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Pet Gates

Pet gates are a convenient and practical way to keep your pets in particular areas of your home or out of areas in which they don't belong. This may include protecting a very young or very old pet from stairways or ensuring that your pet stays out of rooms that have not been "pet-proofed." There are many different styles of pet gates to meet different needs.

While specially-designed pet gates can be purchased at pet stores or some mass merchandisers, many pet owners opt to purchase gates intended as "baby gates" to help keep their pets safe. Depending on the size of your pet and how well he respects physical boundaries, these may or may not be sufficient. Specially designed pet gates may be higher or able to withstand a greater amount of pressure than traditional baby gates. If you have a small or very timid pet, these additional measures may not be necessary and a baby gate may be sufficient.

Some pet gates, as well as some baby gates, are designed for permanent mounting and require hardware to be attached to the wall. Others rely on pressure-based mountings and can be moved from one location to another with ease. Again, the type of pet gates you will need depend on your pet as well as the application. Pressure mounted pet gates should not be used at the tops of stairs, since an excited pet could knock the gate down and potentially become injured falling down the stairs.

Pet gates are equally effective at keeping a pet in a certain area as keeping him out of a particular space. Some pet owners choose not to crate train their dogs, but want to keep them restricted to a particular area when they are not home and during the night. Pet gates can be quite useful for this. Likewise, a well-trained pet may have free roam of your home, with the exception of one particular room. For some pet owners with pets who will stop at virtually nothing to get into their food supply, well-placed pet gates can avoid dietary disasters. Or for those pet owners with light colored pets and dark colored furniture in a formal room (or vice versa), pet gates can help ensure "visitor friendly" seating is always available.

Pet gates are also very handy for containing small pets when you have them out of their cages for play time. With small pets such as rats and ferrets, it is important to provide them with a safe environment to explore. In general, to pet-proof for a small pet, start by following the same general guidelines you would for baby-proofing your home, and then go even further. Use pet gates to block off obvious areas, such as stairs and doorways. Also pay special attention to small spaces that your pet could try to explore, only to find herself stuck, lost, or in danger. You may want to use pet gates to block off areas of a room with furniture into which your small pet could crawl and become stuck or lost. Loose wires are very inviting to pets that like to chew, and can be dangerous and even deadly. Use pet gates to enclose areas with wires whenever possible, or Cover wires with chew-proof protective covering. Even with pet gates in place, when your small pet is out of his cage, never leave him unsupervised.