Setting up a dog proof balcony isn’t too difficult, and, with a bit of effort, you can keep your dog safe while it’s enjoying the outdoors.
Let’s go over some of the most effective solutions for creating a dog proof balcony. Where possible, we’ve tried to include some DIY solutions that won’t break the bank.
Why Dog Proof Your Balcony?
Much like with kids on balconies, dogs can be unpredictable safety hazards. Whether or not your dog has tried to do anything yet is irrelevant, as it only takes one distraction to make them try something stupid.
Specifically, dogs on balconies can:
- Slip under the railing if they’re small enough
- Jump off the balcony
- Get their head stuck in the railings
- Try to eat things they’re not meant to (plants, furniture, BBQs, etc.)
Setting up balcony protection for dogs is one thing, but you should obviously try not to leave your dog unattended. This is by far the easiest way to stop something dangerous from happening.
How to Dog Proof a Balcony
1. Railing netting
Balcony netting is a good start to dog-proofing your balcony. You can use any type of railing netting, many of which are designed for children. It’s obviously most suitable for open railings, such as metal.
But this kind of balcony netting for dogs won’t be suitable if your pet loves to chew. If that’s the case, use something like fine chicken wire because it’s more resilient.
2. Plexiglass panels
Another solution (again, designed for kids) is plexiglass panels. You fix these to the railing using zip ties, and they provide a solid barrier. Unlike netting, it won’t obstruct your view.
While it does provide decent balcony protection for dogs, plexiglass is more expensive than netting. It’ll also reduce the breeze on your balcony because it’s a solid barrier.
3. Think about furniture placement
One of the easiest solutions to prevent your dog jumping off the balcony is to move your furniture. Make sure large pieces (chairs and tables) are as far away from the railing as possible.
Of course, this alone won’t always work. Some dogs can jump several feet in the air, meaning they don’t even need the furniture for assistance. But if you have a smaller dog, this can be a good (and easy) place to start.
4. Collar bumpers
A collar bumper is another good solution to stop your dog jumping off the balcony. In short, a collar bumper is an inflatable ring that fits onto their collar and prevents them from sticking their head through the railing.
It’s a great option if you can’t install balcony netting or plexiglass. Although they’re not expensive to buy, it’s possible to make a DIY one instead.
5. Think about storage
If you keep cleaning or gardening supplies on your balcony, be very careful how you store them. While dogs would never knowingly poison themselves, we all know how much dogs love eating things.
The most sensible solution is some kind of outdoor storage box. This might seem obvious, but they’re ideal because they’re made from thick plastic that should be chew-proof. You can also get versions that double as benches if you’re short on space.
6. DIY bamboo fence
Another option for a balcony gap filler is a bamboo fence. You can make one yourself using bamboo canes, or you could buy a roll of reed fencing. Simply fix it to your railing with zip ties, and you’ve got a good solution to stop your dog jumping off the balcony.
The benefit of making a DIY option is that you can make it as tall as you want. After all, having a fence that extends above the railing could be helpful if your dog jumps high.
While this option isn’t as chew-proof as something like plexiglass, it’s not expensive to replace when needed. Also, it doubles up as a privacy screen. Check out our article for other balcony privacy options for more solutions.
7. Be careful with your plants
Along with setting up balcony protection for dogs, you should also think about potential hazards on your balcony. One thing you definitely shouldn’t overlook is plants, as there are plenty of poisonous ones out there.
While dogs won’t always try to chew plants, they might if they’re curious or looking for some grass. It’d take too long to list everything that’s poisonous to dogs, but some common ones include irises, tulips and lilies. The ASPCA has a complete list that you should check out for more information.
Most herbs and vegetables are generally fine, but consider putting things in railing planters or hanging pots if you want to be extra safe.
8. Protecting BBQs and other balcony objects
Dogs love sniffing, and that’s not a behavior we’re able to train out of them. Instead, we just have to block off the things they’re not meant to be sniffing.
A BBQ is a good example. It smells of food, so is very interesting, but we want to keep dogs away as much as possible. Not only could they pee on the BBQ but any food remnants could make them ill.
The easiest option for something like this is to buy a BBQ cover and weigh it down with stones. While it won’t stop them from sniffing, it should stop them from getting at the BBQ. Of course, cleaning it properly after use will help, too.
The same goes for anything else you leave on your balcony. Make sure you clean up food and move hazardous objects out of your dog’s reach.
Final Thoughts on a Dog Proof Balcony
Hopefully, these tips on balcony protection for dogs will help keep your pet safe. The most important thing is to stop your dog jumping off the balcony, which can happen regardless of how high up you are.
After that, it’s just a case of stopping them from eating anything they’re not meant to. However, that’s a massive job in itself because we all know what dogs are like!