A sliding gate can make an attractive entrance to your property, but if you have a dog, you need to ensure your sliding gates are safe for him. Whilst picking out your gate, there are several elements you should consider. Take a look at these ideas:
1. Make sure your dog cannot escape through the gate.
If you want to prevent your dog from running off, you need to make sure that he cannot slip through the slats of the gate and that there are no gaps between the edge of the gate and the fence that would allow him to slip through. If you have a very tiny pup, you may want to consider a sliding gate that is solid rather than a slatted one with openings.
Similarly, you may want to talk with a gate salesperson about adding a bit of flexible rubber to the base of the gate. That bridges the gap between the bottom of the gate and the ground, but because it's flexible, it doesn't prevent the gate from opening. In contrast, the gate itself cannot stretch all the way to the ground because the resulting friction would make it hard to open the gate.
2. Take jumping into account.
It's also important to take your dog's jumping abilities into account. Obviously, you need a gate that is too high for him to jump. To be on the safe side, also try to avoid features such as decorative spear finials on the top of your gate unless you are absolutely sure that your dog cannot jump the gate. If he tries and you have sharp embellishments, he may become impaled.
3. Look for an audible signal while opening.
To further protect your dog, look for a sliding gate that makes an audible signal when it opens. That way, if the gate opens and your dog is playing in that area, he will be alerted that the gate is opening. If you really want your dog to stay away whilst the gate is in motion, consider adding flashing lights or other signals as well.
4. Insist that the operating mechanisms are covered.
Ideally, you want all of the operating mechanisms of the gate covered as well. For example, encased hinges prevent your dog from getting his paws caught in the hinges. Similarly, if there are motorised elements, having them covered protects them from the caustic side effects of dog urine.