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How to Build a Hidden Cabinet Doggy Door

How to Build a Hidden Cabinet Doggy Door

2020-08-17

Doggy doors are such a great way to allow your dog ample time outside. No one likes opening and closing the back door every 5 minutes for their dog. But doggy doors are definitely not the most aesthetic. They love to explore the outdoors. What better way to encourage their adventurous spirit than a convenient cabinet doggy door?

You want me to cut a hole in the back of my kitchen cabinets for the dog??

Okay, it may seem strange at first glance. Hear us out. There are actually a few reasons why base cabinets are the best place to install your doggy door:

A doggy door hidden inside a cabinet.

  1. It’s a creative and cool way to hide your doggy door without detracting from your home’s decor.
  2. You can easily close it or lock it to keep your dogs safe and happy.
  3. The cabinet provides a little extra insulation during the summer and winter. Have you ever walked by your doggy door on a cold winter morning? No thanks.
  4. It’s like the wardrobe to Narnia, butfor dogs.

With benefits like these, the appeal for an easy access doggy door is plain to see. Read on to check out how you can provide your furry companion a cabinet doggy door in your own home.

How to Build a Cabinet Doggy Door

Cabinet doggy doors work wonderfully in any room, as long as the base cabinet is located against an exterior wall. Look around your kitchen, garage, or laundry room to find the best location for your house.

Obtaining a Pet Door

To create a DIY cabinet doggy door you’ll first need to purchase a pet door kit. Alternatively, if you’re particularly handy, you can craft your own frame and find a matching flap to use instead.
Pet door kits are generally priced upwards of $30. With some models running into the hundreds, the costs will vary depending on the size of your animal and the style of door you prefer.
Since you will be creating a hole between your cabinet and the outside and your home, you’ll want to find a doggy door model that is wide enough to bridge the gap between your wall space, is naturally insulated, and weatherproof.

Safely Cutting a Doorway through your Cabinet and Wall

Aside from the tools you need to install the pet door itself, you’ll also need something to cut through the back of your cabinet and through your exterior wall to create the door hole.
A drywall reciprocating saw is useful for cutting through your wall. You’ll also need measuring tape to determine the size of your dog and how large their exit needs to be to form a comfortable fit.

The inside of the doorway you created must also have internal side-walls to keep your dog from moving around behind the walls of your house. Some doggy door models are wide enough to accommodate this blockage, but if yours isn’t, you’ll need to craft and install side-barriers within your doorway. Remember: You should check to ensure there are no studs, pipes, or hazardous wires behind the cabinet and wall you intend to operate on. Use a stud-finder to check for studs in the wall, and contact your local building inspector to learn if there are any obstructions around your cabinet. Otherwise, if you accidentally encounter obstacles like studs when cutting into your wall, you’ll end up needing to repair the hole and create a new one—adding a lot of unnecessary labor to your day.

An orange and black stud finder

Installing your Doggy Door

The doggy door you’ve purchased should come with instructions, but just in case they didn’t, or you built your own doggy door from scratch, here’s a quick guide on your doggy door installation.

Test the fit of your doggy door by placing the frame inside of the doorway you’ve cut out. If the frame is still too large, trim down the doorway until there’s a better fit.
Arrange the ends of your frame on both the inside and outside of the doorway, making sure the door-flap is positioned between them.
Lastly, connect both ends of the doggy door with screws to tighten the frames into place. Take care that you don’t overdo it and secure too tightly or the frames may crack.

Furnish and Reveal your Doggy Door Cabinet

Now that the doggy door has been installed into your cabinet, it’s time to add in pet beds, food bowls, and anything else your pooch would love to have in their personal hideaway.
Afterward, it’s time to introduce the door. Tape open the flap and help familiarize your dog with the entrance you’ve created by calling them through and giving lots of treats—and before you know it your dog will be happily enjoying the new cabinet cubby to their heart’s content!

A doggy door hidden inside a base cabinet box.