After countless hours of testing and reviewing, we have determined that the best dog playpen is the Midwest Exercise Pen!
There’s a reason we call dogs man’s best friend. They’re loyal companions, and they offer us unconditional love. In return, it’s our job to give them what they need to live happy and fulfilling lives: food, shelter, exercise, love – and safety. For many dog owners, the safety aspect includes picking the right dog playpen to help train and protect their dogs.
Whether you’re training a new puppy or just want to keep your dog contained to one area of your house or yard, picking the right dog pen can be a challenge. There are lots of options out there, and it can be hard to figure out the differences between them. You want to protect your dog first and foremost, but cost, appearance, and portability may also be a concern for you.
What To Look For In A Best Dog Playpen?
You know your dog better than any body else does. You’re ready to buy a new dog playpen, and we’ve reviewed all the top options for you so you can make an informed decision. It’s important to ask yourself a few questions about your dog – and yourself – before you start comparing your options. Here’s what you need to keep in mind:
- The size of your dog – Large dogs will require a big area to be comfortable, and you will also need to think about the height of the playpen walls if you want to keep your dog contained.
- Where you will use the best dog playpen – Are you using it inside or outside? Will you have to move it frequently, or can it stay in one place most of the time? The materials a dog pen is made of can have a huge impact on how it looks and how easy it is to transport.
- The disposition of your dog – Is your dog likely to panic or be uncomfortable if left in a small pen for a long amount of time? Even small dogs may benefit from a large dog enclosure in some situations.
- Your budget – How much money are you comfortable spending? There are puppy pens at a wide range of prices.
- Your dog’s escape abilities – Some dogs are natural escape artists, and you’ll want to keep that in mind. Pens have open tops, and if your dog is a jumper you may want to go another route.
It might be helpful to make a list of the particular features you think are most important before moving on to the next section, which will help you compare the top seven best dog playpen and make a decision.
When You’re Ready to Buy Your Best Dog Playpen
Now that you’ve thought about what you and your dog need in your new dog play pen, it’s time to share our top 7 best dog playpen for this year. This page will give you an overview, and when you’re ready to make a decision, you can just click the “Buy Now” button over on the right of the dog pen you choose.
Best Dog Playpen: Top 7 Lists
1. Midwest Exercise Pen Review
This versatile and affordable dog playpen. What makes it so special? To start, you can order it in five different sizes to accommodate your dog’s needs. It’s also very lightweight, weighing in at about ten pounds.
Unlike our other picks, this puppy playpen has a rust-proof coating, making it suitable for indoor or outdoor use. It’s got a sleek black look that makes it inconspicuous enough for indoor use. Given its versatility, this playpen for dogs has a very affordable price. It offers the perfect marriage between a heavy-duty dog pen and a lightweight dog kennel. This is why it’s our top choice!
- Solid construction and weight
- Fully Collapsible to allow for easy storage or travel
- TWO door latches to better protect against bends from your dog pushing against just the top or bottom of the door
- Fully painted and coated without exposed rough edges, etc
- Easy to customize shape of exercise pen to allow for multiple setups for your particular room or purpose
- Included hardware is slightly flimsy (the plastic edge supports can pop off fairly easily with enough pressure)
- Welding clamps that connect consecutive panels provide some sharp edges that could potentially cause injury
2. Animal Dog Play pen Folding Exercise Yard with Door and Carry Bag Review
The best dog playpen is this model from Smithbuilt. What separates it from the pack is that it is extremely lightweight and portable, collapsing down to a flat two inches when completely disassembled. Like the Midwest Exercise Pen, the Smithbuilt comes in five different sizes so you can pick the right height for your dog.
This dog playpen sets up and breaks down without any tools. It was clearly designed with portability in mind, since it comes with its own all-weather nylon carrier bag.
Really for outdoor, but decent construction
It’s of fairly decent construction and the panels are all straight and square. I don’t see any welds missing on the wires and the plastic coating is uniform and actually pretty shiny. So that’s all good. Openings between wires are only big enough for a puppy to stick an arm through, but not anything else. The product is good hence the 4 stars.
But consider carefully your intended use…
Consideration #1: On any indoor surface it’s going to slide all over the place with dogs of any size. You can use bricks or something on carpet, but that’s a bit inconvenient. I don’t have a solution for hard wood? Duct tape? In addition, playful dogs can push and pull in such a way that the cage becomes unstable and while I’ve not seen it tip over yet, I’d sure worry about it if I left dogs alone during the day. I ended up cutting some braces for the corners and then used the pins that came with it to fasten the 1×2’s to the top rail. Then they can’t push it over. Outdoors – no problem as the included pins would be fine to hold it in place.
Consideration #2: it does not have a floor. So if you have dogs who’re not potty trained, you’ll need to use towels or something to kind of soak it up if you leave them there overnight or anything. Our dogs would never leave a shower curtain down and I’m certain their nails would tear it up. So, keep that in mind.
I’d rather (in hind sight) have a kennel. They don’t slide around, cannot fold up or tip over, have a solid and virtually impervious one-piece floors for possible spills. They also fold down to nearly the same size as this one.
It’s certainly larger than the biggest kennels I’ve seen and that’s great, but if you have anything more than puppies or the concerns I list above hit home for you, I’d recommend looking into an actual kennel cage.
3. Heavy Duty Pet Playpen Dog Exercise Review
This heavy duty pet playpen from Bestpet. It’s made of heavy-duty rust-resistant steel, and the sides are 40” high – high enough to prevent all but the most agile dogs from escaping. This puppy playpen has some nice features. The rust-proof coating means that you can use it indoors or outdoors. It comes with eight panels that you can reconfigure based on your requirements, and it’s fairly easy to transport.
It doesn’t require any tools to put together or take apart, which makes it a nice choice in terms of portability. It also collapses flat so it won’t take up a lot of room in your car if you have to move it around.
This pet playpen is sturdy and portable, and that’s why it’s our #3 pick![wc_row] [wc_column size=”one-half” position=”first”]
- It does indeed keep my 2 smaller dogs in place while i am at work! No more chewed up things or fishing my stuck senior from tight places he’s accidentally wedgied himself!
- If you Don’t want to bolt this down… a large breed with enough energy and brains can easily get out, either by toppling it, bending it, or else just straight leaping it.
Love our dog playpen 🙂
4. OxGord Exercise Dog Pen Review
This heavy duty option that is built to contain even the most active dogs. Like the name suggests, this is an extremely sturdy pen. It comes in a variety of heights so you can choose the one that will best contain your dog.
A nice feature of this best dog playpen is that you can set it up in a variety of configurations to accommodate the needs of your dog. You can adjust both the shape and size of the pen, which makes this one of the most versatile choices around.
Another nice thing about this dog pen is that it comes with stakes that you can use to drive the sides into the ground to make it stable if you are using it outside. Even if your dogs are going to be running around, they’ll have a hard time getting out of this pen!
Nice Dog Playpen!
I bought this pen for when we go camping to set up for my dogs to run around without worrying about them running off. One set is quite small so I bought 2 sets, and it will be plenty big enough for camping. I bought the 32 inch because I have medium sized dogs and it will be about right for them. The panels are light enough so they are easy to load and unload. I am very please with the quality and price, and glad I decided to give these a try.
Update: The pen worked very well when we went camping with our horse trailer. It never collapsed or came apart with my 3 dogs in it. Very satisfied!
5. IRIS 8 Panel Exercise Pet Pen with Door Review
This super affordable plastic pen. If cost and portability are your primary concerns, this is a great option for you.
Like the other pens on our list, this one doesn’t have a roof. However, the company does sell a mesh top separately, so if your dog is a real escape artist this might be the best choice for you. This is the lightest of all the options listed here because it’s made of plastic and not metal. That means you don’t have to worry about rust, and the whole pen is very easy to move around.
You have the choice of ordering four panels to make a square pen, or eight to make a large octagonal pen. The option of buying a top for the pen, combined with the lightweight construction and versatile size, make this a very affordable option.
A dog playpen perfect
6. Pet Puppy Dog Playpen Exercise Pen Kennel 600d Oxford Cloth Review
If you’re looking for a mesh option for your dog, this pen from ESK is fantastic. The mesh is easily breathable, it comes with a roof, and you’ll find that it’s quite easy to set up and take down. It also comes in quite a few different colors, if looks are a major concern for you.
One word of caution, though, the mesh can come apart quite easily for those dogs who love to chew on things. It’s probably more suitable for a calmer, older dog than a puppy who’s prone to trying their teeth out on everything around them.
The fabric is waterproof, and the flooring material is humidity proof to keep it from having milder problems. The mesh is quite easy to wash as well, you’ll just need to spend a little bit of time with a hose if your dog is prone to accidents.
Overall, this pen makes a great option for those who have a calm dog or want something that looks a little bit different from the more “cage” style pens that are more prominently sold.
- Easy to set up
- Easy to clean
- Big enough for a large cat
- Easy to reach in and interact with your pet if they are immobile.
- Horrible zippers. The zipper on the top panel broke within the first few days with barely any use. The silver pieces you feed through the zip broke right off and we had to duct tape the zipper to secure it.
- Bad customer service. They say in their description to skip using amazon customer service to return and contact the seller instead. The seller takes forever to respond, if at all. If you ordered through Prime, return through Prime and spare yourself the back and forth with a non-responsive seller.
7. IRIS 24-Inch Pen Playpen with Door Review
The Best Dog Playpen By IRIS 24-Inch is almost an ideal indoor/outdoor playpen for puppies and smaller dogs. It’s a bit light and small for animals with some real size to them, but the plastic won’t scratch your floors but will still hold up to the weather quite well. It’s also available in quite a few colors.
Even better, there’s a roof that will fit the pen and you can purchase it in either four or eight-panel designs which allows you a great amount of versatility in how you want to use it.
You’ll need some tools to put this one together, but it’s nothing too advanced. Just a couple of screws to get the high-quality steel hinges attached to the door. The panels themselves interlock quite easily so you don’t need to be an actual handyman to get it together. You can also form a barrier with the panels instead of an enclosure if you just need a temporary fence to keep the dogs out of the kitchen or wherever else.
One unfortunate drawback is that dogs with particularly small paws may be able to climb out of it due to the frequent horizontal bars, but this can be easily fixed by purchasing the roof.
Better if you buy 2!
What Is A Best Dog Playpen?
A puppy pen allows your dog to have some freedom when in the house or outside, but they still confine your dog to ensure that he or she isn’t allowed to leave the space. Owners use a pet pen most often when a pet is a puppy.
One example of a time when a puppy play pen may be warranted is when you’re trying to teach your pet to go to the bathroom outside.
Smaller cages won’t provide a puppy with the room that they need to release their energy, and they’re often too small to do much else than stand up, turn around and lay down. When you come home and do let your dog out of the cage, they’ll often:
- Run up and get excited
- Pee on the floor out of excitement
And the vicious cycle will continue. Puppy pens allow your pet to have some freedom – certainly more than a normal crate – yet they confine your dog to a space you can prep for messes.
The best dog playpen by Iris is a good example of an affordable, yet functional dog playpen. While not the best-in-class, this model does come with a little door to let Fido easily out of their cage – without straining your back in the process.
You’ll find puppy playpens, indoor dog pens and you can even buy an outdoor playpen, which is great when trying to train your pet. There are even models designed for exercise, which every pet, whether a puppy or adult, will need plenty of to grow and stay strong.
Different Types of Best Dog Playpen
Best dog playpen come in a variety of types. While a Great Dane is large, they would need a pet pen that is much larger than a puppy pen that they can easily escape from. The right type of pen will be spacious enough for your dog, yet it’ll ensure that your pet can’t escape from the pen and run amuck inside or outside of the home.
We’re going to cover dog play pens in their most basic form first:
Indoor Dog Playpen
A indoor dog playpen is meant for use indoors. These are the play pens that you’ll use when you want to keep the dog in the home while you’re out running errands or don’t have the time to watch your dog carefully.
The idea is that the dog playpen will keep your dog safe, and it confines the dog to a specified area.
What you may not know is that dogs don’t like to go to the bathroom where they sleep. Who does? This is why people choose to crate train their pet because the animal will not go to the bathroom in their crate.
Many pens will work the same way.
But some pets will go to the bathroom even in their crate or their pet play yard because they have to go. There are times when your pet will not be able to hold it in anymore.
These playpens are designed to be indoors, so they won’t have the same level of durability or protection against the elements like an outdoor model. There are hybrid models available that are both indoor and outdoor models, allowing you to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Outdoor Dog PlayPen
Outdoor pens, compared to an indoor dog playpen, offer a more durable design. They’re similar in nature, but outdoor pens should have some form of rust resistance to ensure they can withstand the elements.
Otherwise, the pen’s material will start to degrade and may pose a risk of injury, too.
The best dog playpen by Midwest is an example of a pen that has been designed with rust resistant materials so that it can be used all year long. Many owners also leave these units outdoors for extended periods of time.
If you want your furry friend to enjoy the outdoors with you but don’t have the ability to watch over their every move when you’re out in the yard, a doggy play pen is a smart choice.
Exercise Dog Playpen
Exercise pens are either indoor or outdoor pens, and the main difference is that they’re larger in size. These pens will allow dogs to be able to play, roll around and shake their toys without running out of room in the meantime.
A lot of owners will buy a large playpen for their puppies, and this will often suffice.
When a dog is growing, especially breeds that are routinely larger in size, it’s better to buy a larger playpen if you want to use the pen as the puppy grows. An exercise pen for dogs must be tall enough so that your dog can’t jump out of the pen.
Importance of A Best Dog Playpen
Why would someone buy a best dog playpen? Because they’re important to your dog and your home. Everyone that has ever owned a puppy knows that they like to get into everything. It’s not uncommon to come home from work to find that your sweet, big-eyed puppy decided to gnaw on the legs of that piece of antique furniture that has been passed down two generations.
And while you may want to go into a fit of rage, it really isn’t the dog’s fault.
Dogs are naturally going to be mischievous when they’re younger, and they’ll do a lot more than eat your furniture. They’ll also:
- Use your new carpeting as an outhouse
- Chew through socks and shoes
- Rip up blankets and pillows
- Get in the trash
- Knock over lamps
You get the point.
Dog playpens help put an end to these mischievous activities – or curb the occurrence of these events.
For training purposes, doggy playpens are a vital tool for constraint.
Yet, even a small animal playpen will have more than enough room (when it’s the right size for the breed) to allow a dog to walk, play and get some of its energy out. If you leave your pet in a small create, they’ll get cramped and they’ll be miserable if they’re not sleeping.
Plenty of people keep their pets in crates at night for comfort reasons, but you don’t want the dog to live in a crate for 70% of their lives.
Muscles don’t have the chance to gain strength, the dog won’t be able to be active and, in some cases, the lack of movement can cause proteins in the dog’s liver to buildup, which wouldn’t happen with a larger, doggie playpen.
Putting all of this together, you’ll find the importance of a dog playpen is to:
- Keep a pet confined
- Allow for enough movement when confined
And if you have a pet that will run when you open the door, it’s much better to put them in dog playpens than to allow them to scratch at your bathroom door or bolt out of the house. Exercise pens for dogs will be able to let your dog expend some of this energy without feeling the need to run out the door with you frantically chasing behind.
Best Dog Playpen Buying Guide
You’re interested in the best dog playpen of Iris, but you’re still struggling between the Iris playpen and the Midwest exercise pen with door – we’ve been there, too. It’s difficult to pick a pen when you really aren’t sure what’s good and what’s necessary.
Do you need a door? Maybe.
What about the size? Doggy playpens are a commitment to your furry friend, and there is a lot to consider.
We’re going to be discussing what you, the consumer, should do to narrow down your choices when picking a dog playpen.
There are a few basics that you’ll want to consider before delving into all of the features that you’ll come across. A few of the things we recommend doing are:
- Set a Budget: Go into the buying process with a budget. If you plan on buying a dog play yard, how much will it cost? A pet play yard can cost $30 – $60+, so make a general budget before making your choice.
- Read Reviews: If you look at all of the models we’ve reviewed above and decided that the Iris dog playpen (or any of the models we picked) isn’t the right choice for you, you’ll find that there are countless models available. The key most important thing to do in this case is to read reviews. With reviews, you’ll gain insight into these products from a consumer’s perspective.
- Space: Where will you put the dog playpen? You want it to be close to the family when possible. Dogs are pack animals, and if you keep them in their pen away from the family, they won’t feel like “one of the pack.” Try and find a space to determine whereyou’ll put your pen.
- Type of Pen: Earlier, we discussed the different types of pet playpens you’ll find. If you plan on keeping a pen outdoors, you need to make certain that the dog playpen was designed for outdoor use.
These are the most basic things you’ll need to consider when choosing your pen, but there is a lot more to consider.
Important Features of A Best Dog Playpen
In terms of features, you’ll find that a dog play yard doesn’t have many bells and whistles, but it does have a lot of specs and small features that make a big difference when choosing the right model for you.
A few of the features and specifications that will matter the most when picking your pet play yard are:
- Pen Size: We’ve mentioned it before, but a small animal playpen won’t work well for a dog that can easily jump over the fencing or walls. Most models will allow you to customize the size of the pen by reducing panels, and this allows for a versatile pen that can be adjusted in size as your pet grows and their needs change.
- Reconfiguration: Do you want a standard square play pen, or would you like options? Many models can be reconfigured, so your puppy play yard can be an octagon play yard, circular or placed against the side of the house to act as a normal, fenced-in area.
- Doors: Never underestimate the important of a door. A playpen for puppies may not need a door, but a large pet playpen that will hold a 50+ pound dog should have a door. Otherwise, you’ll need to step over the playpen’s wall (often falling or tripping), or you’ll notice how your back has suddenly began to hurt from all of that lifting.
- Materials: The material that the play pen is made out of is very important. You want only the best for your dog, and the following materials are most common:
- Plastic: The plastic pen is durable and affordable, and since these models don’t rust, they’re often sufficient for outdoor use. When used indoors, you don’t need to worry about these pens scratching the floor, which some metal ones will do. Dogs that like to chew can chew through a plastic model over time, so keep this in mind.
- Metal: When you choose a metal play pen, know that these models are more expensive, but they’re also more durable. Metal models have a tendency to be high quality, but when used outdoors, make sure there is a rust-resistant coating on the pen so that it doesn’t degrade and pose a risk of injuring your pet (more on that in our next section).
- Mesh: Not as common, mesh pens have the benefit of being more comfortable (they often include a floor, which is nice for outdoor use. But they can also be bitten through by puppies. These models are designed to be as durable as their counterparts, but they are still able to help you train your pup. They also have roofs in some cases, ensuring that it’s impossible for your pet to escape out of the pen.
- Stabilizers or Stakes: When placed outside, a small dog playpen can move and even be picked up off the ground in heavy winds. This causes a hazard for your pet and property. Stakes or stabilizers for an outdoor play pen will be able to secure the pen in place so that it doesn’t get moved by your dog or strong winds.
And always choose the appropriate height for your dog playpen. A large dog playpen will need a much higher height than a pen designed for small dogs. When in doubt, it’s better to choose a large dog pen that your dog won’t be able to jump out of than a dog play pen that is too small and doesn’t do its job.
Is a Dog Play Yard Safe?
Whether you call them dog playpens, play pins or play yards, they’re all inherently safe when you purchase them (and they’re not defective). They’ve been designed from the ground up to be able to help consumers contain their animals.
But they can be dangerous in some cases.
An x pen for dogs needs to be examined periodically. This is essential if you hope to keep your pet safe. Why? There are a few reasons:
- Metal pens can rust and break. When a metal pen does rust and break, your dog can be severely injured on the jagged edges left behind. Some dogs will get excited, go to jump up on the side of the metal dog playpen, and if it gives out and breaks, the pet can become impaled in severe cases. Dog playpen offering rust resistance and a high-quality design won’t be a concern.
- Plastic play pens can be eaten through by some breeds. They’ll gnaw at a part of the pen, and after some time, they’ll break it. This poses a slight risk of swallowing the broken piece of plastic, which can then become lodged in the dog’s throat.
These are two very rare occurrences, and in both cases, they could be avoided with the proper diligence of the owner.
FAQs About A Dog Playpen or Yard
Can Dog Playpens Hurt a Dog?
No. Pens are very safe, but if they do begin to rust, you’ll want to replace them to ensure that your dog doesn’t get hurt if the pen breaks. A doggie play pen that’s made out of metal and rusts can break, causing the dog to be subject to potentially sharp edges.
Do Dog Play Pens Breakdown for Easy Transport?
Yes. Many models will be able to be broken down to a much smaller size to be able to transport them from one room to the next, or from outdoors to indoors.
Should I Buy a Large Playpen?
This depends on the size of your dog. A husky, for example, will be able to jump out of even a large dog playpen. A puppy play pen will be significantly smaller in size compared to a pen designed for a larger dog.
IF YOU HAVE A BREED THAT IS CONSIDERED LARGE, YOU’LL WANT TO BUY A LARGER DOG PLAYPEN.
Even that small puppy that you know and love will grow into a larger dog. Don’t underestimate just how fast your dog grows and buy a pet play pen based on the adult size of your dog unless you only plan on using it for a month or two.
How Do I Care For A Indoor Dog Playpen?
There isn’t much care involved with these pens. A best dog playpen will really only need to be visually examined to ensure that the unit hasn’t broken or rusted over time. If it’s used out in the snow and rock salt gets on the pen, you’ll want to wipe this off with a rag to ensure the salt doesn’t begin to corrode the metal.
Do They Offer a Small Animal Playpen?
The great thing about puppy pens is that they come in a variety of sizes. The best dog playpen of Bestpet offers a variety of configurations and a high height, so this is a pen that can change in size and has a 40” height, which is ideal for most dog sizes.
Some companies will offer different models for this purpose. The Iris 4 panel pet pen is smaller in size than the Iris 8 panel pet pen as an example.
How Much Does an Average Doggie Playpen Weigh?
This is a very difficult question to answer. A dog playpen with floor model would weigh more than your standard dog indoor playpen. Weights vary drastically depending on design, too. A heavy duty pen can weigh as much as 50 pounds.
Smaller units can weigh under 15 pounds.
Should You Use Doggy Playpens at Night, Too?
What’s interesting about playpens for dogs is that dogs like to have their own space. Many dog owners find that their pet will want to use their crates and pens at night. The reason for this is security.
Smaller breeds often suffer from security issues, so they’ll find comfort sleeping in their doggy playpen.
Make your own judgement and see. If your dog is teething or going through a phase where they want to sleep on the bed (and it’s something you don’t prefer), you may find keeping them in a doggie playpen is in your best interest.
How Do I Get My Dog to Like the Playpen?
One of the biggest mistakes owners make is they cause their pet to believe they’re in their play pen because they’re bad. Putting your dog in the pen out of anger (maybe he or she went to the bathroom in the middle of your carpet) can cause this to happen.
But you want to try and make it a positive experience for your pet.
A lot of owners will place food and water in the pen, making it the dog’s place to eat. This reinforces that being in the pen is a good thing.
Related post: Top 10 Best Portable Dog Playpen for Camping Reviews
What Items Should Be Placed in the Pen?
A indoor dog playpen can be filled with all sorts of items. A few of the items people put in their dog playpen are:
- Pet beds
- Paper or pads (for housetraining)
- Water and food
Don’t make the area too cramped, as you want your pet to be able to move around freely. If there is limited room, it will defeat the main purpose of your exercise pen – to allow your dog to be able to exercise.