We love our pets: we love them for their individuality; we love them for their freedom. But these charming animal spirits aren’t such great news when you’re watching a much-loved family companion charging off towards a busy road. This is where pet fencing comes in.
Being a responsible pet owner means keeping your animals safe from intruders (animal and human) and in a space where you can control them.
Pet fencing is a priceless investment for those with an animal in and around the house. So whether you want dog, pig, or even goat fencing ideas, this guide should answer any questions.
Pet fencing form and function
Pets come in all shapes and sizes. Guinea pig fencing isn’t going to be much good if you’ve got a lively Rottweiler to contain.
Some of your domestic companions will need to be fenced in for their own safety. Chickens will wander if given the chance, but chicken fencing is as much about keeping predators out than keeping chickens in.
The good news is that AVS Fencing has a wide range of fencing that’s suitable for everything ranging from a back garden rabbit hutch to a small-holding goat enclosure.
The key questions you need to ask as you make your pet fencing choices are: what does this fence need to do? And how big, strong, and mobile is the creature I am trying to keep in and out?
Let’s take a look through some common family friends.
Canine containment is the most common of all pet fencing purposes.
Size, strength, and bounciness are everything when it comes to keeping a dog in a garden.
Large dogs can be kept in with fairly standard fencing. Panel fencing and close-boarded fencing are both strong and good looking. Height will depend on the breed of dog you have, but 6 feet is high enough for most breeds.
Palisade or picket fencing can provide enough height for some dogs: if your dog is small, then you can fill in with chain link wire to provide a suitable barrier.
However, plain wood barriers are very effective and block off the view above. Depending on the temperament of your furry friend, an open invitation to try to interact with the wider world may be the last thing you need.
Chain link wire can be used as a dog fence, but it is not suitable for every breed – some dogs are accomplished climbers, and chain link fence will look more like a playground than a barrier to them.
You should also be aware of your dog’s strength. Some dogs will attack wooden fences, and can damage or destroy them during the process. A concrete gravel board will protect the vulnerable base of your fence, whereas a buried chain link will help deter burrowing and/or digging.
Fences are a must when you have a dog, but the best way to keep them close to home is to keep him or her happy and engaged.
Farmers and gardeners are desperate to keep them out, but if you’ve got kids with a long-eared friend, you’ll need to keep them in.
Rabbits are small and flexible, so you need a relatively small gap to keep them out. And all that vegetable chewing gives them strong teeth, so rabbit netting (also called weld mesh because it’s welded at each joint) is the best bet.
Chain link chicken wire is also an economical option and is often used on rabbit hutches and houses, but you should be aware that – in time – rabbits will probably get through it.
Rabbits are famous for their digging prowess, and they will, no doubt, try to get under fencing. Bury the bottom of any wire that is directly containing these little excavators.
Similar materials are also perfect for guinea pigs, who may live both inside and out. Check the size of any mesh openings against the creatures you are charged with safe-guarding before you go ahead and buy wire. Animals will try to get through holes that they can’t quite manage, and if they make a mistake, they can injure themselves.
If you’re using fencing to build a home for your smaller pets, then do remember to take steps to protect their welfare with shelter, privacy and nesting space: an animal should never be simply fenced in.
Thankfully, chicken fencing is a simple business. Chicken wire is designed for the job and it does it very well.
The key things to remember here are height and mesh size.
Chickens aren’t strong or determined fence destroyers, but even with clipped wings they can sometimes muster a short flight, so you need to have a vertical that is beyond their capabilities. If you have bantams or other dwarf breeds, you should check that the mesh is small enough to keep them in.
Much of the job of chicken fencing is to keep predators out – in this country, that mostly means foxes. Badgers love eggs, though, and birds of prey can make opportunistic attacks, particularly on young birds. Foxes can climb, and both foxes and badgers can dig, so bury your wire at least a foot deep and fold it outwards. A roofed enclosure is the safest option, but if you can’t manage that, then slope the walls out to make it a harder climb.
At pig-sized, you are starting to get into the realms of commercial livestock, and you can certainly use livestock fencing in your garden – it is fantastic value and is specifically designed to do the job of keeping animals in and out.
Their chief method of mischief is via their snuffling snout – which can dig under fences – so consider reinforcing or burying wire at ground level.
You can also use electric fencing to keep pigs in place. There is a small cost to running such fencing (tiny, in fact), and there is always the risk of a power outage rendering it useless. However, it is extremely easy to use, particularly over large areas, and has the least visual impact of any pet fencing available.
Goat and sheep fencing
Goats are best kept in with stock fencing designed for their relative: the sheep.
It needs to be strong, and it needs to reach a decent height for animals who are a byword for agility.
Again, goats and sheep can be kept in with electric fencing. Some people simply don’t like the idea of using pain – albeit very mild pain – to keep animals in place. You should remember that while electrical fencing will keep your pets in, it may not keep potential pests and predators out.