Your dog might need to go outside while you are at work, or sometimes you might not notice when he's trying to tell you he needs to go outside. A doggy door will allow him to come and go as he pleases, keeping you both happy.
To build a homemade doggie door you will need a variety of tools to accomplish the task. First, you will need a measuring tape and a pencil to measure your dog. You will also need them to outline the frame of the door on your house door. To cut the opening you will need a jigsaw and an electric drill. To secure the doggy door to the opening you will need caulking and 4 to 6 screws.
Your pet's height will determine where to install the door, and his size will determine how large the door should be. You want it large enough so he can fit through easily and at a height that will allow him to step through the opening.
Doggy door frames come in a variety of sizes so make make sure you buy one that is large enough for your breed of dog. If your dog is still only a puppy you should buy a frame that will fit him when he grows to his full size.
To determine the height of the doggie door, measure your dog from the floor to his chest. Mark the measurement on your house door. It may be easier at this point to work with the door off its hinges, laid down on a couple of supports. Finally, place your doggie door frame at the height you determined earlier, and in the exact center of the door, and trace around it with your pencil.
Constructing the Door
The construction of a doggy door can be a tricky. You will need to know how to use a jigsaw, which needs patience and a steady hand. To make the job easier, DIY expert Ron Hazleton suggests you drill a small pilot hole in each corner of the doggie door tracing. You can use the holes to turn the jigsaw tool around the corners.
To start, insert the blade of the jigsaw into one of the corner holes, holding the tool so the balde it at a right angle. As you trace along your outline it is essential that you keep the tool in this position. If at any point you feel you have lost the postion of the jigsaw, immediately switch it off and reposition the tool at the correct angle.
For a watertight seal and wood rot prevention, line your opening with exterior caulking, and press the exterior doggy door frame firmly inside. You may need to wipe away excess caulking with your fingers.
Turn over the door and place the interior frame of the doggie door into the opening with the hinge side upward, securing it to the exterior frame with 4-6 screws.
At first, your dog might not understand how to use the doggy door. The best way to encourage him is to take him out through the doggy door each time you take him into the yard. If he voids make sure you award with him with a treat. Soon he should start going through the door on his own accord to either exercise or to go to the bathroom.
Simon Thomas has worked as a writer and journalist since 2004. He has contributed articles to several online publications, including Smashing Magazine, an art-and-design e-zine. Thomas holds a B.A. in film and media from Winchester University.