You love your dog, but that doesn’t mean you trust him. From jumping on couches to scuffing up floors and licking plates clean, it’s hard to keep pets under control. But, in the dead of winter, summer, or a rainstorm, it’s not realistic to send your pup outside to play. With an indoor playpen, your dog has space to roam, play, eat, and sleep (and for those times when you need a crate, check out our reviews of the best small dog crates and the best large dog crates.)
The best dog and puppy indoor playpens are versatile, offering attachments, removable doors, and lightweight, durable materials. We reviewed dozens of dog and puppy indoor playpens to identify the best of the best. From quality to portability, size, and cost, these trusted, top-notch playpens will help you keep your sanity and keep your puppy happy.
Our top pick, the MidWest Homes for Pets Foldable Metal Exercise Pen, stands out as a clear winner with its versatility and durability.
The 5 Top-Rated Dog and Puppy Indoor Playpens
|MidWest Homes for Pets Foldable Metal Exercise Pen / Pet Playpen
|BestPet Metal Wire Playpen
|Best Budget Buy
|IRIS 24″ 4-Panel Pet Playpen
|Best Large Playpen
|BestPet Heavy Duty Playpen
|Best Portable Dog Playpen
|Unleashed Pets Portable Foldable Pet Playpen
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: MidWest Homes for Pets Foldable Metal Exercise Pen / Pet Playpen
Available in five configurations, the MidWest Homes for Pets Foldable Metal Exercise Pen /Pet Playpen offers a variety of sizes for dog breeds from 26 to 40 pounds. Its lightweight metal makes the playpen simple to move around, set up, and tear down. Consumers love the playpen for its versatility, using it as an extension to a dog crate, a small fence, or an area for a puppy for run and play.
With a smooth coating over the metal structure, the MidWest Homes playpen is safe for indoor or outdoor use and won’t scuff up floors or furniture.
MidWest Homes Playpen Key Features:
- Ground anchors for outdoor use
- Available in multiple sizes (24″ – 48″ tall, 16 square feet)
- 1-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Easy setup
Our Runner Up Pick: BestPet Metal Wire Playpen
The BestPet Metal Wire Playpen stands at an ideal height and is both sturdy and safe for small to large dogs and puppies. At just $30, it’s not a budget-breaker, and it’s easy to set up and take down – meaning it’s convenient if you need to take it along to the beach, the park, or even a friend’s or family member’s house for the day. Coated with an ultra-durable coating to reduce rusting, the BestPet Metal Wire Playpen is meant to last.
Each panel is 24″ wide by 30″ high, and it can be combined with additional playpens to create a larger play space for your dog – a big selling point if you have multiple dogs who need a spacious play area. It’s sturdy enough that you don’t need to worry about your pup breaking free, but easy to tear down for portability.
BestPet Metal Wire Playpen Key Features:
- Easy assembly
- Connect multiple playpens to make space larger
- Multiple configurations
- Easy attachable to a dog crate
- Folds flat for storage and travel
- Available in black, blue, pink, and zinc
Best Budget Pick: IRIS 24″ 4-Panel Pet Playpen
Use the IRIS 24″ 4-Panel Pet Playpen to train your new puppy, or purchase add-ons to create a spacious exercise pen for your full-grown dog. With rubber stoppers at the bottom of the panels, the IRIS playpen won’t slide around when your puppy is playing, and the door provides safety latches so your dog will remain confined and safe inside as long as you need.
Available in shades of blue, pink, gray, and white, select the indoor playpen that complements your home. When your puppy outgrows the playpen, or it’s time to move, the panels fold flat for easy storage.
IRIS 4-Panel Pet Playpen Key Features:
- Indoor or outdoor use
- Add-ons available
- Durable plastic
- Available in different colors
- Made in the US
Best Large Dog Playpen: BestPet Heavy Duty Playpen
This customizable, easy-to-assemble indoor playpen can serve as a space for exercise or a gate for your dog. The BestPet Heavy Duty Playpen is a must-have product for a new puppy and can be configured or expanded to fit the needs of a larger dog.
When you’re not around to supervise your dog, the heavy-duty playpen ensures your puppy is safe and confined. With room for food and water bowls, as well as potty-pads, the BestPet Heavy Duty Playpen is worth the investment and will make the lives of dog owners a bit less chaotic.
BestPet Heavy Duty Playpen Key Features:
- Spacious, room for more than one pet
- Multiple configurations
- Easy assembly and tear-down
- Durable metal panels
Best Portable Dog Playpen: Unleashed Pets Portable Foldable Pet Playpen
The Unleashed Pets Portable Foldable Pet Playpen is available in medium and large sizes, including all the essentials you need to pick up and go anywhere with your dog. With mesh sides, your dog will be safe and visible in any climate, whether you’re spending the day at a park, traveling in a car, or completing chores at home.
The playpen is made of FDA Grade silicone, so it is safe for all pets.
Unleashed Pets Portable Foldable Pet Playpen Key Features:
- Includes collapsible travel bowl
- Includes carrying case
- Folds flat
- Comes with flooring and roof
- For both indoor or outdoor use
- No set-up required
Who Should Buy a Dog and Puppy Indoor Playpen
If you own a dog of any age, size, or breed, you’ll likely benefit from a playpen for your pet. While it may seem obtrusive to the design of your home, it is better than letting your puppy run wild. New dog owners, especially, should buy a dog and puppy indoor playpen to help with the training process. Instilling in your pet that there is a time and place to run free will make all the difference down the line. Plus, confining your new puppy to an indoor playpen means fewer accidents around the house and one central hub for all his food, water, toys, and bed.
People who are out of the house frequently should also invest in a dog or puppy indoor playpen. Whether you are at work all day, or simply lead a busy life, it will be reassuring to know that your dog isn’t wandering throughout the house and getting into trouble while you are away. They’re great for traveling: If you’re staying with friends or family and you don’t want your pup to get into serious trouble in someone else’s home, you can keep him safely contained in a dog or puppy indoor playpen. And if you travel with your dogs often, check out our list of the best dog car seats and car booster seats to keep your furry friend safe on the road.
Speaking of getting into trouble… It’s common for dog owners to crate their pets when they are acting out, or simply when owners are too busy to keep a close eye on them. However, just as many dog parents cannot stand the idea of putting their puppy in a crate for extended periods of time, so buying a dog and puppy indoor playpen is a perfect solution. Your dog has plenty of room to play, while you have peace of mind knowing you can leave the room.
Important Features to Consider
A dog and puppy indoor playpen should be easy to set up and take down while being durable enough to withstand a little rough-housing or relocating. Here’s what to consider when selecting an indoor playpen for your dog or puppy:
- Assembly. If you choose to buy an indoor playpen, you are likely looking to make your life easier—which is why assembling the product should be quick and painless. The top playpens should be ready for use within minutes, requiring little to no assembly.
- Portability. Transporting your dog’s playpen from one location to another may not be an important consideration for you. But, for the dog owners who travel frequently, portability is a must. Look for playpens that are easy to store and don’t take up much space when torn down. A lightweight playpen with a carrying case or straps is also beneficial when hauling it around.
- Weight. The ideal weight for your indoor dog playpen depends on the purpose of the product. If you are looking to contain a high energy dog who is at risk of escaping from the pen, you will want a playpen that is made of a heavier material, like metal. But, if all you need is a smaller, contained area for your new puppy to roam, then a lightweight synthetic material like plastic or mesh will do the trick.
- Size. You likely will not find a full-grown German Shepherd and a Yorkie puppy in the same kind of playpen. For smaller dogs, you have less to worry about since they will fit comfortably in most indoor playpens. But, for larger breeds, you may need to find a playpen that offers attachable panels to increase the overall size.
- Materials. Indoor dog and puppy playpens are typically made out of plastic, mesh, or metal, each serving different purposes. For a new puppy or a dog who does not tend to be destructive, you can try a plastic playpen. Small, calm-tempered dogs are well suited for mesh playpens since it is a less sturdy material. Metal playpens are usually the most durable out of the three materials, offering weighty panels that are made to withstand a dog’s rough-housing.
- Accessories. You may be satisfied with a plain playpen that doesn’t include all the bells and whistles. However, products with an emphasis on portability typically offer accessories like carrying cases, travel water bowls, and removable roofs and floors. Having these accessories on hand when you’re moving your indoor dog playpen from one location to another can be a gamechanger.
- Appearance. The way the playpen looks is especially important for indoor use since it will likely be in a common area of your house that is visible to everyone. Manufacturers keep this in mind when creating the product, offering consumers playpens in different colors and materials to best complement your interior design.
- Versatility. Can your indoor playpen convert into an outdoor fence, a gate outside a bedroom, or a giant exercise pen for your pet? Even if the product is advertised as an indoor puppy playpen, you might want to change the configuration or add additional panels to make the pen larger.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a dog and puppy indoor playpen?
A dog and puppy indoor playpen is an enclosed area, typically made out of plastic or metal panels, where a dog is free to move around and play but still be confined to a limited area.
What size exercise pen should I get for my dog?
The size of exercise pen will be determined by the dog’s age, weight, and size. If you have a puppy, look for an indoor playpen that has at least four panels. Try four to six-panel playpens for full-grown small breeds, six to eight-panel playpens for medium-sized dogs, and eight or more panel playpens for large breeds.
How do I keep a dog exercise pen from moving?
An indoor playpen should have rubber stoppers at the bottom of the panels to keep the playpen from sliding around. If it doesn’t, you can purchase some from Amazon.
If you decide to take your dog’s playpen outdoors, it can be staked into the ground with metal stakes.
Can I leave my puppy in a crate or playpen while I’m at work?
As a puppy, being left alone all day can be upsetting. However, it is a realistic part of being a dog owner for many people, so there are cautionary measures you can take to ensure your dog is as comfortable and well taken care of as possible while you’re away. Leave plenty of water in the crate or playpen, and layout puppy potty-pads in case your pet can’t hold it until you get home. Although it’s not ideal to crate your dog all day, your puppy will get used to it in time.