Anyone who has ever owned a puppy knows one thing for sure: That curious little dog is going to go everywhere in your home that you don’t want him to go. The best solution to keeping both the dog and your home safe is a playpen. They come in all sizes, shapes, and materials. The only question is, which one is right for your dog?
We reviewed dozens of dog and puppy playpens to identify the best of the best. We considered how sturdy they were, what sizes they came in, whether they were best for indoor or outdoor use, and if they were portable, which would allow you to keep your pet safe wherever you go.
The MidWest Foldable Metal Pen stood out as a clear winner among all of the dog and puppy playpens we reviewed. We loved its durability, the variety of sizes it comes in, and the one-year warranty that the manufacturer offers.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Dog and Puppy Playpens
|Best Dog and Puppy Playpen Overall||MidWest Foldable Metal Pen||4.6|
|Best Indoor Dog and Puppy Playpen||Iris Exercise Playpen||4.5|
|Best Budget Dog and Puppy Playpen||Ruff & Ruffus Portable Foldable Playpen||4.3|
|Best Portable Dog and Puppy Playpen||Petsfit Popup Dog Playpen||4.5|
|Best Outdoor Dog and Puppy Playpen||AmazonBasics Foldable Playpen||4.4|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Dog and Puppy Playpen Overall: MidWest Foldable Metal Pen
It was evident that the MidWest Foldable Metal Pen was going to top our list as soon as we reviewed it. There’s so much we love about this dog enclosure. It is able to keep your dog safe while keeping it securely in the playpen. The double-latch door provides added protection for puppies determined to escape. The durable coating on the metal protects against dogs who chew and scratch. The whole unit comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.
This playpen is designed to be used either outdoors or indoors. If you’re using it outside, it comes with ground anchors to ensure it stays upright in the grass. If you’re using it inside, you can attach your crate as part of the setup of the playpen. This allows the dog to have both the room to exercise and a safe place to rest while you’re not able to keep an eye on him.
The MidWest Playpen comes in five different sizes and four different unique colors. You don’t often see metal dog playpens in blue, pink, and rose gold! With this playpen, your dog will be safe and stylish.
MidWest Foldable Metal Pen Key Features:
- Five different heights available
- Double-latch door for extra security
- One-year warranty
- Can be set up indoors or outdoors
Best Indoor Dog and Puppy Playpen: Iris Exercise Playpen
When you want to create a safe place for your pet to play inside, the Iris Exercise Playpen is an excellent choice. It comes with four panels made of a durable molded plastic. It’s strong and tough to withstand puppy playfulness. The non-skid rubber feet protect your floor and ensure that the pen stays right where you put it – not where your puppy wants to push it!
The playpen has a unique twist-lock entry that’s easy for you to use but difficult for your dog to manipulate, ensuring that he doesn’t escape the pen. The four panels easily snap together so you can have the pen set up in no time – and without using any tools. When it’s finished, the playpen provides eight square feet of play space. If your dog outgrows that space or you just want to give her more room to run around, you can purchase additional panels to add on to the original four-panel design.
The Iris playpen is a product of the USA and comes in two different colors to match your home’s decor. Because of the shorter height, it’s meant for puppies or small- to medium-sized dogs.
Iris Exercise Playpen Key Features:
- Durable plastic
- Easy twist lock
- Eight feet of play space with options to expand
- Made in the USA
Best Budget Dog and Puppy Playpen: Ruff ‘n Ruffus Foldable Portable Playpen
If price is your driving factor in your search for the right playpen, we recommend the Ruff ‘n Ruffus Foldable Portable Playpen. It’s made of eight different panels sewn together with protected seams and reinforced corners to protect against a dog or a puppy who likes to play a little rough.
The playpen is made out of a durable and water-resistant material. The top can zipper off if you want to give your pet extra fresh air or zip on to make sure she stays inside. The door to the playpen also zippers so you know your dog will remain safely and securely inside. The Ruff ‘n Ruffus Playpen comes in three different sizes to accommodate larger puppies and dogs. While the price does go up when the size does, even the largest size is still extremely affordable.
To make it even more worth your money, this playpen comes with a couple of great bonus gifts: a collapsible water bowl and a carrying case. Knowing that makes the price even more inviting! You can easily fold the playpen into the case and take it with you anywhere you want your dog to accompany you.
Ruff ‘n Ruffus Foldable Portable Playpen Key Features:
- Removable top
- Durable water-resistant material
- Zippered door opening
- Bonus gift of collapsible water bowl and carrying case
Best Portable Dog and Puppy Playpen: Petsfit Popup Dog Playpen
There are lots of people who love to take their dog with them wherever they go. If you’re one of those people, you’ll want to make sure that you have a dog playpen that can provide your dog a safe place no matter where you travel. It will also provide you with peace of mind. You should definitely check out the Petsfit Popup Dog Playpen.
This enclosure has mesh panels to allow your dog to get fresh air and simultaneously keep an eye on you. It has two doors and both the top and bottom zip off for cleaning, better airflow, or easier access to your dog in case he doesn’t want to come out through the doors when it’s time to go. This playpen has two pockets on the outside of the playpen to allow you to store treats or small toys.
The Petsfit Popup Playpen pops right up (it’s appropriately named) so it’s an easy setup that doesn’t require any tools. It comes in three colors and two sizes so you can choose the look you love and the best fit for your dog. Finally, it also has a 30-day warranty to give you protection in case there is an issue with the quality of the playpen or damages occur during shipping.
Petsfit Popup Dog Playpen Key Features:
- Easy setup
- Zip-off top and bottom
- Mesh panels
Best Outdoor Dog and Puppy Playpen: AmazonBasics Foldable Playpen
Safety and security are a huge concern when you take your pet outside. Rather than risk her running away, try the AmazonBasics Foldable Playpen to keep her right where you want her to be. This playpen comes with eight stakes to keep it fastened securely to the ground. It also has eight wire panels that give your puppy 16 square feet to play when they’re all put together.
We also love the height. At 26 inches high, it’s taller than some others on our list and might be able to keep out your dog as she gets bigger. If you want it to be larger, you can purchase two separate units and attach them together. You can also set it up in a variety of shapes so that it can fit in specific areas of your yard.
This playpen is made of durable metal that’s designed to last. If you don’t want to leave it set up outside all the time, it easily folds down (no tools necessary!) so that you can put it away until you need it again. Setting it up is just as easy as taking it down, giving you more time for you and your dog to enjoy the outdoors.
AmazonBasics Foldable Playpen Key Features:
- Eight tall panels
- Durable metal
- Variety of shapes
- Easy to set up and take down
Who Should Buy a Dog and Puppy Playpen
These pens are designed to keep dogs contained in a certain area, whether that area is indoors or outdoors. People who want to do keep their dogs in a specific space are usually concerned about two things: keeping the dog safe and protecting the area where the dog is.
Dogs and puppies tend to wander around everywhere, and they have no sense of what is safe for them to explore and what is not. Being attentive to a puppy and knowing where he is at all times is paramount to keeping him safe as you teach him boundaries. Since you obviously can’t give up your job and your life to follow a puppy around your home for months, a playpen is designed to keep him in a specific area that you know is already safe for him.
At the same time, having a dog or a puppy shouldn’t mean that you compromise your home. You have things in the home that you want to protect, like furniture and carpets. And again, you can’t possibly follow the dog around 24/7. Until she is house-trained or until she understands what she can chew and not chew, a playpen will help to keep your home free from puppy destruction.
Important Features to Consider
A dog and puppy playpen should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a playpen for your puppy or dog:
- Durability. Puppies in particular are notorious for chewing and playing a little rough. Many older dogs haven’t learned how to stop chewing or playing rough either. You want a cage that can withstand the antics of your dog and puppy.
- Size of the playpen. The pen should fit the area where you are going to place it. Make sure you measure that space before you order one. The playpen should also be large enough to have designated areas where the dog can sleep and go to the bathroom.
- Size of the dog. You should also consider the size of your dog. Obviously puppies grow into larger dogs, so you may want to buy a playpen that will fit the size your dog will ultimately be, not the size he is if he’s a puppy. If you buy one for a small dog and your puppy is a Great Dane, the puppy will quickly be too large for the playpen.
- Planned location of the playpen. Do you need this to go indoors, outdoors, or both? Certain playpens are made to go in certain spaces, so order according to where you’re planning to use it.
- Portability. Do you plan to use this only in your home, or do you plan to take it with you wherever you take your dog? If the answer is the latter, make sure you buy one that is portable. It should easily fold up and ideally come with a carrying case. If not, it should have a secure way to latch the playpen together to keep it closed while you’re taking it between destinations.
- Height. Dog and puppy playpens come in all different heights. Again, we recommend that you order according to the size that your dog is going to be, not the size he is now.
- Ease of access to the dog. Is one entrance or exit enough for your dog? Some playpens come with zipper tops or wire-cage tops that are removable. Do you need that option so that you can quickly grab your dog? The last thing you want to do is have to crawl into the playpen through a small opening to retrieve your dog, so carefully consider this feature.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a dog playpen?
A dog playpen is a structure that is designed to contain your dog safely and securely in a certain designated area.
Are dog playpens a good idea?
Yes, they are. Most puppies and many dogs have no idea about what can harm them. They see something that looks good and they want to chew it or eat it; they have no idea whether it can hurt them or not. They see an interesting area of your house or yard that looks like fun and they scamper off to explore; they have no idea they might be damaging your property while they explore. You can’t possibly have eyes on your dog all day, every day. A dog playpen keeps your pet safely confined to an area that you know will keep her safe while you are unable to pay attention to her.
What size dog playpen do I need?
That depends on two things: the size of your dog and the size of the area where you’re putting the playpen. Unless you want to order multiple playpens throughout your dog’s life, you should order the size playpen that the size your vet believes the dog will be when it’s fully grown.
You should also measure the area where you want the playpen to go in your home or yard so you get one that fits your space. Bear in mind that the playpen should be big enough to have a designated space where the dog can go to the bathroom and another area where the dog can sleep.
How long can you leave a dog in a playpen?
Experts recommend that you leave a puppy in a cage no longer than two hours. Otherwise, you risk the puppy developing some destructive habits. Older dogs who have learned boundaries may be able to stay in longer. Make sure your dog has toys to keep him entertained so he doesn’t get bored in the space.
Other Dog and Puppy Playpens We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other dog and puppy playpens. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best dog playpens list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your dog. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
- Heavy Duty Dog and Puppy Playpens
- Indoor Dog and Puppy Playpens
- Outdoor Dog and Puppy Playpens
- Portable Dog and Puppy Playpens
Heavy Duty Dog and Puppy Playpens
This playpen is made of heavy-duty rust-resistant material, making it ideal for outdoor spaces – but we love it because it works just as well indoors as it does outdoors. Its sturdy frame comes in six sizes and you can easily join more than one playpen in the set together with another one to create a very large space for your dog to enjoy.
- Durable metal frame
- Ability to connect multiple playpens together
- No-tool set up and take down
Cost: $85.00 (8 panels, 32″ x 40″)
The Giantex Playpen is the priciest on our list, but if you basically live outside during the summer, this playpen is definitely worth the money. It’s rust-proof and water-resistant with a coated finish on the metal, it comes with 16 panels, it sets up easily, and it has unique rounded edges. All in all, this is a great playpen for larger dogs or several smaller dogs. You’ll have all the space you need.
- Water-resistant and rust-proof
- Versatile set up (can do different shapes)
- Can be used indoors or outdoors
Cost: $265 (16 panels, 40″H)
The coolest part of this dog and puppy playpen is the canopy that comes with it and covers a portion of the playpen area, protecting your pet no matter the elements. The steel frame is a modular design, which allows you to set it up in a variety of shapes, and the playpen is made with metal tubes set vertically to make sure your pet can’t escape. It comes in two different heights so you can choose the one that best fits your dog.
- Steel frame
- User-friendly set up
Cost: $150 (83″L x 48″ W x 30”H)
This playpen is available in three different heights and comes with metal inserts for extra stability and security. It’s portable and foldable if you decide you want to take it somewhere, and you can set it up in any number of configurations depending on how many panels you have. It comes with 8, 16, or 32 and is priced higher or lower depending on the number of panels that you choose and the height of those panels.
- Metal inserts for extra stability
- Versatile setup
- Three different heights
Cost: $120 (8 panels, 40″ high)
This dog and puppy playpen comes with 16 planes that are 32″ high. You can see from the picture how many different ways you can set it up to accommodate your space. If you prefer to break it up and use it as two sets, you can do that too as it comes with two doors.
- Multiple configurations
- Heavy-duty metal for frame
- Very large space to accommodate one or more dogs or puppies
Indoor Dog and Puppy Playpens
The Cocoarm playpen is designed specifically for puppies or smaller dogs, giving them space to run but keeping them confined to a smaller space as well. You get 24 panels in your purchase. Each panel is 14″ high and the set comes with extra zip ties for additional support.
- Designed for smaller dogs and puppies
- Comes with 24 panels
- Versatile setup – can stack panels to make them taller or use some as a roof for the playpen
Cost: $43 (24 panels, each is 14″)
With a design of white plastic to go with most decor, the Inspired Essentials playpen has rubber feet to protect your floor, connecting rods to easily set up the panels together, and secure-locking latches to keep your dog safe. It’s the perfect combination of fashion and function.
- Best for small- to medium-sized dogs
- White panels
- Rubber feet for a scratch-free floor
Cost: $115 (8 panels, 63″ x 63″ x 34″)
This brown plastic pet playpen stands 26″ tall and includes either four or eight panels for the design and size that best fits your space and your pet’s needs. It comes with both a swinging door to allow your dog to go in and out with ease, or you can lock it to keep your dog secure. This playpen has skid-resistant pads to protect your floor while it’s protecting your dog.
- Swinging door (that also locks)
- Free-standing structure
- 26-inch height means its best for small- or medium-sized dogs
Cost: $76 (8 panels, 26″ tall)
The transparent panels of this pet playpen set it apart from all of the others on our list. It easily sets up to give your pet a clear sightline to you – and you to her – at all times. Cable ties give the pen extra security and skid-resistant pads protect your floors. It’s designed for puppies or small dogs to enjoy.
- Transparent panels
- Extra security with cable ties
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
Outdoor Dog and Puppy Playpens
Eight iron-wired panels that are 24″ tall give your dog or puppy a great space to cavort and play. It’s big enough to give your animal space to play and also have enough room for a water bowl and a few toys to keep him entertained while you can’t play with him. And with a money-back guarantee, you’ll know that you can return it if there are problems.
- Pen is made of iron
- Best for smaller dogs or puppies
- Money-back guarantee within 15 days of purchase
Cost: $38 (8 panels, 24″ high)
The highlight of the MidWest LifeStages Exercise Pen is the MaxLock door, which locks in multiple places to makes sure that your dog cannot escape. The eight panels are two feet wide; together they make a 16-square-foot area for your pup to play in. It comes in five different heights so that you can choose the one that best suits your dog, and the stakes and the corner stabilizers keep the pen stable and secure, no matter which height you need.
- Extra secure door lock
- Five different heights for you to choose from
- Ground stakes and corner stabilizers included
Cost: $65 (36″ x 24″)
If you’re looking for a durable outdoor playpen, it’s impossible to overlook the Paws & Pals Exercise Pen as an option. The 1/2-inch rust-resistant metal frame securely encloses your pet while you’re outside, but the rounded edges make sure she can’t hurt herself. Whereas other playpens are designed mostly for smaller dogs, this one is available in three different heights so it works well for dogs in a variety of sizes.
- Different heights for different sizes of dogs
- Rust-resistant, 1/2-inch metal frame
- Rounded edges keep paws safe
Cost: $95 (8 panels, multiple height options)
Ground anchors and corner stabilizers come along with this crate, making sure it will stay upright and secure when you stake it in the yard. The door has a double-lock system to make sure that there’s no chance your dog can break free. It’s 24 inches high, so it may not work for a dog who loves to jump, but it would be great for smaller dogs.
- Corner stabilizers and ground anchors
- Secure door lock
- Versatile setup patterns
Cost: $35 (8 panels, 24″ x 24″)
White chew-proof, weather-resistant metal sets this playpen apart from most others on the list. Another unique feature is the door that opens up rather than to the side. This pen easily folds up for quick transport from one yard to another so you can keep your puppy safe wherever you go.
- Durable white chew-proof metal
- Can attach to any other Ware pen to make a larger space for your pet
- Door opens up rather than to the side
Portable Dog and Puppy Playpens
This pet playpen is sure to be where all of the action for your dog will take place. It’s got a waterproof bottom to keep your puppy dry even if you place the playpen on damp grass. The mesh sides allow good amounts of airflow to give the dog a lot of fresh air while he romps around. With a removable top and bottom, the playpen is easy to clean and folds up completely flat for you to cart all over town.
- Waterproof bottom
- Removable top and bottom
- Large play area
Cost: $50 (46″W x 46″D x 21″H)
There are many things we like about this portable playpen. The pockets on the side provide space to carry treats or toys, the mesh sides give the dog fresh air, the zippered opening keeps a puppy safely in the enclosure, and the weather-resistant material with its reinforced corners all combine to make a stable and sensible playpen for your dog. It comes in three sizes so make sure you measure your dog before you buy the playpen so you get the right fit.
- Side pockets for toys
- Durable and weather-resistant material
- Available in three sizes
Cost: $40 (45″ x 45″ x 24″)
This pen unfolds quickly and easily for speedy set up wherever you need it to go. It folds down just as quickly for easy transport in your car to allow you to tuck it safely in a small space in your home while the pen is not in use. The zippered top and zippered front door give your puppy some fresh air to breathe and let the sun stream in. It comes with a carrying case and a collapsible water bowl.
- Removable zippered top
- Carrying case and collapsible water bowl are free extras
- Quickly folds up for easy transport
Cost: $30 (medium size)
The first thing you’ll notice about this portable playpen is the pretty pink color. Where so many other portables are mostly gray or brown tones, this one stands out for its bright color. Pink not your color? It also comes in red, blue, and black. Steel wiring keeps the durable but lightweight material in place while your puppy plays. The breathable mesh sides also have two built-in pockets and a door that zippers.
- Comes in four colors
- Steel wiring keeps structure sound
- Built-in side pockets for storage
At first glance, the black makes this portable playpen look heavy and solid, but on closer inspection, it has mesh windows like every other portable playpen on our list. It also has eight mesh panels for great ventilation, a durable zippered door and top, a hexagon shape, and a no-assembly setup. There isn’t much else we would add or change about this 45″ x 24″ puppy playpen.
- Auto-lock zippers keep your puppy from escaping
- Durable fabric and mesh windows
- Removable and washable top and bottom
Cost: $50 (45″ x 24″)
Not only are the eight panels on this mesh, but the door is also, which makes the Zampa Portable Playpen a little different from others on our portable list. Reinforced corners and protected seams make this a great choice for puppies and small dogs that are more active than others. The pen easily folds up and comes with a handled carrying case for easy transport. The side pockets are a bonus to keep toys on hand for your pup.
- Mesh door and top
- Reinforced corners and protected seams
- Carrying case with handles
Cost: $50 (45″ x 45″ x 24″)