Maintenance-Free Fencing Options For Horse And Dog Owners

Posted on: 23 December 2014


Fences serve as wonderful additions to homes, but when animals are involved, fences must serve more than just an aesthetic purpose. Owners of horses and dogs must erect fences that keep animals safe and secure. Here are some fencing options for horse and dog owners that are maintenance-free and safe for animals.


The average horse weighs 1,000 pounds, and the draft breeds can weigh in excess of 2,000 pounds. Thus, horse owners should make fence material decisions wisely.

Horse owners frequently choose wood fencing for paddocks, but horses enjoy chewing this material and it is not always strong enough to keep animals contained. It also requires considerable maintenance because it can split and warp. Another common choice, barbed wire, is low maintenance but extremely dangerous for horses. 

Instead of these traditional materials, horse owners should consider PVC, metal pipe, high-tensile coated wire, and vinyl. 

  • PVC: This type of fencing requires no paint and no nails. It will not rust, is sturdy enough to withstand abuse from large horses, and is aesthetically pleasing. 
  • Metal Pipe: Metal pipe fencing is very strong and sturdy. Yet, it is not quite as low-maintenance as PVC because it can rust in humid environments, which can give way to an unattractive appearance.
  • High-Tensile Coated Wire: Fences constructed with high-tensile coated wire are similar to barbed wire fences, but not as dangerous. This material is extremely durable and requires no maintenance at all. 
  • Vinyl: Another great option for horses is vinyl fencing. This material needs no paint, can withstand large horses leaning and cribbing, and looks great without any attention.


Unlike fencing for horses, the best maintenance-free fencing for a dog depends largely on the breed and personality. Chihuahuas weigh a mere three to six pounds, while English mastiffs can weigh in at 200 pounds. Beagles are prone to wandering, Dachshunds love to dig, and Irish wolfhounds are taller than some ponies. The first step that a dog owner must take when choosing fencing material is to know the pet and its tendencies. 

  • Chain Link: Chain link fencing is a good choice for a wide variety of breeds and temperaments. It is extremely low maintenance and can be lowered into the ground, too, to lock in a digging escape artist. It also comes in various heights, so it is suitable for taller animals. Some municipalities and home owners' associations restrict the use of this material, however, because many people find it unsightly.
  • Vinyl Picket Fence: Picket fences have long held a reputation of good taste, tradition, and aesthetic appeal. When constructed out of vinyl instead of wood, this type of fencing is practically maintenance-free because it needs no paint and does not rust. Because it is generally not very tall, it is better suited for households with smaller dogs and pets that are not prone to escaping.
  • Mesh: Fences constructed out of mesh are easy to install and, if constructed with metal or vinyl posts, will need little, if any, maintenance. This material is also available in a variety of heights. Like chain link, it is not as visually appealing as other options, but it serves as an extremely effective option.

For help finding the fence right for your horse or dog, consider working with a fencing professional, such as R & S Fence Co.