Nowadays, stair and safety gates are a part of practically every household in which children live. But when dogs or other large house pets belong to the family, then extra precautions should be taken. In order to keep pets out of the kitchen, child’s bedroom, or a certain storey without having to lock them in, pet gates can be attached. These look similar to normal safety gates but are much higher, as this prevents pets from simply jumping over them.
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Harmony Between Child and Dog
Children love having a pet of their own. Especially dogs are popular with most children. As classic pack animals, dogs are the perfect family pet. Children who have a dog can learn important values such as compassion, responsibility and closeness to nature. The condition for a harmonious coexistence between dog and children is that some important rules are observed.
This includes above all: A baby or toddler should never be left unsupervised with a dog. The communication between dog and small children does not yet function smoothly and requires adult supervision at all times. Pet gates are the ideal solution to this issue.
Clear Rules, Clear Boundaries
As pack animal, the dog is used to living as part of a group. The dog knows to follow the rules and respect its position within the group. But when a new pack member arrives, and that's what the new baby is in the dog's eyes, new rules become necessary and obeying them has to be practiced first. To make it clear that the dog is lower in rank than the child, a pet gate is an important accessory and offers protection for both child and dog.
- Safety for the Child
- No dog breed is by nature good with children or aggressive. Most behaviour patterns are due to education. Correspondingly, a dog has to learn how to behave towards a child. This learning process has to be actively accompanied by an adult, primarily the parents.
- Safe Spaces For The Dog
- On the other hand, the dog also needs to be protected from the sometimes rough advances of a toddler. Small children love cuddling, grabbing and sometimes prodding or poking at everything they like. Other children, particularly when they can already walk, suddenly have the idea of abusing the loved pet as a horse which can damage the dog's spine. So: A pet gate is also protection for the dog. It makes sure the dog can eat or sleep in peace. And the child learns to treat the dog with respect.
Fundamentally, you need to consider that a dog has to suddenly share the attention and affection as soon as the baby is born. To a certain extent, the baby is competition for the dog. And even if the dog does not see the baby as competition, but wants to protect the little pack member, this behaviour could also lead to injuries for the human child. Dog behaviour that would be perfectly appropriate and harmless to a puppy could be dangerous for a baby.
So the rule is: Never leave baby/toddler and dog alone together in the same room. A pet gate ensures that the dog cannot enter the nursery when unsupervised or that the child cannot simply crawl out of the room and approach the dog.
What to Watch Out For When Buying
As with all protective gates, there are some pet gates that attach via screws and some that can be clamped into place. Clamp-fit gates are better for rented property, as they can be removed without leaving traces. Plus you should make sure that the pet gate is tall enough to keep the dog from jumping over. Sure: A large dog can jump over even a pet gate that's one metre high, but at least the gate still presents an obstacle and makes it clear that the dog is not supposed to go beyond it. A well trained dog will respect this boundary.
Important: When To Buy?
In terms of when to buy, there is a significant difference to stair gates: While stair gates are only needed once the child is on the move, a pet gate should be part of your baby essentials. The pet gate should be in place and ready for when your baby comes home.