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The 8 Best Pet Gates (and One Must-Have Accessory)

Written by | Updated April 30, 2018

a puppy behind a gate trying to pull a bowl of food closer with her paw

Need to corral your furry friend? We’ve looked at a variety of pet gates and narrowed the market down to the top eight. By comparing customer reviews and expert ratings, we’ve compiled a diverse roundup of the best options out there so you can easily find the right fit for you and your pet.  

The Best Pet Gates Out There 🐾

 Top Pet Gate Pick: The Richell Freestanding Pet Gate


richell freestanding pet gate

Best Freestanding Pet Gate

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This 20-inch-high freestanding gate adjusts from 26.4 to 40.2 inches wide. It’s sturdy, stylish, and easily moveable, but it’s best for small pets.


  • Easily Moveable
    No wall installation is required, so it can be easily picked up and moved.
  • Stays in Place
    Unlike many freestanding pet gates, the Richell gate has stabilizing feet with rubber bottoms to keep it in place on hard flooring.
  • Narrow Gaps
    The bars are close together on this gate, preventing small animals like cats from slipping through.
  • Pivot Side Panels
    The side panels pivot to allow you to customize the angle of your gate in different locations.


  • Awkward Feet
    While useful, the support feet of this gate do stick out from the wall, creating a potential tripping hazard, and they don’t entirely fold in, making it awkward to store.
  • Difficult to Adjust
    You can adjust the width of this gate—but it is manual—requiring you to unscrew the support screws, move the gate, and then re-screw it back together.

Tip: At 20 inches high, the Richell pet gate is on the short end of pet gates and might not be suitable for medium or large dogs.

#2 Pet Gate: Regalo Extra Wide Walk-Through Safety Gate

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Best Gate for Your Pet and Baby

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This pressure-mounted Regalo model not only functions as a pet gate but is approved for use as a baby gate as well. Plus, it’s “Amazon’s Choice” for extra-wide baby gates. So if you’re in the market for a safety gate that will work for both your baby and fur baby, give this a look. This gate expands from 29 to 58 inches wide and stands 30 inches high, making it best for small to medium pets.


  • Walk-Through Function
    This gate has a swing door that allows you to walk through rather than step over the gate. This is particularly useful for those who are prone to tripping or who don’t want to deal with the fuss of a step-over model.
  • One-Touch Lock
    Rather than using a traditional latch, the door on this gate features a one-touch safety release lock. It can be easily manipulated with one hand but locks tightly to keep pets (or children) from opening it.
  • Wall Mount Option
    In addition to traditional pressure mounts, this gate also comes with wall cups for a wall mounting option. This adds extra stability, which makes it a good pet gate for stairs.


  • Must Lock Latch
    While it’s easy to open, you must remember to lock the lever into place when you close the gate to make it effectively childproof.

#3 Pet Gate: Carlson Extra Tall Pet Gate with Small Pet Door

product image of carlson pet gate and pet door

Best Gate for Both Dogs and Cats

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Carlson’s Extra Tall Pet Gate spans 29 to 37 inches wide and stands 36 inches tall, making it one of the tallest on our list. The extra height makes it the best option for medium to large dogs, but a 10-by-7-inch pet door provides a way for cats or smaller dogs to pass through while keeping your larger pup out.


  • Tall
    While it may prove a challenge to keep any large dog contained, with 36 inches of height, this model will give your dog a challenge. (If you want the dual function of a gate with a small pet door but don’t need a full 36 inches, Carlson also offers a 30-inch model).
  • Two Doors for Pets and People
    Like the Regalo model above, this gate also features a swing door to allow you to walk through rather than step over the gate. And there’s an additional smaller door for pint-sized pets to walk through. The small pet door proves useful to keep the peace between cat and dog.
  • One-Touch Lock
    A one-touch safety release lock lets you easily pass through the door using only one hand to unlatch it.


  • Narrow Door
    The swing door is a bit on the narrow side (16 inches), so it may not be the most comfortable gate to walk through.
  • Pet Door Size
    Though it may seem small, medium to large dogs regularly shimmy their way through the pet door—though this seems to be a problem across the board for gates with this function.

#4 Pet Gate: Carlson Lil’ Tuffy Expandable Gate with Small Pet Door

picture of cat walking through a carlson pet gate

Best Budget Pet Gate

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Light weight and portable, this step-over pressure-mounted model is a great budget buy. It expands from 26 to 42 inches wide, but at only 18 inches tall, it’s best for those with small pets.


  • Affordable
    Costing less than $20, this Carlson indoor gate is the least expensive option on our list by far.
  • Easily Moveable
    At 18 inches high and made of a lightweight metal, the Lil’ Tuffy can be easily moved to different locations.
  • Easy to Step Over
    The low height of this gate makes it one of the least dangerous of the step-over models.


  • Sides Aren’t Adjustable
    This pressure-mounted gate uses rubber bumpers rather than adjustable spindles. As a result, it’s not suitable for areas with baseboards or other features that require variable adjustment between top and bottom.
  • Curved Corners
    The rounded corners of this gate can pose a hazard if your pup props their paws on top of the gate. It’s uncommon, but it is possible for paws to slide over the rounded edges and get stuck between the gate and wall.

#5 Pet Gate: Internet’s Best Pet Gate with Arched Top

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Best Folding Gate

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This folding pet gate is easy to collapse and store but sturdy enough not to fall over. Made out of dark wood with an attractive design, you can choose a gate that’s 24- or 36-inches high with three or four 20-inch panels.


  • No Assembly Required
    This indoor pet gate comes entirely assembled—all you need to do is slide it out of the box.
  • Sturdy
    Many foldable freestanding gates are known to fall over. This one holds its own.
  • Adjustable
    The foldable accordion style of this gate makes it easy to adapt it to different widths.
  • Easy to Store
    The panels fold up neatly, making it the easiest dog gate to store on our list.


  • Doesn’t Lock into Place
    Because of its easy folding capability, this gate does not come with an option to lock it into place. So if you’re looking for something rigid, this is not for you.
  • Feet Come Separately
    In order to extend the gate to its full 80-inch span, you have to buy stabilizing feet separately.
  • Not Chew Resistant
    Wood pet gates are stylish, but they’re not chew resistant.

#6 Pet Gate: Carlson Easy Fit Plastic Adjustable Pet Gate

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Best Indoor/Outdoor Pet Gate

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This pressure-mounted gate stands 23 inches tall and expands from 26 to 42 inches wide. The plastic honeycomb design is perfect for small pets who will slip through any opening they can.


  • Prevents Escape
    The plastic mesh design prevents pets from slipping through (as can happen with slats).
  • Versatile
    Easy-to-clean, weather resistant plastic makes it suitable for indoor or outdoor use without the worry of rust.
  • Easy to Move
    The pressure-mounted rubber bumpers make it easier to transport than models that use adjustable spindles.


  • Short
    At 23 inches tall, it is on the shorter side, so not good for large pets.
  • Sides Aren’t Adjustable
    Like the Lil’ Tuffy, this easy-fit gate uses rubber bumpers rather than spindles and so is less adjustable.

#7 Pet Gate: Gaterol Active Lite Retractable Safety Gate

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Best Retractable Pet Gate

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If you’re looking for something easy to store, this gate might be for you. Fix the mounts to the side of any opening, expand the gate when needed, and retract it when you don’t. It stands 36.6 inches high and expands from 18 to 55 inches.  


  • Versatile
    The retractable design makes it easy to fit large as well as narrow openings.
  • Safe for Pets and Kids
    The Gaterol retractable model has been tested for both children and pets.
  • Tall
    At 36.6 inches high, this gate is one of the tallest on our list, making it suitable for small to large pets.


  • Loud Unlocking Alarm
    As a safety feature, this gate has an alarm that sounds when it’s unlocked—but many reviewers find it unnecessary and annoying.
  • Two Hands Needed
    You need both hands free to open the gate, which is not as simple as many of the walk-through models.
  • Sides Aren’t Adjustable
    Unlike the pressure-mounted, spindle-based gates, this gate is hardware mounted and does not have adjustable sides, so it’s not suitable for openings with baseboards.

#8 Pet Gate: Regalo Home Accents Extra Tall Walk Thru Gate

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Most Stylish Indoor Gate

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With a steel design and hardwood accents, this attractive pressure-mounted model offers style without sacrificing functionality. It expands from 29 to 44 inches wide and stands 38 inches high, and it’s suitable for small to large pets.


  • Sturdy
    Made of hardwood and steel, this gate is tough.
  • Tall
    At 38 inches high, this model is the tallest on our list and great for larger dogs.
  • Slide Handle
    Setting it apart from the “one-touch lock” competitors, this walk-through gate features an easy-to-use, slide-through automatic locking handle.


  • Inconsistent Quality
    While the majority of reviewers seem happy with this gate, several have complained that the product they received was bent or had gaps in welding.

Best Pet Gate Accessory 

 Top Pet Gate Accessory Pick: Wall Nanny

image of wall nanny with safety gate in home

Must-Have Pet Gate Accessory

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One of the most popular wall protectors on the market, the Wall Nanny is a great option for keeping your walls scuff-free and adding extra stability to pressure-mounted gates.


  • Unobtrusive
    These protectors are small and versatile—fitting on baseboards, in doorways, and more.
  • Flush with the Floor
    The Wall Nanny is specially designed to sit flush with the floor to avoid pesky gaps that occur with some safety gates.


Q: How tall should my pet gate be?
The right height for your pet gate depends on the size and ambition of your pets, as well as how you plan to move around your house. Some owners prefer short models that are easily stepped over. Others view this as a tripping hazard and would prefer a taller gate with a swinging door to walk through.

Bear in mind that if they are truly determined, many pets will find a way to clear a pet gate. Only you know what your pet is capable of. Many dogs, in particular, have to be trained to respect the boundary. Ideally, install the gate when your dog is a puppy, since it will be more difficult for them to jump over it.

Q: Which pet gate is best—freestanding, wall-mounted, or pressure-mounted?
There are pros and cons for each type of gate.

  • Many people prefer freestanding gates because they don’t run the risk of damaging your walls. They’re also easier to move—but this is a pro and a con in itself. Depending on the heft of the gate, your pet might be able to move it too.
  • Wall-mounted (or hardware-mounted) gates are fastened to your wall with screws, which is not ideal for renters or others trying to avoid wall damage. But because they won’t give with pressure, they are a safer option for particularly dangerous areas, like at the top of a stairwell.
  • Pressure-mounted gates are a compromise between the two. They are easily taken down and moved, but they also offer plenty of stability. These gates will either have rubber pieces on the sides touching the walls or adjustable spindles with a rubber stopper. These bumpers won’t make holes in your walls, but they have been known to slide and occasionally lead to discoloration on the wall. We recommend purchasing mounting cups, which will both keep the gate more firmly in place and protect your walls.

Q: Are baby gates and pet gates interchangeable?
Baby gates and pet gates are very similar. In fact, they are often marketed under the umbrella term “safety gate.” It can be tempting to continue using a pet gate as a baby gate, or vice versa. Many do. But for safety’s sake, you should use gates as advertised.

While we wouldn’t advise using either model contrary to its design, generally speaking, it is more dangerous to use a pet gate as a baby gate than the reverse. Pet gates may not have taken into consideration elements that may prove dangerous or ineffective for children—parts that can be easily swallowed (knobs, for example), gaps between slats that are wide enough for a baby’s head to get stuck between, etc. Pet gates are also not safety certified the way many baby products are.

If you want a dual-use gate, there are some models that are designed for both purposes and are marketed as such, like the Regalo Walk-Through Safety Gate and the Gaterol Retractable Safety Gate featured above.

Find Out More about Pet Safety

Find all the best gear for keeping your furry friends safe. Check out our recommendations for the best pet cameras and the top GPS pet collars.

Disclaimer: *SafeWise has conducted impartial research to recommend products. This is not a guarantee. Each individual’s unique needs should be considered when deciding on chosen products.

Written by Katherine Torres

Katherine has had several years of experience developing and executing multichannel marketing campaigns, but actually started her career path in journalism. Though she switched gears, she continues to be driven by the need to deliver information that can be helpful for individuals. As an owner of two rescue dogs, she is most interested in technology and products that allow her to keep a close eye on her pets when she’s away. Learn more

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