Here’s How To Dog Proof Balcony Railings

Apartment balconies offer a sense of outdoor experience if you’re living in an apartment building. However, this very feature can be dangerous for canines if not designed well. With this being said, apartment dwellers who are also pet owners should know how to dog proof balcony railings to avoid freak accidents.

Take note that no matter how trained your dog is, you should still dog proof your balcony. Do you know the saying “curiosity killed the cat”? Well, it can literally happen to your dog, too.

So below, I listed a few steps you can take to make your apartment balcony a safer place for your doggo. This way, you and your pet can enjoy the outdoor space together. It’s a big perk since apartments barely have space for a dog to move around.

How to dog proof balcony railings

Dog proofing a balcony is more than just increasing the height of the railings. Below, I listed a few steps you can take together with added points to make your balcony a safer place for your pet.

🐶Install netting over railing gaps

how to dog proof balcony railings

When it comes to balcony railings, the easiest way to dog proof it is to install netting throughout the gaps. This way, your dog won’t stick its head between the railings and it will also prevent falling hazards.

However, the problem with netting is that aggressive chewers can easily gnaw on it. In this case, you should consider the next solution.

🐶Install plexiglass

Plexi-glass is a great alternative to netting if your dog is a notorious chewer. It’s durable, which will prevent your dog from chewing and dropping toys from your balcony. And since it’s transparent, you and your doggo can still enjoy the view outdoors.

The only downside with plexiglass is it can break when subjected to strong winds. So if your apartment is located in an extremely windy area, this may not be the most suitable solution.

🐶Use collar bumpers

If you don’t want to change the look of your balcony railing, the next best option is to use dog collar bumpers. It’s basically a large material attached to a collar, which prevents your dog from sticking its head out of railings.

Moreover, it can be a pillow-like design or a loop of rigid material that creates a circular bumper around your dog’s head.

Those on a budget would improvise using a spatula to prevent their dogs from fitting between the gaps of balcony railings. Take note that this trick also works for fences.

🐶Keep a leash handy on the balcony

Aside from the mentioned solution above, you should also keep a leash on your balcony. This way, you can attach your dog to it whenever you’re allowing the pooch to stay in this area.

Take note that you should use a harness and not a collar when leashing your dog on a balcony. This is to prevent your pet from getting hanged to death in case it falls off the railing.

🐶Create a dedicated dog zone

A dedicated dog zone will prevent your dog from exploring the railings and potentially falling from them.

Other pet owners put up a dog house on their balconies or a fenced section to limit the canine’s access. However, these ideas are only possible if you have a spacious balcony in your apartment.

Additional dog proofing methods for your balcony

Aside from securing your balcony’s railings, it’s also important to pay attention to other aspects. Here are the additional dog proofing steps you need to take to ensure the safety of your pet:

🐶Remove poisonous plants

Most apartment dwellers will grow plants on their balconies. But if you have a dog, make sure that you choose your plants wisely.

Many common house plants are highly toxic to dogs. Some of which are lilies, pothos, ivies, elephant ears, dumb cane, and aloe vera. If you have any of these on your balcony, it’s best to get rid of it, much so if your dog has a penchant for chewing plants.

If you’re still keen to keep these plants, I suggest using hanging planters or tall plant racks to keep them out of your pet’s reach.

🐶Keep a clean water supply for your pet

Balconies are open spaces, but it can be pretty hot for dogs to stay at, especially during the summer season. This is why you should always keep a bowl of drinking water for your dog to access anytime.

Also, you should clean the bowl and replace the water since it will be prone to contamination in the outdoor setting.

Lastly, always place your dog’s water bowl on a shaded part of your balcony to avoid heating it up.

🐶Choose your balcony furniture wisely.

When decorating your balcony, make sure that you get dog-friendly furniture. For example, if you’re planning to set up a dog bed on your balcony, you should opt for a cot instead of a plush type.

Moreover, you should add a cooling mat, rug, or porcelain tile. These surfaces will help prevent your doggo from overheating during the summer season while staying at the balcony.

Lastly, avoid anything that could injure your dog, including items that could fall or has sharp edges.

🐶Keep harmful chemicals away

Many apartment dwellers use their balconies to store chemicals, so they won’t leak or smell inside their homes. If you’re also doing this, it’s important to stash the chemicals away, so your dog won’t be exposed to them.

If you really don’t have a spot for these supplies, make sure that you lock them inside a box or container that’s not easy to chew or destroy. It’s also best to prevent your dog from accessing the storage area by putting up baby gates or makeshift fences as a partition for your balcony.

🐶Remove any items your dog could jump on

Also, it’s important to remove anything that your dog could step on to reach the top of the railing. This is dangerous as your pet may accidentally fall from your balcony.

Very high furniture, garbage bins, stacks of boxes, and elevated plant racks are just some of the items your dog can use to lean over your balcony railing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I stop my dog from jumping on the balcony?

A: Jumping is a common problem whenever dogs are taken into balconies. It could be due to the excitement of being outdoors or the wanting to pursue whatever they are seeing. To stop this behavior, you should keep your dog leashed, but make sure that the leash is connected to a harness instead of a collar. Also, you can block your dog’s access to the railings.

Q: Will my dog try to jump off a balcony?

A: Most dogs will not intentionally jump off an apartment balcony. However, their curiosity might put them at the risk of falling. Also, dogs with vision and cognitive problems may fall off a balcony if left unattended. This is why dog-proofing a balcony is crucial to avoid accidents, whether your doggo is well-trained or not.

Q: Are dogs afraid of heights?

A: Dogs don’t see things the same way we do, but they can also suffer from fear of heights. With this, it’s possible that your dog will exhibit signs of fright whenever it’s looking through your balcony. Nevertheless, this reaction varies from one canine to another.

Q: What should I do if my dog fell from my balcony?

A: If your dog fell from your balcony, you should perform first aid if possible. If your dog is unresponsive, you should bring it to the vet immediately. You can make a makeshift stretcher using a piece of wood or poles and a blanket. If you’re scared of making your dog’s condition worse, you can call an animal control service for proper assistance.

Q: Should I let my dog access the balcony of my apartment?

A: Balconies are safe for dogs as long as you proof it well. You should block any spot on the railing where your dog can push its head into. Also, you should keep your dog supervised while staying on the balcony. Basically, you should treat your dog like a baby whenever you’re taking it on your apartment’s balcony.

Q: Is it safe to let my dog stay on the balcony all the time?

A: If dog-proofed, your balcony will be a safe place for your canine. However, this is an open space and your pooch will be exposed to harsh elements. But if you’re keen to keep your doggo in this spot, make sure that you provide it with a comfortable shelter to shield against wind, rain, snow, and so on.

Final words

The steps on how to dog proof balcony railings can be life-saving knowledge. Since dogs can be pretty curious, they stand the risk of falling or getting stuck in between the railings. Good thing, the solutions are quite easy.

Do you have other points to add here? Share it with us in the comment section!


  • Brad

    Hi I'm Brad, the founder of Having been a vet of 6 years I work alongside our team to provide valuable insight into your dog's health. I have a frenchie myself named Senzu who is my pride and joy!

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