Does A Deer Fence Work For Dogs? 

Fences designed to enclose livestock have specialized functions which require structural specifications for this purpose. While it is important to consider the integrity of the fence, it is vital to think about the safety of your pets. We have identified every aspect you need to know about how to create the perfect balance between the integrity of the enclosure and the protection of your animals.

Using a deer fence is an effective way to keep your dogs safe and secure inside your property. Your pets cannot chew through a 14- to 16-gauge metal wire mesh, and a polypropylene enclosure will be difficult to climb.

Dogs should definitely enjoy relaxing and running freely around your backyard. And as a pet owner, you want them to be safe. There are different fencing specifications for a deer enclosure. Read on to find out more about deer fences and how to use them as dog fencing instead.

Panel wire fence. Close up of grating wire industrial fence panels, metal fence

Important Considerations

What Is The Purpose Of The Enclosure 

First, you have to determine the purpose of why you intend to use a deer fence. Is it because you own a kennel, an animal adoption center, or simply for your pets at home?  Figuring out your objective is necessary for ensuring you have chosen the right fencing specifications. 

The Breed Of The Dog

Fences for smaller dog breeds require a more compact wire mesh size while larger dog classifications are fine with the basic grid diameter. 

What Is A Deer Fence?

a metal chain link fence in the forest to keep deer out

As the name implies, the main purpose of a deer fence is to deter deer from any homeowner's property. It is mostly used on farming and agricultural lands because it protects various crops, plants, and vegetation against destruction caused by these animals.

However, it can also contain livestock, farm animals, and pets. 

Deer can jump up to eight feet! So, this type of enclosure is usually six to ten feet high. Some fences have a diagonal section at the topmost part that slopes downward away from the property at a 40-degree angle. 

If you intend to use it for the safety of your pets, you may choose to have the diagonal section face inwards your house. The height and the design are a perfect combination, especially when you have dogs that like to jump and climb.

Wire Gauge

Deer enclosures are either made of polypropylene plastic or metal which have various wire gauge specifications. Wire gauge refers to the thickness, quality, and strength of the mesh panels. It determines the extent of the force your fence can handle. 

The lower the wire gauge, the thicker the diameter, and the stronger the fence. To illustrate, gauge 14 is appropriate to use in residential areas and particularly for dog fencing because they cannot chew on this metal. Gauge 9 is suitable for commercial fences. 

Mesh Size

Your deer fence forms a square-shaped layout. The mesh size refers to the distance between the wires. Typically, a smaller diameter is recommended to use because it prevents your dog from getting stuck or from snooping his head outside the fence.

For Dogs That Like To... 

beautiful portrait of a shaggy black dog in a collar with an open mouth on a green background with a mesh fence


Some of our fur babies do really like to climb. Polypropylene plastic is the ideal deer fencing material to use in this situation because a plastic structure proves to be a difficult object for dogs to grip onto and climb. 


Dogs cannot chew on heavy-duty metal deer fencing that has a wire gauge of 14 and below. For additional protection, you may also use an 8-gauge steel wire. 

This option is quite costly, especially if you intend to use this material on the entire fence, however, it proves to be effective. You can opt to incorporate metal or steel on the bottom or the first 3 to 4 feet part of your fence.


For pets who like to dig, some local companies offer specific solutions to this kind of problem. Metal fences can be set onto the soil bent towards the dog, or they can penetrate a few feet deep into the ground for additional protection. 

Check out Dig Defense Animal Barrier on Amazon. 

Note: Metal fences can corrode which can be poisonous and harmful to your pets. Regularly check your enclosure and immediately restore the affected area, or you can use polypropylene as an alternative. 

Deer fences can always be customized. You can always use metal on the bottom part, and plastic on the upper portion for a more protected enclosure for your dogs. 

Kinds Of Wire Mesh For Deer Fences

1. Welded Wire

Lightweight iron or steel wires are welded to form the grid or mesh structure that features close spacing. This type of fencing is ideal to confine all dog breeds and sizes, however, the welded portions may snap or give way over time due to repeated tension and stress due to animal behavior.

2. Woven fencing 

Close up of wicker fencing

With woven fencing, the wires are interlaced and fastened individually to the mesh frame. This creates an enclosure or barrier that is relatively flexible and resilient to excessive animal activity.  

The usual mesh size of woven fences is four by four inches which can effectively confine adult-sized dogs but small breeds or puppies may get stuck in the grid. 

3. Galvanized Wire

Galvanized wire is coated with zinc that binds with carbon in the wire resulting in a strong and durable mesh. It is the most resistant material to weathering, environmental changes, and corrosion.

The feature of galvanized wire mesh that makes it ideal to confine animals is its grid size measurement of two by four inches. 

How To Maintain A Deer Fence?

Panel wire fence. Close up of grating wire industrial fence panels, metal fence


Deer fences are made up of a wire mesh either welded or interlaced. Metal wire mesh is prone to rust or corrosion when exposed to high levels of moisture.

With that being said, it is important to keep them as dry as possible, and this includes preventive measures such as being sprayed by hoses or sprinkles must be avoided. 

There is not much we can do with various weather conditions, however, wire meshes are designed in a manner that can withstand harsh climates. They can last for at least 15 years, especially if they are coated with zinc.

Damage Due To Animal Activity

Damage due to pets is also a common problem, particularly if you are using it as a dog enclosure. As a precaution, It is however significant to use wire mesh with low gauges because they cannot chew on these. 

There is not much we can do but inspect your fences regularly for any dog bites and dents. Replace the affected areas immediately because it serves as the weakest point of your fence.

Invasive Ivy Vines

Some ivy species such as woody vines prove to be harmful because they hold excessive moisture that may cause your metal wire fence to corrode. Once corrosion is evident, these plants can easily enter through gaps and cracks, penetrating the material and eventually destroying the entire fence.

The best you can do to avoid this problem is to remove the vines climbing up of your fence by severing the main stem from the roots. Afterward, do not forget to pour vinegar or boiling water onto these roots, and dig them out of the ground to fully eradicate them. 

Cover the soil with mulch as an extra precaution. If there are any living root systems left on the ground, this action will bar the roots from receiving sunlight, thus, preventing them from growing back. 

What Is The Difference Between A Deer Fence And Chain-Link Fence?

Black Chainlink Fence 1

The materials use in deer fences are more lightweight as opposed to chain-link fences which are heavier, making them more difficult to install. They are however stronger and will last longer.

Both fencing materials can be used to enclose a property and contain animals. A deer fence is more utilized in agricultural lands since it is less costly, and it is often used to keep deer away from your lot. Chain-link fences are typically used in residential areas for demarcating properties.

In Conclusion 

The safety of your pets is always your main concern. We hope this article proved to be helpful in keeping the balance between the integrity of the enclosure and the protection of your animals.

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