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How to Choose a Dog Gate


With so many dog gates on the market, it can be tricky to decide which one is right for you – like which dog gate to use for large pets, which gate works best in an apartment or which gate to choose when you have both a large and small pet living in the house, etc. Here are some tips to help you choose the right pet gate.

Outdoor Dog Gates

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If you need to keep your dog safely on your patio or fenced into a yard, choose an outdoor dog gate made of a sturdy, weather-resistant material that can withstand the elements as well as a little punishment from your pet. If you want a nice-looking wood pet gate, choose a dog gate made of wood that’s designed to weather rain and sun, yet still has an attractive appearance. You can use a freestanding dog gate if the gate is going to lean against the bottom of the stairs or a wall (in case it gets knocked over) or if you believe your dog won’t push the gate over. If you want to create a playpen area for your pet, choose a gate that has panels that can be locked together to make a playpen or pulled apart and arranged in a straight line to block a pathway.

Dog Gates for Apartments

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Freestanding pet gates are great for apartments because they can be set up and removed easily, without any installation so you won’t leave any holes or mark up the walls. If you have just one opening that you want to block, you can select a dog gate that will just fit the size, however, if you have multiple areas that you want to block off at different times, choose a pet gate that can expand to different widths. Dog gates for apartments are available in wood, iron or plastic and several colors so choose the one that blends in the best with your apartment décor.

Pet Gates for Extra-Large Dogs

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There are tall pet gates made exclusively for large dogs so they can’t just walk over them or knock them down when they want to go through. Some tall pet gates that are attached to the wall or doorframe have walk-thru gates that lock so even though your dog can’t get through, you still can. Or, if you have a large dog that’s very calm and won’t try to knock the gate down, you can get a tall freestanding pet gate that you can set up and take down without touching your walls. If you want to leave the gate up for a longer period of time, choose a pet gate that can be installed into the wall for added strength.

Dog Gates for Large Spaces

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Sometimes you want to block your pet from more than just an average-sized doorframe – like a double-door frame, half of living room, etc. To block off large areas, choose a pet gate that has multiple panels so you can configure the gate to fit the location – zig zag the panels to fit smaller or odd-shaped areas or set it up in a straight line to get the maximum width out of your gate.

Portable Pet Gates

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If you’re lucky enough to take your pet with you when you travel, you might need to set up some restricted areas in your temporary residence. Bring a lightweight, freestanding pet gate that’s easy to travel with, but sturdy enough to keep your pet out of the designated area. If you’re going to be outdoors, an outdoor dog pen is roomy enough for your dog to lounge around in, but should fold flat for easy travel. Make sure it’s ventilated so your pet gets air, but covered so the sun won’t shine directly on top of him.

Temporary Dog Gates

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If you have guests coming over and you need to block off the area for your dog, set up an attractive, freestanding temporary dog gate that will look nice in your home and is easy to put up and take down. Just take it out, open up the panels and slide it around where you need it. Any freestanding pet gate will work and there are so many available that choosing one to match your home’s interior shouldn’t be too difficult.

Dog Gates for Large & Small Pets in One Home

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Sometimes you need to keep your larger pets out of an area, but let the smaller pets roam around. Instead of lifting the smaller pet up and over the gate every time he wants to enter, choose a pet gate that has a small pass-thru gate. The gate should be tall and sturdy enough to keep the large dog from entering and, unless your large dog is extremely lazy, attached to the wall or doorframe. Let’s face it if the large dog sees the small pet getting to enter the restricted area, chances are he’s going to want to join in the adventure and try to get through that gate.

Dog Gate for the Stairs

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To add a pet gate to the top of your stairs, make sure to select a gate that has to be installed into the wall so it will be sturdy and one that has a walk-thru, locking gate so you can move from one side to the other. A freestanding pet gate should not be used at the top of the stairs, but could be used at the bottom of the stairs to keep your pet from going up to the next level.

Dog Gate for the Deck

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To keep your pet safely on a deck or porch, select a dog door that can withstand the outdoor elements and that has to be installed in the fence of your deck. Make sure the dog gate will latch shut so your dog can’t push the gate open if something on the other side catches his eye. A freestanding gate is not recommended to be used on a deck since it can be pushed over by an over-excited dog.

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