Deciding to let a furry friend into your life is really just as much responsibility as deciding to have a child – and that includes making sure your residence is a safe place to live for them. Pups tend to get into places they’re not meant to be in, so you really need to make sure you can shield them from the hazards (and, of course, protect your valuables from unknowingly being wrecked as well). Having visitors, doing renovations, keeping the rascal from going into your bedroom, those stormy nights that can stress your pup out – there are many circumstances that require making sure your pet doesn’t wander off somewhere they’re not supposed to be. And to account for that, you need to purchase safety pens or barriers.

We have reviewed everything the market has to offer and have concluded that the most practical decision is using baby gates for your fluffy buddies – and don’t do a double take! Puppies and babies are similarly sized after all, and manufacturers usually put great care into products designed for human children, so we might as well reap all the benefits for our fluffballs! Without further ado, here’s what our editors deemed as the best dog gates available for sale in 2020.

Best dog gate picks based on 2020 reviews

Editor’s pickBest suited forMain characteristicsRating 
Regalo Easy Step 38.5-Inch Extra Wide Walk Thru Baby GateSafest entry level choice - cheap, durable, basicPressure mount, adjustable width, nice height for most dog breeds.4.2
Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru GateWhen you need a heavy-duty metal optionRobust, can be mounted with hardware, appropriate for the largest breeds.4.4
Regalo 192-Inch Super Wide Adjustable Baby Gate and Play YardOwners who need a flexible, expandable optionCan be converted from a fence to an enclosure and back. Choose between freestanding or a wall mount.4.4
Summer Decorative Wood & Metal 5 Foot Pressure Mounted When you need a heavy-duty gate with a wide openingAttractive design, suitable for outdoor use and high-traffic areas, easy to get through.4.3
Toddleroo by North States 3-in-1 Metal SuperyardSomeone looking for a customisable permanent installationFlexible design with many purchasable addons, robust and long-lasting. Can be hardware mounted or used as a detached pen.4.7

Regalo Easy Step 38.5-Inch Extra Wide Walk Thru Baby Gate

This gate is Amazon’s number 1 best seller, and for all good reasons. Super affordable, easy to use and install, extendable and boasting thousands of customer testimonials, it’s a solid pick that can’t really do you wrong. It’s tall enough to make it pretty much un-jumpable without blocking out your entire doorway. Small drawback is that it only comes in white, which may not be ideal for all types of decor, but at this price level you can’t really complain about a lack of color options. If you want to install it in a stairway, be aware of the unremovable bar at the bottom of the gate.

This large dog gate is proven to keep even heavy rambunctious pups at bay, and with the easy pressure mount system it can be set up in minutes without installing any extra hardware. The barrier does require reading the instructions carefully – you need to tighten it and create the tension manually, so it may appear “warped” out of the box which is actually not the case. The walk-through opening is slightly on the narrow side and the door can only swing open one way, but those are minimal cons for the price and the build quality you’re getting. 

PROS:CONS:
Cheap
Not easy to open with 1 hand
DurableOnly opens in 1 direction
Adjustable
Will not fit narrow doorways and openings below 34 inches wide.
Great dog gate for stairs

Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate

If you feel like you need something heavier and more substantial, this extra tall gate is a great choice. Made out of metal it’s extremely strong and heavy-duty – but looks nice and stylish at the same time thanks to attractive design and finish. It also features a removable door stopper so it’s easy to install on a staircase without creating a tripping hazard – especially important if you want to block off the top of the steps or put it in a hallway.

The lock on this gate has a 3-step childproof mechanism so you can be sure your puppies can’t just force it open. It’s also much taller than the traditional “baby” gates, which makes it a perfect choice when trying to keep larger heavier furbabies inside. The auto-close feature is extremely useful, but be mindful of it, as the door is heavy and will swing shut abruptly and with a slam if not cushioned. Reviews also state that the maximum width extensions are not as sturdy as the main frame, so it’s probably best to not rely on them alone if you need extra wide dog gates – we have some top picks for that down below!

PROS:CONS:
Removable door stopperThe auto-close mechanism has a heavy spring that can slam the door shut
Can be installed using pressure mount or hardware mountBest not used at maximum width
Auto-closeThe pressure mounts included in the box are not the best quality
Easy to open and close with one hand

Regalo 192-Inch Super Wide Adjustable Baby Gate and Play Yard

If you need something more than just blocking out a single door or a staircase, this 4-in-1 adaptable fence is a very tempting choice. It can easily be transformed from a wide dog gate to an enclosure of any size, and is also easy to pack up and store – a perfect solution for when you don’t need a permanent fixture in your house. Taking it apart and folding the panels together is pretty easy, and they don’t take up much space at all.

The connectors are mostly plastic, so this is certainly not one of the sturdiest offers on the market, but it does cater to different needs. If you have unconventionally shaped openings or a need for something flexible, this option is unrivaled. The all-steel frame provides nice stability so it’s not wobbly and won’t get warped – it’s also suitable if you want to move it outdoors or to a patio. It can also be folded into an accordion shape, so if you need something collapsible, look no further.

The versatility makes this barrier most suitable for the situations when you need to quickly separate groups of animals, have oddly-shaped openings you need to guard off or in case you need a portable pup blocker to bring with you when traveling. If you just need a quick solution and don’t feel like fencing in half of your house, pick this.  It’s also very easy to open, close and get through even for people with mobility issues.

PROS:CONS:
Best if you need a dog gate with a wide doorPlastic connectors can be chewed through or broken off
Can be transformed into an enclosure and back, as well as configured into multiple shapesNot the sturdiest
Can be used as a collapsable rollaway gateRather steep price
Easy to set up and put away

Summer Decorative Wood & Metal 5 Foot Pressure Mounted Baby Gate

A very attractive fence with a wide opening, which can be particularly useful if easy, quick access through the doors is your priority. The bidirectional swing of the doorway and the latch blocker mechanism that’s easy to open with one hand add to accessibility, just push it to the front or swing it to the back. This is one of the more expensive choices on the market and that’s well reflected in the build quality – the railing looks attractive, is very sturdy even with maximum extensions installed and the lock is very secure. The wooden dog gate part feels nice to the touch, while the metal panels create a safe upright structure. The grey slate metal finish looks unassuming enough to blend in.

However, there are several drawbacks – this product is clearly meant to keep larger/heavier pets at bay, since the tiniest pups can slip through the wide bars. There’s an unremovable bar at the bottom of the entrance which can make it tricky to install if you have to work around decorative baseboard. However, if you need a wide (up to 5 feet!), very hardy gateway with a large opening that’s easy to get through, there aren’t many better picks.

PROS:CONS:
Nice designUnremovable bar at the bottom
One-hand-operation latchLoud latch mechanism
Wide openingBars set too wide for small dogs/puppies
Sturdy expansions
Can be swung open both ways

Toddleroo by North States 3-in-1 Metal Superyard

If you’re looking for a more permanent enclosure or wall-off solution, this is one of the best options the market has to offer. Very versatile with multiple extension packs available to buy, you can construct your own pen with the exact measurements you need. This fence is very well made and sturdy, and can be either mounted to the wall using hardware or used as a freestanding pen – and it comes with floor protection as a bonus! The rubbery coating at the bottom of the panels makes sure your new pen won’t go sliding on the tile or hardwood if Fido is feeling particularly playful. This is probably the only product at this price point that will let you create a pen as large as 8 by 10 ft. When disassembled, the panels are foldable and easy to store.

This “superyard” was created with toddler protection in mind, so the door latch might be a bit finicky to use, especially at first. We would probably not recommend this hatch as a barrier separating rooms in a high-traffic area, as the combination of tight lock and narrow passage may make navigation harder than it needs to be. Not the best choice for a kitchen, for example, as you will be going back and forth multiple times per day, often with your hands full. However, if you’re looking to build a custom-sized enclosure to keep your pup in for certain situations, this is a perfect solution – durable, inexpensive, versatile and nice-looking. It’s no wonder it’s rated this high by thousands of happy buyers!

PROS:CONS:
VersatileNarrow gate
Sturdy and long-lastingLatch hard to open with one hand
Floor protectionClumsy for high traffic areas
Freestanding or hardware mountNo pressure mount option
Possible to create an extra long dog gateNo black or white colour options

Buyer’s Guide

When buying a puppy gate, there are several key features you must consider carefully before you make a decision. Yes, all the products we recommend here are top notch, but which option will be just right for you and your pooch? Give honest answers to the following questions and the decision will be much clearer.

Wall mount type

First of all, you will need to choose between a hardware mount, a pressure mount or a freestanding barrier/pen. The choice here depends on several factors. If you’re sure you need a permanent solution and the main concern is stability and durability (especially important when dealing with larger breeds!) then it’s best to bite the bullet and go for the hardware mount. It does take elbow grease but the results are unrivaled.

If you want something sturdy but can’t quite commit to a full hardware mount (or it’s just plain impossible – we understand the pains of living in a rental or having walls that can’t be drilled through) pressure mounts are a good compromise. If you opt for a cheaper purchase that comes with flimsy plastic fixings, you can still pick up a relatively inexpensive pressure mount kit that comes with sturdy bits which won’t damage your walls. Pressure mount still gives good stability that can hold back even a very sizeable pooch.

If you need a temporary solution or something flexible that can be moved from a room to a backyard, for example, a freestanding barricade or pen is your choice. True, a freestanding baby gate will only hold back a small or very obedient pup – but if you have one of those, why break a sweat over mounting a fence to the wall? A portable enclosure that’s easy to set up might be a great solution if you only need to separate your little pal temporarily – for example when pet sitting, having company over or having dangerous renovations going. It’s the ultimate flexibility choice!

Walk-through vs step-over

If you have a very small dog, you might be tempted by the low step-over gates that don’t require any swinging. They could be a good simple solution in some cases, but be aware that most mutts will look for a way to scale them and might injure themselves in the process. So unless you’re absolutely sure that this short barrier is all your pup needs to stay put, it’s best to look for the walk-through options – while bulkier and more finicky to install, they provide more substantial protection and a much better long-term solution.

Portability and storage

If you’re not looking for a permanent solution, the question of storage will inevitably come up. How easy is it to put the whole thing together and back apart? Are the panels flat enough for easy storage? Can you take them with you while traveling and assemble on the spot or do you need power tools to set up your pen or railing? If you move around a lot or constantly need to switch up your pet gate solution, choosing a lightweight barrier or pen that’s specifically marketed as a portable or a “transformer” divider would be best, so make sure to look out for those.

Material and design

Let’s be honest, if you’re putting something even semi-permanent up in your beloved home, you will care about how it looks. No one wants an ugly plastic cage that sticks out like a sore thumb greeting them every time they walk through the door. Sure, you may have to compromise if you need something light and portable, but the material is very important to consider if you’re looking to install something long term. What will match your room best, metal or wood? Do you need to beware of sharp edges? Take your time to choose something that will blend seamlessly into the room because you’re going to be looking at that fencing a whole lot!

Place of installation

Is your barrier going to be installed indoors or outdoors? Some materials can’t withstand the elements and are really only suitable as an indoor dog fence, while heavy-duty metal gates might not be practical if you just need small barriers between rooms. If you need to block a staircase off, pick a product without a bar at the bottom (or with a removable one) as potentially tripping over it can be very dangerous. Sideboards, wall finishes, floor covering – all these things need to be factored in when picking the ideal shape.

Why do I need to buy a dog gate?

We all love our pets, but there are numerous situations when we might want them confined or separated – at least for a while. If you’re doing renovations in your home or your work or hobby includes using some hazardous materials, like paint or other chemicals, reasoning with a curious pup is not really the best course of action. Some things you just can’t let your buddy get near! Some pups don’t take well to strangers or small children, so in that case it might be best to separate them for a while when you’re having company – and a doggie gate is a much more humane choice than a cage.

Another case would be scaredy cats and escape artists – some pooches just keep hearing the call of the wild and are ready to bolt out any time a door or, god forbid, a window cracks open. A nice extra tall dog gate will put an end to their count of monte cristo stunt without compromising their safety and wellbeing. If your puppy gets distressed on stormy nights or is prone to getting spooked by loud noises, it’s also a good idea to keep them fenced in so they don’t jump around and hurt themselves.

Bringing a new pet or a new baby home and giving them time to get used to the changes, protecting new furniture or breakable items, keeping your mutt out of the way of trouble or temptation – a simple dog fence can solve many problems and save you major headaches.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are special dog gates any different from baby gates?

Yes and no. While there are extra small freestanding pet gates that would be too tiny or flimsy to use for children, mostly the concept and construction principle behind them is the same. There are also soft fabric and mesh options, but those are extremely niche and we will review them separately. Basically, unless you need an ultra small gate or a special mesh dog gate, baby gates are the way to go.

Is a baby gate safe to use for dogs?

Yes! Anything marketed towards babies and toddlers goes through rigorous quality control, so you can be sure of the build quality. And while human babies may not be as large or heavy as some of the bigger dog breeds, they have their own methods of breaking through gates – so there are security mechanisms in place to prevent that. If a gate was designed to keep a baby safe, it is guaranteed to keep a dog safe as well.

Is pressure mounting dog gate safe and stable?

If installed correctly with tension well adjusted, pressure mounting can withstand enough force that you shouldn’t be worried about the gate giving in. However, just like with any other installation, it requires precision and elbow grease, so if you’re not sure you can set the tension up nice and tight by yourself, you may want to hire a professional to assist with the setup.

Can I use dog gates in my backyard?

Not all dog or baby gates are safe for exterior use, especially if you don’t live in a particularly mild climate. To be safe, you should opt for a heavy-duty option with as few plastic parts as possible – this is also where an extra tall dog gate becomes the best and most logical choice. Don’t get fancy wrought iron fences just to keep your dog in – the sharp parts might look cool but they actually pose a safety hazard.

More reviews from us

  • Top extra tall dog gates
  • Best dog gates for large breeds
  • Choosing a dog gate for decorative and small dogs
  • How to dog-proof your yard
  • Best freestanding puppy gates on the market
  • The Best 5 Top Dog Stairs

 

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Zac Walker

Zac Walker

Zac grew up dreaming to be a vet, and although that dream never came true, his love for animals remained the same. Now a health and lifestyle writer, he often contributes thoughtful articles about pet safety and health and specializes in pet nutrition and training. Zac lives in Toronto with his Shiba Inu, Sally.

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