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Pet Exercise Pen vs. Crate: Which Is Right for Your Dog?

Dog Dog Crates Exercise Pens

Exercise Pen vs Crates

Exercise is a crucial element when it comes to keeping our dogs healthy and energetic over the course of their lives. 

You probably already plan to incorporate exercise into your dog's daily routine, but may not know if a dog exercise pen or a crate would be better for achieving your dog's exercise goals. 

Below, we've broken down the difference between these two options so that you can decide if a dog exercise playpen or crate is right for you, and provided helpful tips on how to make sure your dog is getting the exercise he or she needs. 

Using a Pet Exercise Pen

What It Is

A pet exercise pen is one product that can help you make sure your dog is getting the necessary exercise. 

A dog exercise pen is basically a sturdy, portable fence that you can use either inside your house or outside in your yard. They also fold flat for compact and easy storage.

They are typically made of heavy duty metal wire or plastic, and most of them come with panels that you can assemble into the shape and size that you want, which makes them a great option for accommodating your dog throughout his life as he grows. 

The Pros

Because dog pens usually come with panels that you join together yourself, you can change the size of them depending on your need, which makes them a great option for accommodating your dog throughout his life. 

When your dog is smaller and still a puppy, you can keep the area of the pen smaller, and then assemble it to be larger as your dog grows.

A metal exercise pen is also a good option because there is plenty of room for a dog's food and water bowls, as well as any toys you may want your dog to have. With all of these items within reach, your dog will be able to comfortably spend a long period of time within the pen's play area. 

A dog playpen also allows you to be more hands-off and still know that your dog is getting some exercise.

If you decide to assemble the dog pen indoors, utilize the ground anchors to secure it. You can spend time doing other activities or completing chores knowing that your dog is safe, secure in one location, and is still able to roam freely and get exercise. 

Thanks to manufacturers like Midwest Homes for Pets, these crates come at a very reasonable cost, especially examples like the 100 - 29 series 8 panel pet pen. Another good option comes from Precision Pet.

The Cons

There are also some drawbacks to using a dog playpen. 

These pet pens are designed to be larger than crates, and because of this, they are not a good substitute for crates when it comes to training or housebreaking your dog. 

Dogs will not associate a pet playpen as the one place where they eat or sleep, and because of this, they will not have the same instinct to avoid soiling that area. 

Also, depending on the size and personality of your dog, the walls of a pet pen may eventually be too low to keep your dog safely enclosed. If your dog reaches a point where he can or will want to climb over the walls, then the dog playpen will not be effective. 

Using a Crate

What It Is

Unlike a pet playpen, a metal wire crate is a smaller, sturdy, more enclosed structure that is meant to be used in a consistent place within your home. It can be of heavy duty wire or plastic but is typically only meant for indoor use.  It has a quick, pop up assembly, while still allowing being collapsible when you want convenient storage.

Like an exercise playpen, it can also fold away for easy storage.

Crates come in many different sizes and materials that can be tailored to the breed of your dog whether it's a small dog such as a pug or for larger dogs such as a mastiff

The Pros

Dog crates can be an essential tool when it comes to training and housebreaking your new puppy. 

When used correctly, crates are meant to keep your pet dog safe in a place that your dog associates as belonging specifically to them. It is a place where your dog can know to go if he or she is feeling overwhelmed or scared by something happening in your house, such as an unexpected noise or new people.

Because a crate sets up a confined space for your dog, it is an effective way to train them to abide by a number of house rules and to help them learn to not go to the bathroom when inside. Crates encourage control, which will positively impact your dog's behavior.

Crates are also useful for giving you peace of mind when you are away from your house for a longer period of time because you'll know that your dog has a safe structure where he can spend the time sleeping or enjoying a toy or bone.

A crate can also be useful if you need to travel with your pet. Because the crate is something familiar, your pet will be less anxious about the traveling process and will have a safe space to retreat to even in new places.

The Cons 

Most dogs don't automatically love their crates, and some can even come to fear them. This largely happens if crates are not introduced to dogs the right way. 

Introducing a crate to a dog so they eventually come to like it can be a long process and frustrating process, and you'll need to be careful to be very patient with your dog as they are getting used the new structure. 

Some dogs even come to feel like being in the crate is a punishment and the result of something they've done wrong. This can lead to disruptive whining or crying. 

There is no play area in the smaller crate option.

Making a Choice

Whether you end up choosing a dog exercise pen or a crate will depend on a lot of factors, such as the age and training level of your dog when you get him, your dog's personality, the available space within your home and how much time you have to spend training your pet. 

Both of these products are extremely portable, yet secure. The crate is well built when unfolded into position, especially with its door latch and the pen can be secured with ground stakes. Both of these options require no tools and keep your pet safe.

There is no one right choice, but consider which option will work best with your pet and your lifestyle. Midwest Homes for Pets is an excellent brand that provides both options with quality construction.

This comes with a black e-coat that provides long-term waterproof protection against rust. Other great manufacturers include Precision Pet Products, Carlson Pet Products, and Richell Pet Products.

No matter which option you choose, we can help you pick the best quality product for your needs. Feel free to contact us with any further questions or recommendations of products that have worked for you and your pet. 

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