The best dog gates for your home
Pet gates are absolute lifesavers for dog owners (and in the case of potty training young puppies, carpet savers too!)
Gates keep dogs confined to one room or one area of the house, usually an area that has easy-to-clean floors. Most pet gates are actually baby gates doing double duty by keeping both the dog and the baby in a confined, safe area.
Your local pet supply store or online retailer has these gates but you also can get them at a baby supply shop or large toy store chain. If you look at the pictures on the box, you’ll often see a dog on one side and a baby on the other.
Though gates are a great investment, people often use them inappropriately, making housetraining a longer ordeal than necessary. Confining your dog to an area where it’s OK to have a potty accident doesn’t mean that he should have free reign to take a wizz anywhere he wants.
Gates can help confine your dog in a particular area and save you from having to follow him around the house to supervise him. But leaving him alone in a gated area is not always wise because he may get into trouble and become destructive, or have an accident inside the gated area. The key is that a gate is most helpful after your pup’s bladder is already empty.
Pet gates are also great assets when housetraining because they enable you to limit how much access a puppy can have to the house, which is good for all aspects of training.
It always helps to train a puppy if you can look at things from his point of view. Puppies enter life in their new homes with no concept of the difference between outside and inside. For them, the house is their whole world and so anywhere away from their immediate sleeping area or den is fair game to do as nature intended.
So, if you initially give a puppy free, unsupervised access to a whole house or even a room, then getting the hang of housetraining will be more difficult.
As your puppy grows and you start to introduce him to the outside world through a combination of repetition, reward and perhaps following an adult dog it there’s one in the home, he develops the concept of the house being his den rather than just a small area and he naturally seeks the outside to use as a bathroom.
Most dog owners love to shop for their precious pooches – some just as much as they would their own children! And it’s always more fun to buy jeweled collars and hand-knitted sweaters for your dog than it is to buy pooper scoopers and potty bags. Even so, you will need a few less-glamorous items to get your puppy started with housetraining – with a pet gate being at the top of the list.
Choosing The Right Gate Is Easy – Here Are Some Tips
1. Avoid wasting time by purchasing the wrong-sized gate by first taking measurements of the doorway or opening area that you’d like to secure with a pet gate. Then find a gate that will fit that opening. Should your area be larger than usual, you will be happy to know that many pet gates out there are built with an extension panel that will accommodate larger widths.
2. Make sure that the pet gate you choose is tall enough so that your dog cannot jump over it when he’s fully grown. This is a common mistake many people make, so invest in a tall gate rather than having to buy a new one as your dog gets bigger.
3. The gate should be easy to open and close.
4. Never buy a pet gate that requires you to step over it just to get from room to room. Although less expensive, these gates are hazards and an accident just waiting to happen, not to mention quite inconvenient.
5. Ensure that the gate’s door latch can be opened and closed with one hand, and with ease.
6. Another option when looking to buy a pet gate are known as “tension gates”, which are gates that can be slid in between doors and secured with tension, rather than installed permanently. While very easy to install these types of security gates, it’s always better to use those that attach to the wall. It’s a little extra money and a bit more work to install, but much better in the long run.
7. Some gates may cause damage to the walls they attach to. There are, however, high quality gates that are manufactured with bumpers to prevent such damage. Choose one of these if your budget allows for it.
8. If the style of the gate matters to you then know that you do not have to use the old standby wooden gate – metal gates are available in various colors, as well as clear plastic and attractive mesh gates.