I want to get a pet door for my old dog. Is there something special I should keep in mind?

Aging dogs have different needs than puppies, and there are some things to consider when choosing a pet door for an older dog.

Some breeds are prone to back problems, and other dogs get arthritis. Others move around just as well as when they were younger, but may need to go outside more often. This is particularly true for dogs on certain medications. A pet door can allow the older dog freedom, prevent accidents in the house, and let them take their time.

Aging furry friendHowever, the aging dog might not be as keen on ducking down to get through a pet door as a young dog. They might also have problems lifting their legs or jumping, so they might not want to step over a high threshold.

Both these problems can be solved by getting a pet door that is a size larger than the dog would theoretically need. That way, it can be mounted closer to the floor and still have the top of the opening high enough so the dog doesn’t have to crouch to get through.

Wall-mounted doors include a tunnel, and old dogs with long backs and short legs, like Dachshunds, may have a hard time stepping over both the threshold and the tunnel. A solution to this could be building a ramp, or steps to make the door accessible.

On the outside of the house, there’s usually a drop-down that might not faze a  younger dog. An older dog with some aches and pains will be less likely to want to jump. This too can often be solved with a ramp or steps.

Some older dogs run into problems with flap doors. The magnets might be too strong, so the dog can’t open the door. Or, vision problems might make them unwilling to step through the flap door. In these cases, the PlexiDor is an excellent solution – the panels swing easily and are clear, so it’s easy to see something on the opposite side of the door.

> Return to Learning Center