We love our pets for many reasons. They are cuddly, friendly and loving furry babies that need to be kept healthy, happy and safe. As much as you'd love to have them around you sometimes, you may need to keep your dog or cat in a separate room or space temporarily.

Pet gates ensure that your dog is safe in a confined area. This may be convenient when you need to leave the house, keep your pet away from the children, separate your dog from other animals in the house, prevent the pet from running up the stairs, or temporarily give them a brake. Whatever your reason is, having this barrier ensures that your pet stays in the confined area unless he jumps over it.

Many pet gates on the market use mounting hardware or are pressure-mounted gates. Although you can remove these safety gates when needed, they lack the convenience of easy takedown and set up. In addition, you don't want a pet gate that will take up so much space in your house. For this reason, the best retractable gates have a low profile and literally disappear when open.

When looking for a retractable pet gate, there are many factors to bear in mind. However, considering the various types and models on the market, this simple task may be overwhelming. So, whether you are bringing home a new pet or want to ensure safety for your current one, these retractable gates below will help keep your dog and cat from accessing off-limits areas.

What Is A Retractable Pet Gate?

As the name suggests, a retractable safety gate sort of "disappears"(retracts) when open. Unlike the traditional swing gates, these types of pet and baby gates do not take up unnecessary space when not needed. Instead, these safety gates fold up to the side of the wall so that the area is open for use by the pets and other people in the house.

Retractable dog gates are easy to open and close, often with one-hand operation. This is super convenient, especially when juggling a small toddler or baby. They are also made of a semi-transparent mesh material that allows you to watch both children and pets. Additionally, retractable mesh safety gates are not cumbersome compared to wooden and plastic dog gates that require drilling into your walls and are tasking to navigate and use.

Benefits Of A Retractable Pet Gate

  1. Child Safety - For families, a retractable safety gate helps keep larger dogs away from the baby, especially when playing on the round. In turn, this helps to ensure the safety of both your child and pet.
  2. Dog Training - When training your new pet to behave when you leave the house, investing in a puppy gate ensures that they remain in one area of your house. Apart from providing extra protection, this also means your pet will not be venturing into unwanted spaces in the house.
  3. Stair Danger - If you have pets in your house, then you know how fascinating it is for them to run up and down the staircase. A retractable dog gate helps you keep track of your dog by preventing him from wandering up or down the stairs. Additionally, dog gates ensure that your pets do not fall off the stairs as they'll have to walk slowly when the gate is present.
  4. Obstacle-Free - A pet safety gate can be an obstacle for humans just as much as it is for pets. For this reason, you want to ensure you get a gate that is not cumbersome and difficult to use. This makes retractable pet and baby gates a better option compared to wooden or plastic alternatives.
  5. Keep Away From High Traffic Areas - The kitchen, for example, is a high-traffic area, especially when cooking with family. It is also a favourite spot for a carnivore, hence keeping this space separate from your pet.
  6. Keep Your Pet and Home Protected - Adjustable but not retractable pet gates require that you move the entire gate to get in. While doing so, this allows your pet to run off into the rest of the house. Additionally, stepping over such a gate can be a high-risk injury waiting to happen, not only for you but also for your pet, other family members and household items.
  7. Safe Space - The best retractable pet gate is one that's made of mesh material. This material is semi-transparent and also scratch-resistant. For this reason, it has a sturdy build and will last you and your pet a long time whilst keeping him safe. Additionally, mesh safety gates completely blocks your pet from attempting to leave the seclusion through small openings present on other gates. In turn, this keeps your pet safe by preventing pinching or cutting.

Below are our favourite retractable dog gates for indoor and outdoor use.

Are retractable pet gates the best?

Disclaimer: Some are labelled as great for babies - rest assured they are great for pets too!

1. Perma Child and Pet Retractable Gate

Perma Child Safety Indoor/Outdoor Retractable Baby Gate 33" Tall, Extends to 71" Wide, Gray
  • PRODUCT DETAILS: This Extra Wide Outdoor Retractable Gate extends up to 71" wide and is 33" tall and includes components for easy installation: screws, catch mounts, wall spacer shims for the baseboards, and installation guides
  • RETRACTABLE DESIGN: A versatile home safety solution, allowing easy use in high traffic areas without the trouble of disassembly and designed to adjust to any door width up to 71 inches
  • ONE HANDED OPERATION: The simple 2-step operation allows you to open and close while holding your child: 1. Push, twist and release button; 2. Pull the handle to extend the gate, when the handle is released, gate automatically locks the release mechanism. Self-Locking: No
  • CHILDREN & PETS: Built for functionality, the Indoor/Outdoor Retractable Gate works as both an infant gate and a pet gate to keep mischief contained by providing a safe, closed off environment to play. For pets from 10 to 40 pounds.
  • STANDARDS APPROVED: All gate lines are tested to the highest safety standards, meeting or exceeding both ASTM or EN standards. Each gate is certified and includes a 1 year limited warranty.

This Perma child and pet retractable gate is designed for indoor and outdoor use. This extra-wide gate fits 71" wide and 41" tall, making it perfect for containing a large dog. In addition, the easy one-hand operation allows you to free your pet while holding your baby or something else in your hand.

Apart from the easy installation, the material of this retractable gate is weatherproof to ensure that it withstands inclement weather outdoors. The mesh is durable, while the other fixtures are rustproof to last longer. In addition, the locking mechanism is dual-action to ensure that your puppy or dog cannot open the door.

  • Pros
  • Great for indoor and outdoor use
  • Fits wide spaces
  • Stylish
  • Pet-friendly dimensions
  • Budget-friendly
  • Cons
  • Not as durable as more expensive models

2. Carlson Lil Tuffy Dog Gate

Carlson Lil Tuffy Metal Expandable Gate White, 38 x 1 x 18
  • EXTRA WIDE: Expands to stairways and openings between 22-38 inches wide. Stands 18 inches tall. Pressure mount design that is quick to set up. No tools required and is gentle on walls
  • SMALL PET DOOR: Patented small pet door is 9 x 9 inches. Let’s small pets pass through, while keeping everyone else out. Includes locking feature.
  • ADJUSTABLE: Quick fit patented system is perfect for doorway, hallway and bottom of stair use. Gate can quickly be removed out of the opening for easy storage. No assembly required
  • DURABLE AND CONVENIENT: The all steel design is durable and convenient.
  • SAFETY: Includes safety-lock feature and non-toxic finishes.

The Carlson Lil Tuffy dog gate is perfect for puppies and small dogs. It is expandable, so you can use it as your furry baby grows up. In addition, it has a small pet gate that allows your pet to pass through and keeps everyone else out.

This dog gate has a locking feature that provides extra security for your pet. It perfectly fits your doorway, bottom of your staircase and hallway to keep your new baby and pet separated but safe. Additionally, the all-steel design and finish blends well with the style of your home. It is also non-toxic to keep your pet safe.

  • Pros
  • Expandable
  • Has a small pet gate
  • Stylish
  • Adjustable
  • Safety locking feature
  • Affordable
  • Cons
  • Not well suited for larger dogs

3. EasyBaby Extra Wide Retractable Baby and Pet Gate

EasyBaby Extra Wide Retractable Baby Gate, 33" Tall, Extends up to 71" Wide, White / Child Safety Baby Gates, Pet Retractable Gates for Stairs, Doorways, Hallways, Indoor and Outdoor
  • Indoor and Outdoor: Can be installed at top and bottom of stairways, doorways, hallways, indoor and outdoor use. includes components for easy installation: stainless steel screws, catch mounts, wall spacers and installation guide templates. must be fitted between rigid surfaces such as plasterboard, timber or hardwall.This retractable gate is hardware mounted gate, Drill a 2.5mm pilot hole for timber surface and for hardwall drill a 5mm hole for installation.
  • Product Size: This Extra Wide Retractable Gate Fits openings up to 71" wide and is 33" tall. can be adjusted to fit your openings according to your needs. Mesh can be completely retracted away when not in use.
  • One Handed Operation to Open and Close: Push and turn clockwise to unlock gate, grasp handle to pull and hook handle onto catches, push and turn counter-clockwise to lock gate.
  • Fits Your Purpose: Perfect solution for doorways and stairs locking the way for babies and pets needed to provide safety and security in the whole house. The stair gates is used for children and pets blocking off their way out or in.
  • Standard Approved: All gate lines are tested to the safety standards, meeting or exceeding both ASTM or EN standards.

This EasyBaby extra wide dog gate is another model that works well indoors and outdoors. It is large enough to fit wide spaces up to 71". Like other dog gates, it has a height of 33", which is adequate to contain excitable pets.

Another feature that we love about this dog gate is the one-handed operation. Opening and closing is made super easy by pushing and turning clockwise or anti-clockwise to unlock and lock the gate. In addition, this dog gate comes with extra wall spacers and mounting hardware so that you can use it in more than one area.

  • Pros
  • Indoor and outdoor use
  • Fits hallway, doorway and staircase
  • Has an in-built push and lock mechanism
  • Comes with additional mounting brackets
  • Affordable
  • Durable and weatherproof construction
  • Cons
  • Small dogs and puppies can fit underneath the gate
  • Not the most sturdy for large dogs

4. Babepai Retractable Baby Gate

Babepai Retractable Baby Gate Wide Safety Mesh Gate Easy to Roll and Latch for Stairways Doorways Hallways Patios Deck Banisters Flexible and Extensible Pets Gate Up to 54 inch Wide
  • 【Upgrade Design Safety Color Signal】Babepai retractable baby gates are specially designed with a bright color safety reminder mechanism to provide a safe space for your baby and pets. "RED" means unlock & release the mesh. "GREEN" means safe and locked the gate.
  • 【Retractable Design & One-Handed Operation】The retractable mesh gate extends up to 54" wide and 34" tall.It can be easily opened and closed with one hand even if the mother is holding the baby.If not needed roll it up in a second. Save time and space!
  • 【2 Sets of Installation Hardware】Package comes with 2 sets of installation hardware for backup ,or you can alternate usage at two different places.
  • 【Sturdy Mesh Baby Gate】The mesh baby gate designed by the strong and soft mesh to prevent your baby from any hurt when they accidentally bumped into the door.The package contains mounting accessories for drilling and installation, the retractable gate is more secure and safe, will not be easily pushed down and is durable.
  • 【Choices for Modern Families】The safety mesh gate compliments any home décor. This baby gate is designed to adjust to any doors and stairs, perfect for bottom of stairways, doorways, patios, hallways, deck, banisters, indoors and outdoors use.

This Babepai retractable pet safety gate ensures that your pet is confined and not wandering into off-limits areas. It is 54" wide, which is enough to fit narrow and wide spaces. Additionally, the 34" height prevents your dog from jumping over.

Similar to the Retract-A-Gate dog gate below, the transparent mesh comes in handy to keep tabs on what your pet is up to. The woven mesh is lightweight to allow light in and scratch-resistant to last longer in your home. In addition, the durable material ensures that you can leave the dog gate outside without worrying about damage.

Another interesting feature about this Babepai free-standing gate is the double-locking mechanism. This makes navigating and using this gate super easy. The one-hand operation is also convenient when carrying laundry or a toddler on the one hand.

  • Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Fits odd, narrow and wide spaces
  • Great for indoors and outdoors
  • Installs easily
  • Comes with extra installation hardware
  • Cons
  • Not suitable if your dog chews mesh

5. Retract-A-Gate 52" Retractable Baby, Dog, & Cat Gate

Retract-A-Gate 52" White by Smart Retract: Retractable Baby, Dog, & Cat Gate
  • Retract-A-Gate is the original, 100% USA-made retractable safety gate that can be installed at any angle. Whether you decide to block off a hallway, a staircase, a patio, or something else, Retract-A-Gate’s see-through mesh allows you to always know what’s happening on the other side of the gate.
  • Retract-A-Gate is certified for up to 200 pounds of push out force and for top and bottom stair use by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA). Wherever Retract-A-Gate is installed, it will keep your little ones safe.
  • Retract-A-Gate has smooth, one-handed operation and is quiet when opening and closing. The gate extends out to 52” and the durable mesh is 34” tall. The mesh fabric is easily locked in place with Retract-A-Gate’s childproof lock. Retract-A-Gate is composed of environmentally friendly and safe materials—no toxic materials are ever used in the gate or the manufacturing process.
  • Retract-A-Gate is certified for both indoor and outdoor use. It has been extensively tested in wet, rainy seasons and hot, dry summers. To top it all off, Retract-A-Gate has undergone exposure testing during a full northern winter with flawless results.
  • To install Retract-A-Gate, use the included screws to mount the brackets to your wall or post at 3-4 inches and 30.5 inches from the floor. The brackets require a level surface that is 2.5 inches wide and 1.25 inches tall. Full installation instructions are found in the User’s Guide.

This Retract-A-Gate safety gate is a favourite for many pet owners. It has 52 inches and 72 inches width capacity, making it perfect for narrow and extra-wide spaces. The transparent mesh allows you to see what is happening on the other side of the gate. In addition, it allows light to pass through and keeps your house light and airy.

The Retract-A-Gate mesh is scratch-resistant, so you know that it is safe from all the dog scratching. The sturdy material also ensures that it will last long to create a safe space for your dog. Another exciting feature is that the mesh is washable. This means that you can easily get rid of the furballs and grease with just mild soap and water.

This Retract-A-Gate safety gate is made from environmentally friendly materials to keep your pets safe and healthy. This ensures that you're not exposing yourself and your pet to toxic materials.

  • Pros
  • Fits wide and narrow spaces
  • Uses one hand operation for easy opening
  • Fits the stairs, patio, hallway and doorway
  • Perfect height dog gate
  • Opens quietly
  • Installs easily
  • JPMA certified
  • Cons
  • Expensive compared to other models
  • Some pets can crawl underneath the gate

How Do You Choose the Best Retractable Pet Gate?

a). Width

Retractable safety gates easily adjust to various spaces. However, ensure that the model you want is narrow or wide enough to fit the space you would like to fit. In addition, if you have a narrow space, a retractable pet gate easily rolls up to one side of the wall to free up the area when not in use. Again, however, ensure you pay more attention to the fittings and wall spacers to ensure that they work for your space.

b). Height

The main role of a safety gate is to keep your pet protected and away from high traffic areas in the house. For this reason, you want to ensure that your gate is tall enough to prevent your dog from jumping over and wandering off. For example, a taller gate is more compatible with larger dogs, whereas a smaller puppy gate will be convenient for small dogs.

c). Portability

Portability is another feature worth considering. For instance, if you wish to use your retractable pet gate in various areas in your house, it would be better to opt for a portable option. Of course, portable safety gates are also great for indoor and outdoor use. However, portability shouldn't be an issue, say if you're only using the gate to block the stairs in your home.

d). JPMA Approval

From our review, you will notice that the safety gates have JPMA approval. This is because these pet and baby gates need safety approval before hitting the market. In addition, this certification confirms a sturdy construction and if it's good for toddlers and babies, rest assured it is safe for your pets.

e). Opening Mechanism

Lastly, ensure to consider the opening mechanism. Lastly, ensure to consider the opening mechanism. The last thing any pet parent wants is their pet running off to the rest of the house as you try to navigate the gate opening. For this reason, dog gates that support one-hand operation are the best. This means that you can get through the door even if your other hand is tied up. Therefore go for an opening mechanism that is not easy for your pet to open, not too hard for you, not too loud and one that suits your strength and daily life.

f). Style

Although it is not a big factor, you may want to consider the style of the retractable pet gate. A sturdy and stylish gate will be a great addition to your home. However, considering that the retractable gate will be folded when not in use, you may get away with a simple but functional model.


Keeping your pet healthy and safe is the number one responsibility of any pet parent. For this reason, dog gates are essential to keep your pet from high-traffic areas and prospective accident areas like the stairs. This way, you can ensure your pet's safety and that of your children by keeping them separated when need be. Additionally, retractable dog gates offer convenience and do not take up extra space in your home.

                                                                                              Image Source: welovedoodles.com

About the Author Tom Brewer

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