an easy way in and out of the house.
Bottom Line: If you access your backyard via a sliding glass door, this is clearly the best (and often, the only) pet door for your needs. You’ll want to be sure you select the proper size, so measure your door (and your dog) carefully before picking one of the models.
It is a little more expensive than some other sliding door pet doors, but you’ll likely forget about the extra money you spent once you see how easy it is to install this pet door.
About: Allow your cats and dogs to go in and out without your assistance, and schedule potty breaks or playtime for them on their own with Baboni doggy doors. Metal steel and aerospace-grade aluminum alloy make up the Baboni pet door. It is intricately constructed using automotive laser welding technology, adding elements of both functionality and aesthetics that are important in house design.
The solid magnetic closing on the soft and flexible double flap helps efficiently save energy. Also, a slide-in metal panel is attached to assist against harsh weather. When the door is not in use, it also provides security for your house. Not to forget, the telescopic tunnel can accept walls ranging in thickness from 4 ¾ to 7 ¼ inches.
Notable Characteristics and Features:
- Comes with a double flap and metal mounting bar
- Included dust strips for upgraded protection
- Aluminum door lock with one safety door
- Fashionable and sturdy at the same
Owner Reviews: Most owners were satisfied with the Baboni pet door, even preferring it over big brand names in the industry. They complimented the quality of the door available at an economical rate.
Many were impressed with solid metal doors as opposed to plastic. Additionally, the magnetic strips at the bottom preventing the flaps from blowing in the wind were a bonus for several pet parents.
Bottom Line: Baboni’s top-of-the-line features are a brilliant attraction for many pet parents. Therefore, if your doggy door needs an upgrade with a fully metallic frame, stylish look, combined with protection against dust and other small animals entering the house, Baboni has you covered.
Moreover, the wall installation kit incorporates all the essential equipment that can finish the job and have your pet door ready in no time.
About: The BarksBar Original Plastic Dog Door is a standard dog door that is designed to be installed in an exterior door. However, it comes with a few bonus features, such as a magnetic latch on the door flap and a rigid, sliding panel to restrict access to the door.
Notable Characteristics and Features:
- Soft and flexible vinyl flap is designed to work for years without warping
- Sliding panel is chew-proof to ensure that your dog won’t escape
- Telescopic frame adjusts to fit most doors
- Sliding panel locks into place automatically
Owner Reviews: The BarksBar Original Plastic Dog Door received some of the best reviews of any dog door we found. Most owners reported that it was very easy to install and that it worked well for their pet.
A few owners did complain that the door allowed some rain to splash through the flap, but this is not a huge problem (if it is raining outside, your dog is going to track water inside the house anyway – just put an absorbent mat below the dog door).
Bottom Line: Given its low price, the BarksBar Original Plastic Dog Door provides more value than many of the other dog door options we reviewed. It appears to be well-built and durable, although it probably won’t last quite as long as some of the other options.
Nevertheless, you could purchase two of these pet doors for the same price that you could purchase one door offered by most other manufacturers.
About: If you live in an extremely hot or cold region, you must select an insulated dog door, which will help prevent your heating or cooling bills from rising dramatically.
Fortunately, that’s easy to do with the PetSafe Extreme Weather Pet Door, as it features a unique, three-flap system, which helps prevent the air inside your home from leaking out the dog door.
Notable Characteristics and Features:
- The paintable frame allows you to match the door to your home’s décor
- Rated as 35 times more efficient than single-flap doors
- Comes with a single locking panel to prevent your pet from using the door, and it will work with an optional second panel when the temperatures are especially hot or cold
- Easy to install, even for those with minimal tools and experience
Owner Reviews: Most owners were very pleased with the PetSafe Extreme Weather Pet Door. It appears easy to install and very effective at maintaining the temperatures inside your home.
A few owners noted that it isn’t the most durable dog door on the market, and a few complained that the flap is not transparent, which makes it more difficult for some dogs to learn how to use.
Bottom Line: This doggie door will work for most owners who are looking for a standard dog door, but it is especially effective for those who are concerned about heating and cooling costs.
We’d hesitate to recommend it for dogs who tend to chew on things, but it should work well for most well-behaved dogs.
About: Are you tired of replacing the flaps on a traditional pet door? The shatter-resistant panels on Plexidor Weatherproof Pet Doors are sturdier than vinyl flaps. Additionally, you can lock the flaps closed with a key.
For added security, a steel security plate is included that you can attach when you’ll be out of town. The large size is good for dogs up to 100 pounds and the extra-large size is good for dogs up to 220 pounds.
Notable Characteristics and Features:
- 5-year limited residential warranty
- Made in the USA
- Can be locked with a key
- Includes a steel security plate for when you’ll be out of town
- Energy efficient
Owner Reviews: The only common complaint is that the door springs start to fail or get stuck after a while and need to be replaced. Otherwise, people have plenty of good things to say about these dog doors.
They stayed shut against a nearby tornado and kept out enough water that a single paper towel cleaned up the few drops of water that got in. They stayed shut in a windstorm.
The doors resist chewing. And one reviewer just bought their 3rd Plexidor in more than 20 years. Most people had good things to say about the customer service, as well.
Bottom Line: You may need to replace the door hinges at some point, but that seems like a small price to pay for one of the sturdiest dog doors available. This will keep water, wind, and pests out of your home better than most other pet doors.
Additionally, the extra-large size is big enough to make it a great option for tall dog breeds like Irish Wolfhounds and Great Danes.
About: The Endura Flap Double Flap Wall Mount Pet Door uses magnets to keep the flaps closed, even in winds up to 50 mph. The sturdy aluminum tunnel fits interior or exterior walls up to 8″ thick.
It also includes a secure locking cover for when you want to keep your dog in or out or when you go out of town. It comes in black, tan, and white, so there’s sure to be a color that matches your home
Notable Characteristics and Features:
- Available in 3 colors and 4 sizes
- Double flap construction with magnets ensures energy efficiency
- Secure locking cover included
- “Self-framing” pet doors prevent moisture from getting into the walls
- Guaranteed for 15 years
Owner Reviews: The biggest complaints about this door revolve around the difficulty of installing it. Even professionals contractors report needing 3-4 hours to install it.
Once it’s installed though, most owners rave about this product. The magnetic flaps keep out cold, wind, and rain, and the door is sturdy all around, making it very energy efficient.
Bottom Line: If you opt for this model, you may want to hire a handyman to install this door for you. It’s worth the money and saves on energy bills, but cutting a hole in an exterior wall and installing this double flap door for dogs is a task best done by people with a fair amount of experience.
Why You Need to Buy a Pet Door
There are a variety of reasons a doggie door will improve the lives of you and your big dog, but the following six reasons are among the most important.
1. Pet Doors Help Prevent Accidents
Even the best-trained dogs are likely to suffer from the occasional accident, but by installing a pet door, you can all but eliminate this possibility, as your dog can always go outside (where he’d rather go to the bathroom, anyway).
2. A Doggie Door Reduce the Number of Times You Have to Walk Your Dog
Although you should still make time to take your dog to the park or walk around the neighborhood from time to time, a dog door will reduce the frequency with which you must do so, as your canine will be able to relieve himself whenever necessary.
Just think about how relieved you’ll be when you don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to take your pet outside.
3. A Dog Door Helps Prevent Pet Boredom
Boredom is a big problem for many dogs, who are forced to hang out indoors all day, patiently waiting for their next walk.
But with a pet door, they can just go explore the backyard whenever the impulse strikes them. This will likely help eliminate many bad behaviors too, as bored dogs often become destructive chewers.
4. Pet Doors Allow Dogs (Particularly Big Dogs) to Get More Exercise
Unless you take your dog on at least one long walk each day, or you go out to the backyard and play fetch every afternoon, he is probably not getting enough exercise. But by giving him a dog door, he can go outside and run around much more frequently.
5. Doggie Doors Will Help Protect Your Home and Furniture from Unnecessary Wear and Tear
Because a dog door will usually encourage your dog to play outdoors more often, he’ll end up spending less time indoors.
This will help to reduce the amount of damage he causes to your floors, couch, and walls. This is even true for well-behaved dogs, as wear-and-tear to your home is just a natural side-effect of pet ownership.
6. A Dog Door Will Help Reduce the Amount of Shed Hair in Your Home
If you have a dog that sheds heavily, you’ll want to allow him to spend as much time outdoors as possible (within reason), as this will help keep more of his shed hair outdoors.
This obviously won’t eliminate all of the hair in your home, but every little bit helps.
Types of Pet Doors
In the past, pet doors for large dogs only came in one or two styles and they only worked with a small number of doors. However, modern manufacturers now market dog doors that work in many different types of locations and applications.
A few of the most common dog door types include:
1. Standard Dog Door
Standard dog doors are designed to fit exterior (and occasionally interior) doors to your home. They usually consist of a relatively thin metal or plastic frame and feature a flexible door flap.
Many pet doors also feature a rigid panel that can be inserted to seal up the door when necessary (such as late at night).
2. Pet Door for Sliding Glass and Patio Doors
Some dog doors are designed to work with a variety of different glass, vinyl or aluminum doors. These can be very easy to install in sliding glass doors, but they’re often a little trickier to install in other locations.
This type of door typically features a flexible flap-like a standard dog door, and some also come with a rigid panel to prevent your pet from exiting the home.
3. Pet Door for Screened Patios
Screen porches present unique challenges for owners interested in installing dog doors. Fortunately, you can purchase a split-seam-style dog door that’ll allow your dog to come and go as he pleases.
Most feature magnetic strips that cause the seam to close after your dog passes through.
4. Dog Door for Walls
If your back door isn’t in the right location for a dog door, or it is made from materials that make it impossible to add a pet door, you can always install a dog door in a wall.
Wall-style doggie doors are pretty similar to standard pet doors, except that the frame is typically much thicker. Do note that it is much more difficult to install these types of pet doors than it is to install a typical dog door.
Things to Look for When Buying a Dog Door for Big Dogs
You must be sure to pick a dog door that will work well for your home and your pet, so every owner will have a slightly different list of things to look for when picking a specific product.
However, most owners should look for a dog door that comes with the following features or characteristics.
#1. Locking Panel
From time to time, you’ll want to restrict access to the pet door and prevent your dog from coming inside or going outside. Most standard dog doors come with a locking panel for exactly this purpose, but some of the low-end, “economy” models leave these out to keep the price of the door low.
#2. Multiple Flaps
You only need a single flap to make an effective dog door, but models featuring multiple flaps will help keep bugs and extreme temperatures outside. Timid dogs may require a little more encouragement while learning to use double- or triple-flap models, but most will eventually learn to use them with confidence.
#3. Easy to Install Design
Unless you enjoy complicated and difficult home-improvement projects, you’ll want to make sure that you select a dog door that is easy to install. We have tried to help in this regard, as all seven of the best dog door recommendations above received high marks from owners in this regard.
#4. Adjustable Frame
An adjustable frame will make it much easier to install a dog door, so most owners should look for a model that features “telescoping” frames, as they’ll work with a pet door of varying thicknesses.
Just be sure that you carefully review the manufacturer’s installation instructions before you make your purchase, to ensure you select a product that will fit.
#5. Appropriate Size
Because most Canine Weekly readers own large dogs, it is important to remember that a big dog needs a big dog door.
All of the dog door options above are designed for dogs who weigh up to 100 pounds, and several are appropriate for giant dogs such as Great Danes, St. Bernards, Newfoundlands and Great Pyrenees who weigh as much as 220 pounds.
Summing Up the Best Dog Door for a Large Breed
A large dog door is a great way to make your life easier and give your pet more freedom. And while some dog door products fail to work properly and are difficult to install, we’ve tried to make things easier by pointing out some of the best pet doors available.
Each of the 7 doggie doors for large dogs listed above should be easy to install, easy for your dog to use, and look great in your home. Just be sure to select the model that meets your specific needs and measure your pet door carefully before making your purchase.
Have you ever installed a dog door in your home? We’d love to hear about your experiences. Did you find the installation process easy?
Was it challenging to teach your dog how to use it? Do you know of a particularly good model we failed to mention? Let us know in the comments below.
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Yes, but unusually, burglars will use dog doors. Doors that are made for dogs are usually small and may not be able to fit a human through. If the hole is big enough, they may use it as a point of entrance. To prevent burglars, it is best to lock up any potential access point, including dog doors.
The dog door with a collar key system will be the most secure. These kinds of dog doors have a unique collar and key that the dog carries. When the dog reaches the door, the key unlocks it, allowing it to enter and leave the house. Another option can be electronic dog doors with microchip technology. They are safer than manual dog doors.
It will depend on the kind of door and installation location. While some dog doors may only need a few simple tools for installation, others could need to be installed by an expert.
The manual dogs are simple to install. They generally include a design to cut a hole in the wall or door and can be put in place with a few simple tools. Installing electronic dog doors can be hard, and only a professional technician can install them, and they are the safest ones.
Yes, it can be possible for other animals to enter your home through your dog’s door. Animals like raccoons, snakes, rats, or cats can enter your home through a dog door. To keep other animals from entering your home, make sure the size of your dog is appropriate for your dog. Also, employ the collar key system to keep other animals out of your home.
Whether to place a dog door in the wall or door relies on several factors, including personal preferences, your home layout, and your dog size. Since it is more difficult for burglars to enter your home through a wall, installing it on a wall is usually considered safer than installing one in a door.
If you don’t have dog doors, there are numerous alternatives that you can use to give your dog to go outside. It includes flaps, screens, windows, electronic doors, magnetic mesh, etc.
Yes, snakes can sometimes come into the house through a dog door. Snakes don’t open doors; they just need to locate a dog door that is already open or has any hole or space. They can get inside through tiny gaps, cracks, and openings in the walls, windows, or doors; if you have a dog door, close and safely seal their flaps.
If your dog is not using its door, there are multiple reasons, including anxiety or fear, lack of training, age or health, small door size, etc. Try to train and teach them to use their doors, and use positive reinforcement training, which involves leaving the door open and praising the dog when it enters through it.
Yes, rats can come in through dog doors. They have been known to fit through small openings in doors, so it’s possible that they could fit through a dog door if a flap or door is not shut tightly. However, it is crucial to keep them out as they can spread disease and harm your house. The best way is to close the tiny holes securely.
To teach your dog to use a dog door, keep it open first, give positive reinforcement, lead the way in with toys, practice frequently, and use a specific demand when you want your dog to use the door. If you’re facing any problem training your dog, seek the advice of a professional dog trainer.
Forrest is a lover of dogs, the wild outdoors, deep mysterious conversations… and coffee. He is the owner of several websites, including Canine Weekly. He resides in Austin, Texas.