Having a puppy is so awesome but it could also be a lot of work. Why? Because it is your sole responsibility to raise him and that will surely take more than a few words and smiles. It will take a good investment to raise that baby. And one of those things you’ll be putting your money down for is a puppy playpen.
Are puppy playpens really that necessary? We’d say yes. But before we get into that, let’s answer the elephant in the room:
What are Puppy Playpens?
The idea behind puppy playpens is to provide a safe environment where your pup can play and learn how to behave himself in polite company. Puppy playpens give your dog a feeling of independence because when you put him in, you basically leave him to his own devices.
The thing is, the reason you’re thinking of getting a playpen for your dog is probably because you feel you won’t have all the time to look after him. And you don’t want him taking himself to places he shouldn’t be which always ends up with him in trouble. You want him safe.
If he was an older dog, he would be used to navigating his way around on his own without being a hazard to himself.
But as a puppy? He is new and inexperienced. So the playpen will not only give you some free time, it will also help your dog learn how to be his own dog and find his own way around.
Puppy playpens should not be confused for dog crates. Dog crates are typically covered on all sides while puppy playpens are usually without bottom and top covers.
Also, dog crates are not just used to house dogs, they could also be used to carry them. Puppy playpens, on the other hand, can never be used to carry dogs around.
Types of Puppy Playpens
There are many kinds of puppy playpens. They come with different special features, are made of different materials and basically just look different. However, when it comes down to it, there are basically two types of puppy playpens:
- Puppy Playpens For The Indoors: From the term used, we can understand that these puppy playpens are specially made to be used indoors. So this could be a feature in your sitting room, bedroom, or even your kitchen.
Because these playpens are not regularly exposed to the elements, they are made of “soft” materials like wood and canvas. Puppy playpens for the indoors are usually more about beauty than their counterparts.
- Puppy Playpens For The Outdoors: These are designed to be used outside. So if you want to putter around in the garden, swim in the pool or just collect some sun and you want your dog with you, you’ll need these.
Because these playpens will have a lot of contact with the elements, they are made of element withstanding materials like plastic and wire. They are more about functionality than their counterparts.
The Perfect Location For Puppy Playpens
There isn’t exactly a perfect place for puppy playpens. The best place is usually dependent on what kind of playpen it is, primarily. Then secondarily, the indoor playpen should be situated in a place where you and or the family usually are.
You don’t want to put your puppy in a playpen and leave him in a place where he will be devoid of interactions of any kind. You want him to be around people.
So Best Dog Guide gives us some factors to consider while thinking about the right place to set up the puppy playpen:
You want your puppy to be able to see what’s going on. You so do not want him feeling ostracized. At the same time, you want to be able to see him too.
So put the puppy playpen in a central location, basically where the family always congregates.
If yours is your living room, then the living room it is.
You will want to put the playpen in a place where there is enough space around. This is because, some things have to be inside the playpen to make it conducive for your pup.
He’ll need stuff like a sleeping mat, a water bowl, a food bowl and of course you can’t forget the toys. After all, he’ll be spending some time in there which will sometimes mean him sleeping, eating and generally getting himself entertained.
Also, you want your dog to have enough room to roam inside the pen without feeling caged in. So, yea, space.
You should know that size is of the essence. When we talk size we do not refer to width (we’ve discussed that under space). We refer to height.
The playpen you choose for your dog shouldn’t be so low that your pup easily crosses over it. It should also not be so high that your dog can’t see the world around him and begins to feel like an outcast.
So basically, choose a playpen that is appropriate for your dog’s height. You could also consider how fast he is going to grow too.
Dogs can easily get bored if they see the same things over and over again. So you should position your pup’s playpen in such a way that will a proper view of what’s going on outside.
It could be positioned close to a window. But definitely not close to the door to avoid pedestrian traffic obstruction.
Factors To Consider In Choosing The Right Puppy Playpens
Having discussed the factors to consider in deciding where to place your puppy’s playpen, let’s now discuss what to look out for in puppy playpens. Shall we?
Before you head out to get that playpen, ask yourself where you want to put it.
We’ve already discussed that there are puppy playpens for the indoors and the outdoors. So ask yourself, “What do I want?” If you’ve answered that question, you’re almost ready to go get your dog his playpen.
The reason you need to answer that question is that the different types of puppy playpens have special features to fit their preferred location.
For one, the outdoor kind usually has stakes that anchor it to the ground. Those stakes are useless if you guys are indoors. So, you see why you need to decide the kind you need?
Puppy playpens are made from different materials. There is wood, metal, plastic, and even mesh.
What you should do is weigh the upsides and downsides of each material against your needs and see which one works for you.
Metal is pretty heavy so you should only consider it if you aren’t going to be moving the pen so much. Plus they are usually quite pricey. However, they are quite suitable for rambunctious dogs.
Plastic has the potential for being chew toys for puppies, especially teething puppies. But there are just so many lovely designs that come with the plastic kind.
Plus plastic puppy playpens are usually adjustable. Which means that you can expand the pen to give your pup more space or even to accommodate more puppies.
The most popular is the mesh kind. They are basically inexpensive and lightweight. So they can be relocated to different places in the house.
This is also pretty important. Generally, pups should be OK in lightweight puppy playpens. However, some puppies are rambunctious.
If your pup is known to be a serious player and a heavy pusher, you should try something not so lightweight, like plastic or even metal.
On the other hand, if you’ll be moving the pen around quite frequently, you should consider getting something that’ll be easy for you to carry.
This is a no-brainer. At the end of the day, you can only buy what you can afford. If your budget is not so fat you need not fret. We are sure that there is an awesome puppy playpen that is fantastic for your budget. Don’t bother yourself.
Puppy Playpens Safety
Before you put your pup inside the playpen you’ve set up for him, Here are some safety measures to implement:
- Be sure that there are no stray parts sticking out anywhere. Nothing that could be a potential hazard. So be careful when you assemble. Cut what needs to be cut and knock-in what needs to be knocked in.
- Make sure that you cover any gaps. At least the gaps that are wide enough for a pup paw or head to pass through. If the holes are too tiny for a paw or head to get stuck in, you could just leave them. They could even be another source of proper ventilation.
Introducing Your Pup To His Playpen
Much like every other training, you’ll have to use a lot of positive reinforcement to get your pup in and get him to stay in. So get ready to bring in the treats and toys and basically everything he loves.
Initially, you might have to lure him into the pen with treats and toys and also reward him with same for entering into the pen. Eventually, he learns to associate staying in his playpen with enjoyment.
Sometimes, your dog might try to get out of the whole playpen thing by crying and whining but you have to be strong for both of you. Don’t cave, even if he’s giving you the eyes he’s so famous for.
Also, it is your duty to show him that you both will be alright even if he stays in his pen. That staying in his playpen will not drive a wedge in your relationship. He needs to know that you are always there (OK, let’s go with often).
Never use a playpen as a means of punishment. Using it as a means of punishment is not only detrimental to the playpen training process, it is also detrimental to your dog.
Punishment never solved anything. And using something that was meant for fun for punishment is just cruel.
Of course, you should know by now that you don’t take any step that will affect your dog without consulting your veterinarian. If he doesn’t have one yet, get him one.
Finding the right playpen for your dog will probably be one of the easiest things you have to do. Of course it is due in part to the information we’ve dished out. But it is also due to the fact that you love your pup and want what’s best for him.
Don’t forget to get him a vet (if he doesn’t have one already) and consult that vet before you go a-buying. You’ll make the right choice of puppy playpen. We are sure about it.