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Last updated: 18 Nov 2019

The Best Dog Playpens (Review) in 2019

best choice dog playpen

MidWest Homes Metal Playpen

premium pick dog playpen

MidWest Homes for Pets Puppy Playpen

affordable dog playpen

Prevue Pet Products Multi-Color Small Pet Playpen

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Nicole Ellis
Published 03:44 am

A playpen is a great alternative to crates and kennels in that they provide exceptional freedom of movement for pooches while guaranteeing their safety. While not everyone would agree to the use of such pieces of canine furniture, many dog lovers and experts actually use them for a variety of purposes, but mostly to provide a good balance of doggie freedom and safety. However, to maximize these benefits it is imperative that only the best and most appropriate pet playpen be chosen for your canine friend. Not to worry though as our list of the 10 best dog playpens have you covered.

The Best Dog Playpen

1

MidWest Exercise Pen
MidWest Homes for Pets Dog Playpen

Currently a bestseller in outdoor dog pen products, this unit from MidWest Homes for Pets is available in 5 different sizes with the largest being 4 feet high, making it an exceptional dog exercise pen. What makes the MidWest click as an outdoor pen is that it comes with ground anchors to help secure it to the ground. It comes with an e-coat finish to help improve its resilience against all weather. Setting it up and dismantling it is not really an issue. No wonder it’s one of the best dog playpen products in the market.

8-panel construction without door access

Comes with ground anchors and thumb-snaps

Heavy duty wire construction with e-coat finish

Panel height: 30 inches 

Specification:
  • Brand: MidWest Homes for Pets
  • Model: 552-30
  • Weight: 19.4 pounds

2

Looking for a puppy playpen? We recommend the Pet Playpen from IRIS USA. It’s appropriately sized for puppies and small breeds of canines, providing a modest 8 square feet of play area. What’s more, the panels can be fully expanded by purchasing panel add-ons. You can also secure the top with an optional mesh roof. The IRIS is made of molded heavy duty plastic so it should be able to hold up to even the mightiest chewers among the small pooches. It’s great for outdoor or indoor use, too.

4-panel, box type design with secure door

Fully expandable with additional panels and mesh roof

Made of heavy-duty, sturdy, and durable molded plastic

Panel height: 2 feet 

Specification:
  • Brand: IRIS USA, Inc.
  • Model: 301487
  • Weight: 12.73 pounds

3

When it comes to indoor dog pen that is so easy to setup and very affordable, too, the Parkland Pet Portable Foldable Pet Playpen is a must have. It looks like an oversized laundry hamper with breathable mesh panels and a zippered top for better security and greater access to your pooch. Its portability means you can conveniently take it anywhere.

Constructed of weatherproof fabric materials

With mesh panel windows

Easy fold, easy setup design

Durable yet very lightweight

Panel dimensions: 17 inches wide and 27 inches high 

Specification:
  • Brand: Parkland Pet
  • Weight: 1.81 pounds

4

The Ruff n Ruffus playpen is one of the best dog playpens in today’s market. There are many models available for sale, but this one tops the charts, as stated on countless customer review sites. It is well suited for different kinds of small animals, namely, dogs, rabbits, and cats.

Our list of recommendations will be incomplete without this outdoor playpen from Ruff n Ruffus. This plastic playpen is light in weight and extremely portable for secure storage and transport. It features a roomy 8-panel design that provides your pet with enough space to maneuver. Every panel has reinforced corners and protected seams, which keep it stabilized whenever it is set up.

Indoor / Outdoor use

Water-resistant

Removable shade cover

Dogs / Cats / Rabbit

Available In 3 Sizes

Specification:
  • Brand: Ruff ‘n Ruffus
  • Weight: 2.4 pounds

5

The Paws & Pals Exercise Pen Tube is an 8-panel design that easily folds for convenient storage. Made of premium grade metal wire and coated with corrosion resistant coating, the OxGord is also available in 4 sizes to give you a wide array of options. It’s very easy to assemble and comes with a single door complete with a secure lock mechanism.

Made of premium quality metal wire with corrosion resistant coating

Single door access with single slide lock mechanism

Fully collapsible design

Panel height: 3 feet 

Specification:
  • Brand: Paws & Pals
  • Model: PTMP02-24
  • Weight: 2 pounds

6

If you like the IRIS 4-panel but wish it provided a larger surface area, then its Exercise Panel is the one to get, offering you 21 square feet of space. The height of the panel is about 34 inches, making it a great dog exercise pen. Like the 4-Panel IRIS, the Exercise Panel pet playpen can be expanded with the addition of new panels so you can greatly increase its play area. This is often advisable if you’re planning to turn it into an outdoor dog pen. The IRIS Exercise Panel is also available in 10 lovely colors.

Constructed of heavy-duty, durable molded plastic

8-panel design with 20-inch high door

Available in 10 different colors

For indoor and outdoor use

Panel height: 34 inches 

Specification:
  • Brand: IRIS USA, Inc.
  • Model: 25.7 pounds
  • Weight: 301711

7

This ESK Collection Dog Playpen will become your little one’s favorite play item. It is a portable unit designed to allow your dog’s run freely in a safe and contained environment.

The ESK Collection small dog playpen is made from a durable cloth material, and it is identified as a stable, durable, and breathable unit. T features the use of mesh at specific points, to allow for better ventilation within the pen. The mesh also allows you to view your furry mates while they play, to ensure that they’re all safe. The cloth material of this puppy fence is easy to remove and simple to clean. It comes with little storage compartments which allow you to keep your pets favorite toys handy for their playtime.

Eight-panel design

Simple to install

Oxford cloth material

Waterproof

Comfortable breathable

Specification:
  • Brand: ESK Collection
  • Model: ESK48-Blue
  • Weight: 6.4 pounds

8

The only difference between this product by Paws & Pals and the Paws & Pals Wire Playpen is that this one comes with thicker metal hammigrid wire. This commands a heftier price tag. On the bright side, what you get is a really superior, highly durable, and heavy duty dog exercise pen that comes with all the features of a typical Paws & Pals pet playpen.

8-panel design made of all-metal hammigrid wire

Fully folding and reconfigurable styling

Single door with double lock mechanism

Corrosion resistant coating

Panel height: 26 inches 

Specification:
  • Brand: Paws & Pals
  • Model: PTMP01-24
  • Weight: 35 pounds

9

Prevue Pet Products Multi Color Small Pet Playpen
Prevue Pet Products Multi-Color Small Pet Playpen

Prevue Pet Products’ entry into our list of the best dog playpen is actually not for dogs but rather for smaller pets like rodents, hamsters, gerbils, and the like. The height of the panels is only 9 inches. As such, it can be used as a puppy playpen instead. The 3 square feet of play area should be perfect for a brood of very young puppies.

9-panel design with each panel in a different color

Fully collapsible and configurable panels

Panel dimensions: 9 inches high and 13 inches long

Specification:
  • Brand: Prevue Pet Products

10

ToysOpoly offers one of the best, most comfortable, and most secure outdoor and indoor dog pen in the market. It includes stainless steel anchors plus zippered top for optimum UV protection. The 4 lovely colors only add to its overall aesthetics. It’s a pop-up tent, making it super-easy to setup and dismantle. Mesh window panels ensures adequate ventilation for your pooch. The only thing missing now are the accessories that your dog really loves.

 

Highly portable, foldable, and easy to setup design

Waterproof, lightweight, heavy duty, and durable materials

Covered flooring and large mesh windows

Built-in roof with zipper closure

Dimensions: 45 inches across and 2 feet tall

Specification:
  • Brand: ToysOpoly
  • Weight: 5.8 pounds

11

Another brand we much admire in the animal industry is Tespo. They have displayed great professionalism every year through their distribution of high-quality products and also through their excellent customer service. There is no dispute about how valuable they are to dog owners and other pet lovers.

The Tespo Pet Playpen is a 12-paneled unit designed with large, robust plastic for use by small animals such as puppies and kittens. It is an upgraded version of an earlier pet play yard from Tespo; thus, it comes with several improved features which make its usage more enjoyable. This system comes with anti-slip pieces and cable ties for more rigidity. It is effortless to set up and can be expanded to accommodate more animals as and when needed. Experience the fun which comes with interaction by getting this portable dog pen for your rabbits, hedgehogs, guinea pigs, and other small animals.

Transparent white 12 panels

Portable

Anti-slip pieces

For various small animals

100% satisfaction guarantee

Specification:
  • Brand: Tespo
  • Model: CB05PB
  • Weight: 10.75 pounds

12

The BestPet Puppy Pet Playpen is a well-designed pet playpen. It features the use of premium materials which pose no health hazards or physical threats to animals. With its wide variety of shapes and sizes, no pet of yours cannot benefit from this playpen.

Our favorite dog indoor playpen is BestPet playpen. It is built from metals which are highly water and rust-resistant. They feature an 8-panel design and come in multiple shapes for use both indoors and outdoors. No matter the type of climate you’re experiencing, this large dog playpen can be used to its fullest capacity. It doesn’t rust, corrode or fade, and it is effortless to clean and maintain.

Eight panel

Indoor/outdoor

Different shapes

Anti-rust metal

Foldable dog playpen

Specification:
  • Brand: BestPet

13

Meet the Yaheetech Playpen, another spectacular unit designed for total enjoyment. Playtime is now more exciting than it used to be, thanks to the invention of this unit. The Yaheetech playpen works well for puppies, cats, dogs, and other home pets. 

It consists of 16 panels and is available in different shapes such as octagons, rectangles, and squares. This puppy pen features the use of heavy-duty iron panels, which are incredibly durable and ideal for use both inside and outside your home. The best part about this dog pen is how easy it is to store. If it’s not in use, the Yaheetech playpen can be folded into a smaller size and kept in storage.

Outdoor & indoor

16 panels/8 panels

Heavy-duty foldable metal

Powder-coated iron panels

No tools required

Specification:
  • Brand: Yaheetech
  • Weight: 59.1 pounds

14

On a lot of online review platforms for the best dog playpens, one will come across the North States MyPet Playpen, and for a good reason. It is one of the greatest playpen designs in the world, made by the most trusted manufacturers on the globe.

This is one impressive pet playpen designed for safety. It features a small lockable, swinging door which allows easy entry and exits of your pet while also keeping the enclosure secure once locked, to prevent your furry friends from going astray. It has skid-resistant pads that prevent the occurrence of scratching or extreme damaging of your flooring. This American produced unit is a must-have for all dog owners.

6-panel pet enclosure

Lockable pet door

Additional extension panels

Durable skid-resistant pads

Convenient carry strap

Specification:
  • Brand: North States Pet
  • Model: 8657
  • Weight: 20.9 pounds

15

MidWest Homes For Pets Puppy Playpen
MidWest Homes for Pets Puppy Playpen

Any dog, cat, or small animal that plays in the MidWest Puppy Playpen has a level of excitement that cannot be compared to any other. This is simply because the puppy playpen creates a perfect play environment, which is both interactive and safe.

This MidWest Puppy Playpen product is a well-designed unit made from premium metals. It is coated with a satin black electro finish to make it more convenient for house training of your puppies. To store it, you can fold up the dog playpen easily. The folding feature also makes the unit easy to transport from one location to the other.

Satin black electro-coat finish

Top and two side door openings

Slide-bolt latches

Adjustable floor grid

Easy-to-clean slide out pans

Specification:
  • Brand: MidWest Homes for Pets
  • Model: 236-10
  • Weight: 52 pounds

Best Dog Playpen Buying Guide & FAQ

As we have mentioned in our introduction, doggie playpens are exceptional pieces of canine furniture that allow you to provide your pooches with a certain degree of freedom that is far greater than what they have inside a crate or kennel. In the following sections, we will try to explore some of the most pressing concerns any dog playpen buyer faces. We’ll start with a determination whether your dog really needs a play pen or not. We’ll also be sharing with you a few things you may want to consider before making that purchase. Of course, we’ll round it up with a presentation of some of the most common types of dog play pens. By the time you finish with this article, you’d already have all the knowledge you need to make the correct decision.

dog in a playpen

Does My Dog Need a Playpen?

For most of us, having a doggie play area is actually not a requirement especially if we have plenty of time to bring them to the park for a few hours of fun and exercise every single day. Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to afford their pooches with the luxury of undivided time and attention. You would actually be lucky to find a dog owner who can really devote at least 2 hours of his or her time solely on the play and exercise needs of his or her pet canines. And this is just the play part we’re talking about.

So, does your dog really need a playpen?

Let’s try to rephrase it this way: does your young child need a playpen?

The reason why we had to make an analogy to a child is that we are essentially the pet parents of our dogs. Silly as it may sound but the responsibility for taking care of these pooches have fallen squarely on our shoulders the moment we decided to either purchase them from a reputable breeder or adopt them from the shelter. The point is that, since we have taken the responsibility to take care of these adorable creatures, we might as well give them the best.

To answer the question of whether your pet canine needs a playpen or not, let us look at the benefits that you and your doggie can derive from this type of canine instrument.

  • They ensure safer playtime 

If you take your canine friend to the park, it is quite impossible to have your eyes glued on it all the time. Chances are there will be instances when it will be picking up things, swallowing these, and ending up sick. If you put your furry friend in a confined space, you are effectively limiting what it can pick up. You can choose the things that you want to be present in this confined area. You can place its favorite toy or even another dog that your pet is familiar and friendly with. The point is that a playpen allows you to control so many variables all at once to make sure that playtime is indeed fun and safe.

  • Helps in canine socialization 

Depending on the size of your pet playpen, you can actually help your pooch develop its own socialization skills. For instance, a variety of outdoor dog pen products can accommodate more than 5 dogs at a time and they will still have plenty of space to run about and play with one another. You can take this opportunity to develop your pet’s social skills by allowing it to interact with select dogs that are properly trained and are well-mannered as well.

Compare this to an open area where any other dog can virtually come up to your pet. While your pet dog may be fully trained and well-behaved, there simply is no telling that the other dog will be the same. It is all a matter of safety again.

  • Promotes doggie happiness 

While the playpen does not actually guarantee absolute freedom for your pet, it nevertheless provides a feeling of such. A dog that is able to run about, jump as high as it wants, or even play with all the different toys without getting yelled at can truly feel a lot happier and more content. Besides, increased free play can help your doggie friend to dispense of its energy so that it will feel more relaxed afterward.

  • Provides a safer environment for your guests without necessarily hiding your pooch 

You’re hosting a party at home, but there are some guests who are quite averse to dogs. What do you do? You can either put your pooches in their respective crates, but that would simply be not right considering some of your guests are dog lovers, too. A better option is to put your pets in a playpen so they get to see your guests and vice versa. Since they are confined to a particular section in your home, they will not be disturbing or annoying anyone. Additionally, for your guests who would like to pet your pooches can simply enter the pen and get up close and personal with your doggies. It’s a win-win situation for both your pets and your guests.

  • Helps minimize damage to your furnishings and other belongings 

Whether you care to admit it or not, you don’t want to come home to a home with damaged furnishings, upholstery was torn apart, and carpet shredded to bits. You can always put your pets in the crates but this will somehow restrict their freedom of movement. Putting them in a large-enough playpen should help provide for a safer area for them and away from your precious items. Of course, there is a tendency for your pet to scale the walls of the pen and escape. That is why training is still a very important aspect of using the playpen.

  • A better alternative to kennels and crates 

Let us look at the logic behind putting dogs in crates or kennels. These are exceptional pieces of canine shelters, mind you. They can sleep and have their own privacy inside these pet homes. However, if it’s privacy you’re after, putting a crate inside a playpen should be a better option since this allows your pets to move freely once it is already awake from its slumber. It is this idea of an open, albeit limited space for dogs to move about that makes a dog playpen such a huge hit among dog owners.

Related Posts: Best Dog Crates

  • Facilitates easier training 

Training pets is not really easy, especially in the initial stages. If you are going to train them inside the house, chances are they’ll be running from room to room and it will be a game of hiding and seek. If you put them in their crates, it wouldn’t help either. Putting them in a dog playpen, meanwhile, significantly reduces the amount of space that they will be running so you have better control of your training sessions. The mere fact that will still be able to run gives them the impression that you are not punishing them. Of course, diligence and perseverance still matter as well as a very methodical approach to training. Now, if you’re talking about crate training, then this is definitely not for you.

With all these benefits of using one, it would be quite baffling if you will still not consider on ting one for your pet. However, to provide you with a more balanced approach to this presentation, we are going to give you a few of the downsides to using a playpen.

  • The question of portability 

Unlike crates, some doggie playpens are not really portable. While it is true that they can be easily folded down for ease of transportation and storage, you will still require a separate travel crate to put your pooch into while on the road. You simply cannot put a pet on a folded-down play pen. Another thing is that it is still heavy even though it can be folded. This significantly affects its overall portability. Sure, you can always put it in the back of your truck or even in your car’s trunk but you’d still have to carry it. A better alternative is to get pop-up types of play pens. Of course, these have downsides, too.

  • Some are easily knocked over 

This is best addressed by buying only dog play pens that are made of the highest quality, most durable, and sturdiest materials. You will also need to check the integrity of their joints and other attachments. For sure, the price will be a factor but if you want something really sturdy and not get easily knocked over, then you’d have to be prepared to shell out some more.

So, does your dog need one? The decision is yours.

Things to Consider When Buying a Dog Playpen

If you have already made up your mind and have decided to get a playpen for your pet, the next thing you need to focus on is choosing the right one for your pooch. If you’re going to look at the market today there are a lot of choices. Each one can be a good candidate for the best dog pen plum. However, before you pick one, you need to consider some things first.

  • Location and size 

These two parameters go hand-in-hand since the area where you’re going to place the pen in will determine the size of the pen. For example, if you decide to place the doggie play pen inside a certain room in your house, you will have to consider the general area of this room. Then you will need to ask yourself if the play pen is going to occupy the entire room or just half of it or maybe a quarter. You decide since only you know the actual layout of your room. In case you decide to put it in your garden or backyard, you will have more leeway in the choice of pen size. Do take note, however, that the larger the pen the more expensive it becomes.

When it comes to size, which technically pertains to space, it’s all about what you think is enough for you to place your dog, its feeding and drinking bowls, its bed, its toys and other accessories, and still have plenty of space left for it to romp around. Otherwise, if your pooch cannot move about, then all you have is a crate without a roof.

Related Post: Best Dog Beds

  • Indoor or outdoor 

There is a huge difference between an indoor-only pen and an exclusive outdoor use play pen. For starters, an indoor pen should have furniture- and floor- friendly surfaces, attachments, and components so that it will not inadvertently damage your home’s interior. Weatherproofing is also not a requirement since it is already located inside the home and virtually protected from the elements.

On the other hand, if you choose to get something for the outdoors, then choose one that is weatherproof. It should have some form of protection against corrosion, dust, rain, snow, and anything else that Mother Nature might throw at it. While it is not advisable to place your playpen under direct sunlight, you might really have to choose one that has UV protection.

  • Size and activity level of your pooch 

This will somehow tell you the kind of material that you may have to look for. If you have a pooch that is relatively docile, passive, and one that will never jump or scale up the wall of the pen, then plastic playpens may be a great option. Even a playpen that’s made of fabric material can be a safe bet if you’re talking about a rather passive, inactive canine.

However, if you’re looking at a rather rambunctious hound, one whose energy levels are so high that there really is no taming them, then getting something sturdier should do the trick. You can go for wooden or steel playpens.

Another consideration is the chewing behavior of your pooch. If you’ve got a mighty and tenacious chewer, choosing wood will be a huge mistake. Your best choice will be those that are made of steel, although some high grade plastics can provide exceptional chew-resistance, too. What all these simply mean is that you need to understand the uniqueness of your pet so you can choose a product whose materials are appropriate to these unique canine characteristics.

  • Ease of setup, maintenance, and storage 

We did say that portability is not really a great asset of doggie playpens especially those that are constructed of metal, steel, or wood, and even some premium grade plastics. At the very least they should still be very easy to setup, take down, and store. Some of the easiest to setup are those products that are made of fabric attached to spring metal rings that instantly pop open. These are lightweight, too, so you can bring them along. 

playpen for dogs

Different Types

We have already brushed on this in our previous discussions. Doggie playpens can actually be classified according to their location and the principal material they are made of.

  • Indoor 

As the name implies, these are best used indoors. Majority of these are lightweight and are portable, too. They are easily assembled as well as dismantled. There are those that don’t require any tools whatsoever. The downside is that the majority of these are also relatively small compared to their outdoor counterparts. You can think of an indoor puppy playpen more like your baby’s crib. Since these are located inside the home, they do have the tendency to move across the floor especially if you have a rambunctious pup or pooch. Placing some barriers outside the fence should keep it in place.

  • Outdoor 

One of the fundamental requirements of an outdoor playpen, as we have already pointed out is that it needs to be weatherproof and exceptionally durable and strong. A great number of these types of dog pens are constructed of wire mesh, often coated with weatherproofing materials. The good thing about these types of pens is that they are more like a miniature property fence; they’re larger and hence, encompass a larger area for your pet to romp. These can be easily dismantled, too. You may need to secure this onto the ground so that it will not be moved by your pet.

  • Plastic 

These are lightweight and very durable materials. They come in various colors and designs. They can be used indoors or outdoors, too. Some are very resilient against chewing. Just make sure to get only those that do not come with harmful chemicals such as phthalates, formaldehyde, BPA, and others.

  • Wooden

Classic and sturdy, that’s what a wooden playpen brings to the table. Because these are often at the mercy of the elements, they are best used indoors. They can add a certain level of elegance to one’s interior design. However, they may not be particularly receptive to canine chewing. As such, these are best reserved for canine pets that are more on the passive side or have softer jaws.

Related Post: Best Chew Toys for Puppies

  • Steel or Wire 

Wire or steel pens are the go-to if you need something that can really stand the test of time. However, it is crucial to look for a product with exceptional weatherproofing since metal exposed to the elements can favor the formation of rust. This can significantly undermine the overall integrity of the pen. That said, steel or wire cages can be used either indoors or outdoors. If used indoors, you’d definitely want something with padded feet as steel can scratch floor surfaces. If used outdoors, as we already mentioned, these should have weatherproofing.

  • Cloth or Fabric 

If it’s absolute versatility, lightweight design, and portability that you’re after, then a dog playpen that’s made of cloth or fabric is the way to go. Their versatility extends well to outdoor use especially if you are entertaining the idea of bringing your pooch to the family picnic but are worried that it might wander too far for your convenience. These are easy to set up and are often designed as foldable pop-ups. Care should be observed, though, as it is not as tough and sturdy as the other materials used in the construction of a dog playpen.

Getting a playpen for your pooch could perhaps be one of the most satisfying decisions you will ever make. Not only are you affording your pooch a really great time playing within the confines of its dog playpen, but you’re also ensuring optimum safety for you, your pet, and everyone else in your home. And if you’re still at a loss as to how you can choose the best dog pen for your pet, you can always consider any one of our 10 best.

Sources:

  1. How to Make a Puppy Playroom - WikiHow
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Nicole Ellis
Nicole Ellis
Nicole’s demeanour and positive-reinforcement based training helps drive great results for her celebrity pet clients. As a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, Nicole is consistent using, testing and evaluating new dog products on the market. Nicole follows the latest trends in pet healthcare and is certified by both the Canine Good Citizen evaluator and the American Kennel Club.
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