Keeping your pooch safe and contained is a must for many pet owners, but this doesn't mean you must sacrifice beauty in your yard. The type of fence that's right for you and your pet depends on several factors including cost, neighborhood rules and the size of your dog.
To help determine what kind of fence is right for you, start by identifying your dog's traits. Does he jump, meaning you need a high fence, or dig, which requires the fence to extend underground? If he tends to snap at strangers, a solid fence is better than one with spaces that could allow his nose to poke out or neighborhood kids to reach in to pet him. Also, check your homeowner's association covenant to make sure your fence of choice meets the guidelines.
Beautiful fences often come with a high cost in tow, but think of it as making a long-term investment in your home. Wrought-iron fences come in a variety of styles, but they work best for bigger dogs. Smaller ones might be able to wriggle through or under the fence. Don't rule out wood for your fence; solid fences designed in a shadow pattern or with decorative latticework on top can bring an interesting element to your yard while protecting your furry friend.
While wood is a durable option, it can split or chip as it ages -- although it lasts many years -- and it's susceptible to dogs that chew. For a wood look with extra durability, opt for a PVC plastic fence, which comes in large panels for easy installation. A brick fence, or masonry wall, lasts for decades and can't be destroyed by your pet. If your dog is a digger, create a trench for the fence so the brick extends several inches below the ground's surface. These are available in different heights, colors and styles.
If cost is your main concern, install a chain-link fence. The chain link comes in a variety of heights to contain the smallest and largest of dogs, and you can bury the bottom of the chain link slightly to help prevent digging. Kids can stick their hands through the holes to pet the dog, so if your dog needs more privacy, try covering the fence with a landscaping fabric or planting climbing vines that you can train up and through the fence. A basic wood fence without fancy posts or designs is also an affordable option.
- animal in captivity image by Ferencz Teglas from Fotolia.com