Protecting Walls From Gates
November 21, 2020 12:05 PM   Subscribe

I need to block off part of my apartment from my dog. A pet/baby gate seems the obvious solution but I'm really concerned with it messing up my walls and then I'll lose out on part of my security deposit. My apartment has textured walls, so it's not as easy to repair damage.

The space I need to block off is either 35'' or 37'' (two options for placement). I would also consider alternative gating solutions, if only I knew what they were. I'm not concerned with overall height or strength of any gating solutions - she isn't going to try to jump over or on anything of reasonable height.

*I've tried the training route and it just isn't working at this point. I need to try something else right now.
posted by Aranquis to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
oh, I just did this!

I used a gate with tensioning bars, and the I tightened the tensioning bars against the wall, but made a little cushioning pad to protect the walls.

I used this gate

and made cushions of two of these sticky felt pads stuck back to back with each other to make one thicker pad with no sticky sides.

and then my gate is just.. not that tightly pushed into the wall to boot (mine is to keep cats out of our laundry room where they inexplicably love pooping, and they don't ever actually try to jump it or anything, it's just a barrier.)

(the gate is nice, it's easy to open with one hand and looks reasonably classy, I do recommend it)
posted by euphoria066 at 12:22 PM on November 21, 2020 [4 favorites]

When we had to blockade our dog, we broke an exercise pen down into two- and three-panel segments and propped them up, with a slight bend at the hinges between panels, in the doorways we needed to block off. Any inexpensive exercise pen will work for this purpose. You may or may not need some bricks to brace the panels, depending on where you place the barrier.
posted by DrGail at 12:47 PM on November 21, 2020

My recommendation would be to use a "freestanding pet gate", or two if necessary. We use one around the front door, which is pretty much in the open and there's nowhere to attach a normal gate. Amazon has the best variety; your options will be very limited anywhere else.

My primary warning is that - at least for the shorter gates, which are sufficient to keep my 50lbish dogs from bolting out the door - is that you want to step over them. It seems like a good idea. It is not. So don't opt out of a taller one because you think "oh, a shorter one I can just step over". One out of every 25 or 50 times your toe is going to catch on the top and then the whole thing just...comes at you as you are falling facefirst onto the floor, like a weird hinged bear trap.

One day I'm finally going to ruin this one (I've already broken 2 of 5 panels off in these falls) and I'm going to spend the big bucks on a tall one with feet and ideally a pass-through door even though yes, you do occasionally trip on the bottom bar (we have two tensioned regular gates in other parts of the house, I trip on those slightly once every 200 crossings or so) or stub a toe but it's more stable so it's not so likely to just fold up with you in it.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:56 PM on November 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

Oh, and if there's a likelihood that one or both ends of the gate could rub a wall if you or the dog bump into the gate, use some upholstery foam to make bumpers on the ends. Pool noodle is handier but more likely to rub texture off a wall.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:59 PM on November 21, 2020

You can get textured wall spray for like $10 just FYI!
posted by aniola at 1:38 PM on November 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

We have both the tension and freestanding dog gates. For the tension, we use a little of the webbed shelf liner to protect the wall, and it works well (just moved and there was no damage to the walls where we removed the tension gate). I recommend a heavier freestanding gate also for non-door areas that need to be blocked off. I think this is the heavier one I have gate. It works well even without the feet for our 25 lb dog, but the feet will probably make it more stable.
posted by hellogoodbye at 3:58 PM on November 21, 2020

There are also any number of baby gate wall protectors out there that spread out the force of the baby gate tension.
posted by rockindata at 5:05 PM on November 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

Use a tension gate, hot glue or super glue a piece of sponge to the contact points that can cushion the tension against the textured wall
posted by wowenthusiast at 9:57 PM on November 21, 2020

I also used a tension gate and had no problems with the plaster. However, I had two dogs under 20 lbs each.
posted by tmdonahue at 5:30 AM on November 22, 2020

If you're *sure* your dog won't try to jump a gate, there's always the solution of 'just lean the gate across the space'. That's what we do, no problems ever, but our dog is scared of the gate itself, so there's no chance she'll try to knock it over or evade it. Worked for our previous dog as well (who was ALSO scared of them). But obviously, you know whether that would work for your dog!
posted by lysimache at 6:16 AM on November 22, 2020

I think the gate solutions already proposed will work, but for something that wouldn’t touch the walls at all, it might work to block the space with a custom-sized cardboard box (wide, tall, shallow) that has a few pounds of gravel in it. You could fit the top with a carrying handle to pivot it when you need to go through.
posted by lakeroon at 6:52 AM on November 22, 2020

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