Welcome to our complete guide to indoor puppy playpens. Helping you to pick the best puppy play pen to keep in your home.
If you have ever raised a puppy before now, you already know that a sturdy puppy playpen is a “must have” item.
And if you are just now welcoming home your first furry baby, you are about to learn just how awesome a puppy pen can be – a real sanity-saver for both you and your puppy!
But like puppies, puppy play pens come in all shapes, sizes and styles. And sometimes it can be a real challenge to figure out which one is the all-around best puppy playpen for your little fur baby!
Not to worry – we are here to help! We have scoured the available research to discover the “best of the best” in each playpen puppy category.
This article will give you the lowdown on which pens get top marks for a small puppy playpen and a large puppy pen, plus plenty of insights on different playpen materials and perks.
Read on to find the best puppy exercise playpen for your new puppy – and when you find it, we’d love to hear why you chose that particular puppy pen and what you and your puppy love most about it!
What is a puppy playpen?
So first things first – what exactly is a puppy playpen? How is a puppy playpen different from a crate, a carrier or an exercise pen?
There are some similarities but there are also some important differences. Whether you choose an indoor puppy pen or an outdoor puppy playpen, the ultimate goal is the same: a puppy playpen will keep your puppy safely confined while offering more space to play and roam than a puppy crate can provide.
Right about now, you are probably already grasping the reason why puppy owners love puppy playpens so much. They are roomy yet totally safe for your puppy during times you can’t provide 100 percent supervision.
Best of all, a puppy playpen can ensure your puppy is able to stay near you throughout the day in a totally safe way. This simple proximity can greatly reduce anxious puppy behaviors like whining, scratching, barking and crying and allow you to focus on the day’s to-do list without worrying about what your puppy may be up to!
Why should I use a puppy playpen?
Whether you choose a small or a large puppy playpen, the basic function of the puppy play pen itself remains the same.
The best puppy pen will offer each of these perks and more. It will…
- Keep your puppy safely confined without restricting movement.
- Give you and your puppy line-of-sight contact with one another throughout the day.
- Offer a chance for play, snacks and exercise in a safe space.
- Be sufficiently durable and rugged to withstand puppy chewing and teething.
- As well as being easy to clean and maintain.
Ideally, it will also be travel-friendly so your puppy always has a safe and familiar space to retreat to when away from home.
Some puppy pens indoor and outdoor can also expand by simply removing or adding puppy pen panels as your puppy’s growth indicates. This type of puppy playpen can do your budget as well as your growing puppy a big favor!
Indoor puppy playpens
Puppies, like all young animals, crave regularity in their surroundings and daily routine.
Providing a puppy playpen indoor right from the start can help to lessen your puppy’s developmental anxiety.
Once your puppy is able to recognize that the small puppy pen is “hers,” she will be able to find comfort through spending time there.
Regularly filling her dog puppy pen with her favorite blankets, toys and food/water dishes will increase that comfort even further.
She can stretch her fast-growing little legs, gnaw and chew to her heart’s content, play and jump, snack and snooze in comfort inside the safety of the puppy pen walls.
As you can tell, we are huge fans of the indoor puppy playpen. In particular, we really love these puppy indoor playpen options and hope you will too!
Perfect Fit Pet Gate
Cardinal Gates Perfect Fit Pet Gate. This lovely and versatile indoor pet gate/pen can be used in either capacity.
There is a built-in door for your puppy to go in and out. With six panels, you can arrange this puppy pen into multiple shapes or stretch it out to confine your puppy to one area in the house.
The color is painted wood with steel, making it an attractive addition to any décor.
Petyard Passage Small Puppy Playpen
North States Industries MYPET Petyard Passage. You can choose from a 4-panel, 6-panel or 8-panel design for this easy, foldable, portable puppy pen.
This pen is a great choice for a small puppy pen since the door is petite in all three sizes. There is also an extra 2-panel attachment that is sold separately that you can use to expand the pen.
It comes with a carry handle and non-slip floor pads.
Iris Exercise Panel Indoor Puppy Playpen
The IRIS Exercise Panel Pet Playpen with Door. IRIS is an incredibly popular and trusted name in puppy and dog playpens.
This roomy modular 6-panel playpen comes with an extra 2-panel insert sold separately. It is offered in various colors to suit the décor in any room. The playpen is rust-proof, durable and rounded for safety.
It can be attached to a second playpen for additional space as your puppy grows.
Marshall Puppy Playpen
Marshall Pet Products Small Animal PlayPen. This expandable playpen is a great choice for small breed puppies and offers 9 square feet of play space.
A 3-in-1 cover and carry case are sold separately. No tools are required. The color is white. It can also be used outdoors.
Large puppy playpen
If you’ve had your puppy for more than five minutes, you already know just how critical “puppy proofing” can be to your new fur baby’s safety…and your sanity.
The truth is, there is no such thing as too much puppy proofing. Just when you think you have thought of absolutely everything, your puppy will help you to think up more things you can do to keep her safe!
One of the basic core essentials of puppy proofing and puppy safety is to match the size of the puppy playpen to the size of the puppy.
The next two sections will focus on puppy playpens specifically made for large breed puppies and for small breed puppies so you can check this task off your puppy-proofing to-do list.
Allmax Metal Puppy Playpen
Allmax Metal Pet Fence, Black. This popular metal puppy playpen can be set up in moments in a variety of interesting configurations for different play and exercise needs.
The finish is rust resistant for indoor/outdoor use. For tiny puppies, you can even separate the panels into two completely separate playpens.
The playpen comes in frustration-free packaging.
Confidence Metal Puppy Playpen
Confidence Pet Metal Dog Playpen. This roomy, large puppy playpen features eight portable panels that can be folded flat to store or travel with.
There are five sizes (24 X 24, 24 X 30, 24 X 36, 24 X 42, 24 X 48).
The material is rubber-coated metal for durability.
Small puppy playpen
Like the large puppy playpens we just reviewed, these small puppy playpens are multi-functional, versatile and highly rated by puppy and dog owners.
Pink Puppy Playpen for small puppies
EXPAWLORER Pink Puppy Playpen Dog. This small breed puppy playpen comes in two sizes (45-inch, 56-inch) and folds down flat for travel or storage (it also comes with a matching carry bag).
The windows are mesh and the top and bottom can be zippered off for cleaning. The material is durable Oxford Cloth.
Iris 24 inch Indoor Puppy Playpen
IRIS 24″ Pen Playpen. This 24-inch portable puppy playpen features four panels in a simple design that is ideal for small to medium breed puppies.
This super-popular playpen comes in a wide range of colors and can easily be extended by adding on another playpen.
Portable puppy playpen
As all puppy owners know, a rambunctious and playful puppy can as quickly transform into a yawning, snoring puppy.
This makes a portable puppy playpen a “must have” in your puppy care toolkit. When you are out and about, a portable puppy playpen can set up quickly for a park pit stop. When you are at home, a portable puppy playpen can as quickly set up for a timely snooze in a quiet out-of-the-way room.
Pop N Play Portable Playpen
Summer Infant Pop N’ Play Portable Playard. This wonderfully designed infant-safe portable play yard is designed to fold in like an accordion – very similar to how some portable travel chairs fold up.
It even has the same type of travel bag with a convenient shoulder strap for carrying. The durable weather resistant material is built around a metal frame and attached to an easy-clean canvas floor.
You can choose a play yard with a canopy or without.
Zipper Sealed Portable Puppy Playpen
Petsfit Zipper sealed bottom Portable Foldable Pop Up Dog Playpen. This sleek and good-looking portable foldable pop-up puppy playpen comes in four sizes (26-inch, 36-inch, 46-inch, 52-inch).
It also features a black and red color scheme. The sides are breathable mesh and the top and bottom can zipper off. The bottom is waterproof.
Pop up puppy pen
Pop up puppy pens come in a wonderfully vast assortment of materials, shapes, sizes and configurations. Whether your puppy’s needs run more towards a pen/fence or a true modular playpen, these unique and innovative playpens should fit the bill!
Popup Portable Puppy Pen
SmithBuilt Metal Wire Popup Portable Fence. This neat popup portable fence is made of durable 6-gauge metal and includes a handy carrying bag.
The panels pop up into place and fold down just as easily and quickly. It comes in four sizes (30-inch, 36-inch, 42-inch, 48-inch) in black.
Oxgord Popup Puppy Playpen
OxGord Animal Playpen for Pets Exercise Pen “Travel Gear Approved.” This multi-functional pop up puppy pen is simple to set up and equally simple to take down.
It features a number of outside storage pockets and is 100 percent washable. The mesh windows allow maximum yet secure ventilation. It folds down very flat for storing.
Puppy pen flooring
If there is one thing you can count on as you parent your young puppy, it is this: accidents happen.
At first, they may happen daily, and even many times in a day. Later, as your puppy masters potty training and finally gains more complete control of her elimination functions, the number of accidents will steadily diminish.
But during the “accident months,” one of your best friends will undoubtedly be the puppy pen floor.
As you can see here, there are lots of options, from real grass to fake grass to absorbent training pads to mats and more.
Fresh Patch Disposable Dog Potty
Fresh Patch Disposable Dog Potty with REAL Grass. If you are trying to teach your new puppy to recognize grass as a suitable place to do his business, you will probably love this option for puppy pen flooring!
Originally introduced on the hit show Shark Tank, now this grass is commercially available to puppy and dog owners everywhere.
The grass is grown hydroponically (with water) and the roots naturally absorb odors and urine while emitting a fresh grass scent.
Doggie Lawn Potty
DoggieLawn Disposable Dog Potty. This is another variation on real grass for the purposes of potty training your puppy.
It is sized at 24.75 X 21 inches, which will fit smaller puppy playpens to a “T.”
The manufacturer also offers free training via consultation if you are brand-new to using doggie grass. Unlike the Fresh Patch, this pad is fully disposable after each use.
Midwest Puppy Flooring Grid
MidWest Homes for Pets Floor Grid for Puppy Playpen. Yet another puppy playpen flooring option to consider is this floor grid, which keeps your puppy and his mess safely separated.
The grid is coated with vinyl so it is sanitary and easy to clean. Puppy owners say it is very sturdy. You can find styles to fit multiple sized pens.
AmazonBasics Pet Training and Puppy Pads. If you are looking for an indoor/outdoor puppy playpen and just need some type of protective cover for indoor use, these affordable and popular puppy pads might be just the thing.
You can choose three sizes (50 count, 100 count, 150 count). A big part of the appeal of these pads is that they have a plastic lining to prevent any leakage or damage to your flooring when used indoors.
Heavy duty puppy pen
Just as no two puppies will ever look exactly identical, even if they come from the same litter, so too will no two puppies’ chewing habits or jumping or digging habits ever be exactly alike.
In other words, some puppies live to jump, others live to dig and still others live to chew (and some live to do all three!).
In these cases, what you need is a heavy duty puppy pen. These nearly jump-proof, chew-proof and dig-proof pens will keep your puppy contained despite his most vigorous efforts otherwise.
BestPet Heavy Duty Puppy Playpen
BestPet Heavy Duty Pet Playpen. This heavy duty pet playpen is robust enough to grow with your puppy as he grows up.
It comes in three sizes (24-inch, 32-inch, 40-inch) and you can actually connect multiple playpens together for a much roomier adult dog playpen. It comes in black and features steel panels with a latch locking system.
Giantex Heavy Duty Puppy Playpen
Giantex 4 Panel Pet Puppy Dog Playpen with Heavy Duty Door. This heavy duty puppy playpen comes in three sizes (24-inch, 28-inch, 36-inch) in black.
It features rounded edges for safety and a reinforced steel frame and raised door. It is made of solid iron. The eight panels can be configured in a number of ways to form a gate, a room/yard barrier, or a versatile play and exercise area.
Metal puppy pen
There is no single definitive opinion regarding whether a metal or a plastic puppy pen makes for a better choice during your puppy’s growing up months.
However, where you plan to locate the puppy pen, how often you will want to set it up or take it down, whether you want to travel with it and your puppy’s chewing habits can all inform your decision of whether to opt for metal versus plastic.
Here are a couple of our favorite metal puppy pens.
Carlson Convertible Pet Yard
Carlson Convertible Pet Yard. This six-panel all-metal puppy playpen is 28 inches high and made of durable steel.
The manufacturer states it is chew-proof. It can also be converted into a gate or a room/yard barrier as needed. There is an easy-release door lever for you to enter and exit. This metal puppy pen quickly folds down for travel.
3 in 1 Arched Décor Puppy Playpen
North States Superyard 3 In 1 Arched Decor Metal, Matte Bronze. This popular and decorative indoor puppy playpen can also be used as a room divider or a puppy gate as needed.
There is a central swinging gate/door for entry/exit. The height is 30 inches and it will stretch to a full 144 inches in length.
Plastic puppy pen
Like their metal counterparts, these popular and highly rated plastic puppy pens will stand you in good stead as you strive to offer your puppy the safest and most enriching environment to grow up in.
Kousi Plastic Puppy Pen
Dog Playpen Portable By KOUSI Large Plastic Pet Yard Fence. This innovative plastic puppy pen is made of near-transparent plastic panels to offer a great line-of-sight visibility between you and your puppy.
The solid panels offer no risk of climbing or chewing and the metal connectors are secure and durable. You can also configure the panels into different shapes and sizes or fold them for storage and travel.
Summer Secure Playard
Summer Infant Secure Surround 6-Panel PlaySafe Playard. You can’t get any better or safer than an infant-safe summer playpen, and that is exactly what this product offers.
The six-panel play yard comes with an optional two-panel extension sold separately. This playpen is super portable, light and easy to carry. The door is a walk-through design with secure latches. You can choose from four sizes (6-panel, 8-panel, 10-panel, 12-panel). It comes in a light taupe color.
Fabric puppy playpen
At first glance, you might think it would be unwise to try to contain a growing puppy in a fabric puppy playpen.
But these playpens are not made of just any ordinary fabric. The fabrics used to make these puppy pens are durable, water-resistant, sanitary, easy to clean and reinforced against wear and tear (not to mention sharp puppy teeth!).
Best of all, a fabric puppy playpen is really easy and lightweight to carry and store for a day at the park or a road trip.
ESK Blue Puppy Playpen
The Esk Collectino Blue 45″ Pet Puppy Dog Playpen Exercise Pen Kennel is made of 600d Oxford Cloth. If you are looking for a fabric puppy playpen, Oxford Cloth is a great choice of material.
This lightweight, water-resistant, easy-clean, durable and breathable material is highly functional for indoor and outdoor use and allows maximum ventilation for your puppy’s comfort. This stylish fabric puppy pen comes in three colors (blue, red, black).
EliteField Soft Puppy Pen
EliteField 2-Door Soft Pet Playpen. This versatile soft fabric puppy pen comes in eight different sizes and a wide variety of colors.
One unique feature about this playpen is that it has two zippered doors and the zippers lock for security.
On the outside, there are pockets for a water bottle and supplies. The floor and ceiling of this puppy pen with base zip off for easy, quick cleaning. The manufacturer offers a two-year warranty.
Zampa Fabric Puppy Playpen
Zampa Pet 45″ Foldable Portable Playpen. This well-liked fabric playpen comes in three sizes (small, medium, large) and four colors (red, black, blue, pink).
It features an 8-panel layout made of durable mesh, reinforced seams and waterproof fabric. The manufacturer offers a one-year money back guarantee.
Pink puppy playpen
The days when you had one or maybe a handful of puppy playpen options to choose from have long since gone the way of the dinosaur and the Ice Age.
Today’s puppy playpens are all about color, style and variety. In fact, as you review the lists here, it might seem as if there are as many varieties of puppy playpens as there are puppies!
Pink is perhaps the number one favorite color for puppy owners who love bright colors. These colorful, cheerful and feminine puppy playpens are sure to set your little fur girl (or boy) up in grand style as she grows!
ToysOpoly Pink Puppy Playpen
ToysOpoly 45″ Indoor Outdoor Pet Playpen Cage. This fun pink puppy playpen also comes in red, blue and black.
In design, it is a lot like a tent made just for puppies, with a mesh top and sun-proof zipper top option, waterproof puppy pen with floor, and mesh sides. It is fully portable and even comes with tent-like anchors to keep it in place.
Metal Pink Puppy Pen
BestPet Metal Wire Playpen. This pastel pink wire playpen has rounded safety edges so your puppy won’t ever risk injury if she tries to climb or chew it.
There are eight panels and the walls are 48 inches high to contain even determined jumpers. The door has a secure double-latch system to keep your puppy inside. This cute pink puppy playpen also comes in other fun colors.
Puppy pen panels
The ideal puppy pen is one that will grow with your puppy as he grows. Sometimes this can be as simple as purchasing a second puppy playpen and attaching the two together to form one large playpen.
In other cases, manufacturers may sell extender panels that you can add on to an existing puppy pen to enlarge the play space.
Some puppy pens also double as gates and vice versa so you can get multiple uses out of a single playpen.
These puppy pen panels offer you this wonderful type of modern multi-functionality, complete with attractive and classy designs to complement your existing décor.
Regalo Super Wide Puppy Pen
Regalo 192-Inch Super Wide Gate and Play Yard. This unique puppy pen and room divider will be an instant hit if you find you need to confine your puppy to a certain part of the room, such as when you have guests in your home.
This play gate can be expanded to a full 192 inches in length and has a middle gate with a safety latch so people can pass through easily and securely. There are eight panels total that can be added or removed as needed.
Petmaker Wooden Puppy Gate
PETMAKER Freestanding Wooden Pet Gate. This neat and attractive gate is perfect to keep your puppy confined to a certain room in the house.
It comes in four colors (espresso, mahogany, brown, white) and extends to a full three feet. The gate is highly rated by pet owners and comes in easy-to-open packaging.
This gate is only suitable for use with large puppies since the slats are 2 inches apart.
Carlson Convertible Puppy Panels
Carlson Convertible Pet Yard. This flexible, multi-use pet playpen and gate can be used in a variety of different ways, from a self-contained exercise playpen to a long straight gate to keep your puppy in a safe area.
It is made of steel with 28-inch high panels – 6 panels in all. The gate is a walk-through design.
Best puppy playpen
After reading through this comprehensive list of puppy playpen choices, we can bet your brain is probably spinning from so much information! You may even be feeling genuinely overwhelmed – there are so many pens to choose from! How will you ever make up your mind?
Ask yourself some questions to help you make the choice.
Do you want to travel with the playpen or is it just for home use? Would you prefer something that is lightweight and easy to carry or do you want something sturdy and permanent?
Once you have made your choice, we would love to hear which pen you select and why.
- Reisen, J., “Exercise Pens: Playpens for Dogs,” American Kennel Club, 2017.
- Luescher, U.A., et al, “Canine Behavioral Development,” Fondation-Barry, 2012.
- Baker, A., “10 Tips for Puppy Proofing Your Home, Inside and Out,” SafeWise, 2017.
- Hubrecht, R.C., “Correlates of pen size and housing conditions on the behaviour of kennelled dogs,” Science Direct: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 1992.
- Wilson, F., et al, “Prevention of dog bites: Evaluation of a brief educational intervention program for preschool children,” Journal of Community Psychology, 2002