Measuring Your Pets
Measuring Your Pet the Easy Way:
Find a pet door you like on the website. Get a piece of cardboard, cut a hole that is the size of the flap dimension in the cardboard, stick it in a doorway, and call your pet thru to make sure that it is comfortable. If you are considering a panel pet door, cut the hole to simulate the rise, e.g. if you are thinking of a 5" rise, cut the hole 5" from the bottom of the cardboard.
Measuring Your Pet the Other Way:
Step 1: Find out your minimum flap width. Measuring your dog or cat will lead you to believe you need a much larger door than is actually necessary. Harley pictured below measures 15" from the tip of her fur on one side to the tip of her fur on the other, but she uses an 11" door very comfortably. The easiest way to get an accurate measurement is to open a door just wide enough that your pet can get thru, and then measure the width of that opening. This is your minimum flap width, you can add an inch to make things more comfortable.
Step 2: Find out your pet's height. Measure your pet to the top of his/her back at the front shoulder. The top of the pet door flap should be at or slightly above this height.
Step 3: Find out your pet's clearance height. Take a measurement from the floor to your pet's chest. This is the clearance, and your pet door flap should start at or slightly below this measurement. On a pet door for a wood or steel door, you can choose to mount the pet door at whatever height is comfortable for the animals. On sliding glass door panels the distance from the floor to the bottom of the flap is called the rise measurement and is a fixed height (not adjustable).
If your pet is not fully grown: To estimate the adult size of your puppy or kitten refer to the breed standards. If in doubt call us, we have some good reference material that can help to make the right decision.
What it looks like when you get it right :
This is what a properly sized and installed pet door should look like. The 11" width flap suits the Golden Retriever just fine. The height of the flap is 16 inches, and it is set up off the ground so that the flap is just an inch or so above the dog's shoulder height. Stepping over the 8 inches from the floor to the bottom of the flap is no problem for a dog this size. But what should you do if you have more than one pet, in more than one size???
What do I do if I own more than one pet???
Let's suppose you are the proud owner of Harley the mixed breed, Brady the Corgi, and Isaac the German Shepherd. You need to find a pet door that will fit all 3 dogs. Harley is, well… a little chubby. She requires at least a 10 inch wide opening, but would prefer 11 inches. Brady is a short dog with only 4 inches of clearance. And then there is tall and lanky Isaac, who stands 27 inches at his shoulder. Which door fits all of these dogs? A Hale Extra Tall Large for a door or wall installation, or a Thermo Panel IIIe or Quick Panel III for the slider, as these have flaps tall enough for Isaac that can be located low enough for Brady, and wide enough for Harley.