How to install a portable doggy door

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Give your dog or cat the freedom they need by installing a doggy door at home. The best part about these portable options is that you don’t need to change the door or cut a hole – separate panels slot into your existing sliding/patio door. Genius! Especially if you’re renting. Here’s how to install your pet door.

Tools and materials:

Pet door kit (includes door – top and bottom sections, Lock-in slide, Bumper seal strip, Locking bolt and two screws, Weather seal strip, Extension piece)

Phillips head screwdriver

1. Check your portable dog door kit is complete

Before you get started, open the kit box and check you have everything listed on the side. You’ll need to make sure you have the top and bottom halves and the vertical joiner pieces. Get everything out, lined up and ready to go.

Overview of tools needed to install a portable dog door

2. Attach joiner to the base

For this bit you’ll need a Phillips head screwdriver – if you don’t already have one, head over to Bunnings and pick one up – they’re super cheap and come in super handy. Attach the joiner pieces with the screw and the screwdriver – this is what is going to connect the top piece to the bottom piece.

DIY worker screwing screw into portable dog door

3. Put the two pieces together

If you’re not very tall, you might want to get someone to help you with this step. Simply slide the top bit into the bottom bit and then tighten with screws. Turn around and repeat on the other side.

DIY worker screwing screw into portable dog door

4. Place dog door in your doorframe

Once your portable doggy door is in place, release your locking screws – it will spring up and lock. The pet door should fit neatly in the frame with some tension on the spring-loaded section, but you can add an extension part if you need to. Tighten the top locking screws.

DIY worker sliding dog door into sliding door frame

5. Watch your dog or cat discover their newfound freedom!

Stand on the other side of the door with a treat to coax them through – this works really well, especially with food-orientated dogs. If you’re using your doggy door for a cat it may take longer for them to discover it. If they’re happy for you to pick them up, manually try posting them through to show how it’s done. If this doesn’t work, try placing their food on the other side of the door when it’s dinnertime – their tummy will get them moving! Once they’ve done it and realised it’s harmless, there will be no stopping them! But remember to close the door at night to keep your kitty in.

DIY worker closing portable dog door.

Find out more

Liked this project? There’s plenty more where that came from in out Make It Yours series or check our more projects from episode one.

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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