4 Tips for Selecting a Pet Fence

Photograph of black labrador retriever and a wood fence.

When selecting a fence for containing pets, there are a few factors to remember regarding their safety. Before you contact a local installer or purchase materials for construction, consider the following:

    1. Solid Wood or Vinyl Fence: This type of fence provides visual seclusion and prevents pets from seeing distractions outside the yard. Distractions consist of everything from pedestrians to wildlife. The tautly packed pickets in solid fencing also help prevent animals from sticking their heads through gaps and potentially getting stuck or injured.
    2. Chain Link Fence with Privacy Slats: If you prefer a fence that allows visibility while still keeping your pets contained, consider a chain link fence with privacy slats. These slats can be inserted into the chain link mesh to create a solid barrier that prevents pets from escaping. At the same time, you have views to the other side and ventilation.
    3. Pet Enclosure or Dog Run: If you have a smaller yard or want to provide a dedicated space for your pets to play, a pet enclosure or dog run can be a good option. These are typically made of sturdy materials such as chain link panels and provide a secure space for your pets to roam freely. In many cases, kennels use fence panels to divide spaces for, say, playtime.
    4. Why you shouldn't use an electronic fence: An invisible or electronic fence consists of an underground wire and a collar worn by your pet. When your pet approaches the boundary, they receive a warning tone or mild electric stimulation. This type of fence is useful when physical fences are not allowed or desired, but it requires proper training for your pet to understand the boundaries. Furthermore, many pets learn they can reach freedom after taking a simple jolt, and are more than willing to do so. And they become decidedly less willing to take the jolt again to get back in the yard; meaning it's incumbent upon you to go out and get them.

So while electronic fences might seem like a good alternative to a physical fence, there are in fact disadvantages. Regardless of the type of fence you choose, it's essential to ensure that the fence is tall enough to prevent your pets from jumping over or digging under it. Regularly inspect the fence for any gaps, holes, or weak spots that your pets could exploit. Additionally, always supervise your pets when they are outside to prevent any accidents or escapes.