It’s never a bad idea to make sure that you have plenty of space for your dog to play. Invisible dog fences or the more modern GPS dog fences are the most elegant solutions, but some pet owners prefer something a bit more traditional. For most, that means having some kind of fencing available to keep your dog safe while still giving him or her space to roam.
While it’s possible to have someone build a dog fence for you, it’s often much cheaper to build your own DIY dog fence. There are many options when it comes to this kind of fencing, some of which are so easy to install that you might wonder why anyone would choose any other type of fencing.
DIY Dog Fence Ideas
There are many different categories of fencing that you can use to help build the dog fence that best fits both your aesthetic and your dog’s needs. Understanding which materials work best takes a little digging, but the research is worthwhile if you want to ensure that your dog gets the fence he or she needs.
If you’re looking for the cheapest possible option, you’ll want to look at deer block netting. This PVC product works well as both a temporary and permanent solution, but it’s really best for those who are looking to keep their costs down.
Metal is a more common option, though, with many dog owners choosing welded wire mesh and chain link as their materials of choice. While they’re definitely common among those who want permanent fencing, they don’t have to be as boring as many might expect.
Looking for something smaller and designed for smaller spaces? That’s where poultry netting comes in. You might even want to go with something more unique like EMT, which can make for some beautiful fencing in almost any yard. Even pallet fencing is an option for those who need to save money, especially when aesthetics aren’t a priority.
Simply put, there are a number of great options, and exploring each one in-depth does make sense for most dog owners.
PVC Dog Fences
PVC deer block netting has a lot going for it. It’s not just cheap; in fact, the low cost is almost overshadowed by how easy the netting is to use. Flexible and easy to move around, you can build a portable fence with this type of material as easy as you can build one that’s meant to stay in place.
All you’ll really need for this type of fence is some good fence posts and the netting itself. Once you’re able to hammer the posts into place, you can spread the mesh out and attach it to your posts as necessary. As you might expect, this type of fencing can give you plenty of options in terms of what kind of area you want to make available for your dog.
Metal Wire Fencing
Perhaps the most common type of DIY dog fence is the metal wire dog fence. This type of wire fence doesn’t actually require any kind of special tools and really doesn’t require you to have any real experience building fences at all. As long as you can get out to a big box hardware store, you can expect to get this type of fence up in a single day.
Beyond the ease with which it can be installed, these fences also stand out because they’re incredibly reliable. They don’t overwhelm your yard or property, yet they’re good at keeping dogs of various sizes inside. This type of fence is a great investment if you care about the safety of your pet.
Installation, as previously stated, is fairly straightforward. Get some metal stakes, stake them out at regular intervals, and attach the metal wire fencing to get the kind of DIY dog fence that’s going to help you keep your dog safe and that will stay functional for years to come. As a note, most dogs also tend to really like this type of fencing because it allows them to see outside the fenced-in area without having to dig or jump. As such, this might be a good fit for those dogs who are a little more curious.
If you do build this kind of fence, make sure that you add a gate. As nice as a good dog fence might be, you still need to be able to get in and out. Make sure that the gate locks solidly, though, as some particularly smart animals can figure out how to get past simpler locks.
Chain Link Fencing
The other truly classic type of dog fence is the chain-link fence. It’s a good middle ground between the cheaper welded wire and the more expensive wooden fences, but it’s still fairly easy to put together (1).
Chain link fencing is actually a great DIY fence because you don’t have to worry quite as much when you’re undertaking your installation project. Since it’s fairly rigid, you’ll just use metal pipes as your fence stakes and attach each piece of the fence to the posts as you go. This is actually a process that can be done in a few hours even if you’ve never built a fence before.
EMT fencing, or conduit pipe fencing, is relatively uncommon but still a great choice for those who care about aesthetics. These fences are very sturdy and stand up to a lot of abuse, but they are a little harder to set up than the other dog fence options discussed here. As such, you’re going to want to seek out a dedicated guide if you’re going to use this type of fence.
Pallet Dog Fencing
Pallets are a great choice if you feel like you want a real DIY look. The truth is that a good dog fence can be built out of nearly anything that’s sturdy enough, so anyone who has access to enough pallets should at least think about using this type of fence as a potential temporary fence. While it’s not as commonly seen in urban areas, pallet fences are also great when you’ve got a big stretch of property and you only want to keep your dogs confined to one part.
It should be noted that there is no guide for assembling this type of dog fence, as you can assemble a pallet fence in just about any way you like. You can take days putting together an intricate maze for your pets or throw up a quick rectangle in a few hours, but the only limit on what you do is the amount of time and material that you have on hand when building your dog fence.
Basic Building Tips
There’s a lot to learn about DIY dog fence building, especially if you’re doing the job for the first time. The good news is that the average fence is fairly easy to install; the bad news, though, is that your first install process is almost certainly still going to involve a fair bit of trial and error.
When you’re building a dog fence, try to keep in mind that you’re building a fence for a living creature that has some habits that might not always be in line with what you would prefer. Dogs jump and dig, which means that you’re going to have to consider how to ensure that your dog can stay safe even when he or she is prone to those activities.
You’re also going to have to remember that many fences serve purposes beyond just keeping your dog safe. If you’re building to keep a garden safe, for example, you’ll need to be just as careful about your plants as you might be about your dogs. Fortunately, there are ways to build your fences that can do a good job of protecting both.
Focus on Pet Containment
Perhaps the biggest focus you’ll need to keep when building your fence is on containing your pet. Take some time to look at your installation and figure out if your dog is going to be able to get over the top if he or she gets really motivated. Some dog owners stay away from chain links for just this reason, as the fear of a dog climbing over is much less absurd if you know that your dog can get his or her paws in the spaces between links.
At the same time, you should make sure that you are able to contain your dog when he or she decides to go low. Fence guards are a very popular choice among those who own digging breeds, as these barriers can keep your dog from digging under your fence and running off from the yard. If you’re constant left wondering why your dog is digging holes, this kind of feature is honestly more than just an option – it’s a must-have.
You should also take a hard look at your gates when you’re building any type of fence, as these gates have to both be easy enough to use that you can get in and out but sturdy enough that they don’t count as a weak point when keeping your dog penned in. Make sure to get a gate that locks up high and that can’t be easily manipulated with a snout if you want to keep your dog safe.
A Note on Fences and HOAs
While your pup might be our primary concern when you’re looking to build a fence, you need to keep human considerations in mind at the same time. If you live in an area with an HOA, you’re going to need to consult with your homeowners’ association to figure out exactly what types of fences are allowed in your area and what you’ll have to do to get your fence approved.
Note that many neighborhoods do have maximum height limits on their fences, so you need to determine if your DIY fence is actually going to be able to keep your dog inside the fence when you’re done building. As unfortunate as it may seem, the human factor can do more damage than any homeowner’s lack of building knowledge.
Don’t Be Afraid to DIY
Don’t be afraid to build a fence on your own. Once you know the types of DIY dog fence options that are out there, you can choose among them to figure out one that works for you. Take your time building your fence, with a particular focus on how the fence can best protect your dog. If you’re able to build something that can keep your dog safe, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that your pet has a safe place to roam.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How much does it cost to build a dog fence?
The answer to this one generally depends on the materials that you’re going to use to build a fence. The total cost of a dog fence can range from anywhere from a few hundred dollars if you’re using cheap second-hand materials or pallets to thousands of dollars if you’re going to build any kind of privacy fence or you’re using composite materials.
2. What is the cheapest type of fencing?
The cheapest kind of fencing is pallet fencing. Though you can’t quite get pallets for free, you can usually get them for a fairly low cost from a construction site, shipping company, or any place that sells wood. Pallet fences don’t look quite as good as their professional-quality cousins, but using pallets both allow you to save quite a bit of money and gives you a great chance to build a fence exactly the way you want.
3. Is it cheaper to build your own privacy fence?
It’s almost always cheaper to build your own fence, as long as you know what you are doing. A huge part of the cost of getting a fence installed is the labor, especially if you’re using a fairly common building material. If you don’t mind renting the tools and transporting the fencing materials yourself, you should be able to build a fence that’s just as nice as those that are professional installed for a fraction of the price.
4. What is the cheapest way to put up a privacy fence?
The cheapest way to put up a privacy fence is to do it yourself. You’ll have to buy the fencing and the posts and you’ll have to rent a post-hole digger, but the final cost will end up being significantly less than the cost of getting a fence installed. With that said, the amount of time and labor you put into putting up a fence yourself might end up feeling like it’s worth a lot more than what you’d pay a professional to do the job.