Corralling your pup on the go can be difficult, and #leashlife can be more than frustrating if your dog is used to romping free. Luckily, portable dog fences can solve your dog-management woes with ease, letting her roam an area safely off-leash.
We’ll explain some of the situations where a portable dog fence can come in handy, share what to look for when shopping for one, and identify our top product picks below.
Best Portable Dog Fences: Quick Picks
- #1 Yaheetech Heavy Duty Pet Playpen [Best Overall Portable Dog Fence]: Made from durable metal, easy to set up in multiple configurations, and equipped with a locking gate, this is the best portable pet fence for most owners.
- #2 Amazon Basics Foldable Metal Pet Exercise Playpen [Most Affordable Portable Dog Fence]: Lightweight, well-made, and sold with ground anchors to keep it secure, this portable dog fence is a great choice for cost-conscious owners.
- #3 FXW Dog Playpen [Most Spacious Portable Dog Fence]: This spacious portable dog fence provides approximately 1,000 square feet of space, making it great for owners needing to contain big or energetic dogs.
Situations in Which a Portable Dog Fence Can Help
While conventional dog-proof fencing options surrounding your entire yard are ideal for dog care, portable dog fences are something that most pup parents have a use for. In fact, they can make a lot of life’s moments a lot easier (and more enjoyable) for both you and your dog.
Common situations where a portable dog fence can help are:
- Traveling: Whether you’re visiting family without a fence or going on a road-trip with your dog, a portable dog fence allows him to roam freely without a lead. In many cases, this can mean faster bathroom breaks and better exercise.
- Moving: Your new home might not have permanent fencing, or the existing fence may need work. For that matter, it may not yet be puppy-proofed, which means your dog may try to eat everything she can grab from the floor. A portable dog fence gives you peace of mind in a new environment.
- Working/Relaxing/Entertaining Outdoors: Sometimes, your dog needs her own space to stay out of trouble when you’re outside, whether she has a habit of begging for table scraps at barbecues or biting the hose when you’re watering the flowers. A portable dog fence lets her stay outdoors and enjoy the fresh air.
- Landscape Maintenance: Keeping a lawn lush with grass seed and other treatments usually means your dog can’t walk around the area for a designated amount of time. This can be a headache during potty breaks, but you can offer her a place to do her business in the meantime with a portable fence.
- Camping: Vacationing with your pooch is fun, but sometimes she needs a little off-leash time to frolic in a safe area. A portable fence gives her this space without damaging your campsite or taking up much room.
- Puppy Management: Life with a new little pup means keeping her safe from harm. A portable pet fence can prevent her from dangerous nuisance chewing of wires, rocks, and other hazardous objects around your home and yard. This can also prevent choking or accidental poisoning. On a more positive note, some can also aid in house training indoors, as your pup can’t wander off and piddle under anything out of view. In fact, having a secure puppy pen is one of our core lessons in our Puppy Raising Blueprint!
- Outdoor Potty Training: If you want your dog to pee in a specific part of the yard and not others, using a portable barrier in the area forces her to relieve herself there, establishing a scent and habit. She’ll be more likely to potty in that area when the pen is removed later.
- Injury Recovery: Recovering from surgery or injury means restricted movement. A contained area prevents your pooch from overworking herself yet gives her enough freedom to potty outdoors without a leash tripping her up.
- Separating Dogs: A portable fence can help give two dogs space as they get used to one another. Whether your household dog isn’t a fan of dog guests chewing her toys, or if your existing adult dog needs a break from a new puppy, a portable fence can give multiple dogs some breathing room. They’re also great for separating dogs from human kids as well.
The 10 Best Portable Dog Fences
Now that you know what to look for let’s dive into our top picks in portable dog fencing. From affordable to easy setup, we’ve got you covered.
1. Yaheetech Heavy Duty Pet Playpen
Yaheetech Heavy Duty Pet Playpen
A spacious portable dog fence that provides your pet with up to 441 square feet of space.
About: The Yaheetech Heavy Duty Pet Playpen is a sturdy dog pen that can be set up in myriad ways to help suit the space you have available. Made of heavy-duty, black-coated metal, it’s a durable pick good for indoor and outdoor use.
- Fully collapsible and folds flat
- Offered in 24, 32, and 40-inch height options
- Sold in 8, 16, 24, and 32-count panel packs (up to 441 square feet of space)
- Slide-lock gate for security
- Provides a ton of pupper play room
- Easy to move and reconfigure as needed
- Very easy to assemble and set up
- This is a pricey portable fence
- Some dogs climbed the gate
2. Amazon Basics Foldable Metal Pet Exercise Playpen
About: The Amazon Basics Foldable Metal Pet Exercise Playpen won’t cut too far into your fun budget, giving you a fair amount of size options for less. Included ground anchors let you secure it in place during outdoor use, keeping it steady in case your pup hops up on a panel or paws at the bottom.
- Made of iron coated with a rust-proof black finish
- No tools required for assembly
- Available in five heights ranging from 24 inches high to 48 inches high
- Provides up to 16 square feet of space
- Very reasonably priced
- Great height options available
- Very easy to assemble and set up
- Some dogs may lift the pen to escape
- The fence pattern allows for climbing
3. IRIS USA Dog Playpen
IRIS USA Dog Playpen
A thick plastic exercise pen that provides nearly 24 square feet of space for Spot.
About: The IRIS USA Dog Playpen is a plastic exercise yard that can be shaped to fit your needs, whether you’re hanging out inside or spending an afternoon in the yard. It not only features a no-skid base, but it also comes with a locking gate to keep your canine contained. Best of all, it snaps together for easy assembly.
- Locking gate keeps your dog in place
- Offering in 24- and 34-inch heights; 8-panel model provides almost 24 square feet of space
- Available in white and black finishes
- Made of durable, easy-to-clean molded plastic in the USA
- Owners were very pleased with its durability
- The tight bar spacing is excellent for tiny dogs or puppies
- Very affordable
- Too small to contain large dogs
- The panel pattern makes it easy to climb
4. ZENY Foldable Metal Dog Exercise Pen
About: The ZENY Foldable Metal Dog Exercise Pen easily pops up or down when needed with no tools required. Fitted with an easy-access gate, this all-metal dog pen gives your pooch plenty of room to answer nature’s call, enjoy a little playtime, or just hang out.
- Slide-latching gate for keeping your pup contained
- Available in 8- and 16-panel bundles and 24- and 40-inch heights
- Entire 16-panel bundle encloses approximately 66 square feet
- Fully collapsible for easy storage or transport
- Super-easy, tool-free setup
- Available in taller sizes than many others
- Owners report it’s very well-made
- Manufacturing defects were a bit common
- Escape artists may climb out of this pen
5. Frisco 8-Panel Configurable Gate
About: Contain your doggo indoors and outdoors with the Frisco 8-Panel Configurable Gate, a steel fencing system that can be shaped into whatever layout you’d like, making it perfect for owners who need their fence to work in different locations. The self-closing gate swings both ways and features dual locks for added safety.
Frisco 8-Panel Configurable Gate
A fully-customizable steel fence that will enclose nearly 14 square feet of space.
- Made of steel and plastic
- Stretches up to 190 linear inches or encloses nearly 14 square feet
- Offered in white, black, and gray finishes
- Stands 30 inches tall
- Great versatility — can be used as a pen or gate
- Vertical bars make it pretty escape-proof
- The height works well for big or small dogs
- It’s pretty pricey
- Tiny dogs may be able to slip between the gaps
6. MyPet 8-Panel Petyard Passage Dog Pen
About: The MyPet 8-Panel Petyard Passage Dog Pen features a doggy door that also locks, giving your dog free range as long as you see fit. It’s perfect for providing your four-footer an area to relax alone or offering your small dog a break to slip away from your bigger dog during kenneling, as the included door is quite small.
MyPet 8-Panel Petyard Passage Dog Pen
A plastic pen with a functioning doggy door that provides about 34 square feet of space.
- Eight panels for shaping into custom pen layouts
- Offers a little over 34 square feet of space
- Made with easy-to-clean, lightweight, brown plastic
- Stands 26 inches high
- Offers tons of space
- Customizable shape is a huge plus
- Skid-resistant panels keep it in place
- Easy to clean
- The door is too small for big dogs
- It’d be nice to have color options
7. Feather & Bone Hardware Safety Fence and Stakes
About: The Feather & Bone Hardware Safety Fence is a perfect portable fencing solution for DIY-loving dog owners.
Sold as a complete kit containing industrial-grade plastic mesh, plastic-coated steel stakes, and zip ties to keep the whole thing together, you can set this fence up in any configuration necessary.
- Can enclose up to 625 square feet (depending on the exact manner in which you set it up)
- Comes with 100 linear feet of 4-foot-tall fencing, 25 steel-core stakes, and 100 zip ties
- Polyethylene material used in the fence and stakes is UV-resistant
- Backed by the manufacturer’s satisfaction guarantee
- Perfect for oddly shaped spaces
- Provides an affordable way to fence in a large area
- Most owners report that it is very easy to install
- Dogs may be able to chew through the fence material
- Not as sturdy as some other options
8. Zippity Outdoor Products Portable Puppy Fence
About: The Zippity Outdoor Products Portable Puppy Fence is a maintenance-free vinyl fencing solution to keep your canine contained. These free-standing fence sections can be used as linear barriers or combined with other sections to create a completely enclosed space.
- Can be used as linear barriers or combined to enclose 14 square feet or more
- Sold in packs of 2, each panel measures 44.25″ x 12″ x 23.25″
- Made from premium vinyl, which is backed by a 10-year warranty
- Each panel features connectors on the ends allowing straight or 90-degree attachment
- The free-standing design makes installation a breeze
- Completely customizable — you can use these panels to enclose just about any space
- Most owners loved the quality of the fence panels
- May be cost-prohibitive for enclosing large areas
- Fencing is far too short for large dogs
9. FXW Dog Playpen
About: This powder-coated metal dog playpen by FXW is available in a litany of sizes and configurations to suit a variety of different situations. But no matter which panel height you select or how many panels you purchase, all of these kits come with a secure door, which allows easy access for two-footers.
- Sold in packs of 2, 8, 16, 24, 32, and 48 panels
- Enclosure sizes vary, but reach nearly 1,000 square feet for the largest model
- Panels available in several heights, ranging from 24 to 50 inches
- Rod-connected design allows for easy installation and set up
- Available in the tallest size we’ve found
- Owners report that setup is quick and easy
- We love that these fences come with gates for easy access
- Several owners complained that the finish rusted
- Each panel is relatively expensive
10. COARBOR Outdoor Fencing with Metal Fence Poles
About: If you’re looking for an affordable temporary fence solution that’s easy to customize to the space you have available, you may want to check out COARBOR Outdoor Fencing. Sold in 24-foot-long sections, this mesh fencing option will keep your canine contained without breaking the bank.
COARBOR Outdoor Fencing
A customizable mesh fence that’ll enclose approximately 36-square-feet of space.
- Kit comes with metal stakes and 24-feet of mesh
- Mesh and poles are both 48 inches tall
- Zip ties, screws, and sleeve caps are included with your purchase
- Will enclose approximately 36-square-feet of space
- Provides a pretty affordable way to enclose a large space
- Most owners reported that it was easy to set up
- We like that it comes in two different colors
- A drill or rotary hammer is required for installation
- A number of owners reported packaging problems and missing components
- Extra components required for in-ground setup
Things to Look for When Picking a Portable Dog Fence
When browsing portable dog fences, there are some things to keep in mind to ensure you get the product that works best for you and your dog. Not only does this save you money, but it can save you a lot of aggravation and potential heartbreak.
Always note the following during your portable dog fence search:
- Size: Portable dog fences range from small, crate-sized areas to large exercise pens that allow your dog to run freely. These have vastly different storage and assembly needs along with their own sets of safety, usage, and purchase concerns, like escapability, pricing, and breed suitability. For traveling, smaller offerings are best, while at-home use allows for larger pens.
- Ease of Collapse & Storage: Some portable pet fences can be compact and lightweight when they fold down but others can take up a lot of space and weigh a ton. This is a critical area of concern if you plan on using your portable dog fence on the go, whether you’re road-tripping, camping, or visiting a friend.
- Materials: A sturdy plastic wipes clean and is generally lightweight, offering easier maintenance and portability. Wood is more appealing on the eye, but it’s heavier, typically not waterproof, and easily damaged by chewing (not to mention expensive!) Wire or metal pens are sturdy options, but they can be heavy and prone to rusting if not properly waterproofed. For puppies or leg-lifters, plastic is likely best.
- Design: Closely spaced vertical slat designs are best, preventing climbing. Not every dog will climb, but it’s a concern, especially if you have a Houndini at home or a known escape-artist breed, like a basenji. In these instances, you want to avoid anything that lets your dog get a footing, such as mesh, chain-link, or cross patterns.
- Height: The bigger the dog, the taller the fencing needs to be. Small breeds are generally easy to contain in most portable dog barriers, but large dogs can jump or step over a fence that is too short.
- Cost: Pricing varies from less than fifty bucks to several hundred. Each price point has its own winners and losers, though, so don’t assume more expensive means a pen will work better for your pup. Always triple-check reviews before committing. Metal and wood pens are typically the most expensive, while plastic is generally the most affordable.
- Stability: Portable dog pens have varying strength levels, depending on design and materials. Most fencing options will hold up fine for small dogs, but for large dogs or low-rider, heavy breeds like Frenchies, you want something that won’t topple over easily. Typically metal and wood portable fencing hold up best.
- Security: If you need to prevent a dog from escaping the yard, be sure to opt for a secure option made with high-quality materials and features. This means something with a locking gate, fencing that can’t be climbed, and a sturdy design. Some pens feature tops too, which can save your small dog from wildlife, like hawks or owls.
Remember: You know your dog best. If you even think something might not contain her, don’t waste your time or money on it. It’s best to go with something you know will keep her safe.
Have you used any of the portable dog fences on our list? Is there another portable barrier that works great for you and your pooch? Please share with us in the comments. We’d love to hear!