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Build Your Pet an Outside Screened Enclosure

Wouldn’t it be great if our indoor pets could get some refreshing and enjoyable outdoor time without the risk of letting them roam free and unprotected? It’s possible with an outside screened enclosure! Creating a space for your pets outside is a great way to let them enjoy everything nature offers without fear of them getting hurt or running away. 

Why Build Your Pet an Outdoor Screen Enclosure?

While humans have the luxury of leaving the house and exploring the world around them when they feel a bit stir-crazy, many of our pets do not. We often keep our pets inside because they are protected from the elements and predators, and it stops them from running away and potentially hurting themselves. Some pets can be walked, but not all have the temperament or training for it.

Pets that spend the majority of their time indoors may find relief from boredom or stress in an outdoor habitat. These enclosures can also be used to separate pets that might not get along. Giving your pets a place to release their energy from staying inside all the time could boost their mood and overall health. In addition, if they are exhibiting destructive behavior, the outdoors could be an outlet for them that’s less stressful for you and your home.

Planning your Screen Enclosure

Before you start breaking ground on an enclosure for your pets, you should consider a few things first.

  1. Put it somewhere safe and accessible
    Not just any spot in your yard will do for your pet. You’ll want to save a spot for them that’s free of dangerous predators and plants. Make a note of wild animals that can be found in your area and if you think there’s a reasonable risk of them showing up in your yard at any time. In addition, you’ll want to place your enclosure in an open and clear area, free of any weeds, flowers, or other plants that could be harmful or poisonous to your pets. A shady area would be ideal, as it’s a good escape from the heat for your furry friends
  2. Where are you willing to put them?
    One could set an enclosure out in their grass yard, but some may choose to make the enclosure on their patio or deck area. Are you willing to put your pets further out, or would you prefer them nearby? Answer these types of questions before deciding on a spot.
  3. Set some ground rules
    While many pets are fairly self-sufficient, they’ll still need your help getting the right food and water. Be sure to have a system where you can regularly check their comfort levels and don’t leave them out for extended periods, especially during times of extreme heat. This enclosure will keep you and your pet apart, so your pet could start to develop some form of separation anxiety if they are left alone for too long.
  4. Get the right materials
    Only the strongest and most secure materials will do if you want peace of mind knowing your pet is safe. The best screen you can use for this project is a pet screen. A pet screen is a type of door or window screen designed to resist damage from pets. Pet screens are generally made from stronger materials than standard window screens, and often have a reinforced frame to help prevent pets from tearing them. Keep in mind you’ll want to not only keep your pet in but other animals out.

Crafting Your Pet’s Enclosure

There are so many different types of pets and enclosure models that it can be difficult to nail down a single perfect enclosure model. Stick to a rule of thumb that it should include a sturdy material like wood and a tough screen like a pet screen.

Different pets will have different needs. A large dog might not need a roof or an overhead screen, but your screen walls should be tall enough that they can’t jump over and the enclosure large enough that they can run around. If you have a cat, the enclosure can be smaller, but give them lots of furniture or covers to jump around or hide in. All animals are escape artists, so make sure your enclosure is as secure as possible.

Don’t forget to furnish your screened enclosure with your pet's favorite toys and items. Give them a few toys to play with or hide treats in different corners of the enclosure to keep them engaged. It might also help to add a garment of clothing that you often wear or has your scent on it, as your pet can find it comforting.