Which invisible fence is best?
Invisible fences, also known as fence containment systems, are designed to keep your pets in check without obstructing the beauty of your yard. After securing the invisible fence collar to your dog, it emits noises and vibrations when your dog gets too close to the boundary and mildly shocks your dog if it crosses that boundary.
The best invisible fence is the PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Pet Fence for Dogs and Cats. It includes everything you need except for the wiring, which you can purchase separately.
What to know before you buy an invisible fence
Wired vs. wireless
Invisible fences can be wired or wireless, and each style has its pros and cons.
- Wired fences are more adjustable and can cover larger areas. You can even install them to prevent your pet from entering areas within the main boundary. However, the wires can break. Therefore, you need to either bury them or string them up above ground, where they’re less likely to be damaged.
- Wireless fences don’t have the range and adjustability of wired options, but they also don’t require any setup. You switch them on, and they cover a bubble of a few hundred feet. While you do not need to keep them inside, they can lose signal to the collar indoors.
Most invisible fence kits cover up to 1 acre of land with many offering expandable coverages of one-third of an acre. Some specialty kits can cover up to 25 or even 100 acres.
What to look for in a quality invisible fence
Response time is how quickly the line from the invisible fence to the collar can communicate. Faster response times are always better. They’re faster to trigger but, more importantly, faster to stop triggering. Pets that stay close to the boundaries or cross often will need a fast response time not to have to endure shocks longer than necessary.
Collars have two areas to consider: attachment method and batteries.
- Attachment method: Most collars attach with an adjustable plastic snap, while others use notched leather instead. Snaps are much easier to adjust, but many prefer the look of notched leather.
- Batteries: Most collars use rechargeable batteries, though some use replaceable ones. In this case, you should focus on battery life rather than rechargeable vs. replaceable, as both styles are just as likely to be long or short-lived.
How much you can expect to spend on an invisible fence
Invisible fences typically cost $100-$500. Basic kits, which may not include wiring, typically cost less than $200 with rare options costing as little as $50. Kits that include everything you need usually start around $200 and get costlier the more ground they can cover.
Invisible fence FAQ
What are the pros and cons of an invisible fence?
A. Invisible fences are usually a perfect choice or a poor one with little wiggle room between.
- Pros: Invisible fences can keep your dog safely in check within your yard without obstructing your views or exterior design. They are also typically cheaper than installing a standard fence.
- Cons: The biggest negative for most is the shock itself, as many find the idea unethical. The collars can also be bulky, and their batteries require recharging or replacing. Finally, invisible fences only keep creatures in, not out.
Will the shocks from the collar hurt my pet?
A. It’s possible. The shocks given are designed to be irritating or uncomfortable rather than painful. It’s also important to note that cheaper fences have less controllable collars that not only have worse shocks but can even trigger accidentally when your dog is nowhere near the fence’s edge. Better collars will have adjustable shocks so that you can set them lower or higher as needed.
Are there invisible fences without the shock feature?
A. Yes and no. Few, if any, invisible fences will offer collars that lack any shocking potential. Instead, you can find fences that let you disable the shocks and use high levels of noise and vibration to keep your pets inside the boundaries. You’ll likely need to pay top dollar for these options.
What’s the best invisible fence to buy?
Top invisible fence
PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Pet Fence for Dogs and Cats
What you need to know: It’s an excellent starter kit with good coverage.
What you’ll love: It has five power levels of static correction and a tone plus vibration mode for smaller, delicate dogs. If your dog doesn’t return to the yard, a safety switch will stop the correction after 30 seconds. The collar is waterproof and fits neck sizes ranging from 6 to 28 inches.
What you should consider: In-ground wiring isn’t included, though PetSafe offers wiring in varying gauges and lengths. Some consumers had issues with the batteries dying quickly.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Chewy
Top invisible fence for the money
FreeSpirit In-Ground Fence Containment System
What you need to know: This kit is designed to be expanded to accommodate large boundaries and several dogs.
What you’ll love: It has five levels of correction and a tone and vibration setting. The tone and vibration also trigger as a warning if your dog gets too close to the boundary. The collar is waterproof, rechargeable and adjustable between 6 and 26 inches.
What you should consider: You’ll need to spend hundreds of dollars to reach the maximum 1-acre coverage. There are some reports of home appliances triggering the correction when near your dog.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Chewy and PetSmart
Worth checking out
Educator E-Fence Underground Fence Containment System for Dogs
What you need to know: This kit is packed with features that you can tailor to your dog.
What you’ll love: Each collar connected to the system is fully customizable, including the volume of the alarm, whether it has a warning tone or not, how powerful the correction is and whether it’s on a small, medium or large dog. You can purchase it with or without the boundary kit.
What you should consider: It’s among the most expensive invisible fences, and setting the system up takes a long time and great effort.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Chewy
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.