If you have a large open yard, or just dogs prone to tearing through your carefully manicured landscaping, you might want to consider adding a playpen for your canines. You’ll be able to keep them confined to where you want while still allowing them to enjoy some playtime outdoors, which will keep both of you quite happy. If you’ve been looking into it, you might be a bit confounded by the large amount of pens available, but we’ll show you how to pick the one that will suit the needs of both you and your canine with a surprising amount of ease.
What Am I Looking For?
When you’re looking for products which will fit your fuzzy companions well, it’s important to take everything possible into consideration before you make the purchase. Fortunately, a quick breakdown can tell you everything you’ll need to know:
- Size: The size of the pen will determine how large of a dog you can fit into it and how much space they’ll have to exercise and move around. That much is obvious, but something else that needs to be taken into account is how high the pen is as some dogs can be quite prodigious leapers and a pen does you no good if your dog can simply hop over the fencing.
- Material: Dog pens come in three primary materials. These are metal, plastic, and mesh. Each has their own distinct advantages and disadvantages. Metal pens will be the strongest, but also the heaviest and they may require you to anchor them, they also tend to be more expensive. Plastic is a bit weaker but makes a good middle point for dogs who aren’t prone to destroying things but might still be a bit frisky while exercising. Mesh is most suitable for dogs who aren’t destructive, and will be cheaper and lighter than the other two materials.
- Weight: It may generally seem that lighter is better, but this isn’t actually true in most cases. A heavier cage will be much harder for your dog to push around, especially if the pen doesn’t have an anchoring system or stabilizers. If you have a smaller dog and will be frequently setting up the pen in different areas, opting for a lighter playpen may be ideal, It really depends on your planned usage.
- Roof Accessories: This is a very important consideration for dogs with a lot of vertical movement. Many pens will have an optional roof that you can purchase which will help keep them in and shaded. For puppies and particularly small dogs, it can also keep the native fauna out so you won’t have to worry about a particularly bold owl or hawk getting at them when you’re not keeping an eye on them.
- Indoor or Outdoor: Outdoor pens will tend to have some sort of anchoring system, generally stakes. These can be quite handy for larger dogs, but they won’t be suitable for indoor uses in most cases. You might want to consider some sort of plastic stabilizer addition as well, especially for indoor cages, to make the pen harder to tip over.
- Aesthetics: Some of the mesh and plastic pens will come in a variety of colors, unfortunately, you’ll generally only see black coatings for metal cages. It’s not much of a consideration, but it is something to keep in mind.
- Price: As a general rule, metal, outdoor playpens will be the most expensive, followed by plastic and then mesh. Stick within your price limit, but make sure you don’t go too cheap as that can lead to a cage with subpar quality that won’t exactly hold up to the trials your pet will put it through.
Your primary consideration should be the size and material in most cases. As long as you keep all of this at the front of your mind while you’re looking at cages, though, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what you need to ensure the best fit for you and your pet.