Ultimate Guide for Accurately Measuring Your Dog for the Perfect Dog Door Fit

You’re considering installing a dog door for your furry friend. Great idea! But before you start, you’ll need to know how to measure your dog for the dog door. It’s not as complicated as it might seem, and we’re here to guide you through it.

You’ll need to take two crucial measurements: the width and height of your dog. These measurements will ensure that your dog can comfortably pass through the door. Don’t worry, we’ll break it down into easy steps for you.

Remember, getting the right fit is essential. You wouldn’t want your dog to get stuck or, worse, injured. So, let’s get started on this simple yet important task.

Key Takeaways

  • The dimensions of a dog door should be bigger than the dog’s size for an easy and comfortable passage. One should measure the shoulder height, body width, and body length of the dog.
  • While measuring the width, the point to measure is the widest part of the dog. This is usually the chest or hips. One should add a couple of inches to the measurement for a comfortable passage.
  • The height of the dog is measured from the floor up to the shoulder blades. Dogs tend to lower their heads while passing through a door, hence the head’s height is not necessary.
  • Reassessing measurements of the door is key as the dog might grow in size or experience changes due to factors such as diet or age.
  • Comfort is a priority while installing a dog door. Therefore, other factors, such as the door’s step-over height and its placement, should also be considered.
  • Regularly check for any damages and reassess the measurements to create a comfortable and efficient dog door.

Ensuring a proper fit for a dog door is crucial for your pet’s comfort and safety. Endura Flap provides an easy-to-use calculator that helps determine the best door size based on your dog’s measurements. PetDoors offers a comprehensive guide on measuring your pet in five easy steps, ensuring you choose the right size pet door. Additionally, Pet’s Choice Supply breaks down the steps to accurately measure your pet for a door, helping avoid common sizing mistakes.

Choose the Right Dog Door Size

Defining the right dog door size is essential for the safety and comfort of your pet. It’s not just about preventing your canine friend from getting stuck, but also about ensuring that they can easily access the outdoors whenever they want. You’ve taken the correct measurements, so your next step is crucial – selecting the appropriate dog door size.

So, how do you pick the perfect size?

First and foremost, you need to remember that the dog door should be bigger than your dog. It sounds obvious, but it’s something that’s easily forgotten. Give your pet enough space to enter and exit comfortably.

Whenever you’re choosing the dog door, these are the measurements you should have at hand:

  • Shoulder Height
  • Body Width
  • Body Length

Your selected dog door width must be wider than the widest part of your dog’s body, usually the shoulders or hips.

The door height is another crucial factor. It shouldn’t be any less than the shoulder-to-ground height of your dog. Ensure it’s big enough so your dog doesn’t have to crouch, stoop or hopping through it.

For the length, consider how your pet will navigate the flap. If they’re young, agile, and small, a shorter flap might be enough. But for older, larger, or less agile dogs, you might want to go for a longer flap that’s easier to push.

Remember, getting the right door size for your fur friend also hinges on their growth or changes in weight. Adapting to changes is key to making sure your dog enjoys sustained use of the door.

Make a conscious choice! Don’t rush the process of selecting a door size. Your dog’s comfort and safety are at stake.

Measure the Width of Your Dog

Moving on to one of the prime factors in selecting a dog door – the width of your dog. It’s crucial to have an accurate measurement of your dog’s width in order to select a suitable door. This clarity on measurements ensures your pet’s comfort while passing through the door and reduces the risk of injuries.

Start by getting your dog’s attention. You might want to use a treat or toy to keep them steady. Have your measuring tape ready. Then measure the widest part of your dog, which is generally the chest or the hips.

Don’t worry, it’s not as daunting as it may seem – here’s how:

  • Stand to the side of your dog.
  • Find the widest part – usually the chest area.
  • Hold the starting point of your measuring tape against one side of your dog’s chest.
  • Extend the tape directly across to the opposite side.
  • Notice the measurement where the tape meets the furthermost point of the chest or hips.

Congrats! You’ve successfully measured your dog’s width. Remember, you should always add a couple of inches to the measurement. This ensures a comfortable passage for your dog, preventing any awkward behavior or potential injury.

Consider these measurements not as one-off tasks, but rather a part of your routine pet care. It’s particularly important as puppies grow rapidly and adult dogs might have changes in body size due to diet, illness, or age.

With this knowledge, you’re on your way to choosing the perfect dog door. But the selection isn’t only about width. Carry on to the following sections to understand more facets to consider during this process. Your dog’s comfort, safety, and happiness are all counting on this crucial selection. Keep going, you’re doing great!

Just remember, no door is perfect if it isn’t the perfect fit. The right measurements make all the difference, ensuring your dog can move in and out of the house effortlessly and safely. Stay tuned for more on how to find the perfect size dog door considering other significant measurements – length and height.

Measure the Height of Your Dog

Moving on from measuring the width, it’s as equally important to determine the height of your dog for a perfect fitting dog door. To obtain the most accurate measurements, get your furry friend to stand tall on all fours. This posture is vital as it simulates how your dog will usually pass through their door.

Start your tape measure at the floor and stretch it to your dog’s shoulder blades. It’s significant to record the measurement at the highest point of the shoulders, also called the withers, and not the head. Here’s why – dogs tend to lower their heads as they step through a dog door, meaning the height of the head is often less crucial.

Reasons for Measuring at The Wither
1. Dogs bend their heads while passing through a door.
2. The highest point while moving tends to be the withers, not the head.
3. The withers give an accurate height measurement for dog doors.

Don’t forget to add a bit of height to your measurement. The margin, typically a couple of inches, will provide plenty of room for comfortable passage, especially for older dogs who might not be as nimble as they once were. After all, comfort is key when ensuring your dog’s optimal use and enjoyment of their new door.

Another vital fact worth remembering: like width measurements, you’ll need to reassess the door’s height as your dog grows or experiences changes in size. Sticking to the same measurements taken during puppyhood or a year ago may not be the best choice. It’s recommended to check your dog’s size at least once a year.

With the width and height sorted, let’s also take into account other factors such as the step-over height and door placement. For dog doors to serve their intended purpose – a handy passage for your pets – every detail of the measurements should be just right. With good planning and regular measurements, you are well on your way to creating a convenient and comfortable dog door.

Consider Your Dog’s Comfort

When measuring your dog for a door, it’s absolutely crucial that comfort tops your list of priorities. Notwithstanding exact measurements, the purpose of a dog door is to provide your pet with easy, hassle-free access both in and out. So, how might you ensure this?

First off, it’s essential to account for your dog’s physical peculiarities. Does your dog have a deep chest, long legs, or a tendency to gain weight? If that’s the case, add an extra couple of inches to your measurements to accommodate. This approach is also sensible when you’re dealing with an older dog that may have developed arthritis and could struggle stooping to clear the dog door.

Then there’s the much-neglected yet pivotal aspect of the step-over height. For those unfamiliar, this refers to the height from the bottom of the door flap to the ground. The recommended step-over height is roughly one-third the height of the dog at the withers. A step that’s too high could prove troublesome for your pet, whereas a step that’s too low could expose your home to outdoor elements or even unwelcome critters.

Think about the changes that might occur over time as well. Puppies grow, older dogs may lose weight, and therefore, regularly reassessing your dog’s size can prevent discomfort in the future. Regularly check the weather stripping around the dog door too. Over time, it can wear or be damaged, making the dog door less efficient and possibly harder for your dog to use.

Lastly, consider door placement. Where you place the door affects how easily your dog can use it. An awkwardly placed dog door could cause your pet unnecessary anxiety or struggle. Experiment with several different placements, even considering factors like your home’s layout, to achieve what works best for you and your furry friend.

Choosing and installing a dog door isn’t a one-size-fits-all task. But by giving due regard to your pet’s comfort and needs during the measuring process, you’ll help ensure peace of mind—not just for your dog, but for you too.


You’ve now got the knowledge to measure your dog for a dog door that’s both comfortable and practical. Remember, it’s not just about the height and width – it’s the extra inches, step-over height, and door placement that really matter. Don’t forget to reassess your dog’s size regularly and check the weather stripping for maximum comfort. By taking these factors into account, you’re on your way to providing a well-fitted dog door that your furry friend will love. So, grab your measuring tape, take a deep breath, and get started. Your dog will thank you for it!

Q1: Why is it essential to prioritize my dog’s comfort when measuring for a dog door?

Measuring your dog accurately for their door ensures they can go in and out easily without discomfort or injury. It is especially crucial for older dogs with arthritis or breeds with particular physical attributes.

Q2: How much extra should I add to my dog’s measurements?

It is suggested to add a few extra inches to your dog’s measurements. This caters for physical peculiarities such as deep chests or long legs.

Q3: What is the step-over height and why is it important?

The step-over height is one-third of your dog’s shoulder height. It is important as it affects your dog’s comfort and ease of use, especially for older or physically-challenged dogs.

Q4: How often should I reassess my dog’s door size?

We advise regular reassessment of your dog’s door size. Changes in your dog’s size due to growth or weight loss may cause discomfort or difficulty in using the door.

Q5: What is the role of weather stripping in a dog door?

Weather stripping around the door helps keep the house insulated by preventing drafts. Assess this regularly to maintain your dog’s comfort and avoid energy waste.

Q6: Does door placement affect my dog’s ease of use?

Yes. Placement of the dog door is key. Ideally place the door at a location easily accessed by your dog, where they will not stumble on furniture or other obstacles.