3 Expert Tips To Choose Pet Gates

Unlike humans, our pets can often lack basic critical thinking, so things like pet gates allow us to set healthy boundaries that keep our pets safe and us stress-free. Pet gates can also make household maintenance a simpler exercise since - not having access to certain areas - can keep our pets from damaging valuables or tracking mud. In this quick guide, we'll be helping you make the best choice in pet gates for your home.

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1. What type of mounting to choose for my pet gate?

Which mounting type will be the best for your home, depends on several factors. A few of these are:

  • Your experience with or ability to install hardware
  • How large or heavy your pets are
  • How mobile your pets are
  • Whether or not you'll want to move your gate easily
  • Let's take a look at which mounting type will be best for you.

Pressure Mounted

Pressure mounted gates offer a stable, and study barrier that your pets are unlikely to shove right through - provided they are not monstrously strong or big - by creating friction between your walls and the edges of the pet gate to keep it in place.

Installation of the gate requires little in the way of tools, at most you'll need a measuring tape, since everything else necessary for installation will come with your gate. Once you've measured the opening you're hoping to block off, you will have a good idea of how many extension panels you'll need to use for a secure installation.

Extension panels are provided with most pressure mounted pet gates as they allow you to customize your installation per your individual needs. Always ensure that no more than 3 inches of space is present between the edge of your wall and the pet gate.

One major benefit of having a pressure mounted pet gate, is the lack of screws and potential wall damage. They also provide significant resistance to excited or anxious pets who are likely to lean on or jump onto barriers. Being mounted via tension nuts, also makes them relatively simple to relocate since you won't need to remove screws or refill holes in your drywall.

Pressure Mounted Pet Gate
Pressure Mounted Walk-Thru Safety Gate
Pressure Mounted Safety Pet Gate in White
Big Pressure Mounted Safety Pet Gate
Plastic Pressure Mounted Safety Pet Gate
Large Pressure Mounted Pet Gate

Hardware Mounted

Hardware mounted gates are the most permanent variety of pet gate available. They are typically installed with the use of brackets, screws and ideally a cordless drill to save you some hours of "screwing in".

Hardware mounted gates are typically the most sturdy type of pet gate since they rely directly on your walls and the installation brackets for support to resist your pets. This makes them the absolute best choice for homeowners who have very excitable, heavy, or strong pets. The biggest downside to hardware mounted gates is, of course, their inability to be freely relocated, due to the method of installation.

Hardware mounted gates are best for pet owners who expect to have a permanent location for their gate.

Floral Hardware Mounted Pet Gate
Large Hardware Mounted Pet Gate in White
Custom Hardware Mounted Pet Gate in White
Barrier Wall Hardware Mounted Pet Gate
Wooden Hardware Mounted Pet Gate
Metal Outdoor Hardware Mounted Pet Gate

Free Standing

Freestanding gates offer the absolute most freedom when it comes to mobility. Since they stand on their own, you can use this type of gate to quickly adjust the access your pets have to various areas of your house.

Freestanding gates come with bases that support them unidirectionally- meaning, they resist force exerted in one direction extremely well but fall flat if pushed from the other. Contrary to the popular opinion that freestanding gates do not work, this feature allows them to resist forces that are comparable to other gate types- though they can get knocked down easier than their sturdier cousins.

Free Standing Pet Gate in Cherry Wood
Low Free Standing Pet Gate
Low Free Standing Pet Gate in Grey
Low Free Standing Pet Gate in White
White Wood Free Standing Pet Gate
White Plastic Free Standing Pet Gate

2. What materials are best for your gate?

Over the course of their lifespan, pet gates will take a lot of hammering. Excited dogs, children and even adults tend to lean on or bump into pet gates often. If you have excitable pets or children, you need to be sure you make a good choice in material to maximize the life of your pet gate.


Hardwoods are the best among wooden pet gates due to their strength and natural resistance to humidity, water and temperature changes. Hardwood fences are sure to stand up to the casual beatings taken by most pet gates.

Due to their **water-resistance **hardwood pet gates tend to do well outdoors, so long as the weather is not persistently wet for long periods of time. Hardwood gates hold up slightly better against chewing than manufactured wood gates, but if your puppies are teething, metal is probably the best choice.

Manufactured Wood

Manufactured wood gates can be significantly cheaper than hardwood gates and offer similar levels of durability in most ways. Manufactured woods do not stand up as well against water and humidity, so their use is best relegated to indoors, or outdoors only when weather is stable. Manufactured woods also tend to do worse against chewing, so they are not recommended for teething dogs.

Wood Free Standing Pet Gate in White
Wood Slim Free Standing Pet Gate in White
Wooden Free Standing Pet Gate
White Wood Individual Panel Free Standing Pet Gate
Freestanding Wooden Pet Gate
Dark Wood Freestanding Pet Gate


Steel pet gates offer the absolute best as regards strength and durability. You'll never have to worry about your pets chewing through it and are unlikely to have an issue with pets knocking them over or straining them.  Steel gates are typically finished in weatherproof paint, so outdoor weather won't be a problem for their use, especially if you have them re-finished regularly.

Black Metal Pet Gate
Pressure Mounted Pet Gate in White Metal
Tall Metal Easy-Close Pet Gate
Metal Extension Pet Gate
Metal Window Guard Pet Gate
Metal White Pet Get

3. How tall should your pet gates be?

Pet gates can vary between manufacturers as regards size. Some gates are as short as 20 inches and designed for smaller pets, whereas some are as high as 36 inches or more and intended for "extra tall" pets like large dogs.

You will want your pet gate to be high enough that it's at the least challenging for your pet to jump over, for most dogs, a gate about 1.5 times as tall as they are is enough of a challenge. This may not apply to very athletic cats and some training may be required to make pet gates effective for our feline friends.

Jessica started out as an interior photographer, but her love of pretty settings took her to the field of interior design, where she can combine two of her greatest passions, creating and then capturing the beauty of homes.