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    How To Properly Size A Pet Door

    Are you moving to a new home with your pet? Are you buying a pet and you figure you’ll need to buy a personal door for the pet to enter and exit the house?

    You can’t just estimate the size of your pet and build a pet door based off of that. It’s always a good idea to measure your pet before you buy or construct a pet door. Accessibility and comfort are the key things that every pet owner should have in mind when buying and installing a door for the pets. If these two attributes are compromised, then the pet door has not been properly sized.

    Measuring Your Pet

    Two important measurements you will need to carry out on your pet are:

    • The height;
    • The width.

    As you measure your pet, the pet needs to be standing.

    The height of the pet is to be measured from the feet to the top of the shoulders, otherwise known as the withers. That bony protrusion that lies just between the shoulder blades? That’s what is known as the withers. It excludes the head and ears, and is regarded as the tallest point of the pet’s body. After all, when entering the pet door the pet will lower its head and use that to push open the flap, won’t it (without crouching, of course)? So, measure from the feet to the withers or top of the shoulders, pet standing, in order to get the pet’s height.

    The width of the pet is gotten by measuring two things. First, measure the width from shoulder to shoulder. Then measure the width from hip to hip. But what if you have a pet that has a lot of hair? Of course, that hair is going to take up some space too. An alternative way to measure your pet’s width is to open the door wide enough for your pet to pass through without squeezing, then measure this width.

    In case you have many pets sharing the same pet door, measure the tallest and the shortest.

    Measuring Your Pet Door

    You cannot use the exact measurements you got from your pet when buying a pet door. You need to consider the changes that may occur in your pet’s life as they get older. You can only use the measurements from your pet’s body as a guide to buying the perfect pet door. So how do you get the exact measurements for the pet door using your pet’s dimensions?

    • Add an inch or two to your pet’s height dimensions to determine the height of the door flap;
    • Add an inch or two to your pet’s width measurement for more room and for safety;
    • Some distance between the floor and the bottom of the pet door flap should be taken into consideration. This is called the step-over, and it is usually ⅓ of the pet’s height at the withers.

    An important point to more is this:

    step-over + door flap height = total distance of the pet door

    Why Does All This Matter?

    Does it seem unnecessary to go through all these specifics just for a pet door? Well, it’s not really. Here’s the thing.

    Imagine if you had to get up and open the main door each time your pet needed to go take a walk or a leak, even when it’s in the middle of the night!

    Another reason why all this accuracy is important before buying and mounting a pet door is that your pets won’t stay young forever. As your pets age, they will be less agile. If moving around the house is made to be difficult now, your pets will develop problems at the joints and hips and in the bones as they age. Aging is indeed inevitable, but at Idaho Pet Doors we want to put these complications as far off as possible by constructing pet doors that will make it easy for your pets to move around without squeezing or crouching.

    The health and happiness of your pet is vital. If your pet is happy, then you are happy. This is actually our slogan at Idaho Pet Doors, where we pay special attention to your pet’s mobility for a longer and happier life.

    If you’re still not too sure about what size pet door you need to buy specifically for your pets at home, don’t hesitate to contact us at Idaho Pet Doors and we will help you choose, construct and install or repair, the perfect door for your pets.