If you have outdoor animals, your concerns about your pets' safety (as well as local laws) often require you to keep your pets secured -- either on a leash or behind a fence. But what type of fence provides the best protection at the best price? Read on to learn more about some of the most common fencing options for homes with outdoor pets.
The wooden fence is a classic -- available in a variety of panel sizes and finishes, it can be designed to match any theme or decor. However, these fences have specific advantages and disadvantages when it comes to corralling pets.
- These fences provide visual privacy, which can help keep a nervous dog from barking at every stray leaf or passerby.
- These fences are visually appealing, and certain types (such as cedar) are pest-resistant.
- Depending upon the type of material, wooden fencing can be more expensive than other types of fencing. The average cost per 25 linear feet of fencing is around $400 to $600.
- If you have a dog who likes to dig or a cat who likes to climb, your fence may be easily damaged by claw or bite marks.
PVC fences have a similar appearance to wooden fences, but are made of a durable, weather-treated plastic.
- When PVC anchoring posts are used, these fences are more durable and less prone to rotting than traditional wooden fences.
- PVC fences come in a variety of colors and don't need paint.
- Like wooden fencing, these fences can be expensive -- around $600 to $700 per 25 linear feet.
- Because PVC fences generally come in large sections or panels -- rather than individual pickets -- it is more difficult and costly to repair small damaged areas than it is to repair similar damage to a wooden fence.
Chain link fence
A mainstay in many areas, chain link fences are a simple and inexpensive way to ensure pets stay in your yard and pests and predators stay out.
- These fences are among the least expensive available -- around $400 to $550 per 25 linear feet.
- Chain link fences are very durable, and can be rust-proofed to last for decades.
- These fences are among the least aesthetically-appealing, and some homeowners associations (HOAs) may prohibit them in favor of solid wood or PVC fencing.
- Most chain link fences are lower than other types of fences, so that if you have a high-jumping dog, he or she may be able to escape the confines of your fence.
Underground electric fence
One of the only fences geared specifically toward pets, an "invisible" fence is installed underground, around the perimeter of your lawn. An electronic collar receives wireless signals from the fence, and your pet will receive a small, harmless electric shock if he or she breaches the fence.
- These fences are relatively inexpensive to install and maintain -- between $300 and $900 for 600 linear feet (or about a quarter-acre lot). Their price per linear foot is substantially less than even the most inexpensive chain link or wooden fences.
- Because the wireless fence is invisible, you don't need to worry about painting, patching holes, or any of the other typical maintenance associated with fencing.
- Although these fences are useful in keeping pets contained, they do nothing to keep predators out -- you'll still need to keep an eye on your pets to ensure their safety from coyotes, hawks, neighborhood dogs, and other animals.
- Some determined pets may decide that the brief electric shock is a worthwhile cost to pay for freedom, and will train themselves to run right through the fence. Also, if the collar batteries die, your pet will have nothing containing him or her to your yard.
For more information about fence installation, contact a professional fencing company.