The Extra Large Security Boss Screen Pet Door is designed for pets with the stature found in large dogs
You will want to consider the you have as the most important factor when applying the pet door Golden Rule. Small dogs and mid sized dogs tend to stay relatively mobile in their later years. Large and giant breeds tend to have mobility issues as they age. This could show in arthritic conditions, hip problems or general malaise. For these larger friends, you still need the top of the opening to clear the dogs back, but the bottom of the opening should have a very low step over rise. For example, German Shepards are very active for the large part of their lives. A pet door that is 7-8 inches off the floor is not a problem for them. In later life that 7-8 inch step over height becomes more difficult and you notice that they may drag their legs through the pet opening, scraping the the frame. This is a danger sign. A dog that is using a pet door that is too small will drag or hit the bottom of the door with their legs, this is usually followed by a small aggravating injury that can become worse. Veterinary bills and a diminished lifestyle for your dog are at the front door. Avoid this by getting an ample sized dog door from the beginning. If you are not sure of the size needed, call an expert with experience, we are open 7 days a week.
The most common and least expensive models snap directly onto the screen which can cause the screen to stretch or even rip from the weight of the dog door. Screen door frames should be used to help support the weight of the dog door and a stabilizer bar should be installed at the top with dog doors designed for use by large pets.
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The most important difference between a typical pet door installation in a door or wall and a screen installation is that you can't always decide where to install the pet door in a screen. When installing on a door, if you have a 36" tall dog and a 26" tall door, you simply install it so that the pet door is 10" up off the floor. The dog steps over the 10" at the bottom and it works out great. While there are dog doors that clip right to the screen mesh, and those can be installed anywhere on a section of screen, we don't sell these types of doors for anything bigger than cats or small dogs and we don't recommend them for larger pets. The screen mesh, even with "pet resistant" screen, is not strong enough to support a big dog door, and especially not a giant dog door. Since the clip to the mesh type are the only ones that can be installed anywhere in the screen area, in the cases of swinging and sliding screen doors, we are stuck with that bottom corner placement. Sometimes the available flaps are tall enough and the existing screen frame is high enough off the ground that everything fits fine and there are no problems. Other times, the screen frame is just too low for the off the shelf pet door sizes to work. In that case, we can have a custom size screen door built to order and we can solve the problem that way.The advent of vinyl sliding glass doors brought about a redesign in the screen framing as well. Most vinyl sliders have screens which will not fit the previously mentioned Hale door. Swinging doors almost always have thicker frames than sliding screens, so the 1/2" channel on the pet door won't fit over a swinging door. Hale released what they call the "universal screen model" in 2015. This one is kind of complicated to describe, but it uses metal clips which screw to the pet door framing to attach to the screen frame where the spline holds the screen in. Bill Hale has assured me that these will hold up just fine to extended use from very large breeds also, and he tested them with big dogs for years before releasing the universal door to the public.