The Perfect Indoor Dog Gate For Your Pup (and Your Home)

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August 3, 2022 / Daily Gear Travel / By: Melanie Evans0 Comments

Cute west highland white terrier puppy sitting behind an indoor dog gate and looking at camera. Isolation of puppy when he is alone at home

Much as we all love our dogs, there are often places in our homes we would prefer they not explore alone.

Sometimes this is for their safety, sometimes for the safety of your furniture, and sometimes so that guests to the home can be received and entertained without being jumped on!

An indoor dog gate like an outdoor dog kennel can be very helpful in helping to ensure that your pup stays where you want them to.

However, once you begin to consider the idea, and then begin to research indoor dog gates before shopping for one, you will quickly find there are lots of options to choose from, in terms of both specific product offerings and the types and even styles of indoor dog gate to choose from.

So, how do you know which indoor dog gate you should buy?

Your choice will depend on all kinds of things: your dog’s size, strength and energy levels, your home’s layout, your budget and more.

Here we are going to take a closer look at these considerations, while also offering you reviews of some of the best indoor dog gate options we’ve come across to help you get a head start on shopping for the right one.

In a Hurry? Quick Picks

Types and Styles of Indoor Dog Gates

As you’ll discover as you shop, the term dog gate and baby gate are often used interchangeably, as the number of canine specific indoor gates on the market is rather limited, and outdoor dog gates, of which there are more, are usually too hard to install indoors and would be something of an eyesore.

This is not a problem, however, as the function of a baby gate and dog gate is the same. It may even be a bonus if your house is home to both pups and toddlers.

Not sure what types of dog gate you might have to choose from? Here’s a look at some of the most common:

Fixed Mount Indoor Dog Gate

A fixed mount indoor dog gate is typically used to block access to a staircase and is affixed to a wall on a permanent basis with screws.

These do call for more effort when it comes to installation, and a need for a strong wall, but if you want to ensure that the gate stays in place at all times, it may be the right choice for your dog and your home.

Pressure Mounted Indoor Dog Gate

A pressure mounted indoor dog gate is held in place on either side by being pressed against a doorway. They are easier to install and can be removed quickly if needed.

They’re a great choice if you require a secure gate only occasionally - when you go out and have to leave your pup alone for a while, for example - but do not want the gate in place permanently.

Likewise, they are also helpful if you do not want to damage your walls with screws.

Freestanding Dog Gates

If you have a small pup, a freestanding dog gate, which can be placed almost anywhere, may be all you need to separate them from an area you would prefer they not venture into.

These gates can be very decorative and easy to utilize, but won’t be of any help if you have a larger dog or even a smaller dog with the energy and intelligence to push it out of the way to get to where they would like to go.

What Can You Use Instead of a Dog Gate?

Not everyone wants to make use of an indoor dog gate, and in some rental homes even a pressure mounted gate may cause marks that would lead to problems with the landlord.

So can you use something in place of a dog gate to keep your pup where you’d prefer he be?

Training your dog to keep out of certain areas of your home is perhaps the ideal scenario, and with lots of effort and patience this can be achieved with some dogs.

However, dogs, like children, will often do the things they are not supposed to as soon as they are fairly sure they are not being watched, and so if keeping them out of an area is important for their safety or that of your home it’s not something that can be relied on in most cases!

Adding an extra door is another option, but the chances are that this may be impossible, especially if you live in a rental home, or you need to block a stairwell.

A door curtain may help ‘hold back’ a smaller, less adventurous pup, but it won’t keep most dogs from venturing through it to what they might see as ‘the promised land’.

You could, of course, install a guard at the entrance to the area, but doing so will involve the use of a cat, and depend upon said cat’s cooperation and work ethic.

It can be very effective though, as this Youtube video demonstrates (hilariously).

How Tall of a Gate Do I Need for My Dog?

Ideally, you’ll need an indoor dog gate your pup can’t jump or climb over.

This can be a challenge if you have a large dog. You can buy tall dog gates (more on that later) but you should be aware that current safety regulations in North America do not allow for the sale of a dog gate/baby gate of any higher than 41”.

Are Freestanding Dog Gates Safe?

As we mentioned earlier, if yours is a small, less active, or very well-behaved pup, a freestanding gate may work for you. For larger pups, or those with more energy, they are unlikely to be effective or even to be safe.

A freestanding dog gate that is easily pushed over is also something your pup could push onto themselves, onto another fur member of the household, or even a small child, none of which is safe.

So, are you ready to start searching for the perfect indoor dog gate for your pup (and your home?) 

If so, here’s a look as we have promised earlier at some of the best options we have encountered (and tested with the help of some canine volunteers).

Best Small Indoor Dog Gate

Customizable width indoor pet gate that it's easy to install and has an automatic closing door.

Safety 1st Easy Install 28' Walk Thru...

Designed for toddlers but also perfect for small to medium-sized pups, this pressure mounted gate is versatile, easy to install, simple to use and can be moved around your home as needed.

Pros & Cons
  • Secure once properly mounted
  • Pressure mounted gate that won’t cause as much permanent wall damage
  • Adjustable to fit a wide variety of doorway widths
  • Secure closing mechanism
  • Easy step through action for humans.
  • May not, at 28” tall, be high enough to accommodate larger pups who like to jump

Best Indoor Pet Gate for Large Dogs

An extra-tall pet gate that installs easily, latches securely and is tall enough to not have to worry about your large pup jumping over.

Regalo Easy Step Extra Tall Walk Thru...

When it comes to large dogs, especially those with a habit of trying to get just where they should not, choosing the tallest, most secure gate you can buy is probably the best idea, and this is that gate.

Pros & Cons
  • The tallest dog gate you can buy in the US at 41”
  • Pressure mounting causes less damage to walls
  • Easy opening lift up latch
  • Can be moved with ease from room to room
  • One of the more expensive choices on our lists
  • Not quite as sturdy as some pet gates on our list. May not stand up to dogs who jump at it often.

Best Expandable Indoor Pet Gate

An excellent made pet gate for dogs that fits between walls and doorways from 24 to 39 inches. It's easy to install, lightweight and yet sturdy enough for energetic pups.

IRIS USA 24' To 39' Portable Expandable...

If you want a gate that can be moved around your home and expanded to fit a variety of openings while also being easy to install and simple to open, this pet gate is an excellent option.

Pros & Cons
  • Tough thick plastic construction
  • Expands with little effort to fit openings 24 - 39-in wide
  • Pressure mounted and features wall protectors to prevent damage
  • When properly installed, fits in opening very securely
  • One of the more affordable options on our list
  • Not a walk through gate
  • May not be tall enough to contain some large dogs.

Best Freestanding Pet Gate for Dogs

Available in white or rich mahogany color and in a 30 or 36” height, this indoor dog gate features a multi-use, hinged design that can be converted to a freestanding gate or room divider.

Frisco Deluxe Dog Gate

As we mentioned, freestanding pet gates won’t contain most pups, but if you want to try one for a smaller, older or less active pet this is a sturdy, very good-looking option that is also very easy to use.

Pros & Cons
  • Solid wooden construction
  • Can be configured in several ways
  • Very easy to move around
  • Makes an attractive barrier
  • Will contain very few dogs, most will push it aside with ease
  • May tip and hurt your pup or others.

Best Pet Gate With Door

A 30-inch high pet gate that expands to fit stairways and openings between 29-36.5 inches wide keeping your furry friend contained or to restrict certain areas of your home.

Carlson Extra Wide Walk Through Pet Gate...

If you have a dog who needs to be contained, but a cat who must be free to roam, this pet gate can accommodate them both and stave off any fur wars!

Pros & Cons
  • Adjustable from 29 to 36.5 inches wide to accommodate most standard doorways
  • All steel construction is very durable
  • Small pet door is centrally located, and most cats use it with ease.
  • Pressure mounted and easily portable
  • The walk thru gate is easy for humans to use too.
  • At 30 inches may not be tall enough to contain larger dogs
  • Lever style handle can be stiff to operate at first.

Best Wood Dog Gate Indoor

This stylish yet sturdy dog gate opens in both directions and is tall and wide size fits doorway or hallway openings from 32.1 to 62.8 inches.

Richell Tall One-Touch Gate II Wide, Dog...

While metal and plastic dog gates are often great for keeping your pup where you want him, they can be a bit of an eyesore in some situations. This elegant wooden dog gate is attractive but yet still reasonably secure.

Pros & Cons
  • Very attractive wooden finish
  • Adjustable wide gate that makes a great hallway barrier
  • Pressure mounted to avoid damaging walls
  • Will not stand up to very rough treatment
  • A very expensive choice

How To Keep Dog From Chewing an Indoor Pet Gate?

Some dogs love to chew, and they may include their new pet gate in that activity. Some may do so just because they love to chew, others because they think they may be able to chew their way to freedom!

So, given that this is the last thing you want, how can you stop this unwanted behavior?

Here are some ideas:

  • With your pup when the gate is first installed and should he chew at it take immediate corrective action (do not smack him however, dogs should never be smacked.)
  • Choose a heavy, steel construction dog gate (you may need to sacrifice style, but the trade-off is often worth it.)
  • Coat the gate with something your dog won’t like the taste of.
  • Choose a tall gate that your pup will find harder to chew.

How To Keep Dog From Jumping an Indoor Gate?

Some pups will try to jump their new dog gate. It’s a barrier to something - even if they aren’t sure what - and that something may be exciting.

Some pups also understand that the gate is shutting them out of ‘the action’ and dogs prone to separation anxiety may not like that at all either.

Jumping their pet gate is not only a nuisance for you, but potentially dangerous for the pup, so is not behavior that should be tolerated. The easiest way to prevent this is to choose a dog gate that is simply too tall for them to jump.

Even the largest pup would struggle to jump the 41-inch Regalo Extra Tall Gate we have included on our list.

Final Note on Dog Gate Safety

Some pups just won’t take being shut out lying down, even if they are otherwise well behaved dogs, and in attempting to breach a barrier could seriously injure themselves.

If your pup has been jumping at his gate, trying to knock it over or pull it away from the wall on a constant basis, they are risking injury to themselves and others, and you may need to find another way.

Training may help, or confining them to a space with a lockable door when they are alone may be more effective and certainly safer.

WRITTEN BY

Melanie Evans

Melanie Evans is a writer and animal advocate based in Scranton, PA, who, enjoys sharing her lifelong knowledge about dogs. When not working, Melanie enjoys playing a wide variety of sports, traveling and hanging out with her energetic boxer dog Bruce.

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