Everything You Need to Know About Dog Doors and Gates

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Your bouncing buddy may be itching to boldly go where no dog has ever gone before, but whether you have an indoor or outdoor pooch, some areas are going to have to be out of bounds. It wouldn’t do to have a young pup take a tumble down the stairs, or an energetic furry friend dig up next door’s rose garden -- or even worse, run out into traffic. So how do you keep your pupper (and your belongings, and your neighbor’s yard) safe and secure? We’ve sniffed out some information to help you choose the right barrier for your canine companion!

Door Flaps

Door flaps can be a working pet parent’s second-best friend! Your doggo can come and go as they please, removing the need for you to be there to let them out. Not only that, but you can rest assured that they’re getting their exercise! However, they’re not a great option if you live in an area with lots of predators (you don’t want to find coyotes in your kitchen).

Wireless Fence

Rural dwellers might find that the shape of their property line doesn’t lend itself to traditional fencing. So how are you supposed to keep your pup in? There are several different types of wireless fences available, but almost all involve a fence post transmitter and a receiver on your dog’s collar. If your four-pawed pal strays, they’ll get either a warning tone, an unpleasant sound, or a shock.

Electric Fence

Most modern electric fences are a sub-type of the wireless fence and involve a shock collar. They do have the benefit of increasing your pup’s freedom of movement, but most humane societies advise against them; the shock needs to be unpleasant enough for the dog to stay, and they can lead to dogs becoming more aggressive when people pass by, since pooches are shocked when they go to investigate.
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Free-standing Gates

If you’ve just brought a puppy home, a free-standing gate is a real mutts-purchase, and the best way to make sure bedrooms, staircases, and other danger zones are off-limits. They’re also great when you have house guests who just aren’t comfortable with doggos. As an alternative, you can use baby gates, but keep in mind that lots of puppers are stronger than non-furry children -- a toddler gate might not hold up.


Like free-standing gates, pens are pawesome for puppies. You can give your young doggo a place to sniff and explore without worrying about them tearing up the house or having an "accident" on the carpet. They can be useful for older doggos, too -- particularly if your buddy is confined to bed rest after an injury. Be sure to get an appropriately sized pen for your pooch!