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Pet Containment Tips

It can be dangerous to let yourpets run wild. In addition to allowing your dog to safely enjoy the great outdoors, pet enclosures can be used for training, protection and travel. When selecting an enclosure for your dog, consider your pet’s needs as well as your own. As a general rule, the bigger they are the more space dogs need.

Here is a chart that shows suggested sizes of pet enclosures by animal weight and square feet:

Weight (lb) Floor area per dog (sq ft)
Less than 15 8
Up to 30 12
More than 30 More than 24

It is also important to think about the reasons why you need to contain your pet. You want to keep your pet secure at night or while you are away. You want to provide a safe outdoor space. You want to train your pet, and you need to contain your pet for travel. Several choices for outdoor and indoor pet containment are available.

Outdoor Pet Containment Options

Underground Electronic Fencing

In this radio-based system, a signal travels from an underground wire to a collar on your pet. As he approaches the buried wire, the collar will emit a signal and then a small shock that alerts him to the boundary. After proper training, your pet will learn to stay within the boundary. Many different types of training can be used depending on the type of fencing you use. Contact your local Humane Society for more information.

Dog Fencing

An enclosure of standard chain-link fencing can keep smaller pets contained. Be sure that the fence is tall enough to keep large dogs from jumping over it.

Outdoor Pet Kennels

Many types of outdoor shelters can be built for your pet. Careful attention should be paid to where kennels are placed. For larger dogs that may be able to lift the edge of a kennel and escape, it is important to secure the kennel to the ground. See the above chart for a guide on minimum floor space.

Tips for Installing a Dog Kennel

When installing containment systems outdoors, keep these considerations in mind:

  • Place kennels out of direct sunlight or attach a sunshade.
  • Observe the patterns of sun, shade and water run-off on the location before installing.
  • Install kennels on a flat surface.
  • Select an enclosure appropriate to the size of your pet. (Refer to the chart above).
  • Secure fencing to the ground.
  • Check for sharp or exposed wire or other hazards.
  • Keep the structure clean and well-maintained.
  • Keep water available, especially in warm weather.

Indoor Pet Containment Options

Crates and Cages

Indoor kennels are available in crate or cage form. These can be used to housebreak puppies, to secure your pets when you are away, and to help your pet learn to calm down at night. Keep indoor kennels comfortable with blankets and water. Use positive reinforcement to ensure pets feel secure.

Travel Carriers

Carriers for traveling with your pet can be used on airplanes, car trips, or even as temporary indoor kennels. Be sure that the carrier is large enough for your pet to turn around comfortably. During travel, provide access to water and let pets out as often as possible.