Sometimes a dog gate isn’t an option but a must-have product. Pets left alone for long periods will inevitably find ways to amuse themselves to your chagrin. Therefore, a gate is a viable option if your pup is housebroken, but you still need to limit its space. You’ll find a wide variety of products at various price points, depending on your needs. Manufacturers have also made these items more aesthetically pleasing.
Our guide will give you the information you need to make an informed purchase. We’ll cover the range of options and features available that can make one a better fit than another. We also have a round-up of functional products with detailed reviews about what they have to offer you. Hopefully, our article will make your decision easier.
The Frisco Extra Wide Auto-Close Pet Gate is an affordable option that does the job while still making it accessible for other household members to use. That fact alone puts it on the top of our best overall dog gates. It has a decent span at 52 inches. The extensions allow you to fit it into your space. You’ll need to install the wall cups to get the most out of this product. That makes it a permanent solution.
The design is attractive, with three neutral color choices to fit most decors. While it’s 30 inches high, it’s best used with smaller pets. We liked the auto-lock feature, but it can also stay open if you use the doorway a lot. The gate does an excellent job of balancing portability and durability.
The Carlson Pet Products Mini Tuffy Expandable Gate is our pick for one of the best dog gates for the money. It’s an excellent option if you have a pup you want to confine but still allow your cat free reign. The pass-through door is brilliant for this purpose. The gate is all-metal, which adds to its durability. It expands to 38 inches, making it a decent choice for most situations.
The only gripe we have is with the height. While it’s easy to step over the gate, a larger dog may jump over it or figure out how to climb over it. The center horizontal bar provides a foothold. It uses pressure mounts which we liked to protect your door or walls. The price is also right.
The Richell Freestanding Gate for Dogs is a premium choice if you need to block off an area with a stable barrier. The width range is generous at 39.8–71.3 inches wide. We can easily see this product carving out a space in a great room. The design is one that you’ll either like or hate. It’s practical yet resembles a bicycle rack. Nevertheless, it is attractive, considering what it is.
You can use it on carpeted or hardwood floors. The rubber feet keep it from slipping. You can also fold the gate up to use it on the road. This product is best suited for dogs that will respect the barrier and not try to breach it.
|Dimensions:||5 inches L x 2 inches W x 41 inches H|
The Regalo Easy Step Extra Tall Walk-Through Gate is an affordable choice for pet owners that have larger dogs. Your pup would have a hard time scaling this barrier at its 36.5-inch height. While it’s secure, a determined pooch will scratch the coating off the metal easily. It has a safety lock that does the job but almost too well if you’re trying to get through with groceries in your hands.
The gate comes in three colors, although the platinum isn’t an attractive shade and looks fake to us. It’s a portable product at only 13 pounds. You can easily take it when traveling. We liked the fact that you could mount it to the wall if you’re looking for a permanent solution.
5. MyPet Tall Petgate Passage Gate with Small Pet Door
|Dimensions:||39 inches L x 1 inch W x 36 inches H|
The MyPet Tall Petgate Passage Gate with Small Pet Door is an attractive option if you need a barrier in an area that you use a lot. The bronze finish is a welcome touch. It has a latch, but it doesn’t lock. That’s not unusual with these products. It’s worth noting if you have a Houdini on your hands. We liked that you can set it up to allow only one-way access for better security.
The gate is slightly heavier than comparable products, but we thought it wasn’t a significant issue given its construction. Our only other gripe was that the pass-through door was larger than we’d like. Overall, it’s a well-made gate that works as advertised.
6. North States 3-in-1 Arched Metal Superyard Dog Gate
|Dimensions:||144 inches L x 2 inch W x 30 inches H|
|Features:||Removable panels, auto-lock|
The North States 3-in-1 Arched Metal Superyard Dog Gate is a decent choice if you need a product that can fit a variable space or one that can function as a pen. This item fits the bill nicely. It has six panels that allow you to create a playing area you need. It includes the hardware to make the assembly easy. The height is high enough to keep small and medium-sized pups in their place.
The gate is made of steel, which you can’t use outside since it’ll rust. The product is also spendy, although you need to balance it with the benefits that it provides. It weighs in at nearly 35 pounds, making it sturdy and durable.
7. Arf Pets Free-Standing Walk-Through Wood Dog Gate
|Dimensions:||40 inches L x 3.2 inch W x 22.4 inches H|
The Arf Pets Free-Standing Walk-Through Wood Dog Gate stands out as an attractive way to contain dogs that are used to these barriers. It can tip easily at less than 12 pounds. Nevertheless, it is an effective solution if you need a pass-through door. You can also add additional extensions, which makes it a customizable product to fit any space.
You can also use this gate for other uses, such as glass doors with the included suction cups. The length of the product is a bit wide for a doorway. Otherwise, it works as described for a portable solution.
|Dimensions:||39 inches L x 1.85 inch W x 41 inches H|
|Material:||Plastic and steel|
The Frisco Metal Geometric Pattern Extra Tall Auto-Close Pet Gate stands out for its attractive design that tries to make this product less obtrusive. It succeeds on multiple scores since it makes it harder for your dog to scale the gate. The product is heavy compared to comparable ones, which speaks to its durability. It includes an extension with additional ones available.
The gate is taller than many products of its type. That makes jumping over it a non-issue with most pets. It’s easy to install and well-made. It comes in two colors, although the gray seems fakey to us.
9. Midwest Steel Pet Gate
|Dimensions:||39 inches L x 1.75 inch W x 29 inches H|
|Features:||Pass-through door, stair-compatible|
The Midwest Steel Pet Gate is a simple but effective product that gets the job done with its pressure-mounted design. It locks securely to give you the peace of mind you want with these types of products. The gate is taller than many comparable products, making it an excellent choice for larger dogs. We also liked that it is stair-compatible if you want to close off a basement.
The gate is customizable, with the two additional extensions included. The construction is solid. It’s definitely a product made to last and handle the abuse it’ll likely receive.
10. GMI Keepsafe Wooden Expanding Pet Gate
|Dimensions:||34 inches L x 2 inch W x 16 inches H|
The GMI Keepsafe Wooden Expanding Pet Gate harkens back to products of yore. This one comes in four widths, from 3 to 9-feet wide. You’ll likely find one to fit whatever space you need to protect. The expandable design gets the job done, but some pups may discover lots of footholds to get over it. Nevertheless, the locking mechanism is reliable.
When not in use, the gate has a small footprint, which we liked. Every size has a generous range, making it a versatile product. Unfortunately, its lighter weight makes it seem flimsy, especially when used for larger pets. It isn’t as sturdy as the other items we reviewed.
When you start shopping for a dog gate, you’ll probably feel overwhelmed with all your choices. The market has grown a lot from the wooden expandable products you may remember when you were a child. Of course, there’s no denying their usefulness. They give you an easy solution for keeping a pet out of different rooms or areas within your home. Some things to consider include:
There are three main types of dog gates: free-standing, pressure-mounted, and hardware-mounted. That means you’ll likely find a product to fit your situation. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. Free-standing gates are excellent options if you want to wall off a space instead of a doorway. For example, you can set up one if you want to keep your pup from getting into the garbage can or recycling bin.
The pressure-mounted gates are probably the most popular. They offer decent protection without marring your door jambs. You can move them to wherever you need them, which makes them versatile, too. It’s an excellent choice if you are a renter or want to bring along a gate when you travel. The only drawback is that a determined pup might be able to move it out of place.
Hardware-mounted gates are the most secure of the bunch. However, it does mean attaching it directly to a wall or door jamb. If you need a permanent solution, it’s hard to beat these products. You’ll often find some attractive styles since manufacturers understand that they may be in place all the time.
We’ll begin with a bit of advice. Measure the width of the place you want to put the gate before you buy one. That’s especially true if you live in an older home or want to block off an odd-sized doorway, such as a utility room or closet. Dog gates come in size ranges for the width to accommodate a variety of scenarios.
You should also check out the height. Of course, the right size depends on your dog. We suggest erring on the side of caution and going higher instead of lower. Some pups can jump, particularly if there’s a free path for your pet to run up to the gate. The highest ones are 36 inches or more. Keep in mind whether walking over the gate is a possibility for you. You may be fine with a shorter one that you don’t have to open it every time.
Bear in mind that the standard dimensions for doorways are as follows:
You’ll find dog gates in a wide variety of materials. Your choice will affect the durability, price, and aesthetics of the product. We understand that these items aren’t the most desirable things to put in your showcase living room. However, they’re often necessary, making the last point a valid consideration. It’s worth mentioning that your pet will likely scratch and paw at the gate, making durability another vital concern.
Popular choices include:
Some materials are heavier than others, which is something to keep in mind if portability is essential. If you’re opting for a hardware-mounted gate, you’re likely putting looks as part of your must-have options.
The features will divide the products in your shortlist into dealbreaker and dealmaker categories. Some things are obvious, such as whether you’re going to use it inside your home or outdoors. Chew resistance is essential, especially if you have a puppy. Access is another vital consideration, particularly if you have other pets in the house. A pet door or walk-through are welcome features.
An auto-lock will make sure the gate stays in place and does its job. That’s something you’ll find helpful, especially if you have children in your household. We also prefer products that include all the necessary hardware—and tools, if needed—for mounted gates. Many of the items we reviewed have vertical bars. That simple feature can make it more difficult for a dog to climb over it.
If you go with a mesh-style gate, make sure that the openings are smaller than the size of your pup’s paws to deter your pet from trying to scale it.
The Frisco Extra Wide Auto-Close Pet Gate is an excellent value if you want an attractive solution to keep your pet contained. It earned high marks in our reviews. The Carlson Pet Products Mini Tuffy Expandable Gate offers an excellent choice for confining a pup while not impeding your cat’s access to the rest of the house. It’s well-made and sturdy, making it a value purchase.
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Featured Image Credit: Alex Zotov, Shutterstock
Chris has written on a variety of topics since 2009. Her motto with all of her writing is “science-based writing nurtured by education and critical thinking.” She specializes in science topics, with a special love for health and environmental topics, and of course, pets of all shapes and sizes.
Chris lives happily with her hubby and three cats in the land of 10,000 lakes, writing, wining, and boating as much as she can. She and her husband, Norm, were awarded the State of Kentucky Colonel Honor for their restoration work at Mammoth Cave National Park. Chris’s current passion is wine. She has her WSET 1 and 2 certifications and is currently pursuing her Certified Wine Specialist Award (CSW).