Does your pooch cause mischief when you aren’t paying attention, but has too much energy to be happy cooped up in a crate? Maybe your pup steals shoes, or chews on things he’s not supposed to play with.
In this article we are going to discuss different types of dog exercise pens and give you our top picks, so your pup let out his inner crazy without worrying about your house being destroyed!
Best Dog Play Pens: Quick Picks
Dog Play Pen
TOP PICK #1: Midwest Exercise Dog Pen
TOP PICK #2: Iris Plastic Puppy and Dog Play Pen
TOP PICK #3: Precision Soft-Sided Dog Play Pen
TOP PICK #4: Richell Convertible Indoor / Outdoor Play Pen
TOP PICK #5: OxGord Folding Exercise Playpen
Exercise pens provide a safe, contained space for your dog to romp around without having full range of your house. They are useful in a number of different scenarios:
It can be really nice to have a playpen inside your house to provide your pooch with more space to move around while still confining him to a specific area.
They can also be a valuable tool while you are housetraining a puppy, or to begin bridging the gap between the crate and having full range of the house. Starting with a small, safe space can be a good way to make a rescue dog feel at ease!
Eventually, you may consider graduating your dog to indoor dog gates, which give your dog free run of an entire room within your home.
If you don’t have a fenced-in yard and don’t trust your pooch to not run away, but want to give your dog the ability to play outside unsupervised and off-leash, an outdoor pen could be just what you need.
But don’t forget to find a durable, rust and decay resistant material to withstand the elements! For a larger, more permanent outdoor option, you may also want to consider outdoor kennels.
Color: Black and Gold Zinc
Size: 16 square feet of enclosed space. Eight 24 inch panels
Height: Comes in heights of 24, 30, 36, 42, and 48 inches
Additional Features: The Midwest Dog Exercise Pen can be purchased with or without a door. It comes with 8 ground anchors and a durable e-coat finish to protect against rust and other elements for outdoor use. Folds flat for convenient storage.
PROS: Owners like that this dog play pen comes with two door latches, and also love the ability to easily customize the shape of the exercise pen. The different height options make it an excellent choice for small to large dogs.
CONS: Some owners report their dogs climbing out of the shorter models, as well as knocking over the panels. With the gold zinc model, some users found the zinc coating wearing off.
Color: Blue, Blue Moon, Brown, Chrome, Dark Grey, Frosty White, Pearl White, Pink, Red, Turquoise, and White
Size: 21 square feet of enclosed space. Eight 24.6 inch panels.
Height: Comes in heights of 24 and 34 inches
Additional Features: This dog play pen comes with a door that measures 14.5 inches in width by 20 inches in height. Made in the USA with durable molded plastic that can withstand the elements and can be used indoors or outdoors.
Each panel has a rubber foot to protect your floors, and panel add-ons can be purchased separately to provide your dog with even more space. Pad holders to protect your floors and roofs for extra security can be purchased separately as well.
PROS: Users love how sturdy and roomy this dog exercise pen is, as well as its aesthetic appeal. Some owners reported buying two and combining them to give their pups even more room to run around!
CONS: Some owners report that their dogs are able to push over the panels and get out, while others have dogs that are able to climb out.
Color: Navy / Tan
Additional Features: Eight mesh water-resistant panels with ground stakes included for outside use. Floor and top of pen are removable and washable for convenient cleaning. Folds down for easy storage and transportation. Nylon carrying case includes a shoulder strap and side pockets.
PROS: Users love how easy this pen is to set up and say it is great for traveling. Mesh roof can keep animals in that otherwise could jump out.
CONS: Some users report pets being able to pull up the bottom panel. Mesh may not stand up to aggressive chewers. Some people struggled with collapsing this pen after it had been set up and wish it came with instructions.
Size: Available as 4 or 6 panel play pen
Height: Available in low, medium, or tall
Additional Features: This dog play pen includes a swinging, lockable door. It can be used in a rectangular or hexagonal shape, and also has the ability to convert to a freestanding room divider.
Durable and easy to clean, this play pen is designed for indoor or outdoor use. This model is recommended for dogs up to 88 pounds. A Comfort mat and floor tray are available to be purchased separately with either the 4 or 6 panel pen.
PROS: Owners note that this x-pen is sturdy, durable, and easy to assemble/disassemble. Users love how easy it is to convert between closed shape and open room divider. The play pens vertical bars also make it easy to contain dogs that are prone to climbing.
CONS: While the play pen is sturdy, some owners report their dogs being able to open the door, so this may not be the best choice for clever Houdini dogs.
Additional Features: This dog x-pen's rust resistant coating makes it great for indoor or outdoor use. This exercise pen also comes with stakes that can be used to secure it to the ground if using it outside.
The unit is collapsible and easy to break down, assemble, store, or transport. It includes a door with a latch to keep pets secured, and the all metal construction includes sturdy rods to hold the panels together. This pen can be configured in multiple shapes, and multiple pens can even be combined to create an even bigger play space!
PROS: Users love how durable and sturdy this dog play pen is. They also report the ease with which they set it up, take it apart, and transport it.
CONS: A few users noticed rust after outdoor use. Several owners also reported their dogs getting paws stuck after jumping up to try and get out, so it's best not to leave your dog unattended.
It is important to make sure your dog play pen is a safe environment for your pooch! There are a few different dangers to be aware of:
Before picking an exercise pen, first think of your pooch and try to predict what kinds of shenanigans he may get up to - there’s sure to be the perfect play pen for you and your pup!
In this video from The Urban Puppy, they go over a bit more info about how to use a x-pen for your puppy:
When you first introduce your pooch to his new play pen, it is important to make sure the first experience is a positive one! There are several steps you can take to make sure your pup loves his x-pen.
Do you have a play pen at home for your dog? How does he or she like it? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments section below!
Ingrid Mangold lives in Burlington, Vermont and is taking classes to become a Certified Vet Tech. She is an aspiring dog owner who makes do at the moment by petting every dog she sees!
Sign up for our email newsletter and get the latest and greatest in dog care tips, delivered right to your inbox!