Best Dog Gates for Indoor and Outdoor Use

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic

Who let the dogs out? Well, certainly none of these dog gates did. Check out our selection of the best dog gates that will keep your four-legged bestie safe and your living space sectioned to your liking.

Your dog is a part of your family, but sometimes, that doesn’t mean they get to have the whole house for themselves. And there are plenty of good reasons for it! It could be that you have guests or workmen in your home and want to keep your dog away but not cramped in a crate for what could possibly be hours. Sometimes, your newly adopted dog is still getting adjusted to his new four-legged roommates and you want the adjustment period to go smoothly. You might have an eager, mischievous puppy that’s still learning what’s OK and what’s not and you want to protect both your furniture and your puppy from inevitable trouble. Or you might not want to share your bedroom with your pooch and don’t want him to come “knocking” on your door. Whether it’s for their own safety or to just to create some healthy boundaries, dog gates are the solution if you want to keep certain areas of your home and yard off-limits for your furry companion.

Types of Indoor Dog Gates

Needless to say, not all dog gates are made alike. And it’s not just about the differences in the price tags and the quality of the gate itself. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and their height and strength will play an important role when it comes to choosing the best dog gate. You wouldn’t expect that the same dog gate would hold a Great Dane and a Shih Tzu, would you?

Dog gates come in a few different types to accommodate different locations in the home, various sizes of pooches, and the handiness skills of the person installing them. You can choose between freestanding dog gates, pressure-mounted dog gates, and hardware-mounted dog gates.

Freestanding dog gates are just what the name implies- gates that are not fixed to a certain spot in the home. They can be moved around when you need them in another room or the other corner of the room, and they are much more versatile than dog gates that are drilled into the walls. On the other hand, they are not as sturdy as they are not mounted and can be toppled if a dog is rowdy and likes to jump. Overall, freestanding dog gates are the better option for open plan homes and can be used to section a part of the room- without the need for the gate to be fixed in place.

Pressure mounted dog gates are easy to install and stay in place even if the pooch is trying to be a Houdini: there’s no need to drill into anything, though, as it’s the rubber that keeps the gate firmly where it’s supposed to be. It’s easy to see why this type of dog gates is also the most popular one- it gives you the stability of a drilled-in gate without the need for commitment. Need a gate for your bedroom this weekend, but usually prefer to ward of the kitchen from your curious puppy? No problem-o. Finally, these dog gates are ideal for people who want to keep their walls intact for whatever reason- the combination of the spindle and bumper ends is sturdy but doesn’t require any holes. Be warned, though, if your pooch is going to jump and bump at the gate all day long, the gates could potentially chip something even when not drilled in. Also, this type is not suitable for installing at the top of the stairs, as the risk of an energetic pooch toppling them and getting hurt is too big.

Lastly, there are hardware-mounted dog gates that are drilled into the doorway or the wall at the top of the stairs. The gate is attached to wall-mounted brackets, and it won’t wobble or leave room for toppling. While they require a bit more effort to install, they are also the best option if you need a permanent dog gate or a safe sturdy dog gate for a big, strong pooch. Or a devious petite one.

The types of dog gates are universal, as far as design goes, for both outdoor and indoor use. It’s the choice of material that will dictate if a gate is meant for one or the other. Naturally, when it comes to indoor dog gates and choice of materials, the world is your oyster: anything goes, from wood to plastic. When it comes to outdoor dog gates, the situation is a bit different.

Best Outdoor Gates

The types of outdoor gates are the same as those of indoor ones: freestanding dog gates, pressure-mounted dog gates, and hardware-mounted dog gates. Outdoor gates are usually used to keep pooches within the limit of the porch or deck and block off access to the street or the yard. Naturally, this usually done for safety reasons, so most pet owners opt for hardware-mounted gates. As these are permanently in place (until you unscrew them), they will be exposed to the elements, so the materials have to be durable and weatherproof as much as it is possible.

Best outdoor dog gates are made from metal, such as iron, steel or aluminum. Iron and steel are tougher and stronger, but they need a layer of e-coating or another rust-preventing coating, whereas the lightweight aluminum is naturally resistant to the effects of rain, wind, and sun. Solid wood is also a fine choice, especially from an aesthetic perspective, but make sure that the finish is weather-resistant.

Regardless of whether you want to make sure your dog has some boundaries inside the home or turn your deck into a dog-friendly place for hanging out, you’ll find just what you need on our list below. We’ve rounded up the best dog gates the market has to offer, in all styles and types.

1. Editor’s Pick: MyPet Windsor Arch Pet Gate for Dogs

Easy to install, sturdy and tough, and beautifully designed to boot- it’s hard not to be impressed by this pressure-mounted dog gate. You won’t have to drill into anything to get this gate fixed into your doorway, as the pressure knobs and wall cups keep this gorgeous gate tight in place. The steel construction ensures durability and robustness, and the bronze finish and the elegant arched shape makes it fit in every interior. The Windsor Arch Pet Gate swings open both ways and has a triple locking system to make sure your pooch doesn’t wiggle his way out. This dog gate fits 28.25 to 38.25 inches wide openings and is 28.5 inches wide and is designed for interior use.

2. Runner Up: Perma Child Safety Extra Wide Outdoor Retractable Baby Gate

It’s no secret that baby gates double as dog gates. Heck, most pet owners think of their dogs as their furry babies, so it’s actually fitting. This particular dog-friendly gate is aimed at outdoor use, albeit it can be an indoor barrier as well. Use it to ward off access to stairs or to prevent your pooch from going to the backyard without your permission. The strong UV-resistant mesh will keep pets from 10 to 40 pounds contained, and it’s up to 71 inches wide and 33 inches tall. While you screw this to the wall or doorway, it’s retractable (one-handed operation) and it’s a good choice for high traffic areas.

3. Best Extra Wide: Carlson Extra Wide Walk Through Pet Gate

Have both a dog and a cat? But you wouldn’t dare dream of trying to restrict your feline overlord’s movement? Check out this walk-through pet gate that has a built-in small pet door (8 by 8 inches) that will let your kitty through but keep your doggo safe inside the designated area. This 30.5 inches tall pet gate is designed for indoor use and makes a perfect choice for wide doorways, as it expands between 29 to 36.5 inches wide. The lever-style handle with one-touch release safety lock is easy to operate (for you) but will ensure your pet doesn’t break out.

4. Easy to Install: Evenflo Position and Lock Tall Pressure Mount Wood Gate

As it’s pressure-mounted, this dog gate is easy to install and won’t damage your fixtures. Made from wood and tough plastic mesh, this dog gate comes in two colors- tan and farm gate, to fit in seamlessly inside any room. Even the craftier dogs, such as those who like to jump over gates, will find this robust and tall gate a challenge. Position & Lock gate is 32 inches tall and expands from 31 inches to 50 inches wide. The wood is not treated so this pet fate is recommended for indoor use only. Just make sure that the locking bar is not on the side of the gate that’s facing your pooch, and you’ll be golden!

5. Best Mesh: Pet Safety Guard Mesh Dog Gate

It usually doesn’t take all that much to stop a doggo right in its tracks- unless you have a young, energetic dog or a large breed pet. This might be a simpler, lightweight design but it still does the trick that every dog gate should. No need for cumbersome wood gates and complex designs if all you need is a temporary barrier for a well-trained dog. Pet Safety Guard Mesh Dog Gate is made from high durability, high-density elastic nylon fiberglass mesh fabric and will help you prevent your pooch from getting to areas you don’t want them to reach. Made to be lightweight and easy to use indoors, this gate is attached to the stairway or doorway with four simple sticky hooks – once they are in place, little can nudge them off.

What is more, the gate is reinforced with two adjustable steel poles that make it way more stronger and perfectly stretched out. Keep in mind that – being a net gate – it might not stop your big Great Dane, or any other extra large and strong breed. But for a senior dog, or a small and medium-size breed dog that isn’t overly destructive, Pet Safety Guard Mesh Dog Gate will be more than enough of an obstacle.

6. Best Freestanding: Richell Wood Freestanding Pet Gate

This freestanding gate with side panels is designed to be moved easily around your home- but not by a four-legged family member. Made from rubberwood timber and 7 gauge wire, Richell freestanding dog gate is sturdy and robust, and won’t be easily pushed over by your pet. The rubber feet on the bottom of the gate keep it stable and resistant to toppling, especially when placed over hardwood floors. Still, despite the fact that it is quite tough, this wooden gate is recommended for small dogs that weigh 6.5 to 17.5 lbs. The panels slide out so this dog gate will fit openings from 39.8 inches to 71.3 inches wide, and stands at 20.1 inches. This freestanding pet gate is designed only for indoor use.

7. Best for Small Dogs: Carlson Pet Products Lil’ Tuffy Expandable Gate

If you have a toy dog breed or a petite pooch, it’s not necessary to get a big, clunky gate to keep them confined to another room. Special cases aside, most small dogs won’t be a “threat” to your average baby gate as they lack the strength and height to go through the barricades. This compact pressure-mounted dog gate assembles effortlessly and even has a small pet door to let the cat through. It will fit a variety of openings, as it expands from 26 to 38 inches in width and is 18 inches tall, but should be used only indoors.

8. Best Weatherproof: Cardinal Gates Outdoor Safety Gate

Weatherproof, strong, and durable, this hardware-mounted dog gate is ideal for outdoor use. Made from a combo of stainless steel and aluminum, it will withstand the elements and still be sturdy enough to keep your pooch contained on the deck or porch. This dog gate is available in 3 different colors- brown, white, or black- and has an adjustable width of 29.5 inches to 42. 5 inches.

9. Best Style: Primetime Petz 360 Configurable Gate with Door

Stylish and durable, this dog gate is made from chew-resistant solid wood and boasts a modern design. Instead of sticking out like a sore thumb, this gate will actually look like a decorative item rather than a pet-related necessity. It also comes in walnut and white finish, so it will fit any type of interior, but while there is a finish on the wood, it is not suited for outdoor use. As a freestanding dog gate, Primetime Petz 360 configurable door doesn’t have to be mounted and allows for countless combinations for confinement. It comes in 3 sizes – 24, 30, or 36 inches wide- and it will be a good fit for most breeds.

10. Best Portable: North States Mypet Paws 42″ Portable Pet Gate

If you want something inexpensive that does the job, you’ll love this plastic dog gate. Extremely easy to install, and later lock and unlock, this adorable indoor dog gate is a great choice for small dogs or puppies. While the light grey plastic is durable, it’s not tough enough to keep a big, strong dog in if he’s keen on getting out of the room. The height of this dog gate is 23 inches and it fits openings 26 to 42 inches wide.

11. Best for Puppies: Safety 1st Décor Easy Install Tall & Wide Baby Gate

Whoever said that dog gates can’t look great? No need to compromise on style when you’re ensuring your pet’s safety or protecting your valuables from a teething puppy. Safety 1st Décor Easy Install Tall & Wide Baby Gate is made from powder-coated metal in a neutral dark brown, so it will seamlessly fit any interior decor. This indoor-only gate fits wide doorways and openings ranging from 29 to 47 inches wide and is 36 inches tall, which is more than enough to keep most pooches safely contained. Easy to set up thanks to pressure-mounted installation that requires no tools, hardware, or drilling, this gate is a good choice for renters and homeowners alike. Another great feature of the design is the SecureTech pressure indicator which can easily let you know if you need to adjust the gate to ensure utmost safety.

12. Best Sliding Door: Pylex 11052 Sliding gate kit

Designed for outdoor use, this sliding pet gate kit has a sole purpose of pet-proofing your deck or patio. If you want to let your pet play outside but contain them to the space around the house because your yard is not fenced or they keep digging up the flower beds, Pylex 11052 Sliding gate kit will help you do it. Made from sturdy bake powder coated metal, it will complement your deck or patio and resist the wear and tear of the elements. Racking-resistant and durable, this pet gate can be opened from the left or right side depending on your preferences. However, it’s important to note that you’ll have to pick the wooden frame yourself as it is not included with the kit- if you’re not very crafty, installing this pet gate might be a challenge.

13. Best for Apartments: Carlson Home Decor Walk Through Pet Gate

Bringing together style and functionality, this gorgeous pet gate will not look out of place in a stylish apartment. The all-steel, “chew-proof” pet gate boasts a striking black finish and cherry wood accents. It will keep your pooch safely confined but also add decorative value to your home- just be sure not to try to install it outside as it will deteriorate due to elements. With dimensions of 30 to 32 inches wide and 30 inches in height, this elegant dog gate will fit most openings in your home.

14. Best Basic: North States Easy-Close Baby Gate

Easy to close but not so easy for dogs to get out of, this budget-friendly pressure-mounted dog gate can be used both indoors and outdoors. Thanks to its powder-coated steel construction, it will fit in with most interiors and withstand weather elements outside. Fits spaces that are between 28 and 38.5 inches wide.

What should I consider when choosing dog gates?

The first thing to consider is the dimensions of the gate- you want it to fit the space you’re installing it in and for it to be tall enough so that your pet can’t jump over it. Once you’ve double-checked the measurements, pay attention to the quality and material. The dog gate should be sturdy and durable, and you should be able to securely lock it, so avoid flimsy mechanisms. Some gates are designed for indoor use only, others are meant to withstand the outdoor elements and some can do both- be sure to check this before buying.

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Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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