Nearly every community in the U.S. requires animals (with the exception of cats) to be kept in their own yard. An escaped animal can be picked up by your town’s animal control and you may pay a hefty fine to get him back. Traditional chain link fences work well for many pet owners but there are more options out there—even for cats. Here are top clever ways to keep your pets confined to your yard.
Using a Wireless or Electric Fence
If you want to keep your dog fenced in, but don’t like the looks of traditional chain link fences, then consider an electric fence. You can get wireless kits, including a correction collar, for about $300. These wireless units keep your dog inside a circular area up to a half acre from where the base unit is installed. If your dog ventures beyond the circular area, he’ll get a correction in the form of a light shock. Your dog will quickly learn to respect his boundaries!
If you need to enclose more space or a circular area doesn’t work for you, then you might want to invest in a wired system such as from Invisible Fence. These systems are much more expensive (although often cheaper than a traditional chain link fence for a large area) and they require professional installation of the wire and the base unit. However, these fences can be used over several acres of land and offer a lot of flexibility such as the ability to enclose subsets of your yard, such as a vegetable garden, from your pet. And, they can even be used with cats!
Keeping Your Dog from Escaping the Fence
If you have a traditional chain link fence, but your dog jumps or climbs over it or tunnels underneath it, there are things you can do.
* Extend the height of your existing fence. You can buy inexpensive kits at any local hardware store.
* Nail some sheets of chicken wire or some clear plastic sheeting to the yard side of your fence to prevent your dog from climbing it.
* Place an obstruction, such as a line of plants or another smaller fence, a couple of feet in front of the existing fence. This prevents your dog from getting a “run up” to the perimeter fence and therefore takes away his momentum.
* Block all holes in your fence. Be sure to fill in any gaps that may be squeezed through or used as a foothold to aid an escape.
* If your dog tunnels under, use chain link fence anchors at regular intervals to keep the chain link fence secured to the ground.
* Lay sheets of chicken wire down around the perimeter of your fence. Many dogs hate the feeling of wire under foot and will not jump up from it or walk on it to tunnel under.
Keeping Your Cat in Your Yard
Although it might sound impossible, there are actually ways that you can keep your cat in your yard, short of purchasing an electric fence.
* Extend netting across the top of your current fence to create a “roof” that prevents your cat from jumping over the fence. You can use PVC pipe to raise the height of your fence to keep the roofed area people friendly as well.
* Create a cat enclosure, much like a chicken coop. These can be free standing or can be attached to an existing structure such as your house, a garage or a shed.
* Purchase plastic spiked fence capping, such as Prikastrip, and fit it on top of fences, shed roofs etc. These caps are designed to maximize discomfort without harming your cat.