best dog playpen

Cute little ones make a mess so you need the absolute best dog playpen

Best dog playpen guide is the ultimate resource for buying a good playpen for your beloved dog where they will play safely and feel comfortable all day long.

Little puppies are cute and they are an absolute fun – no doubt about that. They are also pretty good at making a mess especially when you’re not looking.

So a good playpen is a must for every household because you love your dog to bits (don’t you?), and you want to do the ‘absolute best’ for your puppy or an adult dog.

Playpen is a power tool for training and teaching good discipline – How?

After an extensive research, I have selected the top ‘5 Playpens’ for you:

  • So why did I choose them?
  • Is it suitable for your dog and why?
  • Why do experts recommend it as a power tool?

Those are the things I will explain below in details, especially what you need to consider before you buy one – rather than buying something in a rush and regretting later.

Remember everything you do – affects your dog’s behavior and happiness – so hang on tight and continue reading, and I will give you proof.

Top 5 Best Dog Playpen I have chosen for you and why?

I am sure you’ll agree house-training and discipline is essential for dogs of every age not just puppies.

So dog experts suggest you need a good dog playpen (also a good dog crate) because it is a powerful tool for teaching discipline to every dog.

Let me share with you this nice video.

I love Joanne’s (Dog Instructor) video because she briefly (only 3 minutes long) walks you through, and gives you an idea how you can effectively use a crate and a playpen to house-train a puppy:

Yes puppies grow fast – will the playpen grow or scale?

If you have a large dog breed for example, then you have to plan for it now. Not randomly buy any dog playpen. Why?

Will the dog playpen be big enough when they are 10 months old or more?

So following are the things you need to seriously consider before you buy a playpen for your dog:

1) Breed of your dog – which is best for your breed?

2) Size of your house and where are you going to put the playpen.

3) Build Quality and Safety Features.

4) Price and where to buy.

5) Size and future proofing.

6) If you have a child – is it child-friendly?

7) Do you have other pets in the house?

Best Dog Playpen
(Detailed Reviews)


[1] Iris Pet Playpen with Door 24-inch Tall – This is a great playpen for your dog, read the article to find out more.
[2] Midwest Exercise Pen 36-inches Detailed Review – This is an excellent dog exercise pen.
[3] Richell Playpen Full Review – it is an excellent playpen with up to 6 panels.
[4] Iris 8 Panel Exercise Pet Pen with Door – read the full review here.
[5] Pet Trex Playpen Review

Other Reviews by me:

Why use a dog playpen?

Dogs are your best friends, your buddies and an important part of your family. Since, you will never think of confining your family/friends, you will not like to confine your pet dog too, right? And dog playpens do conjure up images of confinement and make you question their usability. Why use a dog playpen when your dog is very much part of the house, as he is part of your family. Wouldn’t a playpen seclude the dog, isolate him from the rest of the family and the house? Well, no. Playpen is as important for your dog as a crib is important for an infant. Let us see how.


Many owners buy a playpen as an afterthought. When their new member of the family poops or pees in undesirable places they buy a playpen to keep the mess contained. Bringing in a playpen like this gives a very wrong message to your pet. It will make him associate the playpen with punishment. He will then try to relieve himself in the house without you seeing him do so. In order to ensure that your pet has positive feelings for the playpen and views it as a happy place, it is imperative that you start using it from day 1. This will help him potty train much faster.


You might be wondering that once my pup is potty trained then why use a dog playpen afterwards?

Continuing with our example of the crib, when an infant starts rolling over, the cribs panels prevent him from falling off from his bed when he rolls over in his sleep. A crib’s panels are strong enough to hold the baby’s weight in case he rolls over on his side.

Similarly, a playpen will help keep your pup out of harm’s way and prevent accidents. Pups are curious by nature and like to poke their nose at each and everything. They like to chew wires, wooden/plastic furniture, eat inedible things and so on. The list is endless and each dog owner will have something new to add to it.

Since, you will not be available all the time to keep an eye on him (there are household chores, office work, running errands); inadvertently your pup is bound to get himself entangled in a sticky and unsafe situation. And as we all know that prevention is better than cure, installing a playpen in your home even before your pup arrives is a great way of making your home safe for your pet.

Outdoor freedom

Indoors is fine, but why use a dog playpen outside? It is true that you take your dog out into the yard or garden to given more freedom to him to play around. But what if, your yard does not have a fence around it? Or what if your dog takes a sudden liking to your well-kept garden and starts digging in it? In such situations, playpens provide the right balance between freedom and discipline. Playpen will give ample area for your pet to play while you can do your gardening work in peace.

More opportunities to participate in family outings

When you go for family outings like camping and hiking with your pet, being on a leash the whole time is certainly not your dog’s idea of fun and enjoyment. Use a portable dog playpen instead, to secure a little area outside your tent. You can even add more panels to make the playpen bigger. This way you will also have enough space to put some chairs inside and sit and relax with your dog.

In short, using a playpen keeps your pet safe and happy, without taking away his freedom. It also gives you peace of mind knowing that your dog is not chewing your expensive cushion when you are not around!

How to clean dog playpen?

A pet dog might have to spend a considerable amount of his day time in a playpen depending upon his pet parent’s schedule. He might be there when his owners are out running errands or finishing up their household chores. The duration of his stay in a playpen can be a couple of hours per day to a maximum of 8 hours (if his pet parents are working). A playpen thus becomes a home inside a home for your furry friend. Hence, like any other part of the house, the playpen will also require regular cleaning to keep the home environment hygienic and healthy for your pet and you. In this section, we will give you tips on how to clean dog playpen and advise you on what all cleaning agents are safe for your pet.

Steps to clean a dog playpen

  1. Remove the contents of the playpen and clean them separately

A dog playpen generally contains a crate, pet’s bedding, blankets, food and water bowls, toys and maybe puppy pads depending upon the pet’s level of potty training. Take them each out and clean them separately. You can wash the bedding and blankets in a washing machine if they are not too large.

Wash your pet’s toys and bowls with soap and water and wipe them dry with a cloth or paper napkin.

Dispose used puppy pads.

  1. Choose an area where you want to clean the playpen

Something that might bother you is how to clean dog playpen if you live in an apartment? Ideally a garden or yard gives you ample space to clean a playpen properly. But if you live in an apartment you can use your kitchen or bathroom area for cleaning purpose. The area should have tile floor and proper drainage.

  1. Clean the playpen

How to clean dog playpen will depend upon its size and material. Firstly, if the playpen is plastic or wire then you can take it outside (if you have access to a yard) and hose it down. Let it stay out in the sun to dry completely. If you are washing it in the bathroom, then after washing put the playpen in a room with ample ventilation so that it dries out properly. For a fabric playpen, use warm water and detergent to clean it thoroughly. If you have a small size playpen then you can even wash it in a sink or bathtub.

  1. Using the right cleaning agent

Various cleaning agents contain chemicals that might harm your dog. So, how to clean dog playpen if want to avoid using such cleaning products? Firstly, try and find cleaning products that are approved by the ASPCA animal poison control unit and use them. Otherwise, you can also make your own home made cleaning agents using vinegar, baking soda and so on. Since dogs have a powerful sense of smell it will be better to use non-perfumed cleaning agents. A strong perfume scent might deter your dog from enjoying his playpen.

  1. Drying the playpen

It is vital that you dry out the playpen completely before setting it up again. Especially for fabric playpens, make sure that thick areas like pockets are completely dry from inside as well. This helps prevent odors and mildew formation. If necessary use a dryer to completely dry the playpen.

For wire or plastic playpen, as soon as you wash them, dry them with a towel or paper napkin before putting them out in the sun to prevent corrosion.

  1. Cleaning with a broom or vacuum cleaner

Before placing the playpen at its regular location, clean the area with a broom or vacuum cleaner. If possible mop the floor with some disinfectant.

A thorough cleaning like we have detailed here will be required once every two weeks only, depending upon the use of the playpen and level of training of your dog. A regular cleaning with a broom/vacuum cleaner should anyways be done whenever you are cleaning the rest of the house.

Dog playpen ideas

Setting up a playpen indoors or outdoors for busy pet parents is a must if they want their pets to get sufficient exercise in the safest manner possible. You can either buy a readymade playpen or make one for your pet. In this section we will tell you about various dog playpen ideas that you can use for your energetic ball of fur.

How to set up a dog playpen

You can set up the playpen in the following ways depending upon the location, size and shape of the playpen. Some dog playpen ideas include:

  • Indoor dog playpen setup will include setting the playpen in a room, hall or kitchen. It can also include using the playpen panels to fence off a particular area like the stairs or kitchen.
  • Outdoor playpen setup will include setting up the playpen in some shaded portion of the yard or garden. Use stakes when you set up the playpen outdoors. This will ensure that the playpen stands without toppling over.
  • Using playpen while travelling will involve dismantling the playpen and storing it properly. Most of the readymade playpens today are portable and an ideal choice for travelling.

Things to put inside a playpen

Using the playpen along with a crate is a good dog playpen idea that will create an ideal play area for your pet. Other than the crate, you can put the following things inside the playpen:

  • Dog bedding or blankets
  • Toys
  • Food and water bowls
  • Puppy pads

Playpen safety tips

Whichever dog playpen idea you implement make sure to follow the given below safety tips. This will ensure that your dog does not get hurt while playing inside the playpen alone.

  • Do not use a playpen if your dog suffers from separation anxiety, is aggressive or is an escape artist. He will try to break free from the confinement and might hurt himself in the process.
  • The size of the playpen should be appropriate for your dog’s breed, weight and height.
  • Ensure there are no sharp edges in the playpen that might hurt your pet.
  • The crate door, food and water bowls, puppy pad should be kept anchored so that your pet does not disturb their positions.
  • While using the playpen outdoors, keep it covered to keep your pet safe from other animals and birds.
  • Ensure that your pet has played with the toys in your presence, before you leave them alone with your pet in the playpen.