The most common are “General Purpose” models intended to adapt to virtually any sliding glass door. They normally come in a variety of sizes and may be “spring-loaded” for easy put-in and take-out or they may be toe-nailed in your track. The “spring-loads” are the most popular and common.In recent years vinyl framed sliding glass doors have become much more common and there are doggie doors for sliding glass doors designed specifically for that situation. We suggest starting with these and then moving to a general purpose type if there is some feature missing or if it doesn’t seem to meet your needs.Finally, there are a few magnetic-operated or motorized panels that may be used to control access. Your pet may come and go but intruders are kept out. You might also want this type if you’re trying to let the dog out but keep a cat or other animal in.Important considerationsThere are three that are most important:In choosing a pet patio door it is vital to know that your track height is in the adjustment range of the door you have chosen.Secondly, you must be sure that the flap size and step-over is appropriate for your pet.Finally you need to be sure that you’ll have room to walk out yourself if you have a pet patio panel in place! If not, and you’d still like to use your patio door, take a look at the through the glass category page.As well, there are quite a few other details that might be important for you to think about in purchasing any panel pet door. Begin with key points to get a quick overview of the most important issues. Then study the comparison chart and read the information on the patio panel FAQ’s on this page which cover the fine points of sliding dog doors.Important noteThese pet doors for sliding glass doors aren’t only for dogs. In fact, they may be a better choice for cats than the ones intended specifically for cats! The reason is that each manufacturer generally offers a “Small” size and the flaps are all flexible and, therefore, safer than rigid “cat flaps”.
Measure the height of your sliding glass door trackDon’t just assume that ‘it’s standard’ as they do vary. Using a ruler, measure inside the track, very top to very bottom (see the illustration in the patio panel FAQ section). Always compare your track height to the adjustment ranges shown for the various pet doors. Endura Flap offers custom heights for odd-sized sliders and windows. Most others don’t.Determine how wide the flap needs to beOpen your sliding glass door wide enough for your pet to come through comfortably. Allow room for growth as needed. There’s your minimum width. Don’t buy a flap that isn’t at least that wide.Determine the flap height and step-over dimensions you needIdeally, the top of the flap will be at least as tall as the top of the pet at his ‘withers’ (top of his shoulders). That way he doesn’t have to crouch to use the pet door. The ‘step-over’ dimension is the height of the bottom of the flap above the base of the pet door. That’s how much he has to step over.So, flap height plus step-over is the height of the top of the flap.Generally, the lower the step-over tthe better. Especially when your pet is older or arthritic. So you might prefer a flap 17″ tall with a 3″ step-over to one with a 15″ height and 5″ step-over. Both reach 20″ at the top, but the taller flap yields a lower step-over.More flap and less step-over can also be helpful if you’ve got a small pet that needs to share with a larger one. A pet door that incorporates a user adjustable step-over makes it simpler and offers more flexibility for the future. These are only available with Endura Flap pet panels.Check the color of your framingMost brands are available in white, satin (aluminum color) or bronze (very dark brown). You can paint any of these to get a different color if you wish but the easiest to paint is the white. Check with your local paint shop for primer and paint recommendations.See if you have dual-pane glassYou probably do and, unless you’re in a Very temperate climate area, you’ll want to choose a pet door that has dual-pane glass also. You can tell by placing a finger on both sides of your glass. If they look like they’re touching, you have single pane. If they stop about 1/2″ apart, you have dual pane.If you want dual-pane glass, how about Low “E” also?This coating on the inside of dual pane glass units performs much better than regular glass in insulating your home.Are you looking for high wind resistance–so you want higher magnet strength on the flap–or are you planning to share a larger flap between a big dog and a smaller dog or cat–so you may need less resistance, especially at the bottom of the flap?A Variable Magnet Strength Flap will give you enormous flexibility from extremely wind resistant to very easy to push and everywhere in between. Look for this feature if you think you may have a need. PetSee if you’ve got vinyl framesThere is more standardization in the newer vinyl framed panel doors. Some patio pet doors are manufactured exclusively for this application.Worried about bugs flying in between the patio pet door and the screen?Check out the Bug Warden. If you ever keep your sliding glass door open for ventilation, this is a ‘must’ product.
4. A great idea is to use a ‘Charley Bar’. The Charley Bar mounts behind the sliding glass door on the jamb and locks the sliding glass door against the pet door. You don’t need a pet door to use a Charley Bar. They’re frequently used just to improve the security of a sliding glass door. When used with a pet door, the Charley Bar has an important added benefit. The pressure applied is near the center of the sliding glass door which results in more even pressure between the sliding door and the pet door. This, in turn, helps make a tighter seal between the two and reduces the chance of a leak.
Patio panel pet doors go by many names, but they all offer great solutions to add a doggie door or cat door to your sliding glass door. No need to cut a hole in a door or wall. No need to modify your sliding glass door framing. When you move, take it with you. Look below for some of the best pet doors for sliding glass doors.
After fitting your pet, be sure the remaining opening in your sliding door fits you. If it’s tight and this situation displeases you, look for a dog door sliding glass door with a higher aspect ratio for the flap. For example, why get a 14″ x 23″ flap if your pet can easily use a 12″ x 23″? You just saved two inches. Or you can put a pet door directly through the glass of your sliding glass door: See Pet Doors “Through The Glass” Category Page..
Will the pet door keep out the weather?Some pet doors guard against the weather better than others. A well made pet door will keep the weather outside while letting your pets inside, as well as be durable enough to withstand the elements! Top choices for weather-proof dog and cat doors for sliding glass doors would be brands like Endura Flap (Thermo Panel 3e) and Hale (Omni and Standard Panels).Why would I pay hundreds of dollars for a pet door?You pay for quality, so when you buy a more expensive pet door you are buying a higher degree of energy efficiency as well as durability. Better insulated pet doors will save you money on your AC/heating bills by keeping more of your heated or cooled air inside. Higher quality pet doors require less in replacement parts, and usually carry better warranties than lower quality options. You are paying for the quality of the materials: glass, metal, and the flap all play a role in how well the pet door will perform.Will I have to replace flaps and parts every year?Depends on the pet door you choose! Higher quality pet doors may not require replacement parts for your pet’s entire life, while less expensive pet doors might need new flaps as often as once a year depending on climate and use. If you don’t want to replace flaps, investing in one of the more expensive pet doors can pay off in the long run.
Sample Door Installations Install your pet door in almost any door or wall in your home to control your pet's access to certain rooms or areas. YardBedroomLaundry RoomDeckAny Room/Outdoor Area Yard Bedroom Laundry Room Deck Any Room/Outdoor Area Install a pet door in an exterior door to give your pet access to your yard. We've even got a special pet door designed just for paneled doors. Interior pet doors in your home let you keep certain pets in or out of certain rooms. Install it in the door to your bedroom to let the cat in but keep the dog out or vice versa. Install a pet door in the door to the room where you keep the litterbox, such as a closet or laundry room, to give your cat a private bathroom. Cats prefer to potty in a quiet space, so giving your cat a little more privacy can help prevent litter box problems. Let your pet join you out on the patio or outside deck with a sliding glass door insert or pet screen door. You can also install a pet door in a wall. Many of our pet doors have optional tunnel extensions to allow you to install them in wood, stucco, or even brick walls.