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The 10 Best Dog Pen

Finding the right dog pen will depend on your dog and what they require, whether it's a safe haven for an elderly dog or a pen to keep a puppy out of mischief when they can't be closely monitored. Simple metal enclosures to wooden gates that double as room dividers are all options.

We spoke with trainers, dog fosters, and rescue workers, seeking recommendations and learning what they look for in a great dog pen. We specifically looked for dog pens that combined durability, useful configurations, and simple-to-use gates.

The best dog pens are listed below from BestForPets (bestforpets.org).


Overall winner: IRIS Open Wire Dog Pen



This is a fantastic hybrid of a crate and a pen. It has the security and sturdiness of a solid wire crate, but it lacks the feeling of confinement due to the lack of a top.

This is an excellent solution for puppies who require frequent access to change potty pads or for senior dogs who require a safe haven.

It’s also a good option for dogs recovering from surgery, as you may need to lift them in and out while still limiting their movement.

There are no tools required for setup. Furthermore, the latch is simple to use, clasping directly onto one of the wires, making it simple to confirm that it has been securely closed.

There are also instructions for using the latch with a padlock. Its molded bottom tray is separate from the enclosure and has guards on the bottom to keep it from scratching floors.

Plus, with faux wood trim and white epoxy-covered wire, the IRIS Open Wire Dog Pen is one of our favorite dog pens aesthetically, making it far more appealing than traditional crates and pens.

The pen is available in three different sizes: medium, large, and large tall (for the climbers in the bunch).


Yaheetech Heavy Duty Pet Playpen is the best heavy duty pet playpen



This sturdy metal pen is far superior to your standard basic metal exercise pen (also known as a “x-pen”). It’s made of metal tube frames and wire panels that have been rust-proofed.

There’s a handy step-through gate and eight panels that can be rearranged to make a square, octagon, or rectangle pen. (It is also available with 16, 24, or 32 panels.)

The pen is simple to put together and requires no tools. However, because it is very heavy, it may not be the best choice for traveling.

It comes in a couple of different heights, so you can choose based on your puppy’s current (or projected) size. If you want to use the pen outside, the rods that connect the panels can also serve as anchor stakes.


Richell 3-in-1 Convertible Pet Gate is the best convertible



This useful product is attractive, functional, and versatile, serving as a pen, gate, and room divider all in one. The panels are simple to secure at either a 90-degree or 180-degree angle.

There is a lockable gate that allows owners to easily move from room to room or enter the pen to clean; however, some owners claim that clever pets can easily figure out how to unlatch the gate.

The gate comes with four or six panels, and you can add more if you need a larger pen or want to close off a larger area. According to the manufacturer, it is intended for dogs weighing 8.8 to 44 pounds.


IRIS USA, Inc. 34-Inch Exercise Playpen is the best indoor playpen



When you need to keep a pet out of trouble in the middle of your living room, this pen is a great looking option.

It is available in two gray shades as well as white and is made of molded plastic that will never rust. The panels are simple to put together, thanks to the long full-length rods that connect them.

Although the IRIS Exercise Playpen is simple to assemble and disassemble, it is a little bulky when disassembled, so it is best for those who have plenty of storage space.

One segment has a door that is about 20 inches high and 15 inches wide, and it is opened with a metal swing latch.


EliteField Two-Door Soft Playpen: The Best Traveling Pen



This canvas pop-up playpen has soft sides, folds easily, and comes with a carrying bag. If you travel frequently, whether for camping or taking your dog to Grandma’s house, it’s easy to tote with you. It will provide them with a safe, familiar place to sleep.

The playpen has a canvas bottom and a mesh top that zips off. You can remove the bottom if you want to let your dog run around in the grass and keep the top if you are concerned about an escape artist. (I’m concerned about teeny puppies outside and predators such as hawks.)

There are mesh windows for ventilation, storage pockets, and stakes to keep it in place. Rambunctious dogs can figure out how to tip this over, and cunning ones can unzip the zippers, so it’s best for less energetic pups. It is available in six different sizes and seven different colors.


MidWest Homes for Pets Folding Metal Pet Playpen is the best budget option



This basic x-pen lacks bells and whistles but is a dependable and cost-effective way to keep your dog safe and out of mischief. It’s simple to put together: simply unfold and clip the segments together with the included clips. If you plan to use this pen outside, there are anchors to help stabilize it.

The MidWest Homes Foldable Metal Dog Exercise Pen is available in five different heights ranging from 24 inches to 48 inches, allowing you to choose based on your dog’s size (or climbing ability!).

If you need a larger space, you can clip more than one of these together, making this a good option if you’re looking for something expandable.

They can be arranged in an octagon, square, or rectangle shape, but the best configuration often depends on how rowdy your dog is and what will stay together the best.


Evenflo Play-Away Portable Playard is the best choice for small dogs



A human baby playpen can be a good option for naps and playtime if you have a teeny, tiny young puppy. This playard is simple to open, close, and store. It has a locking bar across the top for added security and a water-resistant padded floor that is easy to clean in the event of an accident.

This may not be the best option for older, more rambunctious puppies who may try to climb up the sides or gnaw on the netting. However, it is an excellent option for very young puppies who require a safe place to hang out after naps or in between feedings.

What to Look for When Buying a Dog Pen


The most important consideration when selecting any dog equipment is safety. You don’t want to put a tiny puppy in a pen with wire bars that are too far apart, as this could cause their head to become trapped. Alternatively, you don’t want to confine an aggressive chewer in a canvas pen where they could gnaw their way out or swallow a zipper.

Observe your pet’s behavior inside the pen at first. Check that they can’t scramble over the top or tip it over. It should be a solid, safe, and comfortable environment for them to hang out in.

“Use pens with supervision rather than long periods,” advises Melissa “MJ” Viera, founder and licensed groomer and trainer of MJ’s Pet Training Academy in Acushnet, Massachusetts.

“If you must leave your dog alone for an extended period of time, consider options designed for this purpose, such as an appropriate size crate or a dog-proof room.” Consider removing collars and equipment when your dog is in a pen to prevent the dog from becoming tangled in anything.”



Depending on how you intend to use the pen, make sure your pet has enough space to move around. If it’s for a puppy, make sure there’s enough space for a separate sleeping area, a play area, and a potty area.

According to Viera, height is one of the most important factors to consider when selecting a pen.

“A dog that jumps high and taller dogs will require a pen tall enough to contain them.” “Because any dog can learn to escape a pen, it’s critical to teach dogs how to settle in their pen and be respectful of the boundaries rather than jumping up at its sides,” Viera says.

“Jumping isn’t the only way for dogs to get out of their pens. Some dogs will also attempt to climb over. Spend some time working with your dog and purchase a sturdy, tall pen to avoid these problems.”



If you’re going to move your pen from room to room, take it on trips, or move it from indoors to outdoors, you’ll want something that’s easy to fold and lightweight. Some playpens are more difficult to collapse and set up than others.


How big of a pen should I get for my dog?

The majority of pens will make size recommendations based on your pet’s breed, weight, or height. Keep in mind that rambunctious puppies or rowdy breeds are more likely than calmer, older pets to jump against the sides or try to climb out of a pen.

How can I keep my dog from escaping the pen?

Make sure your dog’s pen is tall enough for him, especially if he is a climber. Some playpens have detachable tops made of netting or other materials to keep your dog from escaping. You can also make your own top by sewing a bed sheet or garden mesh to the top. If your pen has a door, always leave it open and let your dog out that way. When dogs realize they can go over the top, they may realize climbing is an option for getting out.

What can I do to keep the dog pen clean?

Examine the cleaning instructions included with the pen. Many coated metal pets can be simply hosed down and dried with a towel or allowed to air dry. Because canvas pens can stain, it’s a good idea to lay down a washable pee pad (available on Amazon) on the floor to help with accidents.


Thank you for reading this far. We hope that BestForPets‘s (bestforpets.org) article will help you choose the best dog pen for your pet.

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Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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