Buying Guide: Best Dog Indoor Playpens
Dog and puppy indoor playpens give your pet a safe and secure place to play in–find out which playpens are worth your money and which don’t live up to expectations.
Playtime should play an important role in your pet’s life- throughout all of its stages. From puppyhood to adulthood, canines require mental stimulation and physical exercise, both of which come through play, either with toys, other dogs, or their owners. Regular playing helps them socialize, learn what they can and can’t do, curbs their instincts and meets their needs in a productive, fun way. In a nutshell, playtime helps your dog’s well being and ensures they are happy and healthy. Of course, while no one should deny the importance of playtime for dogs, you also can’t deny that the hectic schedule most pawrents make it difficult to always find a way to help your pet burn off excess energy in a fun way. You can’t let your rowdy puppy run around the house and hurt themselves in the process, or start chewing your shoes and furniture out of boredom. A lot of pet parents don’t have a securely fenced backyard to let their dog play in it- or even when they do, the weather doesn’t always allow you to let your pooch roam around and sniff about while you finish your chores.
That’s why dog and puppy indoor playpens are a sound purchase for any pet parent, new or seasoned. Having an easily movable and versatile space in your home to confine your pet can be a literal lifesaver, both for you and your dog. Whether they need somewhere safe to play in, or if there are guests coming over, you’ll have a dog-friendly space for your pet to relax and have fun without needing to worry about them being uncomfortable. Dog and puppy indoor playpens offer all that, as they are more spacious from dog crates, adaptable to different spaces, and easy to store away when not needed.
Of course, the type of dog and puppy indoor playpens you should get will largely depend on your pet’s age, size, and energy levels. Before you get your credit card out, you should consider all of the factors that make sure you get the best bang for your buck! For instance, an active, big dog will need something more robust than a fabric-paneled pen that won’t hold them in. Puppies generally don’t need tough and expensive playpens as they outgrow them quickly- thinking in advance will save you a lot of money.
To help you make the right decision and quickly find the best dog and puppy indoor playpens that suit your own preferences as well, we’ve put together this in-depth buying guide. Scroll on to find out which indoor playpens are worth your money and what features you should look for in dog and puppy indoor playpens.
1. Editor’s Pick – Midwest Foldable Metal Exercise Pen
This metal foldable indoor playpen for dogs offers no frills, but it’s affordable and does the job- which is what most people want from a playpen if we’re being honest. Midwest Playpen comes in options with or without doors, and in 5 different sizes. The smallest is 24 inches high and the largest 48 inches high, and they give your pooch 16 square feet of space to enjoy playing with his toys or exercise. The wire panels fold flat for convenient storage, and the whole playpen can be assembled (and put away) in minutes, with no tools needed for the job. Budget-friendly, easy to use and store, and give your pooch or puppy all the comfort he wants- what more could you need?
2. Runner Up – Titaj Foldable Dog Playpen
Pretty, practical, and perfect for puppies, this foldable soft-sided playpen is a great option if you lack space. Titaj Foldable Dog Playpen is easy to store away flat in a carrying case and can easily be hidden away in the back of the closet or under the bed until you have a need for it. It also takes seconds to “assemble” it- as it pops back up on its own when taken out of the case! It comes in blue, pink, or brown, so it will easily match your home’s decor.
The mesh windows make sure that there’s plenty of fresh air while your pet is inside of the playpen, and give them a clear view of their surroundings. And if and when the need arises, this indoor puppy playpen can accompany you on travels, offering a safe little nook for your pet to play in while you’re having a picnic or settling in a pet-friendly hotel room.
3. Best Versatile – MAGINELS Pet Playpen Crate
What we love about the Maginels Pet Playpen for your pup is its extreme versatility, as this set doesn’t even limit you to right angles! It can be used inside or outside. It is easy to take with you to the park, or is great to have at home to cordon off an area where you don’t want your dog playing. The product includes twenty 20” x 28” panels that are made from high-quality steel panels and rust resistant plastic connectors that make the playpen difficult to be damaged by your pet. You can choose the number of panels that you set up every time. You can make a special area for your dog with all of his favorite things or you can gate off an area where you don’t when your pup playing around. Your purchase comes with 30 cable ties and 16 anti-slip mats so there is no worry about your playpen moving around your house on its own. It is easy to install and comes with a mallet to make sure that all the pieces go in far enough so that your playpen stays secure for as long as your pets are playing.
4. Best with Door – Petyard Passage Dog Indoor Playpen
This portable containment area is great if you have hardwood floors, as it has a skid-resistant pad to keep the playpen in place and prevent scratching. And if you have a rowdy puppy, you’ll definitely need something to keep the playpen anchored to one place! The swinging pet door can be locked if the pooch is supposed to keep to his playpen or left open if he’s free to come and go as he pleases. The Petyard plastic playpen will grow with your puppy, in a way, as you can remove and add panels to change the dimensions of the playpen, which is available in 4-panel, 6-panel, and 8-panel option. Also, you can pick between brown and grey finish to make sure the style fits your decor.
5. Best Portable – Parkland Pet Portable Foldable Playpen
Whether you’re at home or traveling, indoors or outdoors, this versatile playpen can provide a safe haven for your pet. The soft-sided design makes it particularly convenient to store and bring with you wherever you go (it even has its own carrying case) and it also means that the playpen is ready for use in seconds. It is very lightweight, though, so it might not be the safest option for an aggressive chewer or a mischievous puppy. Parkland playpen comes in two sizes- small and large–so it suits the needs of most dogs. As this playpen has the optional top that can be zipped up, it can also double as a dog crate. Two for the price of one!
6. Best Durable – Iris Exercise 8 Panel Dog Playpen
We are certain you are going to love the ease and versatility of the Iris Exercise 8 Panel Playpen as much as we do. Depending on the panels you use and the shape you connect it in you can use it as in indoor dog fence, a play gate, a larger play yard or exercise pen. It is constructed out of extremely durable molded plastic that is built to last. Set up of the pen is a real snap. The corners snap together, and you insert a pin to keep them extra stable. Of course, it’s just as easy to disassemble and its versatility means it makes for a great portable piece as well. Made in the USA.
7. Best Basic – AmazonBasics Foldable Metal Playpen
In case you need something sturdy and reliable for your active and strong pooch (or a very naughty puppy), you can’t go wrong with this metal playpen that’s made from iron with a black finish. And as the finish is rust-free, you can use this playpen both indoors and outdoors. The 8-panel setup comes in 5 different heights to make sure Houdinis of all sizes will stay right where you left them to play. AmazonBasics indoor playpen is available with or without doors.
8. Best Compact – Ruff ‘n Ruffus Portable Foldable Pet Playpen
Ideal for camping, travel, or just to use in your apartment when your puppy needs somewhere secluded to play, this foldable fabric playpen doubles as a travel dog crate. With a removable zippered top and a reinforced floor mat on the bottom, it can as easily become a fully enclosed shelter for your pooch but if you opt to remove the top, it’s your basic soft-sided 8-panel playpen. Ruff ‘n Ruffus portable playpen is available in medium, large, and extra large size.
9. Best for Puppies – Tespo Pet Playpen for Puppies
Constructed with metal wire grids, this puppy playpen is ideal for fur babies and small breed dogs. It comes with 12 panels that can be configured in various shapes that will suit your preferences, whether it’s to increase the height or give your pet more room to run around. To make sure everything is secure and stays in place, Tespo playpen comes with cable ties. So if you plan on changing the configuration from one shape to another, this might not work for you.
10. Best High Walls – Richell Convertible High Pet Playpen
With this plastic dog playpen, you definitely get your money’s worth as you’ll be getting three accessories for the price of one. This playpen can be transformed into a freestanding pet gate or a room divider in seconds, giving you the option to use it for various purposes as your puppy grows and his needs change. Available in 4 and 6-panel options, this heavy-duty plastic playpen is a bit pricier, but its versatility and toughness make up for it.
Features To Consider Before Buying an Indoor Pet Playpen
Dog and puppy indoor playpens come in all shapes and sizes, constructed with different materials and in different designs–so there is plenty to choose from. However, how is anyone supposed to know what they really need and what are some bells and whistles that just increase the number on the price tag but don’t really add any actual value to the playpen? Your requirements will vary, depending on your pet’s age, size, activity levels, as well as your living space. You don’t want something that will take up half of your dining room or stick out like a sore thumb against your decor. A perfect dog and puppy indoor playpen will be suitable for your pet’s needs and yours, too, so make sure it ticks all of the boxes before you settle on buying it
The first factor to consider is if the playpen you’re getting is the right size for your pet. To feel comfy while playing and to have enough room to do so, a dog will need an indoor playpen that is not cramped or tiny. As a rule of thumb, indoor dog playpen should be big enough for your pet to run around, lie down if he wants and have some spare room for his food and water bowls, especially if he’s going to be playing in there for a few hours. Needless to say, you can’t expect a Lab to feel comfy in the same pen a Maltese puppy would. Luckily, most manufacturers state the size of the dog their playpen is intended for, so you won’t have to figure it out yourself. Just look at it this way- the more panels an indoor dog playpen has, the better fit it is for a large breed dog!
The dimensions of dog and puppy indoor playpens are not the only feature that will indicate if they’re a good match for a certain breed size or dog age. A playpen can be twice the size your dog needs, but if it’s made from lightweight materials that your pooch can take down with one jump, it will all be for naught. So, when choosing an indoor playpen, be sure to choose the materials by their toughness. Puppies do well in fabric playpens and wire playpens alike, while bigger adult dogs usually go for plastic and metal, as it is more durable and heavier. Of course, if your dog is well-behaved and not overly energetic, it will be all the same to them, as they won’t be mischievous or try to get out in the first place.
Sometimes, all you need is an indoor playpen that will act as a barrier for your curious puppy. And that’s OK! But, at other times, you’ll want to get more value for your money and get a dog indoor playpen that will be large and well made so it grows with your pet and can, later on, be used as a dog gate, too, when the need arises. (And unless you plan on crate training your puppy, you’ll certainly need a gate or a playpen throughout your pet’s life.) You might also want an indoor dog playpen that doubles as an outdoor one so you can use it both inside the home and in the backyard. Also, if you travel with your dog, it would be smart to choose one of the dog and puppy indoor playpens that are collapsible and easily portable- so your pet will always have a safe space of his own, even when away from home.
Ease of Storage
In most cases, pet parents use dog and puppy indoor playpens occasionally, and they don’t need them to be mounted full time. That’s why it’s great when a playpen is easy to assembly and disassembly for storage, so you can have your pet’s playing corner up and running in a matter of minutes, rather than losing the whole afternoon trying to put it all up. Also, unless you live in a mansion, you probably appreciate it when your pet’s stuff doesn’t take up all of your precious storage space, so having a collapsible indoor playpen that can be put under the bed can definitely be a plus.
Dog Playpens vs Crates: Which Should You Choose?
At first glance, dog and puppy indoor playpens and dog crates look alike, mostly because they are both made from joined panels, either from wire, plastic, wood, or soft materials. The main difference between the two is that a dog crate is enclosed from all sides, including the top and the bottom, and a playpen confines your pooch within panels on their sides- usually no top or bottom panels. As a result, playpens are usually much larger as their primary need is not to completely confine a pet, but rather section off a part of your home or property where they can safely play and relax.
Dog crates are a better choice for pet parents who have a dog with separation anxiety or prefers having a snug little nook to retreat to, or simply need a crate to help potty train their puppy. Similarly, if you need a secure and comfortable space for your pet to spend time in while you’re away, a dog crate is a more suitable option, as it will keep your pet away from trouble with no chance of escaping–which can’t be said for dog playpens.
Of course, if it fits your budget and living space, you can always combine dog and puppy indoor playpens with a dog crate. Use a dog crate to housebreak your puppy, but let them run around, tumble, and play with their toys in a playpen, where space is more suited for fun and freedom of movement. That way, you’ll have the best of both worlds: a secure place to confine your pet when you’re not there to keep an eye on them and a training aid, as well as a portable, versatile barrier that lets your pet fulfill his need for regular playtime without making a mess of your home.
How long can you leave a puppy in a playpen?
Puppies shouldn’t be left alone for a long period of time, even when in a playpen. A good rule of thumb is to make sure they are not on their own for more than two hours at a time, and that during those short periods they have food and water readily available. If your puppy is over 6 months of age, then they can probably tolerate more alone time, for up to 4-6 hours provided that they are trained and have a pee pad nearby in addition to food and water.
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A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.
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