What is a Pet Gate?

Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus
A pet gate can work for a small dog, but a large one might jump it.
A pet gate can work for a small dog, but a large one might jump it.

A pet gate is a gate that fits across an indoor space such as a hallway or doorway to limit a pet's access to a specific area. Pet gates are pretty much the same thing as baby gates, but designed for pets, mostly small dogs. Large dogs and cats can jump over most pet gates unless they are extra tall gates.

A pet gate may be free-standing or it may attach with hardware onto a wall on each side. The type that attaches to two walls is just a straight across gate, while the free-standing type has sides that rest against a wall. Free-standing gates work for dogs that aren't able to push them open to get through one of the sides.

A pet gate can keep a pet from gaining access to furniture.
A pet gate can keep a pet from gaining access to furniture.

Some pet gates are made for very wide openings. A sliding style pet gate extends to adjust to the size of hallway or doorway. As long as the area isn't wider than that of the fully extended pet gate, then it is made to fit the space without any measuring required.

Pet gates are a great way to let a dog move around freely in a large area such as a family room, while still keeping the animal from going into other areas of the home such as a formal living room. This is often appreciated by those who have pets that soil or urinate on carpeting or chew furniture. If you want your pet to have access to different rooms at different times throughout the day, then a portable free-standing pet gate is the best kind.

Pet gates aren't recommended for cats, as they can easily be jumped over.
Pet gates aren't recommended for cats, as they can easily be jumped over.

Pet gates may be made of wood, metal, plastic or a combination of these. They may have a metal mesh front or wooden slats. You can find a color and style that fits in with most decors. If you plan to attach a pet gate to the walls and use it daily, make sure it has an opening mechanism that you like and can use easily. If you'll need to open and close it whenever you enter and exit the room, you want to be sure it's a pet gate you can live with.

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    • A pet gate can work for a small dog, but a large one might jump it.
      A pet gate can work for a small dog, but a large one might jump it.
    • A pet gate can keep a pet from gaining access to furniture.
      A pet gate can keep a pet from gaining access to furniture.
    • Pet gates aren't recommended for cats, as they can easily be jumped over.
      Pet gates aren't recommended for cats, as they can easily be jumped over.
    • A pet gate fits across a hallway or doorway to limit a pet's access to a specific area.
      A pet gate fits across a hallway or doorway to limit a pet's access to a specific area.