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What is a Pet Screen Door?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 27 August 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Pet doors are great, allowing Fido or Ms. Kitty to enter and exit the house even when the door is closed. Yet when the warm months arrive, people may leave their doors open, and instead could use screen doors. Suddenly the pet has no way to get out, except directly through the screen or by begging an owner, and many a screen has paid the price for a dog or cat’s urgent need to exit when no one is around to open the door. One solution to this is to install a pet screen door.

Most of these doors work with sliding screen doors, and are installed on the lower half of the screen nearest the screen opening. They come in different sizes and weights to accommodate many different pet sizes, and may have variable methods for opening and closing. There are both one-way and two-way doors. A two-way pet screen door allows access from either side of the screen, and one-way types mean that the pet can only either exit or enter through the door, and then can’t go back through it.

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There are a few pet doors for swinging screen doors, as long as the door can be tightly shut and locked. Otherwise, the majority of doors are designed for use with sliding screens. The difficulty with swinging screen doors is that a pet pushing on a pet screen door could easily push the whole door open. Also, many people want to provide their pets with backdoor access, more commonly associated with sliding doors. They don’t want their pets running out of the front door where swinging screen doors are more common. For cats with front and back privileges, some of the smaller sliding screen pet doors can be used on regular screens, which most cats can easily access if a window is low enough.

Any type of pet screen door needs a little work to install. People will need to remove the screen door and lay it on a flat surface so they can fit the pet door on it. Usually part of the door sits under the screen while the other part sits on top of it. The two parts usually snap together or are pounded together with tools like a rubber mallet. The person installing the door must also then cut out the area of screen that would block the pet from using the door.

There are instructions online for pet screen door installation. However, instructions that come with the door may be have some variation from online instructions and should probably be followed. Each door might have a slightly different assembly mechanism.

Pet screen doors are available in lots of locations. They can be purchased at many large pet stores, and in some home improvement stores. Plenty of online shops sell them too.

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