The 12 Best Dog Gates and Playpens for Dogs (Even Escape Artists)

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A dog guard or playpen can be a useful tool for dog owners, whether you need one to keep your dog away from potential dangers or simply to confine them to a specific area so they don’t get into trouble. Dog guards can also be used to separate pets that are having trouble finding their way or to protect your property from damage from prying teeth and sharp nails.

When it comes to buying dog guards, there are as many options as there are reasons to use them. Before you begin, however, it’s important to ask yourself a few practical questions:

  • Are you looking for an expandable dog gate that you can set up quickly, or something more permanent?
  • How high should the gate be so your dog can’t step on it or jump over it?
  • Do you prefer a pet gate made of specific materials to match your interior design?
  • How much are you willing to spend?

Types of doors for dogs

To help you answer these questions, here is a quick overview of the most common types of dog doors:

  • Independent Dog Doors: These gates are self-supporting, which makes them easy to move from one place to another. They vary in size and can be customized to fit specific spaces.
  • Adjustable clamping flaps: This type of gate is typically used on gates to create a temporary barrier. They’re easy to install, but some models take longer to mount and dismount than others, so you may end up walking over the door.
  • Hinged Dog Doors: These gates can often stand alone and be connected to form a playpen if desired. They are also usually collapsible, which is great for storage and travel.
  • Gates for dogs: Perfect for more permanent applications, Pet Pass Doors can be freestanding, spanned or hinged with a walk-through door for added convenience.

The best dog guards and playpens to keep your dog safe

The best dog door for your home depends on your dog’s size and temperament, as well as the intended door location and intended use. While you ponder those details, take a look at our top picks for the best dog guards and parks below.

If you’re trying to keep your dog outside, don’t waste your money on a flimsy pet door. This ultra-strong MidWest door is constructed from tubular steel and is available in an attractive textured white or graphite finish.

This gate is absolutely foolproof (as well as free of animal-harmful toxins) and expands from 29.5″ to 38″ to fit most standard gates. It features a convenient walk-through gate that’s easy to operate with one hand, yet locks securely to keep your dog where you want them.

Steel pet gates in the Midwest

Steel pet gates in the Midwest

Safe and durable, this steel gate is non-toxic and lead-free.

Available in white, black or gray, this extra wide door from Frisco should stop your furry Houdini from escaping. Also, if you need a barrier that doesn’t give you a headache when moving house, this could be the gate for you. Lightweight and pressure mounted, it’s easy to move from room to room.

dog in front of the door

Frisco self-closing pet door

Durable yet lightweight, assembling and disassembling this Frisco door is a breeze.

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Whether you need an expansive room divider or an enclosed playpen, this convertible dog door features hinge points for a variety of possible configurations. Buyers should note that while this gate earns high marks for its versatility, it is not recommended for dogs over 28 inches.

adjustable dog guard

Door for dogs configurable 4 in 1 gift

This convertible gate offers options and gives your pup plenty of room to stretch their legs.

With a beautiful matte bronze finish, this stylish dog guard will not detract from the aesthetic value of your home. It also features extra-secure fasteners and a one-handed clasp. In addition, there is no treacherous threshold to cross.

dog at the inner door

Folding grid for walking MyPet Windsor

This pet gate is perfect to place near stairs as it doesn’t swing up on the steps.

For some dogs, a visible barrier is enough to keep them out. If you’re looking for a simple yet sturdy freestanding dog guard, the Pawland Wood Freestanding Folding Dog Guard is large enough to keep puppies and small dogs in place, yet light enough to step over.

It features a collapsible design that fits a variety of openings and is made of wood with non-slip rubber feet to protect your floor. Simply unfold the door to set it up and fold it down for storage.

Pawland Wooden Free Standing Foldable Dog Gate

Pawland Wooden Free Standing Foldable Dog Gate

Easily fold and unfold this portable wood look gate.

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Sometimes you need something you can quickly throw at a door to keep your dog indoors (or out). There are many sturdy dog ​​guards on the market, but they can come at a steep price.

This pressure mounted wooden dog guard is a great, simple and affordable option. It’s incredibly easy to move and resize (reaches from 31 to 50 inches wide) if you need to separate different parts of the house at different times.

Evenflo Pressure Mounted Tall Wooden Door

Evenflo high pressure wooden dog gate

Place and lock this door where you need it. It is also available in two non-toxic versions.

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Another affordable option for pressure-mounted dog guards, this barrier is made from heavy-duty steel. Fits standard doors, extends from 29″ to 31.5″ and is 29.5″ tall to prevent dogs from jumping on it.

It is also equipped with a practical passage gate. So if you need to pass, just press the release button and lift the handle.

KidCo Command Pet Products Pressure Mounted Pet Gate

KidCo Command Pet Products Pressure Mounted Pet Gate

Made in the USA, this heavy duty steel gate has a non-toxic finish.

A dog guard works well for keeping your dog out of certain areas, but what if you’re trying to confine them in a more limited space? Dog parks allow you to create a buffer zone inside or outside that gives your pet freedom of movement while you control their range.

This model is 34 inches tall with 21 square feet of space. It’s made of durable molded plastic and the rubber feet keep it in place without scratching the floor. Plus, the door securely latches or swings freely to let pets in and out when you’re home to supervise.

IRIS 8-part plastic playpen for dogs

Iris plastic dog playpen with 8 panels

Constructed of durable plastic, this playpen offers 21 square feet of space and a steel latch door.

If you’d rather avoid drilling holes in your walls, this freestanding dog gate could be the answer. Designed for people to walk over, it’s ideal for smaller dogs. And the high quality wood finish with black steel isn’t bad either.

free standing dog gate at home

Carlson Free Standing Extra Wide Pet Door

This attractive freestanding gate is ideal for people looking for something a little less permanent.

With eight possible configurations, this pet door doubles as a freestanding dog run or room divider. And even though it’s made entirely of steel, it’s still lightweight, portable and easy to store. Additional security features include a self-closing door, a double locking system and a swing door that opens in both directions. To achieve the setup you want, remove (or add!) panels as you see fit.

Dog guard to the wall

Frisco Configurable Playpen and Gate

A configurable gate (or run) for dog owners who need versatility.

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This park is great for pups that get a little wild while you do the dishes or cook, but it works for small to medium sized dogs too.

The open mesh design with two doors and a top zip closure folds easily and packs into a tote bag. The playpen is available in four different sizes and includes useful accessories such as a bag and a bottle holder.

Frisco Fitness Park with soft sides

Frisco Fitness Park with soft sides

This portable, soft-sided pen is great for indoors, outdoors, and on-the-go.

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Who said that a dog door only belongs in the house? Dog guards can also be used in your vehicle to create a separate compartment to protect you from distractions and safely confine your dog for trips to the park or longer car rides.

We selected this Pawple Vehicle Pet Barrier for its affordable price, universal fit, and ease of installation.

Pet barrier with dog

Pawple vehicle pet barrier

Protect your pet on the road with this steel frame vehicle barrier.

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With a dog guard, your dog will have a greater degree of freedom over what they have in a crate while remaining secure and out of hassle when you are unable to supervise them.

However, finding the perfect dog door is only half the equation. No matter how polite your dog is, after a few hours alone, he is likely to become bored, and then destructive behaviors usually set in.

Keeping your dog occupied when he’s alone is all about providing him with the right mix of toys that will keep him entertained and stimulate his mind to quell boredom.

For more information on keeping your dog busy when you’re not around, check out our handy guide to keeping your dog busy.

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