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Dogs can be unruly sometimes, and containing them in one place is difficult without the right tools. This is where a dog playpen can be useful. It allows pet owners to keep dogs in one place while giving the dog freedom for little exercise and playtime with toys, and let them to see the world around.

The below tested and reviewed playpens for dogs serve a similar purpose baby or toddler pens do – they're perfect for when we are busy with household chores and cannot attend to the dog, but also don't want our pets to get into trouble while we're not monitoring them, and choose not to use dog crates or dark rooms.

Over the years, we've bought and tried a number of different pet playpens – some were great while others, not so much. Below are some of the best playpen for dogs brands that we've liked the most.

Choosing the Best Playpen for Dogs and Your Home

There are many different reasons why a pet owner may need a dog playpen. Usually, it is because we feel guilty about closing our pets in a small dog crate, tying them up somewhere so they don't run away, or simply closing our dogs in another room so they wouldn't bother us.

Dog playpens serve different purpose to dog crates and are similar to pet gates. The best dog playpen can be a great alternative for pet containment, allowing your pup freedom to run around, play with dog toys and not feel too constrained.

Gates as Dog Playpens
Some pet gates can be used as a dog playpen.

You can always have a pet playpen somewhere in the house or backyard and your pup will keep calm and glad to see you around. Similar to those playpens for baby toddlers, good playpens for dogs are designed to provide our pets with a safe and secure area to play and exercise when we cannot monitor them.

A dog pen is often referred to as dog exercise pen. As the name implies, this item is constructed to provide a good alternative for your dog's crate if your Fido seems to dislike them, especially after some veterinary studies came out showing that it's unhealthy to keep your dog for too long in the crate.

The below mentioned dog playpen brands do not have the negative side effects of crates, and some dogs will often prefer them over crates. However, not every pet playpen is the same. It's always important to consider build quality and the materials used; some of them can be easily knocked over or destroyed.

Finding the best dog playpen might prove to be a challenge. For some of these top rated playpens for dogs that also work as pet gates we recommend you watch video of Samantha's comparison of pet gates here to see how they work. Below is a list of best playpen for dogs brands that we recommend.

Top 5 Best Dog Playpen Brands

5 North States Superyard Colorplay 8 Panel Pen
 by Toddleroo by North States

Playpens for dogs from North States Industries are often advertised as working well with both pets and kids, so if you're not on the lookout for a dog-specific playpen (with additional small doors and extra pet safety), this can be a great and affordable option.

Toddleroo by North States Superyard Colorplay 8...
5,964 Reviews
Toddleroo by North States Superyard Colorplay 8...
  • NEW NAME - SAME GREAT BRAND...
  • SAFETY & CONVENIENCE: This...
  • VERSATILE: This durable...
  • EXTRA-WIDE BARRIER: Using a...
  • BABY SAFE: Safe for babies...

This dog pen is a double win if you have toddlers. North States Superyard pen has 6 panels made out of plastic. It's 26 inches in height, each panel is 32×25 inches and the whole set comes with a carrying strap.

This type of doggy playpen is very easy to set up and usually takes seconds, but that also means that knocking it down will be somewhat easier, too, especially because of the light plastic build. Although we've tried listing more sturdy pet playpens in here, this one comes close to being more of a lightweight and portable dog pen. Depending on your needs, this could either be a good thing or a bad thing.

You can use additional panels to build out this pen, but remember that adding more of them will weaken the structure itself. In terms of its sturdiness, this playpen while lightweight isn't easy to pull apart or breakdown, so you shouldn't worry about your dog destroying it quickly.

 

4 MidWest Foldable Metal Exercise Pen for Dogs
 by MidWest Homes for Pets

As always, Midwest has something to offer to their loyal based of dog owners. Second on the list of best playpens for dogs is their E-Coat dog exercise pen, which is a very popular and highly rated item on Amazon, and is known for its high number of square feet.

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MidWest Homes for Pets Folding Metal Exercise Pen...
31,970 Reviews
MidWest Homes for Pets Folding Metal Exercise Pen...
  • Each panel measures 24"W x...
  • Exercise Pen provides 16...
  • 8 ground anchors for outdoor...
  • Durable black E coat finish,...
  • Easy set up ; No tools...

This puppy playpen is normally available in multiple different sizes, but it's often limited to whatever they have in stock. Overall, you can find any size pet exercise pen you need for your pooch and for a very affordable price. Considering its price for value, this is definitely one of the best options on this list!

Midwest's dog play pen is made out of metal, and is often used with different pets and even children. No need for any tools to set it up, and the whole procedure will take no more than a minute. While it's just as portable as the playpen mentioned above, this seems to be sturdier and more reliable, while also being cheaper. Midwest promises that their E-Coat finish is durable and will last for a long time, and customers who purchased this dog playpen seem to agree.

With this animal pen set, you get 8 pieces of a playpen all of which are measure at 24 inches in width, and there are no ground anchors. There's no built-in door, but you can assemble a door-like entrance by clipping 2 ends (clips are provided). Storing is also very simple: fold it in seconds and store it flat anywhere in the house or even in the car.

 

3 IRIS 4-Panel Playpen with Door
 by IRIS USA, Inc.

IRIS USA currently has the most popular play pens on Amazon. For this price, it's cost to value ratio is almost unbeatable. Playpen has either four or eight sides including a small door for your dog on one of the panels, which is extremely convenient. One downside of this containment pen is that it's made out of plastic rather than metal.

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IRIS USA 4-Panel Pet Playpen with Door, size...
5,979 Reviews
IRIS USA 4-Panel Pet Playpen with Door, size...
  • Ideal for play, exercise or...
  • Made of durable, heavy-duty...
  • Easy to assemble
  • Panels interlock securely with...
  • Non-skid rubber feet to...

Nonetheless, this product is made of commercial-grade plastic and if used with small to medium sized dogs, there will be no issues with them knocking it over or breaking down the playpen. The item is currently very well rated on Amazon, too, with positive reviews recently having climbed over 2,500.

Although the pen itself is made out of plastic, the door is held by double steel door latches which will ensure that your pooch doesn't get out whenever you don't want them to. Assembly of this pen for dogs is easy and hassle-free that takes minutes, and you can use it both indoors and outdoors.

If needed, you can even purchase an additional mesh roof for this best playpen for dogs (doesn't come with the original dog product though). All panels are 36 inches wide 23 inches tall each, and it can be folded flat to easy transportation and storing. All the panels can also be adjusted, so if you purchase the 8-panel one – you can set it up in whatever way you see fit.

 

2 Richell Convertible Playpen for Dogs
 by Richell

Richell has been known to dominate the field of dog gates of premium quality, and recently they started manufacturing and making them more affordable. It seems like with all the effort to keep their dog products at a lower price, Richell continues to stay on the higher end of pricing, but you also get the quality that you expect from a company like Richell. Their convertible pet playpen can be used both indoors and outdoors, and like most of their other playpens – it can be used as a gate, too.

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Richell Convertible Indoor/Outdoor Pet Playpen,...
205 Reviews
Richell Convertible Indoor/Outdoor Pet Playpen,...
  • 3-in-1 pet playpen converts to...
  • Special water-resistant arrows...
  • Available as 4 or 6-panel...
  • Dimensions-playpen 63.8 x 33.1...

Richell's playpen for dogs is designed with outdoors and indoors in mind, with a completely water-resistant construction. You can get these with 4 or 6 panels, which are 29 inches in width and 35 inches in height. Similarly to other playpens, Richell's playpen can also be either combined or broken down to make larger or smaller playpens for dogs.

One problem with some other items like this one are the wide gaps, which smaller dogs can often use to their advantage, but not in this one. Gaps in here are approximately 2 inches, so your Fido will not be able to stick out more than a nose. Customers overall seem to be very happy with this purchase; however, given its higher price, when it comes to cost-for-value ratio, it's possible that the best option would be to go either slightly cheaper (#3) or slightly more expensive (#1) for the best result.

 

1 Richell 3-in-1 Convertible Elite Pet Gate for Dogs
 by Richell

It's important to mention that this product is not advertised as playpen but a dog gate, which it is. We've even tested it as both a dog gate and pet play pen before (and made a video). However, this being a pet gate from Richell, we know it'll have more features than your average dog product, and it does – it turns into the a canine playpen you can currently purchase for your home.

Richell 3-in-1 Convertible Elite Pet Gate, 6-Panel
740 Reviews
Richell 3-in-1 Convertible Elite Pet Gate, 6-Panel
  • 3-in-1 pet gate converts to a...
  • Room divider dimensions –...
  • Recommended for small to large...
  • This product can be folded for...
  • Lockable gate door allows easy...

This expensive Richell best playpen for dogs is available with 4 or 6 panels that measure at 197-1/2 by 31-1/2 by 13/16 inches when fully extended. This is by far the best option for any small or medium sized dogs, bar none, if you can afford it.

Priced as a high quality premium pen, Richell's 3-in-1 convertible elite pet gate that turns into an pet pen is exactly what most dog owners will be looking for. Its stylish hardwood design will look amazing in your living room or hallway, lockable door on the gate will allow for easy movement when you're using it either as a gate or a playpen and the special caps provide extra stability when it's in the playpen construction. You also have an option to choose different panel setup for custom configurations, and use it in three different ways: as a pet playpen, a room divider or a sturdy freestanding pet gate.

10 Best Playpen for Dogs as Alternatives

The above list contains the top quality items we could find, buy and test. Richell's product proved to be one of the top quality of them all after testing and reviewing it; however, it's also much more expensive than the rest of dog playpens. That said, it's possible that you may either be unable to afford the best dog playpen, or the cheap dog pens simply do not fit your criteria. So here are ten alternative options.

IRIS Exercise 8 Panel Pen Panel Pet Playpen with Door6. IRIS Exercise 8 Panel Pen Panel with Door (8 panels measuring 24.6″W x 34″H each) – another option from IRIS, this is a high quality puppy playpen that's one of the best products in terms of value for the price. The plastic survives most dogs from small to medium, but some owners found that big dogs can break through this fairly easily.

ESK Collection Pet Exercise Pen Kennel 7. ESK Collection Exercise Pen Kennel (8 panels measuring 48″W x 24″H each) – a good alternative to IRIS's exercise dog pen, this one is made of sturdy material. It's only best used indoors, however. It's also an attractive looking dog play pen provided it fits your interior. ESK pen doesn't look cheap and the materials feel and appear of high quality compared to some other material-made play pens.

 Pet Trex Playpen for Dogs Eight High Panels 8. Pet Trex Eight High Panels (8 panels measuring 24″W and 30″H each) – same price as MidWest's metal exercise pen, this one is from a new company but has gained a lot of positive reviews from pet owners over the last 6 months it's been out. The design is also very similar to MidWest pens as well as the quality, so you simply need to compare the value to price ratio here.

OxGord Metal Wire 8-Panel Folding Exercise Yard Fence9. OxGord Metal Wire 8-Panel Folding Exercise Yard Fence (many different measurement options) – Oxford is an established manufacturer of animal pens, gates and crates, and this is a fairly affordable metal one. The best part is that they offer a ton of different measurement options for you to choose from. It's also important to note that the manufacturer has outstanding customer support.

ToysOpoly Indoor/Outdoor Pet Playpen Cage10. ToysOpoly Cage (8 panels measuring 45″W and 25″H each) – this is highly popular item made of sturdy material, similar to ESK's option. The two are pretty much identical in terms of measurements and how they're made, because my guess is that the manufacturer is the same supplier from China. This is not to say the quality of this or ESK is poor, only that you need to compare their prices and customer service when picking.

Unleashed Pets Portable Foldable Pet Playpen11. Unleashed Pets Portable Foldable (8 panels measuring 36″W and 36″H each) – a different design of material, this one is smaller but sturdier. It's great for very active small breeds who may hurt themselves in metal crates or chew through other material pens. They also have a smaller (medium) option for small dogs which is slightly cheaper, if that's what you need.

Parkland Pet Portable Foldable Playpen for Dogs12. Parkland Pet Portable Foldable (several different measurement options) – one of the cheapest dog play pens made of material, this is a good choice for owners on a budget. Surprisingly, most pet owners found this to be sturdy enough that lasts them a long time. Because of its simplistic design, the main pro of this cheap puppy playpen is that it's super easy to set up.

Prevue Pet Products Multi-Color Small Pet Playpen13. Prevue Pet Products Multi-Color Small (8 panels measuring 13″W and 9″H each) – probably the least attractive product on this list, it's also the cheapest one you can find. At $10 it's probably worth a try to see if it works for your dog before splurging on anything more expensive. However, most pet owners found that the price is reflected in its quality, with poor design and unattractive look.

Tespo Dog Playpen Portable Large Plastic14. Tespo Portable Large Plastic (12 panels measuring 63″W x 63″H each) – this is an original design from Tespo with transparent panels. While the idea is great and unique, it appears that it doesn't always work for every dog and every pet owner. Personally, I would hold off on this one until the manufacturer perfects the design. While it looks cool, it's not very functional.

BestPet Heavy Duty Pet Playpen15. BestPet Heavy Duty (8 panels measuring 40″H and 31″W each) – finally, for pet owners with a big dog and a big house, this outdoor dog playpen can still be a great alternative. It's one of the sturdiest pet playpens out there, and is perfect for very hyperactive canines. The design also inspires confidence.

What to Consider When Shopping for Dog Playpens?

Type. One of the most important factors to consider when researching the best dog playpen for your pup. Do you need a portable pen for easy mobility? Maybe a heavy duty for extra sturdiness? How are you going to use it, where are you going to store it and how often will you need this playpen?

There are many factors that come into play when deciding your best option, which is why this list of best dog playpens might not be the quintessential answer to your question. Nonetheless, if you do your research and find out what type of playpen is best for your home and your pet, then making the right choice will be easier.

Size. Another very important aspect to consider is the size of your dog. Not every playpen will work for every dog. In fact, most playpens are designed for small dogs, then there are a few of them that are made for medium-sized dog breeds, and very rarely will you be able to find a canine playpen that's good for large breeds such as Great Dane, for example.

Playpens for dog breeds of that size are usually known as a room in the house. Ensure that you double check the size of your soon to be dog playpen and choose accordingly. Consider that your dog might want to move around a little, and you will also want to put some toys in there, possibly your pet's food bowl and a few other items.

Build quality. Finally, no least important is the build quality of your playpen. Usually, this comes down to one thing and one thing only – price. The higher the price, the higher the build quality (at least on this list). You'll notice that cheaper playpens are often made out of plastic or very thing metal wires.

Playpens that are of average build quality will often come in commercial-grade plastic, occasionally in thicker metal or even wood (rarely). Lastly, good quality builds for outdoors are usually made out of thick metal materials, and for indoors, hardwood will be used to keep the playpen stylish and sturdy.

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Best Dog Playpen for Your Home

2 COMMENTS

  1. How can I purchase the playpen that is featured at the top, right-hand side of your article? I don’t find a link for it.

    • Hi Mary. The link to the product is underneath the image, but I believe it’s currently unavailable; I think they might have discontinued this one. The name of this playpen is Richell PT-900, so you can search other suppliers who might still have it. Someone definitely should!

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