6 dog gate ideas – DIY picks and more for a practical and stylish pet barrier

Dog gates can be functional, without sacrificing your home's style. DIY yours out of wood or install a shop-bought option to keep pets in check.

A mesh dog gate with grey frame in a living room
(Image credit: Wayfair)

If you are looking for different dog gate ideas that you can DIY or shop, you either already have a naughty puppy running around your home or are about to. Either way, our beloved pets can wreak havoc on furniture and flooring while we're not looking, so dog gates can go a long way to protect your decor from an over-excited canine friend. 

Like fence ideas for your yard, dog gates can come out stylish with a bit of imagination. 

Dog gate ideas to keep pets in check

While there are tons of dog gates you can buy online, going down the DIY route is the better option if you have basic DIY tools and some time to make something bespoke and to save a little cash along the way.

1. DIY a dog gate into the dooframe

A white painted dog gate in a hallway

(Image credit: Will Johnson Building Company)

You have two main choices with pet barriers: either make it stand out or have it blend in with the rest of the room. If you choose the latter you'll want the blending in to be seamless. Note how this dog gate by Will Johnson Building Company (opens in new tab) completely matches the materials and finish of the doorframe. It sits organically with the decor and doesn't draw excessive attention to itself. 

2. Fit a retractable dog gate

A retractable dog gate in a white kitchen

(Image credit: Hideagate)

If you really don't want your dog gate on display or are only planning to use it at night, then a retractable dog gate is a very good idea. You can achieve this look on a DIY basis, but bear in mind that you will need to cut into your doorframe, so you'll need to be a fairly experienced DIYer.

The beauty of this retractable dog gate (opens in new tab)from Hideagate is that it's sold with a pre-built frame that comes in two standard sizes. You can also buy the dog gate on its own if you prefer.

3. Build a dog gate from a wooden pallet

A DIY dog gate made from an oak pallet

(Image credit: Simply Maggie )

DIY dog gates don't come much better than this. The idea is from Simply Maggie (opens in new tab) – it cost the blogger (gasp) $7 in total to make. 'We used the hinges and handle from one of the old cabinets from our kitchen, the boards from one oak pallet and the 7.00 was for the ball clasp that keeps it shut. It’s nice and light so it swings easy.'

If you want to recreate this pleasingly rustic design yourself, you can buy door hinges for under $10 on Amazon (opens in new tab), a bronze door handle for $11.69 (opens in new tab), and a ball clasp for under $8 (opens in new tab).

4. Get a freestanding gate if you don't want to DIY

An ornate freestanding folding dog gate

(Image credit: Wayfair)

Don't want to do DIY and also can't have a permanent dog gate built into your door frame because you're renting? There are plenty of freestanding dog gates out there, with pretty designs and in a variety of sizes to suit all sorts of rooms.

The Palm Springs dog gate (opens in new tab) from Wayfair comes in two different sizes, has 360-degree hinges, and comes with extra base supports so that your pet doesn't knock it over.

5. Match your dog gate to the color of wooden fixtures

A dark brown tall dog gate used at the bottom of stairs

(Image credit: Wayfair)

If you have a traditional decor with fixtures and/or architectural elements in wood, we advise matching the color and finish of your dog gate to the wood you already have. This doesn't have to mean chasing after a dog gate in the exact same finish, but, broadly speaking, if you have a dark wood interior, your dog gate will look better if it's also got a dark finish.

We really like the Tucker Freestanding Pet Gate (opens in new tab) from Wayfair in Espresso – a smart finish that will look perfect in a traditional home. 

6. Go for a mesh design if you want a minimalist look

A mesh dog gate in a bright living room

(Image credit: Wayfair)

If you want your dog gate to be as unobtrusive as possible, a wire mesh design is well worth looking into. It's just as effective at keeping dogs or other pets out of areas you want them to avoid but it just looks a lot less bulky than wooden designs. 

This freestanding pet gate from Wayfair (opens in new tab) also boasts a very nice grey paint finish to the frame, which makes it blend in with the modern neutral decor. 

What is the best material for a dog gate?

Debbie Littany, Owner of LongLiveDog.com (opens in new tab), has the answer: it's wood. Making a DIY dog gate out of wood is easy – all you need is 'some power tools' and 'some four by fours and wood planks'. Of course, the most basic designs 'are not stylish and won't go with your home right away', but you can do so much with wood – paint it, or be creative with the design by adding latticework or other woodworking elements.

What is the easiest and cheapest DIY dog gate option?

Sharon Williams, Co-founder of DogDesires (opens in new tab), swears by a DIY PVC dog gate, calling it 'the best, cheapest, and easiest DIY gate I have ever seen.' It consists of 'a PVC
frame and enough fabric to cover it. Some seams should be sewn in to keep
the fabric in place but that's all really.

'Super affordable, doable, and surprisingly effective. As long as you've got
the right measurements, simply slide the frame into place and it can slide
in and out without any hassle.'

Anna is Content Editor at Real Homes. She moved to the world of interiors from academic research in the field of English Literature and photography. She is the author of London Writing of the 1930s and has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening. At Real Homes, she covers a range of topics, from practical advice to interior and garden design. 

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