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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > How To Choose The Right Gate Pen For Your Pet

How to Choose the Right Gate for Your Pet

PetSmart

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Whether your four-legged family member is a new puppy or a senior dog, every Pet Parent knows there are times when it’s simply not safe to give pets the run of the house or yard. And there are a variety of gates and exercise pens available to keep pets big and small safely contained. Here are tips to help you decide which is best to fit you and your pet’s needs.

Pressure-Mounted Gates

Pressure-mounted gates may be right for you if you:

  • Want a gate that doesn’t require any tools, hardware or screws to set up. Instead, pressure holds these gates in place.
  • Plan to move your gate from room to room.
 
Pressure mounted gates are not appropriate for:
  • Blocking off angled openings.
  • Confining dogs who are good at getting through tight spaces or knocking down obstacles.
 
Hardware-Mounted Gates

Hardware-mounted gates may be right for you if you:

  • Have a dog that is good at knocking over obstacles.
  • Don’t mind using the hardware provided, plus tools, to secure the gate to a solid door frame or stud.
  • Don’t plan to move the gate often.
  • Need a gate to use at the top of a staircase.
 
Hardware-mounted gates are not appropriate if you:
  • Plan to move your gate often from room to room.
  • Don’t want to install a gate into a wall or door frame.
 
Free-Standing Gates
 
Free-standing gates may be right for you if you:
  • Have a small- to mid-sized pet.
  • Need a gate you can easily move or walk over.
  • Want to fit a gate into a space with wide entrances or doorways or one without suitable walls for pressure or hardware mounting.
A free-standing gate is not appropriate if:
  • Your pet is good at jumping over or knocking down obstacles.
  • You are using your gate to block off a staircase.
 
Exercise Pens
 
An exercise pen may be right for you if you:
  • Need temporary containment or are in a situation when a crate is too cumbersome to move or bring with you.
  • Want to include your pet in family activities outdoors but don’t want to give him free run of the yard.
  • Leave your pet’s crate open and want to provide additional, contained space for him to lounge.
  • Need to contain puppies together.
  • Need something portable and convenient.
  • Need to give your pet a place to dry off after a bath or to recover from an injury.
When choosing a gate, ensure what it's made out of meets your needs as well as those of your pet. For example, metal gates are better suited for heavy chewers while wood gates may be a better match with your home furnishings.
  
Wood

A wood gate may be right for you if:

  • You like the look of wood and feel that it will match your current or future home décor.
 
A wood gate is not appropriate if:
  • You have a puppy or your dog is a heavy chewer.
 
Metal
 
A metal gate may be right for you if you:
  • Have a dog who is a puppy or heavy chewer.
  • Require sturdy construction because your pet is good at getting around obstacles.
 
Plastic
 
A plastic gate may be right for you if you if you:
  • Are looking for a good value.
  • Need something light-weight
 
A plastic gate is not appropriate if:
  • Your dog is a puppy or heavy chewer.
  • Your dog is good at knocking over obstacles.
 
Mesh:
 
A mesh gate may be right for you if you:
  • Need something light-weight.
  • Want a gate that you can pass through using one hand (when not in use, most mesh gates roll out-of-sight into a case).
 
A mesh gate is not appropriate if:
  • Your dog is a puppy or heavy chewer.
  • Your dog is good at knocking over obstacles.

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