Easy and Landlord-Friendly Guide to Installing a Pet Door in Your Rental Property

Renting a property often comes with a set of rules and restrictions, which can make personalizing your living space a bit challenging. One common issue pet owners face is the need for a pet door. Fortunately, with the right approach, you can install a pet door in a rental property without causing any permanent damage or upsetting your landlord. This guide will walk you through the process, ensuring that your installation is easy, reversible, and landlord-approved.

Understanding Your Lease Agreement

Before you start any installation, it’s crucial to thoroughly read your lease agreement. Some leases may explicitly prohibit modifications, while others might allow them with certain conditions. If the lease is unclear, reach out to your landlord or property management company for clarification. Getting permission in writing is essential to avoid any future disputes.

Choosing the Right Pet Door

Selecting the appropriate pet door is the first step in ensuring a smooth installation process. There are several types of pet doors available, and the one you choose should align with your needs and the constraints of your rental property. Here are a few options:

  1. Sliding Glass Door Inserts: These are great for rental properties as they don’t require cutting into doors or walls. They fit into the track of your sliding door and can be easily removed when you move out.
  2. Pressure-Mounted Pet Doors: These doors fit within your existing door frame and are held in place by tension, similar to baby gates. They are easy to install and remove without causing damage.
  3. Removable Pet Door Panels: These are designed to fit into your door or window frame and can be taken out without leaving any marks or holes.
  4. Temporary Pet Doors: These can be installed in a window or door opening and removed when no longer needed. They are usually secured with non-permanent adhesive or suction cups.

Tools and Materials Needed

Depending on the type of pet door you choose, the tools and materials required will vary. However, for most installations, you’ll need:

  • The pet door kit
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Drill with bits
  • Screwdriver
  • Level
  • Jigsaw (if cutting is required)
  • Sandpaper
  • Caulk and caulk gun (for weatherproofing)

Step-by-Step Installation Guide

1. Measure and Mark

Start by measuring your pet to determine the appropriate height for the pet door. The top of the pet door should be at least an inch taller than your pet’s shoulders. Mark this height on the door or wall where you plan to install the pet door.

2. Prepare the Installation Area

Clean the area where you will install the pet door. If you’re using a sliding glass door insert or pressure-mounted door, ensure the tracks and frames are free from dirt and debris.

3. Install the Pet Door

For Sliding Glass Door Inserts:

  • Place the insert into the sliding door track.
  • Adjust the height of the insert so it fits securely.
  • Use the provided locking mechanism to secure the insert in place.

For Pressure-Mounted Pet Doors:

  • Position the pet door frame in the door opening.
  • Adjust the tension rods until the frame is securely held in place.
  • Ensure the door swings freely and your pet can easily pass through.

For Removable Pet Door Panels:

  • Place the panel in the door or window frame.
  • Use the provided hardware to secure the panel in place.
  • Check that the panel is level and secure.

For Temporary Pet Doors:

  • Position the pet door in the window or door opening.
  • Use the suction cups or adhesive strips to secure it in place.
  • Test the door to ensure it’s secure and your pet can use it comfortably.

Weatherproofing and Finishing Touches

To ensure your new pet door is weatherproof and energy-efficient, apply caulk around the edges of the door. This will help seal any gaps and prevent drafts. Additionally, you can add weather stripping around the frame for extra insulation.

Training Your Pet

Once the door is installed, it’s time to train your pet to use it. Start by propping the door open and encouraging your pet to pass through with treats and positive reinforcement. Gradually close the door, allowing your pet to push it open on their own. Be patient, as it may take some time for your pet to get used to the new door.

Maintaining Your Pet Door

Regular maintenance is key to keeping your pet door in good condition. Clean the door and frame regularly to remove dirt and debris. Check the weather stripping and caulk periodically and reapply as needed to maintain a good seal.

Reversible Modifications

One of the primary concerns when installing a pet door in a rental property is ensuring that the modifications are reversible. This means you should be able to remove the pet door and restore the property to its original condition when you move out. Here’s how to do that for each type of pet door:

Sliding Glass Door Inserts:

  • Remove the insert from the sliding door track.
  • Clean the track and door frame to remove any dirt or residue.
  • Reinstall the original lock and handle if they were removed.

Pressure-Mounted Pet Doors:

  • Loosen the tension rods and remove the frame from the door opening.
  • Wipe down the door frame to remove any marks or residue.
  • Check for any damage and repair if necessary.

Removable Pet Door Panels:

  • Remove the panel from the door or window frame.
  • Clean the area to remove any marks or adhesive residue.
  • Fill any small holes with wood filler and touch up with paint if needed.

Temporary Pet Doors:

  • Remove the door from the window or door opening.
  • Clean the area to remove any adhesive residue or marks.
  • Check for any damage and repair if necessary.

Seeking Professional Help

If you’re unsure about installing a pet door yourself, or if your landlord requires professional installation, consider hiring a professional. In cities like Sydney, there are services that specialize in dog door installation Sydney residents trust. These professionals can ensure the job is done correctly and can provide documentation to your landlord if needed.


Installing a pet door in a rental property can be a straightforward and stress-free process if you choose the right door and follow the correct steps. Always communicate with your landlord and get written permission before making any modifications. By choosing a reversible option and ensuring proper installation, you can enjoy the convenience of a pet door without jeopardizing your rental agreement. Whether you opt for a DIY approach or seek professional help, your furry friend will thank you for the newfound freedom and independence a pet door provides. Click here to see our own guide in installing a pet door.