Backyard Animal Safety: Protect Your Pets From Harm By Choosing The Best Fence

2 July 2015
 Categories: , Articles

If you live on a property that must be fenced to contain a dog, horse, or goat, you will need to follow certain precautions to make sure that the fence you choose to protect your pet does not end up becoming a danger to them. As you talk to a fence contractor about the different types of fences for your yard, you will likely be surprised at the wide variety of options. It's important to know what kinds of fences are the most hazardous to your animals before making a choice. 


For horses, it's important to stay away from wire fences. Even though wire fences are often the most cost effective, they can be harmful to your horse if it ever becomes entangled in the wire, even if the fence is not barbed. Cable fences are a better choice-- as these are much less likely to loosen over time. Just be aware that if a cable fence does become loose because of poor maintenance, the steel cables are strong enough to actually amputate a limb from a horse or a smaller animal. Wooden or metal pole fences are usually the best solutions for building paddocks. 


Many owners consider installing "invisible" fences for their dogs. A shock collar prevents the dog from stepping outside the border. However, while these fences can be effective for teaching your dog to stay close to home without ruining the aesthetics of the yard, they have some drawbacks. Invisible fences do not prevent:

  • other dogs entering the property to be with your dog.
  • strangers entering the property who could kidnap or injure your dog
  • a shock if your dog did leave the property and tries to return home without being harmed.

Some researchers believe that shock as a method of behavior control can bring out undesirable traits in a dog, including increased aggression and a fear-based training mentality that does not improve the dog's confidence or personality. So, if you decide to avoid the drawbacks of an invisible fence, you then need to decide which fences will work better. Most residential fences will do a good job of containing a dog-- wooden fences, iron fences, or basic chain link are all effective. However, before choosing your fence, be sure to note the size of breed. Gaps in fences can lead to problems if dogs try to squeeze through and cannot free themselves. 


Goats are the Houdinis of the animal world. They are excellent at finding weak points in fences, and if they learn one method of escape, they are likely to try that same method again. Therefore, a fence for a goat must be more tightly secure than those for other animals. In the case of goats, a close-set, wire-based fence is the best option. Chain link is stiff, easy to install and virtually impenetrable by stealthy, sneaky goats, although other fencing, like those made from wires squares, will also work very well. 

Having only very small gaps in fencing is important because goats will try to squeeze through gaps in fences, leading to their heads getting stuck and potentially causing wounds around the neck and forelegs. The ideal gap size is a 4-inch square. 6-inch squares cause strangulation. However, a 12-inch square can work for adult goats; this gap is too small for escape, but large enough for a goat to poke its head out and then pull it back in without harm. 

As you can see, every kind of animal has specific fencing needs. You can avoid any harm coming to your animals by being mindful about the type of fence you choose. Talk to a fencing company for more information on what type of fence will be best for your pet.  You can also click here for more information on your fencing options.