Like most pet owners, you’re probably serious about the safety of your dog or cat. After all, there’s hardly any worse feeling than realizing your furry friend may have escaped. Fortunately, there are a variety of fencing options to put pet owners at ease — and a myriad of materials, styles and price points to choose from. Here are six of the most popular.
1. Aluminum and Steel
Both aluminum and steel fencing are extremely strong. Aluminum is just as durable as steel, but it’s not quite as stiff. These materials are long lasting and come in several different styles. While they are aesthetically pleasing for modern homes, they aren’t the best fences for small dogs. Pet owners should only install this type of fence if they have big dogs who can’t get through the divides between the bars because of their bulk. The cost to install an aluminum or steel fence averages between $3,000 and $4,200, depending on square footage.
2. Chain Link
If you don’t mind the look, chain link fences are among the most cost-effective options on the market. While they may not provide a great deal of privacy or aesthetic value, chain link systems are strong, durable and cheap. Look for chain link fences with thicker galvanizations as they are stronger and more resistant to corrosion. These fences will keep even the biggest and strongest dogs contained. However, depending on the height of the chain link fence, these might not be the best for dogs that can jump great heights. Be sure to have a chain link fence installed that’s at least 6 feet tall to keep your jumpers and taller dogs fenced in.
Vinyl is a popular option among pet owners because it is durable, versatile and low maintenance. Vinyl works with many different home architectural styles, and it will provide reliable shelter for more than 10 years. Installation costs are the same as wood fencing — about $4,200 on average — but vinyl requires far less aftercare. Vinyl fences come in white, light tan and dark tan. Avoid lower grade vinyl, as it is susceptible to deterioration from UV exposure as well as extreme heat and cold. These fences come in a wide variety of heights and can handle any type of dog. What you need to be aware of is their depth—vinyl fences aren’t installed very deeply into the ground. So if you have a dog that digs, they can potentially dig underneath the vinyl fence and get through it. You might install bricks underneath the fence to prevent them from getting through or train them not to dig.
Wood fencing is great for pet owners who appreciate a natural, classic look. These fences are extremely versatile and come in just about any style or design you could think of. Wood is also popular because it’s fairly inexpensive. The sturdiness of a wood fence will depend on the type of posts and lumber used, as well as proper waterproofing and maintenance. The main drawback of wood is that it is vulnerable to pests and rotting; it needs regular upkeep. It’s also susceptible to stronger, taller dogs with a lot of heavy weight. While it needs a lot of weight consistently pressed upon it to break, these types of fences are probably best for small to medium-sized dogs.
5. Wrought Iron
While there are genuine wrought iron fences on the market, traditional models are much more expensive than their modern counterparts. Today’s iron fences are generally made with flexible steel. They are highly durable and can work with a variety of architectural home styles. Be aware that they may not be the best option for larger dogs, as most types are no taller than six feet. This allows them to easily jump over the fence and get through. Wrought iron also has space in between the bars for thin dogs to get through, so keep that in mind when having it installed.