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Sliding door dog doors are becoming increasingly popular among pet owners who want to give their dog the freedom to come and go without needing to cut a hole in their back door or wall.
But while this style of pet door is becoming even more popular, many do not know that not all dog doors for sliding glass doors are the same! There are two different sliding pet door styles that you can install into your home: patio panels and “In the Glass” pet doors.
A patio panel pet door is a sliding glass door insert with a pre-installed pet door that takes up space in your sliding door track. They install in a matter of minutes and are a great option for a non-permanent installation.
Plus, there are both aluminum and vinyl frame panels available to match your existing slider.
For a shorter vinyl slider, see the Custom Severe Weather Vinyl Sliding Glass Dog Door.
Shop all of our favorite patio panels.
The “In the Glass” pet door replaces the entire window pane in your door with a new one that has an Endura Flap pet door pre-installed directly into the glass.
There plenty of features that make patio panels a preferable option for many pet owners, such as:
Unlike other pet doors, installing a sliding door dog door insert takes only a few minutes. All you need to do is place the panel in your sliding door track and loosen the screws at the top of the panel to raise it into the upper track.
The adjustable height ranges allow for installation in many different track heights (you can purchase a height extension piece for taller sliding doors). Patio panels can be removed just as quickly, making them the perfect option for rental and vacation homes, or to easily take with you if you move.
If you have a monorail sliding door track, check out the monorail adapter for a seamless installation.
The weather resistance of your patio panel depends heavily on what brand you get and what energy efficient features it comes with.
The Endura Flap Thermo Panel 3e is one of the few sliding glass door dog door inserts out there with energy efficient dual-pane, Low-E glass that keeps the damaging UV-light and heat out of your house better than the single pane patio panels currently available on the market. It is also made with a sturdy aluminum frame that provides superior insulation value compared to patio panels made with plastic frames. You can also increase its insulation by applying adhesive weather-stripping to the frame.
For a super-insulated patio panel dog door, check out the Severe Weather Vinyl Sliding Glass Dog Door, which features a double flap for added weather resistance. This sliding glass dog door insert is made to fit perfectly into a vinyl-framed sliding door track.
Take a look at our full list of sliding glass pet door patio panels for more extreme weather resistance options.
One concern that comes up with patio panels is security.
A patio pet door for sliding glass doors can’t be removed from the outside, and every purchase comes with a track lock or pin lock to secure the panel into the sliding door track. You can also add a C-Clamp lock or Charley Bar for added security.
Compared to patio panels, having your sliding glass door dog door installed directly into its glass pane can be more expensive and timely. But “Through the Glass” pet doors come with many benefits that patio panels don’t have, such as:
The Pet Door Guys In Glass Pet Door features the same insulating Endura Flap Pet Door as the patio panels, but instead of a single panel, you get an entire pane of glass to replace half of your slider. The installation process is similar to having a shattered pane of glass replaced, only the new pane will have a pet door pre-installed. This means that it also makes for a great French door dog door.
You’ll need to contact your local glazier to measure your sliding glass door. Once you have those measurements you’ll fill out an “In the Glass” order form so the manufacturer can get to work making your completely customized sliding glass dog door.
Since the “In the Glass” pet door replaces an existing pane of glass, there are no gaps to let heat and cold into your home. The Endura Flap pet door is also the best on the market for weather resistance and will stay sealed in extreme heat, wind, and cold.
The “In the Glass” pet door functions with your existing sliding door lock, so it is the most secure sliding door pet door option.
This built-in dog door also allows you to maintain full use of your slider. Whereas the width of a patio panel cuts into the width of the door track—reducing the space left when the slider is opened—the “In the Glass” door maintains the look and feel of your original sliding door.
To summarize, patio panels are the way to go for a quick, non-permanent installation. For a sliding pet door that mates with your existing lock and provides maximum insulation, the “In the Glass” pet door is the perfect option as it is a sliding glass door with dog door built into its glass. Replacing the entire pane of glass with the dual-pane “In the Glass” piece also ensures maximum weather resistance, no need for patio panel weather stripping.
Once you’ve decided on the perfect sliding glass pet door for your home, check out our pet measurement guide to choose the perfect size for your furry friend!