Indoor gates and kennels are great for keeping your pooch contained when they're lounging around at home. They make it easy to control where your dog goes, allowing you to designate "no-go" spots with ease.
But what about outside?
Your pup can't stay inside 24 hours a day! At some point, they need to explore the great outdoors and live a little. Whether you have a fenced-in yard or not, it pays to have an outdoor dog gate.
Outdoor gates serve the same purpose as indoor models. They're all about containment! However, outdoor models are a little more heavy-duty. Built to withstand the elements, they provide more security than flimsy indoor gates.
Plus, these accessories are specially made to attach to your deck or porch. That way, you can create a unique little safe zone before the expanse of play space in your yard.
Ready to check out some of the best outdoor dog gates for your deck or porch? Here are some of our favorites.
5 of the Best Outdoor Dog Gates For Your Deck or Porch
1. Carlson Pet Products Weatherproof Outdoor Walk-Thru Dog Gate
This weatherproof gate from Carlson Pet Products is super flexible and quite sturdy. Made of steel throughout, it won't budge against determined teeth or claws. The gate fits in openings as wide as 42 inches. It also comes with two extensions so that you can get a custom look even if you need some extra wiggle room.
Whether you use it at the top or bottom of the stairs, it works well to keep Fido contained. The gate attaches with tension rods on both sides. Even still, the swinging gate is wide and easy to operate. A durable flip-up latch keeps the door in place and automatically shuts once you go through.
2. Carlson Pet Products Weatherproof Outdoor Super Wide Dog Gate, Black
Also from Carlson Pet Products is this unique gate. It's sporting a versatile accordion-style design that gives you many ways to use it. Attach both ends together to create a large playpen. Or, utilize the included mounting hardware to cordon off a 144-inch section!
One of the six panels features a swinging gate and latch system. On the door, you'll notice that there's also a smaller gate for letting tiny pets through. The entire gate is made of weatherproof steel for peace of mind.
3. Perma Child Safety Indoor/Outdoor Retractable Gate 33" Tall, Extends to 71" Wide
Here's a retractable gate from Perma Child. It can work with young kids or dogs up to 40 pounds. Rather than a fixed door, this gate uses a rolling mesh panel. There are two distinct components here.
One is the rolled-up fence. The second is the catch mount. Attach both of the components on opposite ends of your porch opening, and you're good to go. Just push and twist the rolled-up pen to unlock it, pull it across the opening, and secure it on the catch.
4. Cardinal Gates Outdoor Dog Gate, White
The Cardinal Gates model looks simple. But, it's surprisingly rugged. It's a swinging gate that comes with stainless steel mounting hardware. One end features a robust hinge system, while the other sports the latching mechanism.
The gate itself is aluminum. It's powder-coated in white to provide additional weather protection and a sleek look that complements most porch designs. Rising 29.5 inches tall, it features vertical slats to prevent climbing. The width is adjustable between 27 and 42.5 inches.
5. Cardinal-Deck Shield - Roll
This accessory isn't a dedicated gate. However, it is something that you can use to make your existing gate and porch a lot safer. It's a UV-resistant deck shield net.
You get 15 feet or 30 feet of durable plastic netting. It's about 36 inches tall and easily attaches to a gate or railing. Use zip ties to secure the net to the gate. This creates smaller slats that your dog can't wiggle their way through.
Why Use an Outdoor Dog Gate?
An outdoor dog gate may seem like an unnecessary purchase for some. You already have an exterior door, so why get an extra gate?
Well, these accessories serve a couple of different purposes.
The first is the most obvious: They keep your dog contained! If you have a large deck that you use pretty frequently, the gate acts like any other indoor model you have. It allows your dog to explore the deck freely while still preventing them from escaping and going where they shouldn't.
Think of your porch as an extension of the living space inside. In that case, it's just another barrier to controlling where your pup goes.
Keep your Dog(s) Safe
If you have a particularly rambunctious dog, an outdoor gate may be the difference between staying safe and potential disaster. Has your dog ever darted out of the door when you open it?
That kind of behavior can lead to a world of trouble. Not only does it make it easier for your dog to run away, but it provides clear access to dangers. For example, your dog could inadvertently run into traffic and get hit by a car.
While it's not something that any dog owner wants to think about, accidents like that happen all the time. Your exterior door might seem safe, but there's always a chance that your dog could sneakily escape whenever you open it.
In this case, an outdoor dog crate is a second layer of protection. It provides that final buffer that can make all the difference.
Finally, outdoor gates are fantastic for overall training and behavioral modifications. Keeping a domesticated dog safe is all about creating boundaries. What better way to do that than with a gate?
An extra gate on your deck or porch does so much more than block your dog's access to your yard. It's a totem that reminds them of how they should act inside your home.
Many owners like to use outdoor gates as an imaginary threshold that represents calmness. They'll make their dogs sit down and cool off at the gate before climbing the porch and entering the home.
No matter how you choose to use it, outdoor gates are a fantastic investment. Anything that can keep your dog safe is well worth the money.
Related: 9 Best Invisible Wireless Dog Fences
Key Considerations Before You Buy
Using a gate inside your house is pretty straightforward. But outdoor models have a lot more to contend with. Before you install a new gate, here are some things to think about.
Placement and Position
First things first, you must decide where you're going to place it. The obvious choice here is the stairs that lead onto your porch. But do you want to install it at the bottom of the stairs or on top?
This all depends on your dog's training and capabilities. There are pros and cons to both options.
Generally, placement at the top of the stairs is the go-to. Your dog will approach the gate from the deck and use it to gain access to the stairs that lead to your yard. But what about their experience using it from the other side?
If your dog isn't the most coordinated or trustworthy, it could be a real problem. They may venture underneath your stairs to explore or find themselves falling off after trying to climb them without your guidance.
All that said, placing the gate at the bottom of the stairs poses potential problems, too. Unless the gate is super tall, your pooch could easily get the height they need from the top stair to leap right over! That opens up a can of worms on its own regarding safety.
Ultimately, the right choice for you will depend on your dog. Think long and hard about the right course of action, as some gates will only work in one position.
Dog gates are supposed to be complex enough to prevent your dog from opening. But sometimes, that complexity extends to humans, too!
Make sure you think about how the gate will impact your day-to-day. Is it going to make things difficult for your children or other family members? Will it be cumbersome when you have a handful of groceries?
Your gate will be there to provide 24-hour protection. In most cases, the tradeoffs are worth the peace of mind the gate provides. Nevertheless, it's important to think about how the gate will play into your daily life.
Type of Installation
Next, you should think about the type of installation the gate will require. This is important for a couple of reasons. For one, you need to make sure that your gate is compatible with the deck! Not all designs will work with every porch entryway or staircase.
Secondly, the installation method may influence the gate's overall stability and safety.
The most basic types of gates are free-standing. They're not exactly the most effective at keeping dogs contained, as they are nothing more than a small wall that stands up on its own.
With a little push, they can easily topple over and tumble down the stairs. Plus, they're not very convenient on your end.
Next, there are pressure-mounted gates. Pressure-mounted gates use outward force to attach a frame against two rungs of the stair railing. They're pretty effective for mild-mannered dogs. But, a forceful dog with a lot of weight behind them could dislodge it if they wanted to.
Another potential downside is that the actual swinging gate is usually smaller to compensate for the pressure-mounted frame.
Finally, there are hardware-mounted gates. The most robust of them all, these gates are basically swinging doors. They feature metal hardware that you have to mount onto the deck.
Doors are wide and open in a swift, fluid motion. The only potential downside is the permanent installation. You cannot remove these gates on the fly without whipping out the tools!
The material of the gate is about so much more than aesthetics. Sure, they play a big part in your landscaping and curb appeal. But the most important thing is always security.
Dog gates come in many materials. The most common you'll see are wood, metal, and vinyl. Of the three, vinyl is the weakest. However, it's more durable than most would expect.
If you have a small or medium-sized dog, vinyl may offer the right amount of protection you need.
Wood and metal are your top choices if ultimate durability is your priority. Obviously, metal trumps wood in most regards. It holds up well to pretty much anything and will likely outlive a wooden porch.
However, wood is just fine if you treat it well. Plus, it complements the look of your porch!
Finally, we can't forget about the overall size. In terms of height, most models aim to be around waist-tall. Of course, there are taller models out there for those who have jumbo-sized breeds.
It's important to think about the width of the stair opening. Code requirements vary from one jurisdiction to the next, but most will be at least 36 inches wide.
Take some measurements before you start shopping! Sizing is crucial to the gate's overall efficiency, so it's better to be exact than make estimates.
Installing an outdoor dog gate is a simple change that can make a huge difference. It provides that little extra peace of mind you need to be confident about outdoor time with your pooch. Gates are a true game-changer that can do a lot to keep your pup safe.