5 Things to Know Before Buying a Dog Gate

If you have canine companions, you know that they often get into places where they are not wanted. It doesn't matter if it's a puppy that's being trained or an older dog that needs a gentle reminder, dog gates are an excellent way to keep your pet safe and happy with minimal effort.

If you need a dog gate, here are some things to consider while you shop. A great variety of dog gates can be found listed at Foter.

White Designer Gate for Dog
White Designer Gate for Dog

1. Who Needs a Pet Gate?

There are many reasons why a pet owner might opt for a pet gate. If you have a puppy that needs to be adequately house trained before it is allowed into some areas of the house, a pet gate can give you peace of mind that your pup isn't getting into mischief as soon as your back is turned.

Conversely, you may have a senior dog with mobility issues who may not be safe on stairs. For these dogs, owners may install pet gates to prevent their animals from moving between levels of the house and preventing injury.

Lastly, you may have specific areas of your home that you want to keep pet-free, either due precious furnishings or hidden dangers in the area.

2. What Type of Gate Do You Need?

The type of dog gate you need primarily depends on your dog and your aims for the product. Puppies have different needs than older dogs. Depending on your house configuration, you may need a dog gate for stairs or to cordon off certain areas.

Metal Dog Gate for Stairs
Metal Dog Gate for Stairs

Freestanding gates are great for mature dogs that don't need that much encouragement to stay out of certain places. You can get either tall or short gates, depending on the size of your dog. The benefit of freestanding dog gates is that they are portable, and you can use them for multiple locations.

Freestanding Long 4 Panel Brown Gate for Pets
Freestanding Long 4 Panel Brown Gate for Pets

Mounted gates are installed semi-permanently and are very sturdy. Many pet owners use mounted gates on stairs for puppies or senior dogs who may injure themselves trying to go up or down.

Mounted Metal Dog Gate in Brown
Mounted Metal Dog Gate in Brown

Pressure mounted gates, while not as sturdy as mounted gates, can be installed without the use of many tools. They're also simple to take down if you need to move them. The pressure mounted varieties apply tension to walls or door frames to keep the gate in place.

3. Where Should You Put Your Gate?

The location of your gate is dependent on the area that you want off-limits. Many pet owners get dog gates for stairs so their pets will not injure themselves. Decks, formal rooms, or a perimeter for a housetraining area are other reasons you may want to install a pet gate.

If you're using a pet gate to make sure your pet does not go up or downstairs without your supervision, consider if you will need one or two gates.

White Metal Pets Gate for Stairs
White Metal Pets Gate for Stairs

One pet gate at the bottom of the stairs will deter your pet from going up. However, if they are periodically allowed to the second floor, you may need a second gate to discourage them from going down the stairs.

If you have more than two sets of stairs in your house, you will have to calculate how many pet gates you need to keep your animal companions safe if they are unsupervised in your home.

4. What Material Should Your Gate Be Made Of?

Pet gates can be made of wood, plastic, or metal. The material you choose for your pet gate will depend on where it is located, what your pet's habits are, and how accessible you need it to be.

If your pet gate is going to be located outside then it should be made of durable metal or plastic. Treated wood will work, but depending on the climate, you may need to take into account the temperature changes and humidity before installation.

For indoor pet gates, consider how easy it is to open and close the gate, especially when carrying other items. Metal is the sturdiest material out of the three, but it also may be the most stubborn to open and close.

Plastic is easy to open and close but can be too flimsy for certain breeds or sizes of dogs. Wooden pet gates are a great middle-ground, but if you have a dog that's an intense chewer then you may want to steer clear of anything your pet can gnaw through.

Freestanding Mesh Plastic Pet Gate
Freestanding Mesh Plastic Pet Gate

5. What Kind of Locking Mechanism Works Best?

Each type of gate will have a different kind of locking mechanism. The one condition that you should make sure of before purchasing and installing a pet gate is that you can open it easily, even while burdened.

The mechanisms often vary between the types of pet gates. Freestanding gates often don't have any locking apparatus and are used to block off areas you want to remain pet-free.

Pressure mounted gates use the pressure from a spring to create tensile force and keep the gate sturdy. Depending on how strong your gate and how thick the spring, some of these may be trickier to open than others.

Mounted gates come with an array of locking mechanisms. To pick the perfect one for your pets and home, think about how you will most likely be using the gate.

If it is in a high-traffic area and will be opened and closed often throughout the day, you may need a gate easily opened with one hand. If you have an escape artist for a dog, you may want something with more resistance to prevent them from getting loose.

White Full Pet Gate with Locking System
White Full Pet Gate with Locking System

The Last Word

You may have many reasons to install a pet gate in your home. Perhaps you're training a new puppy or have a vision-impaired senior dog. Maybe you have specific areas that you'd prefer to remain free of pet hairs and odors.

Regardless of why you're getting the pet gate, you should consider where you're going to put it, what material it should be made out of, and how easy it is to open. These considerations, along with your animals' temperament and habits, can help you decide on the best pet gate for your lifestyle.

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