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Everything You Need to Know About Pet Doors for Garage Doors

Mia Daniele

Your pets deserve to have the freedom to explore the outside world—or at least, your backyard. And having a Dragon Pet Door is one of the best ways to do it. But sometimes, the more convenient place to install your pet door is your garage door.

But can you install a dog door into a garage door?

The answer: yes!

The Dragon Pet Door for Doors makes a great garage dog door. The frame is sturdy and the two-piece magnetic flap is perfect for keeping the cold air out of your house. If you want to install a pet door for your garage door, read on to learn about the risks, some requirements, and every step in the installation process.

curly haired dog sitting in office

Are Dog and Cat Garage Doors Safe?

Pet doors will work the same no matter where you install them, but there are some safety concerns related to installing them into a garage door. First, if your pet door is installed into a garage door, your pet might become too comfortable being near moving machines. Your dog and cat might become more daring around moving cars and other dangerous household appliances.

Additionally, many pet owners are concerned that they might open their garage door while their dog or cat is halfway through their pet door. They can become stuck, and injury will occur. They’re also worried about their garage door closing on their pet.

This is why we recommend installing pet doors into garage doors that are used rarely, if not at all. If you do have to use your garage door, make sure you know where your pet is before doing so.

If you want to install your pet door elsewhere, there are plenty of pet doors out there that install into walls, windows, and sliding glass doors.

Pre-Installation Requirements

Now that we’ve addressed a few safety concerns, let’s discuss the actual requirements your garage door would need in order to properly install a Dragon Pet Door.

First off, your garage door will need to be at least 1” thick. If not, our pet door will not properly, or safely, fit. If your garage door is too thin, you can try to add thickness. By building out your garage door with another material, such as wood, you will create a stable surface that your pet door can safely be installed into. Just be careful not to build it out too much-- Dragon Pet Doors can’t fit in surfaces thicker than 1 ⅞”.

Second, let’s consider the type of garage door you have. If your garage door is a single slab of metal or wood, then you can install any pet door with no problems. However, if your garage door is a sectional, your garage pet door can’t be bigger than an individual panel. Most panels on a sectional garage door are on the smaller side, which means you’ll be limited to smaller pet door sizes.

Another problem with sectionals is that the panels’ size might make it hard to properly position your pet door. Your door needs to be at least 1” higher than your dog’s back, or else you risk injuring them.

If your garage door is not thick enough and the panels in your sectional are too small, you’re not going to be able to install a pet door for garage doors. However, if both look good, then we’re ready to move on to actually learning how to install into a garage door.

dog smiling up at camera

How to Install Into a Garage Door

Once you’re sure that you meet all of the pre-installation requirements, installing a pet garage door is not much different from installing a regular pet door. Dragon Pet Doors are designed to be ready to install the day it arrives and you can view the unabridged installation instructions at any time on our site.

However, we’ll go through a summary of each step here.

Parts List

  • Flap and Frame Assembly
  • 4 Long Frame Screws - 2 ¼" long 10-24 machine screws
  • 4 Short Frame Screws - 1 ¾" long 10-24 machine screws
  • 4 Frame Nuts - serrated flange 10-24 hex nuts
  • 4 Frame Washers - steel 9/16" washers
  • 1 Locking Cover - rectangular sheet with a hole near the top

Required Tools: Phillips screwdriver, electric drill, 5/16” or 3/8“ drill bit, jigsaw, painter’s tape, pencil.

Optional Tools: Flathead screwdriver, 3/8” socket or wrench, pliers.

Step 1: If possible, remove the garage door or the sectional panel. Use the template found with your flap and frame assembly to trace the size of your rough-cut out. Make sure that you leave enough space at the bottom so that your dog has the proper step-over.

Step 2: Remove the template from your garage door or panel. With a 5/16th (8mm) or 3/8” (9,5 mm) drill bit, 5/16” preferred, drill through the corners of the outline with the tip of the bit directly on the outline’s corners. Make sure your drill is kept level and that it drills all the way through the surface.

Using a jigsaw, cut along the lines you drew in Step 1. Cut as straight as possible; aim to not deviate more than 1/8” from the line on either side.

If you have a single flap unit, the frame with the flaps installed goes on the inside of your house. If you have a double flap, it does not matter which one goes on the inside or which goes on the outside of your house.

Step 3: Assemble your pet door frame around your rough-cut out. You can use painter’s tape to help keep the frame in place during this process.

If your door is 1 ¾” thick, use the longer 2 ¼” screws provided. If it is 1 ⅜” thick, use the shorter 1 ¾” screws provided. DO NOT overtighten screws.

Tighten just enough for the frames to sit sturdily flush with the door. Place a steel washer onto a frame screw (the 2 ¼” or 1 ¾” screws) and place it into one of the four frame screw openings from the inside frame to the outside frame. The inside frame should have the screw head.

Thread a flanged nut onto the screw by hand, reaching through the frames or around the door. You do not need a washer under the nut. The nut should be on the outside frame. Tighten down with a Phillips-head screwdriver.

Repeat for all four screws.

dog using the dragon pet door for doors

Step 4: At this point, there should be a washer visible on the inside frame and a nut visible on the outside frame at each of the four points. Remove the tape holding the frames to the door. If the frame positions need to be adjusted, loosen each of the screws without removing the nut, make the adjustments, and tighten back down. Ensure the frames are flush with your door and are sturdy

Step 5: With a silicone sealant of your choice, we recommend sealing any gaps on the corners of the inside of the frames, as well as anywhere the two frames meet.

And there you have it! Your brand new doggie door for garage doors!

Dragon Pet Doors are made to be affordable pet door solutions for anyone who wants quality and energy efficiency in their pet door. Garage door pet doors are not the best solution for every household, but for those it is, we’re happy that you picked Dragon.

Mia Daniele

Written by

Mia Daniele

Copy Editor
DOG PERSON🐶

Pets: I have a fluffy, 14 year old chow-collie mix with red fur named Rosso. He's very stubborn and has the standoffish personality of a cat.
Fun stuff: I am a hot chocolate connoisseur.

Copy Editor
DOG PERSON🐶

Pets: I have a fluffy, 14 year old chow-collie mix with red fur named Rosso. He's very stubborn and has the standoffish personality of a cat.
Fun stuff: I am a hot chocolate connoisseur.

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