Top 5 Best Pet Playpens for Your Furry Friends

Having the right dog pen is crucial in ensuring your pet stays in one secure location, preventing them from getting into any trouble. In addition to providing a safe retreat for elderly dogs, they can also aid in potty training. From basic metallic enclosures to elaborate wooden gates that can also double as room dividers, there are numerous options to choose from. 

According to Melissa “MJ” Viera, founder, and licensed groomer and trainer of MJ’s Pet Training Academy in Acushnet, Massachusetts, pens are essential training tools, especially when potty training a puppy. Setting up a pen outdoors can minimize distractions, allowing your puppy to focus on the designated area, eventually preparing them for free-roaming. Portable pens are also phenomenal training tools that can be used for puppies.

We evaluated 19 diverse dog pens in our New York laboratory, analyzing their versatility, stability, and ease of setup. Some models were tested in real-life home settings as well. Additionally, we consulted with experienced puppy fosters, rescue volunteers, and trainers to gain further insights into what factors to consider when searching for an ideal dog pen.

MidWest Foldable Metal Dog Exercise Pen

This versatile pen can serve as a securely contained space or a room divider, perfect for keeping your pet away from your meal prep area. The double latch door allows for easy access without the need for lifting, making it an excellent option for larger or less mobile dogs. Setting up the pen requires no specialized tools, and it conveniently folds down for compact storage when not in use. Use it indoors or outdoors, with included ground anchors and corner stabilizers for added stability. Please note, this pen is best suited for small-medium dogs, as larger ones may be able to escape from the top.

Iris 34-Inch Exercise 8-Panel Pet Playpen

Similar to a playpen for children, the Iris dog pen consists of eight interlocking panels made of commercial-grade plastic that are fastened together with full-length connecting rods. Despite the door being just 15 by 20 inches in size, it is closed securely with double steel latches. 

This dog pen is perfect for pet owners who want to set aside a dedicated space for their dog within their home. However, more energetic dogs or puppies may be able to open the lock or move the pen around. Nonetheless, many users have found that the rubber feet help prevent this from happening. 

One advantage of this indoor dog pen is that not all pieces need to be used. This means that individual pieces or a small number of panels can be used to block off parts of a home as easily as using the entire pen. 

Pros:

– Lightweight 

– Convertible 

Cons:

– Door is very small 

– Available in only one size

 EliteField Two-Door Soft-Sided Playpen

Your playful puppy is always on the move, but with this puppy playpen, it can explore new surroundings wherever you go. This playpen is designed to be ultra-portable and lightweight, and even comes with a convenient carry bag. Durable construction from steel tubing and nylon ensures it can withstand the rigors of playtime. Choose from six sizes and colors to suit your puppy’s needs. The playpen also features a washable floor mat, two zippered mesh doorways, and stakes for stabilizing outdoors. Keep in mind that the fabric may not withstand aggressive chewers or overly-energetic behavior. Key features include easy portability, multiple sizes and colors to choose from, and a washable floor mat.

Richell Convertible Indoor/Outdoor Playpen

In short, the plastic pet pen is the ultimate solution for pet owners. Equipped with vertical slats, it effectively prevents dogs from climbing over. The design is versatile and caters to both indoor and outdoor use with various configurations available for optimal adaptability. Plus, it is built with a convenient door for hassle-free access. 

Not only does it provide maximum functionality, but the dog playpen also boasts a sleek appearance compared to conventional wire pens, all while maintaining adequate ventilation. That’s why it’s our top pick. Additionally, the playpen is waterproof, purchasing a separate comfort mat and floor panel is optional. 

Available in two size options, four (33.1 x 33.1 x 36 inches) and six-panel (63.8 x 33.1 x 36 inches), it roughly offers 20 square feet of interior space. The vertical slats make it efficient in containing climbers, and the plastic material is both pet-friendly and easy to maneuver for pet parents. 

On the downside, a few crafty dogs have figured out how to open the latch, and the pen may not be as transparent as some other options. Lastly, it’s on the pricier side.

North States Mypet Petyard Passage

The North States Mypet Petyard Passage in brown provides a spacious play area measuring up to 34.4 square feet. It has a convenient swinging doggy door that can be locked when necessary. This product boasts eight panels that can be easily adjusted by removing two at a time. Its foldable panels, lightweight construction, and convenient carry-strap make assembly a breeze.

Buyer’s Guide: Finding the Best Dog Playpen

When choosing the perfect playpen for your furry friend, take into account their age and size. Puppies are less likely to escape but require sturdy barriers to prevent chewing through them. Large dogs need a taller playpen or a cover to prevent them from escaping, whereas senior dogs don’t normally try to jump or chew their way out. You should also consider your intended use of the playpen – if for outdoor use, pick a playpen made for outdoor conditions to avoid rusting. For indoor-only playpens, you can select something that matches your home’s aesthetics.

FAQs

Is a dog playpen a good idea?

Pet playpens are a great help to make sure that your dog is playing safe. You don’t have to worry whether they’re digging in your yard or eating something that they shouldn’t. It also helps your puppy to feel secure and play freely. Compared to dog crates and cages, a dog playpen is definitely better.

Are dog pens good for puppies?

Yes, since puppies are new to the world they’re often curious about all the things around them. If you want to prevent any chewing on furniture and footwear, a dog playpen is recommended. And since they’ll be staying inside the pen for hours, make sure to place enough food or even an automatic water fountain bowl for fresher water.

Is a playpen better than a crate?

Yes. Though dog playpens and crates have different purposes, a pet pen will give your dog extra room to run around. It gives them more freedom to play with their toys or with other dogs. Heavy-duty dog crates do work well during the night when your dog is sleeping but playpens work best.

How much time should a puppy spend in the playpen?

Your puppy can spend 30 minutes to 6 hours inside the dog pen. But this still depends on the age of your puppy and your situation at home. Some owners choose to place their puppies on a playpen during the day and let their dogs out to sleep with them during the night.

What do you put under a dog’s indoor playpen?

Most dog playpens have built-in anti-slip mats but you can still place a rubber protector or a clear garbage bag under the mat if you’ll be placing it indoors – this protects your carpets indoors and  prevents any wet dog smell. Take note that it should be bigger than the playpen to make sure that your floors are protected.

When can you stop using a puppy pen?

When your puppies are more than 6 months old and are house trained, you can now let them roam around your homes. But you can still use your dog’s playpen from time to time or if you’re going camping or other outdoor activities. This will secure them and keep them safe while having enough space to play.