Best Stair Gate For Pet Owners
Bettacare Child and Pet Gate review
Bettacare has the market cornered when it comes to pet gates. This sleek child and pet model should keep your toddler safe and your pet contained, all without breaking the bank.
- Extra height makes the gate suitable for all sizes and breeds of dog
- Pressure-fittings (ideal for rental properties); screw-fit option adds extra security for larger pets
- Matte black model makes dirt and smudges almost invisible
- Bettacare sells extensions separately and also bundled in the box for easier installation
- When installed in doorways, the top of the gate may be the same height as the door handle, making it impossible to close the door
- The height of the frame means the gate wobbles more than shorter, stockier equivalents
- No videos or instructions available online
What are the key features of the Bettacare Child and Pet Gate?
- Extra-tall, pressure-fitted metal gate, suitable for doorways, the bottom of stairs, and also the top of stairs (when using extra screws)
- Can be used with spindle banisters when Bettacare Y-Spindle pack is added (sold separately)
- Minimum width: 75cm; maximum width: 82.6cm. With extensions, can extend to 145cm (extensions sold separately)
- Conforms to safety directive EN 1930: 2011
- 12-month guarantee
How big is the Bettacare Child and Pet Gate?
Dimensions: 4.5cm (D) x 74cm (W) x 104cm (H)
Weight: 7kg weight
The Bettacare Child and Pet Gate is an elegant-looking, tall and reasonably solid gate that keeps toddlers and even the largest dogs where you want them to be.
It’s suitable for doorways and the top and bottom of stairs, as well on staircases with spindle banisters when a Y-spindle pack is bought separately.
The smart, matte black finish is impervious to fingerprints (and pawprints) and is likely to appeal to families with pets and toddlers. When it comes to installation, Bettacare has done much of the hard work for you, offering the standard gate as well as gates pre-packed with the correct extensions for your doorway.
There’s also a slightly more expensive version with a built-in cat flap, for even more flexibility (fear not; the flap is not baby-sized).
How easy is the Child and Pet stair gate to assemble?
What Bettacare lacks in technological impact (modern website and installation videos are not the name of the game here), it makes up for in thoughtful
The instruction manual, for example, is only four A4 black and white pages but it’s very thorough. A mixture of text, diagrams and tables will likely answer any questions you may have on assembly, usage, maintenance and extensions. Should you come unstuck, the Bettacare team is on hand to talk you through any installation head-scratchers.
Bettacare makes the extension-purchasing process much easier than other companies. You simply buy the gate at the correct width and the extension arrives in the box. On most other sites, you need to order the extension separately and have to just pray you’ve got your measurements right.
It took our tester less than 15 minutes to assemble the standard-width gate. If you don’t want to screw the gate onto the wall, then simply stick the wall cups on the wall and tighten the spindles using the hand-wheel on each one. You won’t even need a spanner. If you have a particularly large breed of dog, however, we’d recommend screwing in the wall cups as a precaution (the screws are provided in the box).
How does the Child and Pet stair gate work?
Once in place, the height of the gate takes a little getting used to, but the apparatus is straightforward enough. To open, you slide the top button back and squeeze the bottom button. To close, move the gate back into position, and slide the top button to release the latch. The mechanism is smooth and well-oiled, easy to do one-handed, though that slide-and-squeeze motion doesn’t quite feel natural initially, rather like rubbing your stomach and patting your head at the same time. It took a couple of days for our tester to get used to it. An older child (seven years old) got the knack with some practice, but a younger child (four to six years) might not be tall enough to get the leverage needed: something you might want to bear in mind if your toddler has siblings.
While the height (104cm) might be a bit problematic for children, it’s perfect for animals. It makes for an extra-secure barrier that even larger breeds won’t be able to jump over or nudge open. Just be aware that on some doors, the gate might be the exact height of the handle, making it impossible to close the door all the way. We definitely advise getting the tape measure out before adding this item to your shopping basket.
Is the Child and Pet stair gate safe?
The Child and Pet is a sturdy gate without any detachable pieces. The bottom corner of the gate has been covered with black plastic fittings, so you don’t need to worry about catching a bare foot. Keep an eye on the bottom bar, though, as it’s slightly taller and narrower than the industry average (4×1.5cm). It’s safe to fit this gate at the top of the stairs when the wall cups are screwed in, but if you do, take extra care not to trip on your way down.
The gate was placed in a heavy-traffic area and opened and closed more than 50 times a day, by adults and older children during the testing period. Our tester also ‘borrowed’ a friend’s energetic Cairn terrier, who pitted her wits against the gate without success. At the end of that time, the gate itself could be moved a centimetre out of place in either direction when shaken by an adult – most likely because the extra height makes it more flexible – but the frame itself stuck very firmly to the wall, even when it was just secured with sticky pads. Because of that small gate wobble, though, we’d recommend screwing in the cups as an extra safety measure if you have a large or enthusiastic dog – or even a large and enthusiastic child.
Somewhat surprisingly, the hinge at the top of the gate isn’t covered with protective plastic. While it is out of reach for little children, older siblings might get a small pinch if a finger is put in the hinge while opening the gate. (There aren’t any gaps around the rest of the gate that could injure hands or paws.)
How easy is the Child and Pet Gate to clean?
We tested the gate in its brand-new matte black finish, which proved to be a definite advantage: it’s a sophisticated look that doesn’t show any visible smudges or fingerprints even after repeated use with three children, two adults and a Cairn terrier.
The stair gate is a little too unwieldy to remove fully if you want to vacuum. But the straight edges mean you can whizz a vacuum around it. No stress.
Mud, baby food and blackcurrant juice can all easily be wiped off the stair gate, though they weren’t especially visible to begin with, which is a great advantage.
Is the Bettacare Child and Pete Gate good value for money?
At £34.95 for the standard gate (and £39.95 for the version with the built-in cat flap), this Bettacare model is brilliantly affordable and durable.
Not all stair gates work for toddlers and pets together, but this one – tall, stylish and gratifyingly solid – should suit every member of the family.
Available from the Bettacare website and Amazon.
Extensions of 6.4cm (£8.95), 12.9cm (£9.95) and 32.4cm (£15.95) available for purchase separately or bundled together with the gate.
Y-Spindle pack: £5.95 for two
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