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According to the saying, cats are the curious ones. And yet, many dog owners will openly admit that their pups have a penchant for mischief. Dogs have a way of getting into trouble at the most inconvenient times and, for some dogs, turning your back for just a few minutes is long enough for them to wreak havoc on your home (and your patience). This is especially true for puppies, of course. An indoor dog or puppy pen could be the perfect solution.
Indoor dog pens are useful for corralling dogs for a short period of time without subjecting them to the confines of a crate (though crate training is an important tool). They’re the perfect solution for active dogs who don’t like to be tied down and for puppies that can’t be trusted with full run of the house. They give you peace of mind by limiting your dog’s ability to make trouble while also giving them some freedom.
Choosing the Right Pen
When it comes to indoor dog pens, there are many options out there and some models work best for certain types of dogs. Choosing the right dog pen can be surprisingly challenging!
Here are some things to consider when shopping for an indoor dog pen:
- Size of your dog. It should go without saying that the larger your dog is, the larger their pen needs to be. The idea is to give your dog space to play without getting into trouble.
- Your dog’s escape abilities. If your dog is a real Houdini, or prone to chewing, you might need to consider a more heavy-duty exercise pen with taller sides.
- Location of the pen. Some exercise pens are made for indoor use only, while some can move in and out. Do you want a dog exercise pen to use indoors, outdoors, or both?
- Portability and storage. When your dog isn’t using the dog pen, you want to be able to store it out of the way. It’s also a good idea to choose one that you can move easily.
- Level of adjustability. Some indoor dog pens pop up into a set shape and size while others can be adjusted by adding or removing panels.
- Type of materials. Dog pens come in metal, mesh, and plastic. Choose the right material based on your dog’s chewing tendencies and the desired durability of the pen.
- Ease of setup. Some indoor dog pens require more assembly than others, so consider how quick and easy it is to set up the pen before you buy.
Indoor dog pens come in all shapes and sizes with countless options to choose from. Fortunately, we’ve done the hard work for you! We’ve scoured countless reviews to bring you some of the best options on the market for different types of dog pens.
Our Favorite Indoor Dog Pens
Best All-Purpose Indoor Dog Pen:
These pet playpens are bestsellers, and it’s not hard to see why. Constructed of durable, heavy-duty molded plastic, the Iris Exercise Panel Playpen can be used both indoors or outdoors. It’s weather-resistant for use in the yard but has rubber feet to protect floors in your home.
The base model puppy pen comes with eight interlocking panels that you can position in different shapes to suit your pet’s needs. You can remove a panel or two for smaller space; or, as your puppy grows, you can increase the size of the pen with add-on panels (available for separate purchase). And at 34 inches high, this is one dog exercise pen that your dog won’t be able to jump out of!
Best Indoor Dog Pen for Large and Energetic Dogs:
This strong and secure dog exercise pen is made of metal fencing panels coated to prevent rust and corrosion. Each panel is 40 inches high, so your excitable large-breed puppy won’t be able to jump out. The secure gate makes it easy for you to get in and out of the pen without letting your dog escape.
Not only is this dog pen durably constructed, but it is also surprisingly simple to assemble. You don’t need any tools and you can arrange the panels in a variety of different shapes. When the pen is not in use, you can simply collapse it down for easy transport or storage.
BestPet Heavy Duty Pet Playpen
Rust-resistant, this sturdy playpen is well suited for larger breeds.
Best Basic Indoor Dog Pen:
A classic exercise pen, the MidWest Homes for Pets wire dog pen provides 16 square feet of enclosed space for your dog to relax or play. We like that the eight 2-foot-wide panels can be arranged in several configurations, including a divided space to keep two dogs together but separate.
In case you’re worried about your dog finding their way out, the double-latch gate is extra-secure. Plus, the pen comes in five different heights to accommodate dogs of all different sizes. With the step-through door, you don’t have to take the pen apart to let your dog in and out, or if you want to hop in for some playtime.
Best Soft-Sided Indoor Dog Pen:
If you need a lightweight, roomy, and portable playpen for your puppy, look no further. This soft-sided dog exercise pen is perfect for creating a safe play space on the go. It sets up in seconds and packs into an included travel tote to move from space to space. This portable dog exercise pen is best for small dogs and puppies.
The fabric is waterproof and durable, but too lightweight for heavy-duty chompers and runners. Online reviewers love the zip-off top and bottom panels: Zip off the bottom so your puppy can play in the grass, and zip on the top to keep them from jumping out. What more do you need?
Esk Collection Small Dog and Puppy Playpen
Waterproof and lightweight, this soft-sided pen packs up easily.
Best Portable Indoor Dog Pens:
Sturdy and durable, this high-quality exercise playpen is also portable. The simple tool-free assembly and handy carrying bag means you can set it up indoors as an open-topped dog crate or playroom, and then fold it up to take on the road.
Best Pop-Up Indoor Dog Pen:
This handy portable dog kennel sets up with the flick of a wrist. Just remove it from its carrying case and let it unfold. When it’s time to move to the next spot, simply fold it up and stash it. Pop-up playpens are great for camping, traveling, backyard barbecues, supervised playtime at the park, pretty much anywhere you want to keep your dog safe and enclosed.
As a bonus, this portable pop-up playpen comes with a collapsible bowl for water and food. Choose from three different sizes to accommodate your pup’s needs.
Ruff ‘n Ruffus Portable Foldable Pet Playpen and Carrying Case
Pop it up and down and take it anywhere you and your doggo go.
Best Convertible Indoor Dog Pen:
This all-in-one pet playpen is made up of four or six panels that click together. Use it as an exercise pen, or convert it to a freestanding pet gate and room divider. It’s made from water-resistant materials, so it transitions from indoors to outdoors in a snap.
When using this convertible playpen as a crate, you can use a floor mat or tray (sold separately) for padding and protection. Or, set it up as a gate to keep your dog out of off-limits spaces. It’s truly versatile!
Richell 3-in-1 Convertible Pet Pen
This attractive playpen converts into a pet gate, room divider, or crate.
Best Budget Indoor Dog Pen:
Available in five different sizes, this indoor dog pen is a great choice for puppies and adult dogs alike. The smallest size stands just 24 inches tall, a perfect choice for puppies and small breeds, while the largest is a full 48 inches. The pens all feature sturdy metal wire construction finished with a thick black electro-coat for long-lasting durability.
This indoor dog pen features an easy-access doorway that securely latches closed with double locks. This means that you can easily enter and exit the pen yourself without having to worry about your dog finding their way out. The pen can be assembled in a variety of configurations and comes with metal anchors if you choose to use it outdoors. Plus, it conveniently folds flat for storage and transport.
Frisco Indoor Dog Pet with Step-Through Door
Budget-friendly, this double-lock portable pen gets the job done.
Best Indoor Dog Pen for Puppies:
Puppies have a tendency to make a mess of things, even when simply playing. This puppy pen is the perfect solution for keeping your puppy (and their toys) contained. It features a sturdy design with skid-resistant pads to protect your flooring and a swinging door that allows your puppy to come and go, leaving toys where they belong (you also have the option to lock the door when needed).
The pen itself is made up of four panels, each 26 inches high so your puppy won’t be able to slip out. When you’re not using the pen, simply disconnect the panels and transport using the carrying strap.
Whether you’re looking for something to keep your dog confined for a short period of time or a simple way to contain puppy playtime, an indoor dog pen could be the perfect solution. To pick the perfect playpen for your dog, consider their size and temperament, as well as practical pen features like setup, durability, and portability.