Dogs are quite the playful pets, or isn’t that why we love them so much? But even at that they still need to be contained at different points. And we’re pretty sure you also agree because you’re here looking for the best dog gates.
But it isn’t just about keeping your dog from entering into “forbidden” places. Dog gates are also important structures that help you protect your dog from hurting himself by wandering into places he shouldn’t wander into.
A dog gate helps you to set boundaries that help to keep your dog contained within an area either within the house or outside the house.
There are no age limits to dog gates. Dogs of all ages would need to be contained at different points whether they are puppies or adult dogs.
For puppies, dog gates help you to carve out a safe area where they can play, exercise and have fun. Adult dogs, on the other hand, might not need dog gates to carve out a playing space.
However, there may be times when the house gets filled with all kinds of guests. You’ll need a dog gate to help protect your dog so he doesn’t get underfoot.
Other times, you may have two or more pets that don’t seem to love each other or get along well. Dog gates will help you to keep them apart so they don’t take the whole house down with them in their squabbles.
But there are more reasons you need to get dog gates. Check them out…
Reasons To Get Dog Gates
We’ve already gone over quite a few reasons you should consider installing dog gates in your home.
To protect your dog, keep pets at logger heads from each other, and to carve out a playing space for your pup. But aside these, there are many other reasons to get dog gates installed in your home.
Helps To Keep The Dogs Away From The Kids
Generally, dogs and kids get along pretty well but sometimes, there could be a little squabble now and then. Sometimes, your dog might not exactly be great with the kids.
Some other time, it’s the kids that are terrible with the pets. You know some kids are really vicious about their love for pets. So, they could take to pulling the dog’s hair and constituting a general nuisance.
Dog gates will help to keep these two guys apart so there can be world peace.
To Keep The Dog Away From The Cat’s Stuff
If you have a dog and a cat, chances are that they are not best of friends and they are probably looking for ways to destroy each other.
Now, dog gates might not deter your cats from trifling with your dog’s stuff – you know they are pretty agile. But a dog gate will deter your dog for sure.
Keeps Dogs Temporarily Confined With Room To Roam
As a dog parent, deciding to keep your dog confined in a dog kennel all by himself might not be very agreeable with you. It’s perfectly normal. However, dogs could get destructive if left to themselves and to their antics.
Since you won’t always be around to supervise them, you’ll have to find another way around it. The idea of a kennel is already busted since we’ve agreed that you might not always be comfortable with.
So, enter dog gates. With dog gates, you determine how much space you feel comfortable with leaving your dog in. He gets more space to run, your expensive couch and cushions remain intact and everyone is happy.
Dog Gates Teach Your dog Independence
We know you consider your pooch your own child and that’s a really beautiful thing. It’s usually very cute to watch your dog follow you everywhere you go. That kind of companionship is rare and mutually enjoyable.
But then it’s only cute until it stops being cute. If you continue to allow your furry baby keep following all over, it might actually portend bad things for both of you.
The truth is that dogs actually get pretty attached to their owners. And if you don’t stop that habit of letting them follow you around, separating them when it’s absolutely important could be nearly impossible.
Your dog needs to learn to be perfectly content with staying on their own. If they don’t, they become too dependent on you and then they could develop separation anxiety anytime you have to leave them.
In some other extreme cases, your dog might begin what we call “resource guarding”.
So what is resource guarding? In essence, your dog becomes jealously over protective of you. So, he tends to snap at people, bark, or growl when anyone else gets close to their favorite person aka you.
Dog Gates Help To Protect Your Dog
For seniors and young puppies, dog gates can help to keep them from hurting themselves especially around the stairs.
Now, talking about protecting your dog, there are certain parts of your house you really need to ensure that your dog doesn’t get into it. It isn’t just about messing up the place, it’s about him hurting himself something awful.
You do know that your kitchen is literally the most dangerous place in your entire home. So, you’re going to have to keep him out of it as much as possible.
Here are 3 reasons why…
3 Reasons To Keep Your Dog Out Of Your Kitchen
You Could Drop Stuff On Them
While you’re pattering around in the kitchen with your dog crawling at your feet, his face naturally would be looking up to you. He wants to know what you’re up to and all. This makes his face perfectly prone to all kinds of accidents.
From spilling hot liquids on to his face, to dropping some pretty heavy stuff on him, or dropping sharp objects on his head, there are several ways things can go south.
The kitchen is just rife with tons of potential dog deforming accidents waiting to happen. Keep your dog safe by containing him within a dog gate.
You Could Trip Over or Step On Them
This becomes a much bigger risk when you have a small breed dog. Working in the kitchen, many times, means that you have to be on the go. And most of the time, you have to move pretty fast.
With your mind focused on cooking or baking, you could forget that your pet is in the kitchen with you. And then you could unintentionally step on them or trip over them.
Now, here’s the problem…. We wish we could tell you that an accidental tripping over or stepping on wouldn’t come with dire consequences. But that’s not true.
Aside mistakenly damaging your dog’s paws or splitting them, which is the most likely thing to happen, your dog could suffer a broken neck or a broken back as well.
But sometimes, you might not even have to step on them to do the damage. A simple yip from your dog could startle you into tripping over them while even trying to avoid them. And throwing your whole weight on your dog could split his paws.
He Could Mistakenly Take In Something Poisonous
There are so many foods that are great for humans but poisonous for dogs. And these foods abound in your kitchen in great quantities.
Except you have the superhuman ability to concentrate fully on your dog and your cooking at the same time, your dog could take in something real poisonous without your knowledge.
We’re sure you know that a taste of macadamia nuts or dark chocolate can form a one-way ticket for you to the vet’s office.
And it’s not just food, even other non-food stuff like supplements and human medication. Consult our guide on dog vitamin supplements to see how dangerous human vitamins are to your dog.
Types Of Dog Gates
In choosing a dog gate that’s best for you, you will come in contact with all kinds of dog gates. But then, it’s not all dog gates that work for all kinds of dogs.
Even besides the kind of dog you have, not all dog gates would work with your house. Yes, you might be protecting your dog from harm or from ruining the house, but no one says your house has to look like an obstacle course.
Picking the best dog gate type is easily the first step towards victory when it comes to containing your dog.
Freestanding Dog Gates
As the name suggests, freestanding dog gates are manufactured in such a way that allows them stand on their own. They don’t have to be hammered in or anything. If you’re particularly worried about messing with your beautiful walls, here’s a type of dog gate you could go for.
Also, for those who live in apartments or other really small spaces, freestanding dog gates are best. Freestanding dog gates are foldable and portable. So, after they’ve served their purpose, you can easily pack them up and store them.
If their sturdiness worries you, then you have no need to worry. Freestanding dog gates are as tough as the materials used to make them. If the gate you choose is made of sturdy, quality raw materials, then it should be okay.
Most times, dog gates come with feet attached. These feet help to keep the freestanding dog gates stable on the floor.
But then again, freestanding dog gates, being the least secure and the least stable kind of dog gates, are not advised if you’re dealing with large dog breeds.
Pressure Mounted Dog Gates
Now, why are they called pressure mounted dog gates?
Well, just like freestanding dog gates again, pressure mounted dog gates are not hammered into the walls. You simply fit them into the doorway you’re willing to cordon off and the pressure exerted on the gate from the two walls will cause the gate to hold.
Pressure mounted dog gates come in different sizes but they have a maximum width. This maximum width is 82 inches or roughly 9 feet. If it’s wider than 9 feet, then your gate would become unstable which is dangerous for your dog and any other person within the house.
Plus, your dog would have a field day running wild and free.
Hardware Mounted Dog Gates
So, if you’re getting hardware mounted dog gates, get ready to get some screws and other such stuff.
This type of dog gates is absolutely fantastic for dog owners with large enough homes. If you have a lot of space to play around, then you should go for hardware mounted dog gates. They might mess with your walls a little bit but ultimately, they are still the most stable.
If you intend to install a gate into a doorway permanently, then this is the type of dog gate you want to get.
Hardware mounted dog gates usually come with swing doors. This allows you to pass easily while still keeping the stairs or other part of the house out of bounds for your dog.
And although they are getting less and less popular, hardware dog gates remain the cheapest type of dog gates you’d ever find.
Now, that we know all this, it’s time to learn how to choose the best dog gates for your purpose.
General Tips For Choosing Dog Gates
Consider The Material And Construction
When it comes to dog gates as with all things, you get what you pay for. It might not necessarily have to cost an arm and a leg but trust us when we say that you don’t want a cheap dog gate.
A slightly more high end dog gate would not only look good, it will also last very long. Ultimately, it protects you and your furry baby. And it’s even the more economical choice in the end since you won’t be needing a replacement, possibly ever.
Dog gates can either be made of finished wood, lightweight metal or sturdy plastic.
Consider The Size Of Your Doorway
This should be pretty obvious, you have to get something that would fit the doorway in question. There are many adjustable dog gates available though. These flexible dog gates work for almost any sized space.
But then again, adjustable or not, dog gates still have a fixed max and minimum width. So, you still have to keep that in mind.
But hey if your space is like wide wide wide, there are also some super wide dog gates that you can use for such spaces.
Consider The Height Of The Dog Gate
You need to factor in the size of your dog in order to choose the perfect height for your dog gate. It’s a simple, commonsensical formula, by the way. Large dog breeds need a taller gate and smaller dogs need a small gate.
Consider How You Will Pass Through The Gate
You want to go for a gate that is about 21 inches in height or lower. It will make it easier to step over the gates conveniently. And if you go for a hardware mounted dog gate, it will usually come with a swing door to boot.
Consider The Strength And Stability Of The Dog Gate
Again, your dog’s breed should determine the kind of dog gate you get. If you have a Siberian Husky, for instance, you shouldn’t be thinking of freestanding dog gates or even pressure mounted dog gates.
You should be thinking hardware mounted.
But for a smaller dog or a puppy, you could go for freestanding dog gates. They are secure enough and you can make them into a playpen for them.
Consider Where You Want To Use The Dog Gates – Indoors Or Outdoors
Outdoor dog gates have to come with materials that are weather proof. It must also be tough as well.
As for indoor dog gates, they don’t need to brave the elements. They are already protected from the snow, sun and rain. So, you could afford to be less strict with the toughness and finish requirement. However, you still want something that’s durable.
Consider Your Dog Breed
Is your dog a chewing champion? Then you can’t afford to use dog gates made of anything other than metal. Plastic, wood, a combo of plastic and wood? They cannot even make it to your house.
If your dog is a Houdini wannabe on the other hand, then you need a vertical dog gate. In fact, get the most vertical one you can find.
Consider The Lock Type Of Your Dog Gate
If you or your kids would be opening that door frequently, then you have to get something with a lock system that’s simple and uncomplicated.
Dog gates that with complicated latches can be saved for instances where you want to block off a place permanently.
There Are Also Eco-Friendly Dog Gates
If you’re a pro green dog parent, you can relax because manufacturers have factored you into their manufacturing decisions. There are lots of eco-friendly dog gates you could pick from.
Eco-friendly dog gates are usually made of recycled plastic or bamboo. Plus, they come as adjustable, pressure mounted dog gates.
How To Choose Dog Gates For Specific Purposes
Outdoor Dog Gates
If you want to widen your furry baby’s playing area and allow him roam the outdoors, then you’d need dog gates specially made for the outdoors.
Outdoor dog gates are typically made with sturdy materials that are resistant to the elements for obvious reasons. Plus, because they are super tough, they make a great match for outdoorsy dogs and dogs that are generally very active.
Typically, outdoor dog gates are made of metal from steel to aluminum. Aluminum is the most durable of the metal types because it is, by nature, completely resistant to rusting. However, even though it is strong in its own right, aluminum is definitely no match for steel or iron.
If you do settle for iron or steel though, you have to make it a point to get something with a good finish. And you also have to keep in mind that you’d have to keep retouching the finish so that it can remain rust-free.
Foe an even nicer touch, you can go for wooden dog gates. Wooden dog gates add a beautiful touch to your yard. However, you must remember to get something with a good finish, if you want your gate to remain durable for years.
There are also freestanding outdoor dog gates as well. You could use them to protect your dog from the stairs or from a doorway. However, it should only be used with small, less agile dogs.
Finally, to create a play area for your pup, try getting a dog gate that locks together to form a playpen. This way, you get two items at the price of one – a dog gate and a playpen.
Dog Gates For Apartments
If you live in an apartment, you should think freestanding dog gates. They can easily be folded up and set up at your preferred point without stress. And then you won’t have to deal with holes in the walls.
If you’re only looking to block off one area of the house, a freestanding dog gate with a fixed width will do just fine. But if you have more than one place you need to block off, then go for an adjustable gate. Something that can easily be adjusted to fit multiple spaces at a time.
Also, you need to go for something that blends into your home décor nicely. There are various colors and finishes to choose from that will blend with your house décor. Also, feel free to choose from the vast array of dog gate types available from wood to plastic to iron as required.
Dog Gates For Extra Large Dogs
If your dog is exceptionally large like a Great Dane, then you know you can’t play when it comes to your dog gates. You need to get really tall gates. And there are specially made gates for extra large dogs.
Some of them are hardware mounted, and also come with smaller, lockable gates. These gates allow you pass through easily but still keep your dog out. This type of dog gate is best for really active dogs.
On the other hand, if you have a much more reserved large dog, then you could for a freestanding dog gate. But ensure that you only get a freestanding dog gate if you’re sure that your dog won’t knock it over.
Dog Gates For Large Spaces
Some folks live in really large spaces and need to block out doorways that are larger than the average size. If you’re one of those and you need to block off a really large area, then go for a dog gate that has several panels.
A dog gate with multiple panels is flexible and allows you to work with your space per time.
To fit multiple paneled dog gates into odd-shaped areas, you could arrange your dog gate in a zigzag pattern. Or if the area is really extra large, then setting the gate in a straight line will help you utilize the gate at its max length.
Portable Dog Gates
So, sometimes, you actually need a portable dog gate. Maybe you need to travel or you’re residing temporarily in an area where you need to keep your dog contained in a particular place. In times like that, you’d need portable dog gates.
Portable dog gates are lightweight dig gates that usually come freestanding. And that’s what makes them so easy to travel with!
Ensure that you get something that’s sturdy enough to withstand your pup’s antics. But also ensure that it’s something that folds flat so it doesn’t make your luggage unnecessarily heavy.
Also, be sure to get something that’s ventilated so your pup can receive enough air even when contained within a particular space. And, of course, if you’re going to be outside, you have to get something with a cover on the top to protect your pet from the sun.
Temporary Dog Gates
Maybe you just need a dog gate temporarily. Like you might just need it because a visitor is coming and you need your dog to remain in a place. Especially if your dog is still untrained and likes to jump on the guests or maybe your guests is scared or allergic to dogs…
Now, you have the option of getting temporary dog gates if any of the above is your scene. And, of course, you know the dog gate that’s best in such a situation… A freestanding dog gate.
Dog Gates For Small And Large Pets Living Together
Having two pets of different breeds and different sizes living together can prove a bit tricky to manage. How do you select a dog gate that works for both pets and allows them to live cordially, each moving freely and independently?
The best gate to go for in this type of situation is something that’s tall, sturdy, and has a smaller gate for your smaller pet.
Also, this dog gate must be sturdy and hardware mounted. Here is why, chances are that your dog would see the cat going through the small door and want in on the action. And if your big dog wants in on the action, guess what’s going down? Yup, your dog gate.
But then, there are some dogs that are actually quite lazy. If that describes your dog, then maybe a pressure mounted or freestanding one might not be such a bad idea.
Dog Gates For Stairs
Dog gates for stairs should be hardware mounted. The reason is that you need the gate very sturdy and firm.
The stairway is a very dangerous place and if your dog falls on it… you don’t want to know how that would end. So for this reason, hardware mounted only. This becomes especially important if you’re using your dog gate at the top of the stairs.
But you could also go for a pressure mounted dog gate too. However, only use this if you’re going to place it at the bottom of the stairs. It’s safe since you’re using it to keep your dog from going up.
It’s a lot easier for them to knock down a gate from the top and hurt themselves. It isn’t so easy from the bottom hence the choice of dog gates for the top and bottom parts.
Don’t forget to get something with a walk through so you can also climb up and down your stairs without having to cross over every time.
You’ve seen all the reasons you need dog gates. You’ve seen all the types of dog gates there are and the different factors to consider before getting one.
Remember that getting a dog gate is not just about confining your dog and limiting his movement. Getting a dog gate is important to protecting your pooch as well.
Dogs can get themselves into real trouble if they are not constantly supervised. But since you won’t always be available to do that, getting dog gates is your next best option.
Also, for those who feel bad about leaving their pets in a dog crate, you might feel more comfortable with getting dog gates instead. Dog gates create a wider area and your dog can feel less boxed in.
Whatever your decision though, ensure you’ve read through our guide thoroughly to understand how to make the best choice of dog gates.