Pet Gate Installation Guide: Contain Pets Safely at Home!

Pet gates are an excellent way to keep your furry friends safe and contained in your home. With the ability to restrict access to certain rooms or block off hazards, pet gates provide a secure physical barrier between spaces. They are especially useful for separating dogs and cats or keeping pets away from areas like staircases, kitchens, and home offices.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll cover everything you need to choose, install, and use pet gates properly. Whether you need to corral a rambunctious puppy or keep your senior cat comfortable, this article will help you use pet gates effectively in your home.

Choosing the Right Pet Gate for Your Home

With different types, mounting styles, and sizes of pet gates available, it's important to consider your specific needs before purchasing one:

  • Pet Size and Breed: Measure the height and weight of your pet to ensure the gate will properly contain them. For large breed dogs or athletic jumpers, taller and more sturdy gates above 40 inches are recommended.
  • Opening Width: Measure the opening you want to block off and buy a gate at least 2 inches wider for a secure fit. Pressure mounted gates can expand to fit a range of widths.
  • Mounting Type: Pressure mounted pet gates use tension to wedge between walls and openings. They are quick and easy to install but best for openings under 42 inches wide. Hardware mounted gates screw into walls for extra strength and stability when containing large pets.

For containing big pets in standard sized openings, we recommend the FairyBaby 40 inch Extra Tall Auto Close Big Dog Gate. With its sturdy steel frame, dual locking system, and auto-close hinge, it keeps even high jumping large breeds safely contained. 

More gates with cat door buying guide here.

Pet Gates for Your Home

Preparing for Pet Gate Installation

To ensure a smooth installation, keep these tips in mind before getting started:

  • Measure Precisely: Use a tape measure to measure the opening width at both the top and bottom. This will account for any inconsistencies in the opening.
  • Review Instructions: Thoroughly read the installation guide that comes with your gate to understand the process for your specific model.
  • Have Proper Tools: For pressure mounted gates you'll need no tools, but hardware mounted models require a drill, screwdriver, stud finder, and mounting hardware.
  • Check for Hazards: Make sure there are no electrical outlets, vents, or other hazards in the mounting location that could be unsafe to drill into.
  • Follow Safety Steps: Adhere to all included safety precautions such as proper height requirements and weight limits.

Step-by-Step Installation Guide

Now let's get into the installation process for both pressure mounted and hardware mounted pet gates:

Installing a Pressure Mounted Pet Gate

Pressure mounted gates use rubberized tensionbolts that push against the walls to secure the gate in the opening. Follow these steps for easy tool-free installation:

  1. Fully extend the gate frame and place it centered in the opening.
  2. Rotate the tension bolts to press against the side walls until snug. Do not over tighten.
  3. Check that the gate is centered and level before letting your pet approach it.
  4. Make small adjustments to the tension bolts over time as needed to retighten.

Installing a Hardware Mounted Pet Gate

For permanent enhanced security, hardware mounted gates screw directly into walls with included mounting cups or brackets. Follow these steps for solid installation:

  1. Use a stud finder to locate studs or blocking in the wall on either side of the opening. Mark the spots.
  2. Hold the gate centered in the opening and mark where the mounting cups line up with studs.
  3. Use a drill and screws to anchor each mounting cup into the marked studs.
  4. Check that the gate is securely centered before allowing your pet near it.
  5. Periodically check and tighten the hardware as needed to maintain security.

Using and Maintaining Your Pet Gate

Once your pet gate is properly installed, a few tips will help keep it functioning safely:

  • Check Stability: Lightly push on the gate from all directions to ensure it feels completely secure and does not wobble or shift.
  • Practice Opening: Release the locking mechanism and swing the gate open and closed a few times. Make sure it moves smoothly and the locks click back into place securely.
  • Clean Regularly: Use soap and water with a soft cloth to wipe down the gate as needed. Avoid harsh cleaners or chemicals.
  • Check Locks and Latches: Ensure the locks fully engage and the auto-close functions properly for hardware mounted gates. Tighten as needed.
  • Watch for Damage: If any parts become bent or damaged promptly stop using the gate and contact the manufacturer.

Regularly checking your pet gate will keep it safely containing pets long-term. Make any needed adjustments right away and replace the gate if you see significant wear and tear.

Alternative DIY Pet Gate Ideas

Standard pet gates don't work for all home layouts and openings. In some cases, a homemade solution may be your best option:

  • Furniture Barrier: Safely barricade open doorways using furniture like shelving units or baby gates. Ensure items are securely anchored.
  • Wooden Gate: For wide openings, construct a wooden freestanding gate using boards and hardware mount hinges.
  • Metal Wire Cage: Use foldable metal exercise pens or wire shelving units as sturdy pet barriers for large areas.
  • Dog Crates: In a pinch, position sturdy crates on their sides and securely lash them together to blockade openings.

When rigging up any DIY pet barrier, be sure to assess any safety risks and test its strength and stability thoroughly before relying on it to contain your pets. Monitor the setup vigilantly and make adjustments as needed.


Installing and using pet gates properly keeps your furry companions safe while containing them in designated areas. Take the time to find the right gate for your needs and measure the opening accurately before purchasing. Follow the installation steps closely for your specific gate type, and double check that it is completely secure. With routine care and maintenance, quality pet gates provide peace of mind by allowing you to set physical boundaries in your home.

For an extra tall and sturdy pet barrier designed for large dogs, be sure to check out the FairyBaby 40 inch Extra Tall Auto Close Big Dog Gate. Please contact us with any questions about selecting and installing the ideal pet gate for your home.

More info about your pets security at home: Keep Your Precious Kitten Safe: Choosing the Perfect Pet Gate

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