7 Best Indoor Dog Playpens – Reviews & Buying Guide

Best Indoor Dog Playpens

The best indoor dog playpens aren’t easy to find. But if you keep your pooch indoors, these pens are a must-have product. You see, dogs are energetic beings. Even the timidest ones wouldn’t shy away from tearing the couch on a particularly energetic day. So, you’ll have to buy a home-friendly dog playpen for the little one where they can safely discharge their energy.

Dogs of all types need these pens. But do you know which puppies need them the most? Dogs that aren’t housebroken yet. Yes, these little pieces of trouble would go out of their way to tear up your favorite sock, step in their poo and then casually stroll down the carpet. Needless to say, indoor playpens for dogs are a godsend for all puppy owners.

What is an Indoor Dog Playpen?

An indoor dog playpen provides an enclosed space for dogs to play safely. With these pens, you can confine your dog within a set boundary and continue with your daily chores without worrying about your pet. It’s also incredibly useful for dog owners that have to leave their dog behind when they go to work or run to the grocery store.

An indoor pet playpen usually doesn’t offer much space. In fact, most of them only provide 8-16 square feet of area for your dog. Now, that isn’t too small for most dogs, but it’s not particularly roomy as well. The major reason for keeping these pens small is to have them adjust indoors. Theoretically, it would be great to have larger indoor playpens, but the fact of the matter is that they won’t fit indoors.

Generally, indoor and outdoor dog playpens are different from each other and have slightly different uses as well. An outdoor dog enclosure provides a cordoned-off space for dogs to play in the backyard. Needless to say, it’s a lot bigger than its indoor counterpart. But it’s also a lot sturdier and has the ability to withstand the elements.

7 Best Indoor Dog Playpens

I know what you’re thinking… you want me to get on with the reviews for these best indoor pens. So, in this section, I’ll be going over the top options in the market.

We checked out a number of products in this space before deciding on these that work best. For assembling this list, we considered all the factors mentioned above, including size durability, material, and portability.

So, here are the best indoor playpens for dogs.

1. Parkland Foldable Indoor Playpen for Dogs

The Parkland foldable pen is one of the simplest, yet high-quality playpens in the market. And that’s the reason behind its immense popularity and success. Although most dog owners use it indoors, Parkland markets it for both indoor and outdoor use. What’s more, it’s extremely lightweight and portable. This would allow you to transport your pup wherever you want. But not just that, this playpen also comes with a removable top. You can place the zippered top for some added shade or leave it open for dogs that get anxious in closed spaces.

Another great feature of this pen is that it requires no assembly. You can simply fold it down after use and carry it around with you on camping trips. Parkland manufactures this sturdy playpen for dogs of all sizes with the smallest size measuring 27” L x 27” W x 17” H while the measurements for the large variant are 48” L x 48” W x 24” H. Overall, customer reviews for this indoor dog playpen are rather satisfactory.

2. Ruff ‘n Ruffus Portable Nylon Playpen

It’s a no-brainer why Ruff ‘n Ruffus ranks high on our list. With a spacious 8-panel design, it’s easily one of the best indoor dog playpens out there. The manufacturer uses 600D Nylon in this pen, making it a sturdy option. It has a zippered and removable top. This would allow you to cover the top and provide extra shade when you take Fido outdoors. Not to mention, it also comes with a zippered door that provides easy access for your dog. Besides that, it’s also waterproof. That’s especially useful for dogs that haven’t gone through the housebreaking phase yet.

But that’s not all; the Ruff ‘n Ruffus playpen also comes with a free collapsible bowl and a carrying bag. When it comes to sturdiness, no playpen compares to this one. Customers report that even if their puppies prop themselves against the sides, the playpen doesn’t collapse.

3. IRIS Exercise Playpen

Number 3 on our list is the Iris Exercise Panel. Its sturdy structure is made with industrial-grade plastic which allows it to stand tall for years on end. Its 8-panel design is extremely durable with full-length rods joining the latches. But that’s not all, the Iris Exercise Panel comes with a hinged door that provides easy access to your pet. With the whole unit set up, your pooch would get 63.0 x 63.0 x 34.3 Inches of space. However, if that’s not enough, Iris also has a larger variant of this playpen that comes with 2 added panels.

Does your dog’s cage slip around? If you’re nodding, then Iris has just the thing for you. This indoor dog playpen comes with non-skid rubber feet that reduce slipping. Not to mention, it affords 21 square feet of area for your pooch to play in; a lot more than the average indoor dog playpen.

Customers are loving the Iris Playpen and are quite happy with it. However, some suggested that for extra-energetic dogs, the playpen might need a covered top. Although this model doesn’t come with one, you can fashion one yourself after a quick trip to the hardware store.

4. Midwest Foldable Metal Playpen

The major problem with a lot of metal playpens is that they don’t have a top. And with small panels, it’s easier for dogs to escape out of the pen. But Midwest seems to have found a way around this. They sell this foldable pet pen in a variety of sizes ranging from 24-inch ones to 48 inches. That’s huge if you compare it to other pet pens and that’s exactly why you can easily use this as an outdoor playpen. As if that wasn’t enough, Midwest added a double latch to the gate to ensure Fido remains inside. Besides that, it also comes with a corner stabilizer for each panel. This would allow you to set this exercise pen in a myriad of shapes and styles. But it gets better: with an e-coat finish, this pen is stronger and more resilient against rust.

As you must have imagined, Midwest is a fantastic option for dog owners. But here’s the kicker: it comes with a 1-year official manufacturer warranty. So, there’s really no risk with this purchase. With that said, the only downside to this playpen is that it doesn’t come in a smaller size. That sounds ridiculous, but the fact of the matter is that not everyone has enough space to place a 24-inch panel playpen indoors.

5. ESK COLLECTION Indoor Playpen

Right behind the sturdy Midwest Playpen is ESK Collection’s stylish puppy pen with a covered top. It provides enough space for your mutt to have his toys and litter box inside, without making it too crowded. There are lots of things to love about this playpen, one being its breathable 600D Oxford cloth mesh. This mesh allows maximum airflow to avoid suffocation. Not to mention, you’ll get to see your dog through the mesh so you can keep an eye on him. Previously, the ESK Collection indoor playpen for dogs used to come with a removable top that used velcro tape. However, that didn’t prove to be useful since dogs would be able to escape it. Now, it comes with a durable zipper which is a much better choice.

There are loads of features that we all love about this playpen. But you know the best part? It comes with a no-questions-asked, 100% money-back guarantee. So, if you don’t like the product, you can just send it back without any issues. What’s more, it also has cute storage compartments on the side where you can keep your dog’s stuff.

6. EliteField 2-Door Soft Playpen

With a variety of panel sizes ranging from 30” by 30” to 62” by 62”, the EliteField Playpen is easily one of the most spacious ones out there. It requires absolutely no assembling and can pop open and fold down in seconds. This will potentially save you from lots of hassle and hard work. In addition, this pet playpen comes with 2 zippered doors; a feature that no other pen on this list has. You’ll also get 2 accessory pockets and a water bottle pocket for your pooch. But there’s more: if you’re looking for an indoor dog playpen with a floor, then there’s really no better option than EliteField. Why? Because it comes with a completely washable floor mat. So, feel free to buy this for a pooch that isn’t potty trained yet.

This soft side playpen comes with a 2-year money-back guarantee, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go with it. Not to mention, when folded flat, it stands only 3” tall. So, you can easily fit it under the bed or couch or put it in the cupboard.

7. BestPet Dog Playpen

Last but not least, we have the BestPet playpen. With a regular 8-panel design, it comes in 3 different heights including 24”, 32”, and 40”. It provides enough space for medium-sized dogs and works great for small ones as well. What’s more, BestPet mentions in their Amazon listing that this playpen can easily set up in the shape of an octagon, rectangle or square. If durability is what you’re looking for, then you’d be glad to know that this playpen uses heavy-duty, rust-resistant metal in its construction.

Interestingly, this playpen requires no tools to set up. All you need to do is connect the panels with rods and you’ll be done. To store, just fold the pen down and put it away. Using an indoor dog playpen can’t be easier than that!

How to Choose the Right Indoor Dog Playpen

I’ll have to lay it on you; choosing the right dog indoor playpen can be quite technical. But fortunately for you, we’re going to explain every factor that you need to consider while making a purchase. So, let’s dive right into it.

best indoor dog playpens
Think about safety and durability when choosing an indoor dog pen.

Size

There’s no right or wrong here and which size is best for you depends on you and your dog. Generally, it’s harder to find indoor playpens for large breeds like the Great Dane or the Afghan Hound. So, the smaller your pooch, the easier it would be to find an indoor playpen to safely contain them.

If you have a small or medium-sized dog, you should choose the size based on the available space that you have indoors. Make sure you’ve planned exactly where the indoor playpen would go even before purchasing it. This would help you understand the perfect size and shape for yourself. Not to mention, by knowing where the dog exercise pen (or playpen) would go, you’ll be able to choose the right color based on your decor, too!

As mentioned before, indoor playpens usually afford 8-16 square feet of space for your pooch. So, if your preferred playpen lies in that range, I’d say go for it!

Durability

One of the biggest problems with indoor pens is that they’re not sturdy enough. However, it’s absolutely vital for them to hold up against incessant pawing and biting from dogs. You see, chances are that your pooch is a natural escape artist. In order to get out of his playpen, he’ll try every tactic you could think of.

In order to escape, many dogs easily tear through the pen. Now, it’s certainly not as dangerous since your pooch is still indoors. However, I’m sure no one wants an indoor dog playpen that needs to be replaced every other month.

With that in mind, make sure you’re buying a pen that can withstand some rough play. We’re talking about chewing, pawing, licking or anything else you’d expect a stubborn dog to do.

Now, how would you know your mutt’s indoor playpen is durable? Well, a durable dog playpen would have a heavy mesh instead of a flimsy one and would have strong support on its sidewalls. The material used in the playpen would also go a long way in determining how durable it is, which brings us to our next section…

Material

By far, the most common type of material used in dog playpens (especially foldable ones) is Nylon. That’s because it’s immensely sturdy and is perfect for creating waterproof pens.

But not all Nylon is created equal. Whenever buying a Nylon playpen, make sure you notice its Denier rating. Denier is basically the thickness of the Nylon. Now, the higher the Denier rating, the thicker and sturdier your indoor playpen would be. With that said, you’ll usually find playpens with a Denier rating of 500D to 1200D.

Portability

Believe me when I say: a portable playpen for your dog can make life that much easier. Why? Because none of us really have the time to disassemble and reassemble a playpen whenever we decide to change its location.

Portability means freedom. It means you can place it in front of the wide-open door in the summer to expose your pooch to some wind gusts. In the winters, you can place it close to the cozy, warm fireplace. When making dinner, you can bring the pen along with you to keep an eye on your dog while you cook. All of this would not be possible if the playpen of your choice isn’t portable.

Usually, all Nylon playpens are portable. They are often collapsible, allowing you to fold them flat and carry them along. When you’re ready to use them, just pop them open and place Fido inside.

Easy to Assemble

I agree, most of us won’t touch the toolbox even with a 10-foot pole. And the last thing we want to do is spend our weekends assembling an indoor playpen. Good news: you don’t need to.

Many playpens don’t need any sort of assembling at all. Just pull them out of the package and pop them open for use. This is especially true for playpens made of fabric.

For the ones that don’t come assembled, conduct prior research on exactly how to assemble them.

dog exercise pen definition

Indoor Dog Playpens FAQ

In our pursuit of understanding dog owners that need an indoor playpen, we found that there are a few very typical questions that they ask. So, we thought we’ll have a crack at each of them in this section. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about dog indoor playpens.

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Check out our other buying guide – The Best Dog Soft Crates

When to use an indoor dog playpen?

Use an indoor dog playpen when you want to provide your dog with a safe, cordoned-off space to play. Dog owners often buy indoor playpens for dogs so they can keep an eye on them while they go about their daily chores. They also use these playpens for keeping their dogs confined to a specific part of the house while they are out.

There’s really no specific time that I could tell you for using an indoor playpen for your mutt. When to use it is completely up to you. However, most dog owners use an indoor playpen to provide Fido with a safe space to play while they go about their daily tasks and chores.

How to get a dog used to an indoor playpen?

To get a dog used to its indoor playpen, put it inside for an hour every day. Don’t leave your dog inside for too long as this might cause your dog to worry. Some dogs start to feel scared in confined spaces while others feel separation anxiety from their owners. So, make sure you give your dog enough time and space to get used to an indoor dog playpen.

Most dogs would try their best to get out of their playpen. Now, that’s not because they don’t like it. But most dogs enjoy this challenge of trying to get out of their playpen. So, if that’s your pooch, there’s absolutely no reason to worry. Just make sure you’re always one step ahead and leave no easy way for your dog to escape.

What size do I need for my dog indoor playpen?

The size you need for your indoor dog playpen depends on the size of your dog. In particular, measure your dog’s height and compare it with the height of your playpen. Your dog shouldn’t be able to jump out of its pen at any cost.

Once a dog learns to jump out of its pen, there’s no way back. The only method to stop such a dog would be to cover the top of your indoor playpen. Now, not every playpen comes with a covered top and if you’re buying one, make sure it’s tall enough to keep your dog inside. Usually, indoor pet playpens come in sizes ranging from 20” to 70”. So, it’s up to you to see what works for your dog.

Note: While choosing the right size for the playpen, do consider your dog’s expected growth over time.

Are playpens better for puppies than crate?

Playpens are not better for puppies than crates. Since both these items are used for separate reasons, it won’t be right to compare them. Dog owners use playpens to provide their pups with a safe space to play.

On the other hand, they use crates to provide a soft, cuddly space for their puppies. In addition, these crates make puppies feel secure while the bedding allows them to burrow; an activity that they love. On the other hand, playpens are for exercise and improve body metabolism and growth.

So, it’s safe to say that both these items have a separate type of use. In fact, you can use both of them in conjugation for better results.

Can I use an indoor dog playpen outside?

No, you can not use an indoor dog playpen outdoors. Indoor pens aren’t made with sturdy-enough materials to withstand the elements. They aren’t rust or water-proof which is a primary factor for outdoor playpens. Also, the materials used in their manufacturing would not hold up against all types of weather.

Many manufacturers advertise their indoor dog playpens for outdoor use as well. If that is the case, then feel free to use them in the backyard. But if the manufacturer explicitly mentions that the playpen should be used indoors only, then you should adhere to the instructions.

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