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The 12 Best Dog Playpens To Round Up Your Hounds

Written by: Kelli Brinegar
For more than five years, Kelli Brinegar has been using her ability to write and her passion for research to tell the tale of what cats are thinking and why. She has provided care to more than 30 cats in her lifetime.Read more
| Published on May 13, 2024

Reviewed by: Dr. Theresa Fossum

Reviewed by:

Dr. Theresa Fossum

Meet Dr. Theresa (Terry) W. Fossum, DVM, MS. Ph.D., Diplomate ACVS – a remarkable animal lover whose passion for animal care and innovative solutions has left an indelible mark on the veterinary world. As the CEO of both Phoenix Animal Wellness and Epic Veterinary Specialists, she's ensuring dogs and cats receive the highest level of care and compassion.Read more
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Are you in search of the best dog playpens used by loving pet owners to ensure their pups have a safe and secure space to frolic? Look no further! We’ve thoroughly reviewed the market for dog pens and selected top-notch options that meet all your criteria. Whether you need a playpen for indoor activities, outdoor adventures, puppy training, or simply a secure area for your adult dog to relax, our list has it all.

Our selection includes playpens made from various materials, each offering unique benefits and designed for specific uses. Rest assured, each playpen we recommend is characterized by quality, durability, and most importantly, safety. Before we dive into our top picks, let’s address your most pressing questions about dog playpens and explore the key factors to consider when choosing the right one. Ready to find the perfect playpen for your pooch? Let’s get started!

Best dog playpens

The 12 Best Playpens for Dogs

#1 – Best Playpen for Dogs Overall

MidWest Wire Dog Exercise Pen with Step-Thru Door
  • Secure double latch step-through door
  • Available in 5 sizes to accommodate dogs of all sizes
  • Each panel measures 24"W x 36"H
  • Includes ground anchors for outdoor use
  • Can be connected to a crate

An overall winner, The MidWest Wire Dog Exercise Pen with Step-Thru Door is one of the best indoor dog playpens, but it also does excellent outdoors, too, thanks to eight included ground anchors that can be sunk in soft ground. It features a heavy-duty, all-steel construction, eight panels, and a double-latch door for added security. The rust-resistant, black e-coat finish will stand up to time and use while being easy to clean. Choose the perfect size from five options: 24-inch, 30-inch, 36-inch, 42-inch, and 48-inch.


  • Step-through door latches securely
  • Includes 8 ground anchors for outdoor use, 8 corner stabilizers, and 4 thumb-snaps
  • Durable, rust-resistant coating
  • Easy assembly, no tools required
  • Folds quickly for portability
  • Covered by a one-year warranty


  • May not be suitable for high-energy dogs

#2 – Best Dog Playpen for Puppies & Small Dogs

  • Features sturdy twist-lock door for extra security
  • Made of durable molded plastic in the USA
  • 5 size options and 2 color choices
  • Choose from 4, 6, or 8 panels
  • Easy snap-together assembly

The IRIS USA 24″ Exercise 4-Panel Pet Playpen with Door makes our list of the best dog playpens thanks to its durable molded plastic make and secure step-through door. Plus, this pen is easy to grow with your pup because you can add more panels as needed to create a larger area as your dog needs. The distance between bars is 1.7″ to keep small animals in and help prevent chewing. Assembly is easy; just snap the panels together to create a secure place for puppies and small dogs to play or rest. Stores flat and travels easily too.


  • Ideal small dog playpen
  • Secure molded plastic
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Choose black or white color
  • Easy setup and take-down
  • Non-skid rubber feet protect floors
  • Made in the USA


  • May not be suitable for extra rowdy pups

Related: Why I’ll Never Give My Dog Any Other Allergy Supplement EVER Again

#3 – Best Dog Playpen for Large Dogs

Precision Pet 48
  • 48" tall to deter climbers
  • Pass-through door with double-latch lock
  • Double-latch locking system for enhanced security
  • Includes 4 plastic ground stakes
  • Folds flat for easy storage

The Precision Pet 48″ Universal Exercise Pen keeps your dog safe with forty-eight-inch-high walls and a pass-through door with a double latch lock system for enhanced security. This exercise pen is a great solution for dogs who like to climb pen walls with its tall panels. A rust-resistant black electro-coat that protects it from the elements and included ground stakes to hold the pen securely in place also lines up this choice as an ideal outdoor dog playpen.


  • Great dog playpen for dogs who climb
  • Can connect to dog crate
  • Configures into multiple shapes or fence
  • Easy set up with no tools required


  • Unconnecting walls for reconfiguration may prove difficult

#4 – Best Dog Playpen for Travel

Carlson 8-Panel Portable Pet Pen
  • Dimensions: 62" W x 26" H
  • Reinforced mesh walls for easy cleaning
  • Highly portable and lightweight
  • Steel frame construction
  • Zip-closure door for easy access

Whether you need a dog playpen for travel or want to solve crate and exercise pen chewing issues, the Carlson 8-Panel Portable Pet Pen has you covered. All-steel inner construction, sturdy canvas material, and reinforced stitching make this exercise pen strong enough to stand up to wild puppies or large adult dogs. The durable mesh also allows for visibility so your pup can watch the world around them. The pop-out style and water-resistant materials make it another ideal dog playpen for camping or traveling. Plus, cleaning is as simple as wiping the pen down with a damp cloth and soap. And if your dog can’t keep their mouth off wire bars, the strong mesh walls might prevent them from chewing.


  • Durable all-metal frame and reinforced mesh walls
  • Easy to pop out and fold down
  • Water-resistant and easy to clean
  • Includes a carrying bag
  • Great for travel and camping


  • Expensive option

#5 – Best Collapsible Playpen for Dogs

Deluxe Pop-Up Playpen
  • Covered top for safety and shade
  • Easy zip on/off screen cover with storage pocket
  • Large roll-up doors
  • Washable floor cover
  • Easy set-up and great for travel

The Deluxe Pop-Up Playpen sets up and folds away with unbelievable ease! Give it a twist, and out pops the pen. To put it away, fold, twist flat, and store in the convenient storage bag. This easy-to-tote dog pen also features a removable, washable floor mat and top screen cover that easily zippers on or off. Thanks to the soft design and foldability, you’ll find it’s one of the best dog playpens for travel. With its mesh walls, this option also serves as a good choice of playpens for dogs that bite or chew at bars. As for cleaning, simply rinse with water and wipe dry.


  • Folds flat for easy storage and transport
  • Choose from medium and large sizes
  • Floor mat and top cover zip on and off
  • For indoor or outdoor use
  • Included storage bag


  • Doesn’t offer as much room for play as other pen styles
  • Pricier option for pop-up style

#6 – Ruff ‘n Ruffus Portable Foldable Pet Playpen + Free Carrying Case + Free Travel Bowl

Ruff ‘n Ruffus Portable Foldable Pet Playpen
  • 8-panel windows for full view
  • Removeable top and zippered door
  • Lightweight and foldable design
  • Durable, waterproof materials
  • Heavy-duty zippers
  • Available in 3 sizes

The Ruff ‘n Ruffus Portable Foldable Pet Playpen is a versatile pet enclosure available in three different sizes. It features a roomy 8-panel design made from durable, water-resistant materials. The playpen also includes a removable zippered top for shade, a zippered door for easy access, and comes with a free carrying case and collapsible food bowl. With a focus on convenience and quality, this playpen provides a secure and comfortable space for pets both indoors and outdoors.


  • Easy to set up and take down
  • Portable and great for travel
  • Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use
  • Easy to clean
  • Comes with useful extras (carrying case, travel bowl)


  • Mesh may not be strong enough for aggressive chewers
  • May not be suitable for very large pets

#7 – Paw Ballet Foldable Pet Playpen

Paw Ballet Foldable Pet Playpen
  • Waterproof, scratch-resistant 600D Oxford cloth
  • Foldable design for easy storage and portability
  • Mesh windows for visibility and ventilation
  • Reinforced corners and 8 sturdy rods for durability
  • Removable and washable floor mat

The Foldable Pet Playpen is a waterproof and portable kennel tent designed for small cats and dogs. It features a spacious rectangular design that can accommodate multiple pets and their daily necessities. The playpen has breathable mesh walls and a detachable top for ventilation and shading, as well as two convenient doors for easy access. Made from durable 600D Oxford cloth, the playpen is both soft and wear-resistant. It is easy to clean and can be folded for portability when not in use.


  • Easy to set up and fold down
  • Zipper top with shade cover
  • Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use
  • Easy to clean with removable floor mat
  • Offers visibility through mesh windows


  • Lightweight design may not be stable for highly active or heavy dogs

#8 – Furhaven Pop Up Playpen Pet Tent Playground

Furhaven Pop Up Playpen Pet Tent Playground
  • Pop-up design for easy setup and takedown
  • Mesh walls for ventilation
  • Removable canopy for shade and protection
  • Durable materials
  • Zippered doors for easy access
  • Available in 4 sizes and 3 colors

The Furhaven Pop Up Playpen Pet Tent Playground is a spacious and secure enclosed space for pets to lounge and play. With its 360-degree light mesh window view and ceiling, it provides great airflow and visibility for anxious pets and parents. The tent’s pop-up design makes it quick and easy to set up and put away, making it a convenient option for travel and outdoor activities like camping and picnics.


  • Quick and easy to set up without tools
  • Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use
  • Provides shade and protection from elements
  • Durable materials can withstand rough play
  • Offers ample space for pets to move around


  • Zippered doors may not be secure enough for highly determined escape artists

#9 – TASDISE Portable Pet Playpen

TASDISE Portable Pet Playpen
  • Unique design with sturdy rods
  • High-quality, waterproof 600D Oxford
  • Tool-free setup and foldable design
  • Mesh windows for ventilation and visibility
  • Two zippered doors for easy access

The TASDISE Portable Pet Playpen is a foldable exercise tent kennel crate designed for small pets such as dogs, cats, rabbits, and guinea pigs. Its large rectangular design provides ample space for pets while still being compact. This portable playpen is made of durable and waterproof 600D Oxford material and features two doors and a 360-degree open mesh for easy access and visibility. It is also lightweight and portable, making it suitable for indoor and outdoor use, including travel and camping.


  • Provides ample space for pets to move around
  • Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use
  • Easy to set up and fold down for storage or transport
  • Durable and waterproof materials
  • Allows for optimal ventilation and visibility


  • Lightweight design may be prone to being knocked over by larger or energetic pets
  • Mesh windows may not withstand excessive chewing or scratching

#10 – DONORO Dog Playpen

DONORO Dog Playpen
  • Eight-panel design for stability and space
  • Durable, water-resistant materials
  • Lightweight and foldable for easy transport and storage
  • Mesh windows for ventilation and visibility
  • Available in 4 sizes

The DONORO Dog Playpen is a portable playpen designed for small dogs, cats, rabbits, and chicks. It sets up quickly without the need for assembly and can be easily folded flat for storage and transport. The playpen has a roomy 8-panel design with a removable zippered top and bottom for easy cleaning, and it features protected seams and reinforced corners for added safety. With two doors, locking zippers, and accessory pockets, it provides a secure and convenient space for indoor and outdoor use.


  • Provides ample space for pets to move around
  • Easy to set up and fold down for storage
  • Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use
  • Durable and water-resistant materials
  • Allows for proper ventilation and visibility


  • May not be suitable for large dogs
  • Lightweight design may be prone to being knocked over by larger or more energetic dogs

#11 – GOOZII Kitten Cat Playpen

GOOZII Kitten Cat Playpen
  • Enclosed design for security
  • Portable and foldable for easy setup and storage
  • Spacious interior for free movement
  • Durable materials that can withstand sharp claws
  • Mesh windows for ventilation and visibility

The GOOZII Kitten Cat Playpen is a foldable, portable playpen for small pets such as kittens and puppies. Made of durable waterproof fabric and reinforced with elastic iron wiring, this playpen provides a spacious and secure place for pets to play and relax. It is easy to set up and can be used both indoors and outdoors, making it a convenient option for pet owners on the go. The playpen also comes with a carrying case for easy storage and transportation.


  • Provides a safe and secure play area for indoor cats
  • Easy to set up and take down without tools
  • Suitable for kittens and adult cats
  • Durable construction ensures long-lasting use
  • Allows for proper ventilation and visibility


  • May be too small for larger pups

Before you bring a new dog home, make sure you have all the necessary supplies prepared.

FAQs About Dog Playpens

Are dog playpens a good idea for dogs and puppies?

Yes, playpens are great for furry friends as they provide a safe place for dogs and puppies to play and rest while protecting your home from dog-inflicted damage. And unlike a crate, pens give dogs more room to stretch out and play while still giving them a dog-proofed environment. The larger space and easier ability to see surroundings afforded by playpens can also help dogs with anxiety. And when it comes to puppies, playpens give your little one a safe space to explore and aid in potty training.

And while playpens and exercise pens for dogs are a great aid in canine care, there are some safety issues to keep in mind:

  • Stability – Ensure the playpen is securely anchored to the ground if used outdoors, or tether the pen to walls indoors. If not using tethers, ensure the pen is set up on even flooring and can’t be tipped over by a dog bent on escape or in the throes of serious play.
  • Secure Door Latch – If you choose a dog playpen with a step-through door, ensure it has secure locks and latches that dogs can’t manipulate.
  • Chewing –Avoid thin plastics and wide-spaced metal bars if your dog or puppy chews at their pen. Consider mesh-walled pens or steel options with close-set bars instead.
  • Climbing – Some dogs will scale the walls of pens to escape. To keep your pup inside, pick pens with taller walls or ones that include covers.
  • Bar Distance – If you’re penning a puppy or small dog, make sure the distance between the bars isn’t wide enough for them to wriggle free.
  • Safe Toys – Toys are a must in dog playpens, but be sure anything you put in your pup’s pen is safe and intact to avoid mishaps. Never place anything in a playpen not designed for dogs, as this can lead to harm.

How long can a dog stay in a playpen?

This is a tricky question to answer, as playpens allow you to leave your dog for extended periods of time. But how long is too long? Can you leave a dog in their playpen while at work? Some experts advise not leaving puppies unattended for more than two hours or adult dogs alone longer than a few hours at a time.

Depending on your work schedule, that might be unrealistic. If you have to leave your dog in their playpen for longer stretches of time, ensure the area inside offers enough room for a potty spot in addition to space needed for play and rest. You’ll also need to leave dry food, water, and comfy bedding in the pen.

If the playpen setup is large enough, dogs and puppies should be able to stay in it overnight comfortably or while you’re at work. And if you’re worried about your pup, set up a camera to monitor them while you’re out.

Also, a good rule of thumb, take your dog for a walk or have a good play session before putting them in the playpen. This helps burn some energy and will help them settle into their pen more easily.

How big should a dog playpen be?

Playpen manufacturers often provide size recommendations based on height, weight, and breed. Take your dog’s measurements to find the size you need. And if it’s a puppy or full-grown escape artist in that pen, don’t underestimate their ability to find a way over the walls of a shorter pen. To ensure your dog doesn’t climb out or jump over the top, look for enclosures with taller panels or one with a top.

And if you want to give your dog even more space, look into dog playpens that connect to crates. This way, they’ve got the room in their familiar nest with extra room to stretch those legs and toss around their favorite toys!

How do I keep a dog playpen from sliding or moving?

Many dog playpens come equipped with anti-slip feet made of rubber or plastic. But if they aren’t included with your pen, anti-slip furniture pads or carpet tape can help stick the playpen to the floor. You can also secure pens to the wall or furniture with straps or brackets for extra stability.

If you’re trying to protect your floors from dog pens that slide and scratch, look for dog playpen mats to keep the floor beneath the pen covered. Area rugs are also a great solution for protecting the floor. Both mats and rugs provide a softer play spot for your pup too.

How do I clean a dog playpen?

Most playpens for dogs are made to get messy, so they’re usually pretty easy to clean. A hose and some dish soap will often do the trick. Before cleaning, though, check the manufacturers’ information for cleaning instructions.

Related: 10 Best Dog Doors

Best dog playpens

What to Consider When Purchasing the Best Playpen for Your Dog


This is probably the most obvious thing to consider when choosing the best dog playpen. The point is to give them plenty of room to do their dog thing, so you’ll want to have your furry one’s measurements handy when shopping to ensure you choose a pen that’s just the right size. Check manufacturer specs for size recommendations as well. Also, consider the area of your home and yard. Buying too much pen for too little space would be a real pain.


Dog playpens are typically made of steel or plastic and come with panels that can be connected to form a circular or rectangular yard for dogs to play in. These paneled pens can also be used as an extended fence-type barrier and typically stand up well to active dogs. Other playpens are constructed of sturdy mesh and nylon-type fabrics that “pop up” for easy use. The mesh walls allow your dog a view of their surroundings and can deter those who tend to chew the bars of slatted or barred playpens.

Each of these materials creates a sturdy pen for dogs and puppies, but your individual pup’s needs will dictate which pen material works best in your home.

Related: 11 Best Invisible Dog Fences


If you’re not planning on leaving a playpen up at all times, you’ll want to choose one that can easily be folded down for storage and is lightweight for moving. If you plan on traveling with the playpen, consider one-piece pens that pop out or unfold. Some enclosures come with carrying cases or bags that help with portability.


Because of the durability of materials needed to produce a quality dog playpen, the cost can get a little expensive. But on the other hand, if a price seems too good to be true, most likely it is, and you’ll wind up with a flimsy product. In the end, don’t make your choice on cost alone.

Best dog playpens

Discover the Best Dog Playpens for Your Furry Friends

Whether you’re training puppies, heading out for a camping adventure with your dog, or simply noticing that your little pup has grown into a big dog who needs more space, it might be time to upgrade your pet’s play area. Our curated selection of the best dog playpens ensures that you’ll find the ideal option to keep your furry friends happily contained. With our guide, rounding up your playful pooches in a safe and spacious environment has never been easier!

Do you love helping shelter dogs? Check out some free and budget-friendly ways to support them.

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