How to Choose the Right Pet Gate

Pet parents choose pet safety gates for their homes for a number of different reasons. It is often a change in a household that brings on the need for a pet gate. Did you just get a new puppy? Do you have a toddler that just learned to walk? Has you dog been barking at night in his crate and you’re trying to give him a little more room to feel secure? The reasons can be as many as the pets using them, but several basic considerations need to be factored in.

Begin by considering the size of the opening that you need to put a gate in. Most regular gates will expand to fit an average size doorway inside your home, but measuring the spot first and checking the specifications on the gate is important. Often times, pet parents are trying to separate a larger area such as an archway, so width is important.

Are you trying to keep your toddler on one side and your pet pooch on the other? Keeping children away from pets when you want them separated can be an important reason for a pet safety gate. Make sure that any gate you purchase is safe for both children and pets, with no chance to accidentally get stuck in the gate. The gate needs to be tall enough so your toddler can’t reach or climb over it. Your gate also needs to be strong enough that your puppy won’t break through it! If your dog is a good jumper, you might want to consider a taller gate.

Tip – If your dog or your child can still get over a taller gate, consider using two gates, one on top of the other in the doorway. This makes it easier for you to enter and exit at times when your child or pet may not be ready to challenge it!

Most gates will either hold into place with pressure being applied from a lever being pushed down or will attach with hardware to the inside of the doorway. Be aware that once installed, these gates are a bit more permanent, and will need to be installed by drilling into the wood. Make sure that the area to install the gate will be strong enough to support it! Even the pressure point style can leave marks if they get tightened in too hard.

Tip- When choosing a gate at the top of a staircase, never use a pressure point style, as a child could possibly apply enough pressure to fall down the stairs. As well, never use any style gate that has a bar or ridge across the bottom, as this poses a tripping hazard at the top of the stairs. Use a gate made for a staircase!

Consider as well that using a pet gate can help train a puppy, by giving her enough space to run and play while not inside her training crate, but without having run of the rest of the house that is filled with potential puppy hazards. This can also reduce a dog’s separation anxiety, because a closed door is more forbidding than an open space separated by a gate.

Travel Tip – Always bring your pet gate if you are bringing your pet. Not everyone wants Fido climbing on the coffee table, even if they love dogs too! Pet gates insure safety and sanity, and greatly increase your chances of being invited back!

Lastly, consider how you plan to move from room to room. When your pet gate is in place, will you or your family members be able to step over the gate, each time you cross? Remember that you do not want anyone getting hurt by falling over the gate while entering the room. The best solution is often to choose a pet safety barrier with a built in gate, so the outer frame stays mounted in the doorway, but the inner gate swings open for easy access. This style gate is a must for older folks or for those that may be less flexible than they once were!

There you have it. When choosing a pet gate, once you consider all the elements, the design, the location and the purpose, pick one that looks good as well. For however long you need it, it will be part of your home. You will likely open it, close it, bump yourself on it and maybe even fall over it, but there is no good reason that you have to dislike it! Go ahead – give yourself a treat and buy a gate that will be the envy of both your family and your pet!

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