When Dog Doors Meet Sliding Glass Doors

A Need-to-Know guide to patio panels! So your pet needs their own door but you need your that kitchen door or wall intact? A great option requiring little to no tools are Sliding Glass Dog Doors. These great panels do not ask to modify the frame of your sliding glass doors. Installation is simply placing the panel in the same track your slider slides on. The panel will meet with your frame and can even adjust to your track height with its spring loaded top!

As there are a few things to consider with these panels, we will be touching on the most important!


What to Measure

Make sure your panel will fit before you order and you will save time and money. The two things to measure pre-installation are:

  1. Your track height: Check out this guide for a visual representation. You will need to measure your track from the deepest parts at the top, and likewise for the bottom. If you have a rail in the bottom, measure as far past that.
  2. Your track width or thickness: This will determine if the panel you are looking at will sit snug or loose. Measure the track your slider is on from the interior side of the home to the exterior.

Vinyl or Aluminum?

Patio panels are typically manufactured using aluminum. A common concern is for those with a vinyl slider frame. Contrary to popular belief, aluminum panels can be inserted into a vinyl slider. The concern with the two materials has to do with the fit. Vinyl frames tend to have wider tracks than aluminum frames.

The solution: Shim or toe-nail the panel. Shimming can make up for room on the top or bottom of the panel. To toe-nail the panel in, screws are drilled in at angle to go through the panel and into the track. This helps the panel’s stability. While you may want a vinyl insert to match with your slider, be aware there are less sizing options and height ranges available. In fact, the only vinyl panel is the Ideal VIP 150, which comes in a dog or cat version.


Most panels will not mate with your existing slider lock, but they do come with an alternative locking mechanism. There are a few solutions PetDoors.com can offer. With no tools required, you can use a Clamp lock or Charley Bar. These locks can be taken off your slider any time of day. The clamp lock attaches to the bottom of your track, while the bar sits between the frame and slider. Additionally, each pet door comes with their own locking cover!

With tools required, there is a Foot Lock you can also attach to the slider. This lock is drilled in and is conveniently foot operated! You can use this lock for any slider, although it is more secure option for taller sliding glass doors.

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