5 Tips for Choosing the Right Size Pet Door for Your Sliding Glass Door
When you think of pet doors, you probably first imagine the classic flaps installed directly into your backdoor. But pet door technology has advanced over the years, and now there are more ways than ever to install a pet door into your home.
One of the most popular pet door options on the market today is a pet door for sliding glass doors. It's an innovative solution that allows your pets the freedom to come and go without committing to cutting a hole in your door or wall.
If you’re looking for a sliding glass pet door panel that offers high quality without compromising on your home’s aesthetics, then you need to check out these tips for choosing the best pet door for your slider.
What Is A Sliding Glass Door Pet Door?
A sliding glass door pet door is a unique solution designed to seamlessly integrate into your existing sliding glass door setup. The pet door flap is built into a panel that slides into your sliding door track. Most panels come in a selection of adjustment ranges to best match the height of your sliding door track.
Depending on the brand, the panel is secured in place either with a spring-loaded topper or screwed into your track. Most panels do not mate with your sliding glass door’s lock, so you will need to purchase an additional locking system, such as a foot lock or a charley bar.
Because the panel doesn’t require any permanent alterations to your door or wall, it’s perfect for anyone who needs a short-term pet door solution. They can be taken with you to vacation rentals or used in apartment buildings without violating your lease.
5 Things You Need To Check Before Buying a Pet Door for Sliding Glass Doors
1) Use Your Pet’s Height to Find the Right Flap Size
While you may be used to gauging your pet’s size with their weight, it won’t help you find what size pet door you should get. Instead, you should use your pet’s height. The top edge of your flap should be at least 1” above the tallest point of your pet’s back.
You can use our measurement guide to learn more.
2) Measure Your Track’s Height to Choose the Correct Adjustment Range
While pet door panels often come with adjustable height ranges to give you the best fit, you will still need to know how tall your sliding glass door track will be.
To measure your sliding glass door track, you can follow the directions in this video:
Make sure that you measure for the lowest corner of your sliding glass door track to the highest.
If your sliding glass door is too short or tall for standard patio pet panel heights, you can order a one with a custom height range, such as the Dragon Aluminum Panel, the Endura Flap Thermo Panel 3e, and the Whiskers & Windows Panel.
Note that all custom orders are non-refundable, so make sure your measurements are accurate.
3) Make Sure Your Slider’s Track Is Thick Enough
Just as different sliding doors have varying track thicknesses, different panels have different width requirements. If your track is not wide enough, you won’t be able to secure the panel into your slider’s rack.
Generally, most panels require a track that is at least 1” or 1-½” thick. If your track is too narrow, you can try building out a thicker well for your panel to slip into. But doing so will most likely violate any renter’s agreements.
4) Check That Your Sliding Glass Door Has A Compatible Rail
Most patio panels can only be installed into sliding glass doors with a U-shaped track. As the name suggests, a U-shaped track has higher ridges but nothing in the middle that would get in the way of a panel.
You need to check to see if you have a monorail track. A monorail track has no ridges and a raised middle that the slider slides along. The raised middle will get in the way of the panel and many panels cannot be installed over it.
If you have a monorail track, you’re not out of luck just yet. Some pet door panels are specifically designed for one or the other. If you want to install a U-shaped panel into a monorail track, you can use a monotrail adapter.
The monorail adapter is made to create that U-shaped track for panels to fit into. Not only that, but it comes in three colors to match your home’s aesthetics: white, black, and silver.
5) Check How Wide The Patio Pet Door Panel Will Be
Pet door panels will occupy space in your doorway, potentially reducing the walk-through area of your sliding door. Before making a purchase, make sure that your doorway will have ample space for you and your loved ones once your panel is installed.
If you have a slider with doors that close in the middle, you will need to have one of the doors anchored to the panel. This will further limit how much space you will have in your doorway.
Choosing the right pet door for your sliding glass door can make life more convenient for both you and your pet. Taking accurate measurements is essential for ensuring that your panel will arrive ready to be installed into your home.
If you find that a patio panel isn’t going to work out for you, you may be interested in having a pet door that is installed directly into the glass of your sliding door.