Some dog owners give their dogs free run of the house, but there are always some pretty compelling reasons to keep them out of some areas. In some cases, you might not want large dogs that shed and have dog odor to jump up on your bed. In other cases, you might want to keep a super-friendly but clumsy Labrador Retriever out of a formal living room that’s full of fine china and antiques.
Dogs love to explore, and you can’t always necessarily just train them not to go in certain areas. That’s where dog gates come in. Like baby gates that keep young children away from potential dangers like stairs, dog gates can prevent your dog from leaving a certain area of your home.
You can find dog gates in a variety of sizes and styles, and you can often find one to fit almost any style of interior decor. Dog gates can definitely be worth getting if you don’t want your dog roaming throughout your entire home. As long as they still have enough space, which can depend on their size and breed, you don’t have to feel guilty about restricting where they can and cannot explore.
Best Dog Gates for Your Home
Carlson Pet Gate
The Carlson Pet Gate is an ideal solution for most any situation you have around your home where you need to block off a hallway or doorway.
The gate is adjustable from 29 to 44 inches, so it should fit most any wide doorways. You can use the included hardware to mount it directly to the wall for the best stability, or you can use a “pressure mount” system which uses pressure to lock the gate in place between two walls or door frame.
One really nice bonus of this gate is the smaller “pet door” at the bottom of the unit which measures 10″ by 7″. This can let smaller animals like cats or small dogs have access to areas that might be off-limits for bigger dogs.
Regalo Extra Tall Pet Game
If you have concerns of your dog jumping over a standard height pet gate (typically 30″), then this Regalo gate might be best for you. It’s 38″ tall and features a hardwood inlay, which might match your home decor.
Regalo 192″ Super Wide Gate
Have an extra wide space that needs to be sectioned off in your home? This Regalo super wide gate can cover up to 16 feet!
It can be mounted to the wall, or left as free standing in which case you’ll want to make sure it’s stable before leaving it unattended.
You can also form a circular play-area for a puppy with this, which is great for if you need to leave your dog alone for a moment.
Why Use a Dog Gate?
Keeping dogs out of certain areas is only one of several reasons why you might want to consider using a dog gate. There are actually a number of situations where it can be a good idea to set up a gate that keeps your dog confined.
- Keeping multiple dogs separated from one another. Sometimes, if you own more than one dog, they don’t necessarily get along well. Also, if you have a male and a female who have not yet been neutered and spayed, you definitely want to keep them isolated when the female is in estrous. Dog gates are great for keeping them apart.
- Keeping your dog away from a young infant, or vice versa. Many dogs are great with very young children, but in some cases, you may want to keep the dog away from the child. The reverse can also be true. Many toddlers can grab and pull at pets because they don’t know any better, which could upset your dog. A dog gate can keep the dog and the baby apart.
- Keeping your dog away from your cat’s stuff. Cats are very agile, so a gate isn’t going to be much of a barrier for them. However, dog gates can be a great way to keep your dog from munching on your cat’s litter box, eating their cat food, or chewing up their toys.
- Keeping your dog confined temporarily, with more freedom to roam than a dog kennel. Many people understandably don’t feel too great about closing their unsupervised dog into a kennel while they’re away, but some breeds can get destructive if left alone. A dog gate can keep your dog temporarily confined to an area where they can’t do things like chew up your couch cushions.
- Protecting your dog. Dog gates can also help prevent a young puppy or an older dog from falling down stairs.
Dog gates have the advantage of being removable, easy to store, and easy for humans to pass over or through. Many of them are adjustable, allowing them to fit into doorways of various sizes.
Types of Dog Gates
Here’s a basic rundown of the main types of indoor dog gates that you can purchase. Your dog’s size, its temperament, and the gate’s intended location will all affect which kind you should get.
- Freestanding dog gates. A freestanding dog gate is designed so that it stands up by itself. Some have attached “feet” that keep them upright, while others are build in an adjustable folded “accordion” design. These are often a good choice for smaller homes and apartments.
- Pressure mounted pet gates. These adjustable pet gates are flexible, yet highly stable. They adjust to the size of the doorway, and they’re held in place by pressure against the sides of the opening. These come in sizes that can open to a maximum width of up to 82”. The reason for this limit is that when you make the gate any wider, it starts to become too unstable.
- Hardware mounted pet gates. Hardware mounted pet gates are similar to the pressure mounted variety, except they’re held in place by hardware instead. These do need to be mounted with screws, but they’re the most stable type of dog gate you can buy. They’re suitable for places where you want a gate installed long-term or permanently. They generally have a swing door component that humans can use to get through easily.
Choosing the Right Dog Gate
There are many indoor dog gates available, made from different materials. Some of the things you may want to keep in mind when you select a dog gate can include:
- The quality of the material and construction. You get what you pay for with just about everything, including dog gates. This doesn’t mean you need to pay an arm and a leg, but the quality of the gate and the material it’s made from can affect how long it lasts and how effective it will be. Some are made from sturdy plastic, others from heavy finished wood. There are even dog gates made from lightweight metal.
- The size of your doorway or doorways. You need a dog gate that will fit well. As we’ve mentioned, many are adjustable, but others are made to fit a standard interior doorway.
- The height of the gate. Dog gates are available in different heights, and what you need can depend on what breed of dog you have. Bigger dogs can require taller gates.
- How easy it is for adult humans to step over or pass through. Gates that are 21” or lower are generally ideal, as you can step over them pretty easily. Hardware mounted gates have a swing door.
- The strength and stability of the gate. A sizeable and tenacious dog can make its way through a freestanding dog gate if it’s determined enough. In that case, a hardware mounted or pressure mounted gate is probably a better choice. On the other hand, if the gate is something you want up only occasionally, or you want something for a small dog that can also convert into a pen, a freestanding gate is the perfect choice.
- Style, color, and finish. If the dog gate is something you’re going to leave up on a regular basis, it’s natural to want it to fit in with the rest of your interior decor.
Dog Gates Keep Your Dog Confined, But With Plenty of Space
Dog gates are the perfect way to keep your dog away from certain areas of your home, without confining them in a way that’s not appropriate for their size, breed, and temperament. You can set up a dog gate to keep your dog off of carpets, away from other pets, or out of your home’s bedrooms, while still giving them enough room to roam around comfortably. Whether you’re installing a freestanding pet gate for a small dog in an apartment, or a hardware mounted gate at the top of a steep staircase, they can be quite inexpensive and well worth the investment.