Puppy Pen Ideas

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Large wooden pens can be built for puppies who are old enough to stay outside.
Large wooden pens can be built for puppies who are old enough to stay outside. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Puppies have different needs at different stages in life. The requirements for a whelping pen differ significantly from those of an outdoor puppy run. Indoor pens should be easily built and portable. Outdoor pens for larger puppies can be permanently installed. By correctly preparing the puppy's various pens and play areas, you can keep the puppies safe and make training easier.

Enclosure

The type of enclosure to be used for a puppy pen depends on a number of factors. The first is the specific purpose of the pen's construction. A whelping pen should be made with smooth, pliable materials to protect the puppies from injury as they grow. A padded baby pool works well for the purpose. For an easily modified enclosure, interlocking fencing systems, such as x-pens are an excellent choice. Be sure to provide enough room for the pups to move around. Large, permanent, outdoor pens can be created with wooden panels or chain link.

Small puppies need soft surfaces inside their enclosure.
Small puppies need soft surfaces inside their enclosure. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Special Needs

Puppies have different needs at different ages. During whelping and for several weeks after, it's a good idea to have a lot of padded space in the pen. This can be accomplished by piling puppy beds and blankets in the bottom. These can also be covered with a painter's drop cloth to protect the fabric during whelping. As the puppies grow, be sure to include toys for the puppies to play with inside their pen. If you use an outdoor pen, keep shade in mind. Either include a doghouse inside, or cover a section of the pen with a tarp or cloth to provide shade.

Include chew toys inside the pen for larger puppies.
Include chew toys inside the pen for larger puppies. (Image: Jupiterimages/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Food and Water

Food and water is a special consideration. While large puppies do well with ordinary food and water bowls, it's important to keep their size in mind when selecting dishes. Use small dishes, especially for water, to keep them out of drowning danger.

Water bowls should be small enough that a puppy can't fall inside.
Water bowls should be small enough that a puppy can't fall inside. (Image: Gayla Bailey/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Cleaning and Waste

Many people include puppy litter boxes inside puppy pens. It is also a good idea to line indoor pens with newspaper to aid with cleanup. Filling outdoor pens with sawdust or straw is a great way to aid cleanup inside the pens of larger dogs.

Lining the puppy pen with newspapers can aid easy cleanup.
Lining the puppy pen with newspapers can aid easy cleanup. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

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