What's the Best Dog Fence for 2017?

Traditional Fences vs Electronic Fences

When you buy a new house or add a dog to your already established home, you'll need to consider which type of fence is best for your family and your pet. 

This article will discuss the important benefits of the two major fencing options - traditional or electronic fencing. We will also review the best dog fences for 2017 and give you our top pick!

Yes, we are here to make your life easy.

TD;LR

(I'm in a hurry, just show me the Best Dog Fence)

Hands down, our best dog fence for 2017 is the eXtreme In-Ground Electric Dog Fence.

We decided to put Extreme Dog Fence System as our first pick of the best dog fences not only because of the huge amount of positive reviews from other dog owners, but also because we loved the fact that its wiring is so extensive and has long lasting battery life. Also, the correction levels for this electric dog fence are so varied, it’s really convenient for dog owners who want to adjust their pets’ static.

Just keep in mind that this electric dog fence is heavy, especially its wiring, so you’re going to do some lugging when you’re setting it up. Overall, it’s the best choice among our top 7 list.

Top 7 Best Dog Fence Reviews of 2017

Availability

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Model Name

Editor's Rating

Price

eXtreme Dog Fence - Second Generation In-Ground Electric Dog Fence

eXtreme Dog Fence - Second Generation

$$$

Oxgord Dog Animal Playpen / Crate Fence

Oxgord Dog Animal Playpen / Crate Fence

$

MidWest Homes for Pets Foldable Metal Exercise Pen

MidWest Homes for Pets Foldable Metal Exercise Pen

$

PetSafe Wireless Fence Pet Containment System

PetSafe Wireless Fence Pet Containment System

$$

SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence System

SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence System

$$

PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence

PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence

$$

Havahart Wireless Fence for Small Dogs

Havahart Wireless Fence For Small Dogs

$$

eXtreme Dog Fence - Second Generation In-Ground Electric Dog Fence

eXtreme Dog Fence - Second Generation In-Ground Electric Dog Fence

Our first pick as the best invisible dog fence extends from 500 to 1500 feet of wiring, depending on how much you need to cover the areas on your property you want to have fenced in. The receiver collar of this wireless dog fence contains five correction levels, so you can keep it at a low power if necessary.

There is a surge protector included in the kit, which comes in handy in the event of lightning strikes or power surges. The kit also contains an underground dog fence wire (waterproof professional-grade twisted), waterproof splices, and other necessary installation material for your very first electric fence for dogs.

Customers were impressed by the quality of this electric fence for dogs and many have noted the importance of the fact that it's made in the USA and is of really high-quality. The waterproof durability of the wiring is especially useful (no one wants to deal with haywire every time there’s a rainstorm) and, as one customer said, it was “heavier duty than most of the retail systems you can buy on the market.”

The battery life of this wireless fence for dogs is long-lasting. The system isn’t rechargeable because charges tend to lose their power after a long period of time. Extreme Dog Fence System's heaviness and its ease of installment are two big pluses for pet owners looking to secure their pets using a high quality, best invisible dog fence in their yard.

This electric dog fence is heavy, especially its wiring, so you’re going to do some lugging when you’re setting it up. Customers also shared their recommendations for laying down the wire: one suggested digging a trench whereas others thought of threading it through a PVC pipe.

Either way, it was widely recommended that installers walk the perimeter of the wire and ensure that there are no gaps in connectivity not only before laying it down, but even before purchasing any of these best invisible dog fences.

PROS

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    Continuous solid core wire
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    Poly coated for protection from the elements
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    Long lasting battery life
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    Made of high-quality materials

CONS

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    Can be rather unwieldy

Oxgord Dog Animal Playpen / Crate Fence

Oxgord Dog Animal Playpen / Crate Fence

At first glance, you might not see much difference between this and the earlier wire cages presented. There’s quite a bit of difference which makes it unsuitable for large dogs, however. You’ll notice that it has fewer vertical bars, which makes the overall structure of the pen weaker despite the fact it can match the others in height.

That’s not to say it’s not a worthy addition to your home, however, it offers a considerable area to run and play in for a dog that won’t be able to batter it down. It’s perfectly suitable for puppies and small dogs, and since it comes in a variety of heights you can pick one suitable for even a bouncy little terrier.

It’s also quite cheap and makes a great addition to your backyard if your dog meets the criteria for its use. While the manufacturer says it’s good for indoor use, we’d recommend not placing it on tile or wood as the metal is quite a bit harder than these surfaces and it can lead to scratching the floors.

It makes a great, low-cost playpen for your yard, and might be worth an in-depth look for canines of diminutive size.

PROS

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    Easy to assemble
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    Extremely sturdy and durable
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    Three different height options
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    Sturdy double-latch door
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    Folds down easily for storage

CONS

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    Can’t purchase additional panels
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    Some panels are wider than average so transport may be difficult

MidWest Homes for Pets Foldable Metal Exercise Pen / Fence

MidWest Homes for Pets Foldable Metal Exercise Pen / Fence

This pen is ideal for those who want to house their larger dogs outdoors. You’ll be pleased to know it comes in a variety of heights as well, so you can pick the one that fits your dog the best. The quality that went into its construction is pretty admirable, and it has a no tools required set-up that are easy enough you can probably have your dog be your assistant while you’re getting it in place.

It also comes with an anchoring system, to help keep the pen in place. If you have a breed that’s renowned for the height of their leap for a little bit more you can also purchase a roof that will help keep them earthbound as opposed to tearing up the garden.

It has sixteen square feet of room for your pet to romp in, and all but the biggest dogs will be quite pleased with it. Despite its large size, storage is a snap since it will easily fold flat and allow you to place it somewhere out of the way in your shed or garage when it’s not in use. It’s simply one of the best dog playpens you’ll be able to find, and for the price, it’s an absolute steal.

PROS

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    Simple set up
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    Five different height choices
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    Double latch dog door
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    One year manufacturer’s warranty
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    Easy to transport or fold down for storage

CONS

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    Can’t purchase single add-on panels
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    May not be sturdy enough for full-grown dogs

PetSafe Wireless Fence Pet Containment System

PetSafe Wireless Fence Pet Containment System

If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional fencing and even the underground fencing, you will like this PetSafe Wireless Pet Containment System. Rather than using actual wire and putting it underground, this system uses radio frequency to keep your dog in the yard.

Another hugely popular feature of this system is the fact that it is portable. This means you can take it to someone else’s house, traveling on vacation and anywhere else you may have your dog with you and want more control over where they can venture.

The PetSafe Wireless Pet Containment System is perfect for pets over 8 pounds in size and over 6 months of age and is super easy to use. Once plugged in, the system will emit a constant signal that is adjustable. The range is up to 90 feet in all directions. When you first get it home, set up will only take you about an hour and a half or so.

Training will be easy as well and instructions on how to train your dog to recognize the warnings are included. This system is for use with 110v only and should not be used with 220v. It is completely waterproof so it is safe to use in all weather conditions.

The pet owner has 5 adjustable levels of correction to use and there is a tone only mode as well. In addition, it has a low battery indicator to let you know when it’s time to charge it again. It comes with a safety shut off that kicks in if the dog leaves the designated area. The warning stimulation will run for 30 seconds, stop for 5 minutes and then repeat another 30 seconds.

PROS

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    Suitable for pets over 8 pounds
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    Covers up to ½ acre
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    Delivers a safe, static correction

CONS

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    Reports of random shocks

SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence System

SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence System

Get 1000 feet of wire and 100 flags with the SportDOG 100-acre in ground invisible dog fence system and keep your pet contained the safe and non restrictive way.

It is a great alternative to traditional and very costly regular fencing. This system can be used with multiple dogs by purchasing an additional SDF-R receiver.

The collar is waterproof and safe for use in any weather conditions. You will have 4 levels of correction to choose from along with tone and vibration so you can fit it to each dog’s personality. There is an anti-linger feature that will prevent the dog from wearing the batteries out.

Even though there is some initial set up involved in this invisible fence system, once it is installed and you have trained your dog to know what the flags and the correction tones and stimulations mean, you will not have to worry about your dog leaving your property. It cannot prevent other dogs from coming into your property, however, so keep this in mind if you are ever leaving the dog unattended.

It’s a great system for any dog that is 10 pounds and over and should not be used on pups less than 6 months of age. You can use this system, with all 110v outlets but do not use with 220v international voltage. This is a system that is only able to be used in the US.

PROS

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    Anti-linger feature
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    Includes 100 flags
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    Includes 1000 feet of wire
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    Wire certainly long enough
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    Basic instructions and easy to follow

CONS

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    The installation is timely.
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    Battery on the collar is a bit large

PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence

PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence

A fourth product from PetSafe simply because the company is truly focused on these items. Their Stubborn Dog in-ground dog fence works with dogs that are stubborn and large and probably haven’t responded well to training or prior fence implementation. This fence has four different static correctional levels, with the highest one being 50% stronger than most collars.

Again, this ninth best invisible dog fence works best for larger dogs that have shown a lack of interest in being trained and told to stay within their boundaries. You can purchase extra shock collars, which are sold separately, for unlimited amounts of other dogs. There also is a tone-only setting for the collar that doesn’t emit any static.

The wire is 14 gauge and very durable (it may require some extra muscle to weave it into the transmitter). Included in the kit are 500 feet of wire, a transmitter, training guide, 50 boundary flags, and a few other essentials.

The wire strength didn’t withstand a good chewing from some larger dogs, and nobody wants to run into that. I suggest you to do your due diligence if for some reason you'd like to choose this in-ground dog fence over anything else on this list.

Customers with large, energetic dogs commented that PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence is very impactful in getting them to recognize boundaries effectively. The wire is durable and can withstand just about anything (within reason).

The size of the dog and the coat thickness are the most determinable factors in getting your dog to listen effectively to the static of your invisible dog fences. Other customers remarked that it was “perfect for awkward yards,” meaning that people with yards that aren’t in a perfect circle or square (i.e. most of us) will find this in ground dog fence to be well-worth the money and installation time.

If you have a smart dog, as one irritated purchaser did, he or she may be able to discover what is actually the source of the shock—the wire. This individual’s dog, who the owner termed a “very talented escape artist,” figured out that the wire was what was shocking him and chewed through it with some effort.

After doing that, he was able to run out and this best invisible dog fence was truly invisible to him. I doubt that this ingenuousness is typical of many dogs, but it is something to be aware of (do consistent boundary checks if you think your dog is the type to do this).

PROS

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    Offers 5 correction levels
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    Suitable for dogs over 30 pounds
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    Coverage for up to 0.33 acres

CONS

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    Wire is easy to chew through

Havahart Wireless Fence for Small Dogs

Havahart Wireless Fence for Small Dogs

Our last pick for the best dog fences list is the product from Havahardt, a trusted company. This Radial-Shape wireless dog fence has a large coverage of about eleven acres, more than most other best invisible fences for dogs on this list. To use this, dogs must be over eight pounds and have neck circumferences of 14-16 inches. It is also waterproof and can work for two dogs.

The correction levels are adjustable and the fence is radial, operating from no wires. FYI: according to the company, “Properties that are at least 30 feet from the road, and have minimal landscaping and minimal sloping, work best.” If your property does not conform to this, you may want to look into any other wireless fences for dogs listed above.

Even though it's at the bottom of our list, Havahart Wireless Radial-Shape Select Fence is still one of the best dog fences you can find to purchase on Amazon or most other online retailers. Its coverage on this is very large, but one problem is the boundaries that are limited to forty feet, which might not work for customers who live closer to the road than that.

The radial shape of this tenth best wireless dog fence provides adequate coverage for pet owners who live inlarge spaces of land. Customers with several acres said that they were excited to finally have a pet fence for dogs that would cover the necessary areas.

The “trigger zone” is three to six feet, a shorter zone than most, so be aware when deciding the boundaries you want this fence to be—keep it away from the road. Customers who disliked having to dig underground fences were relieved that this was wireless and simple to install. The multiple correctional levels of Havahart Wireless Radial-Shape Select Fence also provide leeway when teaching your dog not to cross the boundary.

Dog owners who attempted to set the boundary at less than forty feet found that that was inadequate. One person remarked that this wireless dog fence wasn’t working until he moved it to a different location in his house with the appropriate boundary.

At that point it was consistent and he had no problems, but it's still far from an ideal position. Be aware that that might be something you’ll need to do if the Havahart is acting up.

PROS

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    Waterproof collar
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    No wires to worry about
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    Suitable for up to 2 dogs

CONS

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    Boundary is limited

What's the Difference between Traditional and Electronic Fences?

Traditional fencing consists of either metal or wood fencing that provides a barrier between your yard and the outside world. These fences provide containment by creating a physical barrier. In the case of wooden privacy fences, they also provide a visual barrier so your pet can't see what's happening on the other side of the fence. If you fancy a DIY project, you can install the fence yourself, or you can hire someone to install it for you.

In-ground fences keep your pet in your yard by placing a wire underground around the area you wish to fence. Wireless fences work the same way, but the barrier is created wirelessly. You teach your dog where the yard boundaries are in short training sessions in 2 weeks. Your dog wears a special collar that can sense when he's approaching the perimeter of the yard near the wire. The collar emits a sound to warn your pet that they are nearing the barrier.

If your pet continues towards the barrier, a correction will occur. The degree of the correction can be adjusted or removed altogether depending on the dog. Most dogs learn the boundaries of the fence quickly during the training period, and some will no longer need the correction to stay within the boundaries of the yard.

Why Buy a Traditional Fence?

Traditional fences have some benefits over wireless fencing. One major benefit is that they keep some other animals and people out of the yard in addition to keeping your pets in the yard. This is beneficial if your neighbors allow their pets to roam off leash or if you have wildlife nearby that wanders into your yard. This can also be of benefit if you live near young children who might try to approach your dog, especially if your pet is apprehensive or aggressive.

Another benefit of some traditional fencing, specifically wooden privacy fences, is that dogs who are barrier aggressive can't see people or other dogs, so they may be less likely to bark. This also provides privacy for the people enjoying the backyard.

Dogs who are very prey-motivated or very timid might do better with traditional fencing. In some cases, dogs who are highly prey motivated might bolt through the wireless fence if they see something to chase, despite the correction, but then be reluctant to re-enter the yard. Timid or fearful dogs may have a hard time adjusting to the correction, especially if you don't complete the recommended training.

Benefits of Traditional Fencing

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    Keeps other animals (pets and wildlife) out
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    Keeps children from approaching your dog
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    Visual barrier to decrease barking
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    Visual barrier for privacy
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    Better for some dogs with intense prey drive or anxiety

Why Buy a Traditional Fence?

Size

The size of the pen/fence will determine how large of a dog you can fit into it and how much space they’ll have to exercise and move around. That much is obvious, but something else that needs to be taken into account is how high the pen is as some dogs can be quite prodigious leapers and a pen does you no good if your dog can simply hop over the fencing.

Material

Dog pens/fences come in three primary materials. These are metal, plastic, and mesh. Each has their own distinct advantages and disadvantages. Metal pens will be the strongest, but also the heaviest and they may require you to anchor them, they also tend to be more expensive.

Plastic is a bit weaker but makes a good middle point for dogs who aren’t prone to destroying things but might still be a bit frisky while exercising. Mesh is most suitable for dogs who aren’t destructive, and will be cheaper and lighter than the other two materials.

Weight

It may generally seem that lighter is better, but this isn’t actually true in most cases. A heavier cage will be much harder for your dog to push around, especially if the pen doesn’t have an anchoring system or stabilizers. If you have a smaller dog and will be frequently setting up the pen in different areas, opting for a lighter playpen may be ideal, It really depends on your planned usage.

Indoor or Outdoor

Outdoor pens/fences will tend to have some sort of anchoring system, generally stakes. These can be quite handy for larger dogs, but they won’t be suitable for indoor uses in most cases. You might want to consider some sort of plastic stabilizer addition as well, especially for indoor cages, to make the pen harder to tip over.

Price

As a general rule, metal, outdoor playpens will be the most expensive, followed by plastic and then mesh. Stick within your price limit, but make sure you don’t go too cheap as that can lead to a cage with subpar quality that won’t exactly hold up to the trials your pet will put it through.

Your primary consideration should be the size and material in most cases. As long as you keep all of this at the front of your mind while you’re looking at traditional fences, though, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what you need to ensure the best fit for you and your pet.

Why Buy a Wireless or In-Ground Fence?

Electronic fences are easy to install and can be installed in a short period of time, usually in a weekend. In-ground fences can also be installed in unique patterns to avoid certain areas of your yard. For example, if you have a garden or a water feature, the wire can be placed in front of the garden so your dog cannot enter this area.

Because these fences work without being seen, they are ideal for neighborhoods that prohibit traditional fencing in order to keep specific aesthetics.

Another benefit to electronic fences is that some dogs will escape from traditional fences by jumping over, climbing over, or digging under the fence. Dogs who try to escape from traditional fences often do well with the wireless or in-ground option. If you already have a fence in place that is not containing your pet, such as if there are holes in the fence or if the fence is too low, you can add an electronic fence to the perimeter to help keep your pet confined.

Another major benefit to electronic fences is that they do not require as much maintenance. Wire or wooden fences undergo wear and tear from sun, rain, and snow. They need to be maintained or replaced periodically, which adds additional cost and time. With a wireless fence, you will only need to charge or replace the collar battery regularly. With an in-ground fence, you might also need to repair boundary wire occasionally.

Benefits of Wireless & In-Ground Fences

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    Lower cost
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    Easy to install
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    Easier to fence large areas
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    In-ground fence can be placed strategically
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    No obstruction of view
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    Prevent escape by jumping or digging
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    Low maintenance

Is An Electronic Dog Fence Right For You?

When properly installed and with appropriate training, electric dog fences have a very high success rate (upwards of 99.95%) The biggest factor in the success is proper training and installation. However, here are some Pros and Cons to help you in choosing which type of fence to go for. If you are already sure about what type of fence to use or buy, you can skip this section entirely and proceed to our top reviews on the best dog fences of 2017.

PROS

Unobtrusive

Since electric dog fences are virtually invisible they are an appealing aesthetic alternative to traditional fencing. Similarly, unlike physical barrier fences, they don't get in the way. People can move freely around the property and you won't block your view.

Cost Effective

Traditional fencing can cost upwards of $5000 to $10,000. Electric dog fencing for a comparably sized property costs around $300-$500.

Superior Containment

Some dogs will make it their mission to dig under, hurdle over, or chew through your brand new, expensive fence ruining it and risking injury or death to the dog. Electric dog fencing has a much greater success rate at containing dogs once they are properly trained.

Portable

Unlike traditional fences your electric dog fence system can be taken with you when you move. Your electronics account for about 70% of your initial cost, so you can simply remove your transmitter box and collar and take them with you. It is not practical to dig up the perimeter wire.

Exercise & Freedom

Hidden fence systems can go where most regular fences can’t. You can install your wired system through water, wooded areas, mountainous areas, inside your home and in your front yard. Dogs are normally much happier and healthier when they are given full freedom to roam their boundaries.

CONS

Training & Installation Required

Electric dog fence success hinges on completing proper training and installation. Most dogs are fully trained within one week following the recommended training regiment of two ten minute sessions per day. Average installation time varies from 2-20 hours depending on the terrain and quality of the installation.

Minimum Yard Size

For your dog to have a safe space within the boundaries of the electric fence your yard needs to be at least 15’X15’. Smaller spaces are not suitable for electric dog fencing.

Power Source

Dog fence systems require an indoor power source. No power, no fence.The average electricity cost per year to operate most models runs from $10-$20.

I Don’t Want To Shock My Dog

The voltage on most systems is less than the static you would get when you walk across a carpeted rug and touch a doorknob. Most dogs are smart enough not to test the boundary after the first or second time during training. Many people still worry about harming their dog.

Final Thoughts: Don’t Become a Statistic

The statistics on pet safety may be discouraging, but they need not be cause for discouragement. Whether you choose traditional or electronic, by taking the necessary steps to keep your pet within his proper boundaries, you will no longer have to worry unduly about road dangers and you can have more fun with your pet, assured of his safety even when you are not around.