(Angie's List) - When you feel dog-tired, the last thing you want to do is take Fido for a stroll. In this Angie's List report, how pet fence systems make it possible to throw open the back door and let your pet walk himself.
Greg Smith is the owner of six Chihuahuas. Smith and his dogs can now all enjoy their backyard now that there's an underground fence.
"We actually installed it shortly after we moved here about three years ago. It was working with either that one or a regular fence and it seemed more convenient for us to still see the nature, still see the wildlife in the back if we used an underground fence," says Smith.
An underground or wireless pet fence can be a great option for pet owners who don't want a physical fence between them and their neighbors.
You can tailor the layout of the fence to restrict virtually any area you want – so you can run it around the entire yard, flower beds, the swimming pool, or the kid's play area.
Bob Swarm, a fence contractor says, "When they go out and get near the line the collar reads the radio signal and the dog will get a tone and that's it's warning that you need to get back. So really the training is all about teaching the dog to back up when it hears the tone."
Adds Angie's List founder Angie Hicks, "You want to be sure you are talking to an installer about the type of training that is incorporated with the cost of the fence. If you are concerned about the charge that comes with the fence and your pet, you should also consult with your veterinarian."
"All of them ultimately will shock them. The thing about it is safer by design and greater piece of mind. It used to be when I started here 10 years ago we had four shock levels. Now we have 13," says Swarm. "A lot of times I'll insist a homeowner feel it. I'll say I want you to know what your dog is experiencing. It eases their mind a lot to know that their dog is not getting zapped to a point where it's making them fearful."
The collars contain batteries that typically need to be replaced every three to four months, which can cost between $15 and $20.
Adds Hicks, "An invisible fence can be less expensive than a traditional fence. It can run anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a thousand dollars depending on the size of the area that you are trying to contain."
Though underground and wireless fences can help keep pets in certain boundaries, it's important to remember that these systems cannot keep other animals out of your yard.
Also, before you install any type of fencing, check with your local municipality to see if a permit is required and verify any homeowner's association requirements regarding fencing.