Security: entry points to the dog's containment area must be securely blocked at all times

  • Flimsy or inappropriate - Is the fence poorly constructed or poorly maintained, or inappropriate for containing dogs (such as an electric containment system)?

  • Height off the ground and above the ground - Is the fence high enough and low enough to prevent the dog from escaping over or under? Remember to consider the gate as well as the fence height; the height at the lowest point determines whether or not an animal can jump out.

  • Slope - Does the slope of the land or adjacent furniture make the fence less secure (facilitating escape either over or under the fence)?

  • Gaps between - Are there gaps or holes in the fence that may allow an animal to squeeze through? Dogs can be very determined to squeeze through gaps between palings and spaces in wire mesh. Pay particular attention to gaps under fences.

  • Latches - Do the gates have latches that are easy to use and can effectively keep the gates closed?

Safety: here are some common safety hazards. Be alert for other hazards that are not listed here.

  • Water: Are there unfenced water features, such as a pool, fish pond or dam? Many pool fences won't exclude a small dog or puppy, and they can drown if they accidently fall in and are unable to get out.

  • Cars: Do cars back out through the dog containment area? If so, how will the dog be kept safe from the moving vehicle?

  • Rocks or Seeds: Are there other potential hazards in the yard, such as macadamia nuts, palm tree seeds, poisonous plants, or garden rocks?

  • Shade and Shelter: Is there adequate shade and shelter to protect the animal from the full force of the sun throughout the day and/or to escape adverse weather during thunderstorms? Remember, shade areas move throughout the day. It is important that shade is available ALL day long.

  • Cords: Are there potential hazards indoors, such as electrical cords and curtain cords?

  • Ventilation: If a dog or puppy is to be kept indoors, is there adequate ventilation in the secured area on hot days?