Home Dog Crates and Kennels – Reviews 2020 The 5 Best Dog Playpens and Pet Puppy Pens 2020

The 5 Best Dog Playpens and Pet Puppy Pens 2020

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IRIS Plastic Pet PlaypenIf you have a large open yard, or just dogs prone to tearing through your carefully manicured landscaping, you might want to consider adding an outdoor dog pen 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 a large amount of indoor and outdoor dog pens available, but we’ll show you how to pick the best one, that will suit the needs of both you and your canine with a surprising amount of ease. In our review, you can find top-rated playpens for big dogs and small puppies.


Before we jump into a closer examination of a few of the best playpens on the market, we’d like to boldly recommend a few for those who don’t have the time for an in-depth analysis.

For medium dogs and large, we’d recommend the BestPet Dog Folding Metal Playpen, which is a great high-quality variant for medium-sized dogs. It can fold in different forms, so it’s easy to place it indoor.

For those with puppies or dogs that generally remain around that size, we’d recommend the Iris Plastic Pet Playpen first. This plastic option comes in variations with either four or eight panels and can be configured as a barrier as well if you need to keep the dog out of somewhere for a short time. It can be bought in a surprising number of color variations as well, and generally, has everything desirable for a high-quality plastic dog playpen including the option to buy a roof and keep your dog extra safe.

You might also want to take a look at the ESK COLLECTION Blue 45″ Pet Puppy Dog Playpen Exercise Pen Kennel which isn’t quite as hardy but comes with a built-in roof and is amazingly light since it’s composed of mesh.

Editor's Picks:
Our Rating:
Buy from:
Playpens for Dogs
Best Octagon Pen
Paws and Pals Heavy Duty Dog Playpen
Paws and Pals Heavy Duty Dog Playpen
  • Solid construction
  • Modular assembly
  • Tool-free setup
  • Double latched door
  • Flat base
  • Large area
Best Pen for Medium Canine
BestPet Dog Folding Metal Playpen
BestPet Dog Folding Metal Playpen
  • Big area
  • Double latched door
  • Easy setup
  • Easily stored
Playpens for Puppies
Best Small Dog Pen Fence
Oxford Animal Playpen Large Metal Wire Folding Exercise Yard Fence
Oxford Animal Playpen Large Metal Wire Folding Exercise Yard Fence
  • Coated metal construction
  • Large area
  • Ground anchors
  • Easily stored
Best Indoor Dog Pen
ESK COLLECTION 45" Pet Puppy Playpen Exercise Kennel
  • Doesn’t take up much room
  • Breathable mesh
  • Different colors
  • Storage pockets
Best Plastic Dog Playpen
IRIS Plastic Pet Playpen
IRIS Plastic Pet Playpen
  • Durable plastic
  • Roof available
  • Multiple uses
  • Easy to assemble

What Am I Looking For?

When you’re looking for products that 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 its 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.

MidWest Exercise PenYour 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.

Dog Playpen Overview

The next couple of products are some of the best you’ll be able to find for full sized dogs. Those with puppies or particularly small canines may want to skip to the next section where we’ll discuss a few dog playpens ideally suited for smaller dogs.

BestPet Heavy Duty Pet Playpen Dog Exercise Pen Cat FenceIf you’re looking for something with a less utilitarian look, this great looking outdoor dog pen from Paws and Pals is a solid option. It comes in at 40” high and can be configured into a variety of shapes in order to make the most of the space you have. The lack of roof accessories means it’s not suited for dogs of the Air Bud variety, however.

Playpen Highlights

  • Solid Construction- The pen itself is made of steel wire of a considerable gauge attached to ½” steel tubing, making it quite sturdy and a great choice for dogs who like to chew on things. The black coating is weather resistant as well, so as long as you don’t underestimate your dog’s strength it should be able to last for a long time.
  • Modular Assembly- The octagon pen can be configured in a number of different ways to fit in different areas of your yard. You won’t be stuck with just one square configuration. Want it to reach around a corner? Done. Make it smaller? Easy. It’s a rather nifty feature and only limited by your creativity.
  • Flat Base- While it doesn’t come with an anchoring system, the base of the playpen is flat which will allow it to keep surprisingly strong dogs from moving it around all willy-nilly.
  • Tool-Free Setup- No tools needed to set up this playpen. The door comes pre-assembled, and pretty much anyone can handle the rest of the setup with a startling amount of ease.
  • Double Latched Door- even the most active dog won’t be able to open the door. Latches easily close and reliably keep a door closed.

One of the Best Around

BestPet Heavy Duty Pet Playpen Dog Exercise Pen Cat FenceIn addition to its rather attractive aesthetic, this playpen boasts a surprising enclosed area of about twenty-eight square feet when it’s assembled with all of the panels. This allows plenty of room for your dog to run and play, and you can rest assured that you’ll be able to leave your dog in it without them feeling cramped.

The fence of this playpen only comes in at forty inches, however, so you’ll want to make sure that your dog isn’t much of a leaper. It’s also not really suitable for truly large dogs, anything over fifty pounds or so may be able to bowl it over with some effort.

It’s great for medium-sized dogs, though, and they’re sure to love having the extra room to run around. Once you’ve assembled it, the door functions quite easily and has an easy-to-use latch which makes it no hassle at all.

The modular assembly of this canine playpen is what makes it truly unique, however. You can alter the shape quite easily, so long as all you require are ninety-degree corners. It’s a standout feature that you just won’t find anywhere else and while it may not seem like much you’re sure to find some imaginative uses for it.

Product Conclusion

If you have a skinny medium sized dog or several small ones, you may have just found the perfect playpen for when you have to leave them unattended but don’t want them getting in trouble. It’s attractive, unique, and amazingly useful for those dogs it suits. If you possess one of these canines, you should definitely consider adding this playpen to your home.

Best Pen for Medium Canine: BestPet Dog Folding Metal PlaypenThe BestPet Dog Folding Metal Playpen is a simple, no frills heavy duty dog playpen. While it may not be the most attractive product on the market, it’s well designed and secure enough for almost any canine. You’ll find that it holds up well no matter what and can be a boon for keeping your medium dog confined without having to resort to a kennel.

Playpen Highlights

  • Big Area- The panels can be folded in a forms as you wish, so you can setup fence for your flat if you want without any tools.
  • Double Latched Door- The door has double latches, which should keep things secure even from the craftiest of canines while you’re not paying direct attention to them.
  • Easy Setup- Just unfold the playpen and you’re good to go. No tools required.

Great for medium Dogs

It can be hard to find a playpen for medium dogs, particularly of the more athletic-type. Some dog breeds are hard to contain with even fences let alone the lesser height you often receive with a playpen. The BestPet exercise pen will be able to withstand all but the most determined assaults from a dogs.

The coating on this pen makes it quite weather-resistant as well as durable, and it probably works best as a semi-permanent addition to one part of your yard. It also folds up for easy storage if you need to take it down for some reason, making it quite handy if you’re only using it for part of the year.

Product Conclusion

If you have a medium dog, this is one of the best playpens you’ll be able to find. Its aesthetic is strictly utilitarian, but the durability and stoutness of it will make you a believer in short order. It’s easy to assemble and use. If you have a medium dog, and you’re looking for a playpen, we invite you to take a closer look at this great option.


Which of these you go with will largely depend on just how high your dog can jump. The Paws and Pals heavy duty cage comes out in favor of dogs with truly impressive leaping ability since it can be fitted with a tough cage, but the BestPet product is quite well-made and the design allows for a large amount of customization in how you want to place it.

Playpens for Puppies

If you have puppies, or smaller dogs, you won’t need as sturdy of a cage or one that’s quite as large as those meant for full sized dogs. Even better, most of these won’t scratch your floors if they do get moved. If your dogs meet these requirements, take a look at some of the following pens and you might be surprised at just what you can get.

Oxgord Dog Animal Playpen Large Metal Wire Folding Exercise Yard FenceIf you’re looking for an outdoor enclosure for puppies or smaller dogs, this wire playpen from Oxgord might just be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s not exactly tough enough for larger dogs, but it makes a fantastic outdoor enclosure for animals which won’t be able to bowl it over.

Playpen Highlights

  • Coated Metal Construction- While it’s not really meant for particularly large and burly dogs, this playpen is still made of high-quality steel with a weather-resistant coating that will keep it functioning well for a long time to come.
  • Large Area- The octagon created by this playpen when assembled is a full sixty-four inches across, giving plenty of space to larger dogs.
  • Ground Anchors- The playpen comes with ground anchors to help keep your playpen in place wherever you may put it.
  • Easily Stored- The entire wire playpen easily folds down to allow for flat storage in the most convenient manner possible.
  • Easy Assembly- The playpen is quite easy to assemble, requiring no tools. You’ll have it up in a jiff.

A Great Backyard Solution

This portable dog pen makes a great backdoor solution for smaller dogs and puppies. Keep in mind it’s not reinforced to the standards you’ll need for larger pets, but it’s perfectly suitable for those small canines which have wormed their ways into our hearts.

Oxgord Dog Animal Playpen Large Metal Wire Folding Exercise Yard FenceThe main draw here is the price, for what you get this playpen is cheap. It’s not bad quality, after all, you’ll just have to be careful what type of dog you decide to stick in it. As long as your dog is smaller and not much of a jumper, you’re both going to be happy with this playpen.

You can purchase a taller height, but this might not be advisable for a heavier dog since they’ll be able to push off higher on the pen and might cause it to tip over if it’s not properly secured. It also doesn’t add any extra area to the footprint, it’ll just be taller and a bit more unstable.

It’s easily stored, and sure to last a long time, though. The coating will help to keep damage from gnawing to levels that are only cosmetic, and it’ll keep well if you leave it set up year round in your yard. That alone makes it worth taking a look at for those who want a playpen for their small dogs or puppies.

Product Conclusion

It’s not the biggest, or the burliest pen around but it’s great for small dogs and puppies if you want an outdoor enclosure to keep them in. This is a cheap dog playpen, so you makes a minimal investment for the amount of value you’ll get, and if you think it’ll suit your needs it’s definitely worth a try.

ESK COLLECTION Blue 45" Pet Puppy Dog Playpen Exercise Pen KennelIf you’re looking for an indoor mesh playpen, you might just fall in love with this offering from ESK Collection. It’s perfectly suited for smaller dogs, especially older ones who aren’t prone to chewing anymore. It breathes easy and can allow you a colorful way to enclose your dog without having to worry about them getting into trouble while you’re away.It also comes in quite a few different colors, if looks are a major concern for you.

Playpen Highlights

  • Doesn’t Take Up Much Room– While offering a sizable place for your puppy or older dog to relax, it doesn’t have a huge footprint. It’s probably not suited for running your dog in circles, but it’ll work quite well as simple confinement with more room to play than a kennel.
  • Breathable Mesh– The mesh and fabric design means your dog won’t run out of fresh air while they’re enclosed even though it’s rather solid and has a good roof for those dogs who are prone to jumping.
  • Different Colors– This canine playpen comes in four different colors, so you can pick the one which suits you or your dog’s personality.
  • Storage Pockets– The sides of this playpen has places to store their toys, treats, extra water, or whatever else you might need. This makes it convenient and easy to take along on trips where you still want your puppy to be able to play.

Mesh-Design and High-Quality

ESK COLLECTION Blue 45" Pet Puppy Dog Playpen Exercise Pen KennelThe mesh design makes for a lightweight dog playpen with floor that can be easily moved by pretty much anyone. It also folds down and sets up quite easily, so if you’re not looking for something permanent this might be ideal for your use.

If your dog is a vigorous devourer of things, however, this definitely isn’t the pen you’re looking for. A determined dog will make short work of both the mesh and the fabric, which can ruin your investment and, more importantly, lead to them getting out when you don’t want them to.

If your dog is calm, however, it makes for one of the most comfortable ways to keep them confined. The entire thing is water-resistant and the flooring is engineered to lower humidity. This will help keep mildew away, and allow you to easily clean up accidents with a garden hose or other common source of water.

The zippered windows are also quite nice, allowing you easy access to your pet however you might want to. Even the roof unzips, which makes it easy to give your pet the treats or toys which might end up in the side pockets.

Product Conclusion

If you’re looking for something convenient and easy to use for a small and calm dog, you’ll be pleased with this dog playpen. Gnawers need not apply in this case, they’ll make short work of the flimsier material, but it’s a great way to take a small dog on a trip or even just keep them out of things while you’re at work. Add in the easy set-up, and what you’re left with is a comfortable, portable playpen which is sure to please both of you.

IRIS Plastic Pet Playpen RoofThe IRIS Plastic Pet Playpen is almost an ideal indoor/outdoor playpen for puppies and small dogs. It’s a bit light and small for animals with some real size to them, but the plastic won’t scratch your floors but will still hold up to the weather quite well. It’s also available in quite a few colors.

Even better, there’s a dog playpen cover that will fit the fence and you can purchase it in either four or eight-panel designs which allows you a great amount of versatility in how you want to use it.

Playpen Highlights

  • Durable Plastic- The entire playpen is made of durable plastic, so it’ll resist chewing from dogs as long as they’re appropriately sized for the pen. It’s sure to last for quite a while with most dogs.
  • Roof Available- If you’ve got a small dog with a big vertical, you can purchase an easily applied mesh roof for this playpen which will keep even the most determined jumper contained safely within.
  • Multiple Uses- Need to keep your canine out of the kitchen while you’re cooking? You can easily unfold the sides of this handy playpen and turn it into a “fence” of sorts.
  • Easy to Assemble- You’ll need a screwdriver to put the hinges on the door, but other than that the entire thing can be broken down and put up without the need for any tools.
  • Multiple Colors- Match your décor with one of the ten brilliant colors this playpen comes in, it might not make much of a difference for your dog but it’s sure to make it more attractive to you.

The Best Plastic Dog Pen

Not enough can be said about this playpen, apart from the fact that it’s not suitable for large dogs it comes highly recommended for puppies and small dogs. It’ll resist boisterous animals and gnawing, the plastic is high-quality, and the steel hinges ensure that the wear on the door will be pretty minimal.

It’s good for indoors or outdoors, and due to its lightweight materials, you’ll be able to easily move it wherever it may be needed for the day. It comes in both four and eight-panel variations as well, so you can pick the size and shape that will suit your needs with minimal fuss.

You’ll need some tools to put this one together, but it’s nothing too advanced. Just a couple of screws to get the high-quality steel hinges attached to the door. The panels themselves interlock quite easily so you don’t need to be an actual handyman to get it together. You can also form a barrier with the panels instead of an enclosure if you just need a temporary fence to keep the dogs out of the kitchen or wherever else.

The hinges and latches are made of steel, which will help to last longer than if they were made of the same material as the rest of the pen and keep your dog secure. The mesh roof will keep things shaded and cool for your dog if you use it outdoors, and also prevent your dog from jumping out which can be a problem when you have small but athletic dogs.

That said, it’s definitely not suitable for dogs with any kind of appreciable mass. The same plastic that allows you to easily move the pen will be no obstacle for a larger dog, and they may also be able to chew it to shreds. For smaller dogs, however, it’s a dream come true.

Product Conclusion

If you have small dogs or puppies, this pen has everything you could want contained in one simple, easily constructed package. You can disassemble it to use as a barrier as well, which makes it handy for keeping dogs out of areas and not just in the playpen itself. If you have small dogs around, take a close look at this pen and you’re sure to be surprised at just how durable and well thought-out the whole thing is.

Overall, it’s one of the best plastic canine playpens on the market, and well worth the slightly higher price.


Which of these you go with, largely depends on how much your dog enjoys gnawing on things and whether you want to use your pen indoors or outdoors. Indoors only, you may want to go with the mesh pen but outdoors and kept as a permanent fixture, the metal wire option is the best. The Iris Plastic Pet Playpen definitely offers the most versatility, though, and may be the overall best option if you plan on varying your usage.


As you can see, it’s quite simple to find in this review a best playpen that your dog will love and will suit your needs as well. They make a great way to allow your dog outdoors without having to worry about them getting into trouble or a good way to confine them indoors as well when you’re away. There’s simply no reason not to have one around since there’s something to suit everyone and “everydog”. You can use outdoor dog pens in your house, but for indoor use mesh or plastic indoor dog pens will be more comfortable in use variant.


Images credits: Amazon.com


Susan Cropper

As a veterinarian practicing for 48 years, Dr. Cropper brings her priceless experience to all our readers. She is currently taking care of her two rescues, Ollie the Greyhound and Bryce the Pitbull mix, that is why she always sees things as a veterinarian and a pet owner simultaneously.

View all posts by Susan Cropper | DogsRecommend.com