I will admit it. My husband and I are “those people” who are obsessed with their dog. You can imagine my distress then, when I heard her crying from a distance while at home recently.

She had gotten out of the yard and was trying desperately to dig her way back in. Her face and body were muddied and clumps of dirt were spilling out of the hollows of her paws. I cleaned her up and chalked it up to an isolated incident. I saw a small gap underneath our fence and quickly covered it with a cinder block.


Then, it happened again the next day and the next. Only these times, she wasn’t trying to get back in. Neighbors and passersby were bringing her home. Apparently, she was finding other gaps between the bottom of our fence and the ground. The only solution was to close the gaps all around. If you need to close the gaps under your fence, consider some of these ideas:

If it’s a small gap, add decorative stone such as tumbled lava or river rock. How much stone you need depends on the size and depth of the area you are trying to fill. Place some plastic underneath the rocks to help prevent weeds from poking out. You can also install some edging to keep the rocks separate from your grass.

If it’s a medium gap, consider adding a raised planter box in front. Just make sure that the box is high enough to cover the gap. Another option, if the gap is long but short, is to add some garden edging alone. Remember that you don’t need to close the gap completely, just enough so that your pet does not fit inside.


If it’s a longer, bigger gap, decorative stone may be too pricey. Bricks or concrete wall blocks may work better. You will first have to prepare the area so that you can start with a level surface. Tamp the dirt down and then add a layer of sand on top. Lay the stone or bricks on top, tamping each down with a rubber mallet as you go. Build the layers up to fill the gap.

Another option for a bigger gap is a product I came across called Dig Defence. This is a somewhat pricey option, but it has been said to do the job well. According to the manufacturer, Dig Defence is a drive-in ground fence panel that consists of 4-gauge galvanized steel rods. You can install it with just a hammer and a pair of gloves.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.