Best Dog & Puppy Exercise Pens & Playpens In 2021/2022

 

Puppy playpens and dog exercise pens are generally the smaller versions of dog cages and gazebos.

When it comes to picking the best dog exercise pen, there’s a few things you want to consider.

The height of the pen panels, the material the panels are made of, the thickness of the panels, and the overall area that the playpen contains are a few.

But, don’t stress out too much.

We’ve put together a list of the top rated dog exercise pens that take all this into account – so you don’t have to spend as much time and effort researching.

We’ve also outlined the main features of each exercise pen, so you can get a good idea of which one might be most suitable for your dog/s and preferences.

Let’s check out what’s available!

 

(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)

 

Best Dog & Puppy Exercise Pens & Playpens

Our top picks for the best dog exercise pens are:

Metal Dog Exercise Pens

 

Plastic Dog Exercise Pens

 

Heavy Duty Dog Exercise Pens

 

Dog Exercise Pens With A Top/Cover

There’s exercise pens that come with covers:

 

There’s also dog cages and gazebos that come with roof cover:

 

The last option is to buy the dog exercise pen of your choosing, and buy a cover or tarpaulin of your choosing.

Simply fix/retrofit the cover or tarpaulin to your dog exercise pen as you like.

A tarp like the Hanjet Tarp (on Amazon) with grommets and available in different sizes might be something you are looking for.

 

Soft Puppy Playpens

 

Foldable & Portable Puppy Playpens

Same as the above soft sided puppy playpens list

 

Indoor & Outdoor Puppy Playpens

Same as the above soft sided puppy playpens list

 

Puppy Playpens With Removable Floor For Housetraining

 

Best Dog Exercise Pens: Reviews

MidWest Homes Foldable Metal Exercise Pen

A playpen for temporarily enclosing pets in a 16 square foot area

Available in height up to 48 inches, but also available in a range of other panel heights

Available in 2 colors – black, and gold

Comes with 8 ground anchors for outdoor use and 4 thumb-snaps for easy assembly

Easy set up and take down – no tools required

Suitable for small to large dogs

View the MidWest Homes Foldable Metal Exercise Pen (on Amazon)

 

BestPet Heavy Duty Pet Playpen & Dog Exercise Pen

View On Amazon

Features

A heavy duty 1/2 inch metal tube dog playpen

Comes in both 32 inch high, and 40 inch high options

Comes with 8 panels that can be set up in an octagon or rectangle configuration

Each panel is 40″ High x 31″ Wide on the 40 inch model

Has an opening door/gate on the front of the pen

Comes in a black color

Relatively easy and quick to set up and take down

Comes with rods for connecting the panels together

You can order additional panels to expand the playpen area

 

Drawbacks

For dogs that try to jump on the fence, you’ll have to buy extra stakes to reinforce the fence, and possibly reinforce the connector rods

Long term, it can be good to apply some rustoleum paint on the metal

Shipping outside the USA is subject to extra fees

Sometimes the fence might arrive with a few dents in the panels – in this case you’ll have to contact the manufacturer for a replacement

 

Overall

Overall, probably the best heavy duty dog pen on the market along with the Paws & Pals playpen. Strong and easy to set up. If you have a dog that tries to jump on the fence, you’ll need to reinforce the panels and the rods that connect the panels with stakes, and some type of locking washers – but, most people don’t have this issue. It’s good you can expand this system with extra panels. 

View the BestPet Heavy Duty Pet Playpen Dog Exercise Pen (on Amazon) 

 

Paws & Pals Oxgord Heavy Duty Portable Metal Exercise Dog Playpen

Features

A heavy duty 1/2 inch metal tube dog playpen

Comes in 24, 32 and 40 inch high models

Comes with 8 panels that can be arranged in different configurations

Panels are 30 inches wide

Easy to set up and take down

You get approx 30 square feet of containment with 8 panels

Comes with a slide lock

Has an opening door/gate on the front of the pen

Expandable – you can buy additional panels to increase the size of the containment area

 

Drawbacks

For dogs that try to jump on the fence, you’ll have to buy extra stakes to reinforce the fence

Long term, it can be good to apply some rustoleum paint on the metal

 

Overall

Very similar to the BestPet playpen. Strong, easy to set up and take down. You can expand it with additional panels. You’ll need to reinforce it for dogs that try to jump on the fence or knock into the panels.

View the Paws & Pals Oxgord Heavy Duty Portable Metal Exercise Dog Playpen (on Amazon)

 

IRIS USA Pet Containment Pen

View On Amazon

Features

Comes in a 24 inch high panel option, or a 34 inch high panel option

Panels are 24.6 inches wide

Comes with 8 panels in a kit

Provides 21 square inches of containment

the distance between bars is 1.5”

Made of a heavy duty molded plastic

For small dogs only

Made in the USA

System is expandable by buying more panels – so you can increase the size of the containment area

Has locking latch

Panels connect with interlocking rods

 

Drawbacks

Not as strong or firm as the other brands

More of an inside playpen

For small dogs only, and not medium to large dogs

 

Overall

Overall, it’s good for small dogs, and as an inside or undercover playpen. Not as good as an outside playpen for medium to large dogs

View the IRIS USA Pet Containment Pen (on Amazon)

 

EliteField 2 Door Soft Sided Pet Playpen

Features

Playpen for small to medium sized pets

Comes in 6 different colors

Comes in 6 different sizes up to a 62 inches diameter x 36 inches high size

For both indoor and outdoor use

Easy to both set up and fold down

Can be stored away or taken with you camping

Has two zippered doors

Has pet supply storage pockets

Both the floor and top are zippered and removable

Comes with a carrying bag and 4 stakes to secure the playpen into the ground outside

Has a 2 year warranty

Drawbacks

Slightly more expensive than the chap playpens

View the EliteField 2 Door Soft Sided Pet Playpen on Amazon

 

ESK COLLECTION Puppy Playpen, 48 Inch Diameter x 25 Inch Height

Features

A puppy playpen to contain your puppy, or small dog

Is cheap and affordable

Measures 48 inches in diameter by 25 inches in height

Comes in 4 colors – pink, blue, black and red

Easy to set up and take down this playpen, and easy to fold up for transport or storage

Both the top and bottom can be zipped on and off

The top is a mesh cover

The bottom in a vinyl floor – easy to wash in case of accidents and mess

The sides are mesh, allowing great ventilation

The playpen has storage pockets on the side that allow you to store supplies

The playpen folds up easily, and comes with a travel tote so you can travel with the playpen as well

For indoor and outdoor use

Drawbacks

For small dogs only

The zippers are strong – they could be stronger to prevent breaking

View the ESK COLLECTION Puppy Playpen, 48 Inch Diameter x 25 Inch Height on Amazon

 

Parkland Pet Portable Foldable Playpen

Features

Comes in 3 sizes – small, medium and large

Large measures 48 inches in diameter by 24 inches high

For both indoor and outdoor use

Easy to set up, and just as easy to fold back down – can be taken with you camping, or folded down for storage

Has a zippered top and a zippered front door – both can be removed and zipped back on

Drawbacks

Bottom is not detachable

Zippers could be stronger

For small dogs only

View the Parkland Pet Portable Foldable Playpen on Amazon

 

ToysOpoly Pet Playpen

Features

A puppy playpen for small pets

Comes in black, blue and yellow colors

Measures 45 inches in diameter by 22 inches in height

Has both a zippered removable top AND bottom/floor

Easy to both fold down, and set up

Easy to transport or store away

Comes with a carry bag

Comes with zippered roll up doors

Has storage pouches to store supplies

Comes with 4x Metal stakes for holding the pen on ground firmly (outside use) 

For outside or inside use

Drawbacks

For small dogs only

Zippers could be stronger

View the ToysOpoly Pet Playpen on Amazon

 

Precision Pet Soft Side Play Yard

Features

Comes in 3 different sizes up to a 46 inches diameter x 28 inches high size

For both indoor and outdoor use

Easy to both set up and fold down

Can be stored away or taken with you camping

Has a mesh door and mesh sides

Has pet supply storage pockets

Both the floor and top are zippered and removable

Comes with a carrying bag and 4 stakes to secure the playpen into the ground outside

1 year warranty

Drawbacks

For small puppies and pets only

View the Precision Pet Soft Side Play Yard on Amazon

 

Jespet Puppy Playpen

Features

A puppy playpen for small to medium sized pets

Comes in 2 sizes up to a 61 inch diameter x 30 inch heigh size

Comes in 5 different colors

Has zippered and removable top/cover

Has mesh side panels and door

Has storage pockets on the side of the playpen

Comes with 4 stakes for securing the playpen to the ground

Easy to set up and fold down

Can be folded up and carried around or transported away camping for example

Drawbacks

Floor is not zippered and removable

View the Jespet Puppy Playpen (on Amazon)

 

Frisco Wire Dog Exercise Pen

For owners with small through to large dogs, looking for a value for money/affordable regular metal wire exercise pen

A metal wire exercise pen 

Comes in a range of sizes for small dogs, through to large dogs that are up to 91-110 pounds.

The largest size pen is 48 x 24 x 48 inches, and weighs 32 lbs

Has a step through door

Has a latch and safety clip lock on the door

Pen is collapsible, making it transportable

Has ground stakes to secure the pen in place

You can connect two pens together for a larger exercise area

Most similar to the MidWest regular metal wire pens available on the market

Frisco Wire Dog Exercise Pen (on Chewy) (for small through to large sized breeds, and is also expandable)

 

Frisco 4-Panel Plastic Dog Exercise Pen

A 4 panel plastic dog exercise pen

Those with toy and small sized dogs, looking for a small and lightweight exercise pen

Comes in one size only – 36 x 36 x 23.6 inches, and weighs 12.73 lbs

Provides 8 square feet of space inside the pen

Designed for toy and small breeds

Door has two locks

Pen has non skid rubber feet

Pen is transportable

Assembly just requires dropping rods into the panels

Frisco 4-Panel Plastic Dog Exercise Pen (on Chewy) (for toy and small sized breeds)

 

Frisco 8-Panel Plastic Dog Exercise Pen

Essentially the same as the 4 panel pen, but has more panels and provides more space inside the pen

Those with small to medium sized dogs, looking for a lightweight exercise pen

Measures 63 x 63 x 34 inches, and weighs 26.2 lbs

Provides 21 square feet of space

For small to medium sized breeds

Frisco 8-Panel Plastic Dog Exercise Pen (on Chewy) (for small to medium sized breeds)

 

Carlson Convertible Pet Yard

Features

A pet yard/pet pen that can also be used as a pet gate

Comes with 6 panels that are 24 inches wide each, or 144 inches in total length

The panels are 28-Inches tall

Foldable – so it’s easy to set up and take down

The panels are made of lightweight but durable steel

The panels come with a one touch lock and unlock door you and your pet can walk through

Can be used in most places in the house such as whole rooms, entrance ways, stairways, doorways, hallways, fireplaces + other areas

Space between the panel bars is small enough that most small dogs and puppies shouldn’t be able to squeeze through

You can buy multiple yards and attach them together for more enclosed space

Drawbacks

The door only opens one way

To use it as a pet gate – you have to buy the Carlson wall mounting hardware separately from Carlson directly. It doesn’t come with the hardware, and you can’t pressure mount the gate, and it’s not steady enough to be freestanding.

Overall

Overall, good as a pet yard with no real design flaws. Buy wall mounting hardware separately if you want to use it as a pet gate

View the Carlson Convertible Pet Yard on Amazon

 

What Might The Carlson Convertible Pet Yard Be For?

Small to large dogs

Dogs that suit a 28 inch tall yard/gate

People looking for a pet yard that is easy to set up and take down

People looking for a wall mounted pet gate

 

What Might The Carlson Convertible Pet Yard NOT Be For?

People who want wall mounting hardware for the pet gate included

People who want a gate that swings both ways

 

Best Dog Exercise Pens: Buyer’s Guide

What Is A Dog Exercise Pen?

A collection of panels, that connect together usually in a rectangle or octagon configuration, to contain one or several pets within the panels/pen.

They help keep your dog/s safe whilst allowing them some room to walk around.

 

What Can Dog Exercise Pens Be Used For?

Check what the manufacturer says on their product description, but usually:

Containing pets

Keeping pets safe

Keeping pets away from a hazard in your yard

 

Exercise pens can be a good alternative to portable fencing panels or an electric dog fence

 

The four main dog enclosure options are:

– Dog crates

– Dog exercise pens and puppy playpens

– Dog kennel cages and gazebos

– And, electric dog fences

 

Where Can Dog Exercise Pens Be Used?

Check what the manufacturer says on their product description, but usually:

Indoors

Outdoors

The backyard or front yard

Outside of your property RV’ing, camping and caravanning

 

What Size Dog Exercise Pen To Get?

Make sure you check the dimensions for the exercise pen, mainly the diameter and height, and get one that suits your dog. 

Make sure your dog has enough room to stand up, lay down, and of course walk around.

 

Things To Consider With Dog Exercise Pens

Some things you might want to consider are:

What they are made out of – plastic or metal? what thickness is the materials? Thin metal wire or thicker metal tube? Hardened plastic?

Where they can be used – inside, outside, away from the home?

How tall and wide each panel is?

How many panels you get in 1 kit

What square metre/foot area you can contain with the panels, or what total length of panelling you get in a kit

Whether you can expand the panelling and containment area by buying more panels

What size pets the panels are made for – small, medium, large?

Are you prepared to reinforce or provide strong fixing for the panels and panel connectors for dogs that want to lean or jump on the panels?

 

Heavy Duty Dog Exercise Pens

There could be a few reasons to get a heavier duty dog exercise pen.

Maybe you have a larger dog you need to keep safely contained, or maybe for another reason the thinner wire and metal on regular dog exercise pens just isn’t going to be suitable.

Usually the regular pet playpens are made with a thin metal wire or thin plastic materials.

The more heavy duty models are made with a thicker metal tube, and thicker heavy duty plastic.

 

Dog Exercise Pens With Doors vs Without Doors

Obviously a dog exercise pen with a door allows you to open and close the door to allow your pet/s in and out of the pen.

A pen without a door means you will have to take the connector rod out from the pen panels you want to open up to let your dog/s in and out of the pen.

So, a door allows you a bit more convenience.

Some of the exercise pens we mention above include doors instead of just coming with the panels.

 

Dog Crate vs Cage vs Playpen vs Carrier Comparison

Read a Dog Crate vs Cage vs Playpen vs Carrier Comparison Guide here.

 

Best Puppy Playpens: Buyer’s Guide

What Size Puppy Playpen To Get For Your Puppy?

The manufacturer should tell you how to measure.

But, generally you want to look at both the diameter and height of the playpen and make sure your puppy has enough clearance (a few inches) to stand up, lay down and turn around.

But, the more room the better for some pets.

 

Things To Consider When Buying A Puppy Playpen

Some features you may want to consider are:

Size of the playpen compared to your pet/s

Range of colors the playpen comes in

Whether to playpen door is zippered or not

Whether the playpen top/cover is zippered and removeable

Whether the playpen floor is zippered and removable and washable

Whether the playpen comes with supply storage pockets

Whether the playpen comes with a carry handle or carry bag for transporting 

Whether the playpen comes with metal stakes to secure it to the ground outside

Whether the playpen comes with a warranty

 

What Makes A Puppy Playpen Foldable?

The ability to take the playpen down (once set up) quickly and fold up the panels into one square or rectangle.

 

What Makes A Puppy Playpen Portable?

The best portable playpens have either a carry bag included, or have a carry handle stitched onto the playpen.

Both of these things allow you to more easily transport the playpen.

 

What To Know About Indoor Puppy Playpens

All playpens are indoor playpens. If you have a playpen set up indoors though, just make sure you have the necessary cover down for puppies that struggle with toilet training in the case of messes.

 

What To Know About Outdoor Puppy Playpens

You probably don’t want to have most playpens exposed to the elements consistently. Finding somewhere under cover outside is probably a better option.

Most playpens come with metal stakes or metal stake loops so you can secure them to the ground.

Most playpens also fold down and are lightweight and portable enough to fold up and take camping or away on vacation with you.

 

What Makes A Puppy Playpen Good For Housetraining?

The main things probably are:

A removable floor that can be put in the wash and cleaned

A playpen with mesh sides to allow ventilation and fresh air flow

 

There’s no reason why you couldn’t put a waterproof cover or puppy training pads down though in a puppy playpen without a removable floor.

 

 

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