Pet Gate Comparison
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Pet Gate Buying Guide
What is a Pet Gate?
A pet gate and a child gate in many cases is the exact same thing. They prevent the dogs from leaving a room you want them to be in, or to keep them out of rooms you don’t want them in. They were commonly made of wood or plastic but soon enough pet owners saw that those pet gates tended to be destroyed quite easily.
Nowadays many pet gates are made of scratch resistant, heavy duty metal that not only can withstand them chewing on the bars, they are installed in a way that the dogs can’t just shove them over. Pet gates come in all types of styles. Even the metal ones have different finishes available and some have decorative arched tops and other features that make them a part of the home décor easily.
Where are You Putting a Pet Gate?
One of the first factors to consider before you start your search is where you intend on putting your pet gate or gates if you want more than one area closed off. Most often the gates are used at the top of stairs (or bottom), in doorways from one room to another and in doorways to the outside. There are specific gates that are better suited to certain areas.
Take a look at the architectural features of your walls and doorways so you can allow for them when you choose your gate. A good example of this is if your home has higher than usual baseboards, look for a gate that allows you to adjust the pressure mounted or hardware mounted ends separately.
Blocking off the Stairs – If you want to block off the top of bottom of your stairs, you want to get a gate that has more than just pressure mounted installation. The reason for this is that if the dog jumps up on the gate or pushes against it, pressure mounted gates could possibly be dislodged and falls, potentially causing injury to the dog if they fall with the gate. With hardware mounted gates, there is no danger in the gate being pushed over.
Doorways inside the home and to the outside – Doorways are popular choices for gates to either keep the dog in or out of certain rooms. They can also be used in main doorways to the outside. Most gates come in size ranges so finding one that fits an average door will not usually be a problem.
Since you may not want to mess up a doorway, you can start with one of the pressure mounted designs, but if your dog keeps pushing the gate down, you may want to switch to models that have mounting hardware if the doorways are inside the home. An exterior doorway will not be a good match for hardware mounted designs.
Extra Wide Spaces between rooms – Many homes have a popular design called open concept where there are no real separations between kitchens and living spaces. It is in these areas that a large capacity pet gate will be a real convenience. One of the top rated gates we reviewed above is perfect for this need and has the ability to have panels added on to accommodate even the largest openings. These gates are hardware mounted for stability and durability.
How Tall is Your Dog?
The standard pet gate is going to measure about 30” tall. This is great if you have a small dog but if you have a medium, large or extra large breed dog, 30” isn’t going to be much of a deterrent. There are pet gates that can measure as high as 60 inches so if you have a jumper or climber, consider one of the tall gates so you are not throwing away money on a hurdle for your dog to scale.
Other Factors to Consider
There are a few other things you want to take into consideration when choosing the right pet gate for your needs. By thinking about these things during the search process rather than after you’ve already purchased the gate you will save yourself money, frustration and time as well.
Spacing between the bars – You want to make sure that you get a pet gate that does not have large openings or spaces between the bars. Little dogs can get their heads stuck and larger dogs can get their legs or paws stuck which can result in a pulled muscle or even a broken leg if they get stuck and try to free themselves.
Auto Close Doors – A convenient feature that many gates come with is the ability for the door to automatically close on the gate once you have passed through. This is great for high traffic doorways that you don’t want to have to step over the gate to get through. Most pet gates, especially the metal ones, have doors that open so you don’t have to take the gate down when you want to pass through. With the auto close feature you can walk through easily without having to worry about re-latching the gate.
Small Doors within the Gate – There are some models of pet gates that have very small doors in the center of the regular door of the gate. These are perfect if you have cats or other small dogs that are allowed to be in the rooms you are keeping larger pets out of. You can leave the small door open and the larger pet will not be able to get through. If you want to keep the smaller dogs in too, simply close and latch the smaller door. (Cats unfortunately can just jump the gate regardless of the height it seems)
One Hand Opening – Another great feature that many pet gates have is the one handed opening feature. This will come in handy often if you are passing through the gate with a baby or groceries or anything else in one arm. Combine the one hand open feature with the auto close and you will not have to worry about your pets escaping while you try to juggle everything.
Pet Gate Materials and Colors – You have a lot of choices when it comes to the material of the pet gates that are available, as well as the colors. The three types of materials that are most commonly used to make pet gates are:
- Heavy plastic
If you have a chewer then you will want to get a metal pet gate that the dog can’t chew through. If your dog isn’t one to be very destructive, you may choose from decorative all wood construction or even some of the heavy duty plastic models.
When it comes to colors, you have several choices there too. Colors include white, burnished bronze, beige and others as well. If you choose a wood gate, you may have different choices from white to natural. With these choices you will be able to match your home’s décor easily.
There is no better choice than a good quality pet gate when you want to keep your dog in a certain area of your home. It is a good alternative to using dog crates or carriers. With all of the styles and types that are available, finding one that will fit your needs and preferences is much simpler. All of the information in this buyer’s guide will help you choose the features that are important to you so you don’t waste money on a pet gate that doesn’t supply what you need it to. Buying the right pet gate means your home, your pet and your sanity will all be safe.
- Carlson – http://www.carlsonpetproducts.com/
- Summer Infant – http://www.summerinfant.com/
- North States – http://northstatesind.com/