WHEN TO USE A DOG GATE
Resist the temptation to leave your dog unsupervised on the other side of the gate—there can still be trouble in spite of your efforts to sufficiently dog-proof an area inside your home. Separation with a dog gate should be less about isolation than it is about boundaries that ensure health and safety. But even if your dog typically has the run of the house, there are always occasions that call for confinement.
- You have visitors who may not appreciate or enjoy an intimate inspection by the dog; alternately, your anxious dog needs a place to retreat peacefully when interlopers are invading his space.
- You’re expecting workmen who don’t need the dog’s help.
- You need to separate multiple animals in the same household who don’t always see eye to eye, or separate an energetic dog from a toddler or young child, or keep the dog out of the cat litter box.
- Your trustworthy adult dog needs more wiggle room than his crate allows when you will be gone all day: the gated kitchen or mudroom are excellent alternatives.
- You need to house train your new puppy, to say nothing of protecting him from the perils of his own curiosity.
- Your blind, injured, or senior dog needs to be kept away from the stairs or other household hazards.
- You wish to maintain a healthy air flow and an even temperature throughout the house in lieu of closing doors and thus closing off rooms.
- You’d like your dog to stay on one level of your home.
- You want to contain the dirt and muck your pal tracked in from the great outdoors until you have a chance to give him the bath he so desperately needs.