There are few things in life as rewarding as having a puppy in the house. Everything about them is charming, including the adorable faces they make, the cute little sounds they create, and the fact they need constant supervision or else they’ll destroy everything of value you own. That’s where puppy gates come in. They allow you to cordon off areas of the house you don’t want your puppy venturing into.
However, finding the best puppy gate is easier said than done. They’re not all good at keeping a dog contained, and some can be dangerous if installed incorrectly — and you can’t necessarily distinguish the good ones from the duds simply by looking at them.
We’ve done all that work for you, however. In the reviews below, you’ll discover which ones are up to the task at hand, and which ones you’ll likely regret buying.
A Quick Glance at our Favorite Picks (2022 Update)
The 10 Best Puppy Gates
1. Arf Pets Free Standing Wood Dog Gate – Best Overall
Very few people buy a puppy gate expecting it to garner compliments from guests, but if that’s a priority for you, the Arf Pets APDGTSG should be your top option. Made of attractive wood, it will blend in with your existing décor without letting your puppy loose to destroy all that décor.
This is a free-standing model, so you can use it as a gate in a doorway or turn it into a self-supporting pen. This gives you lots of options when it comes to placement, and even allows you to use it outside. You can configure it multiple ways, so you’re not limited to a simple square or straight line.
It comes with two stabilizing feet to make it more difficult for your pooch to knock it over as well. If it gets dirty, all it takes is a little warm, soapy water to clean it up.
The Arf Pets APDGTSG isn’t without its flaws, though. Since it’s made of wood, you’ll need to supervise your dog to make sure she doesn’t chew her way through it. Other than that, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any glaring weaknesses in this gate, which is why it’s our top choice.
2. Carlson Pet Products Expandable Gate – Best Value
It’s not the most attractive option, but if you’re concerned with performance than style, then the Lil’ Tuffy from Carlson Pet Products is a worthwhile (and affordable) investment.
The unit expands from 26 to 38 inches, allowing you to fit it in most hallways or doorframes. At 18 inches tall, it’s not high enough to keep big dogs out — unless they don’t know they can jump over it, that is.
As for smaller pets, they can pass through easily, thanks to the door in the lower corner. This lets you decide which animals are allowed inside and which aren’t, so you can let the cat hang out in the bedroom without being tormented by her puppy brothers.
While the Lil’ Tuffy itself is made of solid steel, it has four rubber bumpers that will protect your walls and doorframes from getting scratched and dented. It’s not perfect for every situation, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better gate at a comparable price, which is why we feel it’s the best puppy gate for the money.
3. Richell Convertible Elite Pet Gate – Premium Choice
Available in a four- or six-panel model, it can act as a puppy gate, a room divider, or a pen, giving you plenty of options when it’s time to cordon off your pup. You can keep him out of an area of the house entirely, limit his access to a potentially hazardous area of one room, or keep him close by but fully contained.
When you’re done with it, it can be easily folded up into a compact package for storage. You can even take it on the road with you if you like.
However, as any Hollywood producer can tell you, attractiveness and versatility don’t come cheap. The Richell is no exception, as it’s certainly not a bargain-basement accessory. You may also balk at keeping an expensive and fetching piece of furniture close to your puppy, who likely shows his appreciation for such things by chewing on them.
Ultimately, if the money is of no consequence, you’ll love this gate. Otherwise, the two above are likely better deals.
4. Richell Wood Freestanding Puppy Gate
The Richell Freestanding lets you contain your dog without needing to damage your home in any way (your pup can handle that part on his own).
It has a broad base on either end that enables it to stand up on its own power, so setting it up is as easy as simply setting it down. There’s no installation required and assembly is a breeze, so you can have it up and ready in no time.
Available in two colors, it telescopes from 39 inches all the way to 71, letting you block off a large stretch of your home. Once it’s fully extended, though, it becomes a bit wobbly, so your pooch may discover he can simply knock it over.
It’s designed for more diminutive pups, so you can easily step over it if it gets in your way. Of course, that means that a big dog can do the same, so don’t waste your money if you have a larger breed.
While we like the Richell Freestanding for its ease of use and versatility, the gates ranked above it can do the same things a little bit better, which is why it slots in at #4.
5. Evenflo Pressure Mount Wood Gate
The Evenflo Pressure Mount is a simple way to quickly block off a room, as it snaps into place easily inside a doorframe. However, it’s best suited for dogs who won’t ask too many questions, as it won’t stand up to much investigation from your pup.
There’s no hardware necessary to install it, as all you have to do is set up the locking bar that holds it in place. This makes it easy to move around, and there will be no evidence of its existence left behind on your doorframes.
However, while it’s held in place with pressure, we can’t promise that it will be held in place very well. A determined dog could easily knock it over or out of position, so don’t trust it to protect your dinner if you’re not around.
It’s also made of fragile components, and it’s easy to break it accidentally when moving it around. Fortunately, it’s not terribly expensive, but watching it snap in your hands is nevertheless extremely frustrating.
Despite its limitations, the fact is the Evenflo will be enough to keep most passive dogs at bay. However, if your mutt is stubborn, don’t expect this to deter him for long.
6. unipaws Freestanding Wooden Dog Gate
Another freestanding option, the unipaws UH5023 folds up easily when not in use, and can flex and bend if necessary.
This model is great if you only occasionally need a gate, as you can store it under a bed or in a closet and then quickly set it up before your dog comes in the room. It has legs on either end that keep it upright, and rubber pads underneath prevent it from scratching hardwood floors.
However, it won’t deter your dog for very long. Those rubber pads may protect your floors, but they also make it easy for your dog to nose it out of the way when he decides he’s had enough alone time.
It also has a strong chemical smell. It’s not something you’re going to want to inhale for very long, and you’ll probably be uncomfortable with the idea of your dog gnawing on it.
Anyone who’s ever had a curious pet can attest that buying yourself a few minutes can be priceless, and the unipaws UH5023 is fantastic in that regard. Just know you’ll have to buy one of the more secure gates above as well if you want a more permanent peace.
7. North States Windsor Arch Gate
The North States Windsor Arch is an extremely classy model that almost looks like it was part of your home all along — and you may just need to hire a contractor to help you put it up.
This is not a model that you can move from room to room; instead, it’s designed to be put in a single place and left there. As such, it’s best suited for owners who only want to keep their dogs out of a single room (like the kitchen, for example).
Made of heavy-duty metal, you don’t have to worry about your dog chewing through it (and if he does, you should probably let him go in any room he wants). You can open the gate with one hand, but that’s often tricky, so expect to need to use both.
It’s designed to be held in place with mounting cups that won’t disfigure your doorway, but the unit is heavy enough that the cups may not be enough, especially if your dog likes to bump into it.
While it’s certainly attractive, the North States Windsor Arch isn’t versatile or user-friendly enough to rank any higher on this list.
8. PETMAKER Wooden Pet Gate
The PETMAKER 80-62875 is lightweight and easy to transport, so it’s a great choice if you’re taking the new puppy to visit grandma. However, you’ll likely find it’s not substantial enough for full-time use at home.
This fence is intended to be freestanding, but it doesn’t have any feet to hold it upright, so you’ll either need to lean it against something or spend a few minutes trying to balance it. Of course, once you get it to stand on its own, your dog will likely then come along and tip it over accidentally.
The wood is extremely lightweight, so you won’t throw your back out moving it around. Don’t expect it to stand up to any abuse, though, and your puppy will likely be able to chew through it in a matter of minutes.
The PETMAKER 80-62875 is best suited for users who take their dogs on the road with them, or for those who want to block off an area the dog may not be terribly interested in, like a staircase. Don’t expect it to keep him out of an attractive location — and don’t expect it to climb much higher on this list without some substantial overhauls, either.
9. Internet’s Best Wire Puppy Gate
This model from Internet’s Best is 30 inches tall, so it can keep most big dogs at bay while thoroughly flummoxing smaller pups. Of course, that means you can’t step over it easily, but that likely can’t be helped.
Our biggest issue with this puppy gate is the fact that, while it’s designed for larger breeds, those same dogs can easily nose it out of the way when they want to. If you have hardwood or tile floors, expect them to slide it all over the place, and if you have carpet, don’t be surprised if they just knock it over.
Meanwhile, if you have a smaller breed puppy, there’s a gap at the bottom of the gate he can squeeze through (or possibly get stuck in while trying).
While not as expensive as the Richell 3-in-1 Convertible Elite, it’s also not cheap — and it’s not nearly as effective as the Richell, either. We expected better performance from a gate in this price range.
10. PAWLAND Foldable Pet Gate
Made of medium-density fiberboard, the PAWLAND Foldable isn’t nearly as heavy as it looks; however, it’s not as secure or durable as it looks, either.
If you’ve worked with fiberboard before, then you know that it will not stand up to any sort of determined chewing — and determined chewing is about all puppies are capable of (well, that, and going to the bathroom in your closet). This isn’t a cheap puppy gate, either, so it’s frustrating to see it fall apart so easily.
It’s also easy to knock over, and your dog may not even notice it was in his way as he plows through it. It will likely deter smaller dogs, but even then, you’ll have to worry about them bumping into it and having it potentially fall on them.
If you absolutely have to keep your dog out of a certain room, then the PAWLAND Foldable is better than nothing — but just barely. As it is, we can’t justify recommending it over the other options shown here.
Final Verdict – Picking the Best Puppy Gate
The Arf Pets APDGTSG is our favorite puppy gate, as it’s attractive and can be used in a multitude of ways, including as a freestanding pen. It’s also easy to clean and maintain, so you don’t have to be embarrassed by its appearance when company comes over.
Buying a pet gate isn’t as simple as it should be, but the reviews above should make things a little easier. Once you find the perfect one for your situation, you’ll finally be able to breathe a little easier knowing that your puppy — and your furniture — is safe.