Tips for buying and installing indoor dog gates with choices that don’t make your house look like doggy daycare. Whether choosing free standing or wall mounted, know how to make your dog respect the gate.
So how do you make a gate work for you?
Think beyond your dog. What I mean is, how many times a day will you be going through the gate? Do you want to step over it, move it or open it?
If you open it do you want a tall dog gate so you don't have to stoop? A wide dog gate opening so you don't feel like you're being squeezed like toothpaste in a tube when you go through it? Trust me, after years of dog gates I finally know how to shop for one and install both pressure mounted or wall mounted so they stay put.
By the way, all the pictures on this page are clickable and will open in a new window so you can get dimensions and pricing without losing me. Even the top two ads on the right are places with indoor dog gates. Stacks and Stacks has many choices and Muttropolis has several as well (plus I love their dog toys.)
Dog gates vary a lot in height and width so measure where you want it before you start shopping. I’ve guessed and been wrong by one inch! I know you don't want to have to send the darn thing back so...
Get out your tape measure and measure the width you want your new indoor dog gate to fit. Then write it down. Sounds silly but it's all to easy to make a mistake when ordering. Next, use that tape measure to show where various heights will come up to you.
Measurements you will encounter are 26"-44" wide without extensions; 20"-37" tall with average openings 18"-23". Now an 18" opening is doable but if you have to carry groceries or laundry through it, you may find yourself saying bad words.
Materials are plastic, wood, and metal. They all work well as long as they're not flimsy. You can even choose a stylish gate to match your décor. It makes a huge difference when the gate is attractive because you see it as an addition instead of an eyesore.
My favorite now are wooden dog gates. Look
at the one at the bottom of the page. It's called the Citadel Pressure
Mount Pet Gate and I swear it makes the area look better. (They also
carry this one at Muttropolis.)
As for style, there are freestanding; pressure mounted; and wall mounted. Let's go over them.
Freestanding dog gates can work well with smaller dogs or very well behaved dogs. As wonderful as all my big dogs have been, I think every one of them would have moved a freestanding gate with their nose so they could follow me.
Still I might consider one of the heavier ones with braces at the bottom because I think I would enjoy having the extra wide wood gate with the slide opening in the center.
Uh-oh, I can't find my picture of it so I'm showing you the red polka dot metal gate (which also comes in silver) because it's unique and could really add to the right room.
Next we have pressure mounted gates which are like hanging a shower curtain rod. The more pressure, the sturdier the gate - except for one thing. You are mounting it against soft sheet rock so we have side effects like:
And lastly there are wall mounted gates but they need to be treated the same as the pressure mounted gates, so here's how I learned to hang them to stay put.
Avoiding Wall Damage
Since I usually end up with a pressure mounted gate here are some tips.
Mounting brackets give your gate a better hold but you need to either screw them into a stud behind the sheet rock or use a molly bolt that expands behind the wall.
You can always add mounting holders later but don't wait too long. I suggest buying plastic rod holders that look like this for about $2.00. They come with screws but get a couple molly bolts for backup if you don’t have wood behind the sheet rock. Often I’ve had a wood stud under the sheetrock on one side and not the other.
Now here's what worked for me with five Pit Bulls and a great big man going through our indoor dog gate several times each day. I merged two pictures so you can see both sides of the gate mounting.
Added bonus: If you mount the holders to the wall instead of the gate, you can take it down easily if you need to. Of course you won't think you need to but you'll be surprised.
Training and Who Owns the Gate Anyway?
You may think metal dog gates are the least destructible BUT it depends on your dog.
Putting up indoor dog gates is step one. Not all dogs are happy with the addition and will squeeze through, knock them down, jump over or tear them up. Here are some thoughts to help you avoid all that.
I had five big dogs. One who could easily jump over our 38" gate and all of them could knock it down if they wanted - even bolted into the wall since each weighed over 70 pounds. Yet they didn't. Why? Because it was MY gate and they respected it.
If they didn't it wouldn't matter if I had plastic, wood or metal dog gates in my house. They would be smart enough or determined enough to find a weak spot such as the wall where the gate is mounted. They certainly have the time while I am away.
Some Dos & Don'ts With Indoor Dog Gates
Do not let your dog stand up on; lean on or dig at the gate period. If they do this while you are at home, imagine what they would do when you are gone.
As an exercise, give your dog the sit/stay or down/stay command next to the gate and reward him after one minute. Do it again. Go into another room where he can't follow you for a minute or two. If he is still following the command when you come back, give him a treat or praise him lavishly as a reward.
The point here is to relate staying on his side of the gate as a good thing (praise and treats) instead of a bad thing (he can't follow you).
Remember to exercise your dog. The importance of dogs exercise cannot be overstated. Its not a drug; has only good side effects and curbs destructive dog behavior.
Here is another place to shop for indoor dog gates that has pretty good pricing and selection. If you love one in one of the picture links on this page go ahead and check pricing at this place as well since they do change and you never know who is going to have something on sale.
If you have any dog behavior problems with respect for their indoor dog gate or you, learn to understand how your dog thinks and operates since it's different than us.
Check out Dog Behavior Modification where there are several pages to help you understand dog language.
For your dog's health and well being, walk, run, play fetch or any other games that get him moving. Not only does it tire him out, it actually boosts his immune system. (If you're new to my site, I'm a dog health care coach.) And if you want him to have a snuggly place to rest and call his very own, read what's good about indoor dog kennels (crates).
Tip - If you have a senior dog or a pup, consider using an Ugo indoor dog potty. Here's an ad for the Ugo that made me laugh. While I've never had a dog do that, one of my cats did and it was a great story.