Dog Playpen Buyer’s Guide

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If you have decided to buy a playpen for your dog, it can get a bit confusing because there are literally dozens of different types of dog playpens out there. After going through this guide, choosing a playpen for your pet should be much easier.

Why use a dog Playpen?

There are different types of dog playpens on the market and whether you are choosing one for a puppy or a larger dog, there are lots of benefits attached.

A situation where you might need a playpen is when you have just taken in a new puppy. Most puppies are naturally high spirited and they love to play. In the process, they tend to get a bit destructive (that is putting it mildly in many cases).

A puppy playpen is a great way to provide a safe space for your puppy to run around while keeping your house from being chewed up and scattered.

If you have multiple dogs, a dog playpen will provide a way for them to play in a safe and confined environment. The beauty of a playpen is that you can watch your dogs and they can also see you, so they don’t feel left out or secluded.

Another reason why you might want to get a dog playpen is when you have guests and you don’t want your dog to run around. In such a situation, a playpen is an efficient way to keep your dog safely confined in one spot.

And if you have tried your puppy with a crate and she simply did not like being in a crate, then a playpen is definitely the way to go.

Best dog playpens 2021

    1. Best for large dogs – BestPet Black 40″ Heavy Duty Pet Playpen
    2. Best for small dogs – Petyard Passage Small Puppy Pena
    3. Best outdoor dog playpen – Midwest Exercise Pen/Pet Playpens
    4. Best indoor dog playpen – IRIS Pet Playpen with Door

Things to Consider When Choosing a Dog Playpen

When choosing a playpen for your dog, there are several things to consider, from the size of your dog to the material of the playpen and where you will be using it. Thinking about these factors will make it easier to make a decision when you are ready to buy your playpen.

The Size of Your Dog

The size of your dog is going to have a great influence on the type of playpen you buy. While puppies are generally smaller than dogs, therefore needing less space, you should also bear in mind that they will grow and you need a playpen that will also grow with your puppy.

That said, a full grown Chihuahua for instance, will not need the same amount of space that a larger dog like a Bullmastiff will require.

How tall playpen should I get for my dog?

The following table shows the recommended height of a playpen for a dog of a particular size.

Weight of the dog Pen dimension
11 – 25 lbs 24″H x 8 x 24″W
26 – 40 lbs 30″H x 8 x 24″W
41 – 70 lbs 36″H x 8 x 24″W
71 – 90 lbs 42″H x 8 x 24″W
91 – 110 lbs 48″H x 8 x 24″W

Outdoor Playpen or Indoor Playpen?

Indoor dog playpens are usually quite different from outdoor ones. Before you buy a playpen for your dog, you should think about where you will be using the playpen. Indoor playpens are great for those who need to confine their dogs while they are working in the house or if they step out.

Outdoor dog playpens are very helpful if you do not have a secure yard where your dog can play outdoors, or if you have a dog that loves to dig up flower beds.

While it is possible that you might never need an outdoor playpen or an indoor one, the fact is that there are times when you might need a playpen both indoors and outdoors. If that is the case, you don’t need to buy two different playpens, what you need is one that is versatile and can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Versatile Playpens

A versatile playpen is one that can be used indoors and outdoors. It is also one that will grow with your puppy. So if you are buying a puppy playpen, keep in mind that the puppy will grow and will probably need lots of space. Unless you want to buy a new playpen when the puppy grows, you should probably buy one that he can grow into.

The Material of the Playpen

There are different materials used in making dog playpens and it really depends on where you intend to set up the playpen as well as the type of dog you have. If you have a small dog and you are setting up outdoors, a solid plastic playpen will be suitable.

For a larger dog, consider getting one that is made from metal and if your dog is a regular Houdini, consider getting a covered playpen so that he will not escape from the enclosure.

If you have a pet that likes to chew everything around, you probably should not get a playpen that will be easy to chew or before long, you will be all chewed out (of the playpen).

Finally, decide if you want a playpen that is fixed in size or one that is collapsible. The advantage of collapsible playpens is that they usually come in panels so that you can easily increase the size as your puppy grows or if you need to house more than one dog.


The safety of your dog is paramount and that should be the most important consideration when you are choosing a playpen for your dog. A playpen should be sturdy on the ground so that it does not topple over and cause injury to your dog.

That said, there are some dogs that are really very active and you might find your playpen moving around. If that happens, used some heavy objects like a stopper beside the playpen so that it does not move about.


Do you want your playpen to come with different accessories, and if you do, which accessories do you consider important? Some accessories you should consider are food and water areas so that your dog can feel at home in the playpen. Others include a rest area with a bed and toys.

The Price

Dog playpens come in different sizes and different prices. There are those that are top of the range and carry a heavy price tag, while there are others that are more affordable. It is important to decide beforehand, how much you are willing to spend on a playpen for your dog.

The Top 6 Playpens for Dogs

Below are some recommended playpens. They have been specially chosen to fit your lifestyle.

Playpen for Large Dogs BestPet Black 40″ Heavy Duty Pet Playpen
If you need a heavy duty playpen that has no bells and whistles, then you might want to look into BestPet Black 40″ Heavy Duty Pet Playpen. Easy to set up and sturdy, this playpen is also versatile. It can be used indoors and outdoors and you can buy more than one set to make a larger play area.

Versatile PlaypenRichell Convertible High Pet Playpen
This playpen is great for both indoors and outdoors, but mostly for indoor use. Made with plastic, it converts into a gate and can be used as a room divider. It is easy to assemble and you can easily take it down or move it around, as the need arises.

Playpen for small dogsPetyard Passage Small Puppy Pena
This is an indoor playpen that is great for small dogs. Let’s face it, there’s no point buying an ultra large playpen for that adorable little dachshund. If you later get another puppy, you can always buy additional panels to create a larger space. It is also a great option for traveling and comes with non-slip floor pads and a convenient carry handle.

Best dog playpen for travelingESK Collection Pet Puppy Dog Playpen
Whether you are going visiting for a couple of days or you are going camping, a good dog playpen can make the experience even more enjoyable for you and your pet and this playpen from ESK Collection is one that is receiving lots of rave reviews. Made from breathable cloth material, it is easy to set up and take down. It’s very light and easy to carry about. The only downside is that it isn’t for larger dogs. But your puppy or little dog will definitely love this!

Dog playpen for outdoorsMidwest Exercise Pen/Pet Playpens
There are many reasons why you should consider an outdoor playpen for your dog or puppy. If you are outdoors a lot and your yard is not completely secure, a playpen will keep your pet safe. If you have a puppy, you will need one even more. The Midwest exercise pen is not just a playpen, but it gives ample space for your pet to exercise. It is sturdy and you can buy in different heights, with taller panels for dogs that love to jump out.

Puppy and dog playpen for indoorsIRIS Pet Playpen with Door
Made from durable heavy duty plastic, this playpen is a great indoor playpen for dogs. It can be used as a playpen or a fence to make a part of the house inaccessible to your pet. It is portable, so you can move it around, and really affordable. It is not a great option if you have a bruiser, but will work very well with a less heavy dog.

In Summary

A playpen for dogs is a very useful tool to have particularly when you have a new puppy. It is a great way to train your dog and it also provides an enclosed space for the puppy to play without destroying your home in the process.

Your puppy can see you while you move around the house, so he does not feel left out and lonely. Choosing a playpen for your dog requires careful consideration and although it is not the most important thing you can have as a dog owner, it is one that will definitely make your life easier and your pet’s happier at the same time.