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Dogs Lifestyle

Finding the Perfect Privacy Fencing for Pets


Adding a privacy screen to your pet fencing is a great way to create a secluded haven for you and your pets in your backyard. Privacy fencing can help block unsightly views, stop your dog from barking, make cats feel more secure, and even cut down on wind and dust.

But with so many options available, choosing the right one can feel overwhelming. This guide explores the various types of privacy screens, their pros and cons, and the average costs to help you make an informed decision.

Understanding Your Pets Needs for Privacy Fencing

Before diving into specific options, consider your priorities. How much privacy do your pets need? Is complete blockage essential, or would something that allows some light and air filtration suffice? Will you be trying to stop your dog from barking at every passing car or helping your cat feel more secure in their enclosure?

Here are a few other factors to consider:

  • Privacy Level: Do you need complete visual blackout, or is some transparency acceptable?
  • Material Durability: How long do you expect the screen to temporary or permanent solution? Consider weather conditions – especially sun exposure and wind speeds.
  • Maintenance Needs: How much time and effort are you willing to invest in upkeep?
  • Style: Do you have a preference for a natural or a more modern look?

Factors Affecting Cost

The final cost of your privacy screen will depend on several factors:

  • Material: Generally, natural materials like wood are less expensive than vinyl or composite options. However, they may not be as durable if you have a destructive pet.
  • Privacy Level: Solid panels offering complete privacy tend to be more expensive than mesh fabrics. But, they may allow snow or leaves to pile up, which could allow your pet to jump.
  • Size: Wider screens will naturally cost more than narrower ones. Taller fences are obviously more expensive than short fences.
  • Brand and Quality: Brand names and higher quality materials often come with a higher price tag. But, this is a case where you will not want to skimp.

Installation Considerations

While some privacy screens are easy to install yourself, others may require professional help. Factor in the cost of installation when making your budget. To assist, we’ve focused primarily on DIY solutions for privacy screens.

Types of Privacy Screens

Chain-link fences offer little privacy by itself. Dogs can see straight through the links and that can create a series of trigger stacking. Here is a look at the most popular types of privacy screens for chain link fences:

Shade Cloth

These are very affordable and easy to install, these mesh fabric shade screens come in various colors and densities. The tighter the weave, the greater the privacy. Expect to pay around $0.50 to $1.00 per square foot. A 6′ x 50′ shade cloth ran us about $50. These are attached with a LOT of zip ties, so be sure to purchase the higher quality heavy-duty outdoor ties to ensure a long life in extreme weather.

When we first moved to the Little House in the Holler, we used these panels. They held up very well until Marco arrived in our lives and began chewing them! So be sure to plan for animals ripping them to shreds. Have a few extras in storage or place on the outside of the fence.

shade cloth privacy fencing

Artificial Hedge Panels

These realistic-looking panels offer privacy with a touch of greenery. They’re generally priced between $1.00 and $3.00 per square foot. They are available in panels or rolls. Be sure to select the correct height! Factors to consider are your location, weather and how much you can afford. While most report them holding up for a year or two, they can be costly to replace.

Living Fences

Living fences are trees, vines or hedges specifically grown to provide privacy and visual interest. Popular choices include trees such as arborvitae, holly, and cypress. While they take time to establish, living fences can add beauty and value to your property.

For a natural and eco-friendly option, consider planting climbing plants and vines. Be sure to include a trellis for them to grow on and watch for plant toxicity. Some of the more popular choices such as honeysuckle, jasmine, oleander, ocotillo and ivy can be very toxic to pets. While this is a cost-effective solution in the long run, they require patience as the plants mature. Costs typically depend on the variety of plant chosen and its mature size.

Slat Inserts

Privacy wave slat inserts are ideal for chain link fences, but can be costly to install. They will, however, hold up much longer than other options. These are available in a wide variety of colors (in the case of this manufacturer, they offer 9 colors). They are made from PVC and have ainterlocking base to ensure your dogs won’t remove it of their own will.

These inserts are also avilable on a diagonal from other manufacturers, but don’t feature the interlocking base.

Privacy Fence Tape

Fence tape is a much more affordable option than some choices (but it’s not our favorite look). Nevertheless, it’s a great option if you’re on a budget! These green fence tapes are made of weather resistant, durable PVC material and are designed for long-term use.

Solid Privacy Panels

Made from PVC or wood, these panels provide complete privacy and a more finished look. They are pricier at $5.00 to $10.00 per square foot and can require a stronger fence frame for support.

There are also a variety of freestanding panels made from wood, vinyl, or composite materials that offer a permanent and stylish privacy solution. They come in various heights and styles, with an average cost of $10.00 to $30.00 per linear foot for a 5-ft fence.

Choosing the right privacy screen for your fence boils down to your needs and preferences. Consider the level of privacy desired, your budget, and the amount of maintenance you’re willing to undertake. With the plethora of options available, there’s sure to be a perfect privacy screen waiting to transform your backyard into a secluded oasis.

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