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Dogs can get into all sorts of trouble if they’re given free rein of the house or yard. They might knock over the trash and steal your breakfast off the kitchen table or they might run into the neighbor’s yard and terrorize their cat. But if you have a small dog or puppy, and you want to give them a little bit of space, then dog playpens might be the answer. They offer more freedom than a crate, but they still provide more a bit of control so you can keep an eye on their whereabouts. Here is our guide to dog playpens!
Dog Playpens Versus Crates
What are dog playpens? Dog playpens are structures with walls that provide your dog some freedom to move around and exercise — more so than a crate, as they are generally larger than crates. Playpens are wonderful for giving your dog more space than a crate. It should be noted that a playpen isn’t a replacement for daily walks. Your dog still needs regular outdoor exercise to maintain strong bones and muscles.
However, this extra space in a playpen is problematic if you are still house-training your dog, so crates are more desirable if you are still potty-training your pet. Your dog will associate the crate with where they eat and sleep and pups refuse to poop and pee where they snooze and dine. However, since playpens are so large, they poop, pee, eat and sleep in them.
How to Shop for a Dog Playpen
When shopping for a dog playpen, you need to consider whether it will be for indoor or outdoor use. You also need to take into account your dog’s size and strength. Here are three playpens we recommend:
- The ALEKO DK32X32 kennel can be used indoors or outdoors. It’s constructed in such a way that you can connect multiple playpens together to create one larger playpen. The ALEKO also easily disassembles and lays flat for compact storage.
- The A4Pet playpen has a zip top, making it perfect for dogs who tend to be escape artists. It’s lightweight and collapsible for easy carrying and storage. Lastly, it also has a waterproof floor, so it’s easy to clean if your pup has any accidents.
- The Pet Trex panel pen includes eight panels and ground anchors and corner stabilizers for extra strength. The playpen is adjustable and can be set up in multiple ways, depending on the size of your dog and the space where the pen will be.
How to Use Your Dog Playpen
Set up your playpen in an area that’s relatively free of furniture and other objects that you wouldn’t want ruined by your pup. We recommend yards, patios, bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms. While your dog is in the playpen, give them a bed, water bowl and some durable toys.
If your dog is getting bored in the pen, we recommend using automated toys to keep them busy. The Furbo dog camera allows you to see, talk to and toss treats to your pup even when you’re not in the same room. The Tether Tug is great for outdoor tug-of-war fun for energetic pooches. Lastly, the Hyperfetch throws tennis balls to your dog for you.