By Elizabeth Bublitz ecomii.com
The most frequent emergency seen by veterinarians is the pet that has been hit by a car. Dogs become frustrated when they can’t see what is on the other side of the fence.
They will often lunge or chew at a fence, which is neither healthy for the dog or for the fence. You can avoid a tragedy and at the same time keep your pet happy and safe by installing and maintaining a strong, sturdy structure that will allow them to look out and see what is on the other side of the fence.
Although there are various types of fencing, one that satisfies all the criteria is a three rail fence with mesh wire. This kind of fence keeps dogs safely in the yard while allowing them to be busybodies, who can enjoy the view.
When installed properly these “healthy” fences can withstand weather and the test of time while allowing canines to exercise their natural instinct to patrol. If a three rail fence is not an option, there are other solutions to consider.
One consideration for any kind of fence is one that will allow a dog to run alongside it. There aren’t many guarantees in life but you can be sure that running along the fence to either greet dogs and people or for critter patrol is one of them.
To create a safe, pet friendly yard, dogs must be allowed to run along the fence rather than be deterred from reaching it. To invite dogs to patrol without wreaking havoc on plant material, a “canine racetrack” is a feature that can be easily created for them. A canine racetrack is a three-foot wide gap from the fence that can be made from pavers or round river rock.
If your dog tends to eat rock, it is best to use pavers. Wood mulch and pea gravel are not recommended because they migrate and sharp chards found in the pea gravel are likely to hurt their paws. Plant material is also discouraged because dogs will either kill the sod by wearing it down or run through the plant material, which will stunt its growth.
Once the racetrack is installed, “dog windows” can be created that will allow them to see out of the privacy fence and help to keep them safe. I call this technique “Four on the Floor” because it keeps their paws on the ground.
Windows preserve the life of the fence because they can alleviate frustration so that they are not barking incessantly or lunging at the fence. And since dogs aren’t lunging, they won’t get their nails caught in the fencing slats, which can be pretty painful and necessitate a costly veterinary visit. When there are multiple dogs or the fence is long, it is a good idea to install more than one window so that the dogs can all look out and greet visitors more easily.
It can be an easy task to create dog windows in your fence. Simply, cut a 3-foot x 3-foot window in the fence, frame it and then install strong mesh wire with enough give so that the dogs cannot push through it.
Considering your dogs’ needs by allowing him to see out and run along the fence means that the structure will remain “healthy” and will also discourage wind gusts or storms from ruining it. A fence with a canine racetrack and a window to the world can go a long way toward peace of mind. A safe yard and a happy dog. Priceless!
Elizabeth Bublitz is an animal friendly gardening expert, author and owner of Pawfriendly Landscapes. Follow Elizabeth on Twitter.