Dog playpens are the best option for keeping your dog contained in a safe space. Compare them to crates and it’s a no-brainer why dog owners prefer them. As pet owners it’s impossible to have your dog roam free all of the time unsupervised unless you have had the amazing luck of owning an absolute angel. For most people, this isn’t the case and we still love our dogs for it.There is a surprising amount of variation in play pens for dogs on the market, each suited to the needs of the owner. You could even add some playpen balls for your dog. If you want them to have their own personal funhouse. Here’s our top picks for homeowners so you can choose the option best fitting to your situation!
Tips When Choosing a Dog Playpen
Depending on the use of your playpen, you might need a completely different material. Don’t get caught in the style if you like it, when another option is best suited for you. Personally, we love many of the colorful foldable playpens. But, for us, we needed a metal option for our large dog. Our use included it being set up outdoors. So, having something sturdy and metal with stakes to drive it into the ground really helped out. Plus, if you have a puppy or dog that isn’t so good with holding their pee yet.. it’s a lot easier to wipe this off of plastic as opposed to throwing your entire fabric playpen in the laundry or having to handwash it.
Puppy and Small Dog Playpens
Ruff ‘n Ruffus Portable Foldable Pet Playpen
Puppies rejoice, you have a new pad. This puppy playpen comes with a floor to protect your little one from any creepy crawlies that could be around. It also is made of breathable materials that don’t store heat. A metal playpen won’t do for outdoors and there is a chance an adventurous puppy could hurt themselves on the sharp edges. You can drop your doggie in or it even comes with a zip up door.
What it comes with: As an added bonus this option includes a collapsible travel bowl and a carrying case for easy transportation.
Note: This comes assembled. It’s stitches together and ready to be folded down or up, unlike most of the other options for playpens.
- Great For Puppies
- Floor included
- not as sturdy as metal, plastic, or wood
ESK Collection Puppy Dog Playpen
- Aesthetic Design
- Easy Access Entrance
- Covered Top and Bottom
A fully enclosed puppy playpen option. It’s affordable and pleasing to the eyes. It’s made from a breathable mesh fabric, and even comes with a full warranty. They stand behind their product and so do the reviews. It’s machine washable to get out pesky stains or accidents that could happen.
What it comes with: Eight panel design. Stitched mesh pocket on outside to hold extras. A zipped top cover and bottom depending on the amount of bugs outside for your playdate. Keep the fun inside and the pests out.
Note: Three colors to choose from gives us the option to pick our best shade.
- Perfect for Puppies and Small Dogs(up to 20lbs)
- Fully Enclosed
- Color Options
- Only One Size
Parkland Pet Portable Foldable Playpen
- Perfect for Puppies
- Extremely Portable
- Value Option
The most affordable option when purchased in size “small”. This is another fold-able mesh playpen perfect for puppies. Playpens with a floor and top are desirable to protect your dog from the elements, which this has. It only comes in one color, but the two tone design sets nicely with nature.
what it comes with: Six panel design that includes a topper and bottom.
note: Tons of happy customers agree, you can’t beat this option for the price. If you’re looking for something affordable to get you through the puppy stage, this is definitely it.
- Floor and Ceiling
- Portable, but not sturdy
X-Zone Pet Puppy Playpen
- Includes Water Pouch and Pocket
- Breathable Mesh
Similar to our other featured puppy playpens, this has a floor and a ceiling. But, the top can be removed for when you want your little guy to have a peek at the butterflies. It folds completely flat and has a carrying handle.
what it comes with: Eight panel design that folds completely flat. It includes a pocket and water holder stitched in.
note: The only color available is black, if you are planning on bringing this for sunny days it may not be the best option. Plus.. our emo days are over so we like brighter colors sometimes.
- Folds Flat
- Removable Top
- Only Comes in Black
TMS 24″ Tall Metal Puppy Pen
- Configurable in Different Setups
- Heavy Duty Steel
- Two Entrances
The cool thing about this option is that you don’t have to set it up as a circle. With 16 panels, you can have a rectangular design, or some owners even create an L shape. It comes with ground stakes to secure it, and it’s a heavy duty quality option. With a black powder coated paint. A door latch secures your puppy or small dog inside the 66.52 square foot play area.
what it comes with: Two sets of 8 panels, with two gates. 16 panels included in total. Ground steaks and latches keep this secured.
note: This is a more permanent option for smaller dogs or puppies.
- Folds Flat
- Removable Top
- Only Comes in Black
IRIS Pet Playpen with Door, 24-Inch
- Four Panel Plastic Design
- Perfect For Indoor Use
- Cute Design
Iris’ Pet Playpen with door is a heavy-duty plastic offering. We love that it has a thicker design instead of thin metal, this is especially appealing for indoor use. At nearly 14 pounds it isn’t just a flimsy piece of plastic that you’ll be shocked at once it arrives. The weight and design of this option actually live up to the “heavy-duty” designation. Since the base is wider than a metal rod, it tends to hold better. With 8 different color options you’ll be sure to find one that matches your style or your dogs style. This is great for smaller breeds, with eight square feet of interior space. There is only one size option and that is the 4 panel pen,but, there are add-on panels if you like this design for your larger dog. As it is, this would not be suitable for a larger breed. Each panel is secured by rods, the molded designs has interlocking pieces which you then slide a rod into for incredibly quick assembly. The door is kept shut by secure metal latches that even the craftiest dog wont be able to get to. If you’re looking for a portable option this does fold up. There are plastic floor guards built into the design so this won’t scratch wood flooring. Made in the USA, it always feels good to support local brands in the states.
what it comes with: This includes four panels at 24 inches in height.
note:It has a mesh roof attachment if you wish to use this for your dog outdoors. It’s also possible to make a line out of these panels if you wish to fence off an area for your dogs. It also comes in an 8 panel design if you have a bigger dog and like the look.
- Five Colors to Choose From
- Mesh Top Addition Sold Separately
- Lightweight But Not Easily Portable
- Small Animal Palace
- Woven Pockets and Bags
Last but not least in our puppy category, the pet dog playpen by Jespet has a mesh design with a removable zippered top. This folds flat into a nice little mobile pet suitcase of sorts. It’s made with easy to clean oxford fabric and has 8 breathable windows. With five colors to choose from, you can find a style to suit your needs.
what it comes with: mesh removable top perfect for puppies and small animals. Woven drink holders and pockets.
note:This is meant for puppies and small animals only. A bigger dog will need a sturdier option.
- Quality fabric
- Removable Top
- Five COlors to Chose From
- A higher cost item
Dog playpen Mat
If you have a puppy or are looking for a playpen mat, this is an absorbent soft option that dogs love. Easy to clean, and made in the USA. You can cut this out to your desired shape.
Large Dog Outdoor Playpens
Midwest Foldable Metal Playpen
- Large Dogs(Up to 110 lbs)
- Sturdy Metal Design
The Midwest Foldable Exercise Pen has 5 different options for sizes, suitable for small, medium and large sized dogs. As you can see in the picture, it’s possible to set it up to attach to a crate so your dog can come out if he wishes to or relax in his comfort zone. Many pet owners use it during yard-work so their dogs can hangout but stay close. Suited for indoor and outdoor use, the system comes with 8 ground anchors to secure it outdoors. Shoutout to owners of larger breeds, it is possible to order a second one of these and attach it to the original if you are not happy with the amount of space available. The interior space adds up to about 16 feet. Looking for something portable that you can put away when you’re done with? This works too, because it’s a panel system, simply fold them up and put those bad boys away when you are done with it.
what it comes with: The panels included vary by size, each pen comes with ground stakes, stabilizers, and clips to secure each panel to each-other. It also has a “step-thru door” so you don’t have to disassemble a panel to let your dog out, or to let yourself in.
note: This is popular with bunny owners as well, lots of space. There are tops available, if you wish for your playpen to have a cover for extra protection. They even have a sunscreen top to shade your dog/animals from the harmful uv rays they could encounter outside if they lay uncovered.
- Includes Door
- Ground Anchors to Keep it In Place
- Heavy!(But Sturdy)
Iconic Pet Heavy Duty Metal Tube Playpen
Metal is already synonymous with heavy duty, but this takes the cake. It’s a sturdy 8 panel design that isn’t as big as we’d like(48 inches max), but it will keep your dog secured.
what it comes with: 8 interlocking panels. Including a built in door latch.
note: There are no ground stakes with this design, bummer. The weight alone should keep it in place, but we would like that option.
- Latch Door
- Heavy Duty Metal Tube Design
- Indoor or Outdoor Use
- No Ground Stakes
Pawhut Outdoor Dog Box Kennel
Is your dog a jumper? Maybe a regular playpen can’t contain his hops? This outdoor vaulted box kennel is your answer. With a roof to protect your pooch from the elements, and secure heavy duty metal to keep it in place.
what it comes with: Tarp to connect to the roof, 10 panels, and an easy open latch door.
note: not a portable option, so set it and forget it unless you love assembly 🙂
- Covered Roof
- Modular(Connect with other Kennels)
- Floor Mat not Included
How to Securely Keep Dog Playpen From Moving?
So you’ve just spent two hours setting up your dog playpen outdoors.. and a breeze blows it over. Pissed might be the word that you resonate with such an experience. If you’re dog playpen didn’t include anything to anchor it to the floor with, and you have the Tasmanian devil in there or weather isn’t the best then we’ve got you covered. Use ground stakes, to keep it in place.
If your playpen is indoors, we recommend getting a couple of weights off craigslist and tying them to the edges by rope. 2.5 to 5 lb plates work perfectly.
Should I use a Dog Playpen Instead of a crate?
From our personal biased perspective, yes you should. Crates can be constraining zones of confinement. Imagine not being able to move for hours at a time and it being an acceptable norm. Solitary confinement exists for a reason, so don’t punish your dog by putting them in a tiny crate. If you have to go anywhere for a good amount of time, but want to keep your dog secured then this is your choice! Lastly, throw a toy or a treat in there 🙂
Why use a dog playpen?
If you’ve decided you need a dedicated space to be left alone for a while, or you’d like your dog to be outside because you can’t supervise it at the moment then a playpen is perfect. We don’t recommend using a dog playpen all the time, that’s just cruel. Dogs need space, freedom, and the ability to get into trouble. However, sometimes you need a break and that’s what these are for.