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If you have a dog — chances are, you'll benefit from owning a dog gate. No matter how well-trained your pups are, they'll still manage to get into some places they're not supposed to. So, to protect both your animals and your fragile home items, the best dog gate for your household is an easy way to keep them out of trouble.
What Type of Gate is Best For You?
There are three main types of gates that will work inside your home. A hardware-mounted gate is a semi-permanent solution that's perfect if you'll always want to keep your dog out of a certain space. They're great for stairs, too — a common spot owners tend to worry about their pets. These gates come with hardware to help mount it directly to the wall or doorway, so it's also great for dogs that outsmart gates and try to tip them over. This option is a great choice if you know you'll need to keep the gate in place for months or even years at a time. A pressure-mounted gate is another semi-permanent option, but this one uses spring-loaded rods to apply pressure to a doorway or walls, helping keep it secure. Most need some installation (and you may need a screwdriver), but you won't drill into the walls and can easily remove them after you're done. This is great for extended periods of time that have a more likely endpoint — like for training purposes or for use in a rental home or apartment. Finally, a free-standing option is one that requires no installation at all — just unfold it across a doorway and you're good to go. This is the most attractive solution — many are decorative in nature — but won't work for a dog that's determined to get behind the fence and it cannot be put on the stairs. Try this out if you only plan on using it for short periods of time, like for a dinner party, or you have a small dog that doesn't try to explore past the gate.
Other Factors to Consider
Before you buy a gate, measure the area that you're likely to put it in. Most gates are expandable and can fit in a range of areas (so no need to be super precise), but you'll want to make sure — especially if you're buying one that requires mounting. Then think about your other needs: If you're planning on closing off a large area, like a dining room in a more open floor plan, there are extra-wide options. There are also extra-tall options if you have a larger dog — or one that jumps. If you have mobility issues, make sure the gate is auto-close and easy to open, so you don't have to struggle with it. Finally, if you're trying a free-standing fence but aren't sure if your dog will try to jump through it, make sure you purchase one that has a no-tip solution, like the Unipaws option we included here.
Best Hardware-Mounted Options
This option is one of the only aluminum gates we were able to find, and the sturdy construction and powder-coated material (which is easy to clean) makes it one of our top picks. It's easy to use with one hand — just twist the latch — and we love that it can open in either direction, making it perfect for higher trafficked areas. It's incredibly sturdy and impossible to chew, making this your best bet for even the biggest troublemakers.
Dimensions: 29.5 inches high, adjustable length of 26.5 to 40.5 inches
We like this option from Northstates because the entire gate swings open when in use rather than a section, so you don't have to step over anything — and the extra-wide opening makes it a great choice for staircases, as does the self-locking closure. It's a nice matte bronze and made of steel, so it won't be such an eyesore in your home, either.
Dimensions: 31 inches high, adjustable length from 28.68 to 47.85 inches
Best Pressure-Mounted Dog Gate Options
Another auto-close option, this one has a double-locked safety release — making this our choice if you also have kids around, as this can function as a baby-gate. Reviewers like this one because it opens pretty wide (around a 90 degree angle) but when it's less than that, it auto-closes, so it's easy to use when you have a lot of things in your hands.
Dimensions: 30.5 inches high, adjustable length from 29.5 to 46 inches
A durable, lightweight option, we like that this gate is incredibly wide — and comes with a set of customizable extensions to fit all sorts of different spaces in your house. The extensions that range all the way from just under 7 inches to a foot wide can easily be added to the mainframe. You can use these to ensure the exact right fit, and will allow you to keep this in places other than a doorframe.
Dimensions: 30 inches high, adjustable length from 29 to 52 inches
Best Freestanding Dog Gate Options
With no assembly required, this foldable wooden gate has rubber pads at the bottom to prevent scratching on your floors, and has two wooden feet to prevent tipping — but again, please note this wouldn't be the gate for you if you have dogs that will try to jump or push on the gate. We love the simple grey design, and if you have smaller, less curious dogs, this is a great fit for your home.
Dimensions: 24 inches high, 60 inches long
Another beautiful aesthetic choice, this deco dog gate comes in white or a rich espresso color, and has two swiveling feet to help keep it sturdy. It's easy to clean with a damp cloth, and one reviewer wrote: "Aside from the very modern and fun design, what I love most about this gate is the ease of setup and flexibility of use."
Dimensions: 24 inches high, 60 inches long
An Outdoor Option
An outdoor option is great for those who have a patio or deck without a secure closing. It's hardware-mounted, and we love that there's a small pet opening for your outdoor cats to go in and out of. You can also use it to keep the space between your lawn and house secure, so your pet won't run out into the street.
Dimensions: 24 inches high, 144 inches long
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