Pet doors through exterior doors and walls

I have in my report that dog doors through exterior doors or walls no longer meet fire rating. The fire marshal said he sees it all the time but does not right it up. It’s like an excepted practice. Even insurance company’s don’t care if there’s a pet door. Am I wrong for writing up pet doors through exterior doors and walls?

I would mention the presence of a doggie door if it’s on an exterior door. If it’s located in the door leading to the garage that’s a different matter.


Thanks for your response.

Pet doors can lead to moisture and pest intrusion at an exterior door and pest, intruder, carbon monoxide or fire intrusion at a garage/house door. For these reasons, I call them out in my report as a concern and recommend removal. Its up to the buyer to decide if they want to keep them.


I figured “it can’t happen here”!
I closed up the door after my cat came thru it with a half dead rat in it’s mouth.
A riot chasing her around trying to get her to drop it.


There’s a simple narrative to use! :slight_smile: Yes, let the buyer decide for sure!

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I’d like to put in a pet door, but my dog is huge! Would have to leave half the exterior door swinging! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:20191231_103706


I warn my client’s that the doggie door is an energy concern and a security issue. Some of these doors are quite large.


I only write up dog doors if their big enough for someone to enter…safety issue


I don’t think you have to make a big deal about them but inform they are there. This is one of my Canned Statements… along with a picture
“A pet door is installed at the exterior wall of the house (or Door). If this pet door is not to be used I recommend insulation or elimination of the door to save energy and to keep out unwanted pests.”

A large door> and I will make mention of a security concern… (we also have skunks around here)

I have a lot of information only statements I will put into my reports so my clients are as well informed as they can be. You would be surprised how many of my clients are people that have not seen the home “in person”. Yes, some retirees can not get out of California fast enough!

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No, Scott, you are not wrong in writing those up.

As was said, pests, noxious gases, fire, etc. all can’t quickly harm the home’s occupants.

If you write it up as a safety hazard, your client can decide what he/she wants to do about it.

Great question! :smile:


The problem is so many clients/sellers have different opinions on this subject. I don’t want to create issues. Some people like to make mountains out of molehills. Just trying to come up with the correct wording so the clients and sellers are informed of the issues of having a dog door.

As long as you can explain and justify why you put it in the report, it doesn’t really matter if someone disagrees with you

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I do. It’s an alteration and potential safety issue for small child/ burglar

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It is not unknown in this area for criminals to use a child to crawl through the opening and open up the door for grandpa.

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I don’t write it up on exterior walls unless of course I see obvious issues with moisture, however if there is a doggie door installed in the door leading out to the garage, I’ll write that up every time…

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What is your opinion about the exterior wall no longer meets fire rating with a doggie door .

There is only one fire rated pet door on the market that is Fire & Building Dept. approved. Its definitely a safety issue. The wall and door to most attached garages are a fire barrier. Even if the fire marshal does not write it up, its illegal.

I see that Scott Barton says “Even insurance company’s don’t care if there’s a pet door to the garage” I would say that perhaps that is true if there is not a fire. But the insurance adjusters that I know say this:

“Insurance Companies and underwriters can reject claims or rescind coverage due to negligence of owner or occupant having intentionally illegally modified an attached garage fire wall or fire door when they discover such modifications.”

Yep, that would be a problem.

Welcome to our forum, Rick!..enjoy participating. :smiley: