Outdoor pens for dogs are great for those owners who cannot keep their eyes on their pet every minute. They allow your pet the chance to get some fresh air and exercise, while also keeping them safely contained. A good outdoor dog pen should be sturdy enough to keep even the most rambunctious dog secure.

Outdoor dog pens are available in a variety of sizes and shapes to fit any dog breed or yard size. Typically, they are made out of sturdy and durable metal materials that will stand up through any type of weather and won't be chewed through by the dog. They should also be equipped with a shade structure to protect the dog from heatstroke or heat exhaustion when the sun is out.

Today we've ranked some of the best outdoor dog pens available for purchase online, but you can also find more options if you shop at your local department stores.

How to Choose the Best Outdoor Dog Pen?

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.

Note: remember that animal experts advise that no dog should live their lives in a pen all the time. Outdoor pens for dogs are used similar to indoor pens or dog crates to keep the dog contained temporarily and no animal should be inside a pen 24/7. Your pooch will still need exercise, more room to roam as well as affection and attention.

The Best Outdoor Dog Pens

1. OxGord Hammigrid Dog Heavy Duty Playpen

This 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”.

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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.

When 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 – some dogs' paws can get stuck in the gap


2. MidWest Homes Exercise Pen for Pets

This 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”.

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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.

Many 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 be caught in between the panels


3. IRIS Wire Outdoor Pen for Dogs

With 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.

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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.

This 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

  • Plastic hinges are cheap and poor quality


4. Iconic Pet Heavy Duty Metal Tube Dog Pen

The 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.

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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
  • Not very escape-proof


5. JSNY Portable Indoor Outdoor Dog Playpen

When 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.

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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.

When 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
  • Lightweight

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Dom Naish is a Phoenix-based writer, vegan, cupcake addict and dog lover. Years in the animal rescue trenches have taught him every aspect of dog ownership from behavioral problems, personality and breed specific trait differences of all dogs.