Would a dog gate be top of your list to buy when you’re bringing a rescue dog or puppy home? Probably not, yet it is one of the most important things you could invest in. Versatile, strong, and safe, dog gates provide barriers in all kinds of situations.
We’ve put together a handy guide to the best dog gates, what to look for, and why you should have one (or more) to start with. You might be surprised to learn how useful they are and why we’d never be without one to keep our pooch safe.
The Best Dog Gates
What makes the best dog gate and when are they required? We’ve provided a complete guide below, but here we are going to highlight some of the best designs for use around the home. They come in various sizes, with and without fixings, freestanding, and more, so check out the available options before buying your own.
Remember to consider where you need the gate to be and what type of gate you want before you buy anything. The following options show how different the designs are in some instances. Below are the best dog gates and barriers designed to keep your dog safely confined indoors.
Regalo 4-in-1 Play Yard Configurable Dog Gate
If you require a versatile dog gate that can be used in various places, you might wonder if such a thing exists. Fortunately, it does – and this model gives your dog the convenience of enjoying a play yard too.
The Regalo 4-in-1 design is a fully configurable dog gate designed to give your dog a play pen to enjoy. This means it can be used indoors and outdoors, since there is nothing that requires attachment to anything else.
You can adjust the design to provide a freestanding barrier – ideal for open-plan spaces up to 192 inches wide. There are eight panels in the kit, including a gate section that can be used alone if you wish.
Better yet, the whole thing can be collapsed down, so all the panels sit on top of each other. You could even take it on holiday with you if traveling by car and staying in a holiday let.
MyPet Windsor Arch Pet Gate for Dogs
If you require a simple dog gate with a little more style, this versatile arch-style dog gate could be just what you are looking for. Instead of the usual dull white finish, this gate comes in a matte bronze finish – ideal when you want it to complement darker decor in your home. The arch design goes beautifully with the color to provide a classic design.
It is designed to fit doorways measuring 28.25in in width. However, the pack comes with two extensions, so you can place one either side of the gate or fit both on one side if you prefer.
The gate itself can swing into or away from the room, offering convenience and versatility. It also comes with a triple-lock system that ensures the gate remains locked when in position. That said, it is easy for you to lock and unlock it as required.
Regalo Easy Step Extra Tall Walk-Through Gate, 41in
If you have a larger dog, regular dog gates may not keep them where you want them. Larger breeds – and those who have proven themselves to be escapologists – are often able to jump over regular-sized gates.
If you think your own breed would be capable of that, consider this Regalo extra tall design. It measures a full 41 inches in height and offers width fittings of between 29 inches and 36.5 inches. The extra width is achievable by using the 6in extension piece that comes with the kit.
Despite its larger size, the Easy Step gate is lightweight and simple to pop in the car if you are going on holiday. It uses pressure mounts for installation, so you can have it up in seconds, remove it in seconds, and use it elsewhere if you need to. The gate is also designed to be easy to open and close, giving you the convenience of going from one room to the other without being blocked by the gate.
Carlson Pet Products Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate
Another extra tall design, this Carlson Pet Products dog gate is built for household with more than one pet to consider. If you know your dog would hurdle a standard pet gate, this one is a reassuring 36 inches in height. It uses a pressure mounting system to allow for easy installation upon delivery. This also means you can move it around without needing a new set of fixings.
The gate is easy to walk through thanks to its one-touch handle for fast release. When safely in position, your dog or puppy won’t be able to get through. It also has a small pet door at the bottom of the gate. This measures 10in by 7in, so you can leave it open for smaller pets to use if need be. It’s the perfect choice for a household with several well-behaved pets and a large dog that needs to be kept in.
Richell Deluxe Freestanding Gate with Door for Dogs
If a regular-sized dog gate just won’t work for your space, this freestanding gate could provide the solution you are looking for. You can purchase this in either medium or large, giving you two different heights to consider – 28.1 inches high or 36.2 inches high.
In each case, you get a freestanding gate design that fits everything from 61.8 inches in width to a huge 90.2 inches in width. It comes with a door that can open in either direction, giving you an easy way to get through the gate whenever you need to. It also has an automatic lock – just walk through and close it behind you. Easy.
The extended side panels prevent your dogs from tipping over the gate, while the rubber feet also help keep it in position. You also get a beautiful hardwood finish for a gate that is easier on the eye.
Guide to Buying and Setting Up Dog Gates
When you bring home your puppy or dog for the first time, you need to make sure your home is ready for its new arrival. Just as you are going to prepare yourself as best you can, your home should also be prepared.
Some things are more obvious to deal with than others. You’ll need a bed for your pup, food and drink bowls, and toys. A dog gate doesn’t typically spring to mind as one of the most important things to buy. However, this is often a vital addition to your home if you want to make sure it is safe for your new arrival.
Do you really need a dog gate?
Maybe you think you have dog-proofed or puppy-proofed your home and you don’t need a dog gate. However, you cannot be certain you have covered everything. Even if you have the best-behaved pup on the planet, you won’t want to leave them with the freedom of the entire house if you need to go out. Puppies can get into all kinds of trouble, hence why limiting them to a safe area is very important.
A dog gate allows you to do this, creating a safe area in a room where there are no potential dangers or hazards that could hurt them. Many dog gates can also be left in place and opened and closed as necessary. This makes them versatile and perfect for occasional use.
Another scenario might involve needing to secure your dog when someone knocks at the door. This is more important if you do not have a separate hallway that can be closed off when required with a regular door.
You might also have friends or relatives who aren’t dog lovers. Perhaps they’ve had a bad experience in the past or simply aren’t keen on being close to dogs. A gate for dogs is hugely beneficial in these circumstances too.
But even if none of those things apply in your case, you might still benefit from using a gate to restrict your puppy to a specific area. It can be used during training when they are young. They will learn they cannot always follow you around or interact with you.
One of the best things about a good dog gate is that it is designed with lots of bars running from the top to the bottom. So, your pup is secure, but they can still see through the gate. When you are first training them to get used to being on their own, it can help enormously if they can see you pottering around. They learn to self-soothe and settle when this is the case.
You can see that dog gates are great to have when training a young puppy. However, many dog owners buy them to help control their adult dogs too. It’s much nicer to close a see-through gate on your dog than to shut a regular door in their face, so they cannot see you or know where you are.
Can a dog gate be used indoors and outdoors?
It depends on the model. Some are designed only for indoor use and should always be used as such. If you want a gate to keep your dog safe while outdoors, you’ll likely need a different model.
This means you might end up buying one for indoors and one for outdoors. After all, you don’t want to be moving the same gate in and out of the house every day. That would soon get tiring. It also means you can make sure your house is safe and your garden is too, without running between the two trying to use the same gate in both locations.
Things to consider when buying a dog gate
As with any purchase, there are some elements to consider before you part with your cash. You want to be sure you buy the best dog gate – one with excellent reviews and that will give you many years of service.
Here are the most important things to bear in mind when making your decision.
The price range for dog gates can be far bigger than you might think. It depends on the materials used, the quality of the gate, and the brand you’re buying.
Price is important and you should have a rough budget in mind before you buy. However, we’d recommend reviewing other important elements of your purchase first. This gives you more information to go on and helps you make the right decision.
Incidentally, the cheapest gates must be removed and replaced every time you need to go past. These are okay for occasional use but can be a real pain if you use them frequently.
All puppy gates should be of excellent quality. A substandard gate may fail or cause you or your puppy injury. Make sure you select a good brand and see how good the reviews are for that gate. Most sites allow buyers to give ratings for items. The more positive reviews there are, the better the gate is likely to be.
There isn’t too much choice when it comes to the color of your dog gate. Most are made in white, but some are available in a wood-effect finish or darker finish.
Design doesn’t just apply to the appearance of the gate, though. You should also consider how the gate must be fixed for use. If you buy a freestanding gate that forms part of a play yard, you won’t need to worry about fixings. Everything you need comes within the kit you receive. Other designs provide a larger gate with large feet on either side, allowing it to stand in a doorway while not requiring any fixings. The large feet mean that it cannot be tipped over.
However, if the gate is designed to fit within a doorway, the most common design is an adjustable gate with knobs that are turned to provide a snug fit on either side of the doorway. These are usually finished with rubber, so they remain in place and do not slide around.
This means you do not need to drill holes or screw into woodwork or walls to create the gate you need. Be aware that if there are rubber stoppers on either side of the gate, these can mark walls or paintwork. If this is an issue, you could place a small piece of paper or cardboard – cut to fit – on either side. This ensures you won’t need to redecorate or wash off stains when the gate is removed.
How wide is your doorway? Most dog gates are adjustable, but there are minimum and maximum widths to consider. Most homes will suit a regular dog gate but check in advance of purchase to make sure you get the right one.
What do you need to keep your puppy or dog safe?
No two homes are designed the same way. A dog gate would be easy to fix in a normal home with separate rooms across the ground floor. If there is one doorway leading into your kitchen and you know that is the safest place to leave your pup while you are out or doing something else, one gate is fine. You can put it across the doorway, and you’ll know your pup is safe.
However, if you have an open-plan home, doorways are few and far between. What could you do then to make sure your puppy can safely be left alone for a while? The solution here would be to buy a rigid playpen with several sides to it, so you can create the pen you want for the space you have. These usually have a doorway built into the design, to allow your puppy to get in and out of the pen when the door is open. Close it, and you know they’ll be fine inside the sturdy pen when you are elsewhere.
Fixing your dog gate in position
Always read the instructions that come with the gate. Make sure you have all the fixings before you put the gate in position. Make any necessary adjustments and give the gate a wiggle to ensure it is securely in place.
If there are other people in your household, make sure everyone knows how to operate it. It’s also an idea to supervise any children present. They should understand the gate is there for a reason and should not open or close it without asking – especially if the puppy is contained within a room behind the gate.
Once the gate is fitted, you can see how useful it is to have an area your dog or puppy is safe in. Whether that’s for 20 minutes while you pop to the shops or for a few hours while you are at work, it’s reassuring to know they are fine. It doesn’t take long to realize a good-quality dog gate is one of the best additions you could make to your home.
You can see how a dog gate or puppy gate is the perfect addition to any home. Even the best-behaved pooch can be safely kept behind a gate at times. For example, if you’re having furniture delivered, you won’t want your dog to get under the delivery person’s feet.
Now you know the range of gates on the market and you know what to look for, you can be sure of choosing the right dog gate for your requirements. You could reap the benefits of this purchase for several years, so it makes sense to find out everything you need to know.
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