The Best Dog Playpen (May 2024 Reviews)

A picture of a dog in a playpen - which is the best one?

Our veterinarians research and recommend the best products. Learn more about our process. We may receive a commission on purchases made from our links.

When your pup can’t be trusted with a free rein in your home or yard, then you definitely need to consider a dog playpen. For travel, for times away from the house, or for Houdini dogs who you can’t take your eyes off for a second – a playpen can save you and your pup a lot of trouble – maybe even save his life.

Our vet advisor, Dr. Jamie Whittenburg, looked at all types of dog playpens to determine which is the best option for your pup, looking at factors like durability, portability, and escapability. She chose the BestPet Extra Large Indoor Outdoor Dog Fence Playpen for its durability and versatility. This playpen is a universal choice whether you’re using it inside or out and no matter what breed.

Best Overall

BestPet Extra Large Indoor Outdoor Dog Fence Playpen

If you want the best of the best dog playpens, look no further than the BestPet Extra Large Indoor Outdoor Dog Fence Playpen.

While this was Dr. Whittenburg’s top choice, she also offers a series of her top tips for what to look for in choosing the best dog playpen, a section on who should avoid purchasing them altogether, and she personally selected the best playpen for a variety of specific use cases.

The 5 Best Dog Playpens

  1. Best OverallBestPet Extra Large Indoor Outdoor Dog Fence Playpen
  2. Best BudgetAmazon Basics Foldable Metal Pet Dog Exercise Fence Pen
  3. Best OutdoorChicken Coop Outlet
  4. Best PortableRuff ‘n Ruffus Portable Foldable Pet Playpen
  5. Best for ExerciseFXW Dog Fence Outdoor Pen

Dog Playpens Compared

Here are our top picks. Compare the ratings and features of different models to find the right one for you.

Editor’s Picks Model Rating Activated Carbon Filter? Room Capacity Fan/power Modes
Best Overall Honeywell HPA 250B 5.0 310 sq ft 3
Best Budget Filtrete Pet Air Purifier 4.6 80 sq ft 3
Best Splurge Oransi Mod HEPA Air Purifier 4.4 1,250 sq ft Touch and toggle for several speed options
Best for Large Spaces Coway Airmega 4.7 1,560 sq ft 5
Best Portable LG PuriCare Air Purifier 4.4 Immediate Area Only 2

*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers

Who Should Buy Dog Playpens

  • Escape artist parents. When your dog can get out of every confinement you create, the time may be to find a playpen especially designed for him. Even if you have a room that your dog is safe in, putting a playpen around the majority of the room may keep him from scratching up, chewing, or otherwise destroying your door.
  • Working families. If you have long chunks of time away from your dog, then you want to make those times as stress-free as you can for your dog. Not only will a stressed dog act out, but you don’t want your fur baby more anxious than he needs to be – especially when a new puppy is transitioning to longer times away from you. A playpen will prevent your dog from endless amounts of trouble.
  • Isolationists. If you have multiple dogs, there are plenty of ways that can go wrong. From fights to mating to just about everything in between – separating two dogs in one household is tricky but sometimes necessary. A playpen can help you keep your dog in heat away from accidental impregnation and, should a dog get sick, you can isolate the sickness to prevent others from catching anything communicable.

Who Should Not Buy Dog Playpens

  • Old dogs, new tricks. When you have an older dog, no longer prone to puppy-ways, you may not need a playpen. If he can have free reign of the house and it’s a non-issue, then why bother confining him? There’s not a lot to gain by restricting a dog’s movement when the movement isn’t a concern to you.
  • Safe spaces. When your home – or a segregated area of your home – is dog-proof, then you don’t need to confine him to a playpen. If your dog has a room that he can be shut into that gives him all he needs and causes no potential risk, then the worry for when you’re away isn’t as significant and the playpen is less of an urgent purchase. Just remember that you’ll likely still have travel and exceptions when a playpen can still be of use.

Buying Guide: Research Tips From a Veterinarian

Because purchasing an air purifier can be a moderate investment financially, you will want to do some research and find a unit that will fit your needs. Here’s what to consider when picking an air purifier for eliminating pet odors: 

  1. In or out? It is important to first decide what you will be using the playpen for, whether it will be used outdoors or inside, and how large it needs to be to comfortably accommodate your pets.
  2. Portability. Another feature to consider is the ease of setup and transport if you need to move the playpen often. Whether you plan to take it when you travel or just move from one room to another, it’s worth looking for portable options.
  3. Durable materials. Also, it is essential to consider the material that the pen is made from. Heavy-duty metal (steel) kennels will last longer. You may prefer the models that are coated for protection from rust. If you have a strong dog or an escape artist, it is essential to consider the strength of the bars. Flimsy or small gauge wire playpens can be easily escaped by some dogs. Inspect the panels to make sure there are no sharp points or edges.
  4. Your dog as an individual. Your needs may vary based on the intended use and the size and personality of your dog.  Locking mechanisms on the doors are a good idea to prevent escape, so I suggest avoiding doors without them.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask around. It is also a good idea to ask friends, neighbors, and your veterinarian for recommendations. When you have discussions with someone you know about a purchase you can ask the questions you really want to know; like “Can it fit through my kitchen door?”
  6. See it in action, if you can. If possible, it is best actually to see the playpen prior to your purchase. This will enable you to inspect the construction and ensure the pen is suitable for your needs.

If you’re looking for a more compact, temporary option, then don’t forget about crates – just make sure they’re the right size for your dog. And if you have a specific dog breed that you’ll want to predict their adult size, make sure you’re checking before you adopt. If you have a small apartment, a Great Dane may not be the best breed choice for you. If you plan on keeping a puppy in a dog playpen for extended periods of time, you may even want to consider litter training them.

How Much Do They Cost?

Between $50-200

Most of the cost differential between playpens is down to size and durability. If you’re getting the escape-proof playpen that a large dog can’t chew through or jump over, you’ll be spending far more than if you want a portable playpen for your toy breed. You’ll spend even more if you want it to be a permanent fixture in your yard – those types can run you over $500, while the bulk of others will be between $50 and $200.

Our Methodology: Why Trust Pet News Daily

As a veterinarian, I’ve seen a lot of problems with dogs getting into trouble and can testify that a good playpen will help with several of those troublemaker problems. After treating injuries that occur when a dog is trying to escape, or when they’ve gotten into something they shouldn’t have when the owner was away, I’m confident saying the right playpen can even keep your pet safe. – Not to mention it can keep your belongings safe, as well. – Dr. Jamie Whittenburg

The Best Dog Playpen Reviews

1. Best Overall – BestPet Extra Large Indoor Outdoor Dog Fence Playpen

Best Overall

BestPet Extra Large Indoor Outdoor Dog Fence Playpen

If you want the best of the best dog playpens, look no further than the BestPet Extra Large Indoor Outdoor Dog Fence Playpen.

The BestPet Extra Large Indoor Outdoor Dog Fence Playpen is well-built and spacious enough to allow dogs to play safely while still being contained. Dogs who jump are not good candidates for this type of structure as they may easily escape. It’s a great choice because it can be configured in different shapes, comes in various sizes, and can be connected to another playpen to increase the space.

Assembly is simple, and the playpen comes with assembly instructions that will enable you to construct the structure in a matter of minutes. This playpen is well-built and sturdy. The coating should guard against rust and it is portable for the needs of campers or travelers.

  • All metal construction
  • 6 size options
  • Easy assembly
  • Some rust issues over time
  • No nonskid pads on bottom; may damage floors

2. Best Budget – Amazon Basics Foldable Metal Pet Dog Exercise Fence Pen

Best Budget

Amazon Basics Foldable Metal Pet Dog Exercise Fence Pen

If your dog needs a safe area and you don’t want to pay through the nose, try the Amazon Basics Foldable Metal Pet Dog Exercise Fence Pen.

The Amazon Basics Foldable Metal Pet Dog Exercise Fence Pen is versatile and can be used indoors or outside. Lightweight and easily moved, this playpen is most appropriate for small dogs. There are no tools required for set-up and the panels fold down flat for easy storage between uses.

The pen is made of durable iron metal with a rust-proof black finish which will enable its use for years to come. The playpen has a step-through door that is equipped with two secure-locking slide-bolt latches. There are also eight ground anchors included for outdoor use.

  • Easy assembly
  • With or without door options
  • 6 size choices
  • Door locks stick occasionally
  • Wire bars will not restrain a determined large breed

3. Best Outdoor – Chicken Coop Outlet

Best Outdoor

You’ll like the Chicken Coop Outlet Backyard Dog Kennel for outdoor use because it allows dogs room to play but also an area that is covered to give dogs shade and protection from the weather. This enclosure is large, measuring 16 Panels W26″X H32″, and is only suited for outdoor use.  This enclosure is big enough for multiple dogs; however, it may not be ideal for very strong dogs or escape artists as the chain link is not heavy-duty.

No tools are required for assembly. Rod-connected design, connecting each panel through dome rods, easy to assemble and disassemble.

  • 32ft tall to prevent escape
  • Durable rod-link construction
  • Has corrosion resistance it can adapt to all kinds of extreme weather and is durable
  • Difficult assembly
  • May require additional latching for more determined escape artist dogs

4. Best Portable – Ruff ‘n Ruffus Portable Foldable Pet Playpen

There is no assembly required for the easily portable playpen, Ruff ‘n Ruffus Portable Foldable Pet Playpen. It also comes with a carry case which increases the ease of transporting it. The playpen is available in three sizes – Medium (29x29x17 inches), Large (36x36x23 inches), and Extra Large (48x48x23.5 inches).

This playpen is a nice way to give your dog more room than a crate but is not ideal for vigorous exercise. It can easily be used for traveling and camping. The playpen is made from durable water-resistant materials and comes with a removable zippered top that can be used to provide shade.

  • 3 size options available
  • Includes portable water dish and carrying bag
  • Folds flat and pops up in seconds
  • Not for escape artist dogs
  • Smart dogs can turn it on its side to run while still in it

5. Best for Exercise – FXW Dog Fence Outdoor Pen

Best for Exercise

FXW Dog Fence Outdoor Pen

If you’re interested in giving your dog his exercise free of the worry of running off, then you won’t want to miss the FXW Dog Fence Outdoor Pen.

With the FXW Dog Fence Outdoor Pen, you’ll get 48 panels that provide 729 square feet of exercise space, making it a great choice for enclosing large areas and allowing dogs to exercise vigorously. This outside dog enclosure features a powder coating that will help protect against rust and extend its life. The steel wire of this dog fence is smooth and solid, so no need to worry that your dog will be able to chew the panels and escape.

The dog fence’s panels can be put together in just a few minutes using the supplied poles, in multiple combinations, shapes, and configurations. The fence folds flat for easy storage and transportation, which makes this an ideal choice for a large exercise pen.

  • Size customizable from 24″H to 50″H
  • Choose from 8, 16, 22, 24, 32, or 48 panels
  • Includes metal stakes for added stability
  • Some rust issues when kept outdoor for long periods
  • Small dogs may get muzzles stuck between bars

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a dog live in a playpen?

Yes and no. You can let the playpen be your dog’s main area, but he will need to be taken out regularly to interact with you and others or he will suffer negative consequences. Poorly socialized dogs who don’t get the exercise they need are the dogs who present a risk to themselves and others. Solitary dogs are more inactive and exhibit more nervous behaviors (and that often leads to trouble).1 The playpen can be compared to a kennel that your dog may stay in when you go on vacation or when he’s taken to doggy daycare and as such, you can take confidence in keeping them in that for a longer time than, say, the crate. In fact, depending on the size of your playpen choice, the comparison of a fenced-in yard may be more appropriate.

It’s worth noting, that even the USDA approves penning dogs, provided the pen is large enough.2(They’re only concerned the dog can stand up, turn around, sit upright and lie down, though, so that’s not a limiting factor for most playpens.)3

Is a crate or playpen better for a puppy?

You know that each puppy is different, of course, but you’ll need to bear that in mind when deciding whether you want to crate train or playpen train. The truth is that each is better at something, so you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons and apply what you know about your dog to them. Crate training makes bedtime a lot easier, but during the day, your pup will have a better go at the extra space in a pen. The crate is
Where should a puppy sleep at night?

Only you and your family can answer this. You may treat your dog like a member of the family, and give him his own bed, in his own area, or you may let him sleep with you. We can’t determine that for you, but we can say that the smoothest training results come from crate training at night. – You can use a puppy playpen for that, as well, and get similar results. – It just depends on your space and training style. Just bear in mind that you don’t want to isolate them for too long. If you keep him in the pen all day while you’re at work, then creating a place in your room for the pen may be the best idea to make sure he feels bonded to your family.

How big does a dog pen need to be?

This answer depends entirely on your circumstances. Primarily, you’ll have to decide on the size based on your dog’s breed and how you plan on using your playpen. If you plan to just keep him safe and secure for short bursts while you’re away, it won’t need to be too big. After all, consider how many dogs are kept in a kennel while their owner is out. For dogs who love to snuggle in, like dachshunds, as long as he can burrow into the blanket and stretch out, he’s going to be fine. For active dogs who need some space to play, you’ll want to give them more of it. You can certainly find oversized playpens for dogs, but the reality is you’ll need to cater the pen to the area you put it in. Most pens will be large enough for you’d dog to walk around some and even play a bit. That means you’ll want at least a couple hundred square feet of room within the pen. They should still get the bulk of their energy spent in play with you, though, so don’t think the space you give him relieves you of your responsibility to interact with your dog.

Article Sources

Pet News Daily uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Hubrecht RC, Serpell JA, & Poole TB. Correlates of pen size and housing conditions on the behaviour of kennelled dogs. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 1992:34(4); 365-383. doi:10.1016/S0168-1591(05)80096-6.
  2. Yeon SC, Golden G, Sung W, Erb HN, Reynolds AJ, & Houpt KA. A Comparison of Tethering and Pen Confinement of Dogs. 2010;257-270. doi:10.1207/S15327604JAWS0404_03
  3. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Inspecting the Kennel – Kennel Size. USDA. Updated June 2, 2020. Accessed April 4, 2022.

The Best Dog Playpens (May 2024 Reviews)

Our veterinarians research and recommend the best products. Learn more about our process. We may receive a commission on purchases made from our links.

Obviously, you adore your dog, but that doesn’t mean that he or she gets free reign of the house or yard all the time. Sometimes you need to corral your pup into one area. That’s why dog playpens are an essential accessory for every dog owner.

We reviewed dozens of dog playpens to identify the best of the best. We considered all of the features that you’ll want to know about, including size, material, portability, versatility, and accessories to make sure that you know everything that you need to in order to choose right dog playpen for you and your pet.

Top Pick

MidWest Pet Playpen

With 16 square feet of room, eight ground anchors for outdoor use, and eight corner stabilizers, this playpen is the best option for most dog breeds.

Our top pick is the MidWest Pet Playpen. This dog playpen is durable and easily configurable in several different shapes. It’s easy to set up and take down, and it can be attached to your dog’s crate for a den-like space with access to room to play and stretch. With five different height options, it’s ideal for use with dogs up to 110 pounds.

The 5 Top-Rated Dog Playpens

Great Pyrenees – Age Weight Height
2 months
3 months
4 months
5 months
6 months
7 months
8 months
9 months
10 months
11 months

1 year
Fully grown males
Fully grown females

15-25 pounds
25-40 pounds
35-55 pounds
45-70 pounds
50-80 pounds
55-85 pounds
60-90 pounds
65-95 pounds
70-100 pounds
70-105 pounds

80-115 pounds
100 pounds and up
85 pounds and up

27-32 inches
25-29 inches

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: MidWest Pet Playpen

With five different height options available to suit dogs up to about 110 pounds, the MidWest Pet Playpen is a great option for most dog breeds.

The pen comes with eight 24″ wide panels and is easily assembled using the four included clips. The eight corner stabilizers and eight ground anchors also included provide even more stability and durability. The metal playpen has a black Electro-Coat finish or a gold zinc finish to protect both the playpen and your pet. Once assembled, the pen gives your pet 16 square feet of space and a step-through door makes it easy for both you and your pet to enter and exit the pen as needed. The door has two latches to keep it securely closed. When you want the playpen out of the way, just release the clips and the pen folds flat again for easy storage.

For longer periods of use, you can even attach the MidWest Pet Playpen to a Midwest Single or Double Door Dog Crate to provide them with a den area as well as a place to play. You can also use a MidWest Exercise Pen Wire Mesh or Sunscreen Top for additional protection for your pet as needed.

MidWest Pet Playpen Key Features:

  • Comes with a one year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Five height options: 24″, 30″, 36″, 42″, and 48″
  • Available in black and zinc finishes with a door, and in black without a door
  • Plenty of accessories also available for purchase from MidWest

Our Runner Up Pick: Paws & Pals Heavy Duty Dog Playpen

Runner Up

Paws & Pals Heavy Duty Dog Playpen

This heavy duty dog pen is easy to set up and take down, provides 30 square feet of room for your dog to enjoy, and can be set up in a variety of shapes.

Our runner-up is another dog playpen from the same brand: the Paws & Pals Heavy Duty Dog Playpen. This pen doesn’t come in as many height options as our Top Pick, and it’s heavier, but it’s also even heavier duty to stand up to even the most rambunctious dogs for a long, long time. It also has a silver-toned finish rather than a black one. Otherwise, the two pens are very similar.

The Paws & Pals Heavy Duty Dog Playpen also features an 8-panel design that is easy to set up and take down and can be placed into a variety of shapes. The edges have been rounded to protect your pet and the pen is constructed from rust-resistant metal, which makes it suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The pen offers just over 30 square feet of space for your dog and measures 73″ in diameter when set up in an octagon shape. The double-latching door allows easy access inside the pen.

This dog playpen is easy to set up and take down, but at between about 35 pounds in weight for the 24″ height option and about 57 pounds for the 40″ height option, it’s not quite as easy to tote around as our top choice.

Paws & Pals Heavy Duty Dog Playpen Key Features:

  • Available in 24″, 32″, and 40″
  • Rounded edges keep you and your pet safe
  • 1/2″ tube heavy duty frame

Best Budget Pick: Ruff ‘n Ruffus Portable Foldable Pet Playpen

Best for Budget

Ruff ‘n Ruffus Portable Foldable Pet Playpen

This collapsible playpen gives you plenty for your money with a shade cover, water resistant material, and an included carrying case, plus a collapsible bowl.

The Ruff ‘n Ruffus Portable Foldable Pet Playpen is not only a very affordable option, but it also gives you a lot for your money. It has a built-in reinforced floor to protect both your pet and your flooring. A removable mesh sunshade can be left on to help keep your dog cool or prevent them from jumping out or zipped off to allow you to access the inside of the pen through the top. A zippered door also allows for access into the pen.

The breathable mesh walls, door, and shade keep your dog contained, while also allowing for plenty of airflow. The pen’s seams and corners are reinforced and the pen is made from water-resistant 600D nylon to make it more durable.

This playpen is incredibly easy to set up and take down: just unfold the playpen and it pops up on its own in mere seconds. When you’re done with it, just fold it back up and place it in the included carrying case.

Ruff ‘n Ruffus Portable Foldable Pet Playpen Key Features:

  • Comes with a carry case and collapsible 16-ounce food or water bowl
  • Three sizes available: Medium (29” x 29” x 17”), Large (36″ x 36″ x 23″), and Extra Large (48″ x 48″ x 23.5″)
  • No assembly required design pops open in seconds

Best Small Dog Playpen: IRIS 24” Exercise and Pet Playpen

Best Small Dog Playpen

IRIS 24” Exercise and Pet Playpen

The 8 square feet provided by this dog playpen is perfect for small dogs, but you can also buy additional add-on panels to give more room if you think your dog needs it.

The IRIS 24” Exercise and Pet Playpen is a great option for small dogs. It’s 24″ tall, making it tall enough to keep small dogs inside, but also short enough for humans to reach or step over it when necessary. This playpen is made out of molded plastic for enhanced durability and to eliminate any possible rust issues. The plastic construction also makes this playpen super lightweight. It’s suitable for indoor or outdoor use and can be folded flat when you don’t need it.

The playpen provides 8 square feet of play and exercise space, but you can also purchase 2-panel expansion sets for even more area. Additionally, you can purchase another door add-on panel if you don’t want to have to pick up and put down your dogs to place them in the pen and take them out again. Panels are easy to add and remove using the full length connecting rods. The joints between panels have a huge range of motion, allowing the pen to be set up in a variety of shapes to suit your needs.

IRIS 24” Exercise and Pet Playpen Key Features: 

  • Rubber feet to prevent the pen from sliding and protect your flooring
  • Available in white, blue, green, gray, and pink
  • Easy to expand for more room

Best Large Dog Playpen: Paws & Pals Metal Wire Pet Playpen

Best Large Dog Playpen

Paws & Pals Metal Wire Pet Playpen

This portable wire dog playpen offers heights up to 48 inches tall and provides 30 square feet of play space.

The Paws & Pals Metal Wire Pet Playpen provides your dog with 30 square feet of room and its 8-panel design lets you set up the playpen in a variety of different shapes. It’s lightweight at around 35 pounds and is easy to set up and take down, which makes it super portable.

All you have to do to set it up is unfold it and attach the ends together using the included pieces; no tools are necessary. To put it away, just detach the ends and the pen folds flat for easy transportation and storage.

With five different heights available ranging between 24″ and 48″, there is a height option perfect for just about any dog. It’s even great for outdoor use thanks to the durable metal material with a rust-resistant coating. The black coating blends with virtually any decor, and the coating and the pen’s rounded edges keep your dog safe. The dual latching door makes it easy to access the inside of the pen, no matter what height you choose.

Paws & Pals Metal Wire Pet Playpen Key Features:

  • Available in five different heights: 24″, 30″, 36″, 42″, and 48″
  • Rounded edges keep you and your pet safe
  • 1/2″ tube heavy duty frame and 6 gauge wire
  • 64″ diameter in octagon configuration

Who Should Buy a Dog Playpen

Pet playpens are a useful tool for owners of all types of dogs because they keep your dog confined without being as limiting as a crate.

They’re especially useful and most commonly recommended for when owners have to leave puppies home alone because they keep the puppy away from anything that it could hurt or could hurt it while also providing enough room for a puppy pad. Dog playpens are also good for dogs, whether puppies or adults, that are transitioning into a new home. Playpens give the dog the freedom to observe and adjust to the new space without overwhelming it.

In addition, dog playpens are a good option for confining a dog that isn’t crate-trained or when you want to keep your dog confined to an area but don’t want to or aren’t able to crate it. 

Top Pick

MidWest Pet Playpen

With 16 square feet of room, eight ground anchors for outdoor use, and eight corner stabilizers, this playpen is the best option for most dog breeds.

Important Features to Consider

A playpen for dogs should include a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a playpen for your dog:

  • Area. Your playpen should offer enough room for your dog to do everything you need it to be able to. For example, a playpen for a puppy to stay in while you’re at work needs room for bowls, a play area, a bed, and a puppy pad away from the other things. Of course, the larger and greater in number the dogs that will be in the pen are, the more space needed.
  • Height. Your dog’s playpen needs to be tall enough so that your dog can’t jump out of it, but it also needs to be short enough that you (or the shortest person in your home who needs to be able to get inside) can easily access the inside of the playpen. Of course, playpens for larger dogs will generally need to be too tall for a person to easily lean over, so tall playpens will need to have a door that you can use to get inside the pen.
  • Ease of assembly. Your pet playpen should be easy for you to quickly put together so you can start using it for your dog right away. Make sure that you also know what tools, if any, that you’ll need to assemble your dog playpen before you get it, so that you can make sure that you have them or else choose another playpen that doesn’t require tools.
  • Portability. If you plan on being able to use the dog playpen in multiple places, you’ll also want to make sure that it’s easy to move from one place to the other. If you only need to use the playpen in one place, this isn’t a big concern, but portability is still nice just in case you ever end up needing to use it somewhere else. Plus, portable playpens fold up small and are lightweight, which also makes them easy to store when you’re not using them.
  • Material. Most dog playpens are made out of metal or fabric/mesh on a metal or plastic frame, but others are made of wood or plastic. Which material you should go with depends on your dog. Large dogs or dogs that scratch at things will easily damage and escape from fabric and mesh pens, while chewers can damage wood or plastic playpens and even get sick from chewing pieces off of them. Fabric and mesh playpens tend to be the most lightweight and portable, while wood pens tend to be the most attractive.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a dog playpen?

A dog playpen is exactly what it sounds like: it’s a small section of fencing that you can use to enclose your dog in a specific area while also giving it room to move around.

Do you need a puppy playpen?

Dog playpens are useful for dogs of all ages, but they’re pretty much essential for puppies. Puppies need to go to the bathroom frequently, so if they’re left alone for more than a few hours, owners will need to provide an accessible place for the dog to go potty as well as room for the dog to rest and play away from the potty pad. And because puppies are prone to troublemaking that can hurt themselves and your belongings, they need to be confined whenever someone isn’t around to observe and keep them out of trouble.

How do you clean a dog playpen?

Most metal, nylon, and plastic playpens can be hosed off or otherwise wiped down with water if hosing isn’t possible, then wiped dry with a clean cloth. Next apply a cleaning agent and scrub the playpen with a brush. A solution of water and vinegar is safe for most materials. Finish up by rinsing with warm water and drying the playpen thoroughly.

Most dog playpens will come with cleaning instructions specific to that particular product. If in doubt, contact your playpen’s manufacturer.

How long can I leave my puppy in a playpen?

Without a puppy pad, the basic rule for how long a puppy can be left is one hour for every month of its age, after which the puppy needs to be taken outside to go to the bathroom. For example, a four-month-old puppy should be left for, at most, four hours before being allowed to go to the bathroom. However, this rule caps out after about six to eight hours, even for adult dogs.

Having puppy pads in the playpen allows you to leave your puppy in the playpen for longer, but you should still try to limit alone time to just a few hours, provide them with plenty of stimulation for while you’re gone, and give them plenty of attention and stimulation before you leave and after you return.

Other Dog Playpens We Reviewed

Top Pick

MidWest Pet Playpen

With 16 square feet of room, eight ground anchors for outdoor use, and eight corner stabilizers, this playpen is the best option for most dog breeds.

We looked at 20 other dog playpens. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best dog playpens list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your dog. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Metal Dog Playpens

AmazonBasics Foldable Metal Pet Playpen

AmazonBasics Foldable Metal Pet Playpen-min

This simple, lightweight dog playpen offers your dog 25 square feet of space and has a convenient step-through door to give you easy access inside the pen.

Key Features:

  • 24″, 30″, 36″, 42″, and 48″ height options
  • Step-though door with two slide-locking latches
  • Comes with the AmazonBasics one year warranty

Cost: $35

BestPet Heavy Duty Pet Playpen

BestPet Heavy Duty Pet Playpen-min

This dog playpen is made of iron and has a weather-proof finish, making it a durable and versatile option for both indoor and outdoor use.

Key Features:

  • Versatile 8-panel design
  • Door for convenient access
  • Easy to set up, take down, and travel with

Cost: $65

BestPet Metal Folding Pet Playpen

BestPet Metal Folding Pet Playpen-min

This 8-panel foldable metal wire dog playpen is made of durable iron and has a rust-proof coating that makes it suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

Key Features:

  • Available in 24″, 30″, 36″, 42″, and 48″ height options
  • 42″ and 48″ heights have doors
  • Available in pink, blue, and black

Cost: $30

BestPet Metal Wire Playpen

BestPet Metal Wire Playpen-min

This basic metal wire playpen is 24″ tall and has an eight-panel design that is easy to set up, take down, and move around.

Key Features:

  • Anti-rust coating over the metal wire
  • Durable welding for strength
  • Sets up in minutes

Cost: $30

BestPet Pet Playpen

BestPet Pet Playpen-min

This heavy-duty eight-panel dog playpen is available in two different color patterns, each with a weatherproof finish that allows you to use this versatile dog playpen both inside and out.

Key Features:

  • Three height options: 24″, 32″, and 40″
  • Two-color options: black and hammigrid (hammered)
  • Weatherproof finish

Cost: $90

Pet Trex 8 Panel Playpen for Dogs

Pet Trex 8 Panel Playpen for Dogs-min

All you have to do to set up these lightweight, portable dog playpen is unfold the panels and clip the ends together using the three included thumb clips. Included ground anchors and corner stabilizers provide more support if needed.

Key Features:

  • Black Electro-Coat for lasting durability
  • Step-through double-latch door
  • One year limited warranty

Cost: $30

Pet Trex Playpen for Dogs

Pet Trex Playpen for Dogs-min

This is another easy to set up, versatile, eight-panel dog playpen that can be set up in multiple shapes and used both indoors and out.

Key Features:

  • 24″ and 30″ height options
  • Double-latch step-through door
  • Suitable for dogs up to 40 pounds

Cost: $35

Petmate 8 Panels Exercise Pen

Petmate 8 Panels Exercise Pen-min

This dog playpen recommendation comes in five different heights suited for dogs up to 65 pounds or more.

Key Features:

  • Double-latch door
  • Panels fold flat for easy travel and convenient storage
  • Easy to attach to additional pens for extra space

Cost: $40

Soft Side Dog Playpens

Best Choice Products Pet Playpen

Best Choice Products Pet Playpen-min

This 600D nylon dog playpen is packed with features including two built-in storage pockets, a water dispenser holder, and a removable floor pad.

Key Features:

  • Comes with a carrying case and ground hooks
  • Available in red, pink, and blue
  • 45″ diameter and 24″ tall

Cost: $35

BestPet Tent Playpen

BestPet Tent Playpen-min

If you prefer a playpen with a style that’s a little more statement-making, this one comes in Blue Grid, Paw, and Camouflage patterns, as well as yellow, red, and purple color options.

Key Features:

  • Zippable mesh door
  • Water-resistant
  • Accessory pockets

Cost: $30

EliteField 2-Door Soft Pet Playpen

EliteField 2-Door Soft Pet Playpen-min

If you’re looking for a variety of options to choose from, then select from eight color options and eight size options between 30″ diameter and 20″ tall to 62″ diameter and 36″ tall.

Key Features:

  • Two mesh doors with locking zippers
  • Zipper removable, washable floor and top
  • Accessory pockets and water dispenser mount

Cost: $55

ESK Collection 45″ Pet Playpen

ESK Collection 45 Pet Playpen-min

Made from water-resistant nylon and breathable, this playpen is a high-quality option for a variety of situations.

Key Features:

  • Two mesh zipper-closure doors
  • Accessory pockets and water dispenser holder
  • Zipper removable top and bottom

Cost: $40

Fabulous Pet Portable Playpen

Fabulous Pet Portable Playpen-min

With nine color/pattern options and five size options, this dog playpen comes in a version for just about any dog and owner.

Key Features:

  • Removable mesh top
  • Water-resistant
  • Durable upgraded zippers

Cost: $50

Jespet Portable Soft Dog Playpen

Jespet Portable Soft Dog Playpen-min

Use this lightweight, water-resistant dog playpen at the park, in the house, or anywhere you’d like.

Key Features:

  • Two height options: 45″x45″x24″ and 61″x61″x30″
  • Three color options: brown, pink, and royal blue
  • Accessory pockets and water dispenser holder

Cost: $40

Parkland Pet Portable Foldable Playpen

Parkland Pet Portable Foldable Playpen-min

This playpen is a basic option for those who don’t want or need a lot of extras.

Key Features:

  • Small, medium, and large size options
  • Subtle brown and white design
  • Removable top

Cost: $20

Precision Pet by Petmate Soft Side Play Yard

Precision Pet by Petmate Soft Side Play Yard-min

This wireframe playpen’s heavy-duty zippers, reinforced corners, and protected seams work together to allow the pen to stand up to just about anything a dog could throw at it.

Key Features:

  • Small, medium, and large size options
  • Accessory pockets and water dispenser holder
  • Waterproof

Cost: $55

Other Dog Playpens

AmazonBasics 4-Panel Plastic Pet Pen

AmazonBasics 4-Panel Plastic Pet Pen-min

This heavy-duty molded PP plastic pet playpen offers eight square feet of area, features a locking-latch door, and can easily be expanded with AmazonBasics’s two-panel extension kit.

Key Features: 

  • One-year AmazonBasics limited warranty
  • Non-skid rubber feet
  • Easy to assemble and expand

Cost: $40

IRIS 34″ Pet Playpen with Door

IRIS 34 Pet Playpen with Door-min

This 34″ tall eight-panel plastic playpen comes in eight different colors, has a built-in door with steel hinges and latches, and can easily be expanded using a two-panel add on kit or an additional playpen.

Key Features:

  • Available in blue, brown, chrome, gray, green, pink, red, and white
  • 21 square feet of space
  • Non-skid rubber feet

Cost: $70

IRIS Pet Playpen with Door

IRIS Pet Playpen with Door-min

This plastic playpen is 24″ tall, features steel hinges and latches on the built-in door, and can be expanded with a second playpen or a two-panel add on kit.

Key Features:

  • Available in blue moon, brown, chrome, dark gray, green, pink, garnet red, and white
  • Eight square feet of space
  • Non-skid rubber feet

Cost: $40

Richell Mobile Pet Pen

Richell Mobile Pet Pen-min

This hardwood playpen is more attractive than most of the other pens on this list and the removable, lockable casters on the bottom are convenient, but it’s only large enough for small dog breeds.

Key Features:

  • Removable wire top
  • Detachable, washable plastic liner tray
  • Constructed from rubberwood

Cost: $120

Pet News Daily Staff
Pet News Daily writers are experts in pet care, health and behavior. We are members of Society for Professional Journalists and practice ethical journalism.