Baby Gates VS Dog Gates

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Dog gates and baby gates – these two boundary creating devices may seem like they are one in the same, however, they are not.

While they are made from similar designs and materials with nearly the same purpose in mind, the two are not created equal.

By Allison Salonko.

Allison is a Veterinary Technician in the state of Indiana. She graduated from International Business College and Vet Tech Institute of Indianapolis with a degree in Animal Science and Technology in 2011.

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In this article I will go over the differences between using a baby gate or a dog gate for your pooch so you know which one is best for your home and family.

Should You Choose A Baby Gate Or A Dog Gate?

Choosing a gate to use for your new puppy shouldn’t be difficult, but with all the options online and the differing advice about which one is best, it can feel conflicting.

The truth is, baby gates are not built sturdy enough to handle most dogs, even when they’re little puppies.

Not only are they not as durable as a gate designed for dogs, but they’re certainly not chew or scratch proof.

I’m not saying that babies won’t bite things but they definitely don’t have the willpower of a puppy.

With that being said, if you have a little 3lb Yorkie, or small breed of dog, it is unlikely that even a standard baby gate will take much abuse from them.

A Pitbull on the other hand would be a different story.

Baby Gates Vs Dog Gates: The Ultimate Showdown

So, baby gates are just not as durable as one built for pets and that’s a fact.

Dog gates are meant to withstand more physical abuse and should be stronger. Here are the main differences between the two.




Bar Width



Baby Gates

Light weight

H: 22/39 inches

W: 22/62 inches


3 inches or less

Smart latches

25-30 lbs of weight resistance

Dog Gates

Heavy duty

H: 18/72 inches

W: 22/72 inches

2.5 inches or less

Pet-proof locks

40 lbs of weight resistance

Some of the dog gates come with electronic locks and cat doors built in.

Baby gates can also be installed with alarms and other child proof locking systems if you have a kiddo or a pup that’s an escape artist.

What About A Baby Gate And A Pet Gate?

Essentially, these two are interchangeable.

If you have a rambunctious toddler that needs a more durable gate, then look into a dog specific one.

If you have a little toy breed that doesn’t need some big, strong piece of equipment then you can look into repurposing your baby’s old gate for them.

The truth is, it’s about what you’re comfortable with and the energy levels and strength of your dog… or baby.

Do Free-Standing Dog Gates Work?

Free-standing dog gates are great for traveling and moving from one room to the other without having to set it up again or install new hardware.

But do they work? Well, it probably depends on your dog’s level of determination.

These gates are not held down or in place by any kind of hardware or pressure mounting.

If you have a dog that is smart and determined, they will probably figure out how to move it or push it out of the way.

One of the bonuses to these gates is that you can find some that are quite long (they fold up neatly for easy storage) and can fit very large or awkward shaped doorways.

Free-standing dog gates are also nice for creating a play pen area either indoor or outdoors!

Should You Use A Baby Gate Or A Dog Gate?

Finding the right answer to that just depends on your pet and home.

These gates are a wonderful way of establishing boundaries, potty training puppies and keeping dogs, cats and kids separated into their own safe spaces.

If you have a strong, determined puppy or dog, finding a dog-specific gate will probably last longer and be more effective in the long run.

Photo by Fran.