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Pet gates and play pens help dog owners address a variety of pet concerns—safety, property damage, interspecies relations. There are as many options available as there are reasons to use one. These temporary barriers allow you to keep dogs in an open, but confined space without having to use a crate, which can feel more cramped.
When shopping for a pet gate or play pen, it’s important to assess where you want the gate or enclosure to go, so you can determine how large it needs to be to fit a room or entrance. Do you want to install hardware to keep the gate in place? Or use equipment you can easily grab and take with you? You also need to match gate size and dog size to ensure your pet can’t jump or topple the barrier. Of course, once you have the perfect gate for you and your pet, you’ll want to think about ways to keep your dog entertained while she’s confined.
But first things first! Here’s a few of the best products out there:
This freestanding gate is both functional and attractive, with hardwood construction with black metal fencing. The side panels, with rubber feet to keep them in place, allow the gate to stand on its own and stay put. The barrier stretches between 39.8 and 71.3 inches wide, but only works for smaller dogs weighing 20 pounds or less. It can also fold up nicely for travel.
For fun, try their new ‘Picture It Here’ Freestanding Gate to give your dog a view of friends and family while you’re away.
This sturdy steel and hardwood gate requires no tools for assembly, holds in place with four pressure-mounted springs, and fits openings between 29 and 44 inches. The door opens easily with a latch and secures simply by closing, allowing you to pass through without moving the barrier. At 38 inches tall, this model is best for medium to small dogs.
Extremely easy to install, this gate fits doorways 26 to 42 inches wide and stands 32 inches tall (so it may not be the best fit for dogs as large as the cutie in the photo). Pressure mounts lock the gate into place, and the smaller gate in the lower corner opens to let smaller pets through. This is a great options if you have cats and dogs.
This is a great option if you’re looking for something simple and affordable. It’s incredibly easy to move and resize (reaching from 31 to 50 inches wides), if you need to section off different parts of the house at different times.
Playpens allow you to create a buffer zone inside or outside, giving your pet space to roam. This model stands 34 inches tall and provides 21 square foot of space. It’s made from heavy-duty molded plastic, and rubber feet keep it in place. The door allows pets to come and go when you’re home to supervise.
This model comes in three heights—24, 32, and 40 inches—to house small, medium, or large dogs. The durable steel construction creates a sturdy perimeter that can be easily set-up and disassembled, so you can create a ‘chill zone’ at home or while traveling.
This playpen is ideal for puppies that get a bit mischievous while you’re washing the dishes or cooking a meal that’s great for small and medium-sized dogs alike. The open mesh design is durable and waterproof, and the entire set folds up easily and packs into a carrying case. The top is optional, and the playpen comes in several different colors.
Pet barriers can also create a separate compartment in your vehicle for drives to the park or longer road trips. This steel-frame barrier installs in minutes—no tools needed. It stretches between 31 and 45 inches tall and 39 to 65 inches wide, fitting most wagons, vans, and SUVs.