Best Fences for Pets
Most families have pets of some sort, and their needs must be taken into account, not just in terms of food and water, but also the environment in which they live. Dogs, in particular, need space to run, walk and play, and a place to do their business.
While taking dogs for regular walks will generally keep them exercised and happy, a well-designed yard with a fenced-in area is a more permanent, viable option. Not only will a fence keep your dogs safely inside your yard, it will also keep other people’s dogs out. Sensitively planned, the best fences for pets can double for security, and add to any landscaping scheme.
Cats should also be contained, primarily to keep them safe from passing traffic and dogs that might attack them, or even other people’s cats that might fight with them.
So how do you plan the best fences for pets?
Planning the Best Fences for Dogs and Cats
The most important elements of fences erected to confine animals to a yard or section of a yard, range from choosing the suitable materials to determining a suitable height. Design is also vital since dogs generally waste little time in digging under fencing, irrespective of what it’s made of. And of course both materials and design will also have a direct influence on aesthetics and what the fence looks like.
Materials that make the best fences for pets include chain link, metal, wood and vinyl.
While chain link is the cheapest option, unless covered with climbers or creepers, it will be open visually, which can lead to dogs barking when people and other animals walk past the property. This may not be a problem if just a section of your yard is to be fenced. Ironically, it might also be an advantage in terms of security, especially if your dogs are large and look menacing to potential burglars! Another advantage of chain link fencing is the fact that neither cats nor dogs can climb it, which is why many professional kennels choose this option. It must though be anchored in the ground to prevent – or at least deter – digging.
Vinyl is usually the most expensive option, but it provides a good, solid barrier that will generally keep cats and dogs contained. Some designs might enable agile cats to scale and jump a vinyl fence, especially those with rails and crosspieces (see below).
Wooden fences are extremely versatile and available in many different designs. Advantages and disadvantages are similar to those of vinyl fences.
When considering the design of fences required to keep your pets inside your property, there are four primary issues:
- While the size of your dogs will determine how high the best fences for pets should be, a good rule of thumb is about 6 feet or 1.8 meters. Even some of the smaller breeds are good jumpers, which can be very frustrating for pet owners. Check with your local authority to ascertain how high you can go without formal plans.
- Spacing of elements. Post-and-rail, split-rail, and other similar designs are intended to have an open effect, but this openness will generally allow pets to come and go at will. One solution is to attach some type of material (for example chicken wire) on the inside to prevent access through the fence to the outside.
- Cross pieces. Post-and-rail and picket fences are constructed using crosspieces in the form of rails that can often be used rather like a stepladder. This shouldn’t be a problem for dogs, but they will enable cats (and children) to gain a foothold and possibly climb over.
- Prevention of digging. To guard against digging, sink the bottom of the fence a few inches. Alternatively fill a narrow trench along the bottom of the fence with concrete; they won’t be able to dig out of that!
FenceWorks of Georgia offers a range of fence types that make the best fences for dogs and other pets. Whether you want a custom-designed fence, standard chain link design, or a pretty picket fence, we’ll assess your needs and ensure we quote on a design that will work for you, your family, and your pets.