Coming home to a guilty dog, pieces of upholstery strewn about and a toppled trash can will drive any pet owner crazy. Indoor pet gates keep both your buddy and your home safe while you’re away, while giving him a bit of room to romp and play.
Almost Free to Roam
Pet gates keep your buddy contained without feeling cramped. Dog crates are useful training tools, especially when it comes to potty training, but it’s a good idea to employ a pet gate once he’s housebroken; pet gates allow your dog to roam designated areas and have a bit of exercise and playtime. Section off the rooms deemed safest for your pup -- no kitchens for the trash hounds or living rooms with wooden coffee tables for the chewers, and be sure to provide a few of his favorite toys when you leave.
Aside from protecting your furniture, pet gates also protect your family and pets. Stairs should always be off-limits for small puppies, seniors or dogs recovering from injury. Place pet gates at the top of staircases at all times, lest your buddy take a tumble. Pet gates can also protect your buddy from toddlers who haven’t learned the art of gentle handling, or make new pet introductions go more smoothly.
There are three basic types of pet gates: wall mounted, pressure mounted and freestanding. Wall mounted gates are permanently attached to the wall or door frame, and will need to be precisely fitted to your home. This type of gate is the sturdiest. Pressure mounted gates provide more flexibility -- you can quickly and easily move the gate from one area to the next. Freestanding gates are not as stable or sturdy as other pet gate options, and are best used only with small puppies. Pet gates come in a variety of materials, such as plastic, wood and metal, to fit any decor or aesthetic.
It’s important to choose a gate tall and wide enough to properly fit the space and prevent your dog from jumping out or otherwise escaping. Test the gate’s height by observing it while you’re home to avoid a surprise when you return home to find your buddy in an off-limits area. For larger breeds, make sure the gate holds up under pressure. Wall mounted gates with secure top and bottom latches are good options for strong rottweilers and German shepherds, while agile terriers may need a taller gate than you’d expect once they get a running start.
Christina Stephens is a writer from Portland, Ore. whose main areas of focus are pets and animals, travel and literature. A veterinary assistant, she taught English in South Korea and holds a BA in English with cum laude honors from Portland State University.