Home Reviews Top 5 Best Outdoor Dog Pens & Exercise Pens for Dogs

Top 5 Best Outdoor Dog Pens & Exercise Pens for Dogs


Outdoor pens for dogs are great for owners who can't keep their eyes on their pet every minute. They allow Fido the chance to get some fresh air and exercise, while also keeping them safely contained. The best outdoor dog pens are sturdy enough to keep even the most rambunctious dog secure.

The best outdoor dog pens are available in a variety of sizes and shapes to fit any dog breed or yard size. They are made with strong, durable materials that will stand up through any type of weather. They should also be equipped with a shade structure to keep your dog from overheating in the sun.

Best Outdoor Dog Pens & Exercise Pens for DogsJust remember that no dog should live their lives in a pen 100% of the time. The best outdoor dog pens should not be used to contain a dog all the time. Your Fido will still need exercise, affection and attention.

Today we'll show you the pros and cons of five best outdoor dog pens on the market. This article will explain more about the different styles of pens available and which may be best suited for your pooch. Here's a quick look at the 5 models we'll be reviewing:

Outdoor Dog Pens Price Quality Rating
OxGord Hammigrid Dog Heavy Duty Playpen $$ A+ 5 stars
MidWest Homes Exercise Pen for Pets $ B+ 4 half stars
IRIS Wire Pet Pen $$ B 4 half stars
Iconic Pet Heavy Duty Metal Tube Playpen $$ C 4 stars
JSNY Portable Doggie Playpen $ C- 4 stars

* Click on the best outdoor dog pens for more information, prices and details. Or scroll down below to read reviews.

How to choose the best outdoor playpen for dogs?

Picking the right dog playpen or exercise pen for dogs is simple – you only need to keep your dog's size and the space you have for the pen in mind. After that, make sure you read other pet owners' reviews of exercise pens for dogs to make the right choice.

There are several different types of playpens for dogs, but the most popular are indoor playpens for dogs and outdoor dog playpens. These two are common options among pet owners and will fit 99% of dogs. Sometimes, baby playpens can also be used with small dog breeds or puppies, and they will be even cheaper in cost than a pet playpen.

While outdoor pet playpens for dogs are normally more sturdy, bigger and made out of solid metal to keep dogs contained, they will also lack in style/design and will usually be more expensive. In rare cases, if you're pet gates for dogs to construct a homemade type of exercise pen, this may cost you more than an outdoor dog pen.

Remember to measure your dog and consider his activity requirements and personality. The reason to keep your dog's size in mind when shopping outdoor pens for dogs is because you must be sure that he'll have adequate space to romp and play. It also needs to be tall enough for your dog to stand comfortably without stooping.

What are the Best Outdoor Dog Pens?
top 5 playpens and exercise pens for dogs

1OxGord Hammigrid Dog Heavy Duty Playpen

OxGord Hammigrid Dog Heavy Duty PlaypenThis OxGord animal playpen is constructed from eight panels of durable metal that forms a foldable octagon-shaped kennel where pets can play and exercise. This particular model is offered in fence heights of 24”, 32”, and 40”.

Spacing is 6.5” between horizontal bars and 1.5” between vertical bars. The effective area of the assembled kennel is approximately 30 square feet.

This is one of the best outdoor dog pens if you're looking for portability. Since it’s so easy to set up and take apart, it worked perfectly for pet owners who went camping or traveling in their mobile homes. The OxGord Hammigrid Dog Heavy Duty Playpen worked well as an enclosure for their pets that needed to stretch out in the sun or go for a potty break. It’s a much safer option than freeing their pets in an unfamiliar place. The panels fold up nicely, too, and stack up neatly in the back of the car.

best outdoor dog pensWhen used outdoors, anchors can be driven to the ground for a more stable hold. Though this rust-resistant pen often finds use outside homes, they’ve worked equally well indoors, too. Some don’t attach all eight panels and instead tailor the shape of the enclosure to their wishes and needs in any situation. There’s a built-in door with two latches for easy access and security. Other dog owners bought two sets and made their imaginations work for a much bigger pen or interconnected pens.


  • Offered in fence heights of 24”, 32”, and 40”
  • Contains an area of approximately 30 square feet
  • Collapsible for easy transport
  • Made of rust-resistant material

  • The gap between the interlocking panels and the gate are too wide – paws get easily stuck in the gap

best outdoor dog pensMost helpful review (read the full Amazon review + PHOTOS): “I bought this pen for when we go camping to set up for my dogs to run around without worrying about them running off. One set is quite small so I bought 2 sets, and it will be plenty…”


2MidWest Homes Exercise Pen for Pets

MidWest Homes Exercise Pen for PetsThis pet pen from MidWest Homes for Pets is a great contraption which you can set up in a section of the yard or home. It comes in eight connectible panels each with a width of 24”. There are five height options – 24”, 30”, 36”, 42”, and 48”. If all eight panels are connected, they provide 16 square feet of enclosed area.

You will have the option to buy sets with or without access doors. Each set comes with 8 ground anchors and 8 corner stabilizers.

As one of the best outdoor dog pens, this product needs to be safe. That's why the doors are double-latched for security. This exercise pen allows you to set loose your pet, prevent him from venturing away, keep him from your new garden or anything you don’t want him meddling in, and protect him from other pets. The MidWest Homes Exercise Pen for Pets can be collapsed flat, so that makes is very portable without need for reassembly.

best outdoor dog pensMany dog owners who were buying an extra set for expanding the pen area found the no-door option highly suitable for them since they only need one access door. The options for a sunscreen and wire mesh top also make it easier for pet owners who may need those added features. Purchase of this item is covered by a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty, and that’s very reassuring.


  • Five height options – 24”, 30”, 36”, 42”, and 48”
  • Encloses 16 square feet of space
  • Double-latched doors
  • Collapsible for easy transport

  • Dog nails and toes can easily be caught in between the  panels
  • Some reviewers were not satisfied with the quality of this product

best outdoor dog pensMost helpful review (read the full Amazon review + PHOTOS): “I have a rat terrier puppy and wanted to find a quality and reasonably priced exercise pen to create what I consider to be the perfect indoor setup for a puppy still learning to be crate trained and…”


3IRIS Wire Pet Pen

IRIS Wire Pet PenWith an easy-setup pen, you can actually sneak a few winks while your pet safely does his potty break inside an enclosed area in the yard. This pen from IRIS USA could be just what you need. It’s available in height options of 24”, 36”, and 48”, and is made of 6-gauge horizontal bars and 9-gauge vertical bars.

You may choose between black and silver rust-free coating. It comes with four ground anchors to add to its stability when set up outdoors.

Dog owners express how indispensable this pen has been for them when they were potty-training their puppies. The IRIS Wire Pet Pen kept dogs from going anywhere with little supervision. Some owners used multiple sets connected together to enclose a bigger area outside the backdoor or pet door. This gave their pets more confidence to go for potty breaks by themselves.

best outdoor dog pensThis 8-panel pen can be configured in more ways than one. Aside from the usual octagon, it can be set as a rectangular enclosure or pushed to a wall and set up to fence off three sides for a wider area. The pets get to enjoy their new sense of freedom while the owners stress less knowing that their pets won’t go astray or get into trouble with the neighbors’ pets.


  • Height options of 24”, 36”, and 48”
  • Made of 6-gauge horizontal bars and 9-gauge vertical bars
  • Rust-free coating

  • Reviewers complained about the plastic hinges, saying they were cheap and poor quality

best outdoor dog pensMost helpful review (read the full Amazon review): “I have been using this in training my new Yorkie! When I put her in & tell her to go potty, she is learning what she is to do & goes about it!…”


4Iconic Pet Heavy Duty Metal Tube Playpen

Iconic Pet Heavy Duty Metal Tube PlaypenThe heavy-duty metal tube used around the perimeter of each panel in this playpen from Iconic Pet makes this a sturdier option for pets to play and exercise in. The access door that opens all the way to the top makes it easy for humans to get in and out without bending or crouching.

Other pen styles have the door below a fixed header, and that’s fine, except that it’s ideal for pets only and not for humans bringing in supplies or providing care for the pet inside. This pen is available in 24”, 32”, 40”, and 48” height.

Pet owners like the versatile uses offered by the Iconic Pet Heavy Duty Metal Tube Playpen, both indoor and outdoor, especially when pets need a wider area than what their kennels provide. They agree that this is one of the best outdoor dog pens for exercise or play, as it is protectively enclosed but still with some degree of freedom to the pet.

The pen, when assembled and especially when interlocked with another setup, can be quite heavy. This is good in a way, because the weight works to make it steadier. This is perfect for pens set up at home or semi-permanently at shelters, but could be a bit of a disadvantage for those planning to bring this to the beach or to camping. For the extra stability, though, a little heft can be considered a minor downside and is even to be expected.


  • Heavy-duty metal tubing around each panel for added durability
  • Taller access door than most of the other best outdoor dog pens
  • Available in 24”, 32”, 40”, and 48” height

  • Not easy to take along when traveling
  • One reviewer says that his puppy escaped this pen after “having only been in there a grand total of about 45 minutes”

best outdoor dog pensMost helpful review (read the full Amazon review + PHOTO): “Our pomsky puppy (less than 10 pounds at the time), was able to break one of the wires and escape, having only been in there a grand total of about 45 minutes. I thought maybe the welding on…”


5JSNY Portable Doggie Playpen

JSNY Portable Doggie PlaypenWhen you find the crate too constricting for your pet especially at stop-overs when you’re going on long trips or camping, then the JSNY portable doggie playpen could be what you’re looking for. It’s made of nylon mesh and synthetic material and measures 29” wide and 17” high.

It comes fully assembled, so your time is well spent enjoying the sights instead of assembling pens. It’s lightweight and foldable, so it doesn’t cram up your car or ruin your style. Feel safe about placing it on damp grounds because the base is water resistant.

Dogs need a break from other dogs and from their over-protective human parents. This pen is the perfect place for them to relax and be away from others. Humans, too, need a break from pets, especially when there are other pets to care for. The JSNY Portable Doggie Playpen is a great place to calm a pet where it can relax and play, but still have control over its goings in and out. The mesh top and the door can be zipped if the pet needs to be contained. The door can be rolled up if the pet is allowed to get in and out.

best outdoor dog pensWhen the pets jump and play vigorously inside the closed pen, they could actually move it to roll like a ball. It holds up well to this energetic play, and pets really enjoy it. Pet owners who’ve been using this for over a year say that they still have the pen and it has weathered puppyhood so well. They even think that it may yet live through another puppy’s energy, and certainly agree that it is one of the best outdoor dog pens.


  • Measures 29″ wide and 17″ high
  • Base is water resistant
  • Comes fully assembled
  • Collapsible and lightweight for easy traveling

  • Only suitable for small breeds
  • Will not withstand chewing or digging
  • Many reviewers complained that their dogs were able to tip this pen over while they were still inside it

best outdoor dog pensMost helpful review (read the full Amazon review + PHOTOS): “Great item for a great price! We bought this anticipating our puppy that will be joining our 2 dogs. We needed a place for him to relax from the dogs or for when our dogs needed a break from…”

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