Dog Gate Buying Guide
What is a Dog Gate?
A dog gate is a piece of furniture that is used to barricade openings of all kinds, including doorways, stairways, porches and much more. They are typically made from hardwood, metal or hard plastic and have been used for decades for the purpose of keeping dogs of all ages where the dog owner wants them to stay.
They are often used for babies and puppies as well. It is the perfect solution for keeping your dog safe in a way that doesn’t have to take away from the look of your home. The gates that are being made today are much stronger than their previous counterparts used to be. They are made from strong materials that are scratch resistant and that fit the décor of a room rather than just barricading a door.
If dogs are left alone for a length of time, they can very easily get into trouble and destroy some really valuable property. Using a dog gate protects your valuables as well as the dog and gives the owner peace of mind whenever they have to leave their dog alone.
One of the most important things to make sure of when choosing a dog gate is that it is tall enough that your dog can’t jump over it or climb over it. A gate does no good if the dog can just waltz right over it. There are gates of all heights and sizes available. We will provide you with information on how to choose the gate that will work for your home, your dog and your specific needs.
Common Places to Use Dog Gates
There are several factors you need to consider when shopping for a dog gate. One of the most important factors is where you will be using the gate. Frequently, dog gates are used at the top of stairs or between rooms to keep the dog either in or out. Certain gates are better for certain areas.
Gates for stairways
A freestanding gate should never be used at the top of a staircase. The dog or a child could lean against it and topple down the stairs with the gate. If you are using the gate at the top of a staircase, be certain to get a gate that is screwed into the wall or doorframe and not a pressure mounted or free-standing model.
Look at the doorframes and architectural design of your doorways or openings so you can purchase a gate that can accommodate those style designs. This can be a little tricky at the top of a stairway, so you will need to find two places to securely attach the gate. Many dog gates come with optional hardware if you want to mount it in a doorway. Make certain that you install it properly and securely so if the dog jumps up against it, it can’t fall over.
Gates for Super Wide Archways or Openings
Open concept homes are very popular with people nowadays with doorways and openings being much wider than they used to be. Sometimes a home may have a super large archway between rooms rather than a specific doorframe.
The gates that are being made by manufacturers now have begun to accommodate the “open concept” design and they can expand to huge widths. If the gate doesn’t fit the space right off the bat, many designs allow for the addition of extra panels that can be purchased separately.
When used properly, a freestanding gate with folding sections may be a great choice for these super wide openings. As long as the gate is tall enough and the dog can’t paw the gate away from the edge of the wall, you should be able to use the freestanding designs.
Gates for Doorways inside the Home
In many cases dog owners will want to keep their dogs in one room or keep them out of a room such as where a baby is playing or out of the kitchen. It is easy to find a dog gate that will accommodate most regular doorways. You can choose to have a free standing gate, a pressure mounted model or a mounted one.
One thing to consider about mounting the dog gate is that it will mar the doorframe, but it doesn’t have to be significant damage if you are precise in where you want the gate and take your time installing it.
Features and Factors to Consider
There are many other features that a dog gate can have. These features can make using a gate even more convenient.
- How wide is the Space between the Spindles? – You want to be sure that the space that is between each spindle is not too large. If the dog csn get their leg or head through and stuck, it could cause them to sustain an injury. The usual spacing is about 1 ¾” which is a good distance. Any more than that and problems could ensue.
- Auto Close/Lock Doors – One really convenient feature that dog gates can have is a door within the gate that opens and shuts. This prevents the dog owner from having to step over which could be precarious with an armful of groceries or while holding a child. This feature is more prevalent with metal dog gates, but at least one of the wooden choices above has that feature with a gate that swings both directions and locks automatically.
- Folding Panels – A dog gate that has folding panels can be a real convenience especially when the openings you are blocking are wider than a traditional doorway. The folding design of the dog gate makes it very easy to collapse and store away or put in the truck to travel with. It also makes it easy to make a completely enclosed pen.
- Step Over Gates – Some of the dog gate designs are meant to be simply stepped over rather than walked through. These step-over gates are not usually good choices for people that have dogs that are larger in stature. If you are blocking puppies or toy and other small breeds, a step over gate will work just fine.
- Easy or No Assembly Required – The easier a dog gate is to use, the more often the dog owner will use it. If they have to struggle with the gate falling over or opening it is not easy, they will look for other options. This is why it is important to choose the right gate for your specific needs. If you want a gate that has a door, look for those models and pass over the step-over varieties.
- Heights and Sizes – There are many different heights that dog gates are made to accommodate the different needs a dog owner has. If you need a gate that is higher than the standard, look for tall gates that will be good for larger dogs or dogs that are prone to jump. Make sure you know the height of your dog so you can choose a gate that will work well to keep them contained.
Gate Colors and Materials
Wooden dog gates are usually made of hardwood of some kind and can be natural wood color with no finish or an array of other colors such as cherry, walnut and pine. It isn’t difficult to find a finish that works well with the décor of your home so the gate looks like an extension of your home and doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.
If style and looks are important to you, choose either the metal or wood varieties which have many different color and style choices available. You will be able to choose something that is functional but also attractive to look at. Keep in mind that if your dog is notorious for chewing, a wood finish gate could get ruined if they decide to chew threw it.
Dogs can be very destructive if they want to get somewhere bad enough, so you will need to account for this in the type of gate that you choose. You don’t want to spend money on a beautiful cherry finish gate only to come home and find that your dog has chewed through several of the spindles and ruined it. Metal gates will be the best choice for chewers as they cannot chew through the metal.
There are many different reasons a dog owner may choose to get a dog gate. They may want to keep their dogs and kids separate, they may want to keep the dog out of a family gathering or away from the kitchen while people are cooking or they may need to corral a little of puppies so they don’t ruin the carpeting or flooring.
Whatever the reason is, there are multiple choices that a dog owner has to get the job done. The information in this guide and the reviews of the top three dog gate choices above will help dog owners find the type and kind of gate that will be the best for their needs. The right information gives consumers the ability to make informed decisions that will fit their needs and enable them to accomplish their objective.