Your dog loves to run and play. The backyard is supposed to be a place where your pup is safe to do what he pleases, but there are unfortunately many other factors to consider. Dogs who can jump over or dig under fences cannot be contained by them, so you need another option. Maybe it is time for you to consider an invisible fence.
These are just some of the many things to consider when looking for an invisible fence. Shopping around can get even more complicated when one invisible fence company has more than one product on the market. How are you supposed to figure out which one is better if they both come from the same company? And why does one company need to put out more than one wireless dog fence? Aren’t all invisible fences pretty much the same?
The answer to that last question is simple: no! Every wireless dog fence system is slightly different. Each one caters to a different need or doggy demographic. You have to do some research if you want to figure out which invisible fence is the right one for your furry friend – and for your whole household.
Luckily, we have done some of the research for you. Below, we compare two different wireless dog fences from PetSafe, one of the most popular brands on the market for invisible fences. Each one comes with its own pros and cons. Keep reading to figure out the benefits and problems of both of these wireless dog fences from PetSafe to assess which one is right for you and your furry friend.
How we compared the 2 products
Petsafe Stay + Play
Free to Roam
|Levels of correction||5 shock, 2 sound-only||5 shock, 1 sound-only|
|Size of coverage||¾ acres||½ acres|
|Shape of coverage||Circular||Circular|
|Wires to bury?||No||No|
|Number of pets on system||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Dog size||At least 5 pounds, 6 inches to 28 inches neck size||At least 5 pounds, 6 inches to 28 inches neck size|
The criteria that we used to compare the 2 products are as listed above: number of levels of correction, maximum size of area that can be covered, shape of coverage, cost, whether or not wires must be buried, the quality of the batteries, the number of pets that the system can support, portability, and the sizes of the dogs that can be supported on the system.
Which wireless dog fence is best?
So, which one should I buy?
Ultimately, that is up to you. However, the above reviews and quick comparison guide should help you understand which product is best for you and your furry friend. The Stay + Play system is more expensive. However, PetSafe considers it to be an upgrade from the Free to Roam. The Stay + Play invisible fence system covers more territory and has rechargeable batteries so that you do not have to pay to keep replacing them.
You are the one who has to decide what is most important to you. If it is cost you want to save, then the Free to Roam system is a great fit. However, if you want more area coverage and the advantage of a rechargeable computerized collar, then you should go with the Stay + Play system.
Review: PetSafe Stay + Play
The PetSafe Stay + Play is an above-ground invisible pet fence that does not require any wires to be buried.
The must-know facts about the PetSafe Stay + Play
It can cover up to ¾ of an acre of land in its circular boundary that is drawn from the transmitter. It is a portable transmitter that is not waterproof, so it is intended to be kept indoors.
Because there are not any wires to be buried, the system is indeed portable. You do not have to deal with burying any wires on your own, and if you are someone who likes to camp or travel, you can bring it with you wherever you are going. That also means that set-up is very easy and should not take you more than a few hours.
The computerized collar is waterproof, so you are safe to let your furry friend play in the rain. It can fit on any dog that weighs at least 5 pounds. The neck size of your pooch can be anywhere from 6 inches to 28 inches. Plus, the collar will work with any PetSafe wireless dog fence transmitters.
The battery in the collar is rechargeable, taking only 2 to 3 hours to recharge.
If your dog does pass the boundary, they will not be corrected when they return to the yard, unlike many in-ground invisible fences. This avoids the confusion that might face your pup upon reentry.
This system allows for as many furry friends as you have. All you have to do is purchase more computerized collars and sync them to the system. Each computerized collar can be set to a different level of correction, so pooches of varying sizes and obedience levels can be corrected as necessary.
This system works best if the yard is flat because hills can interfere with the transmitter’s signal.
You should be sure that the base unit is placed inside on the ground level of your house, such as in the garage. It needs to be at a power outlet and at least 5 feet away from any large metal objects. You might want to consider purchasing a surge protector in case of inclement weather.
If you buy more base units – up to 3 – then you can overlap their areas. The correction area would expand, with the overlapping perimeter not shocking your furry friend. This expands your pup’s overall play area.
Benefits and features
The kit comes with boundary flags to help with training. Plus, there is a professional training guide that promises to get your pooch trained in 2 weeks.
Though it is not a Stubborn Dog fence system, users have reported that the higher levels of correction work well to train stubborn pups.
If you have used a PetSafe product before and still have the computerized collar form that system, it can be synced with the Stay and Play system.
The rechargeable battery in the computerized collar means that you never have to worry about replacing the batteries. It fully recharges in 2 to 3 hours.
It does come with a warranty. Plus, customer service is available Monday through Saturday, based in the United States.
The area has to be circular, not square or rectangular. You cannot customize it except to change the radius, unlike a fence with in-ground wire.
The transmitter will also stop working if there is a power outage. However, when the power comes back on, the computerized collars will not still be synced to the transmitter. You will need to resync after power comes back on. If you forget, your furry friend could escape.
A lot of people have reported that the life cycle of the transmitter is only around one year, so it may need to be replaced more frequently than you would like.
Though the battery is rechargeable, there is no low-battery indicator, which means you will not know when the battery runs out. You need to be proactive with your charging.
Though it does keep your dog in, it does not keep other animals out, which is always something to remember.
The PetSafe Stay + Play invisible fence system is a popular option on the market because it does not need any wires to be buried. It is a reliable system that has a wide range for the boundary and rechargeable batteries on the computerized collar.
Review: PetSafe Free to Roam
The PetSafe Free to Roam wireless dog fence system is another completely wire-free option on the market from PetSafe.
The must-know facts about the PetSafe Free to Roam
Once again, no wires need to be buried for this PetSafe system, making it another above-ground invisible fence option.
There are 5 levels of correction that involve shocks on this computerized collar. There is also a sound-only mode for training and for obedient pups that do not need more than the sound to know to return.
Like any PetSafe transmitter, this must be installed on your home’s ground level at a power outlet. It has to be 5 feet away minimum from any large metal objects.
Be sure to use the quick start guide. It tells you exactly how to set up the system, and how to train your pooch to obey the invisible fence’s boundary.
Benefits and features
This product has static-free reentry, so your furry friend will not be shocked when he reenters the property if he does happen to cross the perimeter and be shocked. This means your pup will not be punished for coming back home.
You do not have to deal with the hassle of burying wires with this system, making set-up so much easier.
Like most other PetSafe collars, this computerized collar is waterproof and works with any PetSafe wireless dog fence system. Your pooch needs to weigh at least 5 pounds, and the neck size can be anywhere from 6 inches to 28 inches.
If you buy more computerized collars, you can have as many furry friends on the system as you would like.
For the transmitter, there is an automatic safety shut-off so that in case of an emergency or inclement weather, your furry friend will not be unnecessarily shocked.
There is a warranty, and as with every PetSafe product, a customer service line available Monday through Saturday.
Because no wires are buried, you do not get to customize the area of the boundary. It must be circular, whereas an option with buried wires would allow you to make the shape of the perimeter whatever you prefer it to be.
The batteries that are needed for the computerized collar are only sold by PetSafe, so you will have to order from them and pay whatever they require instead of shopping around. Replacement can also be inconvenient overall.
There have been reports that the boundary sometimes fluctuates unexpectedly, either shocking before the perimeter is reached or not correcting until long after the border has been crossed.
This is the more rudimentary version of the Stay + Play invisible fence system. It covers less area and requires battery replacements. However, it has still been largely reported to work properly and is a cheaper alternative to the Stay + Play wireless dog fence system.
Before we start: is a wireless dog fence right for me?
If your pooch can jump over or dig under traditional fences and walls, then a wireless dog fence might be the best possible option for you. Invisible fences are most popular in suburban areas where you have a lot of yard space, as well as in rural areas. If your pup has a tendency to attempt escape, then a wireless dog fence could be the right remedy for you.
However, it will not stop other animals from coming into your yard. If your neighbor’s dog likes to wander over, or the cat down the street likes to fight in your backyard, then you will want something that can keep those animals out. The same goes for wild animals; if they tend to come into your yard, then an invisible fence will not keep your pup safe. In these cases, you could use both an invisible fence and a traditional fence. Otherwise, the wireless dog fence might not be the best option for you and your pooch.
If your furry friend has aggression issues, then it is also usually not recommended that he uses a wireless dog fence system. The surprise from being shocked can agitate an aggressive or anxious dog, making him attack whatever or whoever is closest to him because he cannot identify where the correction came from. It might also spook him, keeping him on the other side of the fence instead of encouraging him to come back.
What should I look for in a wireless dog fence?
There are so many different things to consider when you look for an invisible fence. The factors that will be most important to look at in reviews and product descriptions, of course, depends on your specific needs and wants for the wireless dog fence. You have to figure out what is important to you.
First and foremost, consider if you want an in-ground wire or a totally wireless transmitter system. If you use in-ground wire, then you will be able to shape the perimeter of your boundary however you want (keeping in mind that you may need to purchase additional wire to get the entire shape correct). This will require more time and effort for installation. If you use a totally wireless transmitter system, then set-up will be much quicker and easier. However, the perimeter will be a circle; all you will be able to do is set the radius of the boundary.
Most importantly, you will want to look at the quality of the wireless dog fence before purchasing it. If it comes with wire, what is the wire’s quality? Will you need to replace it or buy your own before starting? Is the computerized collar waterproof or water resistant? Is the product proven to work for an extended period of time? Is there a warranty? You should try to answer all of these questions before deciding whether or not to buy a specific wireless dog fence system.
Finally, keep in mind cost. Budget for whatever you are willing to pay and remember that you might have to make some sacrifices about the other factors if you go for a cheaper option.