Dogs are unpredictable, but that goes without saying. You never know what they'll be up to next. Even the most well-trained, well-behaved dog will go somewhere he's not wanted once in a while. The best dog gate will keep your Fido safe and out of unwanted areas in your home.
Puppies are especially unpredictable, which is why I recommend the best dog gate as a necessity for every new puppy parent. These gates are barriers that will prevent your pet from entering or exiting a specific area. They are designed to keep your pet away from anything that could cause him harm.
First, you want a gate that will contain your dog as he grows. Your puppy may be little now, but you want to buy a pet gate that will still work when he's full grown. If you buy a gate designed for small dogs, your dog may be able to easily jump over when he's grown.
You also need to select a gate that will withstand the pressure your pet is sure to put on it. A small breed will not likely be able to push over many dog gates, but a large breed dog would easily knock down even the largest free-standing gate.
Finally, you'll need to think about the purpose of the gate. Where will it be used? This will help to determine the best size and type of gate to purchase. Will you be traveling with it? If so, you'll want a lightweight gate that is easy to store. Will it be used indoors, outdoors or both? This will help you decide what type of gate – wood, metal or plastic – you should purchase.
Do you think you're ready to buy the best dog gate?
Not quite yet! There's one last thing you need to think about. There are three different types of dog gates:
Free-standing gates are just what they sound like -they stand up all by themselves. You simply put them out as boundary line for you dog. These gates are best for well-trained dogs or older pets that won't test the boundary, as they can be knocked over easily.
Pressure mounted gates need to go in between two walls or in a doorway. These gates can be widened in very small increments. Each time they are widened the sides of the gate put a bit more pressure on the walls or on each side of the doorway. When the final adjustment is made, there is enough pressure on each side to hold the gate firmly in place.
Finally, there are hardware mounted gates. These gates require hardware to be fastened to the walls or to both sides of a doorway. Using a latching system, they can be opened and closed at will. The drawback to these gates is that they permanent holes in your walls or doorway and they can't be moved on a whim.
I've chosen three of best dog gates for stairs and indoors to test in my home.
However, I did select two very different pressure mounted gates, one from Carlson Pet Products and one from Evenflo. I also tested a free-standing gate by Primetime Petz, which is a slightly different and more expensive option.
Whether the pressure mounted or free-standing gates are better, you can see in the video above and read more details about my testing below.
In my best dog gate video review above, you will see that I tested these products for several very important factors, including:
- Ease of use;
- Price and cost-effectiveness.
So which one of these three best dog gate products was my top choice? Let me show you.
OUR PREVIOUS TEST: Best Seat Belt for Dogs Comparison
Comparing Top 3 Best Dog Gates
Primetime Petz vs Carlson Pet Products vs Evenflo
Similarities Between These Three Best Dog Gates
Well, to begin with the obvious, all three of these dogs gate serve their purpose. When used in the right area with the right dog, all of these gates are effective barriers. They will keep your pet away from or out of any unwanted areas.
All of these gates are designed to be used indoors as well. That's not to say that you couldn't use them outside. In fact, I use the Evenflo pet gate to block the stairs off of our deck. It keeps all of our dogs contained on the deck while I'm mopping the floors inside.
They are not meant to be used strictly outside, though. None of these gates are designed to withstand the weather elements.
Other than that, these gates are very different. I'll elaborate on that more in a minute, but each gate is made of a different material and work in different ways. They are all suited for different sizes and types of dogs as well.
FURTHER READING: 15 Reasons To Consider Pet Safety Gates for Your Dog
Differences Between These Best Dog Gates
Any good comparison article will focus more on what sets the products apart from the others. Every product has it's own individual benefits and drawbacks, and that's what this test was all about. I was on a mission to figure out what made each gate unique and any negative qualities that these gates may have.
Primetime Petz 360° Configurable Gate with Door
This is hands down the most aesthetically appealing choice of the three. The wooden gate offers a gorgeous walnut finish that will look elegant in any home. Elegant usually isn't a word that you would use to describe pet gates, but it's certainly true for this one.
As you can see in my video review, they call it a 360° configurable gate for a reason. There are three panels separated by double hinges that allow each panel to move forward and backward.
You can configure this gate into so many shapes! It's ideal for homes with awkward or extra large doorways. This gate can span openings of up to 76-inches wide.
The middle panel also includes a 24-inch door, which opens inward and outward. The door locks via a spring loaded-bolt that is very sturdy. It prevents your dog from being able to push the gate open.
We have laminate flooring in all the rooms of our home, so I'm always concerned with products scratching them. This gate is equipped with rubber feet that keep it from marking your floors. There are also extension pieces that you can purchase to make the gate longer or create a pen for your dog.
I love the look of this gate and its versatility, but it has some drawbacks too. For starters, it's freestanding, which means there is nothing securing it in place. I don't know about your dogs, but even our small Beagle would be able to knock this gate over if she wanted to get by it.
You may have also noticed that this gate is very short. It only stands 24-inches tall, meaning even a small Chihuahua could jump over it if he really wanted to. This gate is really only suitable for small breeds that are comfortable with barriers. If your dog wanted to get past this gate, he could very easily.
Another drawback to this gate is the price. It'll cost you $78 to buy this one on Amazon, which is nearly triple the price of many of the other best dog gate products on the market.
Carlson Pet Products Extra Wide Walk Through Gate
The one feature that stood out to me the most about this best dog gate is that it is chew proof. It's made with 100% steel construction, so even the strongest chewers won't be able to get through. It comes with 2 extensions that enable you to block an opening between 29- and 44-inches wide.
In my video review you can see how easy it is to open the door of this gate. You can do it quickly with one hand, which is really nice if you're carrying in groceries, taking laundry upstairs or have your hands full with anything else. It's much more convenient than the latch on Primetime Petz gate, but just as sturdy.
There is also a 10-inch tall and 7-inch wide small door located on the bottom of the gate. If you have a multi-pet household like ours, this is a MUST!
We can keep our dogs out of unwanted areas while still allowing our cats to go through. It would also be great for a home with litter box trained rabbits or other small animals.
We put this gate up in the doorway of our laundry room, as that is where our cats' litter box is located. The cats can get in, but the dogs are kept out.
This best dog gate from Carlson Pet Products stands 30-inches tall. It's not as tall as the Evenflo gate, but I'll elaborate more on that in a minute. Our Labrador still jumps up on the gate, and she could probably get over if she really worked at it.
The vertical slats in this gate make it difficult for your dog to get his paws in for leverage to propel himself over the top. Gates with horizontal slats make it much easier to climb over. As long as your dog doesn't have severe separation anxiety or isn't an escape artist, it should be fine.
This is a pressure mounted gate. As I explained above, that means that the gate must be adjusted in small increments until enough pressure is supplied to keep the gate strongly in place. As you'll notice in my video review, that's easier said than done with this gate.
There are four wall cups, one on each corner, and you need to turn each one individually to apply pressure to the wall. First of all, it's time consuming. It took me about 5 minutes to adjust this gate to fit my doorway. This really a big deal, unless you want to move the gate frequently.
You can purchase this gate for $35 on Amazon, which is mid-range for a pet gate. For the money, it's a great buy, especially is you have a chewer. It's also the best dog gate for multi-pet owners, as it has the small cat door on the bottom to allow access for smaller pets.
My Personal Favorite Best Dog Gate for Stairs
This gate from Evenflo is one of the most popular on the market. It's commonly used as a barrier for pets and babies. The three reasons that I chose this as the best dog gate are:
- It's the easiest to put up and take down
- It's sturdy and tall enough for large breed dogs
- It's affordable on any budget
This gate is made taller and wider than Evenflo's original version. I chose this one because we have two large breeds, and I have no doubt that our Chocolate Labrador would be able to jump over the shorter version. I also like the wider option because it can fit in larger doorways.
My favorite thing about this gate is its versatility. It can be used for pets of all sizes and children too!
In the video review above I demonstrate how quickly and easily it is to put this gate up. It's a pressure mounted gate, similar to the Carlson gate above, but it's much more simple to install.
There is a bar that runs from one side of the gate to the other. There are notches across this bar and a small metal latch that fits into the notch. When pushed straight, the latch and notch system adjusts the gate to just the right width.
Every notch is also numbered, so with a little trial and error you can find the right number and you'll be able to put this gate up in just a few seconds. That makes this best pet gate perfect for dog owners that travel frequently with their canine companions.
There are also rubber bumpers in each corner, meaning this gate will not do any damage to the wall or doorway – another great benefit if you'll be using it at someone else's house or in a hotel.
At 32-inches tall, this best dog gate is tall enough to keep even the largest breed contained. It also expands from 31- to 50-inches, so it fits in almost any doorway.
As I mentioned, the Evenflo gate is also affordable on any budget. You can pick it up for just $30 on Amazon. It's difficult to find a bad review on this product, and hundreds of pet owners have written about how they've had this gate for many years. Long lasting, affordable, sturdy and easy to use…what more can you ask for in the best dog gate?
WATCH NEXT: Best Puppy Potty Training Pads Comparison Video