Pet Door Install Considerations

Pet Door, Dog Door, Cat Door Installation Considerations

Information that should be considered along with the dog door Installation Instructions

Selecting the Best Solo Pet Door Size for Your Pets

When selecting a Solo Pet Door for your cat or dog, you should understand that your pet will use this pet door in a different manner compared to a flap type door. Dogs and cats will very often run through a flap door once they are accustomed. Proper clearance is needed so that the animal will be less likely to hit the sides or top of the opening. It is usually recommended that flap doors are sized so that the top of the pet opening is 1 1/2″ -2″ higher than the tallest pets shoulders. This is so that the flaps are not pinched causing premature wear.

The Solo Pet Door will introduce your pet to a different behavior when using the automatic pet door. When using the Solo Pet Door, your pet will walk up to the pet door, it will activate and they will exit or enter. Pets will not run through as they might with a flap door. Customers have asked us if pets have any problems learning to use the Solo Pet Door. We have never heard of any pet that will not use the pet door. Some pets may take a little longer to acclimate to a pet door that opens seemingly by itself, but every customer has had success with their pet using the Solo Pet Door.


When selecting a Solo Pet Door opening to accompany your pet, keep in mind, the selected opening can be mounted so that the top of the opening would be 1″ higher than the tallest pets shoulders. When a dog or cat uses the opening, they step through. The pets profile will slightly lower as they step through. The bottom of the opening should be low enough to the ground to allow for easy navigation given the characteristics of your pet. Keep in mind, older dogs and arthritic dogs may require a lower step over rise so they do not drag their legs or have to raise them too high to cause them pain or discomfort. The width of the opening should be such that the sides of the pet do not scrap the sides of the pet door opening.

Hint: To test a potential pet opening width, open a door in your home to the same width as the pet door you are considering. Call your pet through. You will be able to see how much clearance is available on the sides.

If you have multiple pets, then the rule is simple. Tall enough to clear the shoulders of the tallest pet by at least 1″ and low enough to the ground to allow easy navigation for the smallest pet.

Additional Considerations for Installing the Solo Pet Door in a Wall

1. The Solo Pet Door when installed in a wall is designed to completely inside the wall. This results in a smooth appearance with regard to the surface of your wall. There is no framing profile that juts out into the room. A heavy duty 1/8″ thick ABS cover panel allows for easy access to the internal controls and mechanisms of the pet door. This cover plate has an orange peal texture that can be painted to match your walls.

2. When cutting the opening for the Solo Pet Door through the wall, you will cut the interior wallboard of your wall to accompany the entire unit. Add a 1/4″ to the dimensions of the size of the Solo Pet Door you have purchased to allow for easy an easy sliding in action in the desired location.

Example: If installing a Solo Pet Door 1812 model, the unit dimensions are 40″ high by 16″ wide. When making your first cut through the interior side of your wall, make your cut 40.25″ high by 16.25 wide.

Note: The following Solo Pet Door sizes will fit between the studs or normal walls that have stud work 16″ on center: 1008, 1210 & 1510. The larger 1812 and larger size pet doors may require you to T-off a stud to allow for the unit to be placed in the wall. Consult a qualified contractor if you do not feel comfortable doing this.

3. Solo Pet Doors do not recommend that customers make their rough out cuts into walls or doors until they have the Solo Pet Door unit on site. Having the pet door at the ready allows for proper placement for the type of pets it is being used for as well as minimizes cutting errors.

4. The Solo Pet Door may be hardwired to internal wall wiring, or can be plugged in with a cord to a common wall outlet. Hard wiring will look better since the wires are hidden inside the wall, but my require a qualified electrician.

5. Framing the Solo Pet Door in your wall. The smaller Solo Pet Door sizes can be easily secured to a stud with the screws that come with your unit, with the larger 2014 and larger pet door models you may want to frame around the unit in the wall to provide extra stability.

6. While the Solo Pet Door installation takes into account more factors than simpler designed pet doors, we have found that many customer actually install these themselves. If you have any questions during the dog door installation or if your contractor has any questions; please give us a call 7 days a week. We will be happy to assist you.

Additional Considerations for Installing the Solo Pet Door in a Door

1. The home door you have selected for a Solo Pet Door installation should have enough surface area for the Solo Pet Door to mount to. Many doors will have a glass portion at the top. The smaller Solo Pet Door will easily mount below these windows on the door. The larger sizes, will encroach over the window and be very difficult if not impossible to install.

Example: A typical home door that is half glass and half solid at the bottom will typically have 38-40 inches of solid door (bottom portion) before the window framing starts. The Solo Pet Door 2014 model has overall dimensions of 44″high x 18″ wide. If you would try to mount this to the door in our example, the Solo Pet Door would overlap the window making proper installation impossible. Smaller pet doors will have no problem in our scenario. Usually we recommend to customers to consider getting a different home door to install the Solo Pet Door into, or consider a wall-mounted dog door installation.

2. Plug-In Cord: The Solo Pet Door requires you to plug in the unit to a common electrical outlet. When the Solo Pet Door is installed in a home door, very often your wall outlet may be farther than the length of the Solo Pet Door cord will reach. You can use a common extension cord to plug to the Solo Pet Door cord, then push the connection up into the frame. The remaining cord can often be hidden behind a wall board or mop board that may run along the edge of your flooring.

3. Types of home doors that will accept the Solo Pet Door: The Solo Pet Door can be installed on any door type, metal skin / insulated, wood, fiberglass etc. If mounted on a metal door, you will notice that the Solo Pet Door will open and close once when you use the the home door yourself. The reason for this is when metal moves it generates a small magnetic wave. The sensor in the Solo Pet Door will pick this up and cycle only once. It will not continue to open and close. This normally will not interfere with the use or reasons for choosing the Solo Pet Door for your pet.

4. Panel Doors. The Solo Pet Door easily mounts to any surface door. Most doors in homes have panel designs or irregular surfaces. The Solo Pet Door has no problem mounting to these types of doors.

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