The 8 Best Pet Gates

We compared customer reviews and expert ratings to bring you a diverse roundup of the best pet gates.
Best for dogs and cats
product image of carlson pet gate and pet door
Carlson Extra Tall
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Walk-through
  • Icon Pros  Light
    36 in. tall
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Up to 36.5 in. wide
Best for stairs
Toddleroo by North States
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Walk-through
  • Icon Pros  Light
    31 in. tall
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Up to 47.85 in. wide
Budget pick
product image of carlson adjustable pet gate
Carlson Easy Fit
  • Icon Cons  Light
    No walk-through gate
  • Icon Pros  Light
    23 in. tall
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Up to 42 in. wide
Best for open floor plans
Regalo Super Wide
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Walk-through
  • Icon Pros  Light
    28 in. tall
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Up to 192 in. wide
Best for front doors
Bow Wow Barrier
  • Icon Cons  Light
    No walk-through gate
  • Icon Pros  Light
    34 in. tall
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Up to 28 in. wide

Need to corral your furry friend? While most baby or safety gates double as pet gates, it's nice to have extra features like the built-in cat door in our top pick, the Carlson Extra Tall. We’ve looked at pet gates for different circumstances, narrowing the market down to the top eight. 



Compare the best pet gates

Product
Price
Type
Walk-through
Learn more
Best for dogs and cats
product image of carlson pet gate and pet door
Carlson Extra Tall Pet Gate
Pressure-mounted
Icon Yes  LightYes
Best for stairs

Toddleroo by North States
Wall-mounted
Icon Yes  LightYes
Budget pick
product image of carlson adjustable pet gate
Carlson Easy Fit
Pressure-mounted
Icon No  LightNo
Best for open floor plans

Regalo Super Wide
Wall-mounted
Icon Yes  LightYes
Best for front doors

Bow Wow Barrier
Wall-mounted
Icon No  LightNo
Best for renters

Richell Wood Gate
Freestanding
Icon No  LightNo
Best step-over gate
picture of cat walking through a carlson pet gate
Carlson Lil Tuffy
Pressure-mounted
Icon No  LightNo
Stylish pick
image of regalo pet game in home
Regalo Home Accents
Pressure-mounted
Icon Yes  LightYes

*Amazon.com price as of 9/1/2021 at 9:30 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Best pet gate reviews

1. Carlson Extra Tall Pet Gate: Best for dogs and cats

*Amazon.com price as of 9/1/2021 at 9:30 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

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.

A one-touch safety release lock lets you easily pass through the door using only one hand to unlatch it.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Tall
Pro Bullet Two doors for pets and people
Pro Bullet One-touch lock
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Narrow door
Con Bullet Pet door size

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).

The swing door is a bit on the narrow side (16 inches), so it may not be the most comfortable gate to walk through.

Though it may seem small, medium to large dogs have been said to regularly shimmy their way through the little pet door—though this seems to be a problem across the board for gates with this function.

2. Toddleroo by North States: Best for stairs

Best for stairs

*Amazon.com price as of 9/1/2021 at 9:30 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Many pet gates are pressure mounted. This means there's a bar that runs across the floor, applying pressure on both walls to keep the gate in place. This bar can be a trip hazard, especially on stairs.

The Toddleroo by North States attaches to a wall stud on one side and latches securely on the other side, eliminating that bottom bar altogether. Despite its name, it works great as a pet gate. Jumpers might just hop over it, though, since it's not available in "extra tall." 

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Walk-through function
Pro Bullet One-handed opening
Pro Bullet Push closed to latch
Pro Bullet Looks nice
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Puts holes in your wall
Con Bullet Can be tricky to install level
Con Bullet Some pets might jump over it

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.

Tip: if you want your cat to move freely up and down the stairs while your dog stays put, mount this gate high enough for the cat to slip underneath but low enough to block the dog.

3. Carlson Easy Fit Plastic Adjustable Pet Gate: Budget pick

*Amazon.com price as of 9/1/2021 at 9:30 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

This pressure-mounted gate by Carlson 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.

Easy-to-clean, weather resistant plastic makes it suitable for indoor or outdoor use without the worry of rust.

What's more, the pressure-mounted rubber bumpers make it easier to transport than models that use adjustable spindles.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Prevents escape
Pro Bullet Versatile
Pro Bullet Easy to move
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Short
Con Bullet Sides aren’t adjustable

At 23 inches tall, it is on the shorter side, so it's not good for large pets. Puppies and cats might try climbing on the honeycombs. 

As with any pressure-mounted gate, take care not to jam this gate too tightly to the wall or you'll dent the drywall. 

4. Regalo Super Wide: Best for open floor plans

Best for open floor plans

*Amazon.com price as of 9/1/2021 at 9:30 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Every other pet gate on this list assumes you have a standard-size doorway to work with. But how do you corral a puppy in the kitchen (and off the carpet) when you have an open floor plan?

Try the Regalo Super Wide. It's a whopping 192 inches long and can easily be adjusted to fit a smaller space. It folds for easy storage, and the accordion folds add extra stability to the gate.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Sturdy
Pro Bullet Adjustable
Pro Bullet Easy to store
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Screws into wall

The Regalo Super Wide must be screwed into the wall at either end, so it's not ideal for renters. It features a step-through gate with a one-handed latch and can be used as a corral or play pen by connecting all panels in a circle. 

Tip: Set this up around your tree for Puppy's First Christmas.

5. Bow Wow Barrier: Best for front doors

Best for front doors

*Amazon.com price as of 9/1/2021 at 9:30 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The Bow Wow Barrier stops door-dashing dogs and cats in their tracks. Specifically designed for doors, not necessarily doorways, the Bow Wow Barrier lets you open the door for packages, pizza, or trick-or-treaters without having to hold your dog's collar or do an awkward shimmy out the door. 

You only attach it to the door when you need it, so it won't stop you from entering or exiting your home. You can open the door up to 28 inches with the Bow Wow Barrier attached.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Easy to use
Pro Bullet Versatile
Pro Bullet Unobtrusive
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Not chew-proof

6. Richell Freestanding Pet Gate: Best for renters

*Amazon.com price as of 9/1/2021 at 9:30 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

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

No wall installation is required for this one, so it can be easily picked up and moved.

And, unlike many freestanding pet gates, the Richell gate has stabilizing feet with rubber bottoms to keep it in place on hard flooring.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Easily moveable
Pro Bullet Stays in place
Pro Bullet Narrow gaps
Pro Bullet Pivot side panels
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Awkward feet
Con Bullet Difficult to adjust

The bars are close together on this gate, preventing small animals like cats from slipping through.

The side panels pivot to allow you to customize the angle of your gate in different locations.

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.

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.

7. Carlson Lil’ Tuffy Expandable Gate: Best step-over gate

Best step-over gate

*Amazon.com price as of 9/1/2021 at 9:30 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Lightweight and portable, the Carlson Lil Tuffy 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 who can't step over it.

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.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Affordable
Pro Bullet Easily moveable
Pro Bullet Easy for humans to step over
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Sides aren’t adjustable
Con Bullet Curved corners
Con Bullet Larger animals can step over

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.

8. Regalo Home Accents: Stylish pick

*Amazon.com price as of 9/1/2021 at 9:30 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

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

Setting it apart from the “one-touch lock” competitors, this walk-through gate features an easy-to-use, slide-through automatic locking handle.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Sturdy
Pro Bullet Tall
Pro Bullet Slide handle
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Inconsistent quality

We do have concerns about inconsitent quality, though. 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.

Final word

The Carlson Extra Tall earns our vote as the best overall pet gate thanks to its tall design, optional cat door, and walk-through easy-latch gate. But it's not the best for stairs, extra-wide doorways, or rentals. Fortunately, there are plenty of other pet gates on the market that tick those boxes, helping you keep your pet safely contained when needed.

Pet gate FAQ

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.

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.

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.

How we reviewed the best pet gates

For our best pet gate review, we considered user comments and expert opinions. We also relied on our own experiences as pet owners to determine what features are most useful in a pet gate.

Learn more on our methodology page.

Related articles on SafeWise


Disclaimers

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Cathy Habas
Written by
Cathy Habas
With over seven years of experience as a content writer, Cathy has a knack for untangling complex information. Her natural curiosity and ability to empathize help Cathy offer insightful, friendly advice. She believes in empowering readers who may not feel confident about a purchase, project, or topic. Cathy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Indiana University Southeast and began her professional writing career immediately after graduation. She has contributed to sites like Safety.com, Reviews.com, Hunker, and Thumbtack. Cathy’s pride and joy is her Appaloosa “Chacos.” She also likes to crochet while watching stand-up comedy specials on Netflix.

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