Creating a Safe Play Area with Fencing

One benefit of having a yard is having space for kids and pets to play. Even if they’re supervised, though, both children and pets can find infinite ways to get into trouble. One way to reduce worry is to install a fence around the play area or the entire yard. With fencing and a good gate, little ones won’t wander into the street or a neighbor’s yard, and can be safe from neighbors’ pets as well.

Choosing a Fence

The most important job this fence has is to safely keep the vulnerable members of your family inside its perimeter. To do this, a fence must fulfill some basic needs.

  • Consider making the fence 4 to 4 1/2 feet high. Such a tall fence will ensure kids won’t be able to get over (at least not easily), and most dogs won’t jump that high.
  • Make sure the fence cannot be climbed. Avoid horizontal rails or boards, which can be easily scaled. If you opt for a chain-link fence, make sure the openings are small enough that little feet can’t find a foothold.
  • Avoid fences with pointed tops. Just in case your child or pet does find a way over, you don’t want them to get hurt.
  • Some dogs will dig below fences. If yours is this type, consider adding wire beneath your fence to prevent escapes.
  • If opting for a picket fence, ensure the fence slats are placed close enough to each other that small dogs and children can’t slip between them.
  • Install a child-proof latch high enough on the fence that little hands won’t be able to reach.

Luckily, many kinds of fences can fit these requirements, so you’re bound to find something that fits both your aesthetic and safety needs.

sleek dog running near a wooden fence

Rail Fence

This is the least-secure option on this list. Rail fences are wonderful for marking perimeters, but act as mere guidelines for kids—they can slip right through the horizontal beams or use the beams to climb over. However, if you line the fence with chicken wire on the back side, this type of fence can be used to keep some dogs contained.

Picket Fence

Like the rail fence, the picket fence is used largely for aesthetic reasons. It can be used to keep small dogs in your yard, but is a little short to ensure children’s safety. If you decide on a picket fence, make sure the pickets are close enough together so dogs and toddlers can’t sneak through. Also be sure the bottom of the fence is close enough to the ground that small dogs can’t wiggle underneath.

Chain-Link Fence

It’s not the prettiest option on this list, but it’s tried and true. As long as the openings are too small for your kids’ toes, it won’t be easily climbed, and chain-link fences are already commonly used in dog kennels, making them a good option for pets. Some people decorate these fences with climbing vines or create elaborate, mural-like works of art in the links.

two dogs look through a chain-link fence

Semi-Privacy Fence

This is sort of a cross between a picket fence and a privacy fence. At 4 feet tall, a semi-privacy fence will keep kids and pets in, but won’t totally wall off your yard. If you want or need something taller, decorative wood panels atop the existing fence are both functional and beautiful.

Privacy Fence

Privacy fences are taller than the other options here, usually about 6 feet. This could also be a 4-foot fence with a 2-foot privacy panel on top. Either way, this is a solid fence that will keep children and pets safe and sound inside your yard. The solid wood panels are also a good option for pets who are anxious seeing other dogs or people walking by.

Other Considerations

There are just a few more items to keep in mind when it comes to building a fence.

  • Be sure you know where your property lines are. It won’t do anyone any good to anger the neighbors!
  • If you have a pool, a fence is a necessity to keep children and pets safe. Check your local ordinances to see what’s required.
  • Call before you dig! (We always do, so if you hire us for the work, that’s one less thing to worry about.


Is it time to install a fence in your yard? Let the experts at KG Landscape help. With over 15 years of landscaping experience, we can help you choose the perfect fence to complement your yard and lifestyle. Give us a call at 763-568-7251 or use our quick quote system to get in touch today.