The first thing you want to do is get your dog’s height. To do that, get your pet to stand straight. Then, find the tallest point on his back, which is between his shoulder blades (also called withers). Once you locate the tallest point on his back, measure your pet from there to the floor. And that’s it!
Tip: You want to have at least 3.8 to 5 cm of clearance above the dog’s back. Regardless if it’s small dogs or large dogs, if the door is too low, it can injure your pet, leading to stress-related hip or back problems. An inadequate distance can also cause the pet flap to wear and tear prematurely.
The second thing to measure is his width. To do so, measure the widest part of your dog which is shoulder to shoulder.
Your four-legged friend may be puffy and have a lot of hair, adding a few centimeters to your measurements. You don’t have to include those extra centimeters in your measurements as the hair will fold in as they move through the door.
There’s a way of finding out whether you have the right width measurement. Simply block off a portion of your doorway and leave as much space as your width measurement. Let your dog pass through to see if your dog will need a smaller or larger door.
Keep in mind that if you have multiple dogs, you have to take all of their measurements into consideration.
Your dog door must be big enough for your largest dog, but not so large for your smallest pet. However, know that in some cases, a single door won’t be comfortable enough for your largest and smallest pet. For example, if you have a Newfoundland and a Chihuahua, then you’ll have to install two separate doors.
If you happen to have a medium and a large-size dog, then you’ll be able to find a door that fits both sizes. But the trouble appears when you want to accommodate a small-size and an extra large-size breed.
Once you have taken the dimensions of your dog, it could be useful to make sure you have the right measurements. To do so, replace the dimensions into cardboard and check if your dog can go through. In this way, you’ll have no doubts that you’re purchasing the right flap.