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Which outdoor dog chain is best?

It’s unhealthy to leave a dog cooped up in the house all day, and not just because they need to go out to go potty. However, not everyone has large fenced-in yards or easy access to a dog park for their furry friend to run freely in. In these and other cases, the use of an outdoor dog chain can be a lifesaver.

The best is the BV Pet Tie-Out Cable For Dogs. It comes in several lengths and strengths, plus has a vinyl coating for durability.

What to know before you buy an outdoor dog chain

Outdoor dog chain types

There are three types of outdoor dog chains.

  • Simple chains are just that — a chain. You need to be creative about what you use to secure them, but they usually cost less in return.
  • Stake chains include a security measure, usually a long screw-in stake, hence the name. These are great for traveling or if your yard is devoid of things to attach to.
  • Trolley chains are the most expensive and the trickiest to set up. They involve two chains, one of which is strung between two anchor points. The second chain is then attached to that line. These prevent any tangling and keep your dog in a more contained area.

Dog weight

Outdoor dog chains use the weight of a dog it’s meant to hold to relate to its strength. There are chains available for dogs as light as 10 pounds and as heavy as 250 pounds. 

It doesn’t hurt to get a stronger chain than necessary, but don’t go too far up. Stronger chains weigh more and your dog will have to pull that extra weight.

Chain length

Outdoor dog chains usually come in lengths from 10 to 100 feet. When shopping for chain length, you need to balance the area you want your dog to be able to freely explore with the likelihood of your dog becoming tangled up.

What to look for in a quality outdoor dog chain


The best outdoor dog chains use some kind of coating, usually vinyl, to provide several benefits. These usually make them rust-resistant and more comfortable if it rubs against your dog. They can also make the chain easier to see during the day, reflective for nighttime visibility or add ultraviolet protection for durability.


The clips that attach to your anchor and your dog are the weakest part of an outdoor dog chain and so require the most scrutiny when shopping. Look for clips made of strong, thick metals and that is on a swivel for tangle reduction.

How much you can expect to spend on an outdoor dog chain

They can cost as little as $10 or as much as $30. The cost depends on how long the chain is and what size dog it’s rated to hold, with longer and stronger chains costing more.

Outdoor dog chain FAQ

Are outdoor dog chains safe?

A. Yes, they’re safe as long as they’re not actually chain-link. Heavy chain-link strings are so unsafe they’re illegal, but outdoor dog chains you find online and in stores are light, safe and legal.

Also illegal in some places is keeping your dog outside on a tether for too long. Other places have further laws restricting being tethered such as Wichita, Kansas’ requirement that dogs must stay inside for at least three hours after each hour of being tethered outside.

What should I anchor my outdoor dog chain to?

A. You can tether it to anything so long as that thing is strong enough not to be pulled by your dog and your dog can’t be tangled up by it. Never attach it to furniture for these reasons. Looping the chain around a tree is a common choice, as is attaching it to a hook secured in a wall.

What’s the best outdoor dog chain to buy?

Top outdoor dog chain

Best BV Pet Tie-Out Cable For Dogs

BV Pet Tie-Out Cable for Dogs

What you need to know: This line of chains is excellent for any dog. 

What you’ll love: It comes in several size and strength combinations starting at 20 feet for 10 pounds and ending at 25 feet for 250 pounds. Every chain is covered with a rust-protective vinyl cover which may be brightly colored for visibility depending on the length and strength.

What you should consider: Some consumers reported the clips to be weaker than expected; they may break long before the chain wears out. Some dogs may chew on the vinyl coating.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top outdoor dog chain for the money

Best Petest Reflective Tie-Out Cable For Dogs

Petest Reflective Tie-Out Cable for Dogs

What you need to know: This line is a great budget choice for occasional use.

What you’ll love: It comes in six size and strength combinations starting at 10 feet for 10 pounds and ending at 25 feet for 250 pounds. One option also includes a stake. It has a reflective and anti-rust vinyl coating for visibility at night.

What you should consider: Most customers get roughly six months of regular use from it until the area around the crimp fails. The silver vinyl coating can be hard to see in daylight.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Best Snagle Paw Dog Stake Tie-Out Cable

Snagle Paw Dog Stake Tie-Out Cable 

What you need to know: This stake-including line of chains is perfect for traveling.

What you’ll love: The chain comes in either 10-, 20- or 30-foot lengths, can hold up to 125 pounds and is coated in a rust-preventing plastic. The screw-in stake is 16 inches long with a sharp tip and an easy-grip rubber handle.

What you should consider: A few purchasers reported dogs as small as 50 pounds being able to bend or pull up the stake if they run fast enough away.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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