Best Dog Pen Products Reviewed
by Tudor Nikolas on Sep 17, 2023.
Getting a dog pen for your pup is not at all a new concept. As a dog behaviourist and having worked with a vet before, I have noticed an increase in their popularity.
Part of this change in trend could be the increasing humanization of pets in the last two years. However, other factors are at play as well. A good play pen should create a safe place for your dog or puppy when they're kept indoors.
What is a dog pen?
Also known as a dog playpen, they are essentially an enclosure for your pet. Most are made from a see through mesh or metal. They could also be made from plastic, wood or other materials.
Your dog can play, rest, and stay safe in their play pen, whether indoors or outdoors. They come in various sizes, materials, and configurations, tailored to fit dogs of all breeds and ages.
Puppy pens are designed specifically for younger dogs, offering a secure place for them to explore and play without getting into mischief. These tend to be shorter than the ones for adult dogs and are more appropriate for smaller spaces.
Some behaviourists will tell you to use pens for potty training in puppies, but the effectiveness of this will vary.
Benefits of using a playpen at home
Keeping a constant eye on your dog can be exhausting. Especially when working from home.
When you're out, CCTV cameras can help you monitor your dog. But an enclosed play pen can give you peace of mind that they can't venture anywhere dangerous.
As mentioned about, some vets or dog trainers will advocate using puppy pens for potty training.
This doesn't always work well. It might work in the short term, but you could also be conditioning your dog to only about peeing or pooping when inside the pen.
Similar to the safety aspect, whether you're attending a meeting, cooking, or doing household work, there are moments when you can't give your puppy your undivided attention. That's where dog play pens come in handy. They offer a safe haven. Your doggy can play, nap or just relax in this safe environment. It also gives you peace of mind knowing they're safe, which we all know is invaluable.
Some dog pens are portable so you can take them with you on your trips. This allows your puppy to have a familiar space wherever you go.
This could be especially important if your dog suffers from anxiety. It's comforting for them to have something familiar. Similar to how dogs may appreciate familiar toys over new ones.
So with the background out of the way, let's deep right into our top play pen choices.
Best Dog Pen for Indoor Spaces
The best indoor dog pen choice goes to Lords & Labradors. Their 80cm high gold dog play pen is an ideal choice for all distinguished pups.
The pen is made from a sturdy metallic frame construction and the golden look helps it blend in to a variety of home environments.
It also looks of very high quality, with a price of £129.99 which reflects this. That's not cheap.
I'm no interior designer, but if you're going to buy a play pen, you better ensure it fits in nicely. As you can see from the picture, the golden colour helps it blend in especially agains whites and wooden flooring.
This pen also gives your dog plenty of space inside. The total diameter is 4.56m. This is made up from 6 panels, each with a length of 76cm.
The diameter could in fact be extended further if you use one of the room walls as part of the enclosure.
If you have a cage as well, there's plenty of space to fit it inside.
The door latches securely like this:
Your dog just has to jump over a little step and it can get in and out of the pen quite easily.
You also have flexibility as to how to configure the pen space.
This can be around an object, such as in the picture with the cage in the middle, or arranged in a square or rectangular shape.
You're free to configure it in different ways depending on your needs and what fits best inside your house.
This particular pen also comes in two other colours: Black or Grey, if you think the others would fit into your room better.
If you go for the natural Grey one, you will save £10 as it's only £119.99
To buy this play pen, visit the Lords & Labradors website.
Best Outdoor Dog Pen for Large Dogs
In the outdoor play pen section, we have two suggestions. One is taller, and heavy duty for larger dogs, and the other one is more suitable for smaller dogs.
Ellie-Bo Heavy Duty Pen
The Ellie-Bo Dog Pen is a 120cm High Modular 8 panel pen that is ideal for keeping your dog safe outside.
It's actually much taller than the Lords & Labradors indoor dog pen (76cm vs 120cm). This makes it suitable for large or extra large dogs. You can either keep one or several smaller dogs as you can see there is plenty of space inside.
Its modular build means that you can use all eight or much fewer panels. The bigger the pen space for your dog the better of course, but that's also limited by your garden size.
This one is priced at £159.55 and is available from Amazon.
Need something bigger?
That's fine, because you can also buy 2-panel extension panels separately. You could technically make this outdoor dog pen enclosure as big as you want.
Best Outdoor Dog Pen for Small and Medium Dogs
Yaheetech 8 Panel Play Pen
As an alternative for smaller dogs, the Yaheetech 8 Panel Dog Play Pen is ideal.
While it comes in a default 8 panel configuration, the size of the panels can vary from 60cm to 100cm tall.
What we would say is that 60cm is usually enough for small dogs e.g. toy poodles. However, if you have anything bigger, it's best to go for one of the taller panel options.
This one is also modular, so you can add or remove panels as needed.
The 8 panel dog pen costs £59.99 on Amazon. You can even buy a 24 panel one for £169.99.
Best Wooden Dog Pen
The Lords & Labradors Wooden Puppy Play Pen
For a bit of extra character in your home, consider a wooden dog pen.
Our top pick in this category has to be the Lords & Labradors Wooden Puppy Play Pen.
This is a play pen with wooden frame available in grey or white.
The total length when all 6 panels are connected is 3.69m.
Each panel length is 61.5cm and height of 80.5cm.
According to Lords & Labradors, this dog pen is suitable for dogs up to 20kg.
The price is £129.99 and you can buy it directly from Lords & Labradors.
Best Puppy Pen
As you'd expect, adult dog pens and puppy pens can be interchangeable.
We've already picked the best pen for a dog.
The award went to the Lords & Labradors Golden pen for indoor spaces.
In our opinion, this one is also the best pen for a puppy.
Well, it looks good, it's great quality, very versatile and it's high enough to stop a puppy from jumping over the top.
Just as a reminder, this is what our top pick looks like:
It costs £129.99 and you can buy it from them directly. It's not the cheapest puppy pen that you can get. But in our opinion it's worth the price.
Tips for choosing the right pen for your dog
Here are four tips to keep at the back of your mind when choosing a dog pen:
- Size Matters: Always search for pens with the end user in mind. Is it for a large Labrador, a small toy poodle or a puppy Bernese mountain dog? The latter is likely to outgrow a small play pen so it's best to go for a larger size. It would save you money if you didn't have to change the play pen once they grow to full adult size!
- Material Choice: Metal is always a good choice, especially for chewers. Wood is good if you think this would fit the best with your room decor. For portability, fabric or mesh might be best.
- Location: If you're using the pen outdoors, ensure it's weather-resistant. For example a wooden pen wouldn't really be suitable for using outside.
- Safety First: Ensure your pen is of good quality before you buy it. After you assemble it, also check that it doesn't have sharp edges or parts that a dog could swallow.