How to Choose Pet Gates

A pet gate is a useful piece of equipment for any home that includes animals or toddlers. Even the best-behaved dogs need structure at certain times, whether it is when company arrives or when you’re out of the house.

Why Do You Need a Pet Gate?

There are plenty of reasons you may need to use a pet gate in your home, including:

  • Your company dislikes dogs, or your dog misbehaves around visitors.
  • You have work being done in the house and need to keep your dogs away from the work area.
  • To separate different animals in your home.
  • Your adult dog doesn’t need to be in a crate anymore when you leave, but you’d like them to be marginally contained.
  • You have an older dog who needs to be isolated from anything that could harm them, like stairs.
  • You want to keep your animals isolated when they first enter the house, like in a mudroom, so you can clean them or check for ticks.

What Kind of Pet Gate Do I Need?

If you’ve been looking into pet gates, you’ve probably seen your options sorted into categories. To help you figure out the best gate for your budget and needs, here are some great tips on how to choose pet gates for your home.

  • Large Breed Pet Gate

Some pet gates are taller and heavier to prevent larger animals from knocking them down. They are typically mounted to the door frame, and most include a lock for easy access.

Common heights of pet gates range from 29 inches to 36 inches, the latter being regarded as extra tall. However, there are gates that can expand to even 6 feet tall thanks to additional clip-on extensions.

White Metal Convertible Pet Gate
White Steel Wall Mounted Pet Gate
Brown Metal Classic Walk Thru Safety Gate
White Metal Adjustable Width Pet Gate
Brown Modern Metal Walk Thru Pet Gate
Black Classic Metal Safety Gate
  • Wide Doorways

There are pet gates for doorways that are wider than most, like french doors. They can also be instrumental when you want to contain a section of a room as you can sometimes stretch the wide gates from wall to wall.

White Classic Wooden Standing Pet Gate
Brown Classic Metal 6 Panel Wire Pet Gate
Brown Decorative Wooden Standing Pet Gate
Brown Classic Wood And Metal Pet Gate
Brown Classic Wooden Pet Gate
  • Stair Use

For a gate that can be used on the stairs, you will need one that is mounted directly onto the wall or on a newel post or some other part of a staircase.

If you’re using a pet gate to keep your toddler from getting into too much mischief, like climbing up and down the stairs when you aren’t looking, have a professional install the gate on your stairs. This ensures it’s securely mounted to the wall and won’t give way if something leans against it.

White Classic Wooden Stair Use Pet Gate
White Classic Metal Safety Gate
Bronze Traditional Metal Stair Use Safety Gate
White Classic Metal Stair Use Pet Gate
Black Traditional Metal Stair Use Safety Gate
  • Outdoor Use

If you’re monitoring your animal on the deck or patio, an outdoor pet gate might come in handy. This type of barrier should be weather-resistant and also should be mounted onto the floor of the deck. Temporary gates will not work well on decks and can even be dangerous.

Black Metal Stairway Outdoor Pet Gate
Black Metal Wall-Mounted Outdoor Safety Gate
White Classic Mesh Retractable Pet Gate
White Classic Mesh Retractable Pet Gate
Black Traditional Metal Outdoor Pet Gate
Black Traditional Metal Outdoor Pet Gate

What Material Should My Gate Be?

You can choose a gate in wood, metal, or plastic. Aesthetically, a wood gate might fit your house’s décor better, but wooden gates are not ideal for puppies or dogs that tend to chew. The same goes for plastic. If you have a chewer, metal is your best bet.

A word on safety: Always make sure your gate has a pet-safe finish on it so it will not harm your pet if they do chew on it. Also, make sure that the slats of the gate are well-spaced so your pet cannot get its head stuck in between and get hurt. Corners and edges are also possible hazards, so look for a gate with rounded corners to keep your pet safe.

How Do I Mount It?

Once you’ve decided on the best fit for your household, determine how you are going to install the pet gate. Some people are looking for a gate that is easy to install so they can do it themselves. Others need the assurance that the gate will not give way, and so need a mounting system that is more permanent.

  • Pressure-mounted

These gates do not require any installed hardware. You don’t have to drill through your walls or use screws to hold the gate in place. They stay in place because of the tension, which you can adjust by twisting a knob on the gate.

White Plastic Pressure Mounted Pet Gate
White Plastic Pressure Mounted Safety Gate
Light Brown Wooden Pressure Mounted Pet Gate
Natural Wooden And Plastic Pressure Mounted Gate
Brown Modern Wooden Hands Free Pressure Mounted Gate
  • Hardware-mounted

These gates take more effort than pressure-mounted ones because you have to securely mount the gate with hardware into your wall, newel post, or deck.

To expertly install this type of pet gate, you will need a small amount of hardware and a few tools. Most hardware-mounted pet gates come with the hardware they need to set it up.

White Classic Wooden Wall Mounted Pet Gate
Brown Wooden Wall Mounted Pet Gate
Black Modern Wooden Hardware Mounted Gate
White Classic Plastic Wall Mounted Safety Gate
White Classic Metal Hardware Mounted Gate
White Classic Metal Wall Mounted Pet Gate

Quick Tips

  • Measure the space you want the gate to span to ensure that it will fit, and then measure it again.
  • Make sure the locking mechanism is easy to latch or unlatch. You don’t want to be stuck with your hands full and be unable to unlatch your pet gate easily.
  • When in doubt, call in a professional. If you have any trepidation about setting up your pet gate effectively, call a handyman to install it for you.

Foter Magazine is a premier architecture, decoration, interiors and design website. We inspire and guide you to make your home a more attractive place.


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